An Enlightening Commentary into the Light of the Holy Qur'an vol. 15

From Surah Saba (34) to Surah Sad (38)
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An Enlightening Commentary into the Light of the Holy Qur'an vol. 15
From Surah Saba (34) to Surah Sad (38)
The light of Islam has enlightened and continuing to enlighten every corner in the world and seekers of truth have closely associated to the Holy Quran which carries the Word of Allah (SWT) to humanity. With increasing focus and attention to the Holy Quran, efforts has been done to provide a pure, correct and accurate translation of this divine book. But sometimes it is difficult for the readers to understand all of the apparent and hidden meanings and it is the duty of every Muslim, man or woman, to read, understand and contemplate on the Holy Qur’an according to his own capacity. Hence, the need for proper explanation becomes obvious and necessary. The book titled, “An Enlightening Commentary into the Light of the Holy Qur’an” compiled by a group of Muslim scholars, under the direction of Ayatullah Allamah Al-Hajj Sayyid Kamal Faqih Imani is a valuable effort which presents a thorough commentary on the Quran in 20 volumes made available to the reader.

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An Enlightening Commentary into the Light of the Holy Qur'an vol. 15 From Surah Saba (34) to Surah Sad (38) Compiler: A Group of Muslim Scholars, under the direction of Ayatullah Allamah Al-Hajj Sayyid Kamal Faqhih Imani. Translator: Mr. Sayyid Abbas Sadr-Ameli Published by: The Scientific and Religious Research Center Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a s.) Public Library, under the direction of Ayatullah Allamah Al-Hajj Sayyid Kamal Faqhih Imani. Address: Shekar Shekan Crossroads, Ahmadabad Street Post Office Box 1465/5151, Esfahan Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran: 281000, 282000, 296487 Fax 0098 31 297028

Introduction

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

“Verily the Qur'an doth guide to that which is most right (or stable) (to run societies), and giveth the glad tidings to the Believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a magnificent reward”1.

“We have sent down to thee the book explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad tidings to Muslims"2.

“When those come to thee who believe in Our Signs, say: 'Peace be on you: Your Lord hath inscribed for Himself (the rule on Mercy; verily, if any of you did evil in ignorance, and thereafter repented, and amended (his conduct), Lo! He is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful”3.

The light of Islam is illuminating hearts of individuals in nearly all parts of the world, in spite of heavy barriers and careful controls and religious interrogation exerted by not only many governments of non-Muslim nations, but also in some Muslim countries, against their believing people, especially during the years after the Islamic Revolution of Iran.

The effective influence of the light of the truth together with the speed in the movement of the Age has brought forth a more vital exchange of thought and religious ideology in connection with the Holy Qur'an.

In regard to this, we refer to what the Messenger of Allah (S) has said about it:

When afflictions surround you like the dark night refer to the Qur'an, because, it is an Intercessor whose intercession is accepted. It reports the evils (of people) which will be confirmed. It leads the person to Heaven who puts it in front of himself (follows it); and he who puts it behind himself (neglects it) will be driven to Hell.

This very Qur'an is the best guide to the best ways. It is a Book in which there are useful explanations, statements and gaining (of goals). It is the Separator (of right and wrong).4

Obviously, those people whose language is not Arabic can refer to the Holy Book in English, because this is an international language and it is possible for all nations with any native language, to read and understand it in English. As far as we know, there are more than 50 different English translations of Qur'an available in Iran alone, and probably others exist in libraries (and homes) throughout the world.

This makes it easy for the lovers of truth to obtain the knowledge of the Holy Qur'an and Islamic ideology, through the medium of English, which formerly was acquired directly by the Arabic and Persian languages.

But, a fact should be mentioned here that not all of the words of Allah are easily understood by ordinary people and need explanatory commentary, i.e. 'Tafsir’.

Alongside this path, there are some problems that those eager to learn the Qur'anic truth should know and be careful of. Hence, we deal here with some of the difficulties we were involved in and recognized when we were preparing this endeavour; the fruit of our humble labour of more than three years, a translation of the commentary of over one section (of the 30 sections) of the Holy Qur'an from different commentary sources.

The work is based upon popular commentaries accepted by Muslim scholars. We consulted other books and present living scholars, learned in the Qur'anic Sciences for our work to produce this commentary in a simple standard of English easily understood by the laymen.

The style of writing here is a mixture of British-English and American-English, understandable for all the readers; even for those acquainted with only one of them. However, excuse us for using interchangeable spellings. If both are used, from time to time, they are acceptable; for example, honour and honor.

Not All English Versions of Quran Are Acceptable

Some Western translators of the Holy Qur'an; not all of them, and some producers of literature on Islam in the English language, are the anti-Muslim elements which are busy in distorting the facts about the faith to create disruption in Islamic ideology.

These hostile minds have attempted to black-list the Holy Prophet (S) and the religion of Islam, through their purposeful and subtle mis-translations, mis-interpretations, mis-representations and distortion of the facts.

The distortion and the misinterpretations are so skilfully decorated in linguistic excellence and delusive logic that the blind lovers of the English language, who are hardly or even totally unaware of the actual Qur'anic factors of their own faith, get caught up in the falsehood tempered with eloquence and they swallow the 'sugar-coated poisonous pills of deceit' allowing themselves to become duly conditioned to serve the purpose of the publications of the hostile camps.

The current standing of Evil has always been against the Truth in the history of man, even before written history, when the sons of Adam came into existence.

When these antagonistic elements have successfully extended their active influence upon our own religion, ideology and social tradition, we are also duty bound to Allah, His Final Word (the Holy Qur'an), the Faith, and to Islam, to do our best to present to every sincere seeker of Truth, a selection of a translation of the verses of the Holy Qur'an of the original Arabic text, and the 'Tafsir' (commentary) of them.

By the way, we believe that it is the essential belief of 'Shi'a' that the present Qur'an, that which is in our hands today, is the Holy Book of Allah, revealed to the holy Prophet Muhammad (S), as arranged and compiled during his lifetime and read out to him and it contains nothing less or more than what was revealed.

And it should be noted that,

"Nay, but it is a Glorious Qur'an, (inscribed) in a tablet preserved."5,

whose present arrangement is the order in which the various verses were sorted and arranged at the command of the Holy Prophet (S), himself.

This is the uncorrupted or undisturbed Word of Allah, the preservation of which has been guaranteed by Allah, Himself:

"We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)"6.

Furthermore, the English translations, along with the Arabic text of the verses, in this book, are selected from different translations of English versions of the Holy Qur'an, (whose names are listed at the end of the book under the title of 'References') which are from the best available sources in which some better styles and more proper meanings are employed. The translator and editor did their best to preserve this divine message and in conveying the Qur'anic facts in English.

In a few instances this writer, the translator, changed a word of those existing translations to a better one, from the existing material which was employed in this work.

What is a 'Commentary'?

A pure, correct, accurate translation of the Qur'an is necessary, but sometimes it is difficult for the readers to understand all of the apparent and hidden meanings and it is the duty of every Muslim, man or woman to read, understand and contemplate on the Holy Qur'an according to his own capacity:

"...read you, therefore, of the Qur'an as much as may be easy for you.."7.

This reading has to be done not only with the tongue, voice and eyes; a mere recitation, but, also, with the best light that our intellect can supply, and even more, with the truest and purest light which our heart and conscience give us.

However, it is not always possible to fully understand the Holy Book as Allah says:

"That is indeed a Qur'an most honourable,"Which none shall touch but those who are purified"8.

Thus, some additional information is needed. For example, it is sometimes necessary, for understanding the text, to refer to the particular occasion for the revelation of a particular verse; or to know the philological changes of a word used at the time of revelation or before it and the meaning that it has in Arabic, today.

Or the alphabetical symbols which evidently and undoubtedly are secrets, and especially the ambiguous /mutashabihat/; the knowledge of which has been announced to be with the /rasixuna fil 'ilm/; those deeply established in knowledge.

They are some things that only 'the particular ones, the sinless ones', besides the Prophet (S), himself, viz, Ahlul-Bait, knew with all the Qur'anic facts and talked about them in their traditions and narrations (as He says:

"And whom We had taught knowledge from Our own Presence"9.

For instance, the Apostle, himself, answered the questions which used to be asked by people as to the meaning of certain words in the verses revealed, or details of certain historical or spiritual matters on which they sought more enlightenment. These answers and explanations or in other words, the commentaries were gathered by some Companions /ashab/ and were afterward written down which are called 'Hadith' or 'traditions'.

Of course, the holy Prophet (S) had openly declared in Hadith-uth- Thaqalayn that the Qur'an is with the Ahlul-Bait, and to avoid going astray, the Muslims should be attached to these two. Later, the Ahlul-Bait's explanations and narrations, were added to them and together with the effect of expert religious scholars, in the past and present, established 'Exegesis' (explanation of Qur'an) which became a science in itself and was called 'Tafsir', commentary.

'Commentary' shows how every verse, or group of verses, were revealed to the holy Prophet (S) on a particular occasion, but which also has a general meaning. The particular occasion and the particular people concerned have passed away, but the general meaning and its application remain true for all time.

This is also one of the miracles of the Qur'an that with the help of 'commentary' it is always open and it is always new for those new generations to come.

The Current Commentary

As was mentioned earlier, the light of Islam is enlightening every corner in the world and seekers of truth, having referred to the translations of the Holy Qur'an, find that they need 'Tafsir', (commentary).

Some of them, Shi'a believers in particular have been led to this Center; Imam Ali (a) Library, requesting a clear, concise English Tafsir; 'a commentary of the Holy Qur'an'.

From the beginning of Islam until today (although many times the Holy Qur'an has been translated into English and a few of them are published with brief, detailed commentary, as footnotes, there has rarely been, as far as we know, a fairly complete commentary in English sufficient for them to find their answers. So the decision was made to supply this commentary.

Ayatullah Mujahed Al-Hajj, Allamah Sayyid Kamal Faqhih Imani, the founder and responsible party of this Islamic Scientific Research Center, approached us and reported the situation to scholars and appropriate research societies.

Then 12 people, who had varying nationalities and educational backgrounds, especially from the point of the English language and Islamic Theology, gathered. In their first gathering, which was held on 28th Safar, 1412 (1370 H. / 1991), they concluded that the commentary of the whole Qur'an which they intended to supply in English, would take many years to produce.

In order to quench the thirst of the lovers of Truth who had demanded it again and again, they decided to supply the commentary of the last section of the Qur'an, as a sample, and after its publication and receiving constructive comments by the readers and with a better skillfulness of the ones involved, the translation of the commentary would begin from the beginning of the Holy Qur'an.

Therefore, they thought it would be better that the sample, entitled 'An Enlightening Commentary Into the Light of the Holy Qur'an', begin with Surah Insan, the end of the 29th Section, because the Qur'an was revealed for the improvement of Man and this Surah is about Man and his creation from a lowly life-germ which can develop unto the highest point where no other creature can ascend.

But, after several weeks the number of us dwindled to a handful and after some months, until the present, we remain two people; the translator and the editor. During this period of more than three years, a few people have tried their hands at this task to have a share in the translation, but, for different reasons, they were not successful.

However, we are completely grateful for their efforts and extend our thanks for their attempts, as well as to those who had any involvement in this work.

Attributes Needed for Working on This Kind of Commentary

This endeavour needed not only the knowledge and skillfulness in the English language, but also the knowledge of Arabic, and Islamic science and culture, because Tafsir is an attempt to analyze and explain the meaning of verses in the Holy Qur'an.

Moreover, Allah, Himself, says:

"We have sent down to thee the book explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad Tidings to Muslims"10.

Then, it needs that those involved know a little bit about almost all sciences and knowledge that human beings are concerned with when working with the commentary. Also, the phonetic sound systems of the two languages, English and Arabic, are different. Therefore, when an Arabic word from the Qur'an is mentioned in the English text, it is shown with the phonetic alphabet and in its special phonetical sign, i.e.: / /, to avoid using 'Arabic script' in the book, as far as possible.

A transliteration table of the Arabic letters and sounds and the corresponding phonetic signs, applied in this book, is given at the beginning of the book.

The Problems in Translating

We tried to avoid mixing up our own personal theories and conclusions with the interpretation of the text itself. With the help of Allah, we did our best; at times asking for guidance from some learned religious men (Ruhaniyan), and used all the knowledge and experience we possessed in the service of the Holy Qur'an for its commentary, hoping that Allah accepts it.

The nature of this sort of endeavour is so that, in the course of translation, some difficulties arise from various causes.

For instance, cultures in the Arabic language and English language are different so that some of the words like /amrun bayn al amrayn/ in the case of fatalism and freewill are nearly impossible to translate into English, because of the difference in the concept in English literature; or the meaning of a word like 'prostration', in English, is rather different with what /sajdah/ exactly means in Arabic.

In such cases, we selected the meaning of the words from among what the earlier commentators and phililogists used and where they were not unanimous, we also used the ideas of new writers, who had reasonable advantages in their interpretations, when the senses adopted with the commentary sources that we were taking and translating materials from. Explanations, of course are always helpful which we took benefit from, too.

It is noteworthy that there are some circumstances in the text, of the commentary, in which a verse or verses of Qur'an from other Suras rather than the Surah under discussion are mentioned as evidence or, thereby, for strengthening the idea.

The text of these verses and also the traditions and narrations from the holy Prophet or Ahlul-Bait (a) is printed in bolder type than the running commentary in order to distinguish, at a glance, the substance from the shadow. Also, the mentioned verses are generally taken from A. Yusuf Ali's translation.

It Was Only By His Merciful Will!

Translators Note

Both the editor and the translator have interesting factual stories to tell of how the way of this endeavour was paved by Providence and how they were divinely led to be absorbed into this task, Alhamdulillah. A few words given here in this regard are not to be misunderstood as a display of vanity for any peculiar distinction; for there is none.

It is purely to attract the attention of the readers to a living instance of the Providential implementation of the divine plan and how man drifts to his assignment and how matters are automatically manipulated, though, they seem yet only to be circumstantial.

"He said: Our Lord is He Who gave to each (created) thing its form and nature and further gave (it) guidance"11.

For example, once, on a night, the writer of these lines, the translator, had seen in a dream that the Holy Qur'an, was placed, honourably, on a high position, wide open, high above a very great crowd of people amongst whom he was standing, watching. The full name of his was clearly written in the midst of the writings on the right page of it with magnificent bold letters.

The dream was obviously a good one, but it did not mean vividly to him at that time.

It was four years before he found out, in the course of translating the commentary of verses 11-16 from Surah 'Abasa No. 80, both the meaning of that dream and the cause of later changes in his career of twenty years, as a manager of a profitable Foreign Language Center, thanks to Allah.

It is always true what the Qur'an says:

"You will not unless Allah wills, surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise"12.

By His graceful arrangement this writer was separated from his almost material gains, of this fleeting world, to be set toward the assured, perfect, pure, spiritual rewards of the next, everlasting world from Him, Allah willing, when he began translating the commentary of the Qur'an and entered this great Divine Ocean of light, he found out that from earlier times such a success had been appointed and bestowed to him by Allah.

Therefore, all changes and graceful arrangements directly are from Him and it was His helpful Will that planned His graceful design and showered the ability and insight upon us to lead us to the present point. We are eagerly in hopes that He will help us and guide us in all cases to complete the task successfully so that He accepts it from us.

Editor's Note

In my case, it is a fact that only by the grace of Allah have I come to be at the helm working, side-by-side with the translator, on this commentary of the Holy Qur'an. Editing and checking this translation of 'An Enlightening commentary into the Light of the Holy Quran' has been a most important and rewarding experience for me.

To be of value in this work several things were necessary; my mother tongue, English, was almost at the top of the list. Then, having the ability to use a computer and printer, which involved me having to learn and use a Farsi program named Zarnegar, produced in Tehran, Iran, I was able to make use of the wonderful array of fonts it contains; necessary to type the Arabic and English languages.

Next, living in Iran, for four years, has made it possible for me to become acquainted with the native language and customs. However, the greatest asset, of all, is that I am a Shi'a Muslim woman.

It is fifteen (15) years from now, that in America, I became enlightened to the existence of the Holy Qur'an and accepted it as a better way of life. Over this period of time it has put me in touch with the purity of the religion and the logical answers to the religious questions I had as a Catholic.

My father told us (during our childhood) that if we ever wanted to know anything we should go to the source and to always have the correct tools on hand to do the job right.

When I started hearing and seeing, on television, the upheaval of the Islamic Revolution, in Iran, and the speech of a brave and courageous man they called Ayatullah Khomeini, I became very intense on knowing why it was happening and in knowing who this man was who had been exiled and was making his return to his homeland.

"Our Lord! We have heard the call of one calling (us) to faith, 'Believe ye in the Lord,, and we have believed. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins, blot out from us our iniquities, and take to Thyself our souls in the company of the righteous"13.

It was something more spectacular than I had ever read about in my high school history books. There was a charge in it that I could not explain, and up until that time, I had never really heard anything about Islam, Prophet Muhammad or Muslims, for that matter.

I bought A. Yussuf Ali's English Translation of the Holy Qur'an, basing my decision on my father's counsel and I began from page one.

It was talking about the same things I had already learned; Adam and Eve in the Garden, disobeyed God due to the wiles of Satan and then, were expelled to Earth; Moses is given the scripture and leads his people out of Egypt, but they forfeited their covenant for a golden calf; Abraham, Ismail and Issac of the religion true, and there, Mary.

Hail Mary! Chaste, pure, chosen above other women, given glad tidings of a Word from Him; his name will be Christ Jesus, son of Mary, held in honor...14

And it went on: Practise charity, take care of the orphans, speak a speech that is just, beware of the deceits of the Unbelievers...I was in awe as I neared the end. No place was any obscenity found -no trace of ugliness which I found in the Bible -nothing but pure scripture; a complete religion, the one and only continuing from the first of Abraham. So, it became crystal clear to me that Islam is the final, refined message from God.

True, just, undeniable, containing what I had always felt and that is this: There is only One God; unique, needing no partner, powerful, and yet merciful and kind. How could God be more than one; Creator of such a vast universe and more?

With this understanding, though, came many tests to my new-found-faith; albeit necessary tests. Did I really believe - did I really submit to His Will - was I really worthy?

I began by only putting on a scarf, covering all of my hair.

"And say to the believing women...that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers..."15

Immediately the responses that I encountered proved the rightness of it all. I was chided, spit at, hit and cursed. Well, of course, a great deal of this was due to the propaganda which caused mass hysteria against Iran and not having their facts straight about the religion of Islam, however, it hurt just the same, but I had learned forgiveness and perseverance from my mother.

It was difficult for my family in the beginning; this change I was making, however, we are very close at heart, today, due to my faith and reliance on Allah.

"And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: 'My Lord! Bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.'"16

Almost at once the veils over my understanding fell away and I started rejecting a lot of the 'big-business' propaganda that had infiltrated into my life.

"Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error; whosoever rejects Evil and believes in God bath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks..."17

The 'Big Sell' eats away at the very fabric of human society to the point that life has only a superficial meaning and high value is put on every inanimate object which man can produce.

"The life of this world is alluring to those who reject faith, and they scoff at those who believe. But the righteous will be above them on the Day of Resurrection; for God bestows His abundance on whom He will "18.

I had developed an intense desire to go to Iran--the country of martyrs; having an air so thick with emotions, direction and goal, at that time, and having the presence of an undeniable strength caressing it in the hands of an unseen power.

Ten years after I started practicing the tenets of Islam the opportunity presented itself for me to be able to fulfil my desire.

"Not equal are those Believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause...God has granted a grade higher to those who strive...”19

I wished very much to become involved in some type of work regarding the Holy Qur'an and in due time I was approached to work with a group of people on a commentary of the Holy Qur'an.

"And for those who fear God, He prepares a way out" "And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine..."20

Those of you who know anything about the rigors of editing know that it is very time-consuming and attention to detail is very necessary.

Spending many hours discussing the meaning of a single word, or phrase, can cause the ordinary soul to become frustrated, but that frustration is ultimately quelled when peace and tranquillity cover the heart at the point where there is that final agreement and gives those involved renewed enthusiasm to continue.

Sometimes you will notice more spacing than usual on a line or within the phonetic brackets (/ /), but this is due to the fact that the Zarnegar program is a Farsi program and it took much time trying to place the little phonetic line over, or the little dot under, the correct letter, because English is written from left to right and Farsi is written from right to left, so, I had a bit of anarchy on my hands for a time.

I leave you, now, in the hopes that you, too, will be provoked to question and seek. (Seek and you will find). Looking back, I feel that Allah does consider me worthy.

"God is the protector of those who have faith; from the depths of darkness He will lead them into light"21.

Wa Salam.

Acknowledgment

Tafsir Nemunah is compiled by the great writer and researcher, His Eminence Ayatullah il-Ozma Nasir Makarim Shirazi, and with the cooperation of an estimable group of Muslim scholars, Hujaj-
ul-Islam:

1. Hajjatul-Islam Muhammad Rida Ashtiyani

2. Hajjatul-Islam Muhammad Jafar Emami

3. Hajjatul-Islam Abdur-Rassul Hassani

4. Hujjatul-Islam Sayyed Hassan Shujaiee

5. Hujjatul-Islam Mahmud Abdellahi

6. Hujjatul-Islam Muhsen Ghara’ati

7. Hujjatul-Islam Muhammad Muhammadi

By the way, it should be notified that for the translation of this volume, Tafsir Nemunah has been mainly utilized.

* * * *

يَأَيهَا النّاس قَدْ جَاءَكُم بُرْهَنٌ مِّن رّبِّكُمْ وَ أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ نُوراً مّبِيناً

“O mankind! Verily there has come to you a convincing proof (the Messenger and the Qur’an) from your Lord: for We have sent unto you a light (that is) manifest.”1

إِنّا نحْنُ نَزّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَ إِنّا لَهُ لحََفِظونَ

"We have, without doubt, sent down the Message and We will assuredly Guard it (from corruption)."2

وَ مَنْ أَعْرَض عَن ذِكرِى فَإِنّ لَهُ مَعِيشةً ضنكاً وَ نحْشرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَمَةِ أَعْمَى

"But whosoever turns away from My Message (the Qur’an), verily for him is a straitened toilsome life, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgement''.3

وَ نُنزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْءَانِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَ رَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

“And We send down (stage by stage) of the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy for those who believe ..."4

References

Arabic, Farsi Commentaries

1. Tafsir-i-Nemuneh, by A Group of Shi'a Scholars with Ayatollah Makarim Shirazi; Dar-ul-Kutub-il-Islamiyyah, Qum, Iran, 1990/1410.

2. Majma'-ul-Bayan fi Tafsir-il-Qur'an, by Shaykh Abu Ali al-Fadl-ibn-il-Husain-il-Tabarsi, Dar-u-Ihya'-it- Turath-il' Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, 1960/1380 AH.

3. Al-Mizan fi Tafsir-il-Qur'an by 'Allamah as-Sayyid Muhammad Husain at- Tabataba'i, al-A'lami lil-Matbu'at, Beirut, Lebanon, 1972/1392 AH.

4. Atyab-ul-Bayan fi Tafsir-il-Qur'an by Sayyid 'Abdul-Husain Tayyib, Muhammadi Publishing House, Isfahan, Iran, 1962/1382 AH.

5. Ad-Durr-ul-Manthur fi-Tafsir-il-Ma'thur by Imam 'Abd-ur-Rahman al-Suyuti, Dar-ul-Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon, 1983/1403 AH.

6. Al-Tafsir-ul-Kabir by Imam Fakh-ir-Razi, Dar-ul-Kutub-il-'islmiyyah, Tehran, 1973/1393.

7. Al-Jam'li -Ahkam-il-Qur'an (Tafsir-ul-Qartabi) by Muhammad-ibn-Ahmad al-Qartabi, Dar-ul-Kutub-il Misriyyah, 1967/1387.

8.Tafsir-i-Nur-uth-Thaqalayn by 'Abd-i-'Ali-ibn Jum'at-ul-'Arusi al-Huweyzi, al-Matba'atul-'ilmiyyah, Qum, Iran, 1963/1383 AH.

9. Tafsir-i-Ruh-ul-Janan by Jamal-ud-Din Abul-Futuh Razi, Dar-ul-Kutub-il-Islamiyyah, Tehran, 1973/1393 AH.

10. Tafsir-i-Ruh-ul-Bayan by Isma'il Haqqi al-Burusawi Dar-u-Ihya'-ut- Turath-il-' Arabi, Beirut.

English Translations of Qur'an

1. The Holy Qur'an, Text, Translation and Commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Publication of the Presidency of Islamic Courts & Affairs, State of Qatar, 1946.

2. The Holy Qur'an, Arabic Text by a Group of Muslim Brothers, English Translation and footnotes by M. H. Shakir, Tehran, Iran.

3. The Glorious Koran, Bi-lingual Edition with English Translation by Marmaduke Pickthall, printed in Great Britain by W. & J. MacKay Ltd., Chatham, Kent, London.

4. Al-Mizan, An Exegesis of the Qur'an by al-Allamah as-Sayyid Muhammad Husayn-at- Tabataba'i, Translated by Sayyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi, Vol. 1, Tehran, WOFIS, 1983.

5. The Koran translated with notes by N. J. Dawood, Penguin Books Ltd, New York, U.S.A, 1978.

6. The Koran Interpreted, Translated by Arthur J. Arberry, London, Oxford University Press, 1964.

7. The Glorious Koran, Translated with Commentary of Divine Lights by Ali Muhammad Fazil Chinoy, Printed at the Hyderabad Bulletin Press, Secanderabad-India, 1954.

8. Holy Qur'an, Shakir, M. H., Ansariyan Publications, Qum, Islamic Republic of Iran, 1993.

9. The Holy Qur'an with English Translation of the Arabic Text and Commentary According to the Version of the Holy Ahlul-Bait by S. V. Mir Ahmad Ali, published by Tahrike- Tarsile Qur'an, Inc., New York, 1988.

10. A Collection of Translation of the Holy Qur'an, supplied, corrected and compiled by Al-Balagh Foundation, Tehran, Iran, (unpublished).

Supporting Technical References

1. Nahjul -Balagha by as -Sayyid ar -Radi Dar -ul -Kitab al -Lubnani, Beirut, Lebanon, 1982.

2. Sharh -i -Nahjul -Balagha by Ibn-i Abi al-Hadid, Dar -u -Ihya' -il - Kutub -il -' Arabiyyah, Eypt, 1959/1378 AH.

3. Nahj-al-Balagha of Amir al-Muminin 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, selected and compiled by as-Sayyid Abul-Hassan 'Ali ibn al-Husayn ar-Radi al-Musawi, Translated by Sayyid Ali Raza, World Organization For Islamic Services (WOFIS), Tehran, Iran, 1980.

4. Nahjul Balagha -Hazrat Ali, Translated by Sheikh Hassan Saeed, Chehel Sotoon Library & Theological School, Tehran, Iran, 1977.

5. Al-Kafi by ash-Shaykh Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Ya'qub ibn Ishaq al-Kulayni ar-Razi, Translated and published by WOFIS, Tehran, Iran, 1982.

6. Shi'a, by Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabataba-i, translated by Sayyid Hosein Nasr, Qum, Ansariyan Publications, 1981.

7. Williams Obstetrics, Pritchard, Jack A., 1921; MacDonald, Paul C., 1930, Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York, U.S.A, 1976.

8. The Encyclopedia Americana, Americana Corporation, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., U.S.A, 1962.

9. Compton's Encyclopedia and Fact-Index, F.E. Compton Company, printed in U.S.A, 1978.

10. Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged, Second Edition, by Noah Webster, Published by the World Publishing Company, Cleveland and New York, U.S.A, 1953.

Phraseological and Philological Sources

1. A Glossary of Islamic Technical Terms Persian-English, by M. T. Akbari and others, Edited by B. Khorramshahi, Islamic Research Foundation, Astan, Quds, Razavi, Mashhad, Iran, 1991.

2. Al-Mawrid, a Modern Arabic-English Dictionary, Third Edition,by Dr. Rohi Baalbaki, Dar el-Ilm Lilmulmalayin, Beirut, Lebanon, 1991.

3. Elias' Modern Dictionary, Arabic-English, by Elias A. Elias & Ed. E. Elias, Beirut, Lebanon, 1980.

4. An Introduction to Arabic Phonetics and the Orthoepy of the Qur'an, by Bahman Zandi, Islamic Research Foundation, Astan, Quds, Razavi, Mashhad, Iran, 1992.

5. A Concise Dictionary of Religious Terms & Expressions (English-Persian & Persian-English), by Hussein Vahid Dastjerdi, Vahid Publications, Tehran, Iran, 1988.

6. Arabic-English Lexicon, by Edward William Lane, Librarie Du Liban, Beirut, Lebanon, 1980.

7. A Dictionary and Glossary, by Penrice B.A. Curzon Press Ltd., London, Dublin, Reprinted, 1979.

8. Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, by David B. Guralnik, Simon & Schuster, New York, U.S.A, 1984.

9. The New Unabridged English-Persian Dictionary, by Abbas Aryanpur (Kashani), Amir Kabir Publication Organization, 1963.

10. The Larger Persian English Dictionary, by S. Haim, published in Farhang Moaser, Tehran, Iran, 1985.

A Presentation to Muslims

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficient, The Merciful

"O ye who believed! Obey Allah, and obey the Apostle, and those charged with authority among you”.1

('Those charged with authority'

are only the twelve sinless Imams (a) and; at the time of occultation, Sources of Imitation, who are learned, pious, and just, should be referred to.)

في إكمال الدين في حديث عن جابر الجعفي عن جابر بن عبد الله الانصاري قال: قلت: يا رسول الله عرفنا الله ورسوله، فمن اولي الامر الذين قرن الله طاعتهم بطاعتك؟ فقال (ص) هم خلفائي يا جابر، وأئمة المسلمين بعدي أولهم علي بن أبي طالب، ثم الحسن والحسين، ثم علي بن الحسين، ثم محمد بن علي المعروف في التوراة بالباقر وستدركه يا جابر فإذا لقيته فاقرأه مني السلام. ثم الصادق جعفر بن محمد، ثم موسى بن جعفر، ثم علي بن موسى، ثم محمد بن علي، ثم علي بن محمد، ثم الحسن بن علي، ثم سميي وكنيي حجة الله في أرضه، وبقيته في عباده ابن الحسن بن علي، ذاك الذي يفتح الله على يديه مشارق الارض ومغاربها

In 'Ikmal-ud-Din' a tradition, through 'Jabir-il-Ju'fi', is narrated from Jabir-ibn- Abdillah thus:

I said:

"O Messenger of Allah, we have known Allah and His Apostle; then who is 'Ulil-Amr', those that Allah has made their obedience the same as your obedience?'

Then, the Prophet (S) said:

'O Jabir! they are, after me, my successors and the Guides of Muslims; the first of them is Ali-ibn-Abi Talib; then (Imam) Hassan, and (Imam) Husain; then Ali-ibn-il-Husain; then Muhammad-ibn-Ali, known in the Torah as Baqir, whom you will see.

O Jabir! When you visit him, give my regards to him. After him, there is Sadiq, -Ja'far-ibn-Muhammad; and after him Musa-ibn-Ja'far; then Ali-ibn-Musa; then Muhammad-ibn-Ali; then Ali-ibn-Muhammad, then Hassan-ibn-Ali; and after him (there comes) Al-Gha'im whose name and sir-name is the same as mine. He is Allah's Authority on the Earth and His Remainder amongst His servants.

He is the son of (Imam) Hassan-ibn-Ali (a.-Askari). This is the very personality by whose hands Allah will open the Easts and Wests of the world.’2

قال الله تعالى: "وما ينطق عن الهوى إن هو إلا وحي يوحى"

"Nor does the Apostle speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed".3

قال النبي (ص): "إني تارك فيكم التقلين، كتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء إلى الأرض وعترتي أهل بيتي، وإن اللطيف الخبير أخبرني أنهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا علي الحوض فانظروا بماذا تخلفوني" وفي حديث آخر: "لن تضلوا ما إن تمسكتم بهما"

The Prophet (S) said:

"I leave behind me two weighty (very worthy and important) things:

The book of Allah (i.e. the Quran), which is a stretched string from the heaven to the earth, and my progeny, my Ahlul-Bait; for verily Allah, The Merciful, The Aware, informed me that never, never, will these Two get separated from each other until they meet me at the Houd of Kauthar (the Pond of Abundance).

Therefore, be careful and contemplate on how you will treat them (after me)”

...and in another tradition it is added:

"Never, never, shall you get astray if you attach yourself to these two”.4

Abul-Hassan-ir-Rida (a) said:

"May the Mercy of Allah be upon the servant who Keeps alive our commandment".

I asked him (a) how the one could keep your commandment alive.

He (a) said:

"He (can) learn our sciences and teach them to people. In fact if people knew (the merits) and goodnesses of our speech, surely they would follow us.” 5

  • 1. 4:59
  • 2. Ikmal-ud-Din, Vol. 1, p. 253; with nearly similar meaning, in Yanabi-ul-Mawaddah, p. 117
  • 3. 53:3,4
  • 4. Ma'uni-ul-Akhbur, p. 90, tradition 2, & Musnad Ahmad-ibn-Hanbal, Vol. 3, p.17, and other books from the Sunnite School and Shi 'ah School mentioned in Ihqaq-ul-Haqq, Vol 9, p. 309 to 375
  • 5. Ma' ani-ul-Akhbar, p. 180 & 'Uyun-i-Akbar-ur-Rida, Vol. 1, p. 207

Surah As-Saba, Chapter 34

(The Saba)
No. 34 (Revealed at Mecca)
54 Verses in 6 Sections

The Feature of Surah As-Saba

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

This Surah has been revealed at Mecca, and contains fifty four verses. For the explanation of the people of Saba mentioned in this Surah, it has been called Saba and, like other Meccan suras, most expressions of it are about ideological issues, and the Origin and the End (Hereafter) in particular.

In the story of Solomon, of course, and his encounter with the people of Saba, a part of the Divine bounties and the end of the thankful believers and disbelievers are pointed out.

The Virtue of the Surah

Imam Sadiq (as) in a tradition has said:

“He who recites the couple of Suras which has begun with the praise of Allah (suras Saba and Fatir) in a night, he will be in the protection of Allah, the Almighty and in His guard; and if he recites them in the daytime, no undesirable thing will come to him on that day, and he will be given so much good of this world and the next that has never come to his mind and which he has never desired or thought of.” 1

  • 1. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Vol. 8, P. 375

Section 1: Those Given the Knowledge (By Allah)

Surah As-Saba- Verse 1

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ فِي الأَخِرَةِ وَهُوَ الْحَكِيمُ الْخَبِيرُ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

1. “(All) praise is (only) Allah’s, to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and to Him belongs also (all) praise in the Hereafter, and He is the Wise, the Aware.”

We must learn from Allah how to praise Him.

The praises must be for His perfection, power, ownership, awareness, and wisdom.

Among the Suras, of the Qur’an, there are five suras which have been begun with the Praise of Allah in three of which the praise of Allah is for the sake of the creation of the heaven and the earth and other creatures.

In one Surah1 this praise is for the sake of the descent of the Qur’an on the pure heart of the holy Prophet (S). And, in another Surah, Al-Hamd, there is a conclusive meaning which envelops all these affairs.

It says:

“(All) praise is (only) Allah’s, the Lord of the Worlds.”

However, Surah Saba begins with the praise of Allah for His Ownership, and Wisdom in both this world and Hereafter.

It says:

“(All) praise is (only) Allah’s, to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and to Him belongs also (all) praise in the Hereafter…”

Thus the sovereignty and ownership of both worlds belong to Him.

Every bounty, every merit, every benefit and blessing, and every wonderful elegant, and well-proportioned creation, all belong to His Pure Essence, and it is for this reason that ‘the Praise’, the reality of which is a praise for ‘the optional good deeds’ returns to Him. And if some creatures are also eligible of praise, they are a ray of His Essence and a shade of His deeds and attributes, too.

Therefore, when anybody in this world praises something, this praise finally returns to His Pure Essence.

At the end of the verse, the Holy Qur’an adds:

“…and He is the Wise, the Aware.”

It is because of His vast wisdom that this surprising system governs over the world, and it is because of His Knowledge and awareness that everything has been located in its own place, and whatever thing a being needs, it is available for it (him).

The commentators have discussed very much about the objective meaning of:

the praise of Allah in Hereafter’.

Some of them have said that although there is no duty for people in the Hereafter, the servants of Allah will eagerly praise Him there and glorify Him, and they will take pleasure by praising Him.

Some others have said: the people of Paradise will praise Him for His grace, while the people of Hell will do it for His justice.

Sometimes it is said: the people who are in this world, because of the various curtains over their hearts and thoughts, mostly have not a sincere praise, but in Hereafter, where the curtains are removed and according to the sentence:

“On that Day the Sovereignty will be Allah’s…”

and everything will be made manifest for everybody, all of them will begin praising Him with a perfect sincere intention.

Also in this world human beings may become neglectful and, imagining some beings as independent of the Essence of Allah, praise them. But in Hereafter, where the relation of all to His Pure Essence is like the rays of sunshine to the sun and it will be made manifest, no one will praise aught but Him.

Moreover, the holy Qur’an has repeatedly said that the people of Paradise will praise Him there.

For example:

“…and the close of their cry (will be): ‘(All) praise is (only) Allah’s, the Lord of the Worlds’.”2

In another occurrence, upon the time when the believers enter the eternal gardens of Paradise, it says:

“And they will say: ‘(All) praise is (only) Allah’s Who has removed from us (all) sorrow…”3

This praise is expressed not only by the tongues of human beings and angels, but also it can be heard from all the particles of the world of existence, and there is no being but praises and glorifies Him.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 2

يَعْلَمُ مَا يَلِجُ فِي الأَرْضِ وَمَا يَخْرُجُ مِنْهَا وَمَا يَنزِلُ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ وَمَا يَعْرُجُ فِيهَا وَهُوَ الرَّحِيمُ الْغَفُورُ

2. “He knows whatever goes down into the earth and whatever comes out of it, and whatever comes down from the heaven and whatever goes up to it; and He is the Merciful, the Forgiving.”

This verse, following the attributes of Allah mentioned in the previous verse as Wise and Aware, refers to a part of His infinite knowledge and says:

“He knows whatever goes down into the earth and whatever comes out of it…”

Yes, He is aware of all of the drops of rain which come down from sky and the waves of floods, the water of which penetrates into the depth of the earth and will be stored there for men.

He is aware of the seeds of the plants which will be spread in earth by the help of winds or insects and go under the soil and grow so that one day they are seen as some green plants. He knows how the roots of trees go down into the depth of the ground to seek food and water.

Allah knows the electric waves, the different gases and the atoms in the air which penetrate into the ground. He is aware of the living creatures that go through the land and give life to it. He knows all treasures and precious things buried inside this vast ground as well as the corpses of the dead irrespective of men and other animals. Yes, He is aware of all of these things.

Also Allah knows all the plants that come out of the earth.

He knows the men who have raised from it; the springs that gush out from it; the gases come from inside of it; the volcanoes emerge from it; the insects which have nests in the earth and originate from it; and, in short, He is aware of all the creatures that come out of the depths of the ground, whether we know or we do not know.

Then the verse adds that He also knows whatever comes down from the sky, and whatever goes up to it, among them are the drops of rain, the life giving rays of the sun, the powerful waves of revelation and heavenly religious affairs, the angels who come down to the earth in order to convey the messengership or to perform other things, the heavenly rays which come from beyond the atmosphere unto the earth globe, the piercing flames and wandering meteorites which are attracted toward the earth.

Allah is aware of all of them.

It continues saying:

“…and whatever comes down from the heaven and whatever goes up to it…”

Allah also knows the servants’ deeds which ascend to the heaven; of the angels, that after fulfilling their duty, return to the heaven; of the Satans that go to the heavens to eavesdrop; of the branches of thick tall trees; of the vapours that rise from the sea and form the pieces of cloud in the sky; of the moan of an oppressed that ascends to the heaven. Yes, He knows all of these things.

Is there anyone to be aware of these affairs but He? Can the knowledge of all learned men among human beings dominate a part of His knowledge?

So, at the end of the verse, it says:

“…and He is the Merciful, the Forgiving.”

Allah being qualified by these two attributes is either for the sake that among the things ascend to the heaven there are the deeds of the servants and their souls, and it is He Who takes them under the cover of His mercy and forgiveness.

Or it is for the sake that the descent of all the heavenly blessings and merits are produced by His Mercy; and the righteous deeds of the believing servants, which, basing on the Qur’anic sentence:

“…it is He Who exalts the righteous deeds…”4,

ascend up and will be involved of His forgiveness.

Or, it says that those who so thank for these blessings deserve His mercy, and those who are faulty, if do not exceed the limits, will have forgiveness.

Shortly speaking, the above verse has a vast meaning in all its dimensions and it must not be limited in one side.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 3

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لاَ تَأْتِينَا السَّاعَةُ قُلْ بَلَي وَرَبّـِي لَتَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ لاَ يَعْزُبُ عَنْهُ مِثْقَالُ ذَرَّةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلاَ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلآ أَصْغَرُ مِن ذَلِكَ وَلآ أَكْبَرُ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ

3. “And those who disbelieve say: ‘The Hour (of Judgment) shall not come upon us.’ Say: ‘Yes! By my Lord, the Knower of the unseen, it shall certainly come upon you, from Him is not hidden the weight of (even) an atom in the heavens nor in the earth, and neither is aught smaller than that, nor greater, but (all) is in a manifest Book.”

It does not matter that the blasphemous words and expressions may be cited in order to criticize or nullify them.

1- The rejecters of the resurrection often merely claim something and they have no reasoning for it.

The former holy verses, though referred to Unity and the attributes of Allah, contained something about the subject of Resurrection, because, as we will see later, the problems of the subject of Resurrection will not be solved except by the way of infinite knowledge of Allah.

That is why, the verse under discussion at first says:

“And those who disbelieve say: ‘The Hour (of Judgment) shall not come upon us.’…”

Not only for us, but also for neither of human beings there will be a Resurrection.

By this way they wanted to get ‘freedom of action’ and perform whatever they could do, hoping that there is no reckoning and no justice at the end.

But, in view of the fact that the evidences of Hereafter are manifest, by means of a decisive sentence, and in the form of stating the conclusion, the Qur’an orders the Prophet (S) to declare:

“…Say: ‘Yes! By my Lord, the Knower of the unseen, it shall certainly come upon you…”

The emphasis is on the word ‘Lord’, because the Hereafter is one of the affairs of Lordship. How is it possible that Allah is the cherisher of human beings and makes them progress alongside the path of development but in the midway He leaves them and, by death, everything comes to an end, while man’s life becomes aimless and his creation would become naught.

This very subject has been emphasized on in Surah At-Taqabun, No. 64, verse 7, where it says:

“The unbelievers think that they will not be raised up (for Judgment). Say: ‘Yes, by my Lord, you shall surely be raised up; then shall you be told (the Truth) of all that you did…”

And since one of the objections of the opponents of Resurrection was that when the man’s body becomes dust and its particles will be scattered around, who can recognize them, and gather them, and return them to life again?

On the other hand, who can keep the account of all the deeds of the servants, hidden and manifest, inward and outward, and reckon them in a proper time?

So, in the continuation of the verse, the Qur’an adds:

“…from Him is not hidden the weight of (even) an atom in the heavens nor in the earth…”

The Qur’anic word /ya‘zub/ is derived from /‘uzub/ which originally means: ‘going far from the family for finding a pasture’.

The verse continues saying:

“…and neither is aught smaller than that, nor greater, but (all) is in a manifest Book.”

Thus, neither the atoms of the man’s body scattered about in the earth nor their being mixed with other creatures, nor even the entrance of these parts into the body of other men by means of food stuffs, none can create any problem for their being returned together in Hereafter.

Their deeds will remain in this world, too, though their forms change, and He is well aware of all these things.

Similar to this meaning is also recited in Surah Qaf, No. 50, verses 3 and 4, where the Qur’an says:

“What! When we die and become dust (shall we live again?) that is a (sort of) Return far (from our understanding)” “We already know how much of them the earth takes away; with Us is a Record guarding (the full account).”

Concerning the objective meaning of the Qur’anic phrase /kitabun mubin/ (a manifest Book), many commentators have said it is ‘The Protected Tablet’.

But there is another question asking: what is the Protected Tablet? As we have said before, the most probable meaning which can be stated for it is that it is the very tablet of the infinite knowledge of Allah wherein everything is recorded, and no change will occur in it.

The vast world of existence is also a reflection of this Protected Tablet, because all the particles of ourselves and all our sayings and deeds will remain protected in it, though their appearance will outwardly change, but they will never vanish.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 4

لِيَجْزِيَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ اُوْلَئِكَ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ

4. “That He may reward those who believe and do righteous deeds, for such is forgiveness and a bountiful provision.”

A bountiful provision is a provision which is given vastly, bountifully, and honourably not with reproach and pity.

This holy verse states the purpose of the establishment of the Hereafter, or in other words, it explains the reason of the necessity of such a world after this present world for its rejecters. It says:

“That He may reward those who believe and do righteous deeds, for such is forgiveness and a bountiful provision.”

If the righteous believers do not get their reward, is the principle of justice, which is the most fundamental principle of the creation, not suspended? Can the Divine Justice have any meaning without it? But we see many of such people in this world who never receive the compensation of their good deeds. Therefore, there must be another world wherein this principle can be performed.

The word ‘forgiveness’ has been mentioned before the concept of ‘bountiful provision’, and it may be for the sake that the most anxiety of the believers is for the faults that they probably have had, therefore, before anything else by means of the statement of forgiveness they are given peace of mind.

Moreover, they are not eligible of ‘bountiful sustenance’ and ‘the noble rank’ unless they are cleaned with forgiveness.

‘A bountiful provision’ is in the sense of any worthy sustenance, and the vastness of its concept is so much that it envelops all the Divine merits, even the bounties which no eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard of and nobody has thought of.

In other words, Paradise, with all its spiritual and material bounties, is found in this word.

Some commentators have rendered this Qur’anic word, /karim/, as two good and painless things, but it seems that its meaning is vaster than that.5

Surah As-Saba- Verse 5

وَالَّذِينَ سَعَوْ فِي ءَايَاتِنَا مُعَاجِزِينَ اُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مِن رّ‌ِجْزٍ أَلِيمٌ

5. “And those who strive hard in invalidating Our signs, challenging (us), for such will be a chastisement of a painful wrath.”

Man’s inordinacy is so much so that he wishes to nullify the Divine verses and to hinder their effects and practical consequence. So in this verse it implies that those who tried to frustrate and deny Allah’s revelations, and imagined that they could escape from the realm of Allah’s Power, there will be a chastisement for them which is out of the worst and the most painful punishments.

It says:

“And those who strive hard in invalidating Our signs, challenging (us), for such will be a chastisement of a painful wrath.”

The words in previous verse were about ‘a bountiful provision’ while this verse speaks about ‘a chastisement of a painful wrath’.

The Arabic word /rijz/ originally means: anxiety and the lack of power for the protection of equilibrium. So when a camel is sick and is unable to walk quickly, at the time of walking, it has to take its steps shortly in order to partly keep equilibrium. This state in Arabic is called /rijz/. Then it has been used for any kind of sin and impurity.

The epics, poems peculiar to wars, are called /rajaz/ for the sake that they have some pauses which are short and close to each other.

However, the purpose of the Qur’anic word /rijz/ here is the worst kind of punishment which has also been intensified with the term of /’alim/ (painful), and it refers to the kinds of spiritual and bodily painful chastisements.

Some commentators have paid attention to this point that here at the time of stating the bounties of the people of Heaven, the Qur’an has not applied the Arabic word /min/ (of) to be evidence that those bounties are vast, while this word has been applied for the chastisement in order to be a sign of a relative limitation and the statement of His Mercy.

The Arabic term /sa‘aw/ is derived from the word /sa‘y/ in the sense of any effort and endeavour. Here it means to strive for rejecting and denial of the Divine revelations and hindering people from embracing the religion of Allah.

The Arabic term /mu‘ajizin/ is derived from /‘ajaza/ in the sense of ‘to make impotent’, and in these instances it is used for those who run away from someone in a way that he cannot have dominance over them.

It is evident that this quality mentioned for the guilty is for the imagination they used to practically show. Their action was similar to the act of the persons who thought they could commit whatever crime they desired to do and they would escape from the realm of the Power of Allah.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 6

وَيَرَي الَّذِينَ اُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ الَّذِي اُنزِلَ اِلَيْكَ مِن رَبّـِكَ هُوَ الْحَقَّ وَيَهْدِي اِلَي صِرَاطِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ

6. “And those who have been given the knowledge see that what has been sent down to you from your Lord is the truth, and guides to the path of the Mighty, the Praised.”

Knowledge gives man insight and awareness.

The sign of a real knowledge is to find out the legitimacy of the Qur’an and accepting it. Without knowledge and gnosis gratitude is impossible.

In former verses the words were about the unaware blind-hearted persons who decisively denied the Resurrection with those clear evidences, and they tried to belie the Divine verses and to make others astray.

In this connection, the verse under discussion refers to the scholars and knowledgeable men who pay to acknowledgement of the Divine verses and encourage others to accept them.

It says:

“And those who have been given the knowledge see that what has been sent down to you from your Lord is the truth, and guides to the path of the Mighty, the Praised.”

Some of the commentators have rendered the Qur’anic sentence:

Those to whom the knowledge has been given

mentioned in this verse, into those scholars of the People of the Book who, by seeing the signs of legitimacy of the Holy Qur’an, became humble before it and confessed its rightfulness.

It does not matter that ‘the scholars of the people of the Book’ may be one of the expansions of the above verse, but confining its meaning to them alone has no evidence, but, on the contrary regarding to the Arabic verb /yara/ (see), which is in present tense, and also with regard to the vast concept of the sentence which says:

“Those who have been given the knowledge”

it envelops all the scholars and knowledgeable ones in any age and in any place.

And if we see that in the commentary of Ali-ibn-’Ibrahim this sentence has been rendered into Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as), it is, in fact, the statement of complete and perfect expansion of it.

Yes, any scholar, who contemplates on the content of this heavenly Book with no bigotry, consisting of its meaningful gnosis, good ordinances, wise advices, and abundant shaking admonitions, as well as its wonderful histories, and scientific miraculous discussions, knows that all of them attest to the legitimacy of these verses.

Nowadays, there have been published different books about Islam and the Qur’an by the eastern and western scholars in which there can be found some very clear and expressive confessions upon the greatness of Islam and the truthfulness of the abovementioned verse.

The application of the Qur’anic phrase /huwal-haqq/ (it is the truth) in the verse is an inclusive expression which adapts to the whole content of the Qur’an, because ‘truth’ is the very concrete reality and the external existence, viz., the content of the Qur’an is consistent with the laws of creation the realities of the world of existence, and the world of humanity.

And since it is such, it leads man toward the path of Allah, Who is both the Mighty and the Praised; that is, in the meantime that He is Mighty and has no failure, He is worthy of any kind of praise. He is not like the powerful men who when they sit on the throne of force, they take the path of cruelty, oppression, and monopolistic manner.

Similar to this meaning is recited in Surah ’Ibrahim, No. 14, verse one which says:

“…(This is) a Book which We have sent down to you so that, by their Lord’s permission, you lead out the people from the darkness (of ignorance) into the light (of faith), into the way of the Mighty, the Praised (One).”

It is clear that the One Who is both Mighty, and worthy of praise, and Aware, and kind, His way is the most secure ways and the straightest ones, and those who pave His path approach themselves to the source of power and all sorts of praised attributes.

Surah As-Saba- Verse

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا هَلْ نَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَي رَجُلٍ يُنَبّـِئُكُمْ اِذَا مُزّ‌ِقْتُمْ كُلَّ مُمَزَّقٍ اِنَّكُمْ لَفِي خَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ

7. “And those who disbelieve say (in ridicule): ‘Shall we point out to you a man who informs you (that) when you are scattered the utmost scattering (even then) you shall be certainly (raised) into a new creation?’”

The disbelievers hinder people to come toward religion. They always introduce themselves as the leaders and heads of groups of people.

(“Shall we point out to you…?”)

Disbelievers usually despise the religious personalities and sacred things so that they pave the way for common people to get away. Once more in this verse the Qur’an returns to the subject of Hereafter and Resurrection, and completes the former discussions in another form.

It says:

“And those who disbelieve say (in ridicule): ‘Shall we point out to you a man who informs you (that) when you are scattered the utmost scattering (even then) you shall be certainly (raised) into a new creation?’”

It seems that their urge on the denial of Resurrection originates from two matters. The first is that they imagined the Resurrection which the Prophet (S) propounded (bodily resurrection) was a damageable subject to which they could change the people’s attitude into a pessimistic mood and then negate it easily.

The second thing is that the belief in Resurrection and even accepting it as a probable occurrence, however, creates a kind of responsibility in man, and makes him think in order to seek for the truth. So this was something which was counted very dangerous for the chiefs of disbelievers; therefore they insisted to wipe out the thought about Resurrection and the reward or retribution of deeds from the people’s mind in any way they could.

They used to say: was it possible that those rotten bones and those scattered dusts that the winds had taken its atoms into different directions one day come together and become alive again?

Or that they called the Prophet (S) ‘a man’ with an indefinite form in order to despise him.

But they had forgotten that, at the beginning, we were also as some separate scattered articles. Every drop of the existing water in our body had lied in a corner of the earth. Then, in the same way that Allah gathered them at the beginning, He is also capable to do it again at the end.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 8

أَفْتَرَي عَلَي اللَّهِ كَذِباً أَم بِهِ جِنَّةٌ بَلِ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالأَخِرَةِ فِي الْعَذَابِ وَالضَّلاَلِ الْبَعِيدِ

8. “Has he forged a lie against Allah or there is madness in him? Nay! Those who do not believe in the Hereafter are in torment and are straying far (away from the truth).”

The pagans pave all the deviated ways but they do not believe. This holy verse implies that it is surprising that they took this statement as a reason for mendacity or insanity of its speaker.

They used to say:

“Has he forged a lie against Allah or there is madness in him?…”

Else, how is it possible that a truthful person talks such statements?

But the Qur’an answers them decisively that he is neither a madman nor a liar.

It says as follows:

“…Nay! Those who do not believe in the Hereafter are in torment and are straying far (away from the truth).”

What an aberration is more manifest than this that one denies the Resurrection, a resurrection that he sees its example in front of his eyes everyday in the world of nature and in the dead lands to be quickened.

It is a Resurrection that if it did not exist, the life of this world would be meaningless and empty.

And, finally, it is a Resurrection the denial of which is equivalent to the denial of Power, Justice, and the Wisdom of the Lord.

But the question is that why does it say that they are in punishment and straying now?

This is for the sake that there are some difficulties and events in the life that, without having faith in Hereafter, man cannot tolerate them.

Verily if the life were limited to these very few days of the lifetime in this world, the consideration of the death would be as horrible nightmare for all persons.

That is why the deniers of Resurrection are always in a kind of worrying anxiety and a painful punishment, while the believers in Resurrection count death as a door to the lasting world and a means for breaking the cage of this life and being delivered from this prison.

Yes, belief in Resurrection gives peace and tranquillity to man. It often makes difficulties tolerable, and causes donation, devotion, and self-sacrificing for man to be easy.

In principle, those who counted Resurrection as evidence upon mendacity and insanity, as the result of their disbelief and ignorance, they encountered the punishment of moral darkness and far aberration.

Some commentators have pointed out that this punishment is a hint to the punishment in Hereafter, but the apparent of the holy verse shows that just now they are in punishment and aberration in this world.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 9

أَفَلَمْ يَرَوْا اِلَي مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُم مِنَ السَّمَآءِ وَالأَرْضِ اِن نَّشَأْ نَخْسِفْ بِهِمُ الأَرْضَ أَوْ نُسْقِطْ عَلَيْهِمْ كِسَفاً مِنَ السَّمَآءِ اِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لاَيَةً لِكُلّ‌ِ عَبْدٍ مُنِيبٍ

9. “Have they not then observed what is before them and what is behind them of the heavens and the earth? If We please We will make them sink into the earth or We drop down upon them lamps from heaven. Verily in that is a sign to every penitent servant.”

Allah’s Power is ready for any change in the system of existence. Contemplation about existence is the source of servitude and plea in the Presence of Allah.

Then the Holy Qur’an refers to another reason concerning Resurrection which is accompanied with threat against the obstinate negligent ones.

It says:

“Have they not then observed what is before them and what is behind them of the heavens and the earth?…”

This grand sky, with all its wonders, with all these fixed stars and planets, and the systems governed over them; and also this globe with all its wonders and kinds of living creatures and its blessings and merits are the most expressive reasons to the Power of the Creator.

Is the One Who has power over all these affairs unable to bring back man to the world of life and living after death?

This is the very proof of power by which in the verses of the Qur’an in the face of the rejecters of Resurrection has been reasoned. Among them is the last part of Surah Yasin, No. 36, verse 82; and also there are Surah Asra’, No. 17, verse 99; and Surah Qaf, No. 50, verses 6 and 7.

By the way, this sentence is a premise for threatening this group, the zealous dark hearted group who insist to shut their eyes unto all the facts.

So, next to that, it says:

“…If We please We will make them sink into the earth…”

It can happen that when an earthquake occurs and the earth splits, they may be buried inside of it.

The verse continues saying:

“…or We drop down upon them lamps from heaven…”

In this case, those lamps of stone may destroy them, their selves, their houses, and their lives altogether.

Yes, in this matter, there is a clear sign unto the Power of Allah and His ability over everything, but this sign is only for every servant who returns toward Allah and utilizes his thought.

The verse continues:

“…Verily in that is a sign to every penitent servant.”

During his lifetime, everybody has seen some examples of earthquakes, eclipses of the moon and sinking things down into the earth, or he has heard about them.

Some persons may have seen or heard of the fall of some aeroliths from above atmosphere, or as the result of falling rocks from the mountains because of thunder bolts, or volcanoes and the like.

Any intellectual person knows that the occurrence of these affairs is possible in any time and in any place. If the earth is calm and the sky is safe and sound for us, it is because of the Power and command of Allah.

How can we deny His ability in the erection of Resurrection while we are under His power? Or how can we escape from the realm of His Government?

  • 1. Surah Al-Kahf
  • 2. Surah Yunus, No. 10, verse 10
  • 3. Surah Fatir, No. 35, verse 34
  • 4. Surah Fatir, No. 35, verse 10
  • 5. ’Alusi, in Rauh-ul-Ma‘ali, following the verse

Section 2: The Destruction of Saba

Surah As-Saba- Verse 10

وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا دَاوُدَ مِنَّا فَضْلاً يَا جِبَالُ أَوِّبِي مَعَهُ وَالطَّيْرَ وَأَلَنَّا لَهُ الْحَدِيدَ

10. “And certainly We gave David an excellence from Us, (saying:) ‘O’ mountains! Sing you (the praise of Allah) along with him, and (you) the birds (too), and We softened the iron for him,”

Since in the previous holy verse the words were about the penitent servant, and we know that this quality has been mentioned in some verses of the Qur’an1 about David, the Divine prophet (as), and, Allah willing, we will explain it later.

Therefore, it is better that a part of the story of this great prophet and his son, Solomon, should be explained as a sample, and the former discussion might be completed.

By the way, it can be a warning for all those who neglect the blessings of Allah, and when they sit on the throne of power, they do not obey Allah.

At first, it says:

“And certainly We gave David an excellence from Us…”

The Arabic word /fadl/ has a vast concept which envelops all of the bounties Allah (s.w.t.) had bestowed on David (as), and mentioning it in an indefinite form, is evidence upon its greatness.

David was bestowed many merits, whether material or spiritual ones, from the side of Allah that the verses of the Qur’an explain them.

Once it says:

“And certainly We gave David and Solomon knowledge and they both said: ‘Praise belongs to Allah, Who has favoured us above many of His believing servants’.”2

In another occurrence, the Qur’an emphasizes particularly on their awareness from animals’ communication and it refers to it as a great favour, where it says:

“…‘O’ people! We have been taught the languages of the birds, and we have been granted of everything; verily this is the manifest favour’.”3

The different miracles, which will be mentioned in the commentary of the verse under discussion, are a part of those favours. Moreover, the beautiful song, the ability of judging justly, which is referred to in Surah Sad, are counted as another part of this divine favour. And most important of all is the favour of prophethood and messengership that Allah granted to David.

However, after this ambiguous hint, the holy Qur’an explains it, and a part of the spiritual favours and some things of the material favours of David are detailed as follows:

“…(saying:) ‘O’ mountains! Sing you (the praise of Allah) along with him, and (you) the birds (too)…”

The Arabic word /’awibbi/ originally is derived from the term /ta’wib/ in the sense of preponderance and turning the sound in the throat of a person. This Arabic term is sometimes used in the sense of repentance, too, because its reality is returning unto Allah.

All the particles of the world, of course, entirely say the glorification of Allah and praise Him, whether someone like David does the same with them, or not, yet the privilege of David was in this that at the time of singing loudly and changing his inward murmuring into outwardly singing in the same way that concerning the glorification of pebbles in the Prophet’s hand has also been mentioned in the Islamic narrations.

Imam Sadiq (as) in a tradition said:

“Verily David went out (to the farms and deserts) while he was reciting Zabur, and when he was reciting Zabur there was no mountain, no stone, and no bird but murmured it with him.”4

Next to mentioning this spiritual favour, the Qur’an refers to a material favour, where it says:

“…and We softened the iron for him,”

It may be said that Allah taught David, in a miraculous way, how to soften the iron in a manner that he could produce some thin but strong iron bars for waving and making a coat of mail.

Or it may be said that before David, in order to defend in the battles, the plates of iron were used which were both heavy and when they fastened them to their bodies, they were so stable and inflexible that made the strivers very inconvenient.

Until then, none could make anything like armour from some stable narrow iron bars that could be put on easily over the body like clothing and could be harmonious and soft with the movements of the body. But the apparent of this holy verse shows that it was by the command of Allah that iron became miraculously soft in the hand of David.

It does not matter that the same One Who gave the property of softening the iron to the hot furnace, gave the same property in another form to the David’s fingers. Some Islamic narrations have pointed to this meaning, too.5

In a tradition it is cited that Allah sent revelation to David, saying:

“You are a good servant save that you get your sustenance from public treasury.”

Then David wept for forty days (and asked Allah to lead him somehow). So, Allah softened iron for him and he made armour… and in this way he did not need to use from public treasury.6

It is true that the use of public treasure is for those who serve the society without demanding any wage, and remove the important difficulties, but it is better that a person both deliver this service and, if it is possible for him, subsists through manual labour, David wanted to be such a kind of outstanding servant.

However, David utilized this ability that Allah had granted him in the best way, i.e., making a means used in the Holy war for protection against the enemies. He never profited from it in the ordinary means of life, but on the contrary, according to some narrations, besides running his own simple life, he spent a part of his income as a charity for the needy.7

In addition to all of these things, there was another benefit in this job of his which was counted as a manifest miracle for him.

Some of the commentators have said that Luqman came to David when he was weaving the first armour. David was changing iron into iron bars and formed them as numerous rings and joined the rings into each other.

This scene attracted Loqman’s attention very much. He fell into a deep thought while he was still watching and saying nothing until when David finished weaving the armour.

He stood up and put the armour on and said:

“What a good defensive means it is for fighting!”

Luqman, who had found out the final aim, said:

“Silence is wisdom, but there are a few persons who do it.”8

Surah As-Saba- Verse 11

أَنِ اعْمَلْ سَابِغَاتٍ وَقَدّ‌ِرْ فِي السَّرْدِ وَاعْمَلُوا صَالِحاً إِنّـِي بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

11. “(Saying unto David): ‘Make wide coat of mail, and measure well the links, and do righteousness, verily I see what you do’.”

Martial technology must be at the service of righteous deed (not for oppression, cruelty and occupying others’ lands).

In this holy verse, there is an explanation for David about making armour, and also there is a very expressive command from Allah in this regard.

It announces:

“(Saying unto David): ‘Make wide coat of mail, and measure well the links…”

The Arabic term /sabiqat/ is the plural form of /sabiq/ in the sense of ‘a complete wide coat of mail’, and in Arabic the phrase /’isbaq-i-ni‘mat/ also means ‘affluence of bounty’.

The Arabic word /sard/ originally means: ‘weaving some rough things such as armour’. The Qur’anic sentence: /wa qaddir fis-sard/ means: to observe a suitable measure in making the rings of the armour and that how it may be weaved.

In fact, Allah orders David that he must be a lesson for all of the people of art and believing workers in the world. This is an order for firmness, stability and observing exactness in quality and quality of manufactures in a manner that the users of them can apply them easily and comfortably.

It implicitly orders David that he should make the armour wide and comfortable in a state that when the strivers put it on they do not feel that they are in prison.

The links should be neither so small and narrow that they lose their flexibility, nor should they be so big and abnormal that sometimes the sword-point, a dagger, a javelin, and an arrow can pass it through. The whole affairs of it must be measured and proportionate.

Shortly speaking, Allah not only gave David the main substance regarding to the sentence:

“…We softened the iron for him”,

but also taught him how to form and weave the coat of mail in order that he could provide a complete production from this ‘substance’ and ‘form’.

At the end of the verse, Allah addresses David and his family and says:

“…and do righteousness, verily I see what you do’.”

At the beginning of the verse the addressee was only David, but at the end of the verse he and his family, or he and his people, are addressed, because all of these things are as a preparation for righteous deed, and these are a means alongside that path that both David and his family could enjoy them.

One of the dimensions of the righteous deed is that carefulness must be observed in manufactures from every point of view, and a complete and useful product must be delivered so that any defective state and imperfection on it might be avoided.

This probability also exists that the addressee in this statement had been David and all those who utilized his hand woven armour, indicating that they should use this defensive means in the path of righteous deed, not in the way of oppression, cruelty, and sin.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 12

وَلِسُلَيْمَـانَ الرّ‌ِيحَ غُدُوُّهَا شَهْرٌ وَرَوَاحُهَا شَهْرٌ وَأَسَلْنَا لَهُ عَيْنَ الْقِطْرِ وَمِنَ الْجِنّ‌ِ مَن يَعْمَلُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ بِإِذْنِ رَبّـِهِ وَمَن يَزِغْ مِنْهُمْ عَنْ أَمْرِنَا نُذِقْهُ مِنْ عَذَابِ السَّعِيرِ

12. “And for Solomon (We made subservient) the wind which travelled in the morning a month’s journey and a month’s journey in the evening. And We made a fountain of molten copper to flow out for him, and of the jinn, some worked before him by the leave of his Lord; and whoever of them turned away from Our command, We made him taste of the chastisement of the blazing Fire.”

The Divine prophets have mastership (wilayah) over the world of existence and the world of genesis.

Allah made iron subservient to David and the atmosphere to Hadrat Solomon.

Next to the discussion of the merits that Allah had given to David, in this verse the words relate to his offspring, Solomon. Concerning David, the Qur’an referred to two merits, while concerning his son, Solomon, it mentions of three great merits.

It says:

“And for Solomon (We made subservient) the wind which travelled in the morning a month’s journey and a month’s journey in the evening…”

It is interesting that for the father He made subservient a rough and extraordinary firm and stable substance, but for the child, his son, He made subservient a very tender being, while both of them are effective, useful and miraculous. He softens the stable substance for David, and for Solomon He causes the tender waves of the wind to become active and severe.

The smooth of the wind is never a barrier that it performs some important actions. It is the wind that moves some huge gigantic ships over the surface of the oceans; turns millstones, and balloons to float in the sky like aeroplane.

Yes, Allah made subservient this tender substance, with this amazing power for Solomon.

That how the wind moved Solomon’s things, (such as his throne or his carpet), is not clear to us. We only know there is nothing difficult and complicated for the Power of Allah.

When man, with his very little power, can send balloons, and today the great gigantic aeroplanes with hundreds passengers and many heavy means can be sent to the depth of the sky, how is it difficult for Allah to move Solomon’s things by the wind?

Which factor was it that protected Solomon (as) and his means from falling down or from the air pressure and other difficulties resulted from the movements in the heavens?

This is also among the problems the details of which are not clear for us, but we know that there have been many of these kinds of supernatural events in the history of the Divine prophets, though, unfortunately, some ignorant persons, or the aware enemies, have mixed them with some superstitions in order to change the main feature of these issues into a bad form.

So in this regard we suffice to the same amount that the Qur’an has mentioned.9

The Arabic word /quduww/ often means the time toward morning, opposite to the word /rawah/ which means the time toward evening, when animals return to their abode in order to rest.

But it is understood from relationships in the context that in this verse the Qur’anic word /qudaww/ is the first half of the day while /rawah/ means the second half of the day.

Then the concept of the verse is that from morning until noon a man could pave a way equal to one month travelling that the travellers of that time might pave; and in the second half of the day he could travel the same distance, too.

Then the Qur’an refers to the second Divine bounty given to Solomon.

It says:

“…And We made a fountain of molten copper to flow out for him…”

The term /’asalna/ is derived from /sayalan/ in the sense of ‘to flow’, and the word /qitr/ means ‘copper’. The objective meaning of it is that Allah made this metal molten for him and, like a spring, caused it to flow.

Some commentators have meant the word /qitr/ in the sense of brass, and, thus, for the father, David, iron was softened and for the son, Solomon, metals became molten, (but the first meaning is popular).

How was a spring of molten copper, or other metals, under the control of Solomon? Did Allah teach this prophet the way of melting these metals in a vast measure by the way of miracle and inspiration? This was also one of graces of Allah unto this great prophet.

And finally, the verse refers to the third bounty of Allah unto Solomon, i.e., making subservient a group of jinn, where it says:

“…and of the jinn, some worked before him by the leave of his Lord…”
“…and whoever of them turned away from Our command, We made him taste of the chastisement of the blazing Fire.”

As it is also manifest from its name, jinn is a being which is not realized by the sense. It has intellect and power, and, as it is understood from the verses of the Qur’an, it is responsible to fulfil some divine duties.

There are many superstitious stories cited about jinn, but if we omit these superstitions, the principle of its existence and the proper qualities that have been said about jinn in the Qur’an, it is a matter which never contrasts the knowledge and intellect. More details about this subject will be delivered in the commentary on Surah Jinn, No. 72, Allah willing.

It is noteworthy that for running a vast government in a very vast country like the country of Solomon, many factors and agents are needed, but the most important of them all are three factors which have been mentioned in the above verse:

The first is a means of rapid movement by which the chief of the country can constantly go here and there and become aware of all parts of his country.

The second is the first original main material staffs which can be used for supplying necessary means of people’s life and different manufactures.

And, finally, some active human members are needed who can take enough benefit from those material stuffs and give them the necessary quantity to them so that the various needs of the country from this view can be removed.

We see that Allah granted these three merits to Solomon, and he, too, took benefit from them in a good way for people’s welfare, and furnishing the country and its security.

This subject does not allocate to the time of Solomon and his government, and being careful of it is necessary not only today but always and everywhere for correct running of a country.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 13

يَعْمَلُونَ لَهُ مَا يَشَآءُ مِن مَّحَارِيبَ وَتَمَاثِيلَ وَجِفَانٍ كَالْجَوَابِ وَقُدُورٍ رَّاسِيَاتٍ اعْمَلُوا ءَالَ دَاوُدَ شُكْراً وَقَلِيلٌ مِنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ

13. “They made for him whatever he wished of places of worship and mages and basins (large) like water-troughs and (cooking) cauldrons fixed, ‘Exercise thanks, O family of David! But few of My servants are grateful!’”

This holy verse refers to a part of important productive activities of some jinns who accomplished them by the command of Solomon, where it says:

“They made for him whatever he wished of places of worship and mages and basins (large) like water-troughs and (cooking) cauldrons fixed…”

A part of those things were related to spiritual issues and Divine services, and another part of them proportionate to bodily needs of men, as well as the members of his large troop and workers.

The Arabic term /maharib/ is the plural form of /mihrab/ which philologically means ‘house of worship’, or some great buildings and castles which have been built to be used as temple.

This word is also used in the sense of the highest seat of an assembly, or the first part of a mosque.

That which today is called /mihrab/ (prayer niche) is in fact a new meaning that has been taken from the main root.

However, since this word is derived from the term /harb/ in the sense of fight, the reason why the worship temples are called /mihrab/ is that it is the place of fighting against Satan and carnal desire.10

Or it is derived from the Arabic word /harb/ in the sense of ‘clothes’ which is taken off from the enemy’s body in the battle field, because in temple, the place of worship, man must put aside the cover of the worldly thoughts and mind dispersion from himself.11

However, these active clever workers of Solomon used to arrange some great and glorious temples for Solomon (as) that were appropriate for his divine religious government so that people could easily perform their own religious worshipping duties.

The Qur’anic term /tamathil/ is the plural form of /timthal/ which has been used both in the sense of ‘portrait’, (picture), and statue. There have been commented differently on this matter that the features of which beings these pictures or statues were taken, and for what purpose Solomon ordered that they should be prepared.

It is possible that they had been made as ornament, in the same manner that they are now seen in important old buildings, and even in our modern buildings, too.

Or they were produced to give some additional glory and grandeur to his organizations, since the picture of some animals, like lion, is the cause of creation of grandeur in the thought of many persons.

Upon the commentary of this verse, a narration from Imam Sadiq (as) indicates that he said:

“By Allah, the pictures Solomon wanted to be produced were not the statues of men and women, but they were portraits of some trees and the like.”12

The Arabic word /jifan/ is the plural form of /jafnah/ in the sense of container of food. The word /jawab/ is the plural form of /jabiyah/ in the sense of ‘pool’, and it is understood from this application that they provided some great vast containers each of which was like a pool for Solomon so that a large group could sit around it and eat food from it.

In some rather old times, if we have not forgotten, at the tables of food some large vessels were used for eating food by a group, and, in fact, their tablecloth was that very vessel, and it was not customary that some independent separate containers to be used as it is done today.

The Arabic word /qudur/ is the plural form of /qidr/ with the sense of a container in which food is cooked; and the Qur’anic term /rasiyat/ is the plural form of /rasiyah/ in the sense of ‘steadfast’ and ‘fixed’, and here its purpose is some cooking-pots that, because of their greatness, they were not moveable.

At the end of the holy verse, after mentioning these merits, Allah, addressing the family of David, says:

“…‘Exercise thanks, O family of David! But few of My servants are grateful!’”

It is evident that using the divine blessings alongside the same path they are created and granted for is a kind of thanks-giving, and it is certain that those who utilize the merits of Allah generally in their own places are not so many.

Of course, the people of the truth among human beings have always been very few.

You may consider the number of the believers in comparison with the disbelievers, the guided ones with the misguided ones, the obedient ones with the zealous ones, the pious ones with disobedient ones, the just ones with evil-doers, the immaculate ones with other than them, the gratitude ones with ingratitude ones.

At the end, some dignitaries have considered three stages for thankfulness: thanksgiving by heart, which is:

(a), having consent and happiness for the blessing;

(b) thanksgiving by the tongue, which is to praise the bestower of the blessing;

(c), the thanksgiving of other limbs and organs, which is to harmonize the deeds with that blessing.

The Qur’anic term /šakur/ in Arabic is an amplification form, and denotes the abundance of thanksgiving that refers to the repetition of thanksgiving and its continuation by means of the heart, the tongue, and the limbs.

This epithet, of course, has sometimes been mentioned for Allah, too, like what is cited in Surah At-Taqabun, No. 64, verse 17, which says:

“…Verily He is All-thankful, Most forbearing”,

and the purpose of thankfulness of Allah is that as much the servants pave the path of obeying Him He will involve them in His merits and graces, and He thanks them, and by His grace, He increases them more than what they deserve.

A Few Traditions Upon Thanksgiving

In a tradition narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) we read that someone asked him whether there is a limit for the thank of Allah that when a person reaches that limit he is counted thankful.

He (as) answered:

“Yes.”

The man asked:

“How?”

The Imam answered:

“He must praise Allah for His whole blessings upon his family and his wealth; and if there is any right in the wealth He has given him he should pay it.”13

Another tradition from the same Imam (as) indicates:

“Thanksgiving of a blessing is avoidance from sins.”14

Again in another tradition the same Imam (as) said:

“Allah, the Almighty and Glorious, revealed to Moses, saying:

‘O’ Moses! Do thank Me which is a due thank.’

Moses said:

‘How can I thank You a due true thank while every time I do thank You, You give me a new blessing for it?’

He said:

‘O’ Moses! Just now you performed thanksgiving to Me since you know that that (success) is from Me’.”15

This point is also necessary to be noted that being gratitude unto those who are a means for a bounty for Man is a kind of thanking Him. Imam Sajjad, Ali-ibn-il-Hussayn (as) says:

“When the Hereafter Day comes forth Allah, the Exalted, will say to some of His servants: ‘Did you thank so and so?’

The servant answers:

‘O’ Lord! I performed thanksgiving to You’.

Allah says:

‘Since you did not thank him, you have not performed My Thanksgiving’.”

Then, the Imam (as) added:

“The one (among you) who thanks Allah the most is the one who thanks people (for their bounties and favours).”16

The Messenger of Allah (S) said:

“Whoever does not thank for a small (bounty) will not thank for abundant bounties; and whoever does not thank people, will not thank Allah either.”17

It is narrated from Imam Sajjad, Ali-ibn-il-Hossayn (as) who said:

“The Messenger of Allah (S) said:

‘Verily (when) a believer is satiated from eating food, then he praises Allah, the Almighty; so He will give him a reward equal to that which He gives to him who fasts during the day and keeps vigil at night establishing prayer. Verily Allah accepts thanks-giving and loves those who are gratitude’.”18

Imam Sadiq (as) said:

“Thanksgiving is to avoid the unlawful things, and a complete thanksgiving is that one says: ‘The praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds’.”19

Imam Ali (as) said:

“Do continue your thanksgiving, then your blessing will be permanent.”20

We have discussed about the reality of ‘thanksgiving’ and that how it causes the blessing to be increased and that being ungrateful is the source of its annihilation in Surah ’Ibrahim, No. 14, verse 7.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 14

فَلَمَّا قَضَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ الْمَوْتَ مَا دَلَّهُمْ عَلَي مَوْتِهِ إِلآَّ دَآبَّةُ الأَرْضِ تَأْكُلُ مِنسَأَتَهُ فَلَمَّا خَرَّ تَبَيَّنَتِ الْجِنُّ أَن لَّوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ الْغَيْبَ مَا لَبِثُوا فِي الْعَذَابِ الْمُهِينِ

14. “Then when We decreed death for him (Solomon) naught showed them his death except a creature of the earth devouring his staff; and when he fell down, the jinn came to know that, had they known the Unseen, they would not have tarried in abasing torment.”

The time of death is in Allah’s Power:

(“We decreed”).

Death meets even those who have prophethood and kingdom with together.

The words in this verse are about Solomon. It speaks about the wonderful and marvellous death of this great prophet of Allah. It makes this fact clear that how that mighty prophet and that powerful ruler with that glory that he had easily gave his soul to the Creator of the Soul. Even before that his body could get rest in the bed; the grips of death seized him.

Allah says:

“Then when We decreed death for him (Solomon) naught showed them his death except a creature of the earth devouring his staff…”

It is understood from both the above verse and numerous narrations that when Solomon’s death came he was standing, leaning on his staff. It was just then when suddenly death seized him and his soul went out from his body.

For a length of time he was in the same state of standing until when termite, which the Qur’an has rendered into ‘a creature of the earth’, ate his staff and, losing his equilibrium, he fell down on the ground. It was then that the jinn understood that if they had been aware of the Unseen they would not have remained in abasing chastisement.

The verse continues saying:

“…and when he fell down, the jinn came to know that, had they known the Unseen, they would not have tarried in abasing torment.”

The Arabic term /tabayyanat/ here is derived from /tabyin/ which usually means: ‘to be manifest’ (an intransitive verb), and sometimes it also means ‘To become aware of something’ (a transitive verb), and here the second meaning is appropriate.

It means: until that time the group of jinn were not aware of the death of Solomon and they understood that if they had known the secrets of Unseen, they would not have remained in trouble and the pain of heavy labours during that time.

Some commentators have taken the sentence with the first meaning and have said that the concept of the verse is such that after that Solomon fell the status of the jinn became manifest for human being and they understood that the jinn were not aware of the secrets of the Unseen, and it was not right that some men had such a belief about them.

The application of ‘abasing torment’ may be an indication to the hard heavy labours that sometimes Solomon, as a forfeit and punishment put on the shoulder of a group of jinn, else the prophet of Allah would never put anyone under pressure and punishment specially under an ‘abasing torment’.

By the way, Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) says:

“…If there were anyone who could secure a ladder to everlasting life or a way to avoid death, it was Solomon, the son of David (as) who was given control over the domain of the jinn and men along with prophethood and great position (before Allah)…”21

Animals Work For Allah

1- A piece of the body of a cow makes a slain person alive and he introduces his killer:

“Verily Allah commands you that you should sacrifice a cow…”22

2- A spider protects the Prophet (S) in the cave:

“If you do not help him, yet Allah has helped him already…”23

3- A raven becomes the teacher of man:

“Then Allah sent a raven digging up the ground…”24

4- A hoopoe is ordered to take the Solomon’s letter to Bilqiys:

“Go you with this letter…”25

5- Birds in flocks are told to destroy the possessors of elephants:

“And send down (to prey) upon them birds in flocks.”26

6- A serpent can be a means to show the legitimacy of Moses:

“…it was a clear serpent.”27

7- A big fish is commanded to punish Yunus:

“Then the big fish did swallow him…”28

8- Termite is the means of divulgement of Solomon’s death.

“…devouring his staff…”29

9- The dog of the Companions of the Cave is ordered to guard.

“…and their dog stretching out his paws on the threshold…”30

10. Four birds cause the certainty of Abraham.

“…Take four of the birds…”31

11. A donkey causes the certainty of Ezra to Resurrection.

“…and look at your ass…32

12- In Hajj, camel, cow and sheep become the symbols of Allah

“And (as for) the fat camels, We have made them for you of the symbols of Allah…”33

13. Animals are a means of theology.

“Do they not look at the camels…”34

14- Animals become the means of man’s examination.

“…Allah will surely try you with something of the games which your hands and your spears can reach…”35

15- An animal can be the miracle of Allah.

“…This she-camel of Allah is a sign…”36

16- Animals can be the means of the Wrath of Allah.

“…The locusts and the vermin and the frogs…”37

There are several suras in the Qur’an entitled by the names of animals, such as: Al-Baqarah, Al-’An‘am, An-Nahl, An-Naml, ’Ankabut, and Fil.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 15

لَقَدْ كَانَ لِسَبَإٍ فِي مَسْكَنِهِمْ ءَايَةٌ جَنَّتَانِ عَن يَمِينٍ وَشِمَالٍ كُلُوا مِن رّ‌ِزْقِ رَبّـِكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لَهُ بَلْدَةٌ طَيّـِبَةٌ وَرَبٌّ غَفُورٌ

15. “Indeed there was a sign for the (people of) Sheba in their abode, two gardens in the right and the left; ‘Eat of the sustenance of your Lord and give thanks to Him (that you have) a pure city and a forgiving Lord’.”

Saba is the name of the cultivated land of Yemen. This name, Saba, had been the name of a great personality in that region that was chosen for this land.

The biography of this country is instructive.

After the statement of the great bounties that Allah had bestowed on David and Solomon and that these two Divine prophets acted on the duty of thanksgiving, in this holy verse there has been referred to another nation who were in a state opposite to them and they lived perhaps in the same time with them or a little after them.

They were some people whom Allah granted kinds of blessings, but they paved the way of disbelief and, consequently, Allah negated His blessings from them. Then, they became so scattered and wandered that the story of their life became a gazing-stock for the people of the world. This nation was the people of Saba.

The Glorious Qur’an has stated their instructive biography in five verses and it has pointed to some important details and specialties of their life in these few verses.

At first, it says:

“Indeed there was a sign for the (people of) Sheba in their abode…”

As we will see later, this great Divine sign originated from here that those people by utilizing the particular spatial conditions and situation of the mountains around that region, in addition to the abundant God-given talent of those people, they could control the floods, which had no result save destruction, behind a strong dam, by which they succeeded to build a very habitable country.

What a great sign it is that a means of destruction is changed into the most important means of development.

The historians are divided in the belief that “Saba” is whose name and what it is. The popular idea is that ‘Saba” is the name of the father of Arabs of Yemen.

According to a tradition narrated from the Messenger of Islam (S), there was a man by the name of Saba, from whom ten children were born, and from every one of them a tribe from the tribes of Arabs came into being in that land.38

Some believe that “Saba” is the name of the land of Yemen, or a part of it. The apparent meaning of the Qur’an in the story of Solomon and hoopoe in Surah An-Naml also shows that ‘Saba” had been the name of a place, where it says:

“…and I have come to you from Sheba with a sure tiding.”39

The situation here is that the apparent of the verse under discussion shows that “Saba” had been a group of people who lived in that region, because the plural masculine pronoun /hum/ has returned to them.

But there is not any inconsistency between these two commentaries, because it may be that at first Saba had been the name of a person, then all his offspring and his tribe were entitled by that name, and later this name was also used for their land.

Then the Qur’an refers to the explanation of this Divine sign which was given to the people of Saba. It says:

“…two gardens in the right and the left…”

The story was such that the people of Saba, by building a great dam between the magnificent mountains of that region, could store the water of the numerous floods, which caused only destruction or at least were wasted in the deserts vainly, at the back of that great dam, and by creating some windows in the dam they could take the vast store of water behind it under their own control.

Thus, they succeeded to plant and grow different things in the vast lands over there. Fakhr-i-Razi has cited a problem here, saying that the existence of “two gardens” is not an important thing which can be referred to as ‘a sign’.

In our opinion basically this problem is not something worthy to be discussed, because they were not two ordinary simple gardens, but they were a series of gardens joined together at two sides of a great stream which were watered from that lofty dam.

These gardens were so bountiful of fruits and blessed that, as history indicates, if a person would put a large basket on his head and at the season of fruit, he passed under these trees there he could pour so much fruit in it that after a short time the basket would be filled with fruits.

Is it not wonderful that a flood which is the source of destruction becomes the cause of cultivation? Is it not counted as a sign of Allah? In addition, an extraordinary security existed in that land which itself was counted one of the signs of Allah. This fact will later be referred to by the Qur’an.

Then the verse says that Allah told them as follows:

“…Eat of the sustenance of your Lord and give thanks to Him (That you have) a pure city and a forgiving Lord’.”

This short sentence has reiterated a collection of material and spiritual bounties in the most beautiful form.

From the point of material bounties, they had a pure and clean land. It was clean from the various pollutions: from thieves and unjust people, from pests and afflictions, from draught and famine, and from insecurity and terror.

It has even been said that their land was clean from harmful insects, too. Their town had a clean air, a pleasant enlivening breeze, and a fertile land with productive trees.

From the point of spiritual bounty, they had the forgiveness of Allah. He would dispense with their short comings and faults and He did not punish them and He did not involve their land in misfortune.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 16

فَأَعْرَضُوا فَاَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَيْلَ الْعَرِمِ وَبَدَّلْنَاهُم بِجَنَّتَيْهِمْ جَنَّتَيْنِ ذَوَاتَيْ أُكُلٍ خَمْطٍ وَأَثْلٍ وَشَيْءٍ مِن سِدْرٍ قَلِيلٍ

16. “But they turned away (from Allah), so We loosed on them the Flood of ‘Arim, and We gave them in exchange for their two gardens, two gardens bearing bitter produce and tamarisk-bushes, and here and there a few lote-trees.”

Through this verse, the Qur’an implicitly says that instead of being thankful of Allah, they turned away from Him. They counted the bounties of Allah insignificant. They considered the cultivation and security of their land very simple.

They, forsaking the affluence of bounties, became neglectful of the remembrance of Allah. Their rich people boasted to the poor and imagined them as some bothers for their own status. The explanation of this will be dealt with in commentary of later verses.

It was here that the lash of punishment was whipped on their bodies, as the Qur’an says:

“But they turned away (from Allah), so We loosed on them the Flood of ‘Arim…”

The Arabic term /‘arim/ is derived from /‘aramah/ in the sense of harshness, ill-temper, and strictness, and flood being modified by it, points to its harshness and destructiveness, and the application of the phrase /sayl-al-‘arim/ (the Flood of ‘Arim) is, so to speak, of the kind of addition of modified to the modifier.

Some commentators have rendered the Arabic term /‘arim/ into field-mice which, as a result of making holes in this dam, caused its destruction.

Lisan-ul-‘Arab introduces different meanings about the Arabic term /‘arim/ including: ‘a tiresome flood, barriers, which are built between valleys for stopping water, and also a big field-mouse’.40

Then the Qur’an explains the later situation of this land as follows:

“…and We gave them in exchange for their two gardens, two gardens bearing bitter produce and tamarisk-bushes, and here and there a few lote-trees.”

The Qur’anic word /’ukul/ means any kind of victuals.

The Arabic term /xamt/ means a bitter plant.

The Arabic word /’athl/ is in the sense of ‘tamarisk-bush’.

And, thus, instead of those masses of green trees there remained only a few wild- deserted trees with a very low value that, perhaps, the most important of them was lote-tree a few of which were found among them.

The statement of these three kinds of tree which remained in that ruined region refers to three different groups of trees a part of which were harmful, some of them were useless, and some of them were of very little benefit, and on the whole they had their turning away, ingratitude and Divine punishment as a sequel, and flood, earthquake, tempest, thunder and lightning are not casual.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 17

ذَلِكَ جَزَيْنَاهُم بِمَا كَفَرُوا وَهَلْ نُجَازِي اِلاَّ الْكَفُورَ

17. “This We recompensed them for their disbelief; and do We ever recompense any but the ungrateful?”

The Divine retributions are Allah’s way of treatment and a godly law against evil doers, and they are not allocated to the People of Sheba.

As a conclusion, this verse explicitly implies that this was a chastisement that Allah gave them for their own infidelity.

The verse says:

“This We recompensed them for their disbelief…”

But in order that no one considers that this fate belongs to only this group, but its generality unto all those who have similar actions is certain, it says:

“…and do We ever recompense any but the ungrateful?”

Surah As-Saba- Verses 18-19

وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ الْقُرَي الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا قُري ظَاهِرَةً وَقَدَّرْنَا فِيهَا السَّيْرَ سِيرُوا فِيهَا لَيَالِيَ وَأَيَّاماً ءَامِنِينَ

فَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا بَاعِدْ بَيْنَ أَسْفَارِنَا وَظَلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ فَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَحَادِيثَ وَمَزَّقْنَاهُمْ كُلَّ مُمَزَّقٍ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لاَيَاتٍ لِكُلّ‌ِ صَبَّارٍ شَكُورٍ

18. “And We made between them and the towns which We had blessed (other) towns apparent and between them We had appointed stages of journey in due proportion: ‘Travel therein secure, by night and by day’.”
19. “And they said: ‘O our Lord! Place longer distances between our journeys’; and they were unjust to themselves, so We made them stories and We dispersed them all in scattered fragments. Verily in this there are signs for every patient, grateful one.”

Ingratitude causes the destruction of man’s living.

Through these two verses the Qur’an returns again to the story of Sheba and explains their story in some more detailed explanation. It refers to their punishment almost larger than before in such a way that it can be an important and instructive lesson for anyone.

It implies that Allah made their land so cultivated that not only He caused their cities to become full of bounties but also He appointed between them and the cities that Allah had blessed some other manifest cities.

The holy verse says:

“And We made between them and the towns which We had blessed (other) towns apparent…”

In fact, between them and the blessed land there were some towns joined together like a chain, and the distances between these towns were so little that from each of them the other town could be seen; and this is the meaning of the Qur’anic phrase: /quran zahirah/ (towns apparent).

Some of the commentators have rendered this phrase in another way. They say that it refers to the towns which were just manifestly alongside the way and passengers could stay well in them. Or that these towns were upon some high places and they were apparent for the wayfarers.

As for the purpose of ‘the blessed towns’ that which towns they may be, most commentators have rendered it as the towns of old Syria41, since this very meaning has been mentioned about this land in Surah ‘Isra’, No. 17, verse one, and in Surah Al-’Anbiya’, No. 21, verse 81.

But some other commentators say that the purpose of it may be the towns of “San‘a” or “Ma’arib” both of which have been located in the region of Yemen, and this commentary is not so improbable; because the distance between Yemen, which is located in the most southern point of Arabia, and Shamat (Syria), which is located in the most northern point, is so much so, and had been covered with some dry and hot deserts, that rendering the verse into it seems very improbable, and, it has not been recorded in history books either.

Some commentators have also believed that the blessed lands may be the land of Mecca, which is improbable, too. This explanation was from the point of cultivation, but since only cultivation is not enough and security is its importance and basic condition, the verse adds:

“…and between them We had appointed stages of journey in due proportion:…”
“…‘Travel therein secure, by night and by day’.”

Thus, the towns had an appropriate distance, and from the point of the attack of wild and fearsome animals of the desert, or thieves and robbers, they were also in utmost security in a manner that people could travel between them without having any provision or any mount.

They did not need to travel in groups and use some armed persons with them because of fear due to insecurity of the way, or for the fear of the lack of water and food along their way.

That who conveyed them the sentence: “Travel therein”, there are two probabilities: one of them is that it was conveyed to them by their prophet, and the other is that the mute tongue of that cultivated land and its secure and safe roads were the means of conveying the sentence to them.

Preceding the word /layali/ before /’ayyam/ in the verse is for the sake of the importance of the existence of security at nights both security from the point of thieves of the way and wild animals of the desert, else providing security during days is easier.

Through the next verse, the Holy Qur’an implies that these ingratitude people in the face of those great bounties of Allah, which had encompassed their whole living thoroughly, like many other nations who lived in pleasure, were involved in pride and negligence.

Affluence of bounties and their scanty of capacity caused them to pave the way of ingratitude and deviated from the path of Truth and they became heedless of the commands of Allah.

Among their unwisely demands was that they asked Allah to appoint long distance between their journeys.

The verse announces:

“And they said: ‘O our Lord! Place longer distances between our journeys’…”

Their purpose was that Allah would set a distance between their cultivated towns and there would appear some dry deserts between them, because the rich were not willing that the poor people could travel like them and travel wherever they wished without any provision and any mount.

As if travelling was among their boasts and it was the sign of power and wealth and they desired that this privilege and superiority should be registered for them for ever.

Or comfort and welfare had made them inconvenient, in the same way that Mann and Salwa (two heavenly foods) had made the children of Israel tired and asked Allah for onion, garlic, and lentil.

Some have also guessed that the sentence:

Place longer distances between our journeys

may point to this fact they had become so pleasure-seeking that they were not ready to travel for the purpose of breeding livestock or merchandise and agriculture, and they asked Allah that they would always remain at home and the time between their journeys would be increased.

But the first commentary seems best of all.

However, the verse says:

“…and they were unjust to themselves…”

Yes, if they imagined that they had been unjust to others, they were wrong. They had taken a dagger and cut their own chest asunder, and they themselves had to tolerate all the hurts.

What an interesting meaning it is!

Next to this short sentence, which is stated about their painful fate, the Qur’an implies that Allah punished them so seriously and twisted their lives so complex that it became as a matter of talk for others.

The verse says:

“…so We made them stories…”

Yes, from that furnished living and that glorious vast civilization, there remained nothing but some news talked by tongues, and a remembrance in minds, and some lines written on the pages of histories.

The verse continues saying:

“…and We dispersed them all in scattered fragments…”

Their region and towns became so ruined that they had not the ability of living there and, in order to continue their life, they had to go toward different places in different groups.

Like leaves in the season of fall, which are in the current of storms, everyone of them was thrown into a corner, in a manner that their division became a ‘proverb’ and whenever people wanted to say, for example, a group was severely scattered, they used to say:

Like the people of Sheba and their bounties, they have scattered.

As some commentators have said, the tribe of ‘Qasan’ went to Syria, ’Asad went to ‘Amman, while the tribe of Khaza‘ah went toward Tahamah, and the tribe of ’Anmar went to Yathrib.42 At the end of the verse, it says:

“…Verily in this there are signs for every patient, grateful one.”

Why can the patient and the grateful ones take lesson from these events? (Specially that the Arabic words: /sabbar/ (patient) and /šakur/ (thankful) both are in the Arabic amplification form which indicate the statement of repetition and emphasis.)

This is for the sake that they can control their ungovernable desire by means of patience and perseverance, and they stand powerfully against sins, and because of their thanksgiving in the way obeying Allah they are prepared and vigilant.

It is for this reason that they take an example well. But those who follow their desires and are heedless unto the Allah’s merits, how can they take an example from these events?

Surah As-Saba- Verses 20-21

وَلَقَدْ صَدَّقَ عَلَيْهِمْ اِبْلِيسُ ظَنَّهُ فَاتَّبَعُوهُ إِلاَّ فَرِيقاً مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنينَ

وَمَا كَانَ لَهُ عَلَيْهِم مِن سُلْطَانٍ إِلاَّ لِنَعْلَمَ مَن يُؤْمِنُ بِالأَخِرَةِ مِمَّنْ هُوَ مِنْهَا فِي شَكٍّ وَرَبُّكَ عَلَي كُلّ‌ِ شَيْءٍ حَفِيظٌ

20. “And certainly ’Iblis found true his conjecture concerning them, so they followed him, except a party of the believers.”
21. “And he has no authority over them, save that We would know (distinguished) him who believes in the Hereafter, from him who is in doubt concerning it, and your Lord is the Preserver of all things.”

Satan cannot make people force to do something, and that they follow ’Iblis is based upon their authority and their own decision.

Belief in the existence of Hereafter is like a barrier against Satan.

These verses are, in fact, a kind of general conclusion from the story of ‘the people of Sheba’ which was stated in the previous verses, and we realized that how they involved in all those misfortunes and deprivations as the result of submitting to low desires and temptations of Satan.

In the first verse, it says:

“And certainly ’Iblis found true his conjecture concerning them…”
“…so they followed him, except a party of the believers.”

Or in other words, the Satan’s prophecy that, after denying of prostrating in front of Adam and being banished from the Presence of Allah, ’Iblis said:

“…then, by Your power, I will lead them all astray.” “Except Your servants amongst them, sincere and purified (by Your grace).”43

Satan said this sentence by conjecture and guess, but finally this conjecture and guess became true, and the weak-faith people who were feeble in their will moved after him group by group.

There were a small group of believers who broke the chains of Satan’s temptations and were not deceived by his traps. They came in freely, they lived freely, and they passed away freely. Though they were scanty from the point of number, each of them matched a world from the point of value.

Ali (as) says:

“…they are few in number, but they are great in esteem before Allah…”44

In relation to the temptations of ’Iblis and those who go into the realm of his influence and those who are outside this realm, through the second verse the Qur’an points to two subjects.

At first it says:

“And he has no authority over them…”

It is we who let him and issue the permission of his arrival into the country of our mind and body.

This is the same thing that the Holy Qur’an in another occurrence from the tongue of Satan says:

“…I did not have any authority over you except that I called you and you responded me…”45

But it is clear that after accepting his invitation from the side of some faithless and sensual persons, Satan will not stay motionless, but he will make the foundations of his domination firm on their selves.

So, in the continuation of the verse, the Qur’an adds about the aim of Satan’s freedom, as follows:

“…save that We would know (distinguished) him who believes in the Hereafter, from him who is in doubt concerning it…”

It is obvious that Allah (s.w.t.) is aware of every thing that happens in this world, from the pre-eternity to the future eternity. Therefore, the Qur’anic term /lina‘lama/ (We would know) does not mean that He does not distinguish the believers from those who are in doubt.

The temptations of Satan must come across so that they can be distinguished, but the purpose of this sentence is the objective accomplishment of the knowledge of Allah, since Allah never punishes persons from His innate knowledge and because of their deeds in potency, but there must be provided a sense of trial, the temptations of Satan and low desires begin so that every body authoritatively and with complete free will brings out what he has in his inside than the objective accomplishment of Allah’s knowledge appears, because there will not be any deserving of reward and retribution unless an action is fulfilled practically in outside.

In other words, no one will be rewarded or punished only because of innate goodness or innate evil, unless what is in potency appears in action.

At the end, as a warning to all the servants of Allah, the Qur’an says:

“…and your Lord is the Preserver of all things.”

It says such so that the followers of Satan do not imagine that any thing of their deeds or sayings will disappear in this world, or Allah forgets it. No, never. Allah keeps and protects them all for the Day of Justice.

  • 1. such as Surah Sad, No. 38, verse 24
  • 2. Surah An-Naml, No. 27, verse 15
  • 3. Ibid verse 16
  • 4. Al-Mizan, Vol. 16, P. 390
  • 5. Tafsir-ul-Burhan, Vol. 3, P. 343; and Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Vol. 4, P. 315
  • 6. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, following the verse
  • 7. The commentary by Abul-Futuh Razi, Vol. 9, P. 192
  • 8. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Following the verse
  • 9. About this matter, we have also hinted out in the commentary of Surah Al-’Anbiya’, No. 21, verse 81
  • 10. Mufradat, by Raqib
  • 11. Ibid
  • 12. Wasa’il-ush-Shi‘ah, Vol. 12, Tradition 1
  • 13. ’Usul-i-Kafi, Vol. 2, Part Thanks, Traditions 10 and 12
  • 14. Ibid
  • 15. Ibid, Tradition No. 27
  • 16. Ibid, Tradition No. 20
  • 17. Mustatraf, Vol. 1, P. 236
  • 18. Ibid, P. 237
  • 19. Bihar, Vol. 68, P. 40
  • 20. Jami‘-ul-’Ahadith-ush-Shi‘ah, Vol. 13, P. 545
  • 21. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, sermon 182
  • 22. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 67
  • 23. Surah At-Taubah, No. 9, verse 40
  • 24. Surah Al-Ma’idah, No. 5, verse 31
  • 25. Surah An-Naml, No. 27, verse 28
  • 26. Surah Al-Fil, No. 103, verse 3
  • 27. Surah Al-’A‘raf, No. 7, verse 107
  • 28. Surah As-Saffat, No. 37, verse 142
  • 29. Surah Saba, No. 34, verse 14
  • 30. Surah Al-Kahf, No. 18, verse 18
  • 31. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 260
  • 32. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 259
  • 33. Surah Al-Hajj, No. 22, verse 36
  • 34. Surah Al-Qashiyah, No. 88, verse 17
  • 35. Surah Al-Ma’idah, No. 5, verse 94
  • 36. Surah Al-’A‘raf, No. 7, verse 73
  • 37. Surah Al-’A‘raf, No. 7, verse 133
  • 38. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, following the verse
  • 39. Surah An-Naml, No. 27, verse 22
  • 40. Lisan-ul-‘Arab
  • 41. Syria, Palestine and Jordan
  • 42. Tafsir-i-Qurtabi, and Tafsir-i-’Abul-Futuh-Razi, following the verse under discussion
  • 43. Surah Sad, No. 38, verses 82-83
  • 44. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, saying No. 147
  • 45. Surah ’Ibrahim, No. 14, verse 22

Section 3: The Holy Prophet Muhammad, the Apostle For Humanity as a Whole

Surah As-Saba- Verse 22

قُلِ ادْعُوا الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُم مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ لاَ يَمْلِكُونَ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلاَ فِي الأَرْضِ وَمَا لَهُمْ فِيهِمَا مِن شِرْكٍ وَمَا لَهُ مِنْهُم مِن ظَهِيرٍ

22. “Say: ‘Call upon those whom you have asserted apart from Allah; they own not the weight of an atom in the heavens nor in the earth, nor for them is any partnership in either (of them), nor for Him is (there) from among them any one to back Him up.”

No one other than Allah is the owner of the heavens and the earth, nor is any one His partner and helper.

At the beginning of this holy Surah it was said that a considerable part of the verses of this Surah is about Origin and the End and the true beliefs, so that by joining them together there comes into being a collection of true Qur’anic wisdom.

In this section of verses, in fact, the Holy Qur’an takes the polytheists into trial and by some logical questions it knocks them out. It makes manifest their baseless decayed logic in the field of intercession of idols.

In these verses the Qur’an addresses the Prophet (S) for five times and commands him to say to them something, and every time it propounds a new matter in connection with the fate of idols and idolatry, in a manner that at the end anybody feels that there is no empty school worse than the school of idolism, and that it can not be called even a school of thought and a religion.

By the above verse, it implies that they may call those that they consider (as their object of worship) other than Allah, but they should know that these idols never answer their pray nor do they solve any problem of theirs.

It says:

“Say: ‘Call upon those whom you have asserted apart from Allah…”

Then, the Qur’an refers to the reasoning of this statement and implies that it is for the sake that these hand-made objects of worship do not own anything.

It continues saying:

“…they own not the weight of an atom in the heavens nor in the earth, nor for them is any partnership in either (of them), nor for Him is (there) from among them any one to back Him up.”

If they were able to solve any problem they would have one of these three qualities: they owned something in the heavens and the earth; or, at least, they were partner of Allah in the creation, or, at last, they were assistants of Allah in something of these affairs.

While it is clear that ‘necessary being’ is only One and the rest are all ‘possible being that are dependant to Him, so that if He takes His grace from them, all of them will pave the way of destruction.

It is interesting that when it says:

“…the weight of an atom in the heavens nor in the earth…”

it means that the beings which do not own anything as heavy as the weight of an atom in the endless heavens and in the vast earth, what kind of difficulty can they remove from themselves than from you?

Surah As-Saba- Verse 23

وَلاَ تَنفَعُ الشَّفَاعَةُ عِندَهُ اِلاَّ لِمَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ حَتَّي إِذَا فُزّ‌ِعَ عَن قُلُوبِهِمْ قَالُوا مَاذَا قَالَ رَبُّكُمْ قَالُوا الْحَقَّ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْكَبِيرُ

23. “And intercession will not avail with Him except for him to whom He gives leave; till, when terror is lifted from their hearts, they will say: ‘What is it that your Lord said?’ They will say: ‘The truth’; and He is the Most High, the Great’.”

In Hereafter, there is the possibility of intercession, but by the leave of Allah.

Therefore, in this verse the Qur’an implies that there are some intercessors in the Court of Allah who can intercede only by His leave and command, since; the verse says:

“And intercession will not avail with Him except for him to whom He gives leave…”

Therefore, the pretext of the idolaters for worshipping their idols that they said:

“…these are our intercessors with Allah’…”1

will be ceased by this statement, because Allah has never given any leave to them for any intercession.

That whether the sentence:

“…except for him to whom He gives leave…”

refers to the intercessors or to the interceded ones, commentators have offered two probabilities; but in relation to the fact that in this verse the words are about idols and those people consider the idols as their intercessors, it is appropriate that it refers to ‘intercessors’.

Is the purpose of the word ‘intercession’ mentioned here the intercession in the world or in the Hereafter? Both of them are probable, but the subsequent sentence shows that it is meant the intercession in the Hereafter.

So, after this sentence, it implicitly says that in that Day there will be such an anxiety and horror upon the hearts that both the intercessor and the one who is interceded will be full of anxiety, and they expect to see to whom Allah gives permission to intercede, and for whom.

This state of anxiety will continue until when it will be removed from the hearts and the command from the side of Allah will be issued.

The verse says:

“…till, when terror is lifted from their hearts…”

However, on that Day there is a surprising tumult. Those who expect to be interceded look worriedly at the intercessor and by non-verbal language or by their own tongues, they eagerly ask them for intercession.

But the intercessors also have waited for the command of Allah to see how and about whom He gives permission for intercession. This common and general anxiety will continue until when the command of intercession about those who are eligible for it will be issued from the side of Allah, the Wise.

It is in this circumstance that the both groups turn their faces to each other and ask each other (or the guilty ask the intercessors) as follows:

“…they will say: ‘What is it that your Lord said?’…”
“…They will say: ‘The truth’…”

And ‘the truth’ is not anything save the permission of intercession about those who had not entirely ceased their relation with Allah, not the polluted ones who had broken all the links and means of communication, and who had wholly become alien with Allah, the Prophet (S) and his friends.

At the end of the verse, the Qur’an adds:

“…and He is the Most High, the Great’.”

This sentence is the continuation of the statement of the intercessors and its complement. Indeed, they say that since Allah is the Most High and the Great, whatever command He issues is the exact truth, and any truth adapts His command.

Whatever was said in the above is the nearest commentary that is consistent to the sentences of the verse.

In this regard, commentators have also cited some other commentaries, and it is wonderful that in some of them the relation and dependence of the beginning and the end of the verse, and its before and after, have never been considered at all.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 24

قُلْ مَن يَرْزُقُكُم مِنَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ قُلِ اللَّهُ وَإِنَّآ أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَي هُدًي أَوْ فِي ضَلاَلٍ مُبِينٍ

24. “Say: ‘Who gives you sustenance from the heavens and the earth?’ Say: ‘Allah’. And verily we or you are upon right guidance, or in manifest error.”

In training and teaching we should make the conscience of the addressees awaken by the use of the method of asking questions and cause their thought to work. That is why, for nullifying the beliefs of polytheists, next to the question of ‘creation’ mentioned in the previous verses, the subject of the act of the giver of sustenance is questioned.

This reasoning is also in the form of ‘question and answer’ in order to awaken their sleeping conscience by this way, and that by the answer which emerges from their inside they find out their mistake.

The Qur’an says:

“Say: ‘Who gives you sustenance from the heavens and the earth?’…”

It is evident that none of them could say that the stone and wooden idols could bring rain down from the sky, grow plants from the earth and give them the earthly and heavenly sources to use.

It is interesting that without waiting for any answer, the Qur’an immediately adds:

“…Say: ‘Allah’…”

Tell them it is Allah Who is the Origin of all these bounties. That is, the matter is so clear and evident that it does not need the opposite party to answer. But the questioner and hearer both say one thing, because even the polytheists knew Allah as the Creator and Giver of sustenance and, for the idols, they considered only the rank of intercession.

This point is also noteworthy that Allah’s sustenance, which comes down from heaven for human beings, is not limited to rain. The light and heat of the sun, the air which exists in the atmosphere of the earth, are also more important than the life- giving drops of rain.

Also, the blessings of the earth are not allocated to plants. kinds of water sources in the ground, various mains some of which had been discovered at that time and some others of them were discovered by the pass of time, all are under this title.

At last, the verse refers to a matter which itself can form the foundation of a proof, a true proof accompanied with the utmost justice and reverence, in a shape that opposite party may come down from the platform of pride and obstinacy and begin to think.

It says:

“…And verily we or you are upon right guidance, or in manifest error.”

This statement points to this matter that there is clear contrast in our belief and yours, therefore it is impossible that both of them are right, because never two opposite things gather with together, therefore one group is upon guidance and the second group is in error.

Now contemplate which group is on guidance and which is on misguidance. You can see the signs in both groups and observe which group contains the signs of guidance and which group has the signs of misguidance.

And this is one of the best methods of discussion and dispute which makes the opposite party contemplate. Some consider it as a kind of precautionary concealment, which is the utmost mistake.

It is interesting that in Arabic text of the verse the word ‘guidance’ has been mentioned with the Arabic word /‘ala/ (upon) and the word ‘error’ is mentioned with the Arabic word: /fi/ (in), which points to this fact that ‘the guided ones’ seem to be riding on a calm horse, or are located on a high place and dominate over all things, while the misguided ones are in deep error and in the darkness of their ignorance.

This is also noteworthy that the holy verse at first mentions ‘guidance’ and the word ‘error’ is cited after it, because at the beginning of the sentence at first it says: ‘We’ and after that it says: ‘you’ in order to have a delicate and colourless hint to the guidance of the first group and the lack of guidance of the second group.

Some of the commentators of the Qur’an believe that the modifier /mubin/ (manifest) refers to /dalal/ (error), because error consists of different kinds and the error of polytheism is the most manifest of all.

But there is also this probability that this modifier is used for both ‘guidance’ and ‘error’, because in these circumstances, inside the words of the eloquent, modifier is not repeated. Thus, both ‘guidance’ and ‘error’ are qualified by ‘manifest’, as in other verses of the Qur’an this qualification is seen for both of them.2

Surah As-Saba- Verses 25-26

قُل لاَ تُسْأَلُونَ عَمَّآ أَجْرَمْنَا وَلاَ نُسْأَلُ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

قُلْ يَجْمَعُ بَيْنَنَا رَبُّنَا ثُمَّ يَفْتَحُ بَيْنَنَا بِالْحَقّ‌ِ وَهُوَ الْفَتَّاحُ الْعَلِيمُ

25. “Say: ‘You will not be questioned as to what we are guilty of, nor shall we be questioned as to what you do’.”
26. “Say: ‘Our Lord will gather us together, then will He judge between us (and you) with the truth, and He is the greatest Judge, the All-knowing’.”

The divine prophets’ urge on the guidance of people is mostly because of their sympathy, not for the sake that the recompense of people’s sins might be upon the prophets, or vice versa.

With the same just tone that the previous verse brought down the enemy from the platform of pride and obstinacy, this verse continues and says:

“Say: ‘You will not be questioned as to what we are guilty of, nor shall we be questioned as to what you do’.”

It is surprising that here the Prophet (S) is ordered to use the word ‘guilty’ concerning him, and concerning the opponent, he is commanded to use the phrase:

What you do”.

Thus, he is to make this fact clear that everybody must be responsible of his own deeds, since the sequels of the deeds of every person, beautiful or ugly, shall reach the same person himself.

By the way, the verse also contains a smooth hint to this point that if we urge to guide you, it is not for the sake that your sin will be written upon us or your polytheism has any harm for us. But we urge on this matter from the view of sympathy, truth-seeking and legitimacy.

In the second holy verse the reality is stated that how the situation of everybody will be dealt with, right and wrong will be separated from each other, and, according to their responsibilities, everyone will be given reward or retribution.

It says:

“Say: ‘Our Lord will gather us together, then will He judge between us (and you) with the truth…”

He will do this and separate us from each other so that the guided ones should be recognized from the misguided ones, and every one of them receives the fruit of his own deeds.

If you see that today all people are mixed and everybody claims that he is right and is the one who will prosper, this situation will not last for ever, and the day of the separation of the groups will come.

The Lordship of Allah requires that finally there will come a Day when correct will be separated from incorrect, pure from impure and right from wrong and each of them will be set on their own place.

Now you may think what will you do on that Day? And in which group will you be? And have you made ready an answer for the questions of your Lord on that Day?

In order to make clear that this scene shall certainly occur, at the end the verse it adds:

“…and He is the greatest Judge, the All-knowing’.”

One of these two names, which are among the Most Beautiful Names of Allah, refers to His Power upon separating the men’s rows, and the next refers to His Infinite Knowledge, because separating the rows of right and wrong from each other is impossible without these two.

The Arabic term /fath/, as Raqib has said in Mufradat, originally means: ‘removing complexity and difficulty’, which is of two kinds: sometimes it is seen by the eye, like unlocking a lock; and sometimes it is understood by contemplation, like: complexity of grief, sorrows, and opening the secrets of science, and also judging between two persons and solving the problem of their conflict.

It is worthy to be noted that in some Islamic narrations the phrase ‘Ya Fattah’ has been emphasized on for solving the difficulties, since this great Name of Allah, which has been mentioned in the form of /fattah/, which is the Arabic amplification form of /fath/, refers to the Power of Allah upon opening any difficulty and putting an end to any grief and sorrow, and providing the means of any conquest and victory.

In fact, nobody is “fattah” (The Opener) except Him and the key of all closed doors is with Him, His Power.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 27

قُلْ أَرُونِيَ الَّذِينَ أَلْحَقْتُم بِهِ شُرَكَآءَ كَلاَّ بَلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

27. “Say: ‘Show me those you have joined to Him as associates! By no means (can you do it). Nay! He is Allah, the Mighty, the Wise’.”

Again in this holy verse the Qur’an returns to the subject of Monotheism with which it had begun the words and by this subject it concludes the discussion.

It says:

“Say: ‘Show me those you have joined to Him as associates! By no means (can you do it)…”

What worth and eligibility do they have? If your objective meaning is this lifeless and silent mass of stone and wood, what a great misfortune and shame that you take the same manufacture that you yourselves have chosen from the lowest beings of the world of inanimate objects and considered as the great Lord!

If you imagine these things as the symbol of souls and angels, it is also a calamity and aberration, because they are His creatures, too, and are ready to obey Him.

Therefore, in the continuation of the verse, the Holy Qur’an with a single word nullifies their whole conjectures and says:

“…Nay!…”

These material things are never worthy of being the object of worship, and in these conjectures of yours there is not found anything of reality. Sufficient it is! You should become vigilant. How long do you continue this wrong way?

In fact, the word ‘Nay’ is a small word which has encompassed all these meanings. Then, at the end of the verse, for emphasis and strengthening this statement, it says:

“…He is Allah, the Mighty, the Wise’.”

His Honour and His Might requires that none finds any way into the realm of His Lordship, and His Wisdom also requires that He uses this Might in its correct place.

Yes, having these attributes is the sign of His being necessary existence, and the necessary existence of the world of existence is infinite and can never be more than One and has no associate and resemblance because every plurality makes him limited and possible, but the infinite being is always One.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 28

وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَاكَ اِلاَّ كَآفَّةً لّـِلنَّاسِ بَشِيراً وَنَذِيراً وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ

28. “And We have not sent you but unto the whole of mankind, a Bearer of glad tidings and a Warner, but most of the people do not know (it).”

The prophethood of the Prophet of Islam (S) is for the whole world.

The most important function of the Divine prophets in guiding people is warning and glad tiding.

This holy verse points to the prophethood of the Prophet of Islam (S), and the verses after this verse discuss about Resurrection, and regarding to the fact that the words in the previous verses were also about Unity, they form a complete collection of religious beliefs which are fitting to the Meccan suras, such as Surah Saba.

At first, it points to the vastness of the invitation of the Prophet (S) and the generality of his prophecy over all human beings.

It says:

“And We have not sent you but unto the whole of mankind, a Bearer of glad tidings and a Warner, but most of the people do not know (it).”

The Arabic term /kaffah/ is in the sense of the palm of the hand; and since man takes things with his hands, or makes them aloof from himself, this term has sometimes been used in the sense of ‘to gather’ and sometimes in the sense of ‘to repel’.

The commentators have also suggested the both meanings probable in the verse.

The first is that it may be used in the sense of ‘to gather’, and in this case the concept of the verse is the same thing which was mentioned in the above; saying:

“And We have not sent you but unto the whole of mankind…”,

which points to the invitation of the Prophet of Islam (S) as a universal one.

The numerous authentic narrations recorded upon the commentary of this verse by the way of both Shi‘ites and Sunnites all strengthen this very interpretation, too.

Therefore, the content of the verse is like that of Surah Al-Furqan, No. 25, verse one which says:

“Blessed is He Who sent down the Furqan (the distinction of right and wrong) upon His servant that he may be a Warner to the worlds.”

And also like Surah Al-’An‘am, No. 6, verse 19 which says:

“…and this Qur’an has been revealed to me that I may warn you thereby…”

In the tradition that some of the commentators have mentioned in relation with the above verse, the generality of the invitation of the Prophet (S) is understood as one of his great honours, where he (S) says:

“Allah bestowed on me five things, and I do not say it as a boast (but I say as the gratitude of the bounty). I was appointed to all men, white and black, and the earth was appointed for me pure and purifier and (everywhere of it being) as a mosque.

The booties of war are lawful for me while they were not lawful for anyone before me. I have been aided (by fear and horror in the hearts of the enemies) so that it paves the way of one month journey in front of me; and I was given (the rank of) intercession then I have stored it for my Ummah in Hereafter.”3

Surah As-Saba- Verses 29-30

وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَي هَذَا الْوَعْدُ اِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

قُل لَكُم مِيعَادُ يَوْمٍ لاَ تَسْتَأْخِرُونَ عَنْهُ سَاعَةً وَلاَ تَسْتَقْدِمُونَ

29. “And they say: ‘When will this promise be (fulfilled) if you are truthful’?”
30. “Say: ‘You have the appointment of a day from which you cannot hold back any while, nor can you bring it on’.”

Hereafter is an important Day and its time of occurrence is not changeable.

In view of the fact that in the former verses this meaning was pointed out that Allah will gather all people in Hereafter and will judge between them, in this verse there has been suggested a question from the side of some of the deniers of Resurrection in the following form:

“And they say: ‘When will this promise be (fulfilled) if you are truthful’?”

The deniers of Resurrection used to ask this question very frequently from the Prophet of Islam (S) or from other prophets. It was sometimes for perceiving the matter, and perhaps most often for mockery, implying that when will this resurrection that you repeatedly emphasize on come if you are truthful?

This matter points to this fact that a truthful person should know all the details of the matter he informs of. He must be aware of its qualifications, its time, and its place. In answer to them the Prophet (S) was commanded to say its time is in the Knowledge of Allah.

And also we recite in many verses of the Qur’an that no one knows the time of Hereafter but Allah, and this is of the wisdom of Allah in order that human beings always spend time in the state of ‘being prepared’ and ready.

Moreover, the luck of knowledge of details is usually not a hinder for the faith in universals. For example, from the sound of the bell of the house you are acknowledged that someone is at the door, though you do not know any detail about that person whether the one is a male or a female, how old he is and how much he knows.

The lack of your knowledge unto these things does not damage your knowledge and faith that a person rang the bell of the house. Yes, we have knowledge about the Hereafter, though we do not know its time.

The Qur’an always restrains to give a clear answer to this question and to define the time of the occurrence of Hereafter, and it emphasizes that this is one of the things the knowledge of which is with Allah and none but He is aware of it.

So, in the next verse, this very meaning is reiterated in a different sentence.

It says:

“Say: ‘You have the appointment of a day from which you cannot hold back any while, nor can you bring it on’.”

This concealment of the date of the occurrence of the Hereafter, even unto the Prophet of Islam (S), as it was also pointed out before, is for the sake that Allah desires people to have a kind of freedom of action accompanied with the constant state of ‘being ready’, since if the date of Hereafter were defined, and its time was far, everybody would live in ignorance, pride and unawareness, and when its time was near, they would lose the freedom of action and their deeds would have the emergency state, and in both cases the man’s training aims would remain barren (fruitless).

It is for this reason that the date of the occurrence of Hereafter is concealed to all. It is in the same manner the night of Qadr, the night which has the virtue of one thousand months, or the date of the reappearance of Hadrat Mahdi (as).

The content of Surah Ta-Ha, No. 20, verse 15 which says:

“Verily the Hour (of doom) is coming, (but) I will to keep it hidden so that every soul may be rewarded for its endeavour.”

is a tender hint to this very meaning.

In the meanwhile that they considered that the Prophet (S), who informed of the Hereafter should know the exact date of it, was their ultimate mistake, and it was the reason of the lack of their knowledge from the duty of the prophecy.

He was commanded only to convey the Message and to give warning and glad tidings, but the question of Hereafter relates to Allah, and it is He Who is aware of all its details, and He has given to His Prophet (S) that part of the training issues that He had decided to be necessary for him.

Here, there arises a question and it is that the holy Qur’an, threatening the opponents about the appointed time of Hereafter, says:

“…you cannot hold back any while…”,

but why does it also say:

“…nor can you bring it on”?

What effect does it have in the goal of the Qur’an?

In answer, two points must be noted to. The first is that mentioning these two with together points to the decisiveness and exactness of the date of something. Just in the same way that we say so and so matter, sooner or later, has a decisive appointed time.

The second is that a group of obstinate pagans always put the Prophet (S) in pressure that why the Hereafter did not come, and in other words, they made haste for it, whether in mockery or other than it. The Qur’an tells them not to haste; its date is the same that Allah has appointed.

  • 1. Surah Yunus, No. 10, verse 18
  • 2. The following verses can be referred to: Surah An-Naml, verse 1; Surah An-Nur, verse 12; Surah Hud, verse 6; Surah Al-Qasas, verse 2; Surah An-Naml, verse 79
  • 3. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, under the verse; and in Durr-ul-Manthur it has been narrated from Ibn-i-‘Abbas.

Section 4: The Disbelievers and Their Leaders

Surah As-Saba- Verse 31

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَن نُؤْمِنَ بِهَذَا الْقُرْءَانِ وَلاَ بِالَّذِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَلَوْ تَرَي اِذِ الظَّالِمُونَ مَوْقُوفُونَ عِندَ رَبّـِهِمْ يَرْجِعُ بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَي بَعْضٍ الْقَوْلَ يَقُولُ الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا لَوْلآ أَنتُمْ لَكُنَّا مُؤْمِنِينَ

31. “And those who disbelieve say: ‘Never will we believe in this Qur’an, nor in that which is before it, and could you see when the unjust shall be made to stand before their Lord, bandying words one with another! Those who were despised as weak will say unto those who had prided: ‘Had it not been for you, we would certainly have been believers’.”

Pagans, in fact, believe in none of the heavenly Books, and because of their obstinacy, they are not ready to accept faith and believe.

In this holy verse, the Qur’an says:

“And those who disbelieve say: ‘Never will we believe in this Qur’an, nor in that which is before it…”

The Arabic word /lan/ is used for an everlasting negation. Thus, they intend to say that if you preach for ever they will not believe, and this is evidence upon their obstinacy.

They had made their decision not to believe until future eternity, while if a truth-seeking person, for any reason, is not convinced can not deny the future probable reasons without hearing them and say that he absolutely refuses other reasons, too.

In relation to the objective meaning of the Qur’an sentence: /’allaŏina kafaru/ (those who disbelieve), some of the Islamic commentators have rendered it into pagans, some into the Jews and ‘the People of Book’, but the context of the later verses, which speaks about paganism, is an evidence that the purpose of it is ‘pagans’.

The purpose of the Qur’anic phrase: /’allaŏi bayna yadayh/ (that which is before it) is the heavenly Books which had been sent down before Qur’an.

This meaning has been applied in many verses of the Qur’an with the same sense specially after mentioning the word Qur’an; and that some commentators have said that its purpose is probably ‘Resurrection’, or is ‘the content of the Qur’an’ does not seem so probable.

However, the denial of faith in the Books of the former prophets perhaps has been for the purpose that the Qur’an prophesies of this matter that the symptoms of the Messenger of Islam and the Qur’an have clearly been mentioned in the Torah and the Bible, so in ordered to negate the prophecy of the Prophet of Islam (S), they negate other heavenly Books, too, and say that they neither believe in this heavenly Book, the Qur’an, nor in the Books before it.

Then the Qur’an refers to their situation in the Hereafter and, addressing the Prophet (S), it says:

“…and could you see when the unjust shall be made to stand before their Lord, bandying words one with another!…”

Again, it is understood from the above holy verse that one of the most important extensions of ‘injustice’ is that very ‘polytheism’ and ‘disbelief’.

The application of the Qur’anic phrase /‘inda rabbihim/ (before their Lord) refers to this matter that they will attend before the One Who has been their owner and their Lord; and what a shame is higher than this that a person is summoned to the One that he has never believed in Him and in Whose commandments, while his whole self has been built and covered with His bounties.

At this time, the ‘oppressed’, the same unaware persons who blindly followed some others, will say to the ‘oppressors’, viz., the same ones who used to pave the way of pride and domination over others, and giving them the line of satanic thought, as such: if you had not been, and if your satanic beguiling temptations had not existed, we would have been in the row of the believers.

The verse says:

“…Those who were despised as weak will say unto those who had prided: ‘Had it not been for you, we would certainly have been believers’.”

By this manner, they want to put all their sins on the shoulder of these cruel ‘oppressors’, though they were not ready to have such a decisive treatment with them in the world, because in that life weakness and vileness had dominated them and they had lost their own freedom and frankness.

But now that those false concepts, which separated the oppressors from them, have gone and the fruit of the deeds of everyone is made manifest, they stand in front of them and speak frankly, disputing with them.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 32

قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا لِلَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا أَنَحْنُ صَدَدْنَاكُمْ عَنِ الْهُدَي بَعْدَ إِذْ جَآءَكُم بَلْ كُنتُم مُّجْرِمِينَ

32. “Those who had prided shall say unto those who were despised as weak: ‘Did we turn you away from the guidance after it had come to you? Nay! You (yourselves) were guilty’.”

In this holy verse the Qur’an clearly announces that the oppressors in answer to the oppressed ones say that: they did not hinder them from the way of guidance after that guidance came to them and they were preached enough and the prophets said what they should say, and the oppressors were not responsible of it, but the oppressed themselves were sinful.

They will say:

“You, with your free will, submitted to our baseless words and came to infidelity and theism, while you forgot the logical words of the prophets.”

The verse says:

“Those who had prided shall say unto those who were despised as weak: ‘Did we turn you away from the guidance after it had come to you? Nay! You (yourselves) were guilty’.”

It is true that, by their evil temptations, the oppressors had committed a great sin, but this statement of theirs is also true that these followers should not follow them blindly, so, from this point of view, their sins are upon their own shoulders.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 33

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَروُا بَلْ مَكْرُ الَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ إِذْ تَأْمُرُونَنَآ أَن نَّكْفُرَ بِاللَّهِ وَنَجْعَلَ لَهُ أَندَاداً وَأَسَرُّوا النَّدَامَةَ لَمَّا رَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ وَجَعَلْنَا الأَغْلاَلَ فِي أَعْنَاقِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا هَلْ يُجْزَوْنَ اِلاَّ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُون

33. “And those who were despised as weak shall say unto those who had prided: ‘Nay! It was a plot (of yours) by day and by night when you bade us that we should disbelieve in Allah and set up equals with Him. And they declare (their) remorse when they see the Penalty; and We will put shackles on the necks of those who disbelieved. Are they requited aught save what they used to do?”

The mental cultural deviation of the people in a society is the consequence of the constant effort of the arrogant enemies.

In this holy verse, the Qur’an says:

“And those who were despised as weak shall say unto those who had prided: ‘Nay! It was a plot (of yours) by day and by night when you bade us that we should disbelieve in Allah and set up equals with Him…”

Yes, it was you who did not desist your evil propagation and did not lose any opportunity during day and night to gain your wrong aims.

It is true that we were free in accepting you, and thus we are sinful, but you, as a factor of corruption, are responsible and guilty, too. Or, in other words, it was you who set the first base with your polluted hands, in particular that you always talked to us from the position of power.

(The application of the Qur’anic sentence /ta’murunana/ (you bade us) is the evidence for this matter.)

It is evident that the proud cannot have any answer to this statement and do not deny their participation in this great crime.

Therefore, both groups will be regretful of their deeds: the proud will be regretful for making others astray, and the oppressed ones for their unconditionally accepting these evil temptations.

The verse continues saying:

“…And they declare (their) remorse when they see the Penalty; and We will put shackles on the necks of those who disbelieved…”

Some commentators have said that this regret is probably because of the intensity of the terror they get from seeing the Divine punishment and the chains and shackles on their necks.

This will cause their tongue not to be able to speak though the same ones, in other halts of the Hereafter will cry:

“…‘Oh woe to us! Verily we were unjust’.”1

Some philologists have meant the Arabic phrase /’asarru/ in this verse in the sense of ‘declare’, in spite of those who have meant it ‘hide’, and said that this term has been used with two opposite meanings in the Arabic language, and its like is not few, but regarding to the usages of this term in the Qur’an, and other than it, this meaning is not probable, because the Arabic word /sirr/ usually comes as opposite to /‘alan/, and Raqib has also stipulated that this meaning is weak. Yet, some of the lexicologists have referred to both of them.

However, this is the consequence of their own deeds that they have provided from before.

The verse says:

“…Are they requited aught save what they used to do?”

Yes, these are the very deeds and behaviour of pagans and evil-doers that will be shown in the form of shackles of captivity put on their necks, hands and feet. In this world, too, they were captives of their low desires, money, power, and position, and, in Hereafter when the deeds will incarnate, the same captivities will appear in another form.

The above mentioned holy verse once more makes clear the incarnation of deeds, which has repeatedly been pointed out, because it implicitly says that their recompense is, in fact, the incarnation of their own deeds.

And what a meaning is more lively and clearer than this for incarnation of deeds?

The application of the Qur’anic sentence /’allaŏina kafaru/ (those who disbelieved) is an evidence that both those who tempted others proudly will be involved in this fact, and those oppressed who were tempted, and all pagans. And, basically, mentioning this quality is a hint to this fact that the cause of their punishment is their paganism.

Surah As-Saba- Verses 34-35

وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِن نَذِيرٍ إِلاَّ قَالَ مُتْرَفُوهَآ إِنَّا بِمَآ اُرْسِلْتُم بِهِ كَافِرُونَ

وَقَالُوا نَحْنُ أَكْثَرُ أَمْوَالاً وَأَوْلاَداً وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ

34. “And We sent no Warner into any city except the opulent ones of it said: ‘Verily we are disbelievers in what you are sent with’.”
35. “They also said: ‘We are more (than you) in wealth and children and we shall not be punished’.”

Opposition with the holy Prophet of Islam (S) is not a new thing, while former people used to oppose other Divine prophets, too.

Since the words in previous verses were about the proud people’s temptation (seduction), the verses under discussion introduce a part of this seduction and, in the meanwhile it also consoles the holy Prophet of Islam (S) indicating that if a group of people oppose you, you may not surprise, because the opposition of the rich tyrants against the true prophets has been a constant style of theirs.

Allah says:

“And We sent no Warner into any city except the opulent ones of it said: ‘Verily we are disbelievers in what you are sent with’.”

The Qur’anic word /naŏir/ means: ‘Warner’. It refers to the Divine prophets who warned people by Allah’s punishment against their deviations, cruelties, sins, and corruptions.

Here the Arabic phrase /mutrafuha/ is the plural form of /mutraf/ derived from /taraf/ in the sense of ‘prosperity’, and /mutraf/ is used in the sense of ‘prosperity’.

The Arabic word /mutraf/ is applied for the one whose affluence of bounty and welfare of life has made him proud, and neglectful, and has caused him to be disobedient.2

Yes, those who were in the first row of the opponents of the Divine prophets (as) were usually from this group of disobedient neglectful people of prosperity.

Since, on one side, they saw the teachings of the prophets as a hinder for their pleasures and lusts, and on the other side, they were defenders of the deprive that by usurpation of whose rights had reached to this dazzling life, and on the third side, in order to guard their wealth and properly, they always used the power of government, and in all these instances they found the Divine prophets in their opposite situation, then they immediately decided to stand against them.

It is wonderful that they did not emphasize on a particular divine ordinance or instruction, but they generally said:

“…‘Verily we are disbelievers in what you are sent with’…”

They insisted not to be with them even for a step, which itself is the best proof for their obstinacy and enmity against the truth.

This is an important matter which the Qur’an has disclosed through different verses: that the deprived were often the first group of people who accepted the invitation of the Divine prophets, and the proud people, who were in prosperity, were also the first group of people who began opposition.

Certainly the deniers of the Divine prophets’ call were not allocated to this group; the factors of mischief and claimers of polytheism and superstitions were those who ceaselessly tried to forcefully drug others towards themselves.

This very meaning is also mentioned in Surah Az-Zukhruf, No. 43, verse 23; Surah Hud, No. 11, verse 116; and also in Surah Mu’minun, No. 23, verse 33.

This group oppose not only against the Divine prophets, but also against any step of improvement that may be taken from the side of any learned reformer and any studious scholar. In order to confuse the programs of the reformers, they often conspire and commit any crime they can.

Next verse refers to their futile logic to which they betake all times to prove their superiority and to beguile common people.

It announces:

“They also said: ‘We are more (than you) in wealth and children…”

They say that Allah has affection to them because He has given them both abundant wealth and plenty of human power, and this is the evidence for His grace upon them and the sign for their rank and near position to Him, so He will not punish them, the near- stationed ones!

The verse continues saying:

“…and we shall not be punished’.”

Does Allah punish His beloved? If we were banished from His presence, why would He give us so many bounties? In short, our world being bountiful itself is a clear reason for the good of our Hereafter.

Some of the commentators believe that the Qur’anic sentence: /wa ma nahnu bi mu‘aŏŏabin/ (we shall not be punished) is probably a reason that they denied the Hereafter and punishment entirely, while the later verses show that this sentence does not imply this meaning but their purpose has been in this that, for the reason of their wealth, they are nigh to Allah.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 36

قُلْ إِنَّ رَبّـِي يَبْسُطُ الرّ‌ِزْقَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيَقْدِرُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ

36. “Say: ‘Verily my Lord amplifies the sustenance for whom He pleases and straitens for whom He pleases, but most of the people do not know’.”

Giving or taking sustenance is inside the rank of Lordship and giving or taking the blessings is not as a sign of affection or wrath of Allah.

(It is possible that He takes it from a believer and gives it to a disbeliever.)

(Verily my Lord amplifies the sustenance…)

This holy verse answers to their hollow demagogical logic in the best way and knocks it out.

Addressing the Prophet (S), the Qur’an says:

“Say: ‘Verily my Lord amplifies the sustenance for whom He pleases and straitens for whom He pleases…”

All of these are according to public interests which are for the trial of people and are necessary for the system of their living, and they do not depend on the man’s rank and position with Allah.

Therefore, we should never count the amplification of sustenance as a reason for happiness, and its being straitened as a reason for wretchedness.

The verse continues saying:

“…but most of the people do not know’.”

Of course, the unaware majority of people are such, else this matter is clear for the aware ones.

  • 1. Surah Al-’Anbiya’, No. 21, verse 14
  • 2. Lisan-ul-‘Arab, Vol. 9, p. 17

Section 5: Wealth and Children Shall Be of No Avail

Surah As-Saba- Verse 37

وَمَآ أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلآ أَوْلاَدُكُم بِالَّتِي تُقَرّ‌ِبُكُمْ عِندَنَا زُلْفَي اِلاَّ مَنْ ءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحاً فَأُوْلَئِك لَهُمْ جَزَآءُ الضّـِعْفِ بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَهُمْ فِي الْغُرُفَاتِ ءَامِنُونَ

37. “And neither your wealth nor your children are that which bring you nigh unto us, except for him who believes, and does righteousness, these are (the ones) for whom is a double recompense for what they did, and they in the exalted places shall be secure.”

Allah (s.w.t.) has appointed faith, righteous deed, charity, and sincerity as means for His nearness, while some unaware people think of wealth, children and race as the factors of nearness to Allah and having prosperity.

So, in this verse, the Qur’an pursues this very meaning more explicitly, and says:

“And neither your wealth nor your children are that which bring you nigh unto us…”

This is a great mistake that a group of people imagine that those who are in deprivation from the point of finance are disfavoured and reprobate in the sight of Allah, and those who are apparently in welfare with affluence of favours are beloved and accepted by Him.

There are many deprived persons who are tried by this means and reach the most superior ranks; and there are many persons who enjoy the comforts of life but whose wealth and properties are some pests for them and work as the cause of their punishment.

Does not the Holy Qur’an explicitly say in Surah Taqabun, No. 64, verse 15:

“Verily your properties and your children may be but a trial; where as Allah, with Him is the highest Reward”?

This statement does not mean that man may stop the necessary effort and endeavour in life, but the purpose is that having financial possibilities and abundant human powers are never counted as the criterion of spiritual values of man with Allah.

Then the Qur’an refers to the standard of the values of individuals and that which causes the nearness to Allah, and (as a separate exception) says:

“…except for him who believes, and does righteousness, these are (the ones) for whom is a double recompense for what they did, and they in the exalted places shall be secure.”

Thus, all these criterions of these two cases return to

Faith and righteous deed

from any one, in any time, and wherever they may be, and the difference of persons in the presence of Allah depends on the difference of the degrees of their Faith and righteous deeds, and there is nothing else save this.

Even having much knowledge and relating to some great persons, even to prophets, if they are not accompanied with these two criterions do not lonely increase anything to the value of man.

It is here that the holy Qur’an, with its unique explicitness, nullifies all deviated and superstitious imaginations in the field of the factors of getting nearness to Allah and the man’s value of existence, and summarizes the noble standard in two things which all human beings can tolerate and obtain, so that neither anyone’s material possibilities nor his deprivation, are effective in them.

Yes, if wealth and children also pave this way, they will take this divine colour and will assume the colour of faith and righteous deed, and they will be the cause of getting nearness to Allah.

But the properties and children that make man aloof from Allah, and like an idol will be worshipped which cause mischief and corruption, they are the fuels of Hell, and, as the Qur’an says, they are the man’s enemy and the enemy of his happiness.

It says:

“O’ you who have Faith! Verily, among your wives and your children are (some that are) enemies to yourselves so beware of them…”1

However, as it was also said before, the Arabic term /di‘f/ singly does not mean ‘two fold’, but it means “many folds”, and it has been used with the same sense in the verse under discussion, because we know that the reward of each good deed is at least ten folds with Allah.

The holy Qur’an says:

“Whoever brings a good (deed) he shall have ten times its like…”,2

and sometimes it is much more than that.

The Arabic word /qurufat/ is the plural form of /qurfah/ in the sense of some rooms which are in the upstairs that have both some lighter and better weather, and the pests are far from them. That is why this meaning has been applied for the best abodes of Paradise.

This word is originally derived from /qarf/ in the sense of lifting and taking something.

The application of the Qur’anic term /’aminun/ (those who are in security), concerning the people of Paradise, is a very comprehensive meaning which reflects the peace of their both body and spirit from any point of view, because they have neither the fear of an annihilation, destruction, and death, nor the fear of the enemy’s attack, nor the fear of sickness, pest, grief and even the fear of fear; and there is no bounty higher than this that one passes time in a complete security; in the same way that there is no affliction worse than insecurity in different aspects of life.

Surah As-Saba- Verses 38-39

وَالَّذِينَ يَسْعَوْنَ فِي ءَايَاتِنَا مُعَاجِزِينَ أُوْلَئِكَ فِي الْعَذَابِ مُحْضَرُونَ

قُلْ اِنَّ رَبّـِي يَبْسُطُ الرّ‌ِزْقَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَقْدِرُ لَهُ وَمَآ أَنفَقْتُم مِن شَيْءٍ فَهُوَ يُخْلِفُهُ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ

38. “And those who strive against Our signs to void them, they shall be arraigned into the chastisement.”
39. “Say: ‘Verily my Lord amplifies the sustenance for whom He pleases of His servants and straitens (it) for him and whatever thing you spend He replaces it; and He is the Best Sustainers’.”

In order to wipe out the Truth, enemy always uses his best effort. So, in this verse, the Qur’an implies that those who try to nullify Allah’s signs not only they themselves do not have Faith, but also do not let others pave the path of Truth, while they imagine that they can escape from the grips of the Power of Allah, while they will be brought into the painful chastisement on the Hereafter Day.

Since there is no word about future in the sentence:

“They shall be arraigned into the chastisement”,

it may point to this sense that in this world they are also involved in chastisement just now. What chastisement is worse than this prison which he has built for him by his wealth and children?

The verse says:

“And those who strive against Our signs to void them, they shall be arraigned into the chastisement.”

There is also this probability that the above meaning is for the sake that this Divine promise is so certain that as if they are in it just now in the same way that it has been mentioned in the previous holy verse:

“…and they in the exalted places shall be secure.”

As some philologists have said, the application of the Qur’anic term /mu‘ajizin/ means that they imagine that they can flee from the realm of Allah’s Power and His punishment, while this is a mere baseless delusion.

Through the next verse, Qur’an says:

“Say: ‘Verily my Lord amplifies the sustenance for whom He pleases of His servants and straitens (it) for him…”

Then it continues saying:

“…and whatever thing you spend He replaces it; and He is the Best Sustainers’.”

The content of the verse is an emphasis on the previous matter, but from two points of view it is new.

The first is that the previous verse the concept of which was the same as this one was mostly about wealth, children, and disbelievers, while the application of the Arabic word /‘ibad/ (servants) in the verse under discussion shows that it refers to the believers.

That is, concerning the believers, He sometimes amplifies the sustenance – where it is good for the believer – and He sometimes straitens and limits the sustenance in the place where it requires. However, the vastness and narrowness of sustenance can cot be the evidence for anything.

The second matter is that the previous holy verse said about the vastness and narrowness of sustenance and living concerning two different groups of men, while the verse under discussion may be a hint to two different states of one person whose sustenance is vast and sometimes is straitened and limited.

Moreover, what is mentioned at the beginning of this verse is, in fact, a preliminary for that which is at the end of the verse, i.e. encouraging to spending in the cause of Allah.

The Qur’anic sentence /fahuwa yuxlifuhu/ (He replaces it) is an interesting meaning which shows that whatever is spent in the cause of Allah is, in fact, a rich profitable bargain, because Allah undertakes its recompense; and we know that when a gracious one undertakes the recompense of something he does not observe equality, but he pays it back several folds, and sometimes hundred folds.

The promise of Allah, of course, is not limited to Hereafter and next life, which is certain in its turn, but in this world, too, He gives kinds of favours abundantly instead of those godly payments.

The Qur’anic sentence

“…and He is the Best sustainers”

has a vast meaning which can be considered from different dimensions.

He is the Best of all sustainers because He knows what to bestow and how much of provision He may endow that it would not be the cause of mischief and corruption, and He knows everything.

Whatever He wills He can grant to whomever He wishes, because He is powerful to do everything.

Allah does not demand any recompense for what He bestows, because He is self-sufficient in Essence.

Allah grants the things even without asking them from Him, because He is aware of all things, and He is Wise.

And none, but He, is the giver of sustenance, since whatever a person has is from Him, and whatever a person gives to another one the person is the means of transferring the sustenance, not the giver of sustenance.

This point is also noteworthy that for fleeting properties He gives some lasting bounties, and He gives ‘abundant’ recompense for a ‘scanty’ deed.

Surah As-Saba- Verses 40-41

وَيَوْمَ يَحْشُرُهُمْ جَمِيعاً ثُمَّ يَقُولُ لِلْمَلآَئِكَةِ أَهَؤُلآءِ اِيَّاكُمْ كَانُوا يَعْبُدُونَ

قَالُوا سُبْحَانَكَ أَنتَ وَلِيُّنَا مِن دُونِهِم بَلْ كَانُوا يَعْبُدُونَ الْجِنَّ أَكْثَرُهُم بِهِم مُّؤْمِنُونَ

40. “And on the Day when He will muster them all together then He will say to the angels: ‘Did these worship you?’”
41. “They (the angels) will say: ‘Glory be to You. You are our Guardian, not they, nay rather, they were worshipping the jinn, (while) most of them were believers in them’.”

In Hereafter, besides reprimanding the polytheists, Allah asks from the objects of worship. He asks whether they called them to polytheism, so that it proves that the objects of worship themselves condemn this action. So, in this verse, the Qur’an implies that in Hereafter He musters all, including the worshippers and the objects of worship.

The verse says:

“And on the Day when He will muster them all together then He will say to the angels: ‘Did these worship you?’”

It is evident that this question is not an inquiry that can disclose an unknown thing for the Pure Essence of Allah, because He is Omniscient; the aim is that the facts might be said by the angels’ statements, so that this group of wrong worshippers might become abashed and ashamed, and know that the angels are completely hateful of their action and that they become hopeless for ever.

Mentioning ‘angels’ out of all objects of worship that the polytheists had, is either for the sake that the angels were the most honoured creatures that they used to worship.

Or it is for the sake that the idolaters considered the pieces of stone and wood as the symbol of the heavenly creatures (angels, spirits, and prophets) and they worshipped them under this title. It is cited in the history of idolatry among Arabs that once when ‘Amr-ubn-Luha had travelled to Syria saw some people who were worshipping their idols.

He asked them about that action and they answered that they were some gods that they had made in the shapes of heavenly creatures in order to get help from them and by means of them they asked for rain.

‘Amr-ubn-Luha liked it and followed their idea and he brought an idol with him to Arabia as a present, and since then idolatry began there and continued until when Islam came and rooted it out.

Now we refer to the response of the angel in answer to the question of Allah.

They will choose the most inclusive and the most polite answer as the verse says:

“They (the angels) will say: ‘Glory be to You. You are our Guardian, not they, nay rather, they were worshipping the jinn, (while) most of them were believers in them’.”

Concerning the kind of the concept of the answer of the angels, commentators have delivered various ideas and each of them has rendered it differently. But what seems nearer to the fact is that: the purpose of ‘jinn’ is Satan and other evil beings that encouraged the idol-worshippers to this action and decorated it in their sight.

Thus, the purpose of ‘worshipping the jinn’ is obeying their commands and accepting their temptations.

By expressing their hate and repudiation and announcing their dislike of this action the angels will say that the main factor of this corruption was Satans, though they apparently worshipped the angels, the real feature of it must be made manifest.

Similar to this meaning is also recited in Surah Yunus, where it says:

“And the Day We shall muster them all, then We shall say to those who associated others (with Us): ‘Get you to your place! You and your associates’, then We shall set a space between them, and their associates shall say: ‘It was not us (indeed) that you used to worship!’” 3

That is, you, indeed, used to worship your own low desires, delusions and conjectures, not us. Moreover, your worship was done neither by our command nor with our consent, and such worship is not, in fact, a real worship.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 42

فَالْيَوْمَ لاَ يَمْلِكُ بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ نَّفْعاً وَلاَ ضَرًّا وَنَقُولُ لِلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا ذُوقُوا عَذَابَ النَّارِ الَّتِي كُنتُم بِهَا تُكَذّ‌ِبُونَ

42. “So on that Day one of you shall not own for the other any profit or harm, and We will say unto those who did injustice: ‘Taste you the chastisement of the Fire which you used to deny’.”

In Hereafter both sovereignty and ownership belong to only Allah. (None of objects of worship – the Jinn, the angels, and others – has any power. Neither the object of worship can do anything for its worshipper, nor can a worshipper do anything for the object of worship).

This verse implicitly says that on that Day the hope of the polytheists will change into despair and this fact will be clearly made manifest for them that their objects of worship will not be able to work for them the slightest, but, on the contrary, they will be hatred of them.

So, in the above mentioned holy verse, as an expressive conclusion, the Holy Qur’an says:

“So on that Day one of you shall not own for the other any profit or harm…”

Therefore, neither the angels, who were apparently their objects of worship, can intercede nor are they themselves able to help each other.

It is here that Allah announces:

“…and We will say unto those who did injustice: ‘Taste you the chastisement of the Fire which you used to deny’.”

This is not the first time and verse that the Qur’an refers to polytheists as ‘unjust’ and cruel ones, but in many other verses of the Qur’an ‘disbelief’ has been rendered into ‘injustice’ or ‘pagans and polytheists’ have been introduced as ‘the unjust ones’, because, before anything else, they have done injustice to themselves.

They take off the honourable crown of worship of Allah from their own heads and put the abased shackle of servitude of idols on their necks and, thus, they naturally lose their entire honour, personality, and fate.

In fact, in Hereafter, they receive both the punishment of their own polytheism and the punishment of the denial of Resurrection, and both of these meanings are compiled in the sentence:

“…and We will say unto those who did injustice: ‘Taste you the chastisement of the Fire which you used to deny’.”

Surah As-Saba- Verse 43

وَإِذَا تُتْلَي عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَاتُنَا بَيّـِنَاتٍ قَالُوا مَا هَذَا اِلاَّ رَجُلٌ يُرِيدُ أَن يَصُدَّكُمْ عَمَّا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ ءَابَآؤُكُمْ وَقَالُوا مَا هَذَآ إِلآَّ إِفْكٌ مُفْتَرًي وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِلْحَقّ‌ِ لَمَّا جَآءَهُمْ إِنْ هَذَآ اِلاَّ سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ

43. “And when Our clear signs are recited to them, they say: ‘This is naught but a man who desires to bar you from that your fathers used to worship’; and they say: ‘This (Qur’an) is nothing but a falsehood forged’. And the unbelievers say to the truth, when it has come to them: ‘This is nothing but a manifest sorcery’.”

The Arabic word /bayyinat/ is the plural form of the term /bayyinah/ and it is used for a proof that its truthfulness is manifest and the word /’ifk/ is used for something which has been reversed and its original shape has changed. The verses of Allah are clear, and the denial of disbelievers is because of their obstinacy.

That is why the Qur’an says:

“And when Our clear signs are recited to them, they say: ‘This is naught but a man who desires to bar you from that your fathers used to worship’…”

This is their first reaction in the face of these clear verses that they propounded among this fanatic tribe in order to move their bigotry.

Specially the application of the term /’aba’ukum/ (your fathers) instead of ‘our fathers’ is mostly for this very purpose that they might make those fanatic people understand that the legacy of their ancestors was in danger and they should stand against that man and dismiss him.

The application of the phrase:

“This is naught but a man who desires to”

has been used for the contempt of the Prophet (S) by means of two elements: one is the word /haŏa/ (this), and the other is /rajul/ (a man), in an indefinite form, while all of them knew the Prophet (S) very well and that he had a good background.

This is also notable that the Qur’an qualifies the ‘signs’ by the word ‘clear’, which means the proofs of their legitimacy are accompanied with them and this fact does not need to be explained.

Then the Qur’an refers to their second statement that they expressed in order to nullify the invitation of the holy Prophet (S).

It says:

“…and they say: ‘This (Qur’an) is nothing but a falsehood forged’…”

The Arabic word /’ifk/, as was explained before, means: ‘anything that changes from its original form’. So, the opposite winds in Arabic are called /mu’tafikat/, then it has been used also for any falsehood, accusation, and any incorrect statement. Some others say that the word /’ifk/ is used for great lies.

Although the application of the word /’ifk/ for accusing the Prophet of Islam (S) of falsehood was enough, they emphasized it with the Arabic word /muftara/ without having any document for this claim of theirs.

Finally, their third accusation to the Prophet (S) was the denigration of ‘sorcery’, as the last part of the verse under discussion says:

“…And the unbelievers say to the truth, when it has come to them: ‘This is nothing but a manifest sorcery’.”

It is surprising that this aberrant group used to state these three accusations with the most explicit emphasis which was restriction. Once they said that it was only a manifest sorcery; in another place they said it was but a lie; and, finally, in the third place they said that he only wanted to bar them from the objects of worship of their ancestors.

These three undue charges, of course, do not contrast with each other, although they did not refuse to say contradictory words. Therefore, there is no reason that, according to the statement of some commentators, we attribute each of these accusations to one group of the disbelievers.

This point is also notable that: in the first and second stages the Qur’an has used the word /qalu/ (they said), but in the third stage, instead of that, it has used the sentence: /qalallaŏina kafaru/ (those who disbelieved said), pointing to this fact that all these miseries originate from disbelief, denial of the Truth, and enmity with reality.

Else, how is it possible that, without having any reasoning, one forges all these accusations, one after another, to a man that the proofs of legitimacy are clearly seen from his speech, his deed, and his background? As if, by these three accusations they followed an accurate program in conflicting against the Prophet (S).

On one side, they saw that it was a new religion and had a proper attraction. On the other side, the Prophet’s threats to Divine punishment in this world and the next, willy-nilly, had made some people terrified.

On the third side, the Prophet’s miracles (S) affected on the minds of common people.

They had devised a way in order to nullify each of these three subjects.

So, in opposition to the new religion, they attached to protecting the heritage of the ancestors, while their ancestors were, as the Qur’an says, the extension of verse which says:

“…had no understanding of anything nor were they guided aright.”4

It does not matter that he restrains people from such superstitious customs which are the devise of the foolish ignorant ones, and that against the Prophet’s threats to Divine punishment, they had propounded the subject of mendacity in order to make people calm.

In the face of miracles, they propounded the accusation of ‘sorcery’ so that they could justify it thereby and stop people from embracing it.

But, as we know and history testifies it, too, none of these Satanic temptations did work effectively, and finally people accepted this pure religion in groups.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 44

وَمَآ ءَاتَيْنَاهُم مِن كُتُبٍ يَدْرُسُونَهَا وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَآ اِلَيْهِمْ قَبْلَكَ مِن نَّذِيرٍ

44. “And We had not given them (Arab pagans) any Books which they could study, nor did We send unto them before you any Warner.”

The Holy Qur’an in this verse answers their all vain claims by one sentence.

It says:

“And We had not given them (Arab pagans) any Books which they could study, nor did We send unto them before you any Warner.”

This points to this fact that these claims can be brought forth by the one to whom has already come a prophet and has brought a heavenly Book for him that he compares the content of the new invitation with it and he finds it different with and he belies it.

Once he says this new invitation is untrue. Another time he says that the religion of your ancestors must not be lost. And sometimes he calls the bringer of the new invitation a sorcerer.

But the one, who relies only on his own thought and without any heavenly revelation and without having any knowledge, delivers some vanities, has no right to judge like that.

This point is also understood from this verse that by relying only on the power of his own intellect, one can not pave the difficult path of life successfully, but he must get help from the power of revelation and with the aid of the leadership of the Prophet (S) steps in the way, else there is darkness and he must be afraid of the danger of aberration.

Surah As-Saba- Verse 45

وَكَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَمَا بَلَغُوا مِعْشَارَ مَآ ءَاتَيْنَاهُمْ فَكَذَّبُوا رُسُلِي فَكَيْفَ كَانَ نَكِيرِ

45. “And those before them rejected (the messengers) and these have not yet attained a tenth of what We had given them but they belied My apostles; so (see) how was My punishment (unto them)!”

Relying on their wealth and power, pagans used to deny the Truth, and Allah said that their wealth, comparing that of others, is not a tenth of it.

So, this verse has threatened that disobedient group by some effective and expressive words, and says:

“And those before them rejected (the messengers) and these have not yet attained a tenth of what We had given them…”

But you can see what kind of fate they had!

The verse continues saying:

“…but they belied My apostles; so (see) how was My punishment (unto them)!”

Their ruined cities, destroyed because of the Divine punishment, are near to you alongside your way toward Syria. You may take them as a lesson, and hearken the necessary admonitions from the tongue of these ruins and guess your fate according to them, because neither the way of treatment of Allah (s.w.t.) is changeable nor is your state higher than theirs.

The Arabic word /mi‘šar/ is derived from /‘ušr/ and it is in the same meaning, one tenth.

Some commentators have taken it with the sense of one-hundredth, but many Arabic dictionaries and commentaries have mentioned the first meaning for it. But, however, these kinds of figures do not refer to the number and they are used to show scantiness in comparison with the figures like: seven, seventy, one thousand, and the like which are used to show multiplicity.

Therefore, the concept of the verse is that Allah has vanished some powerful haughty persons that comparing them these people have not even a small part of their power.

Similar to this meaning is said in other different verses of the Qur’an, including Surah Al-’An‘am, No. 6, verse 6 which says:

“Have they not considered how many a generation We destroyed before them, when We had established in the earth (to the extent) that We have not established you, and We sent abundant (water down from) the sky upon them and made the rivers flow beneath them? Yet We destroyed them for their sins, and raised up after them another generation.”

Again, the like of this very meaning is mentioned in Surah Al-Mu’min, No. 40, verse 21; and in Surah Ar-Room, No. 30, verse 9, too.

The Qur’anic word /nakir/ is derived from /’inkar/ in the same sense, and the purpose of denying Allah is the denial of His punishment.

  • 1. Surah Al-Taqabun, No. 64, verse 14
  • 2. Surah Al-’An‘am, No. 6, verse 160
  • 3. Surah Yunus, No. 10, verse 28
  • 4. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2 verse 170

Section 6: The Triumph of Truth

Surah As-Saba- Verse 46

قُلْ اِنَّمَآ أَعِظُكُم بِوَاحِدَةٍ أَن تَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ مَثْنَي وَفُرَادَيثُمَّ تَتَفَكَّرُوا مَا بِصَاحِبِكُم مِن جِنَّةٍ إِنْ هُوَ اِلاَّ نَذِيرٌ لَّكُم بَيْنَ يَدَيْ عَذَابٍ شَدِيدٍ

46. “Say: ‘I exhort you only to one (thing), that rise up for Allah’s sake two by two and one by one, then ponder: there is no madness in your comrade (the Prophet), he is only a Warner to you before a severe chastisement’.”

One of the duties of the Divine prophets (as) is giving admonition to people.

In this verse, and the next verses, Allah again commands the Prophet of Islam (S) that he should invite them to the Truth by means of different proofs, and dissuade them from aberration.

Similar to the contents of the former discussions, the Prophet (S) is addressed for five times and is told to say to them as follows:

“Say: ‘I exhort you only to one (thing), that rise up for Allah’s sake two by two and one by one, then ponder: there is no madness in your comrade (the Prophet), he is only a Warner to you before a severe chastisement’.”

Each of the words and meanings mentioned in this verse points to an important matter that ten points of which are referred to in the following:

1- The sentence ‘I exhort you’ in fact points to this fact that your goodness and interest is considered in this saying, not in any other matter.

2- The application of the Arabic word /wahidah/ (only one thing), specially with the term /’innama/ (only) for emphasis, is a clear indication to this reality that the root of all individual and social improvements is the utilization of intellects.

Whenever the thought of a nation is inactive, it will be invaded by the thieves and robbers of faith, religion, freedom, and independence. But when thoughts become active the way will be closed to those robbers.

3- The application of the Arabic term /qiyam/ here does not mean ‘to stand on one’s two feet’, but it means readiness for performing affairs, because when a person stands on his feet he is almost ready to fulfil different programs of the life.

Therefore, contemplation needs a former preparation which brings a motion and motive into being in man so that he willingly and intentionally begins to contemplate.

4- The application of the word /lillah/ (for the sake of Allah) points to this meaning that standing and preparation must have a divine godly motive, and the contemplation which originates from such a motive is worthy.

In principle, sincerity in affairs, and even in thinking, is the cause of deliverance, happiness, and beatitude.

It is interesting that the faith in Allah has here been taken certain so contemplation for other issues is an indication to this fact that Monotheism is an innate thing which is clear even without thinking.

5- The application of the Qur’anic phrase: /mathna wa furada/ (two by two and one by one) points to this fact that pondering and contemplation must be done far from tumults.

People ought to rise singly or maximum two by two and utilize their thoughts, because contemplation inside a tumult will not be so deep, in particular that the factors of egotism and bigotry in the path of defending from one’s own belief in front of a crowd is rather more evident.

Some other commentators also believe that these two meanings are probably for this purpose that men must learn the ‘individual’ thought and the congregational thought, i.e., with consultation.

A person must both contemplate lonely and enjoy the others’ proper thoughts, because despotism in thought and judgment is often the cause of destruction; and cooperation in thought and struggle for solving the scientific difficulties, where it does not stretch to tumult, has a better effect, and it is perhaps for this reason that the word /mathna/ (two by two) has been preceded by the word /furada/ (one by one).

6- The application of the Qur’anic word /sahibikum/ (your companion), in respect to the holy Prophet (S), has an indication to this fact that he is not an unfamiliar person for you.

He has lived among you for many years, and you have known him for his deposit, perspicacity, truthfulness, and veracity. You have never seen any dark or weak point in his biography. Therefore, justly all the accusations you attribute to him are baseless.

7- The Arabic word /jinnah/ in the sense of madness is originally derived from the word /jinn/ with the sense of ‘cover’, and in view of the fact that a mad man is such that as if his wisdom were covered, this meaning has been used about him.

However, the notable point is in this that it seems to say this fact that how is it possible that an inviter to contemplation to be mad himself? And this fact that he is caller to thinking itself is an indication to his utmost wisdom and perspicacity.

8- The sentence saying:

“…he is only a Warner to you…”

summarizes the messengership of the Prophet of Islam (S) in the subject of ‘warning’, that is, to give warning unto people concerning the responsibilities and the court and retribution of Allah.

It is true that the Prophet has the messengership of glad tiding, too, but that which mostly makes man move is ‘warning’.

So, in some other verses of the Qur’an, ‘giving warning’ has been mentioned as the only duty of the Prophet (S); such as Surah Al-Ahqaf, No. 46, verse 9 which says:

“…and I am not but an open Warner.”

The like of this meaning is recited in Surah Sad, No. 38, verse 65, as well as in other verses, too.

9- The application of the Qur’anic sentence:

“…before a severe chastisement”

points to this meaning that Hereafter is so nigh that as if it is in front of you; and verily, in comparison with the life-time of this world it is so, too. This meaning has also been referred to in a few Islamic narrations.

The holy Prophet (S) said:

“My appointment (to prophecy) and the establishment of Hereafter are like these two; (then he put his fore-finger and his middle finger with together and showed the audience).”1

Thus, how is it possible that our religion like Islam be a means of stupefaction or be resulted by ignorance, while its bringer addresses all human beings, in its best form, and says that they mobilize for enlivening the asleep thoughts, in a quiet environment which is empty of any tumult.

It must be in an environment far from sensual desires, and poisonous atmosphere of propaganda.

It should be far from bigotries and aloof from obstinacies.

You must rise for the sake of Allah, and contemplate only for Him.

This is the only admonition of the Prophet (S) to you, and nothing else.

Is not this laughable that such a religion, that has repeated this very invitation both here and in many other instances, be accused to stupefaction of thoughts?

In particular that he says to you to contemplate not only in solitude and individually, but also you may ponder two by two and with the help of each other. You must hearken to the content of the invitation of the divine prophets, study their reasoning and if they adapt to wisdom, you accept it.

The recent events which happened because of the raise of revolutionary Muslims during our time in different countries against the hellish powers of the East and the West, and made the world dark in the view of the tyrants and threatened the pillars of their power, showed that they had understood this point correctly that the noble religious beliefs work as their severe enemy and is counted a great danger for them; and it also showed what was the aim of these hostile accusations that they attributed to Islam.

It is verily wonderful that in the philosophical analysis of the Western sociologists this subject has been considered certain that there is not any supernatural world, and religion is an artificial phenomena made by man. Then they quarrel upon this matter that: what is its cause? Is its cause the economical affairs, or the men’s fear, or the man’s lack of cognizance, or some spiritual complexes?

But they are not ready to, for a moment, empty their mind of this wrong pre-judgment and think that there is probably another world beyond the world of nature; and that they may contemplate about the clear proofs of Monotheism and the manifest signs of the prophecy of some divine prophets, such as: Muhammad (S).

These people are not unlike to the pagans of the Age of Ignorance, with this difference that the pagans were some illiterate zealous and obstinate people, while these are also zealous and obstinate but are literate, and for this reason, they are more dangerous and more seductive.

It is interesting that the last part of many of the verses of the Qur’an contains invitation to contemplation, or comprehension, or admonition.

Sometimes it says:

“…Verily there is a sign in that for a people who reflect.” 2

And sometimes it says:

“…Certainly there are signs in that for a people who reflect.”3

And sometimes it says:

“…that they may ponder.” 4

And sometimes the same sentence is stated as addressing the believers:

“…Thus does Allah make the signs clear to you, in order that you may ponder?” 5

There are a great deal of such meanings in the Qur’an, like invitation to: understanding, wise, wisdom, and admiring those who use their wisdom, and intensively blaming those who do not apply their thought. This meaning has been referred to in the verse under discussion.6

There are many explanations in the Qur’an about men of knowledge, scientists, and the rank of knowledge that if we try to gather all of them with together and give commentary for them, it will become an independent book by itself.

In this respect it is enough to say that the holy Qur’an has mentioned one of the qualities of hellish people the lack of contemplation and wisdom, where it says about them:

“They will say: ‘Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we should not be among the companions of the Blazing Fire’.”7

In another occurrence, it implies that, in principle, there are some persons who have ears but they do not hear, they have eyes but they do not see, they have mind but they do not ponder.

The verse says:

“Indeed We have created for Hell many jinn and humans; they have hearts with which they do not understand, and they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. They are as cattle, rather they are more astray. These are the heedless ones.”8

Some Traditions Upon the Importance of Contemplation

1- In a tradition Imam Ali-ibn-Musa-ar-Rida (as) says:

“Worship is not by abundant prayer and fasting. Verily the real worship is contemplation in the work of Allah, Almighty and Glorious.”9

2- Another tradition indicates that most of the worship of Abuthar was contemplation.10

3- In a tradition we read that once someone asked Imam Sadiq (as) about the meaning of the statement of the Prophet (S) who said:

“One hour of contemplation is better than one night of worship.”

And how should this contemplation be done?

The Imam (as), in answer to him, said:

“When he passes by a ruin or a (ruined) house (empty of dwellers) he should say to the house:

‘Where have your dwellers gone? What happened to your founders? Why do not you speak?”11

4- Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) says:

“Contemplation invites to goodness and acting to it.”12

Imam Ali (as) said:

“Before making decision do ponder, consult before that you regret, and think deeply before you attack.”13

Surah As-Saba- Verses 47-48

قُلْ مَآ سَأَلْتُكُم مِنْ أَجْرٍ فَهُوَ لَكُمْ إِنْ أَجْرِيَ إِلاَّ عَلَي اللَّهِ وَهُوَ عَلَي كُلّ‌ِ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ

قُلْ إِنَّ رَبّـِي يَقْذِفُ بِالْحَقِ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ

47. “Say: ‘Whatever reward I have asked of you, it is for yourselves; my reward is only with Allah; and He is witness over all things’.”
48. “Say: ‘My Lord hurls the truth (on hearts), the great Knower of the Unseen’.”

The Divine emissaries ought to announce for people that they expect nothing from them; because if a spiritual leader expect some material thing from people, the society may not bear him.

In this holy verse and the following verses Allah orders His Messenger for five times that he should speak with those faithless aberrant people in different ways and shut the door of excuse to them.

In the previous verse, the words were about invitation to contemplation and about the negation of any lack of spiritual equilibrium in the Prophet (S).

In the first verse under discussion the words are about the lack of asking any reward from people for the Messengership.

He commands:

“Say: ‘Whatever reward I have asked of you, it is for yourselves…”
“…my reward is only with Allah…”

This matter points to this fact that whatever a wise person does must naturally have a motive. When my perfect intellect is proved to you and you see that I have no material motive, you should know that the Divine and spiritual motive has made me do it.

In other words, I invited you to ponder. Now you do think and ask your own conscience what has caused me to warn you against the intense punishment of Allah? What benefit do I get from this, and what kind of material profit does it have for me?

In addition, if your pretext for this turning away from the truth is this that you must pay a dear price for it, principally, I have asked no compensate and reward from you.

This very meaning is clearly mentioned in Surah Al-Qalam, No. 68, verse 46 which says:

“Or do you ask from them a reward, so that they are burdened with debt?”

Upon the meaning of the Qur’anic phrase /fa huwa lakum/ (it is for yourselves) there are two commentaries: the first is that it may be an implicit declaration of the lack of asking for any kind of reward absolutely; like that we say:

“Whatever I have wanted from you can be yours.”

Indicating that, I have wanted nothing from you. The witness to this statement is the sentence next to it which says:

“…my reward is only with Allah…”

The second is that: if you see that in some of my words that I have brought from my Lord I have told you:

“…‘No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin.’…”14

The profit of this also returns to you, because the concept of the sentence: ‘The love of those near of kin’ returns to ‘deposit and Wilayah’ which is the continuation of the subject of messengership, that which is also necessary for the continuation of your guidance.

The evidence upon this recent statement is the occasion of revelation narrated here by some commentators.

They have said when the verse saying:

“…say: ‘No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin…”

was revealed, the Prophet (S) told the pagans of Mecca:

Do not annoy my relatives

and they accepted this suggestion, too. But when the Prophet (S) said something bad against their idols, they said that Muhammad did not treat us justly.

From one side he wanted us we would not annoy his relatives, but on the other side, by saying something bad against our gods, he annoys us. It was here that the recently mentioned verse was revealed and told them that whatever the Prophet (S) wanted from them in this regard was for their own benefit, now the pagans may hurt them or not.15

And, at the end of the verse, it says:

“…and He is witness over all things’.”

If I ask my reward from him it is for the sake that He is aware of all my deeds and intentions.

Moreover, He is a witness to my legitimacy, because it is He Who has given me these clear signs and miracles.

And verily He is the best witness, because the one who knows the facts better than all, and can deliver it better than anyone, and there comes out of him nothing but the truth, he is the best witness, and He is Allah.

Regarding to what was said about the legitimacy of the invitation of the Prophet (S), the next verse implicitly says that Qur’an is a reality which is undeniable and it has been cast on the heart of the Prophet (S) from the side of Allah, and it announces:

“Say: ‘My Lord hurls the truth (on hearts), the great Knower of the Unseen’.”

Regarding to the fact that the Arabic word /yaqŏifu/ is derived from /qaŏf/ in the sense of ‘to throw from a far point’ or ‘to throw from a far distance’, there have been delivered different commentaries upon this verse which are consistent with each other.

The first is that: the purpose of ‘hurls the truth’ is casting the content of the heavenly Books and Divine revelation upon the hearts of the Divine prophets and the messengers of Allah, because as the result of being ‘Knower of the Unseen’ He knows the receptive hearts and chooses them and casts the revelation upon them so that it penetrates deeply into them.

Thus, this statement is not unlike to the tradition which says:

“The knowledge is a light that Allah casts it into the heat of the one He pleases.”

The application of ‘Knower of the Unseen’ verifies this.

Some others have said that its purpose is: ‘casting the Truth on the falsehood and knocking down the wrong by the ‘Truth. That is, the Truth has such a power that it removes all the barriers out of its way and none is able to stand against it. So, it is a threat against the opponents that they might not rise against the Qur’an, and know that the legitimacy of the Qur’an will defeat them.

In this case, it is similar to the matter which is mentioned in Surah Al-’Anbiya’, No. 21, verse 18 which says:

“Nay! But We hurl the truth against falsehood so that it breaks out its brain, and behold, falsehood vanishes away…”

This probability has also been suggested that the purpose of the application of /qaŏf/ here is the penetration of the legitimacy of the Qur’an in both near and far points of the world and pointing to this fact that finally this heavenly revelation will be worldly and its light will light everywhere.

Surah As-Saba- Verses 49-50

قُلْ جَآءَ الْحَقُّ وَمَا يُبْدِئُ الْبَاطِلُ وَمَا يُعِيدُ

قُلْ إِن ضَلَلْتُ فَإِنَّمَآ أَضِلُّ عَلَي نَفْسِي وَإِنِ اهْتَدَيْتُ فَبِمَـا يُوحِي اِلَيَّ رَبّـِي اِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ قَرِيبٌ

49. “Say: ‘The Truth has come, and falsehood neither brings forth anything nor does it reproduce (it)’.”
50. “Say: ‘If I astray, I astray only against my own self, and if I am guided aright, it is of what my Lord has revealed unto me. Verily He is All-Hearing, the (Most) Nigh’.”

The Truth defeats the falsehood and is victorious over it.

In this verse, Allah commands:

“Say: ‘The Truth has come, and falsehood neither brings forth anything nor does it reproduce (it)’.”

Thus, falsehood can do nothing against the Truth and it has no function before it: neither a new function which is initiator, nor a repeated function, because its plans are entirely destroyed, and that is just why it cannot cover the light of the truth and wipe out its effect from the memories.

Some commentators have tried to limit the denotation expansions of the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in this verse into some few ones, but it is clear that the concept of those two is very vast.

The Qur’an, the Divine revelation and the whole teachings of Islam are all gathered in the concept of ‘the Truth’, and polytheism, paganism, misguidance, injustice, sin, satanic temptations, and tyrannical primordial innovation all are simply compiled in the meaning of ‘falsehood’.

In fact, this verse is like Surah Al-’Isra’, No. 17, verse 81 which says:

“And say: ‘The truth has come and the falsehood’ has vanished away, verily the ‘falsehood’ is (something) vanishing.”

Question: Why does falsehood still exist after coming the Qur’an and the Prophet of the Truth?

Answer: The logical and scientific sovereignty is different from practical and executive sovereignty. Whatever relates to Allah is sending the Truth, and that which relates to us is action and executing the Truth.

This is what we practically did not perform. Yes, the return of the health of a sick person depends on a correct prescription and consuming its medicine. One of them is the duty of physician and the other is the duty of the sick person.

Then, in order to make clear that whatever he says is from the side of Allah, and that the entire guidance is from Him, and that there happens no mistake in the Divine revelation, in the next verse,

He adds:

“Say: ‘If I astray, I astray only against my own self, and if I am guided aright, it is of what my Lord has revealed unto me…”

That is, if I, too, be left alone to myself, as you claim, I will become astray, because finding the way of the Truth from among the mass of wrong ways is not possible except by His help; and the light of guidance in which there is no aberration, is the light of His revelation.

Then, you may come nigh toward this light, the Divine revelation, in order that you come out from the realm of darkness and arrive into the realm of light.

At the end of the verse, the Qur’an says:

“…Verily He is All-Hearing, the (Most) Nigh’.”

You should not think that He may not hear our words and yours; or He hears them but He is far from us. No, He is both Hearing and Nigh. Therefore, nothing of our speaking and our demands is concealed to Him.

Surah As-Saba- Verses 51-52

وَلَوْ تَرَي اِذْ فَزِعُوا فَلاَ فَوْتَ وَاُخِذُوا مِن مَكَانٍ قَرِيبٍ

وَقَالُوا ءَامَنَّا بِهِ وَأَنَّي لَهُمُ التَّنَاوُشُ مِن مَكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ

51. “And could you see when they shall become terrified, but (then) there shall be no escape and they shall be seized upon a near place (you will surprise),”
52. “And they shall say: ‘We believe in it’, and how shall the attaining (of faith) be possible to them from a distance place?”

The impatience and fear of polytheists and their asking for help do not solve any problem out of their problems for them, because polytheists have no place of refuge.

Regarding to the discussions about the obstinate polytheists mentioned in the former verses, the above verses address the Prophet (S) again and illustrate the circumstance of this group when they are in the grips of the Divine chastisement, showing that how they will think of Faith after that they will be involved in it, but their faith will not be useful for them.

It says:

“And could you see when they shall become terrified, but (then) there shall be no escape and they shall be seized upon a near place (you will surprise),”

The opinions of the commentators are divided upon that to which time this impatience and fear relate.

Some of them believe that this status relates to the worldly chastisement or to the chastisement at the time of their death, while some others say that it relates to the punishment of the Day of Hereafter.

But in the last verse of the verses under discussion, there is a meaning which shows that these verses are all related to this world and the worldly sudden punishment for incorrigible wrong doers, or the punishment of the time of giving up one’s life, because in that verse the Qur’an says:

“And a barrier shall be set between them and that which they desire, as was done unto the likes of them afore-time…”16

This meaning does not adapt to the punishment of the Day of Hereafter, because, on that Day, all will be gathered with together for Reckoning, as Surah Hud, No. 11, verse 103 says:

“…That is a Day (when) mankind are to be gathered to, and that is a Day that shall be witnessed (by all).”

And Surah Al-Waqi‘ah, No. 56, verses 49-50 say:

“Say: ‘Those of old and those of later times,” “All will certainly be gathered together for the meeting appointed for a Day well-known.”

Therefore, the purpose of the sentence: “…they shall be seized upon a near place” is that these faithless and cruel persons not only cannot escape from the realm of the Power of Allah, but also He will seize them from a place which is very near to them.

Were not the Pharaohs buried under the waves of the Nile which was the capital of their honour? Did not Korah sink into the earth with his treasures?

Did not the people of Sheba whose story is referred to in this very Surah afflict from the nearest place, i.e., the same great dam which was in the midst of their city and was the cause of their life and motion? So, Allah afflicts them from the nearest place in order that they see His Power.

A great deal of unjust kings were killed or destroyed by their nearest men; and many of the cruel powerful men received the last stroke from the inside of their homes.

Many Islamic narrations, introduced by the way of the Shi‘ites and the Sunnites, have adapted this verse to the revolt of Sufyani.

(There are a group of people who follow the school of thought of Abu-Sufyan, the continuation of the thought of the Age of Ignorance, who will raise against the adherents of the Truth in the threshold of the reappearance of Mahdi (as) and his army.)

At time when they will be going toward Mecca to occupy it they will afflict the Divine punishment. A severe earth-quake causes that the earth will split asunder and they will fall into it.

This meaning, in fact, is the statement of one of the expansions of the Qur’anic phrase:

“…they shall be seized upon a near place”,

that they shall meet the Divine punishment in a place where on they are standing.

Ibn-’Abbas, Ibn-Mas‘ud, Abu-Hurayrah, Abu-Hathifah, Umm-us-Salamah, and ‘Ayishah, according to what has been mentioned in the books of the Sunnites, have narrated the content of this tradition from the Messenger of Allah (S).17

And many of the commentators of the Shi‘ites have recorded this tradition in their commentary Books, such as: Qummi, Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, and As-Safi. Also a group of the commentators of the Sunnites such as the writer of the Commentary of Ruh-ul-Ma‘ani and Rauh-ul-Bayan, and Qurtubi have narrated it following to the verses under discussion.

The Late ‘Allamah Majlisi has narrated a lot of traditions in this regard in Bihar-ul-’Anwar from Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) and from the Prophet (S) which show that one of the denotation expansions of the verses under discussion is the revolt of Sufyani at the time of reappearance of Hadrat Mahdi (as), when Allah will seize and destroy them from the nearest place to them.18

As it has repeatedly been said, the narrations which are mentioned upon the commentary of the verses of the Qur’an mostly refer to the clear denotation expansions and they are never as a reason for limiting the concepts of them.

In the next verse, their circumstance, when they are involved in the grips of the Divine chastisement, is explained. It implicitly says that they will say they believe in the Qur’an, in its bringer, and in Origin and End.

It says:

“And they shall say: ‘We believe in it’…”
“…and how shall the attaining (of faith) be possible to them from a distance place?”

Yes, when the death and the sudden punishment come, the doors of return will absolutely be closed, and, as if, there will be created a firm dam between man and recompense of the past wrong deeds. For this very reason, expression of Faith at that time is done from a very far distance.

Principally, such a faith which is compulsory, and is because of extraordinary terror of the punishment they see by their own eyes, is not valuable.

Therefore, some other verses of the Qur’an say:

“…and even if they were returned, they would revert to what they were prohibited, and most certainly they are liars.” 19

The Arabic word /tanawuš/ is derived from /nauš/ in the sense of ‘taking something’, and some have taken it in the sense of ‘to take easily’, i.e., how can they reach an aim easily which is very far?

Surah As-Saba- Verses 53-54

وَقَدْ كَفَرُوا بِهِ مِن قَبْلُ وَيَقْذِفُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ مِن مَكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ

وَحِيلَ بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ مَا يَشْتَهُونَ كَمَا فُعِلَ بِاَشْيَاعِهِم مِن قَبْلُ اِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا فِي شَكٍّ مُّرِيبٍ

53. “And indeed they did disbelieve in it before, and aim their conjectures about the unseen from a distant place.”
54. “And a barrier shall be set between them and that which they desire, as was done unto the likes of them afore-time; for they have been in a disquieting doubt.”

Those who were denigrating the Prophet (S) and the Qur’an yesterday, today that they have encountered a straiten circumstance, they believe, but what is its benefit?

In these verses, which are the last verses of Surah Saba, the Qur’an implicitly says: now that every thing has ended, how can they compensate their faults and believe? While before that when they were in the utmost freedom and authority, they disbelieved.

The verse says:

“And indeed they did disbelieve in it before…”

They not only disbelieved, but forged kinds of accusations to the Prophet of Islam (S) and his teachings.

The verse continues sayings:

“…and aim their conjectures about the unseen from a distant place.”

As we said before, the Arabic word /qaŏf/ means ‘to throw something’, and the Qur’anic word /qayb/ means the world of beyond sense, and the Arabic phrase /makanin ba‘id/ means ‘a distant place’, and totally is a tender allusion of a person who judges about the world of supper-nature without having any knowledge, in the same manner that throwing something from a distant place rarely strikes to the target.

This conjecture and judgment of their does not strike the aim either.

Sometimes they called the Prophet (S) ‘sorcerer’, sometimes ‘mad’, and sometimes ‘a liar’.

Sometimes they considered the Qur’an as the production of the thought of a man, and sometimes they entirely denied the Paradise, the Hell, and Hereafter. All of these were a kind of ‘stoning to unseen’, ‘throwing an arrow in darkness’, and ‘throwing something from a distant place’.

Then it adds that finally death separated them from what they desired:

“And a barrier shall be set between them and that which they desire, as was done unto the likes of them afore-time…”

In a painful moment, they see that all their wealth and properties, all their castles and positions, and their desires are separated from them. Those who had clasped to even a penny and could not leave the least material possibilities, how will they be at the moment when they must suddenly say farewell to all of them and shut their eyes and go toward a dark and terrible future?

How beautiful says Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) when he illustrates the moments of death and separation from the bounties of the world through his delightful words in the clearest form. He (as) says:

“…Pangs of death and grief for losing (this world) have surrounded them. Consequently their limbs become languid and their complexion changes. Then death increases its struggle over them.

In one of them, it stands in between him and his power of speaking although he lies among his people, looking with eyes, hearing with his ears, with full wits and intelligence. He then thinks over how he wasted his life and in what (activities) he passed his time.

He recalls the wealth he collected when he had blinded himself in seeking it, and acquired it from fair and foul sources. Now the consequences of collecting it have overtaken him. He gets ready to leave it. It would remain for those who are behind him. They would enjoy it and benefit by it.

It would be an easy acquisition for others but a burden on his back, and the man cannot get rid of it. He would thereupon bite his hands with teeth out of shame for what was disclosed to him about his affairs at the time of his death.

He would dislike what he coveted during the days of his life and would wish that he who envied him on account of it and felt jealous over him for it should have amassed it instead of he himself.”

Finally, in the last sentence of the verse under discussion, it implies that the reason of all these things is that they always spent their life in doubt and, naturally, such fate was waiting for them.

The verse says:

“…for they have been in a disquieting doubt.”

O’ Lord! Set us among those believers who before losing opportunities awaken and try to compensate whatever they had missed.

O’ Lord! Appoint us of those who at the time of affluence begin thanksgiving and do not become proud and neglectful, and that at the time of afflictions they do not complain but they take a lesson.

  • 1. The of Rauh-ul-Ma‘ali, Vol. 22, P. 143
  • 2. Surah An-Nahl, No. 16, verses 11 and 69
  • 3. Surah Ar-Ra‘d, No. 13, verse 3 and Az-Zumar, No. 39, verse 42; Al-Jathiyah, No. 45, verse 13
  • 4. Surah Al-’A‘raf, No. 7, verse 176, and Hashr, verse 21
  • 5. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verses 219 and 266
  • 6. No. 46
  • 7. Surah Al-Mulk, No. 67, verse 10
  • 8. Surah Al-’A‘raf, No. 7, verse 179
  • 9. ’Usul-i-Kafi, Vol. 2, P. 45
  • 10. Safinat-ul-Bihar, Vol. 2, P. 383
  • 11. Ibid
  • 12. Ibid
  • 13. Nasikh-ut-Tawarikh, Vol. 2, P. 142
  • 14. Surah Ash-Shaura, No. 42, verse 23
  • 15. The commentary of Rauh-ul-Bayan, Vol. 7, P. 308
  • 16. The current Surah, verse 54
  • 17. Al-Mizan, Vol. 16, P. 419
  • 18. Bihar-ul-’Anwar, Vol. 52, P. 185
  • 19. Surah Al-’An‘am, No. 6, verse 28

Surah Al-Fatir, Chapter 35

(The Originator)
No. 35 (Revealed at Mecca)
45 Verses in 5 Sections

The Feature of Surah Al-Fatir

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

This Surah has been revealed at Mecca, and contains forty five verses.

‘Fatir’ is one of the attributes of Allah and it means ‘the Originator’. The name of this Surah has been taken from the first verse of the Surah in which Allah has been introduced as ‘the Originator of the heavens and the earth’.

Like other Meccan Suras, the main axis of the discussion in this Surah is about Origin, Resurrection, and struggle against polytheism.

The Virtue of the Surah

Imam Sadiq (as) in a tradition said:

“There are two suras in the Qur’an which are one after another and they begin with /alhamd-u-lillah/ (the praise belongs (only) to Allah): Surah As-Saba, and Surah Al-Fatir. Whoever recites them by night, Allah will protect him in His support, and whoever recites them during the day, there will come to him no affliction (on that day)…”1

  • 1. The of Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Vol. 4, P. 345

Section 1: Humanity Exhorted to Hold Satan as its Enemy

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 1

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ فَاطِرِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ جَاعِلِ الْمَلآئِكَةِ رُسُلاً اُوْلِي أَجْنِحَةٍ مَّثْنَي وَثُلاَثَ وَرُبَاعَ يَزِيدُ فِي الْخَلْقِ مَا يَشَآءُ اِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلي كُلّ‌ِ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

1. “(All) praise belongs to Allah, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, Who appointed the angels messengers having wings two, three, and four. He adds to creation what He pleases; verily Allah is All-Powerful over every thing.”

The Qur’anic word /fatir/ means: ‘Originator’, and the Arabic word /’ajnihah/ in the sense of ‘wing’ is derived from /jinah which allusively means power. In Persian it is also said ‘the wing of so and so is burnt or broken’ which indicates he has no power.

Similar to Suras: Al-Hamd, Saba, and Al-Kahf, this Surah begins with the praise of Allah, too. His praise is for the sake of the creation of the vast world of existence.

Concerning the fact that all bounties and merits of existence originate from His Exalted Being, the Qur’an says:

“(All) praise belongs to Allah, the Originator of the heavens and the earth…”

The Qur’anic word /fatir/ is derived from /futur/ originally means ‘to cleave’ and since the creation of creatures is like cleaving the darkness of nothingness and it is the appearance of the light of existence, this meaning has been used in relation to creation particularly in regarding to the modern science which says that at the beginning the totality of the world of existence had been a single mass which has gradually split and some parts have separated from it.

The application of the word Fatir for the Pure Essence of Allah produces a new and clearer concept.

Yes, we do praise Him for His creative Power, because whatever exists is from His side and none has anything from him except Allah.

And in view of the fact that the management of this world, because of the fact that this world is the world of means, has been given to the angels, the verse immediately speaks about their creation and the considerable power that Allah, the Almighty, has bestowed on them.

It says:

“…Who appointed the angels messengers having wings two, three, and four…”

Then the verse continues saying:

“…He adds to creation what He pleases; verily Allah is All-Powerful over every thing.”

Allah (s.w.t.) adds to the creation whatever His Will and His Wisdom require including wings and other things.

In this regard, the verse is absolute and it contains any kind of adding, irrespective of tallness of the body, moderation in face and bodily power and good intellect, and other merits. Some of the commentators say that the purpose of ‘adding to creation’ is: beautiful face, nice voice, and fair hair.

Note

There are many verses in the Qur’an that are about the angels’ attributes, specialties, missions, and duties. Even the Qur’an has considered the faith in angels in the row of the faith in Allah, prophets, and heavenly Books, and this is evidence upon the fundamental importance of this subject.

The Holy Qur’an says:

“The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. (They) all believe in Allah, His angels, His Books and His messengers…”1

No doubt the angels are among the Unseen things for proving which by these attributes and specialties there is no way save the traditional proofs, and because of belief in Unseen, we must accept them.

On the whole, the Qur’an explains the specialties of the angels as follows:

1- The angels are some wise and intellectual beings of the honourable servants of Allah.

“…but (angels) are (His) honoured servants.”2

2. They obey Allah (s.w.t.) and never commit sin.

“They do not precede Him in speech, and (only) according to His commandment do they act.”3

3. They have been given many important and various duties from the side of Allah:

Some of them bear the ‘Arsh (throne):

“…bear the throne of Your Lord above them.”4

A group of them manage the affair:

“And those who manage the affair.”5

A group of them are the angels of taking souls:

“…until when Our messengers came to them to take them away…”6

A group of them are the recorders of the deeds of men:

“And surely there are Watchers over you,”
“Honourable scribes:”
“They know (and understand) whatever you do.”7

A group of them are the protectors of man from dangers and evil events:

“…and He sends guardians (to watch) over you until when death comes to one of you…” 8

A group of them are ordered to punish the disobedient people:

“And when Our messengers (the angels) came to Lot, he was grieved for them and felt straitened to protect them. He said: ‘This is a distressful day’.”9

A group of them are Divine helpers to the believers in battles:

“O you who believe! Remember Allah’s blessing upon you when hosts came against you, so We sent upon them a strong wind and hosts, that you saw not, and Allah sees what you do.” 10

And, finally, a group of them are the bringers of revelation and heavenly Books from Allah for Divine prophets:

“He sends down the angels with the inspiration of His commandment upon whomever of His servants He wills…”11

4- They are always busy glorifying Allah, as Surah Ash-Shura, No. 42, verse 5 says:

“…and the angels celebrate the Praise of their Lord and seek forgiveness for those who are on the earth…”

Yes, because of talent and potentials of development that man has, he is higher than and superior to the angels so much so that all angels, with no exception, once for the sake of the creation of Adam fell in prostration and Adam became their teacher.12

6- Some angels appear for prophets and even other than the prophets in the form of human beings, as we recite in Surah Maryam that the great angel of Allah came to Mary as a handsome man:

“…Then We sent unto her Our Spirit (Holy Spirit) that presented himself to her a perfect man”.

In other occurrences of the Qur’an we recite that angels appeared in the form of some men before Abraham and Lot13. It is understood from the verses of this Surah that the people of Lot, too, saw them in the form of some handsome me.14

Is the appearance in the form of man a concrete fact? Or is it in the form of presentation and interfering in the perceptive faculty? The outward of the verses of the Qur’an implies to the first meaning, though some great commentators have chosen the second meaning.

7- It is understood from Islamic narrations that the number of angels is so large that they can never be compared with all human beings.

Once Imam Sadiq (as) was asked whether the number of the angels is larger or that of the human beings, he said:

“By Allah in whose hand is my soul! the angels in heavens are more than the (number of) whole atoms of the dust of the earth, and there is no place in heaven but an angel is busy glorifying and praising Him therein.”15

8- They neither eat nor drink nor marry. Imam Sadiq (as) in a tradition said:

“Verily the angels neither eat, nor drink, nor marry, and they do live only by the breeze of the (Divine) ’Arsh!)”16

9- They have neither sleep nor negligence, nor laziness.

Ali (as) in a tradition said:

“There is no cessation between them, nor there is negligence with them, nor there is sin among them… sleep does not overtake them, their wisdom never involves in mistake and forgetfulness, their bodies do not tend to laziness, and they do not lie in the loins of fathers and in the wombs of mothers.”17

10- They have different proper positions and ranks. Some of them are always in the state of ‘bowing’ while some others are in the state of prostration.

The Qur’an, from the tongue of the angels, says:

“There is not (any one) of us but for his is an assigned place.”
“And verily we are they who range ourselves in order;” “And verily we are they who celebrate His glory!”18

Imam Sadiq (as) says:

“Verily Allah has some angels who are (in the state of) bowing until the Day of Hereafter, and verily Allah has some angels who are (always in the state of) prostration until the Day of Hereafter.”19

For more information about the specialties of the angels and their classes, you may refer to the books entitled: As-Sama’-i-wal-‘Alam, Bihar-ul-’Anwar, Abwab-ul-Mala’ikah, Vol. 59, P. 144-326. Also, Nahj-ul-Balaqah, sermons number one and ninety one, Sermon ’Ishbah, sermons 109, and 171.

Having these attributes mentioned for the angels in mind, are they abstract or material?

Certainly, with these specialties, they cannot be formed from the dirty elemental matter, but it does not matter that they have been created from some tender matters, some things beyond this ordinary matter which we are acquainted with.

Of course, we know the angels as those who are introduced by the Qur’an and by the certain Islamic narrations, and we know them as a great part of the high and outstanding beings of Allah, without considering any rank for them save the rank of servitude, and we do not know them as the partner of Allah in creation or worship, because this is absolutely polytheism and infidelity.

By the way, in many phrases of the Torah the angels are introduced as gods, which is blasphemous and this is one of the signs of the distortion in the present Torah.

But the Qur’an is pure and far from these meanings, since it has not considered any rank for them except servitude and worship, and executing the commands of Allah; and, as we said before, it is understood from the different verses of the Qur’an that the rank of a complete man is higher than and superior to the angels.

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 2

مَّا يَفْتَحِ اللَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ مِن رَّحْمَةٍ فَلاَ مُمْسِكَ لَهَا وَمَا يُمْسِكْ فَلاَ مُرْسِلَ لَهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

2. “Whatever mercy Allah opens to men, none can withhold and whatever He withholds, none can loose after Him, and He is the Mighty, the Wise.”

All people throughout the world are enjoying the favours of Allah, the Almighty, the Merciful.

Next to the explanation of the creative power of Allah and the mission of the angels, who are the means of giving favours, this verse refers to His Mercy which is the foundation of the whole world of existence.

It says:

“Whatever mercy Allah opens to men, none can withhold…”
“…and whatever He withholds, none can loose after Him…”
“…and He is the Mighty, the Wise.”

In short, all of the treasures of mercy are with Him, and whomever He sees eligible He gives it to him, wherever His Wisdom requires, He opens its doors; and if all humankind may gather with together in order to open the door He has shut, they will never be able to do. This fact is an important branch of Unity which is the origin of other branches.

Similar to this meaning has also been mentioned in some other verses of the Qur’an, for example it says:

“And if Allah afflicts you with any hurt, none can remove it but Him. And if He intends any good for you, none can repel His favour. He causes it to reach whomsoever of His servants He pleases, and He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.”20

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 3

يَآ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ هَلْ منْ خَالِقٍ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ يَرْزُقُكُم مِنَ السَّمَآءِ وَالأَرْضِ لآ اِلَهَ اِلاَّ هُوَ فَاَنَّي تُؤْفَكُونَ

3. “O’ people! Remember Allah’s favour upon you; is there any creator, apart from Allah, who gives you sustenance from the heaven and the earth? There is no god but He; whence are you then turned away (from the truth)?”

We ought to invite all to contemplation upon the blessings of Allah, because the best way of knowing Allah is to be attentive to His favours.

In this holy verse the Qur’an has pointed to ‘the Unity of worship’ based on ‘Unity of creative power and giving sustenance’.

It says:

“O’ people! Remember Allah’s favour upon you…”

Do think properly! Who and where is the main origin of all these favours, merits, and blessings? Who has given you all these vital possibilities in which you live? Is there any creator, except Allah, who gives you sustenance from the heaven and the earth?

Who sends the life giving light of the sun, the enlivening drops of rain, and the pleasant breezes from heaven toward you? And who brings out the mines and treasures of the earth, the food stuffs, kinds of plants, vegetables, fruits and other blessings from this land for you?

In this regard the verse continues saying:

“…is there any creator, apart from Allah, who gives you sustenance from the heaven and the earth?…”

Now that you know that Allah is the origin of all of these blessings, then do know that there is no object of worship but He, and worshipping is eligible only for His Pure Essence.

It says:

“…There is no god but He; whence are you then turned away (from the truth)?”

The Qur’anic term /tu’fakun/ is derived from /’ifk/ which is used for anything that diverts it from its original state, therefore any hardship which diverts from the Truth is called /’ifk/ and it is from this very point of view that it is applied in the sense of falsehood and slander; but some commentators believe that this word refers to the great lies and slanders.

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 4

وَاِن يُكَذّ‌ِبُوكَ فَقَدْ كُذّ‌ِبَتْ رُسُلٌ مِن قَبْلِكَ وَاِلَي اللَّهِ تُرْجَعُ الأُمُورُ

4. “And if they belie you, apostles before you have been belied, and to Allah are all affairs returned.”

All Divine prophets had some opponents, and rejecting the truth is the permanent style of the pagans. Pagans, of course, do not do anything against ordinary persons, they are opposite of the way and aim. Whoever calls to the truth he will be rejected by them.

This holy verse, at first, teaches the Prophet (S) to be steadfast along his way, and this is the most important lesson for him.

It says:

“And if they belie you, apostles before you have been belied…”

This rejection is not a new thing. Those prophets before you also persevered in this way and they did not stop their activities in their prophecy before when they fulfilled their mission. You, too, must stand firm and perform your prophecy, the rest is up to Allah.

He never ignores your troubles in this way, in the same manner that He does not leave the rejections of the obstinate opponent without retribution. If there were not the Day of Hereafter, there would be the state of anxiety. But, regarding to the existence of that great Court and that the entire deeds of people are recorded and preserved for that Great Day, there is no room for anxiety any more.

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 5

يَآ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ فَلاَ تَغُرَّنَّكُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَلاَ يَغُرَّنَّكُم بِاللَّهِ الْغَرُورُ

5. “O’ people! Verily the promise of Allah is true. So let not the life of the world beguile you, nor let the arch-deceiver (Satan) deceive you about Allah!”

The promises of Allah are true, but the promises of Satan are chaffy and deceptive.

In this verse, the Qur’an states the most important program of men where it says:

“O’ people! Verily the promise of Allah is true…”

Hereafter, Reckoning, Record, the Balance, Retribution, Paradise, and Hell-Fire are all the promises which are not changeable from the side of Allah, the Almighty, the Wise.

With regard to this true promise, let not the life beguile you and let not the deceptive Satan deceive you and make you proud of the forgiveness and mercy of Allah.

The verse says:

“…So let not the life of the world beguile you, nor let the arch-deceiver (Satan) deceive you about Allah!”

Yes, the amusing factors, and deceptive dazzling glares of this world tend to occupy your heart and cause your neglect from that great Divine promise constantly.

The Satans from among jinn and men are always busy beguiling you by various means of deception. They also want to attract your whole thought and attention to them and deviate it from that great promised Day that you have in front of you.

Thus, if their deception and temptation become effective, all your life will be destroyed and the wish of your happiness will fail. So you should be careful of them, too.

The repetition of warning unto people that they should be neither proud of the Satan’s temptations nor of the world is, in fact, an indication to this that the way of penetration of sin in man consists of two ways:

1- The deceptive glories of the world: rank and dignity, wealth and position, and kinds of lusts, (being proud of the Divine forgiveness and mercy, and it is here that, from one side, Satan decorates the dazzling glory of this world in the man’s view and introduces it as a present, attractive, lovely, and valuable thing.

And, on the other side, whenever man decides to control himself, by the remembrance of Hereafter and the Great Court of Allah, against the charm and intense attraction of the world, Satan makes him proud of the vastness of the Divine Mercy and, consequently, he invites him to sin and disobedience.

But man may be neglectful that in the same manner that Allah is ‘the Most Merciful of all merciful’ in the rank of mercy, in the rank of punishment and retribution, He is severe in retribution, too. His Mercy never encourages any one to committing sin, as His Wrath cannot be the cause of despair.

The Qur’anic word /qarur/ here means a being which is extraordinarily deceitful, and the objective meaning of it here may be any deceitful factor, and its purpose may be particularly Satan.

Of course, the second meaning is more fitting with the next verse specially that, in the verses of the Qur’an, ‘deceit and pride’ has repeatedly been attributed to Satan.

Surah Al-Fatir – Verses 6-7

إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوّاً اِنَّمَا يَدْعُواْ حِزْبَهُ لِيَكُونُوا مِنْ أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ

الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ كَبِيرٌ

6. “Verily Satan is your enemy, so you (too) take him (as your) enemy. He only invites his adherents that they may become companions of the Blazing Fire.”
7. “Those who disbelieve, for them shall be a severe chastisement, and as for those who believe and do righteous deeds, for them shall be forgiveness and a great recompense.”

The record of enmity of Satan with humankind is ancient.

Imam Sadiq (as) said:

“If Satan is an enemy, then why do you neglect him?”21

This verse is a warning to all believers in relation to the temptations of Satan which were referred to in the previous verse.

It says:

“Verily Satan is your enemy, so you (too) take him (as your) enemy…”

His enmity began from the first day of the creation of Adam. When Satan was rejected from the presence of Allah as the result of the lack of submission to the command of Allah concerning prostration to Adam, he took an oath that he would be an enemy to Adam and his children for ever, and he even asked Allah a respite and length of lifetime for this action.

Satan persists on his saying and he avail himself of the slightest opportunity for enmity upon man. Does wisdom let you that you do not accept him as an enemy and remain neglectful of him even for a moment? Let alone that you wish to follow Satan’s footsteps, or accept him as a close friend and sincere adviser.

The Qur’an says:

“…Will you then choose him and his seed as your protecting friends instead of Me, when they are enemies to you?…”22

Moreover, he is an enemy who attacks you from every side, as he himself says:

“Then I will certainly come upon them from before them, and from behind them, and from their right and from their left…”23

Specially that he is in a hiding place where he sees man and man does not see him:

“…Surely he sees you: he and his Tribe, from where you do not see them…”24

Of course, this does not hinder your power to defend yourself against his temptations.

There is an interesting meaning in the teachings of Allah to Moses, the son of ‘Imran, as Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) narrates that Allah told Moses:

“I have four recommendations to you in the protection of which you should try:

The first is that during the time you do not see your sins to be forgiven, do not refer to others’ defects.

The second is that while you do not see my treasures have been ended, you might not be sad for your sustenance.

The third is that when you do not see my sovereignty destroyed, you should not be hopeful to anyone except Me.

The fourth is that during the time you do not see Satan as dead, you should not (think to be) secured from his deceit (and plots).”25

However, the enmity of Satan unto the children of Adam is a matter which has been pointed out in many verses of the Qur’an, and he has even been mentioned repeatedly in them as ‘a manifest enemy’:26

We should always avoid such an enemy.

For more emphasis, the Qur’an at the end of the verse, says:

“…He only invites his adherents, that they may become companions of the Blazing Fire.”

The Qur’anic word /hizb/ originally means: ‘a group or society which has an organization and intensity in action’; but it is usually used for any group and society that follow a special program and aim.

The purpose of the Qur’anic phrase ‘Hizb-ush-Shaytan’ is his adherents and those who are on his line.

Of course, Satan can never take anybody as a formal member of his party, and invites him toward Hell.

The members of his party are those who are mentioned in some other verses of the Holy Qur’an and they have the following symptoms:

Those who have put the yoke of Satan’s servitude and friendship on their necks are as such:

“His authority is only over those who befriend him, (following him)…”27

Those who are qualified as follows:

“Satan has gained hold on them, so he makes them forget the remembrance of Allah; they are Satan’s party. Beware! Verily, the party of Satan are the losers.”28

It is interesting that in three occurrences of the verses of the Qur’an ‘The Party of Allah’ has been mentioned, and in three different occurrences ‘The Party of Satan’ is referred to; so that what persons may enrol their names in this party or may be the members of that one.

But, however, it is natural that Satan invites his party to corruption, and sins, to pollutions of lusts, to polytheism, disobedience, cruelty, and, finally, to the Hell-Fire.

In the second verse, the Qur’an refers to the final fate of ‘The Party of Allah’ and the painful end of ‘the Party of Satan’ as follows:

“Those who disbelieve, for them shall be a severe chastisement, and as for those who believe and do righteous deeds, for them shall be forgiveness and a great recompense.”

It is interesting that, concerning those who deserve of Divine punishment, the above verse suffices to the subject of disbelief, while for gaining ‘forgiveness and a great recompense’ it does not suffice to, ‘faith’ alone and adds ‘righteous deed’ to it, because only infidelity by itself causes a person to dwell eternally in Divine punishment, but having faith without good action does not cause man to be saved, so, from one view, faith and good action are necessarily with each other.

At the end of this holy verse, the Qur’an at first mentions forgiveness, and then speaks of ‘great recompense’, for, in fact, at first forgiveness washes the spirit of the believers and then makes them ready to receive ‘a great recompense’. In literary terminology, the first is called ‘dissociation’ and the second is ‘ornamenting’.

  • 1. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 285
  • 2. Surah Al-’Anbiya’, No. 21, verse 26
  • 3. Surah Al-’Anbiya’, No. 21, verse 27
  • 4. Surah Al-Haqqah, No. 69, verse 17
  • 5. Surah Nazi‘at, No. 79, verse 5
  • 6. Surah Al-’A‘raf, No. 7, verse 37
  • 7. ar, No. 82, verses 10-12Sura Al-’Infit
  • 8. Surah Al-’An‘am, No. 6, verse 61
  • 9. Surah Hud, No. 11, verse 77
  • 10. Surah zab, No. 33, verse 9Al-’Ah
  • 11. Surah l, No. 16, verse 2An-Nah
  • 12. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verses 30-34
  • 13. Surah Hud, No. 11, verses 69 and 77
  • 14. Surah Hud, No. 11, verse 78
  • 15. Bihar-ul-’Anwar, Vol. 59, P. 126
  • 16. Bihar-ul-’Anwar, Vol. 59, P. 174
  • 17. Bihar-ul-’Anwar, Vol. 59, P. 175
  • 18. Surah As-Saffat, No. 37, verse 164-166
  • 19. Bihar, Vol. 59, P. 174
  • 20. Surah Yunus, No. 10, verse 107
  • 21. Tafsir-Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, following the verse
  • 22. Surah Al-Kahf, No. 18, verse 50
  • 23. Surah Al-’A‘raf, No. 7, verse 17
  • 24. Ibid, verse 27
  • 25. Safinat-ul-Bihar, Vol. 1, P. 509
  • 26. Al-Baqarah, verses 161, 203; Al-’An‘am, verse 142; ’Al-A‘raf, verse 22; Yusuf, verse 5; Yasin, verse, 60; and Az-Zukhruf, verse 62
  • 27. Surah l, No. 16, verse 100An-Nah
  • 28. Surah Al-Mujadalah, No. 58, verse 19

Section 2: The Triumph of Truth Prophesied

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 8

أَفَمَن زُيّـِنَ لَهُ سُوءُ عَمَلِهِ فَرَءَاهُ حَسَناً فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُضِلُّ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَهْدِي مَن يَشَآءُ فَلاَ تَذْهَبْ نَفْسُكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَسَرَاتٍ اِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ

8. “Is he, then, to whom the evil of his deed is made alluring so that he looks upon it as good, (equal to one who is rightly guided)? Now verily Allah makes err whom He pleases and guides aright whom He pleases, so let not your soul waste away in grief for them; verily Allah is Cognizant of what they do.”

The one who introduces the evil behaviour of a person as a pleasant one, and instead of criticizing it, he flatters him, is counted a Satan, because, in other verse, the Holy Qur’an says:

“…Satan made their deeds fair seeming to them…”1

Imam Kazim (as) says:

“Seeing bad things as good ones is the premise of haughtiness and self-administration.”2

In view of the fact that in the previous verses people were divided into two groups: a believing group and a disbelieving group, or ‘the party of Allah’, who are the enemy of Satan, and ‘the Party of Satan’, who are the followers of Satan, this verse has stated one of the important qualities of these two groups, which, in fact, is the origin of their other evil programs, where it says:

“Is he, then, to whom the evil of his deed is made alluring so that he looks upon it as good, (equal to one who is rightly guided)?…”

In fact, this very subject is the key of all miseries of the misguided and obstinate nations whose ugly deeds seem to them as fair because of the fact that they are consistent with their lusts and their black hearts.

It is also evident that such an obstinate person neither accepts any admonition, nor does he usually show any fitness for listening to criticisms, nor does he agree to change his way. He neither tries to experience and analyse his deeds, nor is he anxious about their sequels.

Further than that when the ugliness and beauty is spoken of, they consider beauties as theirs, and attribute the true believers with the ugly things.

There were many obstinate pagans who when heard the previous verses about the Party of Satan and their painful fate they adapted them with the true believers and counted themselves as an extension of the Party of Allah. And this is a very great calamity.

But, who makes the evil deeds of the wrong doers seem fair in their view: Allah or the carnal desire or Satan?

No doubt the main factor is carnal desire and Satan, but since Allah has created this effect in their deeds it can be attributed to Allah; because when people commit a sin at the beginning that their nature is pure, their conscience is vigilant, and their wisdom works fairly well, they become inconvenient from their action, but the more they repeat it, the more their inconvenience decreases.

Gradually they reach to the stage of indifference, and if they repeat it more, the ugly things seem beautiful in their views, thus far that they imagine it among their honours and virtues, while they have been drowned in the dirty situation of corruption.

It is interesting that when the Holy Qur’an propounds this question, saying:

“Is he, then, to whom the evil of his deed is made alluring so that he looks upon it as good…?”

it does not clearly express the opposite point of it. As if it intends to give a vast respite to the hearer that he illustrates in his mind all the different things that he can consider opposite to it and understands more. It seems it wants to say whether such a person is like the truth seekers.

Is such a person like the pure hearted persons who are always busy examining their own selves?

Is there any hope of felicity for such a person?

Then, the Qur’an refers to the statement of reason of the difference of these two groups. It adds:

“…Now verily Allah makes err whom He pleases and guides aright whom He pleases…”

If the ugly deeds of the first group are decorated in their views, this is the consequence of the Divine mislead. It is He Who has put this property in the repetition of ugly deeds to which the man’s self accustoms itself, he gets the habit of it, and harmonizes with it.

It is He Who gives some penetrating and kin eyes, together with some hearing ears to the pure-hearted believers for understanding the facts as they exactly are.

It is clear that the Divine Will is accompanied with His Wisdom and gives everyone whatever he is eligible to.

So, at the end of the verse, the Qur’an says:

“…so let not your soul waste away in grief for them…”

This meaning is similar to the content of verse 3 in Surah As-Shu‘ara’, No. 26, which says:

“Perhaps you will kill yourself with grief, for that they do not become Believers.”

The application of the Qur’anic word /hasarat/ which is an object for the previous sentence refers to this fact that not only you grieve for them one regret but also with several regrets.

They are the regret of losing the bounty of guidance, the regret of wasting the jewel of humanity, the regret of losing the sense of recognition thus far that they see an ugly thing as beautiful; and, finally, the regret of their encountering the Fire of the Wrath of Allah.

But why does Allah say:

“…So let not your soul waste a way in grief…”?

It is because Allah is cognizant of their deeds and He gives them what they deserve of.

The verse continues saying:

“…verily Allah is Cognizant of what they do.”

The extraordinary sympathy of the Prophet of Islam (S) unto the misguided and deviated ones is completely understood from the tone of the verse. And this is the state of a true Divine leader that, because of the people’s lack of acceptance of the truth and rejecting the means of their happiness, he pains so much that as if he tended to kill himself.

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 9

وَاللَّهُ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ الرّ‌ِيَاحَ فَتُثِيرُ سَحَاباً فَسُقْنَاهُ اِلَي بَلَدٍ مَّيّـِتٍ فَأَحْيَيْنَا بِهِ الأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا كَذَلِكَ النُّشُورُ

9. “And Allah is He who sends the winds that stir up cloud then We drive it to a dead land and there with revive the earth, after it is dead. Even so is the Resurrection.”

In the same manner that by the Will of Allah, the Almighty, the movement of the cloud and winds, and the fall of rain make the dead land alive and plants shoot out of the soil, with His Will a great earthquake will happen and the dead come out of the ground and will be quickened.

Regarding to the discussions, which were mentioned in the previous holy verses about guidance, misguidance, faith, and disbelief, this holy verse talks briefly and clearly about Origin and Resurrections and by an interesting reasoning it proves both of them.

It says:

“And Allah is He who sends the winds that stir up cloud…”
“…then We drive it to a dead land and there with revive the earth, after it is dead…”
“…Even so is the Resurrection.”

The accurate system which runs the movement of winds and then the movement of the pieces of cloud and after that the descent of the life-giving rain drops and, next to it, reviving the dead lands, itself is the best proof and the best evidence upon this fact the Might of a Wise One exists beyond this system and directs it.

It is also necessary to note this point that the Qur’anic phrase /tuthiru/ is derived from /’itharah/ in the sense of ‘distribute and scatter’, and here it refers to the rising of pieces of cloud as the result of the blow of winds over the water of oceans, since the subject of the movement of pieces of cloud has been mentioned in the next sentence, saying:

“…That stir up cloud…”

It is interesting that we recite in a tradition from the Prophet of Islam (S) that once one of his companions asked him:

“O’ Messenger of Allah! How does Allah quickens the dead and what is the sign of it in the world of creation?”

The Prophet (S) said:

“Have you not passed by the land of your tribe while it has been dry and dead, and then you passed by it while it has become green?”

I said:

“Yes, O Messenger of Allah.”

He (S) said:

“In such a way Allah quickens the dead and this is its sign in the creation.”3

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 10

مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْعِزَّةَ فَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ جَمِيعاً اِلَيْهِ يَصْعَدُ الْكَلِمُ الطَّيّـِبُ وَالْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ يَرْفَعُهُ وَالَّذِينَ يَمْكُرُونَ السَّيّـِئَاتِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَكْرُ أُوْلَئِكَ هُوَ يَبُورُ

10. “Whoever desires glory, the glory belongs to Allah wholly to Him do ascend the good words and the righteous deed, He uplifts it; but those who devise evil deeds, for them is a terrible chastisement, and their plot shall come to naught.”

The real glory is with Allah, not with people, and it is found under the light of ‘Faith’ and ‘righteous deed.’

Following to this monotheistic discussion, this verse points to the great error of the pagans who asked their glory from their idols and thought that believing in the Prophet (S) caused the dispersion of people from around them.

They used to say:

“…‘If we follow the guidance with you, we shall be driven out from our land.’…”

The Qur’an says:

“Whoever desires glory, the glory belongs to Allah wholly…”

As Raqib has said in Mufradat, the Arabic word /‘izzat/ originally means that state that makes man resisting and mighty. It is for this reason that the hard and firm lands are called /‘azaz/ in Arabic.

Since it is only the Pure Essence of Allah that is Mighty, else, because of their limitation, all creatures can be defeated. Therefore, the whole glory belongs to Him, and whoever obtains any glory it is from the endless ocean of His blessing.

During the last hours of his lifetime when Imam Hassan (as) was asked by one of his companions named Junadat-ibn-’Abi-Sufyan to advise him, Imam stated some valuable and effective admonitions for him, among which was this:

“If you wish to be ‘honoured’ without having any tribe, and to have reverence without the power of government, then come out from the shade of sin of Allah, and settle in the glory of the obedience of Allah.”

And if we see that some verses of the Qur’an introduce glory, besides Allah, for the Prophet (S) and the believers, (like Surah Munafiqun, No. 63, verse 8 which says:

“…Honour belongs to Allah and His Messenger and to the Believers…”,

it is for the reason that they have earned glory from the rays of the glory of Allah, too.

Then the verse introduces the way of reaching to glory as follows:

“…to Him do ascend the good words and the righteous deed, He uplifts it…”

The Qur’anic phrase: /’al kalimutayyib/ means: ‘pure words’, and the purity of a speech depends on the purity of its content, and the purity of content relates to the concepts which adapt to the pure, brilliant, objective facts.

What reality is higher than the Pure Essence of Allah and His right and just religion, as well as the pure righteous ones who pave the way of its distribution? Therefore, this holy phrase has been rendered into correct belief in Origin, Resurrection and Allah’s religion.

Some of the commentators have rendered the Qur’anic phrase: /’al kalimut tayyib/ into: ‘there is no god but Allah’, - while some others have rendered it into: /subhan-allah-i-wal-hamd-u-lillah-i-wala-’ilaha-’illallah-u-wa-llah-u-’akbar/, and some commentators have rendered it, after mentioning there is no god but Allah, into “Muhammad rasul-ullah wa ‘Aliyyan waliyyullah wa xalifata rasulihi”.

Or in some Islamic narrations the Qur’anic phrases /’al kalimut tayyib/ and /’al-‘amal-us salih/ have been rendered into the love of Ahl-ul-Bayt (as) or the like of it. All of them are of the kind of the statement of clear extensions for that vast concept, and they do not create any limitation in its concept, because every statement which has a pure and excellent content is entirely found in this title.

However, the same Lord Who, according to the previous verse, makes the dead land alive by life-giving drops of rain, furnishes ‘the pure word and righteous deed’, too, and causes them to reach to the neighbourhood of His Mercy.

Then the Qur’an refers to the opposite point of it, where it says:

“…but those who devise evil deeds, for them is a terrible chastisement, and their plot shall come to naught.”

Although the corruptive persons imagine that, by injustice, cruelty, falsehood, and plot, they can obtain a kind of glory for them by means of wealth, property, and power but at the end they shall understand that not only they have provided a chastisement for them, but also their efforts in this way will become naught.

As the Qur’an says, there were some people who behaved like this:

“And they have taken gods besides Allah that they might be for them a glory.”4

And there were some hypocrites who imagined themselves as some honoured ones and the believers as the meaner:

“They say: ‘If we return to Medina, surely the more honourable (element) will expel there from the meaner’…”5

There were some other persons, who considered the deceit of the Pharaohs as their own glory, or they sought honour from sin, injustice, and cruelty, but all of them were defeated. So, it is only faith and righteous deed which go up toward Allah.

In philology the Arabic word /makr/ means any kind of device, but in some instances it is used in the sense of the devices that are accompanied with mischief, and the verse under discussion is among those instances.

The term /sayyi’at/, mentioned in the above verse, refers to all ugly and evil things which occur, irrespective of creedal evils and practical ones, and that some commentators have rendered it into the pagans’ plots for killing or banishing the Prophet of Islam (S) from Mecca is, in fact, one of the expansions of it, not its whole concepts.

The Qur’anic word /yabur/ is derived from /bawar/ and /buran/ which originally means excess dullness of market, and since this kind of dullness of market often causes destruction, this word has been used in the sense of destruction and annihilation.

The whole glory belongs to Allah. Does this state mean something save reaching to the stage of being Almighty? If it is so, where can glory be sought, and what can give glory to man?

By a clear analysis we reach this fact that the reality of glory, at the first degree, is the power which appears in the heart and entity of man and dissuades him from having humility submission, and collusion in relation with disobedient and rebellious persons to the command of Allah. It is a power that with having it one never surrenders to unlawful lusts and he never obeys his low desires.

It is a power which usually elevates him up to the stage of impenetrability before any wealth and force.

Does this power originate from any source save from the Faith in Allah, which is the main source of power and glory?

What was said is only in the stage of thought, belief, soul and spirit; but in the stage of action, glory originates from some deeds that have correct root and an accurate program and style. In other words, glory can be found in ‘righteous deeds’. These two elements give man honour, greatness, might, and glory.

The world loving sorcerers, contemporary to Pharaoh, began their tricks in his name and glory.

“…and said: ‘By Pharaoh’s dignity we shall certainly be the victors.”6

Yet, before long, they failed from the shepherd-stick of Moses (as), but when they came out from the cover of the disgraceful flag of Pharaoh and went under the light of Monotheism and believed, they became so strong and mighty that the most severe threats of Pharaoh did not affect on them.

They eagerly lost their hands, feet, and even souls in the cause of Allah and suffered martyrdom. By this action, they proved that they would surrender neither to money nor to force. They remained mighty and, today, their honourable history contains a great deal of instructive lessons for us.

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 11

وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُم مِن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ ثُمَّ جَعَلَكُمْ أَزْوَاجاً وَمَا تَحْمِلُ مِنْ أُنثَي وَلاَ تَضَعُ اِلاَّ بِعِلْمِهِ وَمَا يُعَمَّرُ مِن مُعَمَّرٍ وَلاَ يُنقَصُ مِنْ عُمُرِهِ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ اِنَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَي اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ

11. “And Allah did create you from dust; then from a sperm-drop, then He made you pairs. And no female conceives nor does she bring forth, save with His knowledge and none is given long life who is given long life neither is any diminished in his life, but it is in a Book. Verily this, for Allah, is easy.”

The Arabic word /mu‘ammar/ is called to the owners of a long-life. The word /‘umr/ is derived from /‘imran/ (flourishing state), and since a person has the ability of flourishing during the time he is alive, the length of his life is called ‘life-time’.

Some Islamic narrations indicate that charity and visiting one’s kin cause the life-time to be long, but ‘breaking off connections with one’s kindred’ and to disgrace parents cause the lifetime to be shortened.7

In this holy verse, the Qur’an states another part of the extroversive and introversive verses which are, on one side, the evidence over the Power of Allah and, on the other side, over His Knowledge.

At first, it points to the creation of man in different stages, when it says:

“And Allah did create you from dust; then from a sperm-drop, then He made you pairs…”

These are three stages among the whole stages of the creation of man: soil, sperm-drop, and the stage of matrimony.

It is certain that man is from dust, not only from this point that all materials that form the man’s body are derived from dust, and that which man takes food from, or wherefrom his sperm-drop originates all are finally found in the materials which are in soil.

Some commentators believe that the concept of ‘the creation of man from dust’ probably refers only to the first creation, while the creation from sperm-drop refers to later stages.

The first one is the stage of men’s compendious creation, (because the entity of all human beings has been extracted in the entity of Adam); and the second is the expansive stages which are separate from each other.

However, the stage of person’s matrimony is the stage of continuation of generation and man’s reproduction.

Then it refers to the fourth and the fifth stage of man’s life, viz., the subject of ‘pregnancy’ of mothers and their delivery.

It says:

“…And no female conceives nor does she bring forth, save with His knowledge…”

Yes, the subject of pregnancy, and the complicated and very amazing changes of foetus, then reaching the stage of delivery and the wonderful variations that, at that sensitive moment, come forth to mothers, from one side, and to the foetus, on the other side, are so tender and accurate that is not possible save by relying on the infinite knowledge of Allah.

It is done in a manner that if the governing regulation over it changes, even very slightly, the program of delivery or delivery itself will face with disturbance and confusion, and it will come to destruction.

Each of these five stages of man’s life is more wonderful than the other.

The inanimate dust is in one side and the wise, alert, and originative man, the alive, is on the other side. How different they are!

The sperm-drop which has been formed of a few drops of fetid water is on one end, and the handsome, beautiful, and talented man equipped with different senses and organs is on the other end.

Next to this stage, there is the subject of variety of man into two genders: male and female.

Regarding to the abundant differences in the body and soul, there will come some physiological problems into being each of which takes its own separate way from the very beginning of the combination of semen and everyone of them goes toward the duty which has been given to them and thus they develop.

The next subject is the responsibility of mother which is the acceptance and bearing of this burden, its protection, its nutrition and its growth, which has attracted the thoughts of great scientists to them, and they confess that it is one of the most surprising subjects of the world of existence.

The last stage of this part of foetus is the stage of birth. It is a revolutionary stage and completely dangerous, that is accompanied with a great deal of wonders.

What factors command foetus to come out from the mother’s womb?

How is the complete harmony arranged between this command and readiness of the limbs of the mother for its execution.

How can foetus totally change the situation to which it has been accustomed for nine months just in a moment: ceases its relation with the mother, uses the fresh air, the way of his food from umbilical cord is suddenly closed, the new way, i.e. the mouth begins to work, the dark environment of mother is left and the bright environment full of light is used, and it resists against all these changes and it immediately adapts itself to them?

Are these things not the best signs to the endless power and knowledge of Allah? It is a complete injustice that man judges so vainly about his own creation.

Then the Qur’an refers to the sixth and seventh stages of this wonderful program.

It says:

“…and none is given long life who is given long life neither is any diminished in his life, but it is in a Book…”

What factors are effective in the length of man’s life? What factors fight against the continuation of his life? And in short, what factors must gather and help each other in order that man can continue his living for one hundred years or less and more! And, finally, what factors cause the difference in man’s life-time?

All of these things have also some complicated and exact computations of which none is aware but Allah; and whatever we know in these fields today comparing with what we do not know is very little and worthless.

The Arabic word /mu‘ammar/ is derived from the word /‘umr/ which is originally derived from /‘imarat/ in the sense of ‘habitation’, and the fact that the length of man’s living is called lifetime is for the sake that the habitation of his body is in this time.

This word, /mu‘ammar/, means a person who has a long life. So, the Qur’an concludes the verse with this sentence, saying:

“…Verily this, for Allah, is easy.”

The creation of this wonderful being from ‘dust’ and the initiation of the creation of a complete man from ‘sperm-drop’, and also the whole facts concerning ‘genetic state’, conjugality, pregnancy, delivery, increase and decrease in life-time, whether from the point of power and from the point of knowledge, and computation of all of them is entirely easy and simple for Him.

These are as a small part of the extroversive verses that, from one side, they relate and acquaint us with the world of existence, and, on the other side, they are counted as some valid proofs upon the possibility of Resurrection.

He Who was able to create a being from ‘dust’ and from sperm-drop for the first time, is He not able to revive men?

And does He, Who is aware of the minutes of these laws, have any difficulty in protecting and reckoning of the deeds of people in the scene of Resurrection?

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 12

وَمَا يَسْتَوِي الْبَحْرَانِ هَذَا عَذْبٌ فُرَاتٌ سَآئِغٌ شَرَابُهُ وَهَذَا مِلْحٌ أُجَاجٌ وَمِن كُلٍّ تَأْكُلُونَ لَحْماً طَرِيّاً وَتَسْتَخْرِجُونَ حِلْيَةً تَلْبَسُونَهَا وَتَرَي الْفُلْكَ فِيهِ مَوَاخِرَ لِتَبْتَغُوا مِن فَضْلِهِ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

12. “And not are the two seas alike, the one (is) palatable, and pleasant to drink, and the other, salt and bitter. Yet from the both you eat fresh flesh; and you extract ornaments which you wear, and you see the ships cleave through it that you may seek of His bounty and that you may be thankful.”

The Divine bounties are from His grace and we are not His creditors, but we may gain something because of our effort and endeavour, so noting to blessings is a premise to the growth of the essence of thanksgiving.

Another part of the extroversive verses, which are the signs of His greatness and power in the creation of the seas, blessings, and their benefits are referred to in this verse.

It says:

“And not are the two seas alike, the one (is) palatable, and pleasant to drink, and the other, salt and bitter…”

The Arabic word /‘aŏb/, as Raqib says in Mufradat, means: pure and cold, while Lisan-ul-‘Arab has rendered it into: ‘Pure water’.

Although, on the first day, the water of these two seas has been sent down from the sky in the form of some sweet and wholesome drops of rain, and both of them originate from one source, but they have appeared in two completely different forms and with various benefits.

It is also wonderful that:

“…Yet from the both you eat fresh flesh…”
“…and you extract ornaments which you wear…”

Moreover, you can take enjoy both of them, not only for transportation but also for carrying your goods, as the verse says:

“…and you see the ships cleave through it that you may seek of His bounty and that you may be thankful.”

Some Points

1- As the Lisan-ul-‘Arab says, the Arabic word /furat/ is the water which is in utmost purity and wholesomeness.

The Qur’anic word /sa’iq/ means the water that because of its wholesomeness is easily swallowed, contrast to the word /milh/ (a salt water) and the word /’ujaj/ (a bitter water) that as if this kind of water hurts the throat and bars the way of the gullet.

2- Some commentators believe that this holy verse is an example to show the lack of equality between believers and disbelievers, but the verses before and after it all talk about the signs of creation.

Even the last part of this very verse is the evidence over this fact that this sentence, too, discusses about the secrets of Unity, and it is an indication to the variety of the seas and their different effects, and their common benefits.

3- In this verse three benefits out of abundant benefits of the seas have been mentioned: foodstuff, means of ornament, and the subject of transportation.

We know that the seas are one of the important sources of man’s foodstuff, and every year millions of tons of fresh flesh are taken from them without that man bears a considerable trouble for it. The system of creation has arranged a proper program in this regard so that men can enjoy this vast blessing, the spread Divine food table, without the least task.

Some different means of ornament, such as: pearl, shell, pearls and coral are drawn out from the seas. The emphasis of the Qur’an on this subject is for the sake that, contrary to the beasts, the man’s self has different dimensions one of which is the sense of beauty.

This sense is the origin of the appearance of some artistic, literary and taste issues, the satiation of which correctly and far from any kind of excess and defect, and immoderation and extravagance pleases the self and gives man mirth and calmness, and makes him ready for the heavy affairs of life.

As for the subject of transportation, which is one of the most important fillers of human civilization and the man’s social life, regarding the fact that the seas (and oceans) have covered the main part of the surface of the earth and, that they relate to each other, they can do man the best favour in this regard.

The amount of the goods that are transported on the seas and the number of the passengers who are removed from one place to another on them is so large that they cannot be compared with any other means of vehicle. Sometimes it happens that one ship can carry by it the loads as many as the tens of thousand cars.

4- Of course, the benefits of the seas are not limited to what was said in the above, and the Qur’an does not tend to limit them in these three aspects. The formation of pieces of cloud, different medicines, oil, the means of clothing, the fertilizing materials for the uncultivated lands, having effect on winds, and so on are counted as other favours of the seas.

5- The emphasis of the Holy Qur’an on ‘fresh flesh’ is an expressive indication to the nutrition benefited from such fleshes comparing the harms of the stale fleshes, the conserves, and the like.

6- There arises a question here: the seas with salt water are spread all over the globe, where is the sea with sweet water?

In answer it must be said: the seas and lakes with sweet water are not so few in the earth, like the lakes of sweet water in the United States and the others. Moreover, some great streams are sometimes called sea, like the great river of Nile which in Arabic has been called /bahr/ (sea) in the story of Moses.8

Moreover, the advance of the water of the great streams into the seas, regarding the fact that it goes through the salty water therein and does not mix with it for a length of time, itself forms some seas of sweet water in different places.

7- The Qur’anic sentence:

‘That you may seek of His bounty’

contains a vast meaning which includes any economical activities which are done by means of sea-ways.

The last sentence of the verse:

That you may be thankful’,

has been mentioned for awakening the sense of thanksgiving in men and it is a means for theism and theology.

Be Careful of the Following Points:

1- The spiritual elements effective in prolongation and, shortening the life-time: In relation to the discussion stated in the abovementioned verses about the increase and decrease of lifetime by the command of Allah, paying attention to the Islamic narrations concerning the prolonging and shortening of lifetime, a group of Qur’anic commentators have explained some matters in this regard.

There are, of course, some natural factors effective in increasing and decreasing the length of lifetime most of which have been known to human beings yet, like correct feeding free from excess and defect, being constantly busy working and moving, avoidance from any kind of narcotic materials and dangerous addictions and alcoholic liquors, avoiding the permanent excitements, and having a strong Faith which can give man peace and power in the difficulties of life and living.

But, besides these things, there are some factors that their outward relation with the question of prolongation of life-time is not so clear to us, while some Islamic narrations have properly emphasized on it.

As a few examples, pay attention to the following narrations:

1- The holy Prophet (S) says:

“Verily alms-giving (in the way of Allah) and union of kindred cause houses to be furnished and prolong the life-times’.”9

2- He (S) also has said:

“Whoever desires his sustenance to be increased and his death to be postponed should perform union of kindred.”

3- Concerning some of sins, like fornication in particular, Islamic narrations indicate that such sins decrease the length of lifetime.

Among them is the famous tradition of the Prophet (S) in which he has said:

“O’ Muslims! Do avoid fornication which has six sequels: Three of them are in this world and three of them are in Hereafter. Those three which are in the world are as these: it causes the worth (and light) of man to be vanished, brings indigence, and decreases the length of lifetime…”10

4- Imam Baqir (as) says:

“Kindness and hidden alms-giving remove poverty and increase life-time, and prevent seventy kinds of evil death.”11

There are also some indications in Islamic narrations concerning some other sins, such as injustice, and sins in absolute.

Some of the commentators who have not been able to make difference between the ‘appointed death’ and the ‘sudden death’ have attacked to these traditions and believe that they are contradictory to the texts of the Qur’an which consider the limit of the length of man’s lifetime fixed and unchangeable.12

Explanation: No Doubt Man Has Two Kinds of ‘End of Life’

The appointed term, which is the end of potential ability of man’s body for continuity of entity, and by its coming everything will end by the command of Allah.

The sudden death that, with the change of circumstances, the length of life-time changes. For example, someone commits suicide while if he had not committed this great sin, he would have been alive for longer years.

Or as the result of using the alcoholic liquors and some narcotic materials, and excess sensuality, he loses his bodily ability in a short time, but if these things were absent in his life, he could live for many longer years.

These are some vivid things which are experimental and comprehensible for every body and none can deny them.

Concerning the unexpected events, there are also some affairs which are naturally related to the sudden death; this is not deniable, too.

Therefore, if a great deal of Islamic narrations indicate that alms-giving in the cause of Allah, or union of kindred cause the length of lifetime to be prolonged and pests to be removed, in fact, they depend on these very factors.

And if we do not separate these two kinds of the term of death from each other, the comprehension of many of the issues in relation with fore-ordination and destiny, and the effect of effort and endeavour in men’s lives will remain insolvable.

This discussion can be made clear by a simple example. For instance, a person provides a new car that, according to the different preparations used in the structure of it, the car can work for example for twenty years, but upon condition that it would be treated well and the necessary protections should be applied. In this case the appointed term of this car is twenty years, not more than that.

But if the necessary protections are not applied, and the car is given to some unaware experienced and careless persons to ride and they use it beyond its power and capacity, and every day they take it to work in rough roads, the life-time of the car may decrease to half or less than that. This is that very ‘sudden death’ of it.

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 13

يُولِجُ الَّيْلَ فِي النَّهَارِ وَيُولِجُ النَّهَارَ فِي الَّيْلِ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ كُلٌّ يَجْرِي لأَجَلٍ مُسَمًّي ذَلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّكُمْ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَالَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ مَا يَمْلِكُونَ مِن قِطْمِيرٍ

13. “He merges the night into the day and He merges the day into the night, and He has made subservient (to you) the sun and the moon, each of them running to an appointed time; such is Allah, your Lord; to Him belongs the kingdom, and those whom you call upon, apart from Him, possess not (so much as) the skin of a date-stone.”

The change of the length of the night and the day, or the gradual transfer of each of them to another is not casual, but the nature is subjected to Allah.

Again in this verse, the Qur’an points to another part of the signs of Monotheism and the infinite blessings of Allah so that, by giving awareness to human beings, it invokes their sense of thanksgiving alongside the recognition of the real object of worship and dissuades them from any partnership and superstitious worshipping.

It says:

“He merges the night into the day and He merges the day into the night…”

The Qur’anic term /yulij/ is derived from /’ilaj/ in the sense of ‘to merge’. It may refer to one of the following two meanings, or both of them: the gradual increase and decrease of the nights and the days during the year which cause the appearance of different seasons with all their effects and blessings.

The gradual decrease from the night and adding to the day, and vice versa, is because of the existence of twilight, which hinders the dangers of sudden transfer from darkness to light and from light to darkness. It gives human beings enough preparation to quietly and slowly transfer from one to another without any danger.

Then the verse refers to the subject of making the sun and the moon subservient, and says:

“…and He has made subservient (to you) the sun and the moon…”

What a subservient is higher than this that all of them run in the way of man’s interests and that they are the source of kinds of favours in the man’s life. The cloud, the wind, the moon, the sun, and the universe are all busy in order that men can provide his life well and he would not be in negligence, and he should always remember the main real origin of these merits.13

But in the meantime that the sun and the moon in full regularity rotate in their orbits and they are good servants for humankind, the system which governs over them is not eternal, and even these great stars, with their much light, will finally become dark and will be destroyed.

So, next to the subject of making them subservient, the Holy Qur’an adds:

“…each of them running to an appointed time…”

And according to Surah Takwir, No. 81, verses 1-2, which say:

“When the sun (with its spacious light) is folded up.”
“And when the stars fall, losing their lustre.”

All of them turn to darkness and will become extinguished.

Some other commentators have delivered here another commentary for the Qur’anic term /’ajal-im-musamma/ (the appointed term). It refers to the rotations of the sun and the moon. The first prolongs one year and the second ends in one month.14

But, regarding to the different usages of this meaning in numerous verses of the Qur’an which have been applied in the sense of ‘the end of life’, it becomes clear that the said commentary is not correct, and its commentary is that very first one, i.e., the end of the lifetime of the sun and the moon.15

Then, as a conclusion upon this monastic discussion, the verse continues saying:

“…such is Allah, your Lord…”

Allah is the Lord Who has assigned the system of light and darkness and the accurate movements of the sun and the moon with all their favours.

The verse continues again saying:

“…to Him belongs the kingdom, and those whom you call upon, apart from Him, possess not (so much as) the skin of a date-stone.”

The Qur’anic term /qitmir/, as Raqib says in Mufradat, is the sign which exists at the back of the date-stone (a small gap), and according to Tabarsi in Majma‘-ul-Bayan, and Qurtabi in his commentary book, it is a thin white skin which has covered over the date-stone thoroughly. In any case, it indirectly refers to some very small and worthless beings.

Yes, these idols are neither the source of any benefit, and harm, nor do they defend you nor of themselves, nor do they have any authority and possession even over the skin of a dater-stone. Yet, why do you, the unwise, worship them and demand them to solve your problems?

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 14

إِن تَدْعُوهُمْ لاَ يَسْمَعُوا دُعَآءَكُمْ وَلَوْ سَمِعُوا مَا اسْتَجَابُوا لَكُمْ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَكْفُرُونَ بِشِرْكِكُمْ وَلاَ يُنَبّـِئُكَ مِثْلُ خَبِيرٍ

14. “If you call upon them, they will not hear your prayer; and even if they heard, they would not answer you; and on the Day of judgment they will deny your partnership; and none can inform you like (the One Who is) aware.”

On the Day of Hereafter, the naughty objects of worship will repudiate and hate the polytheists. They will say to them that you polytheists did not use to worship them (the idols) but you were the servants of your own conjectures and your low desires.

Man reaches a point where he leaves out the invitation of Allah, the Hearer, the Responder,

“…Call on Me; I will answer your (prayer)…”

and goes to some dumb, blind and useless solid bodies.

That is why addressing the polytheists, the Holy Qur’an says:

“If you call upon them, they will not hear your prayer…”

They do not answer you, because they are but some pieces of stone and wood which are inanimate bodies and have no sense. And supposing they were able to hear your moan, invocation, and persistence they would never have the ability of answering to your needs.

The verse continues saying:

“…and even if they heard, they would not answer you…”

It became clear that they do not own any benefit and harm even as much as the thin skin of a date-stone in the world of existence, yet how do you expect them to do something for you or to solve a problem?

Moreover, this fact is higher than that:

“…and on the Day of judgment they will deny your partnership…”

They will say: O’ Lord! these did not worship us, but they, in fact, worshipped their own carnal desire.

This witness is done by non-verbal language that whoever looks at idols he hears this statement from them by the ear of his conscience. Or the same Lord Who on that Day makes the man’s limbs, organs, and skin of the body speak, will order them to talk and they will bear witness that these deviated polytheists used to worship, in fact, their own conjectures and carnal desires.

This holy verse is similar to the content of verse 28 in Surah Yunus, No. 10 which says:

“And the Day We shall muster them all, then We shall say to those who associated others (with Us): ‘Get you to your place! You and your associates’, then We shall set a space between them, and their associates shall say: ‘It was not us (indeed) that you used to worship!’ ”

For more emphasis, at the end of the verse the Holy Qur’an says:

“…and none can inform you like (the One Who is) aware.”

A Notable Point:

Through the commentary of the previous verses, it became clear that the purpose of the sentence:

“If you call upon them, they will not hear your prayer…”,

mentioned in the verse under discussion, is idols which have neither a hearing ear to listen to the demands of their worshippers, nor if they had, they would not be able to solve any problem, nor do they possess anything and any authority.

But in order to cease the communication of the Muslims with the Prophet of Islam (S) and the great leaders by the way of seeking supplicating and intercession, some outwardly Muslims have taken hold of this verse and the like of it and have said that all those whom you call besides Allah, even the prophets, do not hear your word and if they heard they would not answer.

Or they have seized Surah Al-’A‘raf, No. 7, verse 197 which says:

“And those whom you call upon other than Him can neither help you, nor help themselves.”,

and the like.

Thus, they negate any supplicating to the souls of prophets and the Imams and count it contrast to Monotheism.

While a simple glance over the verses which are before these verses and after them are sufficient to perceive this fact that the purpose of the verse is idols, because the words in all these verses are about idols; the words are about the pieces of stone and wood that they considered as the partners of Allah. And they believed in a power for them in the face of the Power of Allah.

But who is the one who does not know that the Divine prophets and the friends of Allah are like the martyrs in the cause of Allah about whose life the Qur’an explicitly speaks, saying that they have the purgatory life, and we know that in the purgatory life the activity of the soul is vaster and more expanded, because it has been delivered from the worldly needs and material curtains.

This is from one side.

On the other side, no doubt, supplicating to these pure souls does not mean that we have considered any independence for them against Allah, but the aim is that we get help from their honour and their position with Allah, and that we seek help from the reverence and greatness they have in the Court of Allah, and this is the exact Unity and servitude of Allah.

Therefore, as the Qur’an explicitly says in the subject of intercession, they intercede only by the leave and command of Allah:

“…Who is it that can intercede with Him save by His leave?…”16

Also, supplicating to them is from this way and of this kind.

Who can reject the clear verses of supplicating? Or may he imagine this act as polytheism and stands against the Qur’an and claims Monotheism? They are but some proud ignorant persons who bring these subjects forth to create separation between Muslims.

We study in the biography of the companions of the Prophet (S) that for their difficulties they used to go beside the tomb of the Prophet (S) and resorted and sought help from his pure soul in the Presence of God.

As Biyhaqi, the famous traditionist of the Sunnites, Narrates that there happened a draught and famine at the time of the second Kalif.

Then Bilal, accompanied with a group of Companions of the holy Prophet (S), went beside the Prophet’s grave, and said such:

“O’ Messenger of Allah! Seek rain for your Ummah… for verily they have annihilated.”17

Some of the commentators of the Sunnites, like ’Alusi, have narrated many traditions in this regard.

After a discussion and strictness concerning these traditions, at last he says:

“Next to all these statements, I do not see any hinder in resorting to Allah by the rank of the Prophet (S) whether at the time of his life and after his death.”

Then he also adds the names of some others who have a rank with Allah and confesses to the admissibility of resorting to them.18

  • 1. Surah Al-’An‘am, No. 8, verse 48
  • 2. Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, P. 313
  • 3. The book by Qurtabi, Vol. 8, P. 5409
  • 4. Surah Maryam, No. 19, verse 81
  • 5. Surah Al-Munafiqun, No. 63, verse 8
  • 6. Surah Ash-Shu‘ara, No. 26, verse 44
  • 7. Mizan-ul-Hikmah, the word ‘life-time’
  • 8. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 50, Surah As-Shu‘ara, No. 26, verse 63, and Surah Al-’A‘raf, No. 70, verse 38
  • 9. The of Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Vol. 4, PP. 354-355
  • 10. Ibid
  • 11. ar,Safinat-ul-Bih Vol. 2, P. 23
  • 12. ’Alusi, the , Vol. 22, P. 164
  • 13. Concerning the subservient of the sun and the moon we had a rather detailed explanation mentioned in the commentary of Surah Ar-Ra‘d, No. 13, verse 2, and in the commentary of Surah ’Ibrahim, No. 14, verse 33
  • 14. The of Rauh-ul-Bayan, and Abul-Futuh-i-Razi
  • 15. In Surah Fatir, verse 45, you may refer to this relation, Surah An-Nahl, verse 61, Surah Az-Zumar, verse 43, Surah An-Nur, verse 4, and Surah Qafir, verse 67
  • 16. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 255
  • 17. ulsKitab-ut-Taqas ’ila Haghighat-it-Tawassul.
  • 18.

Section 3: Every People on Earth Had a Warner

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 15

يَآ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَنتُمُ الْفُقَرَآءُ اِلَي اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ

15. “O people! You are the needy unto Allah; and Allah (alone) is He Who is the Self-Sufficient, the Praised.”

None is there to be free from want from Allah (s.w.t.), and all beings are needy, but since Man disobeys, he should be controlled.

Following to the emphasized invitation to Monotheism and struggle against all kinds of polytheism and idolatry mentioned in the previous verses, this misconception may appear in some individuals that what is the need of Allah to our worshipping that He persists on it and emphasizes it so much?

Therefore, in order to state this fact that it is we who are in need of his worship, and He is not in need of our worship, in this verse the Qur’an says:

“O people! You are the needy unto Allah; and Allah (alone) is He Who is the Self-Sufficient, the Praised.”

What a worthy and important statement it is that makes clear our situation in the scene of the world of existence before the One Who has given us our existence! The verse opens many puzzles in this regard and answers to a great deal of questions.

Yes, the One really free from need and Self-Subsistent in the whole world of existence is He Who is Allah. All human beings, or it is better to say all beings are thoroughly needy and they are dependant to that Independent Existence that if their relation is ceased from Him, even for a moment, they are nothing.

Therefore, none should bow and submit to other than Him, and demand other than Him to provide his needs, because they all are in need of Him, too. Even dignifying the Divine prophets and leaders of the Truth is for the sake that they are His messengers and His deputies and they absolutely have no independence from themselves.

Thus He is both Self-Sufficient and Praised, that is, in the meantime that He is Self-Sufficient, He is so generous and kind that He is worthy of any sort of praise and gratitude; and also, in the mid-time that He is gracious and kind to the servants, He is Self-Sufficient of all.

Being attentive to this fact produces two positive effects on the believing persons. From one side, it causes them to come down from the horse of pride, selfishness, and disobedience, and warns them that they have not anything from themselves to boast for it, and whatever they have they are the deposits of Allah with them.

And on the other side, they should not ask their needs from other than Allah, and they do not put the yoke of servitude of other than Him on their necks. They must deliver themselves from all possessions so that all others become servants of theirs.

By this kind of concept and theology, whatever the true believers see in the world they know them from His source, and no means may cause them to be neglectful from the cause of causes.

Surah Al-Fatir – Verses 16-17

إِن يَشَأْ يُذْهِبْكُمْ وَيَأْتِ بِخَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ

وَمَا ذَلِكَ عَلَي اللَّهِ بِعَزِيزٍ

16. “If He pleases, He will take you off and bring a new generation,”
17. “And this is not hard to Allah.”

The statement of the power of Allah is a way for inviting people and threatening the disobedient ones. Allah is powerful in creation and His Power has no limit.

For laying an emphasis on this very need and indigence of men, this verse says:

“If He pleases, He will take you off and bring a new generation,”

Therefore, He is not in need of you and your worship, but it is you who are in need of Him.

He neither needs your worshipping nor is he afraid of your sins, and in the meantime, His vast mercy has encompassed all of you. Neither the destruction of the entire world decreases anything from His greatness, nor has the creation of this world added anything to the rank of His sovereignty.

In the second verse, the Qur’an, as a repeated emphasis, says:

“And this is not hard to Allah.”

Yes, whatever He intends He commands it to be, and immediately it also comes into being. Not only for the creation of Man, but also this statement is true about the whole world of existence.

However, if Allah (s.w.t.) commands you concerning Faith, obedience, and worship, all are for your own benefit, and the advantages and blessings of them all return to you.

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 18

وَلاَ تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَي وَإِن تَدْعُ مُثْقَلَةٌ اِلَي حِمْلِهَا لاَ يُحْمَلْ مِنْهُ شَيْءٌ وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَي اِنَّمَا تُنذِرُ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْن َرَبَّهُم بِالْغَيْبِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلاَةَ وَمَن تَزَكَّي فَاِنَّمَا يَتَزَكَّي لِنَفْسِهِ وَاِلَي اللَّهِ الْمَصِيرُ

18. “And no one laden bears the burden of another; and if one heavy-burdened calls for its load to be carried, not a thing of it will be carried, even if he be a near kinsman. You warn only those who fear their Lord in secret and keep up prayer. And whoever purifies (himself), he only purifies for his own self. And Unto Allah (alone) is the destination (of all).”

Based on justice, everyone must carry his own burden.

The verse says:

“And no one laden bears the burden of another…”

In the Hereafter, the Record and Reckoning of everybody is separate from those of others.

In the Qur’an we recite that, in order to deceive others, a group of disbelievers say:

“…follow our path and we will certainly bear (the burdens of) your sins’…”1

This verse is an answer to them.

Question: Taking this verse which says in Hereafter the burden of everybody is on one’s own shoulder and it does not harm others, can we say we should leave alone the sinners, because they themselves will carry the burden of their own sins and it does not relate to us?

Answer: This verse does not justify the silence before unlawful things, because undue silence itself is a sin upon those who commit this action. Our duty is to bid the right and forbid the wrong, but if they did not follow it, their sin would not be upon us.

The Qur’anic term /wizr/ means the heaviness and a load. The Arabic word /muthqalah/ means the weight of a load. The word /himl/ refers to the load on the back while /haml/ refers to the load in the womb.2

This Qur’anic sentence:

“And no one laden bears the burden of another…”

is one of the basic fundamentals in Islamic convictions. In fact, on one side, it relates to the justice of Allah that He counts everybody pledged in his own action, rewards his righteous efforts and endeavours, and gives retribution for his sins.

On the other side, it points to the severity of the divine punishment on the Day of Hereafter when nobody agrees to carry the burden of the sin of another person, even though he had been fond of him extraordinarily.

Being attentive to this meaning has a great effect in man’s self-improvement, because whoever is careful of himself he never tends to corruption with the pretext that his entourage or his environment is polluted. He does not count the pollution of the environment as a justification for his own pollution, because everybody carries his own burden.

On the other side, it gives man such a conception and understanding that the reckoning of Allah with societies is not a total and a lamp reckoning, but everybody will be reckoned separately and independently.

That is, if he has done his duty both in relation to his purification and struggle against corruption, there will be no fear and horror on him, although all humankind totally, except him, are polluted with infidelity, polytheism, injustice, and sins.

Principally, no training program will be effective without attracting the attentions to this basic principle.

This very subject is referred to in the second sentence in another form.

It says:

“…and if one heavy-burdened calls for its load to be carried, not a thing of it will be carried, even if he be a near kinsman…”

An Islamic tradition indicates that on the Day of Hereafter there will be brought a mother and a son both of whom have a heavy burden of sins. The mother asks her son to carry a part of her burden of sin and responsibility instead of those labours she tolerated in the world for him. The son will say to the mother to get distance from him, because he is involved in difficulty more than her.3

Finally, in the third sentence this fact is revealed that the warnings of the Prophet (S) affect only in the receptive hearts, where it says:

“…You warn only those who fear their Lord in secret and keep up prayer…”

The warnings of Divine prophets and Allah’s friends will not have any effect unless there is the fear of Allah in the heart, and the one does not feel the observance of a spiritual power over him inwardly and outwardly, and by establishing the daily prayers which survives his heart and causes him to remember Allah, he does not help this inner feeling.

At the beginning of an action, when a person has chosen no faith and has not believed, if he has not a truth-seeking character and does not feel responsibility before the cognition of the facts, he will not hearken to the invitation of prophets, and consequently he will not contemplate over the Divine signs in the world of existence.

In the fourth sentence, the verse returns again to this fact that Allah is self-sufficient from all. It adds:

“…And whoever purifies (himself), he only purifies for his own self…”

And, at last, in the fifth and the last sentence, it warns that if the good doers and the evil doers do not reach the result of their deeds in this world, it does not matter because the return of all is to Him.

It says:

“…And Unto Allah (alone) is the destination (of all).”

Surah Al-Fatir – Verses 19-23

وَمَا يَسْتَوِي الأَعْمَي وَالْبَصِيرُ

وَلاَ الظُّلُمَاتُ وَلاَ النُّورُ

وَلاَ الظّـِلُّ وَلاَ الْحَرُورُ

وَمَا يَسْتَوِي الأَحْيَآءُ وَلاَ الأَمْوَاتُ اِنَّ اللَّهَ يُسْمِعُ مَن يَشَآءُ وَمَا أَنتَ بِمُسْمِعٍ مَّن فِي الْقُبُورِ

اِنْ أَنتَ اِلاَّ نَذِيرٌ

19. “And the blind and the seeing are not alike,”
20. “Nor the darkness and the light,”
21. “Nor the shade and the heat”
22. “Neither are the living and the dead alike. Verily Allah makes whom He pleases hear, and you cannot make those hear who are in the graves.”
23. “You are naught but a Warner.”

The believers are some heartily and hale persons who enjoy the real life. Faith gives life to both an individual and society, while disbelief is a factor of spiritual death for both an individual and the society.

Pursuing the discussions about faith and disbelief in the former holy verses, the verses under discussion mention four interesting parables concerning the believers and disbelievers in which the signs of faith and infidelity have been illustrated in the most manifest form.

In the first parable, a disbeliever and a believer are likened to a blind person and a seeing person.

It says:

“And the blind and the seeing are not alike,”

Faith is both light and light giver; and it gives light and cognition to man’s whole life in his world-view, belief, action. But infidelity is darkness in which there is neither a correct insight for the whole world of existence, nor a proper conviction, nor a righteous deed.

In this regard, the Qur’an in Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 257 expressively says:

“Allah is the guardian of those who believe. He brings them out of the darkness into the light; and (as to) those who disbelieve, their guardians are Shaitans who take them out of the light into the darkness; they are the inmates of the fire, in it they shall abide.”

Then, it implies that since only the seeing-eye is not enough there must be a light, too, so that, by the help of these two factors, the things can be observed.

The next holy verse concerning the equality of them, says:

“Nor the darkness and the light,”

The reason of it is that darkness is the cause of mislead. It is the factor of dangers, but light is the source of life, living, movement, growth, and development. If light were destroyed, all sources of energy in the world would be wiped out and death would dominate the whole world of matter. Such is the light of faith in the world of spirituality which is the cause of growth, development and life.

In the third sentence, it continues saying:

“Nor the shade and the heat”

A believer continues to live in peace, security and safety under the shade of his faith, but a disbeliever, because of his infidelity, is in inconvenience and pain. Raqib in Mufradat says:

“The word /harur/ means: ‘a hot and blazing wind’, (a drying and fatal wind)”.

Zamakhshary in Kashshaf says:

“The term /sumum/ is called to some harmful and fatal winds which blow during the day, while the Arabic word /harur/ is called to the same winds whether they blow during the day or at might.”

Anyhow, how different is this wind and the cold cheerful shade which gives rest to both soul and body?

And finally through the last similitude in the fourth verse, the Qur’an says:

“Neither are the living and the dead alike…”

The believers are the living ones who usually have effort, endeavour, movement and growth. They are somehow like plants which have leaves, flowers, and fruits; but disbelievers are like pieces of dry wood which have neither greenness nor flower, nor shade, and they are not useful but for burning.

Then, at the end of the verse, the Qur’an adds:

“…Verily Allah makes whom He pleases hear…”

Allah makes him hear in order that he hears the invitation of the truth heartily and answers the call of the callers of Monotheism.

But the more your cry is loud, and your words are pleasant, and the more your statement is expressive, the dead do not perceive anything from it; and those who have lost their human soul as the result of continuously committing sins and being drowned in bigotry, enmity, injustice, and corruption, certainly are not ready to accept your invitation.

The verse says:

“…and you cannot make those hear who are in the graves.”

In the fifth verse Allah implicitly says that the Prophet (S) should not be worried and anxious about the lack of faith in them, his duty was to convey it and to warn them.

The verse says:

“You are naught but a Warner.”

Two Points

The first is the effects of belief and disbelief:

We know that the Qur’an considers no importance for the geographical, racial, and classical boundaries which separate groups of human beings from each other. The only boundary in its view is the boundary of ‘Faith’ and ‘blasphemy’. Thus, all of the human societies are divided into two groups: faithful and unfaithful.

For introducing ‘Faith’, in many occurrences, the Qur’an has likened it to ‘light’, and ‘disbelief’ into ‘darkness’, and this is the most expressive simile of the Qur’an for introducing belief and disbelief.4

Faith is a kind of perceiving and inner insight. It is a sort of knowledge and cognizance combined with heartily conviction together with movement. It is a kind of belief which has penetrated into the depth of man’s soul and becomes the source of instructive activities.

But disbelief is ignorance, unawareness, and the lack of certainty, the result of which is the absence of feeling of responsibility and the existence of Satanic destructive actions.

The second:

Do the dead not perceive any reality?

Regarding to what has been said in the abovementioned verses, there appear two questions: the first is that how does the Qur’an say:

“…you cannot make those hear who are in the graves”?

or that a famous tradition indicates that on the day of the battle of Badr, the Prophet (S) ordered that the dead bodies of the pagans would be cast into a well at the end of the war.

Then he called them and said:

“Have you found truth what Allah and His Messenger promised? But I found truth what Allah promised me.”

Here ‘Umar protested and said:

“O’ Messenger of Allah! How do you speak with some bodies in which there is no soul?”

The Prophet (S) said:

“You do not hear what I say better than that they do, except that they are not able to answer anything.”5

Or that one of the rites of a dead is that the right beliefs are indoctrinated him (her). How does this action adapt to the verses under discussion?

With regard to one point, the answer to this question can be made clear. This is a fact that the verses under discussion speak about the lack of understanding in the dead in ordinary natural case, while the tradition of the Battle of Badr is different from the indoctrination of a dead.

It relates to some extraordinary conditions by which Allah (s.w.t.) transfers the sayings of His Messenger (S) extraordinarily to the ears of those dead bodies.

In other words, the communication of man in the purgatory world with this world will be ceased, except in the cases that Allah commands, and then this communication occurs. That is why, in ordinary circumstances we cannot communicate with the dead.

Another Question is: If our sound does not reach the dead, what is the meaning of our greeting to the Prophet (S) and to the Imams (as), resorting to them, visiting of their tombs, and asking for intercession from them before Allah?

Some extravagant Muslims, who are generally known for their thought conventionalism also relying on this very imagination, without considering other verses of the Qur’an, and without having any veneration for the abundant traditions narrated from the Prophet (S), have negated the subject of resorting and, as they think, they have nullified it.

Surah Al-Fatir – Verses 24-26

اِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَاكَ بِالْحَقّ‌ِ بَشِيراً وَنَذِيراً وَاِن مِنْ اُمَّةٍ إِلاَّ خَلاَ فِيهَا نَذِيرٌ

وَإِن يُكَذّ‌ِبُوكَ فَقَدْ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ جَآءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُم بِالْبَيّـِنَاتِ وَبِالزُّبُرِ وَبِالْكِتَابِ الْمُنِيرِ

ثُمَّ أَخَذْتُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَكَيْفَ كَانَ نَكِيرِ

24. “Verily We sent you with truth as a bearer of glad-tidings and a Warner, and there was not a people but a Warner having gone in them (in the past).”
25. “And if they belie you, so indeed did belie those before them; their apostles had come unto them with clear proofs, and with scriptures, and with the enlightening Book.”
26. “Then did I seize those who disbelieved, so how (severe) was My punishment?”

Allah is true, and He has appointed the training system by the means of prophets in the basis of the truth, too.

So, in this verse, He says:

“Verily We sent you with truth as a bearer of glad-tidings and a Warner, and there was not a people but a Warner having gone in them (in the past).”

O’ Prophet! When you fulfil your duty in ‘glad tidings’ and ‘warning’ it is enough for you. You may convey them your call and give them the glad tidings of the Divine rewards and warn them of the retributions of Allah, whether they accept them or continue their stubbornness and enmity.

The Arabic word /xala/, here, is derived from /xala’a/ which originally means a place wherein is not any curtain. This term is used for both time and place, and since time is always passing the ‘past times’ is called /’azminah xaliyah/, because there is no trace from them at the present time and the world is empty of them.

Therefore the Qur’anic sentence saying:

“…and there was not a people but a Warner having gone in them (in the past)”

means that every nation of the ancient nations had had a Warner in the past.

This point is also noteworthy that according to the above verse all nations had a Divine Warner, viz., a Divine prophet, though some commentators have taken it with a vaster meaning which envelops the scholars, and learned ones who warn people, too.

Of course, this statement does not mean that in any town and city a prophet has been appointed, but when the invitation of Divine prophets and their words reach peoples it is enough, because the Qur’an says:

“…a Warner having gone in them”

(Fiha) and it does not say /minha/ (among them).

In the next verse, it implies that if they reject you it is not wonderful and, you should not be surprised and sorry, because the people who were before them rejected their prophets, too, while their messengers came to them with clear miracles, books containing admonitions, and the heavenly Books introducing ordinances, and enlightening laws to them.

It says:

“And if they belie you, so indeed did belie those before them; their apostles had come unto them with clear proofs, and with scriptures, and with the enlightening Book.”

It is not only you who, with having miracles and heavenly Book, have been rejected by this ignorant group of people; the former prophets had encountered this difficulty, too. So you should not be sad and do stand firm in your path, and do know that those who must accept the truth will accept it.

What is the difference between ‘Bayyinat’, ‘Zubur’, and ‘The enlightening Book’?

1- The Qur’anic term /bayyinat/ means some clear proofs and miracles which prove the legitimacy of the Prophet (S).

2- The purpose of Zubur is that part of the prophets’ Books which contained of only some admonitions, advices, and supplications, (like supplications of David)6

3- The Qur’anic phrase /kitab-il-Munir/ refers to that group of heavenly books which contain some ordinances, laws, and different social and individual instructions, such as Turat, Bible, and Qur’an.

In the last verse of the verses under discussion, the Qur’an, referring to the painful retribution of this group, implicitly says: It was not such that they could remain safe from the Divine retribution and would continue constantly their rejections, but Allah seized the disbelievers and punished them severely.

The verse says:

“Then did I seize those who disbelieved…”

The Arabic word /’axaŏtu/ is derived from /’axaŏa/ with the sense of ‘to take’, but its application in such cases indirectly means ‘punishment’, because taking and capturing someone is the beginning of punishment.

However, Allah caused some pagans to be faced with a tempest, another group with a destructive hurricane, and some people were destroyed by the heavenly Blast, lightning, and earthquake.

Then at the end of the verse, for emphasis and stating the greatness and severity of their punishment, the Qur’an says:

“…so how (severe) was My punishment?”

In any case, on one side, these verses console and encourage all those who pave the path of Allah, particularly the true leaders of any nation in any time that they should not be despaired of the murmurs of the opponents and know that the Divine invitations have always been faced with the intensive oppositions from the side of aberrant zealous ones and cruel profit seekers, and in the meantime, there have been some sympathetic pure lovers who sacrificed their souls helping the claimers of the path of the truth.

And, on the other side, it is a threat against these aberrant opponents that they should know that they cannot continue their disgraceful and destructive deeds forever. Soon or late, the divine punishments will encompass them.

  • 1. Surah Al-‘Ankabut, No. 29, verse 12
  • 2. Mufradat by Ragib
  • 3. The Commentary of Abul-Futuh, Qurtubi, and Rauh-ul-Bayan
  • 4. You may refer to Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 257, Surah Al-Ma’idah, verses 15 and 16, Ibrahim, verses 1 and 5, Al-Hadid, verse 9, Surah Az-Zumar, verse 22, and At-Talaq, verse 11
  • 5. Tafsir-i-Rauh-ul-Bayan, -Bukhari, Vol. 5, P. 97ihunder the verse, and Sah
  • 6. The Arabic word /zubur/ is the plural form of /zabur/ which means the books the scriptures of which have been written to be permanent (like writings on the stone, and the likes that here it indicates to the firmness of their matters.

Section 4: The Inheritors of the Qur’an

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 27

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ ثَمَرَاتٍ مُخْتَلِفاً أَلْوَانُهَا وَمِنَ الْجِبَالِ جُدَدٌ بِيضٌ وَحُمْرٌ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهَا وَغَرَابِيبُ سُودٌ

27. “Have you not seen that Allah sends down water from the sky, then We bring forth with it fruits of various colours, and in the mountains are streaks, white and red, of divers hues and (others) intensely black?”

By means of the colourless water and from the earth of one colour, Allah creates fruits of different colours.

In these verses, the Qur’an returns again to the subject of Monotheism, and shows a new section of the book of creation to human beings. This is a severe answer to the obstinate polytheists and the headstrong rejecters of Monotheism.

In this beautiful section from this large and great book of creation, the variety of soulless beings, and the different beautiful features of life in the world of plants, animals and human beings have been regarded to, that how He has brought hundred thousands of colours into being from the colourless water, and He has created some completely diverse beings from some defined and limited elements each of which is fairly more beautiful than the other.

This skilful painter, by a single pen and ink, has produced kinds of pictures which attract the attention of their visitors and charm them.

At first, it says:

“Have you not seen that Allah sends down water from the sky, then We bring forth with it fruits of various colours…”

This verse begins with a confessional interrogation and, besides moving the curiosity sense of men, points to this fact that this matter is so clear and vivid that whoever looks at it he seas that from the same water and land, one of which is colourless and the other has only one colour, there have been created these abundant different colours in various fruits, beautiful flowers, leaves and blossoms with diverse features.

The Qur’anic word /’alwan/ (colours) may refer to the apparent colours of fruits that even in a single fruit, like an apple, there exist different colours, let alone the diverse fruits.

And it may refer to the differences in their different tastes, constructions, and properties, so much so that even in one kind of fruit you can find various sorts. For example, there are, perhaps, fifty kinds of grapes and more than seventy kinds of date.

In the continuation of the verse, the Qur’an has referred to the variety of roads which exist in the mountains and these mountains cause the ways to be recognized from each other.

It says:

“…and in the mountains are streaks, white and red, of divers hues and (others) intensely black?”

From one side, this difference of colours gives a special beauty to the mountains and, on the other side, it is a cause for finding ways not being lost in the crooked roads of the mountains, and, ultimately, it is a proof upon the Power of Allah over everything.

The Arabic word /judad/ is the plural form of /juddah/ in the sense of ‘road and way’.

The Arabic word /bayd mar/ is the plural form /umur/ is the plural form of /’ah/ which means ‘white’; and /hof /’abyad in the sense of ‘red’.

The Qur’anic term /qarabib/ is the plural form of /qirbib/ which means ‘black in full’, and that in Arabic ‘crow’ is called /qurab/ is also from this quality. Therefore, the mention of the word /sud/, which is also the plural form of /’aswad/, next to it is for an emphasis upon the ‘intensely black’ colour seen in some mountain roads.

However, the construction of the mountains with diverse and completely different colours, from one side, and the mountain roads with various colours, on the other side, are some other signs for the Greatness, Power, and Wisdom of Allah which every moment appear in a form and every time decorate themselves in another clothing.

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 28

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ وَالدَّوَآبّ‌ِ وَالأَنْعَامِ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ كَذَلِكَ إِنَّمَا يَخْشَي اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَآءُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ غَفُورٌ

28. “And of the people and beasts and cattle are of various colours likewise; verily only those of His servants fear Allah who have knowledge, verily Allah is Mighty, Forgiving.”

The difference of the colours of human beings and animals is one of the signs of the Power and Greatness of Allah.

Having some knowledge and awareness over the secrets of existence is a preparation for reaching the position of fearing Allah.

This verse refers to the variety of colours in men and in other living animals.

It says:

“And of the people and beasts and cattle are of various colours likewise…”

Yes, although human beings are all from the same parents, they have diverse races and colours completely different.

Some of them are as white as snow while some others are as black as ink. Even in one race, there is also difference of colours.

If we look carefully of the twin children who have passed the different stages of foetus with together and have been in the bosom of each other from the beginning, they are not sometimes completely in the same form from the point of colour, though they are from one father and one mother and their life-germ has combined in a single moment, and they have fed from one kind of food.

Besides the outward features, their innate colours, their characters, their attributes and qualities, their talents and tastes may be completely different so that they all with together form a single unit with the whole needs.

In the world of moving creatures, there are many thousands kinds of insects, birds, creepers, sea-animals, different desert wild animals that, with all their specialties and wonders of creations, each of them is a sign of the Power and Greatness and Knowledge of the Creator.

After stating these signs of Unity, finally, as a conclusion, it implies that the matter is like that.

And, since enjoying from these great verses of creation is for the wise and knowledgeable servants more than others, at the end of the verse, it says:

“…verily only those of His servants fear Allah who have knowledge…”

Yes, from among all of Allah servants only scholars are those who gain the high rank of ‘fear’, that is, the fear of responsibility accompanied with perception of the greatness of the position of their Lord. This state of ‘Fear’ is the result of contemplation on the extroversive and introversive verses of the Qur’an, and knowing the Knowledge and Power of Allah and the aim of His creation.

Raqib in Mufradat says:

“The word /xašyat/ means a ‘fear’ mixed with veneration, and it is often used in some instances which originate from knowledge and awareness of something.”

Therefore, in the Qur’an, this rank is counted specialized to the learned ones.

We have repeatedly said that this is a fear because of the responsibilities that one has in front of Allah: a fear that he may not fulfil his own duties well. Furthermore, in principle, perceiving the greatness, that greatness which is unlimited and infinite, for a being that is limited, such as man, causes fear.

Upon the commentary of this verse, Imam Sadiq (as) in a tradition said:

“The purpose is that there are some scholars whose deeds are consistent with their words. The one whose saying and deed are not consistent is not knowledgeable.”1

Another tradition announces:

“The most learned one of you is the one whose fear to Allah is the most.”2

Shortly speaking, from the view and logic of the Qur’an, the ‘learned ones’ are those scholars and authorities that the light of knowledge has made their whole selves enlightened with the light of Allah, faith, and piety, and they intensively feel responsibility unto their duties and they fulfil them more than the others.

At the end of the above verse, as a short reasoning upon what was said, the Qur’an says:

“…verily Allah is Mighty, Forgiving.”

His Veneration and endless Power is the origin of the fear of the learned ones; and His Forgiveness, which is the sign of His unlimited Mercy, is the cause of their ‘hope’. Thus, these two holy names keep the servants of Allah between ‘fear’ and ‘hope’. And we know that the constant movement toward development is not possible without being qualified with these two characters.

Surah Al-Fatir – Verses 29-30

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلاَةَ وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرّاً وَعَلاَنِيَةً يَرْجُونَ تِجَارَةً لَن تَبُورَ

لِيُوَفّـِيَهُمْ اُجُورَهُمْ وَيَزِيدَهُم مِن فَضْلِهِ إِنَّهُ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ

29. “Verily, those who recite the Book of Allah and establish prayer and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided them, secretly and openly, hope for a merchandise which will never perish,”
30. “That He will pay them their rewards fully and increase of His grace unto them; verily He is Forgiving, Thankful (of their good deeds).”

The words ‘prayer’ and ‘Book’ (the Qur’an) have repeatedly been mentioned beside each other in the Qur’an, and also prayer must be accompanied with helping the deprived.

In view of the fact that the former verses referred to the state of fear of the learned ones from Allah, the verse under discussion points to their state of ‘hope’, because, as we said, it is only by means of these two wings that man can fly high in the sky of felicity and pave the path of spiritual development.

At first, the verse says:

“Verily, those who recite the Book of Allah and establish prayer and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided them, secretly and openly, hope for a merchandise which will never perish,”

It is evident that the act of recitation here is not a mere reciting without contemplation and action.

It is a reading which is the origin of thought, a ponder which is the source of righteous deed, an action which, on one side, joins man to Allah the manifestation of which is prayer, and, on the other side, it relates him to the servants of Allah the manifestation of which is spending in charity, expending from whatever Allah has bestowed on a person, including: wealth, knowledge, authority, powerful thought, character, experiences, and, briefly speaking, from all merits that Allah has given him.

Sometimes this expending is done secretly (/sirran/) to be the sign of a complete sincerity, and sometimes it is done openly (/‘alaniyah/) in order to encourage others and to be the veneration of rituals.

Yes, the knowledge which has such an effect is the source of hope.

Regarding the contents of this verse and the verse before it we conclude that the true Muslim scholars have the following characteristics.

From the spiritual point of view, their hearts are full of fear of Allah mixed with His greatness.

From the point of speech, their tongues are busy reciting the verses of Allah.

From the point of the spiritual and bodily action, they establish prayer and worship Him.

And, finally, from the point of aim, the horizon of their thought is so high that they have left the fleeting material world aside and look for only the Divine beneficial merchandise which will neither be dull nor does it vanish.

This point is also noteworthy that the Arabic word /tabur/, mentioned in this noble verse, means destruction. Thus, ‘the merchandise free of destruction’ is a trade which has neither slackness nor degeneration.

An interesting tradition indicates that once a man came to the Messenger of Allah (S) and said:

“Why do I not like death?”

The Prophet (S) said:

“Do you have any property?”

He answered:

“Yes”.

He (S) told him:

“Send it before you.”

The man answered:

“I cannot.”

The Prophet (S) said:

“Verily the heart of a person is with his property. If he sends it before himself, he likes to join it; and if he keeps it (for later), he likes to be with it.”3

This tradition, in fact, has illustrated the whole content of the above mentioned verse, because it implies that they establish prayer and spend in charity in the path of Allah (s.w.t.) and are willingly hopeful of the next world, because they have sent some goodness before themselves and they are willing to reach it.

The next holy verse states the aim of the true believers as follows.

They do these righteous deeds:

“That He will pay them their rewards fully and increase of His grace unto them; verily He is Forgiving, Thankful (of their good deeds).”

This sentence, indeed, points to their ultimate sincerity that, in their actions, they look for nothing but the Divine reward. Whatever they desire they ask it from Him, and they do nothing for hypocrisy, showing, admiration, and glorification of this one or that one, because the most important thing in righteous deeds is the sincere intention.

The application of the Arabic term /’ujur/ (the plural form of /’ajr/) in the sense of ‘wage’ is, in fact, a grace from the side of Allah, as if He sees the servants as His creditors because of their righteous deeds, while whatever the servants have belongs to Him; even the strength for performing the righteous deeds has also been given from His side.

A more affectionate meaning is the sentence which says:

“…and increase of His grace unto them…”.

This gives them glad tidings that besides the ordinary reward, which itself sometimes is hundreds or thousands fold of the deed, He increases it of His grace. And He bestows on them, from some merits which no mind can bear and none in this world is able to consider.

However, the sentence which says:

“…verily He is Forgiving, Thankful…”

shows that the first grace of Allah unto them is that very forgiveness of their sins and the faults they might have had, since the most anxiety of a person is the anxiety about this issue.

After having peace of mind from this point of view, He involves them in His thankfulness, i.e., He thanks for their good deeds and endows on them the best reward.

It is much to be regretful that a free wise man refuses such a merchandise and refers to other than it; and worse than that is that he sells the goods of his self for naught.

Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) says:

“Is there no free man who can leave this chewed morsel (of the world) to those who like it? Certainly, the only price for your selves is Paradise. Therefore, do not sell your selves except for it.”4

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 31

وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ هُوَ الْحَقُّ مُصَدّ‌ِقاً لّـِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ اِنَّ اللَّهَ بِعِبَادِهِ لَخَبِيرٌ بَصِيرٌ

31. “And that which We have revealed to you of the Book, it is the truth verifying that which is before it, verily Allah, about His servants, is Aware, Seeing.”

In Qur’an there is not any false word, or any superstitious idle and illogical statement; and even the scale of legitimacy of any word or book is the Qur’an:

“It is the truth.”

Since the words in former verses were about the believers who recite the verses of the Book of Allah and actually apply them, the verse under discussion speaks about this heavenly Book and the evidence upon its legitimacy as well as the true bearers of the Book.

It completes the discussion mentioned in the former verses about Monotheism by this discussion which is about prophecy.

It says:

“And that which We have revealed to you of the Book, it is the truth verifying that which is before it, verily Allah, about His servants, is Aware, Seeing.”

Regarding this fact that ‘truth’ is in the sense of something which adapts the reality and is consistent with it, this meaning is a reasoning for proving this idea that this heavenly Book has been sent down from the side of Allah, because the more we are careful in its content the more we find it consistent with realities.

There is no contradiction in it; no falsehood or superstition is found in it; its beliefs and knowledge are consistent with the logic of wisdom; its statements about the ancient events are far from myths and legends; and its laws agree with the needs of human beings. This legitimacy is a clear proof upon this fact that it has been sent down from the side of Allah.

The holy sentence which says:

“…verifying that which is before it…”

is another proof upon the veracity of this heavenly Book, because it adapts with the signs which have been mentioned in the former heavenly Books about it and its bringer.5

The Qur’anic sentence which says:

“…verily Allah, about His servants, is Aware, Seeing”

states the cause of legitimacy of the Qur’an and that it is parallel with the facts and needs, because it has been sent down from the side of Allah Who knows His servants well and is Aware and Seeing unto their needs.

As for the difference between the Qur’anic words /xabir/ and /basir/ some commentators have said that the word /xabir/ is in the sense of cognizance about innate things, beliefs, intentions and the man’s spiritual construction, while /basir/ means having insight unto the man’s outward things and his bodily phenomena.6

Some other commentators believe that the ir/word /xabir/ refers to the principle of the creation of man, and /bas refers to his deeds and states.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 32

ثُمَّ أَوْرَثْنَا الْكِتَابَ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَيْنَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا فَمِنْهُمْ ظَالِمٌ لّـِنَفْسِهِ وَمِنْهُم مُّقْتَصِدٌ وَمِنْهُمْ سَابِقٌ بِالْخَيْرَاتِ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْكَبِيرُ

32. “Then We gave the Book (Qur’an) as inheritance unto those whom We elected of Our servants. But of them are some who wrong themselves, and of them are some who follow the middle course, and of them are some who outstrip (others) through good deeds, by Allah’s leave. That is the great (Divine) favour!”

To inherit from the Holy Qur’an is a great favour of Allah. The election of Allah is wisely. Those are the inheritors of the science of the Qur’an who are foremost in good works.

In this holy verse the Qur’an has referred to an important subject, viz., the bearers of this great heavenly Book, the same ones who, after the revelation of the Qur’an upon the pure heart of the Prophet (S), protected and preserved this luminous torch at that time and during later centuries.

It says:

“Then We gave the Book (Qur’an) as inheritance unto those whom We elected of Our servants…”

It is clear that the objective meaning of ‘The Book’ here is the same thing that has been mentioned in the previous verses, (the Holy Qur’an), and the Arabic signs ‘’Alif’ and ‘Lam’ are, so to speak, of the kind of ‘Ahd.

The application of ‘inheritance’ here, and in some other instances similar to it in the Qur’an, is for the reason that this word is used for something which is gained without bargain and labour or trouble, and Allah gave this very great Book to Muslims in such a way.

There is a great deal of traditions narrated from Ahl-ul-Bayt (as) in all of which the Qur’anic phrase:

the elected servants of Allah

has been rendered into the immaculate Imams.7

As we have repeatedly said, these narrations are the statement of the clear and first grade expansions of the case and they do not hinder that the scholars, and learned ones of the Ummat, and those martyrs and righteous ones who tried hard in the way of protecting this heavenly Book and continuation of the performance of its instructions, are counted under the title of:

“those whom We elected of Our servants”.

Then the Qur’an divides them into an important division in this regard.

It says:

“…But of them are some who wrong themselves, and of them are some who follow the middle course, and of them are some who outstrip (others) through good deeds, by Allah’s leave. That is the great (Divine) favour!”

The apparent of the verse indicates that these three groups among ‘the elected ones of Allah’ are the inheritors and bearers of the Book of Allah.

In a more clear meaning, Allah has given the protection of this heavenly Book, after His Messenger, upon this Ummah, the ones who are elected by Allah, but there are different groups among them. Some of them fail to fulfil their great duty in protecting this Book and performing its ordinances and, in fact, they did injustice to themselves.

These are the extension of:

“Some who wrong themselves”.

Another group did a considerable amount of this duty concerning the act of protection and practicing on this Book, although they had some faults and shortcomings in their deeds, too. These are the extension of:

“Some who follow the middle course”.

And, finally, there are some distinguished persons who fulfil their heavy duties very well and, in this race-field they outstrip others.

This group, who are foremost in good deeds, are the same ones whom in the above mentioned verse have been rendered into:

Some who outstrip (others) through good deeds, by the leave of Allah.”

The Qur’anic phrase: /sabiqun bil xayrat/ (outstrip through good deeds), in many traditions narrated from Ahl-ul-Bayt (as) has been interpreted into Imam and the Immaculate ones; and the phrase: /zalim-un-linafsihi/ has been rendered into the ones who have not knowledge while the term /muqtasid/ is used for those who know Imam (as) unto Imam (as); and follow him.8

These interpretations are clear verifications upon what was said in the commentary of the whole verse, and it does not matter that these three groups can exist among the inheritors of the book of Allah.

Perhaps it is not necessary to mention that the interpretations in the above mentioned traditions are from the kind of the statement of clear extensions; that is the immaculate Imam is in the first row of

Some who outstrip (others) through good deeds”,

and scholars, learned men, and protectors of the divine religion are in other rows.

The commentary which has been mentioned id/ in the traditions are also from the kind of theabout /zalim/ and /muqtas statement of extension; and if we see that in some narrations the existence of scholars in the concept of the verse has totally been negated, in fact, is for attracting attentions to the existence of Immaculate Imam in front of these rows.

It is noteworthy that in commenting these three groups some of the former commentators and the modern commentators have delivered many other probabilities that, in deed, all of them are from the kind of the statement of extension.

Concerning the Qur’anic sentence which says:

“That is the great (Divine) favour”, some commentators have said that it is that very inheritance, the Book of Allah.

Some other commentators believe that it is a hint to the success which is given to those who outstrip (others) through good deeds and pave this way by the leave of Allah.

That is, they outstrip all nations in doing good deeds: they outstrip in learning knowledge; in piety and morality; in worshipping and serving the servants; in effort and endeavour; in order and reckoning; in donation and self-sacrifice, and they are usually the foremost in all these affairs.

Yes, the bearer of that heritage can be only such persons.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 33

جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ يَدْخُلُونَهَا يُحَلَّوْنَ فِيهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍ وَلُؤْلُؤاً وَلِبَاسُهُمْ فِيهَا حَرِيرٌ

33. “Gardens of Eden! They shall enter; therein they shall be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls; and their raiment there shall be of silk.”

The reward of a temporary deprivation can be a permanent success.

This verse is, in fact, a conclusion for what was mentioned in the previous verses. This holy verse implicitly says that the reward of those who outstrip in good deeds is the eternal gardens of Paradise in which all of them will wholly enter.

The verse says:

“Gardens of Eden! They shall enter…”

The Qur’anic word /jannat/ is the plural form of /jannah/ with the sense of ‘garden’ and /‘adn/ is in the sense of settlement and stability; and ‘main’ is so called because it is the place of the settlement of metals and the like. Thus, the Qur’anic phrase: /jannat-u-‘adn/ means ‘the eternal gardens of Paradise’.

However, this meaning shows that the great bounties of Paradise are eternal and stable. And like the merits of the worldly material, they are not mixed with anxiety originated from the fear of destruction. The people of Paradise not only have a garden in Paradise, but also have many gardens at their disposal.

Then the verse refers to three parts of the bounties therein, some of which have material aspect and outward nature; some others have spiritual aspect and inward nature; and the third part has pointed to the negation of the existence of any kind of hindrance and trouble.

It says:

“…therein they shall be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls; and their raiment there shall be of silk.”

In this world they were heedless to the dazzling glares and did not make themselves as captives to the glare of ornaments and when the deprived had not some cheep pieces of clothing, they did not tend to have expensive garments. To recompense these, in the next world, Allah will make them wear the best clothing and ornaments.

In this world, they adorned their outward with good deeds, then, in the next world, which is the world of incarnation of deeds, Allah will adorn them with kinds of ornaments, too.

We have repeatedly said that our words, which have been formed for the limited life of this world, never can convey the concepts of the great world of Hereafter. In order to state those bounties, we need to apply another kind of Alphabet, culture and dictionary.

But, however, in order that an outline of those great bounties could be shown to us, the prisoners of this world, we must take help from the slight ability of these very words to explain those bounties.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 34

وَقَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَذْهَبَ عَنَّا الْحَزَنَ إِنَّ رَبَّنَا لَغَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ

34. “And they say: ‘Praise belongs to Allah, Who has removed from us (all) sorrow; verily our Lord is Forgiving, Thankful.”

The motto of the people of Paradise is the Praise of Allah. And there is not any grief or sadness inside Paradise.

Next to mentioning the material bounty, which was referred to in the previous verse, this verse points to a particular spiritual bounty, where it says:

“And they say: ‘Praise belongs to Allah, Who has removed from us (all) sorrow…”

For this great merit which has been endowed on them, and, by the grace of Allah, all the factors of sadness have gone out from the environment of their living, and the sky of their spirit has been wiped out from the dark pieces of the cloud of grief, they praise Allah and thank Him.

They have neither a fear from the Divine punishment nor are they afraid of death and annihilation. There is neither any cause of insecurity of mind for them, nor do hurt them the harm of malicious ones, the impositions of polluted tyrants, and companionship of evildoers and inept persons.

Some commentators believe that this grief and sorrow refers to the sadness similar to that which exists in the world, while some others believe that it refers to the grief that they will have in Hereafter concerning the result of their own deeds. These two commentaries do not contrast with each other and both can be considered for the meaning of the verse.

The Qur’anic words /hazan/ and /huzn/, as many books of philology and commentary indicate, both have the same meaning, and they originally are in the sense of unevenness and roughness of the earth; and since sorrow cause the man’s spirit to become uneven and rough, this meaning has been applied in this sense.

Then, according to the verse, those people of Heaven will add:

“…verily our Lord is Forgiving, Thankful.”

By His forgiveness, He removes the heavy grief of faults and sins, and by the attribute of His thankfulness, He bestows the eternal merits on us which never will the shade of sadness fall on them. His forgiveness has covered our abundant sins, and, by His thankfulness, He has given us a great deal of rewards for our small and scanty deeds.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 35

الَّذِي أَحَلَّنَا دَارَ الْمُقَامَةِ مِن فَضْلِهِ لاَ يَمَسُّنَا فِيهَا نَصَبٌ وَلاَ يَمَسُّنَا فِيهَا لُغُوبٌ

35. “He Who, of His grace, has made us to dwell in a house for ever, toil shall not touch us therein, nor shall fatigue therein afflict us.”

Paradise is eternal and the people of Paradise know that the bounties are because of the grace of Allah, not because of only their deeds.

This verse has referred to the bounty of the absence of the factors of toil, pain, and fatigue, and from their tongue, it implicitly says that praise belongs to Allah:

“He Who, of His grace, has made us to dwell in a house for ever, toil shall not touch us therein, nor shall fatigue therein afflict us.”

From one side, there is the place of residence and it is not such that before soon and before the time a person becomes familiar with it and likes it, he is called to come out of that place.

And, on the other side, although the long life in that world joins to eternity and in such a long time, principally, pain and fatigue are expected, there is nothing of these affairs there, at all. Even the length of time does not cause of tiredness and fatigue either, because every day a new bounty and a fresh manifestation of blessings from Allah is shown to the people of Paradise.

The Arabic word /nasab/ means toil and trouble, and many of the philologists and commentators believe that the Qur’anic term /luqub/ means the same, too; while some others have mentioned a difference between these two as follows: they say that the word /nasab/ refers to the bodily toils, while the term /luqub/ refers to the spiritual troubles.9

Also, some commentators have taken the Qur’anic term /luqub/ in the sense of weakness and fatigue resulted from toil and pain, and thus, /luqub/ becomes the consequence of /nasab/.

Therefore, in the Heaven, there is neither any factor of bodily toils, nor any means of spiritual pain.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 36

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَهُمْ نَارُ جَهَنَّمَ لاَ يُقْضَي عَلَيْهِمْ فَيَمُوتُوا وَلاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُم مِنْ عَذَابِهَا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي كُلَّ كَفُورٍ

36. “And those who disbelieve, for them shall be the Fire of Hell, it shall not be decreed that they should die, nor shall the chastisement of it be lightened to them; even thus do We recompense every ungrateful one.”

Disbelief is a kind of ingratitude of bounties. The Qur’an, beside promises, usually refers to threats, and, beside glad tidings, it mentions warnings in order to strengthen two factors of fear and hope which are the motives of motion, because of the love of self, man is affected by the instinct of ‘acquiring benefit’ and ‘repelling harm’.

So, following the former verses, which were about the great rewards of the believers who ‘outstrip in good deeds’, this verse is about the painful punishment of disbelievers. Here also the words are about the material and spiritual punishments.

It says:

“And those who disbelieve, for them shall be the Fire of Hell…”

In the same manner that Paradise is an eternal abode for the believers, Hell is also an eternal abode for this group.

Then the verse adds:

“…it shall not be decreed that they should die…”

Although all those painful punishments and the blazing Fire of Hell can cause them their death, since the command of Allah, that everything, including life and death, is in Whose authority, has not been issued; they will not die. They must be alive, and they will not be delivered from this toil, so that they taste the Divine chastisement.

For such persons, death is a way to deliverance, but by the aforementioned sentence this way has been closed to them.

There will remain another way. It is in this that they should be alive and gradually their chastisement may decrease, or that their tolerance could be increased so that consequently their pain and toil may decrease.

This way is also closed by another sentence which says:

“…nor shall the chastisement of it be lightened to them…”

And, at the end of the verse as an emphasis upon the decisiveness of this Divine threat, it says:

“…even thus do We recompense every ungrateful one.”

Those who, firstly, showed ingratitude to the bounty of the existence of Divine prophets and heavenly Books, lost their Divine given capitals which could help them in gaining happiness.

Yes, the recompense of such evil-doers is burning in the painful chastisement of Fire, a Fire which they themselves lit in the life of this world and its fuel was their own evil thoughts and deeds.

Since the Qur’anic word /kafur/ is an amplification form in the Arabic language, it has a deeper meaning than the word /kafir/ (disbeliever).

Moreover, the word ‘disbeliever’ is usually used as opposite to the word ‘believer’, while the Arabic word /kafur/ (ungrateful) is used as for the ingratitude of all blessings. Therefore, it has a vaster meaning.

Thus, the word /kafur/ refers to those who have been ungrateful to all the divine bounties, and they have closed all the doors of His Mercy to them in this world. Therefore, in Hereafter, Allah will close all the doors of deliverance to them, too.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 37

وَهُمْ يَصْطَرِخُونَ فِيهَا رَبَّنَآ أَخْرِجْنَا نَعْمَلْ صَالِحاً غَيْرَ الَّذِي كُنَّا نَعْمَلُ أَوَلَمْ نُعَمّـِرْكُم مّا يَتَذَكَّرُ فِيهِ مَن تَذَكَّرَ وَجَآءَكُمُ النَّذِيرُ فَذُوقُوا فَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِن نَصِيرٍ

37. “And they shall cry aloud therein (for help, saying:) ‘O’ our Lord! Take us out (so that) we will do good deeds other than what we used to do (before).’ (They will be said): ‘Did We not give you long life enough to remember therein for him who would remember?’ And (moreover) the Warner came to you. So (now) taste you (the fruit of your deeds), then for the unjust there is no helper.”

That which makes man to be a hellish person is impious deeds, and one day all wrong doers will be in powerlessness and seek for help.

This verse refers to another part of the painful punishment of the people of Hell and emphasizes on some sensitive points in this regard.

It says:

“And they shall cry aloud therein (for help, saying:) ‘O’ our Lord! Take us out (so that) we will do good deeds other than what we used to do (before).’…”

Yes, by observing the fruits of their evil deeds, they will regret deeply and they will cry loudly and ask for a respite. They ask Allah to return to this world in order to do righteous deeds.

The application of the Qur’anic word /salihan/, in an indefinite form, points to this fact that they did not do the least righteous deed, and its consequence will be those painful chastisements for these who had let no way for them toward Allah and were thoroughly full of sin. Therefore, performing some righteous deeds may also cause deliverance.

The application of the Qur’anic word /na‘mal/ (we will do), an Arabic verb in the future form which denotes to the continuation of their action, is also an emphasis on this very meaning that they used to do some impious deeds.

Yes, because of his pure nature, a sinner, at the beginning, understands the ugliness of his deeds, but gradually he will be accustomed to them and its ugliness will be decreased in him.

Little by little, it goes beyond that and that ugly action will appear to him as a good action, as the Qur’an says:

“…The evil of their deeds has been made fair seeming to them…”10

And sometimes the Qur’an says:

“…While they think that they are working good deeds.”11

However, for this request there will be given a conclusive answer to them from the side of Allah, as follows:

“…(They will be said): ‘Did We not give you long life enough to remember therein for him who would remember?’…”

The verse continues saying:

“…And (moreover) the Warner came to you…”

Now that the case is such and all the means of felicity have been available for you, but you did not enjoy them, you should be afflicted the chastisement here.

It says:

“…So (now) taste you (the fruit of your deeds), then for the unjust there is no helper.”

This holy verse clearly indicates that they had not anything insufficient because they had enough respite, and there came to them necessary Divine Warners so that these two elements of awareness and felicity were ready for them, therefore, there was no excuse or pretext remained for them.

If they had not enough respite, it could be an excuse; and if you had enough respite, but there might not came any teacher, trainee, leader, and guide to them, they would have a pretext, too; but with the existence of these two, what kind of excuse they may have!

The Qur’anic word /naŏir/ (Warner) in the verses of Qur’an usually refers to the Divine prophets and specially to the Prophet of Islam (S), but some Islamic commentators have mentioned here a vaster meaning for it which encompasses both the Divine prophets, and the heavenly Books, and the awakening events like the death of friends and relations, and senility and weakness, in particular that in the Arabic language the word /naŏir/ has been abundantly used in the sense of senility.

This point is also noteworthy that in Islamic narrations there have been mentioned differently a limit in the lifetime which is enough for the man’s awareness and admonition.

Some of them have rendered it to the age of sixty; as a tradition from the Prophet of Islam (S) indicates:

“Whomever Allah has given sixty years of lifetime, He has closed the way of excuse to him.”12

This very meaning has also been narrated from Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as)

Another tradition narrated from the Prophet of Islam (S) indicates:

“When the Day of Hereafter comes, a caller will call:

‘O people of sixty years old! (Where are you?)

This is the same lifetime about which Allah has said:

‘Did We not give you long life enough to remember therein for him who would remember?’”13
  • 1. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, following the verse.
  • 2. Ibid
  • 3. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Vol. 8, P. 408
  • 4. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, saying No. 456
  • 5. In this regard, there is a detailed discussion in the commentary of Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 41
  • 6. Tafsir-i-Kabir, by Fakhr-i-Razi, following the verse.
  • 7. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Vol. 4, P. 361 on
  • 8. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, the , Vol. 4, P. 461
  • 9. Rauh-ul-Ma‘aly, Vol. 22, P. 184
  • 10. Surah At-Taubah, No. 9, verse 37
  • 11. Surah Al-Kahf, No. 18, verse 104
  • 12. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, following the verse
  • 13. The commentary by Tabarsi, following the verse.

Section 5: Never Can Anyone See Allah’s Plan Ever Getting Altered or Changed

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 38

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَالِمُ غَيْبِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ

38. “Verily Allah is the Knower of the unseen of the heavens and the earth; surely He knows all that is in the breasts (hearts).”

The belief in the fact that Allah knows everything is the best hindrance of man from committing wrong. This verse answers to the request of the disbelievers who want to return from Hell to the world.

It says:

“Verily Allah is the Knower of the unseen of the heavens and the earth; surely He knows all that is in the breasts (hearts).”

The first sentence, in fact, works as a proof over the second sentence. It means: how is it possible that Allah to be unaware of the secrets of inside the hearts while He is aware of the whole secrets of the earth and the heavens and the unseen of the world of existence?

Yes, He knows that if the request of the people of Hell were answered positively and they could return to the world, they would continue the same evil deeds they had before.

This meaning is clearly mentioned in Surah Al-’An‘am, No. 6, verse 28 which says:

“…and even if they were returned, they would revert to what they were prohibited, and most certainly they are liars.”

Moreover, the verse is a warning unto all believers so that they try to purify their sincere intentions and they do not keep anyone in their mind save Allah, because if there is the least insincerity in their intention and motive He, Who is aware of all the Unseen things, surely knows it and compensates it accordingly.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 39

هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَكُمْ خَلآَئِفَ فِي الأَرْضِ فَمَن كَفَرَ فَعَلَيْهِ كُفْرُهُ وَلاَ يَزِيدُ الْكَافِرِينَ كُفْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبّـِهِمْ إِلاَّ مَقْتاً وَلاَ يَزِيدُ الْكَافِرِينَ كُفْرُهُمْ إِلاَّ خَسَاراً

39. “He is the One Who appointed you viceroys in the earth, so whoever disbelieves, his disbelief shall be against him, and their unbelief does not increase the infidels with their Lord in anything except hatred; and their unbelief does not increase the infidels but loss.”

Stating the dangers of sins is a factor to restrain the sinner from committing it.

Following the discussions which were upon the previous verses about the fate of infidels and polytheists, in the verse under discussion they are called to account in another way, and the nullification of their style has been made manifest by some clear proofs.

It says:

“He is the One Who appointed you viceroys in the earth…”

The Arabic word /xala’if/, whether it means the viceroys and vicegerents of Allah on the earth or it means the vicegerents of the former nations, (though the second meaning seems more appropriate here), indicates to the utmost grace of Allah upon human beings for whom He has provided all of the facilities of living.

Allah (s.w.t.) has given wisdom, understanding, thought, and intelligence to man. He has bestowed kinds of bodily powers on him. He has filled the surface of the earth with different sorts of bounties, and He has taught man the way of using these facilities. Yet, how has man forgotten his main benefactor and refers to the superstitions and artificial objects of worship?

In fact, this sentence is the statement of ‘the Unity of Lordship’ which itself is a clear proof over ‘the Unity of worship’.

This sentence, however, is a warning unto all human beings that they should know that their course is not eternal and everlasting. In the same way that they became the vicegerents of the former nations, after a few days these people will also pass away and some others will succeed them.

Therefore they must be careful what they do in their short lifetime. They must consider their future fate, and that what kind of record will they leave in the history of the world from them?

That is why the verse immediately says:

“…so whoever disbelieves, his disbelief shall be against him, and their unbelief does not increase the infidels with their Lord in anything except hatred…”

However, their disbelief does not add to them except loss.

It continues saying:

“…and their unbelief does not increase the infidels but loss.”

In fact, the last two sentences are as a commentary upon the sentence:

“…whoever disbelieves, his disbelief shall be against him…”,

because this sentence implicitly says that the infidelity of a person results a loss upon him. Then the Qur’an brings two kinds of reasoning for this subject.

The first is that disbelief and infidelity with their Lord, Who is the giver of all bounties, does not result aught save Divine Wrath and punishment.

The other is that, besides the Divine Wrath, this infidelity does not give anything to them except loss. They lose their lifetime and the capital of their own existence and take wretchedness, degradation, and darkness for it. What a loss is greater than this?

And either of these two proofs is enough for condemning this incorrect style.

The repetition of the Arabic term /layazid/ (does not increase), which is in present tense, is an indication to the continuation of action and points to this fact that man is naturally looking for increase and excess.

If he paves the path of Monotheism, he will have the increase of happiness and perfection, but if he paves the path of disbelief, he will obtain the increase of Wrath of Allah and loss.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 40

قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ شُرَكَآءَكُمُ الَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَرُونِي مَاذَا خَلَقُوا مِنَ الأَرْضِ أَمْ لَهُمْ شِرْكٌ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ أَمْ ءَاتَيْنَاهُمْ كِتَاباً فَهُمْ عَلَي بَيّـِنَتٍ مّـِنْهُ بَلْ إِن يَعِدُ الظَّالِمُونَ بَعْضُهُم بَعْضاً اِلاَّ غُرُوراً

40. “Say: ‘Have you seen your associates on whom you call, apart from Allah? Show me what they have created in the earth; or have they a partnership in (the creation of) the heavens? Or have We given them a Book so that they follow a clear argument from it? Nay, the unjust promise each other nothing but delusions.”

Islam is a logical religion. It awakens conscience of people by asking questions.

The Prophet of Islam (S) had a duty to speak with the opponents of Islam.

This verse is another decisive answer to the polytheists. It tells them that if a person follows something, or loves it, he must have a reasonable reasoning from intellect for it, or a reasoning from conclusive tradition, but you have neither of these two, and you have no support save delusion and pride.

The verse says:

“Say: ‘Have you seen your associates on whom you call, apart from Allah? Show me what they have created in the earth; or have they a partnership in (the creation of) the heavens?…”

Yet, what is the reason of the polytheists’ worship? The act of being object of worship is a secondary thing to creative power. Now that you know that the creator of the heavens and the earth is only Allah, and there will be no object of worship except Him, because the Unity of divinity is always a reason upon the Unity of worship.

Now that it was proved that there is no intellectual reasoning for your claim, do you have any reasoning from tradition with you?

Or do you have a heavenly Book for it?

The verse says:

“…Or have We given them a Book so that they follow a clear argument from it?…”

No, they have no clear proof from the Divine Books with them. Therefore, their capital for it is nothing save guile and delusion.

In this regard, the verse says:

“…Nay, the unjust promise each other nothing but delusions.”

In other words, if the idolaters, and other polytheists of any kind and group, claim that the idols have a kind of power on the earth to provide their needs, they should deliver an example of their earthly creation.

And if they believe that these idols are the manifestation of the angels and heavenly sacred beings, as it was the belief of a group of them, they must show their participation in creation of the heavens.

And if they believe that these are not some partners in the creation, and only the rank of intercession has been given to them, as some of the polytheists believed, they must bring a proof from the heavenly Book for proving this claim.

Now that they have none of these proofs, then they are some unjust deceivers who tell each other false words.

It is notable that the purpose of ‘the earth and the heavens’ here is the entire creations on the earth and in the heavens, and the application of the word creation due to the earth and having a partnership in the creation of the heavens, points to this fact that ‘the partnership in the heavens’ should be by the way of creation.

And, the application of the Arabic word /kitaban/, in an indefinite form and also concerned to Allah, is a hint to the fact that there is the least reasoning for their claim in neither of the heavenly Books.

The Arabic word /bayyinah/ points to this fact that the clear reasoning can be found in heavenly Books.

The application of the Qur’anic plural word /zalimun/ (the unjust) is another emphasis on this meaning that ‘polytheism’ is a clear ‘injustice’.

The application of ‘the promises of delusion’ is a hint to this fact that the polytheists used to take these superstitions and delusions from each other in the form of some hollow vain promises, and some of them transfer them to some others in the form of gossips and baseless imitations.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 41

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُمْسِكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ أَن تَزُولاَ وَلَئِن زَالَتَآ إِنْ أَمْسَكَهُمَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِن بَعْدِهِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيماً غَفُوراً

41. “Verily Allah holds the heavens and the earth lest they remove (from the orbit); and did they remove, none would hold them after Him; verily He is the Forbearing, the Forgiving.”

The situation of the heavens and the earth, as well as their motions and orbits, are with the will of Allah, and it is He Who protects them in every moment.

The words in this holy verse are about the sovereignty of Allah over the whole heavens and the earth. In fact, next to the negation of the partnership of the artificial objects of worship in the world of existence, it proves the Unity of divinity and Lordship.

It says:

“Verily Allah holds the heavens and the earth lest they remove (from the orbit)…”

Not only the creation at the beginning is done by Allah, but also their maintenance providence and protection are in His infinite Power.

Moreover, in any moment they have a new creation, and the grace of being comes down to them from that bountiful source a moment after another, so that if their communication with that great source is ceased for a short moment, they will face with destruction.

It is true that the verse emphasizes on the subject of the protection of the superior system of existence, but, as it has been proved in the philosophical discussions, all beings are in need of the Origin for their permanence in the same form that they are for their temporal origination.

And, thus, the protection of the system is not anything except the continuation of new creation and Divine emanation.

It is worthy to note that, without being fastened by anything, the celestial spheres have been rotating for millions of years in their places with the same orbs that have been decided for them without the least deviation, the example of which is seen in solar system.

Our globe, the earth, rotates in its orb round the sum for millions or milliards of years with an exact order, which originates from the equilibrium of the power of polarization, and it obeys the command of Allah.

Then, as an emphasis, the verse says:

“…and did they remove, none would hold them after Him…”

Neither your idols, nor the angels, nor anything other than them is able to do this job.

In order not to shut the door of repentance to deviated polytheists and let them return in any stage they are, at the end of the verse the Qur’an says:

“…verily He is the Forbearing, the Forgiving.”

Because of His forbearance, Allah does not hasten in punishing them, and because of His forgiveness, He accepts their repentance, with its conditions, in any case and stage it is. Thus, the ending part of the verse refers to the situation of polytheists and that His Mercy encompasses them at the time of repentance and returning.

Some commentators have taken these two attributes in relation to maintenance of the heavens and the earth, because their destruction is an affliction and a punishment, and Allah, because of His Forbearance and Forgiveness, does not let people get this punishment and affliction, though the sayings and deeds of many of them require that this chastisement should be sent down, as Surah Maryam, No. 19, verses 88 to 90 say:

“And they say: ‘The Beneficent (Allah) has taken (unto Himself) a son’.”
“Indeed you have put forth something hideous!”
“At it the skies are about to burst, and the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down crashing.”

During the length of the history of human beings this event has repeatedly happened that some of the astronomers have foreseen that, in its way, a particular comet, or other than it, may pass by the earth and probably it crashes this globe.

These predictions have worried the thoughts of all people in the world.

In these circumstances this feeling appears for everybody that in this problem nobody can do anything, because if, for example, so and so celestial globe comes towards the earth and, under their gravity they crash each other, there will remain no trace from the thousand-year-old civilization of mankind, and even from other living creatures on the earth; and no power, except the Power of Allah, can prevent this event.

In these cases everyone feels absolute need unto absolute Self-Sufficient Allah; but when those probable dangers are removed, forgetfulness encompasses human beings.

Not only the crash of the celestial spheres and planets cause calamity, but also a slight deviation of a planet, like earth, from its orb may bring forth a calamity.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 42

وَأَقْسَمُوا بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ لَئِن جَآءَهُمْ نَذِيرٌ لَّيَكُونُنَّ أَهْدَي مِنْ إِحْدَي الأُمَمِ فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمْ نَذِيرٌ مَّا زَادَهُمْ إِلاَّ نُفُوراً

42. “And they swore by Allah with the strongest oaths that if a Warner came to them, they would be more rightly guided than any one of the nations; but when a Warner came to them, it increased them naught but aversion (unto the truth).”

The polytheists believed in Allah and sanctified Him and used to swear by Him, but upon the occasion of revelation of -ul-Ma‘ali, Mafatih-ul-Qaybthis holy verse it is cited in Durr-ul-Manthur, Rauh and other commentary books that: whenever the Arab polytheists heard that some of the former nations, such as the Jews, had rejected the Divine prophets and killed them, they said that they were not like them.

If the messenger of Allah came to them, they would be the best rightly guided of the nations. But when the world illuminating sun of Islam appeared in the horizon of their land and the Prophet of Islam (S) with the greatest heavenly Book came to them, not only they did not accept it, but also tried to reject it and to play kinds of tricks against it.

The abovementioned holy verse was sent down and blamed them for these empty baseless claims.

(Most of the commentary books, has been mentioned under this verse.)

The verse says:

“And they swore by Allah with the strongest oaths that if a Warner came to them, they would be more rightly guided than any one of the nations…”

The Arabic term /’ayman/ is the plural form of /yamin/ which means ‘oath’. Originally it means ‘right hand’, but since at the time of taking oath and promising people they shake hands with their right hands and take an oath, this word has gradually been used in the sense of oath.

The Arabic word /jahd/ is derived from /jihad/ in the sense of ‘struggle and effort’. Therefore, the application of the Arabic phrase /jahd-a-’aymanihim/ refers to the strong oath.

Yes, when they were observing the former events recorded in the pages of the history, saying about disloyalties, ingratitude actions, hindrances and crimes of the former nations, specially the Jews unto their prophets, they wondered very much, while they had every kind of claim and boast about themselves.

But when their own trial practically came forth and they wanted to practise it, they showed that they were of the same kind, as the Qur’an in this verse declares:

“…but when a Warner came to them, it increased them naught but aversion (unto the truth).”

We must be also attentive to this matter. God forbids those who are waiting for the advent of Hadrat Mahdi (May Allah hasten his glad advent) and say that if he (as) comes they will do so and so, but when he (as) comes they stand against him.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 43

اسْتِكْبَاراً فِي الأَرْضِ وَمَكْرَ السّـِيئِ وَلاَ يَحِيقُ الْمَكْرُ السَّيّـِئُ اِلاَّ بِاَهْلِهِ فَهَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلاَّ سُنَّتَ الأَوَّلِينَ فَلَن تَجِد َلِسُنَّتِ اللَّهِ تَبْدِيلاً وَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّتِ اللَّهِ تَحْوِيلاً

43. “On account of their arrogance in the earth, and devising evil; but evil devising encompasses only the devisers themselves; so do they expect anything except the way of (Allah against) the former people? For never shall you find any alternation in the course of Allah and never shall you find in the course of Allah any change.”

The origin of escape and hatred from the way of prophets is either arrogance or evil devising. (Perhaps arrogance is from the side of obstinate pagans and evil devising from the side of hypocrites.)

This holy verse is an explanation over what was said in the previous verse. The verse implicitly says that their being aloof from the Truth was for the sake that they paved the path of arrogance in the earth and they never accepted to surrender to the truth. And, also, it was for the sake that they used to commit devising evil, but the evil devising afflicts none but those who do it.

The verse says:

“On account of their arrogance in the earth, and devising evil; but evil devising encompasses only the devisers themselves…”

The Arabic sentence /la yahiq/, derived from /haq/ means: ‘it does not descend down, does not overtake, and does not overcome’.

This points to the fact that applying devises may temporarily reach others, but finally they come forth against the devisers themselves and will make them disgrace before the servants of Allah, and will make them shameful in front of Allah; and this is the same evil fate that the pagans of Mecca encountered.

In fact, the verse implies that they did not suffice only to get aloof from this great Divine Prophet, but also they took help from their entire ability and power in hurting him; and the main motive of it was arrogance, pride, and the lack of humility before the truth.

In the continuation of the verse, the Qur’an threatens this arrogant, deceitful and treacherous group by an expressive awakening sentence, and says:

“…so do they expect anything except the way of (Allah against) the former people?…”

This short sentence is a hint to the whole evil ends of the haughty, and disobedient former nations, such as the people of Noah, ‘Ad, Thamud, and Pharaoh, each of whom were afflicted with a great calamity, and the Qur’an has frequently pointed to some parts of their painful and evil fates.

Here, by this very short sentence, the Qur’an illustrates all of them in front of the eyes of this group.

Then, for a more emphasis, it adds:

“…For never shall you find any alternation in the course of Allah and never shall you find in the course of Allah any change.”

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 44

أَوَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الأَرْضِ فَيَنظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَكَانُوا أَشَدَّ مِنْهُمْ قُوَّةً وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُعْجِزَهُ مِن شَيْءٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلاَ فِي الأَرْضِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَلِيماً قَدِيراً

44. “Have they not travelled in the earth and seen how was the end of those before them while they were stronger than them in power? Nor is Allah to be frustrated by anything whatever in the heavens or on the earth; verily He is Knowing, Powerful.”

None should become proud of his power since there have been many more powerful people than them who have been destroyed; and nothing can overcome the Will of Allah.

This verse invites the guilty polytheists to study the traces of the former nations and the fate which they afflicted with. This is for the sake that whatever they have studied in the history about those nations, they would see by their eyes in the lands belonging to them, and they would observe those things among their effects so that they actually see what they have studied in the statements.

It says:

“Have they not travelled in the earth and seen how was the end of those before them…”

If they think that they are stronger than those nations, they are in an earnest error, because the Qur’an continues saying:

“…while they were stronger than them in power?…”

The people of Pharaoh who had taken the land of Egypt under the control of their own power, the people of Namrud who were governing over the land of Babylon and some other countries all were so strong that the idolaters of Mecca, compared with them, were counted naught.

Moreover, the more men are powerful, comparing the power of Allah, their power is naught, because nothing in the heavens nor in the earth can escape from the realm of His Power, and will not frustrate Him.

The verse says:

“…Nor is Allah to be frustrated by anything whatever in the heavens or on the earth…”

Allah is both Knowing and Powerful. Neither does anything remain concealed from His sight nor anything is difficult for His Power, nor can anybody overcome Him.

If these blind-hearted, arrogant and deceitful persons think that they can escape from the grips of His Power, they are in error, and if they do not leave their committing ugly deeds, at last they will confront the same fatal end of the former arrogant ones.

We repeatedly recite in the verses of the Qur’an that Allah invites the faithless and disobedient persons ‘to travel in the earth’ and see the traces of the nations who have afflicted the Divine chastisement.

In Surah Ar-Room, No. 30, verse 9 we recite:

“Have they not travelled in the earth and seen how was the end of those before them?…”

These are those who had a stronger power than these and changed the earth, and they made it more populated than the amount these have done.

Their prophets came to them with clear proofs, but they continued their own egotism, and were encompassed with painful divine punishment. Never did Allah injustice to them, but they were unjust to themselves.

This verse from Surah Ar-Room continues saying:

“…they were stronger than them in strength, and they ploughed up the earth and cultivated it more than they themselves have cultivated it; and their messenger came to them with clear proofs (miracles) (which they rejected to their own destruction); so Allah would never deal with them unjustly, but they deal unjustly with their own selves.”

These frequent emphases of the Qur’an are some proofs upon the extraordinary effect of these observations in the selves of human beings. They must go to see by their eyes that which they have studied in the history or heard from people.

They should go and see the former destroyed land of the Pharaohs, the ruined castles of the ancient kings, the scattered graves of Caesars, the rotten bones of people such as Numrud, and the afflicted lands of the people of Lut and Thamud from near and close distance, they can hear the advice of these silent people and pay attention to the cry of those who are buried under the dust, and watch by their eyes what will finally happen to them.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 45

وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ اللَّهُ النَّاسَ بِمَا كَسَبُوا مَا تَرَكَ عَلَي ظَهْرِهَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ وَلَكِن يُؤَخّـِرُهُمْ اِلَي أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّي فَاِذَا جآءَ أَجَلُهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ بَصِيراً

45. “And if Allah were to seize the people (to punish them) for what they have earned, He would not leave on the back of it any creature; but He gives them respite till an appointed term. So when their term expires, then verily Allah is seeing with respect to His servants.”

Allah is patient and He forgives people and gives them respite, and does not immediately punish the wrong doers in this world for their evil actions.

Allah’s giving respite to the sinners is a wisely action.

The abovementioned verse, which is the last verse of Surah Fatir, concludes the earnest discussions and serious threats previously mentioned in this Surah with Allah’s grace and mercy upon the people on the earth, in the same manner that this Surah began with the Mercy of Allah on humankind.

Thus both the beginning and the end of the holy Surah are consistent in stating the Mercy of Allah.

More over, the previous verse which threatened the guilty faithless persons to the evil fate of the formers brings this question forth for many of them, as well as others, that if the manner of treatment of Allah is the same about all of the arrogant ones, then why He does not punish this arrogant polytheistic nation.

In answer to this question, the Qur’an says:

“And if Allah were to seize the people (to punish them) for what they have earned, He would not leave on the back of it any creature…”

In that case, there will be sent down so many frequent punishments, and lightning, earthquakes and tempests will destroy the unjust ones in a form that the earth will not be a suitable place for anyone to live on.

Yet, the verse continues saying:

“…but He gives them respite till an appointed term…”

But this patience and respite of Allah has an account. It lasts until when their appointed term has not come, but when their appointed term reaches, He will recompense everybody, as the verse says:

“…So when their term expires, then verily Allah is seeing with respect to His servants.”

He (s.w.t.) both sees their deeds and is aware of their intentions.

Here, there arise two questions the answer of which is made manifest by what was said.

The first is that: Does this general command envelop Divine prophets, friends of Allah, and righteous ones, too?

The answer of this question is clear, because these kinds of ordinances refer to almost the mass of people and the decisive majority of them, and surely the Divine prophets, Imams, and righteous ones, who are in minority, are out of this circle. Shortly speaking, every ordinance has an exception and such ones are as exceptions of this ordinance.

The second is that: Does the application of the Qur’anic term /dabbah/ (creature), mentioned in the above verse, refer to non-human creatures, too? That is, will they be destroyed as the result of the punishment upon human beings?

The answer to this question will be made clear in regard to this point that the philosophy of the existence of other living creatures is for the benefit of men from them, and when the human generation is whipped out, their existence will not be necessary.

The Arabic word /dabbah/ is derived from /dabib/ in the sense of ‘to work slowly’, but from the philological point of view it refers to any living creature, and sometimes the Arabic word /dawab/ is used for the animals fit for riding, in particular.

At last, we put an end to this discussion with a tradition from the Prophet of Islam (S) which has been recorded upon the commentary of this verse.

According to this tradition, the Prophet (S) says:

“Allah, the Mighty, the Glorious, has implicitly said:

‘O’ the children of Adam! It is by My will and desire that you have been created free and you can wish for yourself whatever you wish; and it is by My Will that you have possessed a kind of will that you can decide for yourself whatever you will.

You have got strength by means of the bounties I gave you and you have committed sins; and it was by means of My Power and Safety that I gave you and you could do the obligations I commanded you.

Therefore, due to your good actions, I am prior to you yourself, but due to your sins, you are prior to Me. By means of the bounties I have given you, the good things ceaselessly come to you from My side, and the vice and wretchedness always come to you from yourself because of your treacheries.

I have never neglected you for warning and advising and I did not punish you immediately at the time of your pride and negligence, but I gave you enough respite that you might repent and improve yourselves.”

The verse says:

“…but He gives them respite till an appointed term. So when their term expires, then verily Allah is seeing with respect to His servants.”

Then, the Prophet (S) said that this is the same thing that Allah says:

“And if Allah were to seize the people (to punish them) for what they have earned, He would not leave on the back of it any creature…”1

O’ Allah! Appoint us among those who come forth before lasting the respites and return to You, and enlighten their dark past course by the light of good deeds and attracting Your consent.

O’ Allah! If Your Grace had not encompassed us, the fire from inside of our evil deeds would have swallowed us into its bottom; and if the ray of the light of Your forgiveness had not been showered on our heart, the army of Satan would have occupied it.

O’ Allah! Protect us from any kind of polytheism, and lit the torch of sincere Faith and Unity in our heart, and increase the light of piety in our speech and deeds.

  • 1. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Vol. 4, P. 370

Surah Ya-Sin, Chapter 36

No. 36 (Revealed at Mecca)
83 verses in 5 Sections

The Feature of Surah Ya-Sin

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

This Surah has been revealed at Mecca. It contains eighty three verses and has been entitled by the name of its first verse, which is from the abbreviated letters, Ya-Sin.

The subjective points of this Surah are based on axis of beliefs. Teaching it to the children and gifting the reward of its recitation to the dead have been recommended.

This holy Surah begins with Allah’s testifying upon the prophethood of the Prophet of Islam (S) and it continues with the statement of the prophethood of three Divine prophets.

In a part of this Surah, some verses of the greatness of Allah in the world of existence as the sign of Unity have been pointed out. In another part of it, the matters concerning to Resurrection, questions and answers in the Court of Hereafter, and some specialties of Paradise and Hell are mentioned. In some Islamic narrations, this Surah has been introduced as ‘The heart of Qur’an’.

The Virtue of Surah Ya-Sin

According to numerous Islamic traditions which have been vastly received on this concern, Surah Ya-Sin is one of the most important Suras of the Qur’an, in a manner that it has been introduced in some traditions as ‘The Heart of the Qur’an’.

A tradition narrated from the Prophet of Islam (S) indicates he said:

“Everything has heart (centre) and Ya-Sin is the heart of the Qur’an.”1

This very meaning has been narrated in a tradition from Imam Sadiq (as) who, at its end, adds:

“Whoever recites Surah Ya-Sin on a day before sun sets, during the whole day he will be protected and sustained (affluently); and whoever recites it at night before sleeping, one thousand angels will be for him to protect him from any accursed Satan and any impediment.”

And after it, he (as) mentions some other important virtues for it, too.2

There are so many other Islamic traditions on this regard mentioned in the Sunnites and Shi‘ites books that if we want to reiterate them, it will be a long explanation. Thus, it must be confessed that there are few suras of the Qur’an which have so many virtues in them.

As we have said, these virtues are not for those who only recite the words of it and forget its meanings, but this greatness is for the sake of the magnificent content of this Surah.

The content of the Surah is awakening, faith-giving, giver of responsibility, and increaser of piety in man, in a manner that when a person contemplates in it and this contemplation reflects in his deeds, it brings the goodness of this world and the next for him.

  • 1. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, at the beginning of Surah Ya-Sin.
  • 2. Ibid

Section 1: The Qur’an, The Apostle and the Manifest Guide

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 1-4

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

يس

وَالْقُرْءَانِ الْحَكِيمِ

إِنَّكَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

عَلي صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

1. “Ya Sin (Y.S)”
2. “By the Qur’an, full of Wisdom,”
3. “Verily you are of the messengers,”
4. “On a straight path.”

In spite of the kinds of accusations which were said to the Prophet (S), like: poet, soothsayer, sorcerer, and insane, Allah, the Wise, swears by the Qur’an full of wisdom and emphasizes on the messengership of the Prophet (S).

It says:

“Ya Sin”
“By the Qur’an, full of Wisdom,”

It swears by the Qur’an which has been sent down from His side. This explains its greatness and sacredness.

Similar to twenty eight other Suras of the Qur’an, this Surah begins with abbreviated letters:

(Ya Sin).

About the commentary of the abbreviated letters of the Holy Qur’an, there have been explained some discussions in details at the beginning of Suras: Al-Baqarah, ’Al-i-‘Imran, and Al-’A‘raf.

But there are some other interpretations about the abbreviated letters of Ya Sin, too, including the following:

This term contains: ‘Ya’ (a vocative particle) and ‘Sin’ viz., the Prophet of Islam (S), and thus, the holy Prophet (S) is addressed for the statement of the later matters.

Some Islamic traditions also indicate that this term is one of the names of the holy Prophet of Islam (S).

Imam Sadiq (as) in a tradition said:

“Ya-Sin is the name of The Messenger of Allah (S) and its evidence is the word of Allah, The Exalted, Who said:

‘Verily you are of the messengers’
‘On straight path’.”1

Next to these abbreviated letter, like many other Suras of the Qur’an which have began with abbreviated letters, the words are about the Holy Qur’an, but here Allah swears by them and says:

“By the Qur’an, full of wisdom.”

It is interesting that Qur’an is qualified by the word /hakim/ while this word is usually the quality of an alive and wise person. As if it introduces the Qur’an as a wise, living, and leading leader that can open the doors of wisdom to human beings, and lead them to the straight way that will be pointed out in later verses.

Of course, Allah does not need to take any oath, but the oaths of the Qur’an have always two important usages. The first is an emphasis on the concerning matter, and the second is the statement of the greatness of the thing by which is sworn, for nobody takes an oath to the worthless things.

Therefore, in the next holy verse, the Qur’an reiterates the thing for which the oath in the previous verse has been taken.

It says:

“Verily you are of the messengers,”
“On a straight path.”

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 5-6

تَنزِيلَ الْعَزِيْزِ الرَّحِيمِ

لِتُنذِرَ قَوْماً مَّآ اُنذِرَ ءَابآؤُهُمْ فَهُمْ غَافِلُونَ

5. “A revelation of the Mighty, the Merciful.”
6. “That you may warn a people whose fathers were not warned, hence they are heedless.”

The origin of the descent of The Qur’an is Divine Power and Mercy, and whoever attaches it, reaches honour and grace. This holy verse implies that this is The Qur’an which has been sent down from the side of Allah, the Mighty, the Merciful.

It says:

“A revelation of the Mighty, the Merciful.”

The emphasis of the holy verse on the fact that Allah is ‘Mighty’ is for the statement of His power over such a great Book which remains during all centuries as an eternal miracle, and no power is able to wipe out its greatness from the hearts of the believers.

The emphasis on mercifulness of Allah is for the statement of this fact that His Mercy has required that He bestows such a great bounty on human beings.

So, if people try to deny and belie the truth, Allah has threatened them by His Might, and if they come forth with submission and acceptance, Allah has given them glad tiding by His Mercy.2

Therefore, His Might and Mercy, one of which is the symbol of warning, and the other is the symbol of glad tiding, have mixed with together and He has given this great heavenly Book to men.

Here, there arises a question that why the addressee in this sentence has been taken the holy Prophet (S), not the polytheist nor the people in general.

The answer is that: the purpose has been in this fact that He emphasizes that you are legitimate and on the straight path, whether they accept it or not. For this very reason, you should be earnest in the heavy mission of your messengership, and do not let the least discouragement come to you because of the rejection of the opponents.

In the next verse, the Qur’an explains the main aim of the descent of the Qur’an, as follows:

“That you may warn a people whose fathers were not warned, hence they are heedless.”

The purpose of this people is certainly the pagans of Arab, and if someone says that, as they believe, there has not been any nation without a Warner, and the earth will never be empty of Allah’s ir, No. 35, verse 24:

“…Authority, and, moreover, we recited is Surah Al-Fat and there was not a people but a Warner having gone in them (in the past)”

there is, of course, an answer for it.

In answer we will say that the purpose of the verse under discussion is the manifest Warner and a great prophet whose name is heard everywhere, else, in any time, there exists Divine authority for those who eagerly seek him.

And if we see that the course between the time of Hadrat Messiah (as) and the advent of the Prophet of Islam (S) has been counted as the course of intermission, it does not mean that there has not absolutely been any Divine Authority for them, but this interval had been from the point of the appointment of great prophets or arch-prophets.

Imam Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) in this regard says:

“Verily Allah appointed Muhammad (S) when neither one of Arabs used to read a heavenly Book, nor (anyone) claimed prophesy.”3

However, the aim by sending down the Qur’an was to make the negligent people aware and to awaken those who were asleep. It intended to remind them the dangers that had surrounded them, and the sins they were involved in and the Polytheism and immorality, they were polluted by.

Yes, the Qur’an is the base of knowledge and awareness, and it is the Book of sanctification of the heart and soul, too.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 7-8

لَقَدْ حَقَّ الْقَوْلُ عَلَي أَكْثَرِهِمْ فَهُمْ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ

اِنَّا جَعَلْنَا فِي أَعْنَاقِهِمْ أَغْلاَلاً فَهِيَ اِلَي الأَذْقَانِ فَهُم مُّقْمَحُونَ

7. “The word (of punishment) has been realized against most of them, yet they do not believe.”
8. “Verily, we have put chains on their necks, and these reach up to their chins, so their heads are raised.”

Allah puts chains on the pagans’ necks, but they themselves have provided its preparation.

As a prophecy about the chiefs of pagans and leaders of polytheists, this verse says:

“The word (of punishment) has been realized against most of them, yet they do not believe.”

Concerning the purpose of the Qur’anic word /qaul/ (the word) mentioned here, the commentators have delivered some probable meanings, but apparently the objective meaning is the promise of the Hell punishment for the followers of Satans, as Surah As-Sajdah, No. 32, verse 13 says:

“…but the true word (which has gone forth) from Me, certainly will I fill Hell with the jinn and men together.”

And again Surah Az-Zumar, No. 39, verse 71 says:

“…but the Decree of chastisement has been proved true against the Unbelievers.”

However this state is for those who had ceased all their communication lines with Allah and had broken all the means of relation. They had closed the entire doors of guidance to them and had committed the utmost degree of enmity, obstinacy, and stubbornness. Yes, such people will never believe and have no way to return, because they have ruined all the bridges behind them.

The fact is in this that man will be corrigible and worthy of being guided if he has not totally ruined his monotheistic nature with his ugly and polluted deeds, otherwise, an absolute darkness will dominate over his heart and all of the doors of hope will be closed for him.

By the way, it was made clear by this statement that the purpose of the majority of the persons who never believe is the chiefs of polytheists and pagans, and that was why that some of them were killed in the battles of Muslims in the state of polytheism and idolatry, and those who remained did not have any faith in their hearts until the end, while after the conquest of Mecca, the majority of the Arab polytheists embraced Islam groups and groups, as the Qur’an says:

“…the people enter Allah’s Religion in crowds.”4

The verses which are recited after it and refer to the barriers in front of them and behind them and count their eyes blind, and clearly says that they are alike whether they are warned or not, all attest to this very meaning.

However, the next holy verse continues explaining this unchangeable group, when it says:

“Verily, we have put chains on their necks, and these reach up to their chins, so their heads are raised.”

The Arabic word /’aqlal/ is the plural form of /qul/ and the word /qalala/ originally means: something which is in the middle of some things. For example, the flowing water, which passes through some trees, is called /qalal/ and the Arabic word /qul/ was a ring which was put on the necks or the heads of persons and then it was fastened with some chains.

So, since the hand was put in the middle of it, this word has been used for it. Sometimes the rings which were put on the necks were separately fastened by a chain, and the rings on the heads were different from them.

But, sometimes the hands were put in a ring and this ring was fastened to the ring which was on the neck, and, thus, the prisoner or the captive was intensively put in pressure, limitation, and torture.

If this word is used for the state of thirst or intense of grief and anger, it is called /qullih/ which is also for the sake of penetrating this state into the man’s heart and soul. Principally, the Arabic word /qall/ has been applied in both the senses of: ‘to bring in’ and ‘to enter’, therefore the income of the house, or agriculture, and the like is called /qallih/.5

In any case, sometimes when the ring, which was put on the neck, came up to the chin and set the head upward, and the captive or prisoner, being extraordinarily tortured by it, could not see around him.

How interesting is the resemblance which has been made from the state of obstinate idolaters to such persons.

Those have put the ring of imitation and the chain of superstitious customs on their necks, hands, and feet and their rings are so wide and vast that they have kept their heads upward and they are deprived from seeing the facts around them. They are some captives who have neither the power of activity and motion, nor the ability of watching.

Some commentators have mentioned a few occasions of revelation for the above mentioned verse and the verse next to it, saying that they have been revealed about Abujahl, or a man from ‘Bani Makhzun’ tribe, or the tribe of Quraysh.

They frequently decided to kill the Prophet (S), but Allah, by the way of miracle, hindered them to commit this action, and at that sensitive moment when they reached the holy Prophet (S) and wanted to attack him, their eyes could not see, or the power of motion was taken from them.6

But these occasions of revelation do not hinder the generality of the concept of the verse and the vastness of its meaning about all chiefs of pagans and those who are obstinate and zealous.

In the meantime it is a confirmation over what was said on the commentary of the Qur’anic phrase:

“They do not believe”

that its purpose is not the majority of polytheists, but the purpose of it is the majority of the chiefs of polytheists, pagans, and hypocrites.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 9-10

وَجَعَلْنَا مِن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ سَدّاً وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ سَدّاً فَأَغْشَيْنَاهُمْ فَهُمْ لاَ يُبْصِرُونَ

وَسَوآءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَأَنذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنذِرْهُمْ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ

9. “And We have put a barrier in front of them and a barrier behind them, and (further), We have covered them up, so they do not see.”
10. “And the same is to them whether you warn them or you do not warn them, they do not believe.”

The feature of the obstinate person has been illustrated very exactly and interestingly in this verse. The negligent faithless persons neither take an example from the past of pagans, nor from the miracle and argument which are in front of them.

That is why there is another description about these persons in this verse. By implying that they are confronted a barrier in their front and a barrier in their behind, the verse illustrates the expressive hindrances they have, and that they are so surrounded between these two barriers that they can move neither forward nor backward.

It says:

“And We have put a barrier in front of them and a barrier behind them…”

In the meantime their eyes have been covered by a barrier and, consequently, they cannot see anything at all.

It continues saying:

“…and (further), We have covered them up, so they do not see.”

What a wonderful clear illustration it is! From one side, they are like some prisoners who are put in ring and chains. And, on the other side, this ring is so wide and vast that it has caused their heads to be kept upward unto the sky so that they do not see absolutely anything from around them.

Think carefully about this kind of person who has such circumstances. What can he do? What thing does he understand? What can he see? And how can he walk? Such is the status of the self-loving egoistic men of pride, and the blind and deaf imitators, who are obstinate and zealous, in front of the face of the facts.

For this reason the Qur’an explicitly says:

“And the same is to them whether you warn them or you do not warn them, they do not believe.”

The more your speech is influential, and the more the heavenly revelation is fairly effective, they will not affect unless they arrive into a receptive ground.

If thousand years the world illuminating sun shines on a saline, and the life-giving rains come down on it, and the spring winds constantly pass over it, this land will not deliver any product save some thorn, because the receptivity of the recipient beside the activity of the agent is its condition.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 11

إِنَّمَا تُنذِرُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الذّ‌ِكْرَ وَخَشِيَ الرَّحْمَنَ بِالْغَيْبِ فَبَشّـِرْهُ بِمَغْفِرَةٍ وَأَجْرٍ كَرِيمٍ

11. “You can only warn him who follows the reminder (Qur’an) and fears the Beneficent (Allah) in secret; so give him the good tidings of forgiveness and a generous wage.”

Qur’an is the cause of remembrance, and following it is the means of reminding that which has been forgotten and recalling the man’s passive nature.

It is also necessary that fear and hope come beside each other. In the Qur’anic sentence: /xašiy-ar-rahman/ (fears the Beneficent (Allah)) there are both fear and mercy.

In the previous holy verse, the words were about a group of people who had never the readiness of accepting the Divine warnings, and warning them or not is the same for them. But the verse under discussion speaks about another group who are just opposite of them, so that, by comparing them, as it is the style of the Holy Qur’an in discussions, the subject can be made more manifest.

It says:

“You can only warn him who follows the reminder (Qur’an) and fears the Beneficent (Allah) in secret…”

And whoever is like that, to him you should give the glad tidings of forgiveness and worthy compensation.

It continues saying:

“…so give him the good tidings of forgiveness and a generous wage.”

These two qualities, in fact, are readiness and its ‘potential’ aspect. That is, warning can be effective only upon those who have a hearing ear and a receptive heart. Warning leaves two effects on them. The first is following the contents of the Holy Qur’an; and the second is to be in awe before Allah and for responsibilities.

In other words, these two states potentially exist in them, but, after warning, they become active, in spite of the blind-hearted, obstinate and negligent persons who have neither a hearing ear nor are they ready to fear.

A great deal of the commentators believe that the objective meaning of the word /ŏikr/, in this verse, is the Holly Qur’an, because this word, in this form, has repeatedly been used in this very meaning.

But it does not matter that the purpose of the word /ŏikr/ is its lexicographical meaning which is any kind of remembrance that includes the verses of the Holy Qur’an and other warnings of the Prophet (S) and those of the Divine leaders.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 12

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نُحْيِ الْمَوْتَي وَنَكْتُبُ مَا قَدَّمُوا وَءَاثَارَهُمْ وَكُلَّ شَيْءٍ أَحْصَيْنَاهُ فِي إِمَامٍ مُبِينٍ

12. “Verily We shall give life to the dead, and We write down that which they send before and (even) their footprints, and We have numbered everything in a clear Register.”

The man’s file of deeds is open even after his death until the Hereafter. Not only the man’s deeds, but also all his traces will be recorded and will be reckoned in the Hereafter, whether they are good effects, like: mortmain, remaining voluntary alms, teaching knowledge to people and so on; or they are evil effects like establishing centres of indecency.

However, fitting with the explanation of the former holy verse about the compensation and the valuable rewards of the believers and those who accept the admonishments of the prophets, this verse refers to the subject of Resurrection and recording the man’s deeds for reckoning and compensation, and it says:

“Verily We shall give life to the dead…”

The emphasis on the Arabic word /naḥnu/ points to this fact that with the great powers that you all know about Allah, there is no room for the discussions and debates that how the rotten bones will revive again and continue to live in a new life.

Allah not only gives life to the dead but also He writes down whatever people sent before them and He writes all their effects that they leave behind them. Therefore, there will surely remain nothing save that they will be protected in the record of deeds for the Reckoning Day.

The Qur’anic sentence /ma qaddamu/ (that which they send before) refers to the deeds they have done and there is no trace remained from them; but the application of the Qur’anic phrase /wa ’atharahum/ (and their footprints) refers to the deeds which remain from a person and their effects are seen in the environment, like: remaining voluntary alms: (buildings, mortmain properties, and the centres which remain after the death of a person and people take benefit from them)

There is also this probability in the commentary that the Qur’anic sentence /ma qaddamu/ (that which they send before) points to the deeds which have personal aspect while the Qur’anic phrase /’atharahum/ points to the affairs which become precedent custom and later, after the death of the person, will also be the source of public welfare and blessing, or the cause of vice, harm, and sin.

The concept of it is vast, of course, and both of these commentaries may be involved in its concept.

For more emphasis, at the end of the verse the holy Qur’an adds:

“…and We have numbered everything in a clear Register.”7

The majority of the famous commentators have rendered the Qur’anic phrase: /’imam-in-mubin/ here into ‘Protected Table’. The same Book in which all the deeds of men and the whole beings and events of this world are recorded and protected.

The application of the word /’imam/ here may be for the sake that in the Hereafter this book is the guide and a lead for all of the angels of reward and retribution, and it is a criterion for evaluation of the value of men’s deeds and their reward and retribution.

It is interesting that in some other verses of the Holy Qur’an this meaning (Imam) has been used in respect to ‘the Turah’, where the Qur’an says:

“Is he then (like unto him) who has a clear proof from his Lord and follows him a witness from Him, and before it (is) the Book of Moses, a guide and a mercy (testifying it)?…”8

The usage of the word /’imam/ (guide) in this verse, about the Torah, is for the knowledge, ordinances, and instructions in it. It is also for the signs of the Prophet of Islam (S) which have been mentioned in it. In all these affairs it could be guide and leader of people. Thus, the above mentioned word has a concept in every one of them proportionate to it.

  • 1. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn ,Vol. 4, P. 375
  • 2. The commentary by Fakhr-i-Razi
  • 3. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, sermons 33 and 104
  • 4. Surah An-Nasr, No. 110, verse 2
  • 5. and Majma‘-ul-Bayanitr-ul-MuhMufradat, by Raqib Qut
  • 6. Tafsir-i-’Alusi, Vol. 22, P. 199
  • 7. There are some Islamic narrations available from the side of Ahl-ul-Bayt (as) in which the Qur’anic phrase: /’imam-in-mubin/ has been rendered into ’Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as).
    Among them is a tradition narrated from Imam Baqir (as) from his father, from his grandfather (as) who said:

    “When this verse was revealed, Abubakr and ‘Umar stood up and said:

    ‘O messenger of Allah! Is its purpose the Turah?’

    He answered:

    ‘No’.

    They asked:

    ‘Is it Bible?’

    He said:

    ‘No’.

    They said:

    ‘Is its purpose the Qur’an?’

    He said: ‘No’. At this time Amir-ul-Mu’mimeen Ali (as) came toward the Prophet (S). As soon as the Messenger of Allah (S) saw him, he said:

    ‘This man is /’imam-in-mubin/. He is the Imam in whom Allah, the Exalted, has numbered the knowledge of everything’.” (Ma‘ani-ul-‘Akhbar, by Saduq)

    In the commentary of Ali-ibn-‘Ibrahim it has also been narrated from Ibn-i-‘Abbas, from Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) himself that he said:

    “By Allah! I am Al-’Imam-ul-Mubin. I make manifest the right from wrong. I have learnt this (knowledge) from the Messenger of Allah (S).”

  • 8. Surah Hud, No. 11, verse 17

Section 2: Apostles Sent Before, Referred to

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 13

وَاضْرِبْ لَهُم مَّثَلاً أَصْحَابَ الْقَرْيَةِ اِذْ جَآءَهَا الْمُرْسَلُونَ

13. “And coin for them a similitude of the people of the town, when the messengers came to it.”

The messenger of Allah used to go toward people and they did not wait for people to come toward them.

Following the former discussions about the Qur’an, the Prophecy of the Prophet of Islam (S), the true believers, and the obstinate rejecters, in the verse under discussion, in this regard an example of the situation of the former nations is referred to.

Through this verse and a few verses after it, which totally form eighteen verses of this Surah, the life story of several former prophets who had duty to guide a polytheistic nation and the Qur’an has mentioned hab-ul-qaryah/ (the people of a town), who opposedthem as /’as those prophets and belied them and, finally, encountered a painful chastisement, is stated, so that it can be both a warning to the polytheists of Mecca and a solace for the Prophet (S) and the believers of that day.

However, emphasizing on this story which is in the centre of this Surah, which itself is the heart of Qur’an, is for the complete similarity which has with success of the Muslims of that day. It says:

“And coin for them a similitude of the people of the town, when the messengers came to it.”

The Arabic term /qaryah/ originally means the name of a place where people gather (to live); and sometimes the people themselves are called /qaryah/. Therefore, it has such a vast meaning that it envelops both cities and villages, though in the ordinary Persian language this term is used for only a village.

In Arabic and in the Qur’an this term has frequently been used for the main and important cities, such as: Egypt, Mecca, and the like.

Among the commentators it is popular that this city is meant ’Antakiyyah, which has been one of the cities of Shamat, and it had been one of very famous cities of ancient Room, and at the present time, from the geographical point of view is in the territory of Turkish country.

However, it is understood from the verses of this Surah that the people of this city had been idol worshippers, and these messenger had come to invite them toward Monotheism and struggle against polytheism.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 14

إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا فَعَزَّزْنَا بِثَالِثٍ فَقَالُوا إِنَّآ اِلَيْكُم مُّرْسَلُونَ

14. “When We sent unto them two (of Our apostles) they belied them both, then We strengthened (the two) with a third and they said (unto the people): ‘Verily we are messengers to you (from Allah)’.”

This holy verse says:

“When We sent unto them two (of Our apostles) they belied them both, then We strengthened (the two) with a third and they said (unto the people): ‘Verily we are messengers to you (from Allah)’.”

Thus, there came to this aberrant people three messengers of Allah.

The ideas are divided among the commentators that who were these messengers. Some of them have said: the names of those two were ‘Sham‘un’ and ‘Yuhanna’ and the third of them was Polos, while some others have mentioned other names for them.

Also that they were the messengers of Allah or the angels of Jesus (as), (And if Allah says: “We sent” it is for the sake that the messengers of Jesus are His messengers, too.)

Again the ideas are divided among the commentators, though the apparent of the above verses adapts to the first commentary.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 15-17

قَالُوا مَآ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مّـِثْلُنَا وَمَآ أَنزَلَ الرَّحْمَنُ مِن شَيْءٍ اِنْ أَنتُمْ اِلاَّ تَكْذِبُونَ

قَالُوا رَبُّنَا يَعْلَمُ إِنَّآ اِلَيْكُمْ لَمُرْسَلُونَ

وَمَا عَلَيْنَآ إِلاَّ الْبَلاَغُ الْمُبِينُ

15. “They said: ‘You are not but men like unto us, nor has the Beneficent (Allah) sent down anything. You are speaking only lies’.”
16. “They (the messengers) said: ‘Our Lord knows that we have been sent to you.”
17. “And our duty is only to deliver the clear Message’.”

Now we deal with the reaction of those aberrant people in the face of the invitation of those Divine messengers. The Holy Qur’an implies that they expressed the same pretext that many disobedient unbelievers had formerly stated against the Divine prophets.

The verse says:

“They said: ‘You are not but men like unto us, nor has the Beneficent (Allah) sent down anything. You are speaking only lies’.”

Had it been decided that a messenger came from the side of Allah, he should be a near-stationed angel, not a mortal like us. They considered this very thing as a proof for rejecting the messengers and the denial of the descent of the command of Allah.

They said this while they themselves might also know that all the Divine messengers in the length of history were from the generation of Adam including Abraham (as), whom all knew as a prophet, surely were human beings. Moreover, can anything ever understand the men’s needs, difficulties and pains save a human being?

That why the significant attribute of Allah’s mercifulness is emphasized on, it may be from this point that, by narrating their statement, because: how is it possible for Allah, Whose general Mercy has been spread throughout the world, He does not send some messengers for training people and for inviting human beings to rectitude and development?

However, these prophets were not hopeless from the severe opposition of that misguided people and did not let any weakness and debility come to them.

Their answer to them was as follows:

“They (the messengers) said: ‘Our Lord knows that we have been sent to you.”
“And our duty is only to deliver the clear Message’.”

Certainly the messengers of Allah did not suffice to mere claiming, and to only oath, but, as it is understood from the Qur’anic sentence /balaq un mubin/ (the clear Message), they showed some miracles and proofs from themselves, else their message, as an expansion of the Clear Message, must be in such a manner that it conveys the reality to all, and this is not possible but by the help of some firm proofs and clear godly miracles.

Some Islamic narrations indicate that, like Jesus (as), by the leave of Allah, they cured some irrecoverable patients.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 18-19

قَالُوا اِنَّا تَطَيَّرْنَا بِكُمْ لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهُوا لَنَرْجُمَنَّكُمْ وَلَيَـمَسَّنَّكُم مِنَّا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

قَالُوا طَآئِرُكُم مَعَكُمْ أَئِنْ ذُكّـِرْتُم بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُونَ

18. “(The pagans told the prophets:) ‘For us, we augur an evil omen from you, if you do not desist, we will certainly stone you, and there shall certainly afflict you a painful chastisement from us’.”
19. “They said: ‘your evil omens are with yourselves, (should you augur a bad omen) if you are admonished? But you are a prodigal people’.”

This verse indicates that not only those blind-hearted people did not submit before that clear logic and those miracles, but also they increased their hardship and went beyond the stage of rejection and reached the stage of threat and vehemence of action, as the Qur’an says:

“(The pagans told the prophets:) ‘For us, we augur an evil omen from you…”

Perhaps, simultaneous to the time of the advent of these Divine prophets, some difficulties appeared in the life of the people of that area as the result of their sins or as a Divine warning, as some commentators have also cited that the rain ceased to fall for a length of time1, but not only they did not take a lesson from it, but also they related that event to the invitation of the prophets.

They did not even suffice it, but by the manifest threat they showed their evil and ugly intentions, and said:

“…if you do not desist, we will certainly stone you, and there shall certainly afflict you a painful chastisement from us’.”

Yes, when the adherents of wrong and the supporters of injustice and corruption have not any acceptable logic, they always rely on some threat, pressure, and hardship.

They are neglectful of the fact that those who pave the path of Allah will never submit because of these threats, but their perseverance will be increased. On the day when they entered this field, they put their souls ahead and became ready for donation.

The second verse indicates that it was here that the Divine messengers, by their expressive and clear logic, answered their meaningless words, as follows:

“They said: ‘your evil omens are with yourselves, (should you augur a bad omen) if you are admonished?…”

If misery, misfortune, and evil events have encompassed the environment of your society and the Divine blessings have gone out from amongst you, you must seek its cause inside yourselves and in your wrong thoughts, and in your ugly and evil deeds, not in our invitation.

It is you who have made the atmosphere of your lives dark in relation to idolatry, sensuality, tyranny, and voluptuousness, and thus you have ceased the bounties of Allah from you.

A group of commentators have considered the Qur’anic sentence: /’a ’in ŏukkirtum/ as a hinder to an independent matter and said that its concept is this that if the Divine prophets come and admonish you and warn you its recompense is that you threaten them to punishment and think of their existence as omen.

They have brought light, guidance, goodness and blessing for you. Is the response of such a service those threats and ugly words?

At last, the last word of these messengers of Allah to them was this that they said:

“…But you are a prodigal people’.”

That is, the main problem of yours is your prodigality and oppression. If you have denied Monotheism and referred to polytheism, its reason is prodigality and violating the Truth; and if your society has been afflicted an evil fate, its cause is also immoderation in sins and polluting to lusts.

And, finally, if you threaten the benevolent to death for their benevolence, this is also because of your oppression.

Next to the commentary of the rest verses of this story, we will explain about the historical event of these messengers and the place where these events happened.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 20-21

وَجَآءَ مِنْ أَقْصَا الْمَدِينَةِ رَجُلٌ يَسْعَي قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اتَّبِعُوا الْمُرْسَلِينَ

اتَّبِعُوا مَن لاَ يَسْأَلُكُمْ أَجْراً وَهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ

20. “And from the farthest part of the city there came a man running; he said: ‘O’ my people! Follow the messengers;”
21. “Follow those who ask no reward of you, and who are themselves guided.”

Supporting the truth must be accompanied with severity, speed, logic, and sympathy. In order to support the leadership of the truth, breaking the silence and shouting in the swerved environments is admired by Allah.

Another part of the struggles of the messengers, whom are referred to in this story, has been mentioned in this holy verse. It concerns the accurate and bravely support of the believers from them, who, with their small number, stood firmly against the majority of obstinate, polytheistic pagans and defended the Divine prophets with their souls!

The verse says:

“And from the farthest part of the city there came a man running; he said: ‘O’ my people! Follow the messengers;”

This man, whose name has been introduced as ‘Habib Najjar’ by most of the commentators, was one of those who, by their early meetings with the messengers of Allah, recognized the legitimacy of their invitation and the depth of their teachings, and proved that he was a decided and steadfast believer.

As soon as he was informed that in the centre of the city people had quarrelled with these messengers and, perhaps, they intended to kill them, he did not count his silence in that occasion permissible and, as it is understood from the Qur’anic word /yas‘a/ (running), he quickly and hastily reached himself to the centre of the city and defended the truth as much as he could.

The application of the Arabic word /rajul/ (man), in an infinitive form, points to this matter that he was an ordinary person.

He had not so much power and dignity, and he was alone in his own path.

In the meanwhile, the light and the heat of Faith had made him so light and warn that heedless to the sequels of this severe defence from the strugglers of the path of Unity, entered the battle-field, so that the believers of the time of the Prophet of Islam (S), who were not more than a few at the beginning of Islam, would take an example and know that even a single believer has responsibility, too, and silence is not permissible for him.

The application of the Qur’anic phrase /’aqs al madinah/ (the farthest part of city) shows that the invitation of these messengers had reached the far points of the city, too, and had attracted the receptive heart.

Besides this, the far points of the cities are always the place of the oppressed who are more receptive to accept the truth. On the contrary, in the centre of cities there usually live some welfare people who are not easily absorbed to the truth.

The application of the Arabic phrase /ya qaum/ (O’ my people!) indicates to the sympathy of this simple man unto the citizens and people of that area, and invitation to obeying and following the divine prophets is a sincere invitation which has no benefit in it for him.

Now, we refer to the fact that by which logic and proof did this believing struggler attract the attention of his fellow citizens?

At first he began saying:

“Follow those who ask no reward of you…”

This is the first sign of their veracity, that they have no material benefit in their invitation. They do not demand people any wealth, nor any position and rank, nor even any thank and gratitude, nor any other reward or recompense.

This meaning is the same thing which has repeatedly been emphasized on in the Qur’an concerning the great prophets as the sign of sincerity, no request, and purity of the hearts of prophets.

Only in Surah As-Shu‘ara’, No. 26, the sentence:

“I do not ask you…”

has been repeated for five times.2

Then the verse concerning these prophets implicitly adds that, as it is understood from the content of their words and invitation, they are some guided persons.

It says:

“…and who are themselves guided.”

This points to this fact that the lack of submission to the invitation of a person is either for the sake that his invitation is in the way of the truth and drives persons to aberration; or it is in the way of the truth but those who bring it earn some benefits under its shade which causes pessimism unto that invitation. But when there is neither that nor this, is there any room for hesitation?

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 22-24

وَمَا لِيَ لآ أَعْبُدُ الَّذِي فَطَرَنِي وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ

ءَأَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِهِ ءَالِهَةً إِن يُرِدْنِ الرَّحْمَنُ بِضُرٍّ لاَ تُغْنِ عَنّـِي شَفَاعَتُهُمْ شَيْئاً وَلاَ يُنقِذُونِ

إِنّـِي إِذًا لَفِي ضَلاَلٍ مُبِينٍ

22. “And why should not I worship Him Who brought me into being, and unto Whom you all shall be returned.”
23. “Shall I take (other) gods besides Him, if the Beneficent (Allah) desires affliction for me, their intercession shall not avail me aught, neither can they deliver me?”
24. “Verily in that case I shall be in manifest error.”

Being attentive toward both Origin and Resurrection is the course of servitude.

The verse says:

“And why should not I worship Him Who brought me into being, and unto Whom you all shall be returned.”

Those who do not serve Allah are condemned in the court of their conscience.

In the second verse it refers to its third reasoning due to idols and it completes the affirmation of the servitude for Allah by negating the servitude from idols.

It says:

“Shall I take (other) gods besides Him, if the Beneficent (Allah) desires affliction for me, their intercession shall not avail me aught, neither can they deliver me?”

Again, here it speaks of himself in order not to have the form of commandment and order, and that others may reckon their own account.

In fact, he has taken the main pretext of the idol worshippers who said they worshipped idols for the sake that they intercede (the idols) in the court of Allah. The Holy Qur’an implies that what kind of intercession may it be? They themselves are in need of your help. What can they do for you when you are in afflictions?

The application of the Qur’anic term ‘Ar-Rahman’ (The Beneficent Allah) here, besides pointing to the vastness of the Mercy of Allah and that all merits and bounties returned toward Him, which itself is a proof upon the ‘Unity of worship’, indicates to this point that the Beneficent Allah does not desire any harm for anyone, unless the man’s wrong action reaches to its utmost degree.

This causes man to be far from the vast scope of Allah’s Mercy and inflicts him in the realm of His Wrath.

Then, in order to emphasize on it and to explain it more, this believing champion said:

“Verily in that case I shall be in manifest error.”

What error can be more manifest than this that a wise man knees before these fatuous idols and puts them in comparison with the Creator of the earth and heaven.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 25-27

إِنّـِي ءَامَنتُ بِرَبّـِكُمْ فَاسْمَعُونِ

قِيلَ ادْخُلِ الْجَنَّةَ قَالَ يَا لَيْتَ قَوْمِي يَعْلَمُونَ

بِمَا غَفَرَ لِي رَبّـِي وَجَعَلَنِي مِنَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ

25. “Verily I have believed in your lord, therefore hear me!”
26. “(Finally he became martyr.) It was said (unto him): ‘Enter Paradise.’ He said: ‘O’ would that my people had known,”
27. “That my Lord has forgiven me and made me of the honoured ones.”

The best way of invitation is a practical invitation.

To become martyr in the path of supporting the Divine leader and enjoining the right, has a very long background in the history of man.

This verse indicates that this believing champion, the struggler, after expressing these argumentations and effective propaganda, in the presence of a crowd, with a loud voice, said:

“Verily I have believed in your lord…”
“…therefore hear me!”

And do know that I am faithful to the invitation of these messengers. Then utilize my statement, too, because it is in your benefit.

The question is: who is the addressee of this sentence, and also of the sentence which says:

“Verily I have believed in your Lord…”?

The apparent of the previous verses shows that the addressees are the same polytheists and idolaters who were in that land. This meaning has been used in many verses of the Qur’an concerning pagans and at the time of stating the Monotheistic arguments.3

And also the Qur’anic sentence /fasma‘un/ (therefore hear me!) does not contrast to what was said, because he has mentioned this sentence to invite them to follow his own statement.

It is similar to what has been mentioned in the story of the believer of ’Al-i-Fir‘aun, where, addressing the Pharaohs, he says:

“O’ my people! Follow me, I guide you to the path of guidance.”4

This makes it clear the fact that some of the commentators have said the addressees in this sentence are the same messengers who had come from the side of Allah for the invitation of this group, and they have taken the word ‘rabbikum’ and the sentence ‘therefore hear me’ as a ‘frame of reference’ for it, for which there is no kind of evidence available.

But, what did this obstinate group do in respect to this pure believer? The Qur’an says nothing about it, but it is understood from the tone of the later verses that they rebelled against him and killed him.

Yes, the enthusiastic and exiting words of this man which were accompanied with some strong arguments and some interesting points not only did not affect positively on those black hearts and on those mind full of deceit and pride, but also it lit such a fire of enmity and grudge in their hearts that they sprang and, with utmost callousness and cruelty, attacked this brave man to kill him.

According to a narration, they stoned him and his body was so harshly thrown by stones that he fell down and died, while he constantly was saying:

“O’ would that my people had known.”5

According to another narration they trampled him under their feet so violently that his soul flew to the heaven.6

But the Qur’an has stated this fact in an interesting and secret sentence:

“(Finally he became martyr.) It was said (unto him): ‘Enter Paradise.’…”

This is the meaning which has been used in other verses of the Qur’an about the martyrs in the path of Allah:

“And do not think of those who were killed and in the way of Allah to be dead. Nay, they are alive, being provided sustenance with their Lord.”7

It is interesting that this meaning shows that as soon as the martyrdom of this faithful man happened he entered Paradise. The length of the time between these two events was so short that the Qur’an, in its smooth meaning, instead of mentioning his martyrdom, had mentioned his arrival into Paradise; and how nigh is the way of Paradise and the eternal happiness to martyrs!

It is clear that the purpose of Paradise here is the Purgatory Paradise, because it is understood from both the verses of the Qur’an and Islamic narrations that such a Paradise will be of the believers, and in the same manner there will be the Purgatory Hell for the wrong doers, too.

Thus, there will be another kind of Paradise and Hell in the purgatory world which are the samples of Paradise and Hell in Resurrection.

There is a tradition about grave narrated from Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) who said:

“The grave is either a garden from the gardens of Paradise, or it is a cavity out of the cavities of Hell.”8

However, the pure soul of this man went up to the heavens and hastened toward the nearness of the Divine Mercy, in the bliss of Paradise, where whose only wish was that which the verse continues saying:

“…He said: ‘O’ would that my people had known,”
“That my Lord has forgiven me and made me of the honoured ones.”

He wished that they had had an eye which was not covered with the thick heavy worldly material curtains and they could see whatever is behind this curtain; that is they might see these plenty of bounties, generosity and honour from the side of Allah and that they might know that, instead of their scorns, what the great favour Allah had done to him.

He wishes they could see and believe. But alas!

A tradition indicates that the Prophet (S) said:

“Verily this faithful man not only in his life wanted good for his people, but also after his death wished their guidance.”9

It is noteworthy that at first he emphasized on the forgiveness of Allah and then upon His generosity, because, at first, the man’s soul should be purified from the pollution of sins with the spiritual water of forgiveness, and when it became purified, he might approach the rank of nearness and generosity of Allah.

However, this was the end of this man, the true faithful champion, who did not have any shortcoming in fulfilling his duty and supporting the Divine prophets and, at last, he became martyr and succeeded to be admitted to the nearness of Allah’s Mercy.

Now, what was the end of that disobedient cruet nation?

The Qur’an does not say anything about the end of those three prophets who were sent to that nation, but a group of commentators have written that, besides killing that faithful man, that nation killed their own prophets, too.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 28-29

وَمَآ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَي قَوْمِهِ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ مِن جُندٍ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ وَمَا كُنَّا مُنزِلِينَ

إِن كَانَتْ إِلاَّ صَيْحَةً وَاحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ خَامِدُونَ

28. “And We did not send down upon his people, after him, any host from heaven, nor do We ever send down.”
29. “It was no more than a single (heavenly) Blast that suddenly they were still.”

The angels are the missions of the wrath or affection of Allah, and their coming down or not depends on the command of Allah. However, the Wrath of Allah comes all of a sudden and we should not be neglectful.

Former holy verses explained how the people of Antioch opposed the Divine prophets.

Now, we may refer to their end. In this respect, the Qur’an says:

“And We did not send down upon his people, after him, any host from heaven, nor do We ever send down.”

It is not so that for destroying this disobedient nation We betake to these things.

We do not need such affairs. Only a single hint is enough that We cause them to be quenched and, by ruining their life, We send them to destruction.

Only a single command is enough that the factors of their lives changes into the factors of their death, and in only a short moment all their lives would be annihilated.

In the second verse, the Qur’an adds:

“It was no more than a single (heavenly) Blast, that suddenly they were still.”

Was this Blast the sound of a thunderbolt which appeared from a piece of cloud and came down to the earth, shook everything and ruined all buildings, and by means of the intense terror, they submitted to death?

Or was it a blast which, as the result of a horrible earthquake, came out from the inside of the earth into the atmosphere and the waves of its burst brought all to the mouth of death?

Whatever it was, it was no more than a Blast happened in a fleeting moment. It was a ‘cry’ which made all cries silent, and it was a shock which caused all to be motionless. And such is the power of Allah, and this was the fate of a misguided and useless nation.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 30

يَا حَسْرَةً عَلَي الْعِبَادِ مَا يَأْتِيهِم مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ كَانُوا بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِؤُونَ

30. “Alas for the servants! Never came there unto them a messenger but they used to mock him!”

Mocking the Divine prophets has been the constant style of pagans throughout the history of man.

This verse with a very attractive and effective tone puts the opposition of all arrogant ones of the history against the invitation of the Divine prophets in a lump under discussion.

It says:

“Alas for the servants! Never came there unto them a messenger but they used to mock him!”

Woe to those who shut the doors of Allah’s Mercy to them themselves!

Alas for those who broke their torches of guidance!

Miserable and deprived of happiness are those who not only did not hearken to the call of the Divine leaders, but also tried to mock them, and then, they killed them by swords, while they had seen the evil fate of those faithless arrogant people before them and they had heard by their ears or studied in history the painful end of theirs that they did not take the least example and paved just the same way they had gone and, consequently, faced with the same fate.

It is clear that this sentence is the word of Allah, since all these verses have been stated from His side, but, of course, the term ‘Alas’ in the sense of inner annoyance concerning the events for which man cannot do anything, is meaningless about Allah; as ‘Wrath’, ‘anger’ and the like, in their real concepts do not exist in respect to Allah either.

But the purpose is that the status of those wretched people was so that whoever became aware of their circumstance he would be sad and stressed that why did they drown in that horrible whirlpool while they had so many means of prosperity.

The application of the Qur’anic word /‘ibad/, (the servants of Allah), points to this fact that it is surprising that the servants of Allah, who are encompassed with the bounties of Allah, have committed such crimes.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 31-32

أَلَمْ يَرَوْا كَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُم مِنَ الْقُرُونِ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ لاَ يَرْجِعُونَ

وَاِن كُلٌّ لَمَّا جَمِيعٌ لَدَيْنَا مُحْضَرُونَ

31. “Have they not seen how many generations We destroyed before them? Not to them will they return.”
32. “And all of them shall surely be brought before Us.”

The consequence of people’s mocking Divine prophets is annihilation, and when the Wrath of Allah comes, there is no way for them to return and recompense. We must not lose the opportunities.

That is why the Qur’an in these two holy verses says:

“Have they not seen how many generations We destroyed before them?…”

These are not the first people who lived on the earth. There have been some other arrogant people before them who lived in this world and the painful fate of them which has been recorded in the history and the sorrowful traces which have been remained from them in the ruins of their habituated cities are in front of their eyes.

Is this amount of news not enough for them to take example?

That to whom does the plural pronoun in the Qur’anic sentence saying /’alam yarau/ (have they not seen) return? The commentators have delivered some probabilities:

The first is that it returns to the ‘people of the town’ about whom the previous verses talked. And also its purpose maybe the people of Mecca for whom these verses were revealed to be warned of.

But, regarding to the previous verse saying:

“Alas for the servants!…”

it shows that its purpose is all human beings, because the Qur’anic word /‘ibad/ (servants) in that verse envelops all human being throughout the history, those who, at the time of appointment of the Divine prophets, belied them and mocked them.

However, it is an invitation to all the people of the world that they may carefully study the story of former nations, and observe their remaining effects, and use the sense of taking an example from them to understand them well, and the ruin castles of those arrogant people may have an effect on them.

At the end, the verse adds:

“…Not to them will they return.”

That is, the great calamity is here that they have no possibility to return to the world and recompense their former sins and misfortunes. The bridges behind them have been ruined so violently that it is impossible for them to return in order to recompense these faults.

This commentary is just like the word of Hadrat Ali (as) who has said in one of the sermons of Nahj-ul-Balaqah about taking example from the dead.

He said:

“There is neither a possibility that they transfer from their ugly deeds nor are they able to increase their goodness.”10

In the next verse the Qur’an says:

“And all of them shall surely be brought before Us.”

That is, it is not such that if they were destroyed and could not return to this world, everything is finished. In fact, death is neither the beginning nor the end. Soon all human beings will be mustered in the scene of Hereafter for reckoning and, after that, there will be the painful chastisement of Allah which is waiting for the wrong doers.

In this case, is it not the time they take example from their condition and do not afflict themselves in the same fate as theirs and, in this remaining respite, they go aside from this terrible whirlpool.

Yes, if death were the end of everything, it would be possible to say that it was the beginning of tranquillity, but also it is not so. If we were left to ourselves when we died, death would be the cause of rest for all the living people. But when we pass away, we will be quickened again and after that we wholly will be asked about everything.

  • 1. Tafsir-i-Qurtabi, following the verse
  • 2. Verses: 109, 127, 145, 164, and 180
  • 3. You may refer to Surah Yunus, verses 3, and 32; Surah Hud, verses 3 and 52, Surah An-Nahl, verse 24; Al-Kahf, verse 29
  • 4. Surah Qafir, No. 40, verse 35
  • 5. The commentary book by Qurtabi
  • 6. The commentary books: Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Tibyan, Abulfutuh-i-Razi and so on.
  • 7. Surah ’Al-i-‘Imran, No. 3, verse 169
  • 8. Bihar-ul-’Anwar, Vol. 6, P. 218
  • 9. Tafsir-i-Qurtabi, Vol. 8, P. 5464
  • 10. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, sermon 188

Section 3: Allah’s Bounties as Signs of Guidance to Mankind

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 33

وَءَايَةٌ لَّهُمُ الأَرْضُ الْمَيْتَةُ أَحْيَيْنَاهَا وَأَخْرَجْنَا مِنْهَا حَبّاً فَمِنْهُ يَأْكُلُونَ

33. “And a sign for them is the dead and; We give life to it and We bring forth from it grain so they eat of it.”

The best way of having faith in Resurrection is carefulness in the created things.

The verse under discussion states some signs of Unity and Resurrection with together in order that it can be a means for the rejecters to become aware and believe in the Origin and Resurrection.

At first it refers to the revival of the dead lands and the blessings from which reach to mankind.

It says:

“And a sign for them is the dead and; We give life to it and We bring forth from it grain so they eat of it.”

The subject of life is one of the most important proofs of Monotheism. It is a very complicated, mysterious and wonderful problem which has caused the intellect of all scientists to surprise. With all great progresses which man has gained in science, none has opened its puzzle yet.

It has not exactly been known to anyone that under what factors at the beginning the inanimate beings changed into living cells.

Still no one knows how the seeds of plants and their different levels have minutely been built; and what mysterious laws administer them that they move when the suitable conditions are provided, and they begin to grow and absorb the atoms of the dead land into their own being; and, in this way, they change the dead beings into some tissues of the living creature so that every day it shows some new manifestations of life.

From one side, the subject of life in the world of plants, animals, and revival of the dead lands are some clear proofs upon the fact that there have been applied a great knowledge in the creation of this world; and, on the other hand, they are as a manifest sign upon Resurrection.

It is clear that the Arabic pronoun /lahum/ (for them) refers to /‘ibad/ (servants) which has been mentioned in previous verses; and the purpose of /‘ibad/ here is all the servants who made mistake and deviated in the subjects of Origin and Resurrection, and the Qur’an counts their circumstance as the cause of regret and sigh.

The application of the Arabic word /’ayah/ in an indefinite form points to the greatness, importance and clarity of this monotheistic sign.

The Qur’anic sentence /fa minhu ya’kulun/ (so they eat of it), from one side, points to this fact that man feed from a part of vegetal grains, and some others of them are not edible for man, but they have some other benefits, such as: food for animals, producing the colouring matters, medicine, and other things which are utilized in man’s life.

And, on the other side, by preceding the word /minhu/ to /ya’kulun/, which is usually used for restriction, expresses this point that the most (and also the best) source of man’s food is vegetal stuffs, so much so that as if they form all foods of man.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 34-35

وَجَعَلْنَا فِيهَا جَنَّاتٍ مِن نَّخِيلٍ وَأَعْنَابٍ وَفَجَّرْنَا فِيهَا مِنَ الْعُيُونِ

لِيَأْكُلُوا مِن ثَمَرِهِ وَمَا عَمِلَتْهُ أَيْدِيهِمْ أَفَلاَ يَشْكُرُونَ

34. “And We made therein gardens of date-palms and grape vines, and We caused springs to flow forth in it,”
35. “That they may eat of its fruit, and of what their hands have produced; will they not then be grateful?”

In man’s nutrition, cereals and grains have the first function and then there are fruits.

The man’s duty for bounties is cognition and thanks giving. Allah gives life to the dead land and makes plants and fruits available that man eats them and thanks.

This holy verse refers to the life of dead lands.

It says:

“And We made therein gardens of date-palms and grape vines, and We caused springs to flow forth in it,”

In the previous verse the words were about grains, but here the strengthening and nutritive fruits, two outstanding samples of them are date and grapes each of which is counted a complete food.

As we have formerly said in detail, too, the studies of scholars show that these two fruits, in particular, have kinds of necessary vitamins and different vital materials for man’s body. Moreover, these two useful fruits can be kept and used in different forms during the year for eating.

The Arabic term /’a‘nab/ is the plural form of /‘inab/ and the term /naxil/, as Raqib says in Mufradat, is the plural form of /naxl/ but with this difference that the term /‘inab/ is usually called to ‘grapes’ itself and it is rarely used for a vine, while the word /naxl/ is a name for the tree, the fruit of which is fresh date and is called /tamr/ (fresh but dry date).

Some believe that this difference of meaning that in one place the Qur’an says: ‘Tree’ and in another place it says: ‘fruit’ is for the sake that date-palm, as it is popular, all its parts are useful: its trunk, its branches and leaves are totally used differently, and its fruit is superior to all of these things, while vine is usually planted for its fruit and its trunk and branches have not much usage.

And that both of them are mentioned in plural form, this may refer to the different kinds of these two fruits, because each of them is of more than 10 kinds, with different specialties and suitable for everybody and for various tastes.

This point is also noteworthy that in the previous verse the meaning was referred to giving life to the dead lands, which is usually accompanied in the Qur’an with the statement of the descent of rain, but in this verse the words are about the flowing springs, because for a great deal of agriculture only rainwater is not enough and fruit trees are usually in need of flowing water, too.

The Arabic term /fajjarna/ is derived from /tafjir/which here means: ‘to create a vast gap’, and since springs are gushed forth by splitting the land, this meaning has been used for coming out spring-water from the land.

The next holy verse states the aim of the creation of these fruitful trees as such:

“That they may eat of its fruit, and of what their hands have produced; will they not then be grateful?”

Yes, the fruits which appeared on the branches of trees, without being in need of any changes, are eatable when they are picked up from the trees; and this shows the utmost grace and greatness of Allah unto humankind.

He has packed this delicious prepared food as well that it can be maintained for a long time without that it loses its nutritiousness. This is different from the foods man makes from natural god-given stuffs that they often become putrid quickly.

There is another commentary upon this verse which is noteworthy, too. It says: the Qur’an intends to point both to the fruits that are used without any change, and to the kinds of different foods which are obtained with an action on these fruits. (In the first commentary the Arabic word /ma/ in the Qur’anic sentence is a negative sign, while in the second one is a ‘relative pronoun’.

However, the aim is that this sense of gratitude and thanksgiving of men may be moved so that, by the way of thanksgiving they can step in the stage of knowing Allah, in which thanking the Benefactor is the first step of knowing Allah (s.w.t.).

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 36

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ الأَزْوَاجَ كُلَّهَا مِمَّا تُنْبِتُ الأَرْضُ وَمِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَمِمَّا لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ

36. “Glory be to Him Who created pairs (of) all things, of what the earth grows, and of their selves and of what they do not know.”

One of the scientific miracles of the Qur’an is the statement of the law of matrimony in all things: plants, human beings, and that which people did not know at that time and now they know.

This holy verse talks about the glorification of Allah and nullifies the polytheism of the polytheist about which the former verse referred to and shows all human beings the way of Monotheism.

It says:

“Glory be to Him Who created pairs (of) all things, of what the earth grows, and of their selves and of what they do not know.”

Yes, the Lord, Who created these all pairs in the expanse of the world of existence, whose Knowledge and Power are infinite, and there is no defect and blemish in His Essence, has no partner, no like, and no equal. So if some groups of people have counted some pieces of the stone, wood and other creatures of His like, He is far off from these undue attributes.

It is evident that Allah does not need to glorify Himself. This is an instruction for the servants and it is a prescription for paving the path of development.

Commentators have rendered the Qur’anic term /’azwaj/ (pairs), mentioned here, into different meanings. What is certain is that the term /’azwaj/ is the plural form of /zauj/ which is called to the two genders of masculine and feminine, whether they are in the world of animals, or other than them.

Then, this word has been expanded and every two beings which are companions to each other, or even they are opposite to each other, are called /zauj/. This word is used even for two similar rooms in a house, or two halves of a door, or two fellow-members. And, thus, it considers a pair for any being in the world.

However, it is not impossible that matrimony here is used with the same specific sense of masculine gender and feminine gender, and, in this verse, the Qur’an informs of the existence of matrimony in the world of all plants, human beings, and other beings that people are not aware of.

These beings may be plans that the vastness of the scope of matrimony had not been discovered yet at that time.

Or it may point to the animals in the depth of the seas of which on that day nobody was aware and today a part of it has been discovered for human beings.

Or it points to other living creatures that live in other heavenly spheres.

Or they are very small living creatures, although the modern scientists do not know any masculine and feminine among them; but the world of these living creatures is so mysterious and secret that the knowledge of man has not found a way to this part of it.

Even, as we said, the existence of matrimony in the world of plants was unknown at the time of the revelation of the Qur’an, except some special instances, like the trees of dates and the like, and the Qur’an uncovered it. In the present centuries, by the way of science, this meaning has been proved that the subject of matrimony in the world of plants is a general and common subject.

This probability has also been delivered that ‘matrimony’ here refers to the existence of positive and negative particles inside the centre of atom and the electrons which rotate around it and which has been proved.

Some have also believe that it refers to the combination of the things from ‘matter’ and ‘form’, or ‘substance’ and ‘accident’ while some others consider that it is an implicit declaration of different kinds of plants, human beings, animals, and other beings in the world.

But it is clear that when we can adapt these words to the real meaning (masculine and feminine genders) and there is not any frame of reference contrary to it, why do we refer to the allusive meanings; and, as was said, there are several interesting commentaries for the real meaning of matrimony here.

However, this verse is one of the verses that state that man’s knowledge is limited and which shows that there are a great deal of facts in this world which are not known to our knowledge.1

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 37-38

وَءَايَةٌ لَّهُمُ الَّيْلُ نَسْلَخُ مِنْهُ النَّهَارَ فَإِذَا هُم مُّظْلِمُونَ

وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِي لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ لَّهَا ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ

37. “And a sign for them is the night; We strip it of the day and behold they are plunged in darkness.”
38. “And the sun runs unto a resting-place fixed for it; that is the decree of the Mighty, the Knowing.”

Night is one of the signs of Power and Wisdom of Allah. It is a fixed program in the length of history which has no disorder. This fact is the sign of the existence of a Wise and Knowing Geomancer.

These verses state another part of the signs of the greatness of Allah in the world of existence; and following the discussion mentioned in the former verses about Resurrection and reviving the dead lands, plants and trees, another form of the forms of Monotheism is stated.

It says:

“And a sign for them is the night…”

While the light of sun has covered everywhere, and the army of darkness has been drawn back, Allah says:

“…We strip it of the day and behold they are plunged in darkness.”

The Arabic term /naslaxu/ is derived from /salax/ which originally means ‘taking off the skin of an animal’ and it is a tender meaning. As if the light of the day were a white clothing which has been put on the body of the night. At the sunset this clothing is taken off of its body, like the skin, in order that its innate becomes manifest.

To be careful in this meaning reiterates this point that the main nature of the earth is darkness, and light is something casual which is given to it from another source. It is like a shirt put on the body of a person that when he takes it off, the natural colour of the body is made manifest.

Here, the Qur’an has emphasized on the darkness of night. It seems it intends to state the change of the light of the day into darkness of the night, as an example of the death after life, and this is next to the statement of giving life to the dead lands, which was mentioned as a sign out of the Divine signs in the previous verses.

However, when man is in the midst of the darkness of night, he remembers the light and its blessings, the light and its excitements, the light and its source, and, by a comparison he will be acquainted with ‘the Creator of light and darkness’.

In the next verse, which has been pointed out next to the night as a sign, there is the light of sun as a sign.

It says:

“And the sun runs unto a resting-place fixed for it…”

This verse clearly states the constant motion of the sun, but, concerning the purpose of this motion, commentators have delivered different discussions. A group of them say that this motion refers to the apparent motion of the sun round the earth which will continue until the end of the world and, in fact, is the destination of the sun and it is the end of its lifetime.

Some others have rendered it to the declamation of the sun in summer and winter towards the North and South of the earth, because we know that from the beginning of spring the sun declines from the moderate line (equator) toward the North and goes forth as far as 23 northern degree and from the beginning of summer it returns back until the beginning of autumn when it reaches the moderate line (equator).

It also continues its movement toward the South until the beginning of winter, and from the beginning of winter it moves toward the line of equinox and it reaches it at the beginning of spring.

Of course, all these motions, in fact, are because of the movement of the earth and the inclination of its excess due to the level of its orb, though apparently and as the result of the sense it seems relates to the movement of the sun.

Some others consider it as an indication to the rotation of the ‘sun globe’, because the studies of the scientists have decisively proved that the sun turns round itself.

The last and the most modern commentary for the abovementioned verse is the same thing that scientists have recently discovered. It says that the sun moves with the solar system in the midst of our galaxy toward an appointed direction and toward a far distanced star which has been called ‘Weca’.

These meanings do not contrast to each other and the Arabic phrase /tajri/ may refer to all these movements and the movements which have not been known to our knowledge and that they may be discovered in future.

However, to move the sun, this very great globe which is one million and two thousand times bigger than the earth and with an accurate movement in the endless atmosphere, is possible by no one save by Allah Whose Power is above all powers and Whose Knowledge is infinite.

That is why, at the end of the verse, the Qur’an says:

“…that is the decree of the Mighty, the Knowing.”

The last word about this verse is that there is a meaningful hint in its content upon the system of the solar year which comes into being by means of the movement of the sun in zodiacs a system that gives order and program to the living of man, and arranges its different aspects.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 39-40

وَالْقَمَرَ قَدَّرْنَاهُ مَنَازِلَ حَتَّي عَادَ كَالْعُرْجُونِ الْقَدِيمِ

لاَ الشَّمْسُ يَنْبَغِي لَهَآ أَن تُدْرِكَ الْقَمَرَ وَلاَ الَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ وَكُلٌّ فِي فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ

39. “And (as for) the moon, We have fixed for it the stages till its returns to be bent like an old palm branch.”
40. “Neither is it expedient for the sun that it should overtake the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day; and each swims along in (its own) orbit.”

The orb of the movement of the sun and the moon has been arranged in a way that they never crash each other, and there will not appear any confusion in the creation of the night and the day.

In spite of the attitude which said the sum was fixed, the Holy Qur’an says that the sun has motion, and a motion with a proper direction.

Therefore, in order to complete this discussion, these noble verses of the Holy Qur’an speak about the moon and its zodiacal signs, the system of the division of the days of the moon.

It says:

“And (as for) the moon, We have fixed for it the stages till its returns to be bent like an old palm branch.”

The objective meaning of ‘stages’ is the same twenty eight places at the moon passes before ‘its absence in the last nights of a lunar month’ and absolute darkness, because when a lunar month is fully thirty days, the moon is visible in the sky until the twenty eighth night, but by this night the moon appears very narrow with a yellow colour and a little light.

It is not visible during the ‘two remaining nights’ which is called in Arabic /muhaq/. In the lunar months, of course, which contains twenty nine days, the moon is usually seen in the sky until twenty seventh night, and ‘the two remaining aq/ (the absence of the moon).nights’ is /muh

These stages are completely exact and accurate, in a manner that the astronomers, according to their minute calculations, can foretell them from one hundred years sooner.

This marvellous system gives order to the men’s living. It is a natural celestial calendar which everybody is able to study. It is so that if a person is careful in the situation of the moon in different nights, he can, by looking at its situation, know, exactly or approximately, which night of the lunar month that night is.

This fact has been experienced, because, at the beginning the tips of the crescent are upward and gradually the bulk of the moon increases until the seventh night when a complete half of the moon is fully made manifest. Then its increasing state will continue on to the fourteenth night when it becomes a full moon.

From this night on, the moon decreases from down side until the twenty first night when the moon appears in a semicircle form. It continues being decreased until the twenty eighth night when the moon is seen with a weak colourless crescent the tips of which are downward.

Yes, the main basis of the men’s living is formed by order, and without defining the exact time having order is impossible; and Allah has set this exact monthly and yearly calendar in the sky for this very aim.

It is from this hint that the tender concept of the Qur’anic phrase /kal ‘urjun-il-qadim/ (to the best like an old palm branch) is made clear. As most commentators and philologists have said, the Arabic word /‘urjun/ means that part of the bunch of dates which is attached to the tree. The explanation is that: dates appear on the tree in the form of bunch of dates.

The end of this bunch is in the form of yellow wooden arc which is attached to the tree, and its tip is like a sweep, and the dates, like grapes, are joined to its strings. When the bunch of dates is cut, that wooden arc branch remains on the tree.

When it dries, it is completely similar to the crescent before /muhaq/, because, as the crescent of the last nights of the lunar month, which is in the east of the sky, appears nearly in the morning. It is like arc, yellow and withered, the tips of which is downward, and /‘urjun-il-qadim/ is also like this.

This similarity, in fact, appears in different dimensions. They are from the point of arc form of the date branch, from the point of yellow colour, from the point of withered state, from the point of its tips being downward, and from the point of it being inside the mass of green branches of the palm tree which is not unlike to the crescent of the last night inside the dark sky.

The moon is qualified as ‘old’ which points to its oldness, because the more old these branches are, the more narrow, withered, and yellowish they become, and they are more alike to the crescent of the last lunar month. Glory be to Allah! That how many tenders and beauties there are in a short phrase of the Holy Qur’an!

The last verse of the group of verses under discussion speaks about the perseverance and permanence of this order of year, month, day and night. The Lord has arranged such a program for them that there appears the least change in their situation, and it is for this very perseverance that the history of man can be arranged fully.

It says:

“Neither is it expedient for the sun that it should overtake the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day; and each swims along in (its own) orbit.”

We know that the sun spends its term in twelve months during one year while the moon passes its stages during one month.

Therefore, the circular movement of the moon in its orb is twelve times quicker than the movement of the sun in its orb. That is why it implies that the sun in its own movement never reaches the moon so that it performs its one-year movement during one month and that the one year system varies.

Also, the night never outstrip the day so that it brings a part of it into itself and that the present system alters, but all of them continue their path without the least change for millions of years.

And, thus, the state of sun and moon swimming in their orbits also comes forth from this.

There is also this probability that the purpose of the ‘sun swims in its orbit’ is its movement accompanied with the solar system and accompanied with the galaxy inside which we are, because it has been proved that our solar system is a part of the great galaxy which is rotating round itself.

As many known commentators believe, the Qur’anic sentence:

Each swims along in (its own) orbit

refers to each of the sun, the moon and stars that have a separate orbit for themselves, though the word ‘stars’ has not formerly been mentioned in the verses, with regard to the mention of /layl/ (night) and companionship of stars with the sun and the moon, the recognition of this meaning does not seem impossible, in particular that un/ has been mentioned in plural form.the term /yasbah

There is also this interpretation that this sentence refers to each of sun, moon, night and day, because each of night and day has an orb for itself and exactly they turn round the earth. Always half of the earth is dark while another half has light and these two turn round the earth one complete round during twenty four hours.

The Qur’anic term /yasbaḥun/ is derived from /sabahat/ that, according to Mufradat by Raqib, originally means move ‘speedily’ in water and space, which points to the quick movement of the heavenly spheres. It has likened them to some intellectual beings that continue swiftly their rotation.

This fact has also been proved today that the celestial spheres are moving in their path with very surprising speeds, and sometimes with extra ordinary speed.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 41-42

وَءَايَةٌ لَّهُمْ أَنَّا حَمَلْنَا ذُرّ‌ِيَّتَهُمْ فِي الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُونِ

وَخَلَقْنَا لَهُم مِن مّـِثْلِهِ مَا يَرْكَبُونَ

41. “And a sign for them is that We bore their offspring in the loaded ship.”
42. “And We have created for them the like of it whereon they ride.”

Taking benefit from ships and animals has frequently been mentioned as the Divine blessings.

Former verses were about the signs of Allah in the creation of the sun and the moon as well as the night and the day, and also the earth and the blessing of the earth. Now, in the verse under discussion the words are about the seas and a part of the bounties and merits of the seas, i.e. the movement of ships over them for taking passengers and commerce.

Moreover, the movement of these ships in the middle of oceans is not unlike to the movement of celestial spheres in the ocean of atmosphere.

So, at first, it says:

“And a sign for them is that We bore their offspring in the loaded ship.”

The Arabic pronoun /lahum/ not only returns to the pagans of Mecca but also to all servants and creatures of Allah whom were spoken about in the previous verses.

The Arabic term /ŏurriyah/, as Raqib says in Mufradat, originally means little offspring, although it is sometimes used in ordinary speaking for all children, young and old.

This word is used for both singular and plural; and that it implicitly says that Allah bore their offspring (or their small children) in this ships without that it speaks about them, perhaps it is for this sake that offspring need more to this still amount, since adults are more prepared for walking and paving the beaches on foot than little children.

Moreover, this meaning is more fitting for moving their sympathy.

The application of the Qur’anic term /mašhun/ (full) points to this fact that not only they themselves embark in the ship but also their goods and their necessary means are carried with them.

However, the movement of ships is the greatest and the most important means of transformation for human beings, and their benefit is thousands times more than other vehicles. This is the result of the particular specialties of water and the specific gravity of the materials that an ordinary ship has usually been made therewith.

All of these are the might and forces that Allah has made subservient to man and each of them, and also their entire existence, is a sign among the Divine signs.

In order that it should not misunderstand that the only god-given mount is ship, in the next verse it adds:

“And We have created for them the like of it whereon they ride.”

These are the vehicles which run on land, or in the sky and atmosphere and carry both men and their heavy means. Some commentators have simply rendered this holy verse into camel which has been called the ‘ship of desert’.

Some others have rendered it into all beasts, and some others into airplanes and aircrafts which have been invented in our time; and applying the Qur’anic phrase /xalaqna/ (We created) about them is for this view that their materials and means have been created formerly.

But the verse has a vast scope of meaning which envelops all these concepts and other than them, too.

Of course, in some verses of the Qur’an the word beasts has numerously been mentioned beside /fulk/ (ships), like the verse which says:

“…and made for you of the ships and the cattle what you ride on.”2

And also in Surah Al-Mu’min, No. 40, verse 80 we recite:

“…and upon them and upon the ships you are carried.”

But these verses do not contrast to the generality of the concept of the verse.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 43-44

وَاِن نَّشَأْ نُغْرِقْهُمْ فَلاَ صَرِيخَ لَهُمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يُنقَذُونَ

إِلاَّ رَحْمَةً مِنَّا وَمَتَاعاً إِلَي حِينٍ

43. “And if We please, We drown them, then there shall be none to help them, nor shall they be rescued.”
44. “Save (by) mercy from Us, and enjoyment for a while.”

It is Allah Who has set water in a form that man can move by ship on it, and this merit is among the signs of the Power of Allah. Therefore, for making this great bounty more clear, this verse states the situation which comes into being because of this bounty being changed.

It says:

“And if We please, We drown them, then there shall be none to help them, nor shall they be rescued.”

We may order a huge wave to drown their ship; or We may command a whirlpool to take them inside itself; or We may tell a tempest to throw them in the midst of the waves like a blade of straw.

And if We please, We can alter the property of water, ship, the regularity of the blow of winds, and the stillness of the sea so that all their things confuse. It is We Who cause this system to continue in order that they enjoy; and if now and then We sent some events of this kind, it is for the sake that, by means of them, they know the bounty they are inside of it.

The Qur’anic term /sarix/ is derived from /sarax/ in the sense of ‘helper’; and the Arabic term /yunqaŏun/ is derived from /’inqaŏ/ in the sense of “to rescue, to deliver”.

At last, in order to complete this meaning, in the next holy verse it says:

“Save (by) mercy from Us, and enjoyment for a while.”

Yes, by no means they can deliver, except that Our mercy comes to them and Our grace hastens to help them.

The Arabic word /hin/ means ‘time’ and in the above verse it refers to the end of the man’s life and his death. Some commentators have rendered it into the end of the world.

Yes, those who have embarked a ship (the old small ships or the huge great modern ships which run on the oceans) understand well the depth of the meaning of this verse, that the most gigantic ships of the world are like a blade of straw in the face of great waves of the sea and terrible storms of oceans, and if the mercy of Allah were not upon persons, their deliverance would be impossible.

In this narrow way, which is between death and life, He intends to show His Power to humankind, perhaps the misled ones of the way may find a path toward Him therefrom.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 45-46

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّقُوا مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَمَا خَلْفَكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

وَمَا تَأْتِيهِم مِنْ ءَايَةٍ مِنْ ءَايَاتِ رَبّـِهِمْ إِلاَّ كَانُوا عَنْهَا مُعْرِضِينَ

45. “And when it is said to them: ‘Be in awe of that which is before you and that which is behind you; haply you will be treated with mercy, (they turn back).”
46. “And there comes not to them any sign from the signs of their Lord but they turn aside from it.”

Piety is the secret of receiving the mercy of Allah.

The signs of Allah are many, but the People's acceptance is little.

In the former verses the words were about some important discussions concerning the Divine signs in the expanse of the world of existence. In the verses under discussion the reaction of the obstinate pagans against the Divine verses, and also the invitation of the Prophet of Islam (S) and warning to the punishment of Allah have been stated.

By the first holy verse, it says:

“And when it is said to them: ‘Be in awe of that which is before you and that which is behind you; haply you will be treated with mercy, (they turn back).”

Concerning the Qur’anic phrases:

That which is before you and that which is behind you

and their meanings, commentators have delivered different interpretations the most important of which is that the purpose of the Qur’anic phrase /ma bayna ’aydikum/ (that which is before you) is the chastisements of the world that one example of which is mentioned in the previous verses; and the purpose of the phrase /ma xalfakum/ is the chastisements of the Hereafter which they have in behind, and the application of ‘behind’ is for the sake that they have not come yet, as if they are running behind the one’s back and finally they reach him one day and will encompass him.

The purpose of ‘being in awe of them’ is that he may not create their factors and, in other words, he would not do something that he should meet these terrible chastisements.

The evidence for this statement is that the application of the Qur’anic term /’ittaqu/ in the verses of the Qur’an is either in concern with Allah, or in concern with Hereafter Day and Divine punishments that, in fact, both return to one meaning, because to be in awe of Allah (s.w.t.) is to be in awe of His punishment.

This itself is a proof upon the fact that to be in awe of Divine punishment mentioned in the verse under discussion is also the chastisement in this world and the next.

The second verse emphasizes again on the same meaning, and distinguishes the obstinacy of the blind hearted people in neglecting the verses of Allah and the prophet’s teachings, where it says:

“And there comes not to them any sign from the signs of their Lord but they turn aside from it.”

Neither is the statement of introversive verses effective in them, nor is the explanation of the extroversive verses; neither threat nor glad-tiding to the mercy of Allah. They accept neither the logic of intellect nor the command of sympathy and nature.

They are like some blind persons who do not see the nearest things around them and do not differ between the light of the sun and the darkness of the night.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 47

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ أَنفِقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ قَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا أَنُطْعِمُ مَن لَوْ يَشَآءُ اللَّهُ أَطْعَمَهُ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ فِي ضَلاَلٍ مُبِينٍ

47. “And when it is said to them: ‘Spend out of what Allah has provided you with the sustenance, those who disbelieve say to those who believe: ‘Shall we feed him whom, if Allah willed, He could feed (Himself)? You are not but in a manifest error’.”

Man may reach a point where he considers infidelity and stinginess as a right path, and faith and charity as a deviated way.

In this holy verse, the Qur’an refers to one of the important instances of their obstinacy and renouncement and, in this regard, it says:

“And when it is said to them: ‘Spend out of what Allah has provided you with the sustenance, those who disbelieve say to those who believe: ‘Shall we feed him whom, if Allah willed, He could feed (Himself)? You are not but in a manifest error’.”

This is the same very vulgarly logic which is propounded from the side of self-loving and niggardly persons who usually say: If so and so is poor, he has surely done something that Allah desires him to remain poor; and if we are rich we have necessarily done something that we are in the grace of Allah; therefore, neither their poverty nor our richness is not void of wisdom.

They are heedless that the world is the field of trial. Allah tries someone with poverty and the other with wealth, and sometimes He puts one person under trial in both of them in different times.

He tries him whether he performs the rites of deposit, high-mindedness of nature, and gratitude, or he neglects all of them; and at the time he is wealthy whether he spends out what he has in his possession in the way of Allah, or not.

Some commentators have adopted the above verse upon some particular groups, such as: the Jews, or Arab pagans, or a group of atheists and rejecters of the religions of the Divine prophets, but the apparent is that the verse has a general concept and in any time there can be found some examples for it, though the reference of its concept at the time of the revelation of the verse had been a number of the Jews or polytheists.

This has been a common pretext in the length of centuries that they say: if the giver of sustenance is Allah then why do you want us to give sustenance to the poor persons? And if Allah has wished they remain deprived then why do we help the one whom Allah has made deprived?

They are unaware that sometimes the order of creation chooses something and the order of religion another thing.

The order of creation has required such that Allah, the wise, puts the earth with all its merits at the man’s disposal and lets them free in their actions in order that they pave the path of development, and in the meantime He has set some instincts in him each of which leads him toward a direction.

And the order of religion has required such that, in order to control the instincts, purification of the carnal souls, and training men by the way of donation, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, and spending out, it appoints some laws and causes man to reach, by this way, the rank of Allah’s viceroy for which he has potentiality.

By the way of Zakat (alms) they may purify their selves, and by means of charity they may wipe out miserliness, and thereby they dismiss the class division, which is the source of thousands of evils in man’s life.

This is just like that some persons say that what is the necessity in this that we study or teach others? If Allah desired, He would give knowledge to us all so that none was in need of learning knowledge. Does any wise person accept this logic?

The Qur’anic sentence:

Those who disbelieve say”,

which has emphasized on their disbelief, points to this fact that these superstitious logics and pretexts originate from infidelity.

Upon the commentary of the sentence:

You are not but in a manifest error

it is said that its purpose is the speech of the pagans due to the believers. In fact, they wanted to be paid in their own coin opposite the believers and to attribute them to ‘a manifest error’,

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 48-50

وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَي هَذَا الْوَعْدُ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

مَا يَنظُرُونَ إِلاَّ صَيْحَةً وَاحِدَةً تَأْخُذُهُمْ وَهُمْ يَخِصّـِمُونَ

فَلاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ تَوْصِيَةً وَلآ إِلَي أَهْلِهِمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

48. “And they say: ‘When will this promise come to pass if you are truthful?’”
49. “They are not awaiting for aught but a single (fatal) blast which will overtake them while they are disputing among themselves.”
50. “Then they shall not be able to make a bequest, nor shall they be able to return unto their families.”

Pagans have not any proof for the denial of the Hereafter, and only by asking this question that ‘When will be Hereafter’ they mock it. When the Hereafter comes neither the tongue can speak, nor is the foot able to escape.

Following the mentioning the weak and pretext-seeking logic of the disbelievers concerning expending referred to in the former verses, in these verses the words are about their mockery unto the establishment of the Hereafter, and with a decisive answer, the Qur’an nullifies their hollow logic about the denial of Resurrection.

In addition, the discussions stated through former verses in the field of monotheism are completed with the discussions of Resurrection.

At first, it says:

“And they say: ‘When will this promise come to pass if you are truthful?’”

They implicitly say: the fact that you can not define a proper time for the establishment of Hereafter is an evidence upon this matter that you are not truthful in your statement.

In answer to this question, which is accompanied with derision, the Holy Qur’an firmly and earnestly implies that the establishment of the Hereafter and the end of this world is not a complicated matter for Allah and it is not a difficult thing for Him, when it says:

“They are not awaiting for aught but a single (fatal) blast which will overtake them while they are disputing among themselves.”

This very single great heavenly Blast is enough to take the soul of every one of them immediately in any place and any state they are, and to change their material exiting lives, which contain disputations and constant quarrels, into a silent world, vacant from any sound and noise.

In Islamic narrations, it has been narrated from the Prophet of Islam (S) that this heavenly Blast occurs so suddenly that before that the two people who are bargaining and have spread a cloth can role it, the world will end, and there will be some people that, at that moment, have taken some food from the plate, but before it reaches their mouth the heavenly Blast comes and the world finishes.

There will be some people who are busy mending a pool in order that they water their cattle, but before that the cattle become satiated the Hereafter comes forth.3

The Qur’anic sentence: /ma yanzurun/ here means ‘they are not awaiting’, because, as Raqib says in Mufradat, the Arabic stem /nazar/ means the circulation of thought for observing or conceiving something. Sometimes it is used in the sense of deliberation and research, and also in the sense of knowledge resulted from research.

The Arabic term /sayhah/ (blast) originally means cleaving a piece of food or cloth and arising a sound from it. Then it has been used for any loud sound and cry-like. Sometimes, it has also been applied for the length of the body.

The Arabic phrase /yaxisimun/ is derived from /xusumat/ in the sense of ‘quarrel’ and ‘dispute’; but on what thing do they dispute?

This meaning has not been mentioned in the verse, but it is clear that the purpose is to dispute upon the worldly matter and the affairs of the material life.

But some commentators have taken it in the sense of disputation upon ‘Resurrection’, while the first meaning seems more fitting, though it is not improbable that taking a consistent meaning which includes both of them and that envelops any kind of disputation is also possible.

It is noteworthy that the numerous pronouns existing in the verse all refer to the pagans of Mecca who were doubtful in the subject of Resurrection, and they ridiculously asked that when Hereafter will occur.

But it is certain that the purpose is not they themselves, but the purpose is the kind of them. (It is the kind of those who are neglectful and unaware of Resurrection), because they died and did never see this heavenly Blast.

However, by this short and decisive statement, the Qur’an warns them that, firstly, Hereafter will suddenly be established, and secondly, it is not a complicated matter that they would be busy disputing and quarrelling about its possibility; everything will be ended by a single blast and the world will be finished.

Then, in the third verse, it implies that this subject will so quickly and suddenly happen that they will not be able even to make a bequest, or return to their houses or to their families.

It says:

“Then they shall not be able to make a bequest, nor shall they be able to return unto their families.”

When an event happens for a person, and he usually feels that the end of his life is near, wherever he is, he tries to go home in order to be among his family: with his wife and children; then, by testament, he gives his half-done affairs and the fate of his remaining persons to others that this or that person would undertake them and recommend them to other persons.

But the Blast of the end of the world gives no respite to anyone; and supposing there will be a respite, does anyone remain alive to listen to the recommendations of people? Or, for example, the wife and children sit by the spouse and father and take his head in bosom so that he dies peacefully? Nay, none of these things is possible.

And that the word ‘a bequest’ has been used in an infinitive form, it points to this fact that they will not have even the chance of a small bequest and recommendation, either.

  • 1. Upon the matrimony of beings in the world, and particularly in the world of plants, there is a discussion under Surah Ash-Shu‘ara, No. 26, verse 7
  • 2. Surah Az-Zukhruf, No. 43, verse 12
  • 3. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, following the verse under discussion; and some other commentary books, such as: Tafsir-i-Qurtabi, Rauh-ul-Bayan and so on.

Section 4: A Scene of the Resurrection

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 51-53

وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَإِذَا هُم مِنَ الأَجْدَاثِ إِلَي رَبّـِهِمْ يَنسِلُونَ

قَالُوا يَاوَيْلَنَا مَنْ بَعَثَنَا مِن مَّرْقَدِنَا هَذَا مَا وَعَدَ الرَّحْمَنُ وَصَدَقَ الْمُرْسَلُونَ

إِن كَانَتْ إِلاَّ صَيْحَةً وَاحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ جَمِيعٌ لَّدَيْنَا مُحْضَرُونَ

51. “And the Trumpet shall be blown, then behold, from their graves they shall hasten on to their Lord.”
52. “They shall say: ‘Oh! woe to us! Who has raised us up from our sleeping-place? This is what the Beneficent (Allah) promised; and the apostles told the truth.”
53. “There would be naught but a single Blast, when they shall all brought before Us.”

Hereafter is a scene of awareness, acknowledgement and confession. The establishment of Hereafter and reckoning is the requisite of the Attribute of Allah Who is Beneficent.

That which the disbelievers denied in the world, they will confess it on That Day. (When the name of Rahman was mentioned in the world they used to say:

What is Rahman?”,

but on that Day they will say:

This is what the Beneficent (Allah) promised”.

In this verse, the Qur’an points to another stage which is the stage of life after death. It says:

“And the Trumpet shall be blown, then behold, from their graves they shall hasten on to their Lord.”

By the command of Allah, the dust and the rotten bones will have life again and come out from their graves and attend that wonderful court for trial and reckoning.

They will have life again and will be quickened by a single Blast, in the same manner that all of them died with a single Blast (blown in the Trumpet). Neither their death nor their being quickened is difficult for Allah.

Just like the trumpet which is blown for the soldiers of the army to gather and be ready, and then, in a short time, they all get up and come out from their tents and attend in the row, the act of raising the dead is, like that, quick for Allah, too.

The Qur’anic word /’ajdath/ is the plural form of /jadath/ in the sense of ‘grave’. This meaning shows well that resurrection, besides having the spiritual aspect, has the bodily aspect, too, and the man’s new body will be made from the same former materials.

The application of the Arabic term /nufixa/ (shall be blown) in the past tense form is for the sake that in the Arabic language the certain future affairs are stated in past verb form indicating that there is no doubt in it, as if it had happened before.

The Arabic term /yansilun/ is derived from /nasl/ in the sense of ‘walking quickly’. Raqib in Mufradat says: this word originally means: ‘to separate from something’, and that a person’s children in Arabic are called /nasl/ (offspring) it is for the sake that they have separated from father and mother. Therefore, when a person quickly gets away and separates, this word is used.

The application of the Arabic term /rabbihim/ (their Lord) seems that it refers to this fact that the Lordship, ownership and training of Allah require that there should be a reckoning and Resurrection for the affairs.

However, it is clearly understood from the verses of the Holy Qur’an that ending of this world and the beginning of the next world both will happen suddenly and with a revolutionary movement and each of them has been rendered into ‘blowing in the Tempest’, the full explanation of which will be mentioned in the commentary of Surah Az-Zumar, No. 39, verse 68.

In the next verse, the Qur’an adds:

“They shall say: ‘Oh! woe to us! who has raised us up from our sleeping-place? This is what the Beneficent (Allah) promised; and the apostles told the truth.”

Yes, the scene is so expressive and terrible that man forgets all the false and superstitious matters, and he will not have any way except confessing the facts explicitly. It likens the graves to sleeping-places, and the Resurrection to getting up from sleep.

This has also been mentioned in a famous tradition which says:

“You will pass away like that you sleep, and you will be raised as you get up from sleep.”1

Here they terrify and cry that woe to us! Who did awaken us from sleeping, and rose up from our sleeping-place?

But soon they will realize and remember that the true prophets in the world have given them promise of this Day from the side of Allah. They answer themselves that this is the promise of the Beneficent, Allah; the Lord Whose general mercy has enveloped all and Whose prophets told the truth and made us aware of this Day, but alas we mocked them all.

Therefore, the Qur’anic sentence:

“…this is what the Beneficent (Allah) promised and the apostles told the truth”

is the continuation of the statement of the rejecters of Resurrection, but some commentators have considered it as the statement of the angels or the believers, which contrasts the apparent of the verse, and there is no necessity upon it, because the confusion of the rejecters on the fact on that Day is not a matter that is mentioned only in this verse.

Surah Al-’Anbiya’, No. 21, verse 97 says:

“And the true promise has drawn nigh; then behold, staring wide (in terror), the eyes of those who disbelieve! (They say:) ‘Alas for us! We were heedless of this (Day); nay; we were unjust ones’.”

However, the application of the Arabic term /marqad/, which is used in the sense of ‘sleeping-place’ and ‘sleep’, denotes to this fact that in the world of purgatory they are in a state similar to sleep, and as it is said in the commentary of Surah Al-Mu’minun, No. 23, verse 100, due to the majority of people, who are in a status between infidelity and faith, ‘purgatory’ is not unlike to the state of sleeping, where both the excellent believers and extraordinary vice disbelievers are completely aware and enjoy the blessings or are faced with kinds of chastisement.

Some of the commentators have given this probability that the terror and grief in Hereafter is so much that the purgatory chastisement, compared with it, is like naught but a peaceful sleep.

Then, in order to explain the speed of the occurrence of the blast of the trumpet, in the third verse the Qur’an says:

“There would be naught but a single Blast, when they shall all brought before Us.”

Therefore, there will not need a long time for the dead to be quickened and that they rise from their graves and attend in the just court of Allah, in the same manner that there needs not a long time for the death of individuals. The first Blast is a cry for death and the second Blast is a cry for life and attending in the court of Allah, the Just.

The application of the word ‘Blast’ (a cry) and emphasizing it with the word ‘single’ and then the application of the Arabic term /’iŏa/, which in such instances informs of the sudden occurrence of something, and the application of:

They shall all be brought before Us

in the form of a nominal sentence all are as evidence to the quick occurrence of this part of Resurrection.

The conclusive tone of these verses and the piercing influence of them in the men’s hearts is so effective that as if they hear this cry with their ears saying: O’ men who are asleep! O’ the scattered dusts! And O’ rotten bones! Stand up! Stand up! And be ready for Reckoning and recompense! How beautiful the verses of the Qur’an are, and how expressive their warnings are!

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 54

فَالْيَوْمَ لاَ تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئاً وَلاَ تُجْزَوْنَ إِلاَّ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

54. “So this day no soul shall be dealt with unjustly in the least, nor shall you be recompensed but that which you used to do.”

Allah is just, and the Hereafter is the Day of appearance and manifestation of Allah’s Justice. The retribution and reward on the Hereafter Day is on the basis of our deeds in the world.

This verse refers to the end of the righteous believers and the wicked disbelievers. It implies that on that Day nobody shall be dealt with unjustly. Neither the reward of anybody will be decreased, nor will the retribution of anybody be increased.

It says:

“So this day no soul shall be dealt with unjustly in the least…”

Then it refers to a statement which, in fact, is a clear and vivid evidence for the lack of injustice in that great court. It continues saying:

“…nor shall you be recompensed but that which you used to do.”

In other words, the deeds you do in this world, good or bad, will be with you there on that Day. The same deeds will be incarnated and in all stations of the gathering place of resurrection, and after the end of Reckoning, will be with you as your companion. Is the deliverance of the fruit of someone’s deeds to him contrary to justice?

Or is the carnation of deeds and making it as a person’s companion injustice? And by this it is made clear that, basically, in that sense ‘injustice’ does not have any concept. If here, amongst human beings, there is sometimes justice and sometimes injustice, it is for the reason that they have not the ability of showing and delivering the deeds of everybody to him.

Some of the commentators have considered that the recent sentence refers to the evil doers and pagans who will face with retribution equal to their deeds and it does not refer to the believers, because Allah will give them the rewards more than their deeds because of His Grace and His Mercy.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 55-58

إِنَّ أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ الْيَوْمَ فِي شُغُلٍ فَاكِهُونَ

هُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُهُمْ فِي ظِلاَلٍ عَلَي الأَرَآئِكِ مُتَّكِئُونَ

لَهُمْ فِيهَا فَاكِهَةٌ وَلَهُم مَّا يَدَّعُونَ

سَلاَمٌ قَوْلاً مِن رَّبٍّ رَّحِيمٍ

55. “Verily the inhabitants of Paradise that ِay are busy in rejoicing,”
56. “They and their wives shall be in the shades, reclining on raised coaches;”
57. “They shall have fruits therein, and they shall have whatever they desire.”
58. “‘Peace’: is the word from a Merciful Lord (for them).”

In Paradise, there will be life without death, health with no sickness, youth with no senility, honour with no disgrace, favour with no indebtedness, permanence with no distraction, joy with no wrath, and intimate ease with no fear. Moreover, in Paradise there will be received a consent and a significant greeting from the side of Allah.

And, however, this holy verse refers to the part of the rewards of the believers and, before anything else, emphasizes on the peace of mind and says:

“Verily the inhabitants of Paradise that Day are busy in rejoicing,”

They are busy with the bounties of Allah and are aloof from any annoying thought, so they will be in the utmost joy and happiness.

The Arabic word /šuqul/ and the term /šuql/ both are with the sense of events and moods that come to man and make him busy to them whether they are happy or sad.

But since the Qur’anic term /fakihun/ has immediately been mentioned after it, and this term is the plural form of /fakih/ in the sense of joyful, happy, and laughing, it can be a hint to the affairs which make man so busy to him that he may neglect the annoying affairs totally in a way that he will be in full rejoicing and no grief or sorrow dominates him, and he forgets even the horror and fear that he gets at the time of the establishment of Hereafter and attending in the Divine court of justice.

If this horror does not really go, the shade of anxiety and sorrow will constantly have heaviness on the man’s heart. Therefore, one of the effects of this business of mind is forgetting the terror of the Hereafter.

However, next to the peace of mind which is the source of all bounties, and it is the condition of using all merits, it refers to the explanation of other bounties.

It says:

“They and their wives shall be in the shades, reclining on raised coaches;”

The Arabic term /’azwaj/ here means ‘the heavenly wives’, or it means the faithful wives whom they had in this world.

And that some have said that it may be in the sense of ‘their associates’, like Surah As-Saffat, No. 37, verse 22 which says:

“(And Allah will command the angels:) ‘Gather you together those who were unjust and their mates and what they used to worship,”

that here it seems very improbable, in particular that the Qur’anic term /’ara’ik/, the plural form of /’arikah/, according to a group of commentators and philologists is in the sense of some beds which are in bridal chamber.2

The application of the Arabic word /zilal/ (shades) refers to the shades of the trees in Paradise amidst which the thrones of the people of Heaven have been erected. Or it refers to the shades of the castles in Paradise.

All of these show that there is sunshine there, too; but there is not a tormenting sunshine. Yes, they have some other kind of pleasure and happiness under the pleasant shades of the Heavenly trees.

In addition to that, the verse says:

“They shall have fruits therein, and they shall have whatever they desire.”

It is clearly understood from other verses of the Qur’an that the food of the people of Paradise is not only fruits, but the abovementioned verse shows that the best food of the people of Heaven is fruit, the special fruits which are completely different from the fruits of this world.

And, even in this world, according to the confession of the specialists of nutriment, fruits are the best and the most suitable nutriment for man.

The Qur’anic term /yadda‘un/ is derived from /da‘ayah/in the sense of ‘demand’, i.e. whatever they demand and desire it will available for them, and they will not have any wish which will not be done for them.

In Majma‘-ul-Bayan the Late Tabarsi says:

“An Arab uses this meaning in respect to /tamanni/ and he says: ‘whatever you desire you may demand from me’.”

And thus, whatever today man may think of and whatever does not come into his mind from among the kinds of merits and the bounties, they will be available and prepared there, and the entertainment of Allah from His guests will be done in the highest possible level.

But, the most important of all are the spiritual merits which are referred to in the last verse of the verses under discussion.

It says:

“‘Peace’: is the word from a Merciful Lord (for them).”

This enlivening and pleasant call, which is full of His love and affection, attracts the man’s attention to itself so deeply, and gives him joy, happiness and spirituality, that does not match any other bounty.

Yes hearing the call of the beloved one, is a call filled with love and mixed with grace which causes the people of Paradise to be thoroughly rejoicing, a moment of which is superior to the whole world and whatever exists in it.

A tradition narrated from the Prophet of Islam (S) indicates that he said:

“While the people of Paradise are busy enjoying the bounties of Heaven there will appear a light above them.

This is the light of Allah which is cast upon them and at the same time a call will be heard saying:

‘Peace and greeting on you, O’ the people of Paradise!’

And this is the same thing which has been mentioned in the Qur’an. It is here that the view of Allah attracts them so strongly that they neglect His all other things and, in that state, they forget the whole bounties of Paradise.

It is here that the angels come out from every door and say:

‘Peace upon you’.”3

Yes, the ecstasy of the intuition and presence of the Beloved and the visit of the Lord’s Grace are so delightful and gratifying that a moment of which is not equal with any blessing, even with the whole world.

The lovers of visiting Him are so that if this spiritual gift might be ceased from them, they would die. Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) in a tradition said:

“If I remain walled from the visit of the Lord for a moment, I will die.”

It is interesting that the apparent of the verse is that this greeting of Allah unto the believers in Paradise is a direct greeting without any intermediator. It is a greeting from the Lord, Allah, the greeting which originates from His special Mercy, i.e., the rank of His specific Mercy, and all grace and favours are gathered in it. Oh, what a blessing it is!

In principle, Paradise is ‘the Abode of Peace’, as Surah Yunus, No. 10, verse 25 says:

“And Allah does call mankind to the Abode of Peace…”

And the people of Paradise, who are the dwellers of this abode, will sometimes face with the angel’s greeting.

At the time of arrival into Paradise, the angels arrive to them from every door and say:

“Peace (be) upon you (saying) that you persevered in patience! (And now) how excellent is the Ultimate Abode.”4

And sometimes the dwellers of ’A‘raf call them and say:

“…Peace be upon you!…”5

And sometimes they will be faced with the angels’ greeting after entering into Paradise:

“…and the warders thereof say unto them: ‘Peace be unto you…”6

Sometimes, at the time of taking their souls, this greeting is delivered to them from the side of the angels of death.

They say:

“…Peace be upon you! Enter the Paradise because of what you used to do.”7

And sometimes they themselves greet each other.

And, in principle, in their greeting there is ‘Peace’, the Qur’an says:

“…their greetings therein is: ‘Peace!’.”8

And, finally, the superior and above all of these is the greeting of Allah:

“‘Peace’: is the word from a Merciful Lord (for them).”

Briefly speaking, there will be heard there neither a vain word nor a sinful thing. There will be only ‘peace’ and ‘peace’.

The Qur’an says:

“They shall not hear therein vain or sinful discourse,”

Of course, it is not a greeting in mere pronunciation, but it is a greeting the effect of which penetrates in the depth of man’s soul and makes it thoroughly full of tranquillity, peace, and health.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 59-62

وَامْتَازُوا الْيَوْمَ أَيُّهَا الْمُـجْرِمُونَ

أَلَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ يَا بَنِي ءَادَمَ أَن لاَّ تَعْبُدُوا الشَّيْطَانَ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌ مُّبِينٌ

وَأَنِ اعْبُدُونِي هَذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ

وَلَقَدْ أَضَلَّ مِنكُمْ جِبِلاًّ كَثِيراً أَفَلَمْ تَكُونُوا تَعْقِلُونَ

59. “And (they will be told) get you aside this day O’ you the guilty ones!”
60. “Did I not make covenant with you, O’ children of Adam, that you should not serve the Satan, verily he is a manifest foe to you;”
61. “And that you should serve Me? This is the straight path.”
62. “And yet he has led astray a great number of you. Did you not then understand?”

The separation of the guilty ones from the righteous ones is according to the law of Divine Justice Who said that the faithful and the pagan are not equal.

The Qur’an says:

“Is he then who is a believer like him who is a transgressor? They are not equal.”9

In the verses under discussion, a short part of the fate of the hellish people and the followers of Satan is referred to.

The first is that the Qur’an implies that, on that Day, with a contemptuous tone, it will be said to the guilty ones to get aloof from the believers.

The Qur’an says:

“And (they will be told) get you aside this day O’ you the guilty ones!”

It was you who, in the world, had substituted yourself deceitfully in the rows of the believers and sometimes took benefit of their honour and credit. Now you must separate your rows from theirs, and appear in your own real feature.

This is, in fact, the actualization of the promise of Allah that in Surah Sad, No. 38, verse 28 He says:

“Shall We treat those who believe and do good like the mischief-makers in the earth? Or shall We make the pious ones like the wicked?”

However, the apparent of the verse under discussion refers to the separation of the rows of the guilty from those of the believers, though the commentators have delivered some other probabilities, among them is the separation of the rows of the guilty from each other, and every group of them will be in a definite line.

The next verse refers to the expressive rebukes and blames of Allah unto the sinners on the Day of Hereafter and says:

“Did I not make covenant with you, O’ children of Adam, that you should not serve the Satan, verily he is a manifest foe to you;”

This Divine covenant has been taken from man in different ways, and He has repeatedly mentioned this matter to him.

At first, on the day when the children of Adam were living on the earth, they were addressed by this word of Allah, saying:

“O’ children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you as he expelled your parents from the Garden, stripping them both of their clothing that he might expose unto them their shameful parts. Surely he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. We have made the Satans the friends of those who do not believe.”10

Then, this very warning was expressed by the tongues of Divine messengers, as Surah Zukhruf, No. 43, verse 62 says:

“And let not the Satan prevent you, surely he is manifest enemy.”

And in Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 168 we recite:

“…and do not follow the footsteps of Satan surely he is a manifest foe for you.”

On the other side, this covenant has also been taken in the world of nature with the tongue of bestowing wisdom on man, because the intellectual proofs clearly testify that man should not obey the command of the one who has been his enemy from the first day and has sent him out from the Paradise, and has sworn to seduce the children of Adam.

From the third side, by the Divine constitution and innate disposition of all human beings upon Monotheism, and the restriction of obedience for the Pure Essence of Allah, this covenant has also been taken from man. And thus, not only by one mere language but also by several languages this Divine recommendation has been performed and this promise and covenant has been signed.

By the way, we recite in a narration from Imam Sadiq (as) who said:

“Whoever obeys a person in committing a sin, he has worshipped him.”11

In another tradition Imam Baqir (as) said:

“Whoever listens to a speaker (and accepts his statement) he has worshipped him. If the speaker reiterates the ordinance of Allah, he has worshipped Him, but if the speaker speaks from the side of Satan, he has worshipped Satan.”12

And in the third verse, for more emphasis and stating the duty of the children of Adam, it says:

“And that you should serve Me? This is the straight path.”

From one side, He has taken covenant from men that they should not obey Satan, because he has proved his enmity and hatred from the first day. Which wise person follows the command of his ancient and manifest foe?

And in the opposite side, He has taken covenant that he obeys Him and He has defined its reason by saying:

This is the straight path.

This, in fact, is the best motivation for human beings, because, for instance, when it happens that a person finds himself in the middle of a dry and hot desert and sees his soul, his wife and children, as well as his wealth, in the danger of the thieves and wolves, the most important thing he may think of, as finding the straight way toward the destination, a way which can lead him easier and sooner to the point of safety.

However, it is understood from this meaning that this world is not the abode of residence, because the path is shown to the person who passes a passage and he has a destination in front of him.

Again, for being more acquainted with this clear dangerous enemy, in the fourth verse, it says:

“And yet he has led astray a great number of you. Did you not then understand?”

Do you not see that how many miseries Satan has provided for his followers? Have you not studied the history of the ancient nations to see how painful and evil fates his followers had? The ruins of their afflicted cities are in front of your eyes; and their sorrowful end is clear for anyone who has the least understanding and thought.

Then, why do not you take earnest the enmity of the one who has repeatedly shown the examination of his enmity? You make friends with him again, and, even, you choose him as your own leader and as your own friend.

The Qur’anic term /jibill/, as Raqib says in Mufradat, is in the sense of ‘society’ and ‘group’; and the application of the Arabic term /kathir/ is for emphasis concerning the followers of Satan who form a great number of people.

However, a safe wisdom requires that man should seriously avoid of such a dangerous foe who shows no mercy to anyone and his prays are seen over the soil of destruction everywhere, and he should not let himself be in negligence.

As Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as), the aware leader, in one of his sermons13, addressing people, attracts their attention to this fact by saying:

“Therefore, O’ the servants of Allah! You should fear lest Satan infects you with his disease (pride), or leads you astray through his call, or marches on you with his horsemen and foot-men, because, by my life, he has put the (dangerous) arrow in the bow for you, has stretched the bow very strongly, and has aimed at you from a nearby position, and he (Satan) said:

‘O’ Lord! Because you have left me to stray, certainly I will adorn (evil) to them on the earth, and certainly I will cause them all to go astray’.1415

(While Allah was not the cause of his mislead, but his low desire made him astray.)

And, really, it is surprising that we choose such an enemy as our friend!

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 63-64

هَذِهِ جَهَنَّمُ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُون

اصْلَوْهَا الْيَوْمَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْفُرُونَ

63. “This is the Hell which you were promised.”
64. “Enter you into it today for what you were disbelieving.”

Allah has completed the argument to the hellish people and has constantly conveyed the danger of Hell to them.

Yes, on that day, while the blazing and flaming Fire of Hell is in front of the eyes of the wrong-doers, pointing to it, He addresses the guilty and says:

“This is the Hell which you were promised.”

One after another the Divine prophets came and made you avoid such a Fire on such a Day, but you mocked them all. So, in the next verse, it implicitly says: you should enter it and burn by its blazing Fire, because this is the fruit of the rejection you used to have.

It says:

“Enter you into it today for what you were disbelieving.”

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 65

الْيَوْمَ نَخْتِمُ عَلَي أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَتُكَلّـِمُنَآ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَتَشْهَدُ أَرْجُلُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ

65. “Today we set a seal on their mouths, and their hands speak to Us, and their feet bear witness as to what they have been earning.”

The mention of the head and of the feet, are as an example, because in other verses of the Qur’an we recite that, the ear, the eye, and the heart will be questioned of, too, and even the skin will bear witness.

In this verse, the Qur’an hints to the witnesses on the Day of Hereafter. These are some witnesses that are as parts of the man’s body and there is no room for denying their words.

It says:

“Today we set a seal on their mouths, and their hands speak to Us, and their feet bear witness as to what they have been earning.”

Yes, on that Day the man’s limbs are not submitted to his wishes any more. They will separate their account from the entire entity of man and will submit to Allah and obey Him only, the Sacred Essence, and by their witness they make the facts manifest.

What a wonderful court it is, where its witnesses are the limbs of the man’s body. They are the means by which they have committed the sins.

Perhaps, the witness of the limbs is for the sake that when these sinners are told their recompense is Hell for the deeds they did, they deny them thinking that it is the worldly court and they can deny the facts by tricks.

Here, the bearing witness of the limbs will begin and wonder accompanied with terror will overcome their entity thoroughly, and all the ways of escape will ilat, No. 41, verse 20 says:

“Until when theysbe shut to them. As Surah Fus come to it, their ears and their eyes and their skins shall bear witness against them as to what they used to do.”

And Surah An-Nur, No. 24, verse 24 says:

“On the day when their tongues and their hands and their feet testify against them as to what they used to do.”

This point is also noteworthy that in one place the Qur’an says ‘their tongues testify’ (like Surah An-Nur), and in the verse under discussion He says:

“…We set a seal on their mouths.”

This meaning may be for the sake that at first on the man’s tongue will be set a seal and his limbs will begin to bear witness. When he sees the witness of the limbs, his tongue will start speaking, and since there is no room for denials the tongue will confess the truth, too.

There is also this probability that the objective meaning of the witness of the tongue is not the ordinary speaking, but it is a speech like the speech of other limbs which comes from its inside not from its outside.

Concerning the number of witness in that great Court and that how they will testify, we will explain it in more details when commenting on Surah Fussilat, No. 41, verses 19-23, Allah willing.

The final word is that the witness of the limbs is about the pagans and sinners; otherwise, the account of the believers is clear.

Imam Baqir (as) in a tradition says:

“The limbs of a believer do not testify against him, but they testify against the one on whom the command of punishment has been decreed.

As for the believer, his record (of deeds) will be given to his right hand, (and he will recite it himself), as Allah has said:

‘… then whoever is given his book in his right hand, then these will read their book (joyfully) and they will not be treated unjustly in the least’.”16

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 66-67

وَلَوْ نَشَآءُ لَطَمَسْنَا عَلَي أَعْيُنِهِمْ فَاسْتَبَقُوا الصّـِرَاطَ فَاَنَّي يُبْصِرُونَ

وَلَوْ نَشَآءُ لَمَسَخْنَاهُمْ عَلَي مَكَانَتِهِمْ فَمَا اسْتَطَاعُوا مُضِيّاً وَلاَ يَرْجِعُونَ

66. “And if We please, We would obliterate their eyes, then they would race to the way, but how would they see?”
67. “And if We please, We would surely transform them in their place, then they would not be able to go on, nor will they return.”

We should not be neglectful of the wrath of Allah (s.w.t.) and change of His bounties. Before the descent of punishment, obstinacy should be put aside.

This verse points to one of the punishments which Allah may afflict the guilty group in this very present world, and it is a terrible painful punishment.

It says:

“And if We please, We would obliterate their eyes…”

In this state, an extraordinary horror will envelop them. They want to go in the path they usually used to go and to precede each other, but how can they do?

“…then they would race to the way, but how would they see?”

They will be unable even to find the road toward their houses, let alone they find the path of the truth and step in the straight way.

Then, the next verse refers to another painful chastisement.

It says:

“And if We please, We would surely transform them in their place…”

(They may be transformed into some motionless statues that have no soul, or into some palsied animals.)

The verse continues saying:

“…then they would not be able to go on, nor will they return.”

However, the two abovementioned verses are about the chastisements in the world. They are as threatening to the disbelievers and the sinners that Allah is able to afflict them to such painful fates in this very world, but, because of His Grace and Mercy, He has not done so, haply these obstinate sinners become aware and return to the path of the truth.

  • 1. Tafsir-us-Safi, (old edition), P. 352; and ’Athar-us-Sadiqin, Vol. 21, P. 381
  • 2. Lisan-ul-‘Arab, Mufradat Raqib, Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Qurtabi, Rouh-ul-Ma‘ani, and some other commentaries
  • 3. The commentary of Rouh-ul-Ma‘ani, Vol. 23, P. 35
  • 4. Surah Ar-Ra‘d, No. 13, verse 24
  • 5. Surah Al-’A‘raf, No. 7, verse 46
  • 6. Surah Az-Zumar, No. 39, verse 73
  • 7. Surah An-Nahl, No. 16, verse 32
  • 8. Surah ’Ibrahim, No. 14, verse 23
  • 9. Surah As-Sajdah, No. 32, verse 18
  • 10. Surah Al-’A‘raf, No. 7, verse 27
  • 11. Wasa’il, Vol. 18, P. 91
  • 12. Ibid.
  • 13. No. 192, Nahj-ul-Balaqah
  • 14. Qur’an, 15:39
  • 15. the commentary of Fakhr-Razi, under the verse; Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, vol. 4, P. 392
  • 16. Tafsir-us-Safi, under the verse; verse 7 from Surah Isra’, No. 17

Section 5: The Kingdom of the Universe Belongs to Allah

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 68

وَمَن نُعَمّـِرْهُ نُنَكّـِسْهُ فِي الْخَلْقِ أَفَلاَ يَعْقِلُونَ

68. “And whomever We cause to live long, We reverse him to an abject state in constitution; do they not then understand?”

Through previous verses Allah implicitly said that if He pleases He may make the eyes blind and change the features. This verse refers to an example of these changes concerning the aged persons.

It points to the man’s situation at the end of his life from the point of weakness and inability of both mind and body, so that it can be both a warning unto those who postpone choosing the path of guidance from today to tomorrow, and an answer to those who take the short of life as a cause for their faults, and it can be an evidence for the might of Allah indicating that as He is able to return a strong and powerful man to the weakness of his childhood, He is able to bring forth the Resurrection and also make the sinners blind and unable to move.

It says:

“And whomever We cause to live long, We reverse him to an abject state in constitution; do they not then understand?”

The Qur’anic term /nunakkishu/ is derived from the Arabic term /tankis/ in the sense of reversing something in a manner that its top comes down and its down goes up in the place of the top. Here, there is a metonymy pointing to the complete return of man to the circumstances of his childhood.

From the very beginning of his creation, man is weak and then gradually he grows and develops. During the foetus course every day he passes some new stages and new growth. After his birth he will swiftly continue the path of development from the point of body and spirit, and the God-given strengths and talents, which are hidden inside his entity, will appear one after another.

The course of youth, and next to it, the course of expertness approach, and man will be seated in the climax of bodily and spiritual development. Here, sometimes, the body and the spirit separate their way from each other. The spirit will continue its path of development, while the body begin retardation.

But, at last, the man’s intellect, too, will begin the downward march, and little by little, and sometimes quickly, that stages of childhood return. The childish movements begin, and thinking, and even one’s pretext seeking will be like those of children.

The bodily weakness will also come along with them, with this difference that these movements and spiritualities are sweet and attractive when they are from the side of children, because they are some glad-tidings unto their future hopeful lives and that is why they are completely tolerable. But in relation to the old persons, they are pungent, not beautiful, and, sometimes, hateful, or pitiful.

Verily, there will come some days which will be very painful, so much so that the depth of its inconvenience is hardly considerable.

This meaning has been pointed out in Surah Al-Hajj, No. 22, verse 5, where it says:

“…and some of you are kept back to the worst part of life so that they know nothing after having known (much)…”.

(They will not recognize even their nearest members of their family.)

However, the Qur’anic sentence /’afala ya‘qilun/ (do they not then understand) gives a wonderful remark in this regard and it tells men: if this strength and power that you have were not temporary it would not be taken from you so easy. Do know that there is another might over you which is capable of doing everything.

You must be careful of yourself before reaching that stage, and before that the mirth and beauty turns into sadness and withered state, make the best of it and provide the provision of the path of the next world in this world, since in the term of weakness, senility, and wretchedness mostly you are able to do nothing.

So, one of the five things that the Prophet (S) recommended Abuthar to be careful of this very thing.

He (S) said:

“Do avail five things before five things: your youth before your senility, your health before your sickness, your richness before your poverty, your ease before your affliction, and your life before your death.”1

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 69

وَمَا عَلَّمْنَاهُ الشّـِعْرَ وَمَا يَنبَغِي لَهُ إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ ذِكْرٌ وَقُرْءَانٌ مُّبِينٌ

69. “And We have not taught him poetry, nor would it beseem him; it is naught but a Reminder and manifesting Qur’an,”

One of the accusations that the Prophet (S) was charged, besides accusing him of being sorcerer, insane and soothsayer, was the accusation of being a poet. Contrast to revelation, poetry is the fruit of imagination.

Contrast to revelation, poetry arises from emotions and feelings. Contrast to revelation which is from the side of Allah and originates from the source of existence and turns on the pivot of realities, poetry is usually mixed with exaggeration.

It says:

“And We have not taught him poetry, nor would it beseem him…”

The Qur’an is not anything but a remembrance.

It is the remembrance of Power and Wrath of Allah; the remembrance of His graces and bounties; the remembrance of His pardon and forgiveness; the remembrance of His way of treatment and His laws; the remembrance of His whole prophets, saints, and friends; a remembrance of the instinctive events of history; a remembrance of the factors of dignity and failure of nations; the remembrance of the righteous and the guided ones; a remembrance of the evildoers, pagans, mischief mongers, sinners, tyrants and their end; a remembrance of sincerities, donations, brevities, chastity, patience and their good end; a remembrance of murders, tortures, hurts, accusations, scorns, injustices, cruelties, and the evil end of the men of pride; a remembrance of Allah’s commandments and prohibitions, admonishments and wisdoms; a remembrance of the created things in the heaven, the earth, and the seas; a remembrance of the future of the history, the triumph of the government of the truth and the world becoming full of justice and condemnation of the unjust and the cruelty; a remembrance of the purgatory, Resurrection, and the events before Hereafter, and the state of the scene of Hereafter, the dangers of Hell, and the blessings of Paradise.

The Holy Qur’an is the source of admonishments and remembrance. The Qur’an is a clear and understandable word with argumentation.

Yes, with negation of poetry from the Prophet (S), the Qur’an adds:

“…it is naught but a Reminder and manifesting Qur’an,”

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 70

لِيُنذِرَ مَن كَانَ حَيّاً وَيَحِقَّ الْقَوْلُ عَلَي الْكَافِرِينَ

70. “That it may warn him who is alive and the Word may be proved against the disbelievers.”

A sign for the heart to be alive is the acceptance of the warnings of the Qur’an, because the appointment of the prophets and the revelation to them are the source of awareness and spiritual intelligence of the godly people, and it is to complete the argument for the dead-hearted ones.

The aim of this verse is:

“That it may warn him who is alive and the Word may be proved against the disbelievers.”

Yes, these verses are as a Reminder which is the source of remembrance and is the means of awareness. These verses are from ‘the manifesting Qur’an’ which states the truth without any curtain and with conclusiveness and explicitness, and it is why it is the factor of awareness, life and living.

Once more here we see that the Qur’an has considered the faith as ‘life’ and the believers as ‘the living ones’ and the disbelievers as ‘the dead’. From one side, it mentions ‘living’ and on the other side opposite to it, it mentions ‘disbelievers’.

This is that very spiritual ‘life’ and ‘death’ which is more significant than the apparent life and death, and their effects are vaster and more expanded. If life and living mean ‘to breathe’, ‘to eat’, and ‘to walk’ these are those which are common in all animals. This is not the human life.

Human life is the appearance of the effects of intellect, the outstanding good habits of man’s spirit, piety, donation, self-sacrifice, controlling the self, virtue, and morality; and the Qur’an grows this life in man’s self.

However, concerning the invitation of the Qur’an, human beings are divided in two groups. A group of them are alive and alert. These are those who answer its invitation positively and hearken to its warnings and admonishments.

The next group are the dead-hearted disbelievers who never show any positive reaction to it. But this warning works to complete the argument upon them and makes the command of punishment certain on them.

However, man has several kinds of life and death. The first is ‘the vegetation life’ which is the manifestation of the very growth, eating, and reproduction, and from this point of view he is rather similar to all of plants.

The next is the animal life and death, the clear sign of which is ‘feeling’ and ‘motion’, and in these two qualities he is the same as other animals.

The third kind of life is specific to human beings. This life separates them from plants and other animals. This is the human and spiritual life. This is the same thing which has been rendered as ‘the life of the hearts’ in the Islamic narrations; and the objective meaning of ‘heart’ here, is the man’s spirit, mind, and emotions.

Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) in his sermons and sayings has emphasized on this matter very much.

Concerning the Holy Qur’an, in a sermon in Nahj-ul-Balaqah he says:

“…and understand it thoroughly for it is the best blossoming of the hearts…”2

In another place, concerning wisdom and knowledge, he (as) says:

“Wisdom is a life for the dead hearts.”3

Sometimes the sickness of the heart is compared with the sickness of the body.

Ali (as) says:

“…while worse than bodily ailment is the disease of the heart…”4

And one time he (as) says:

“…He whose fear of Allah (his piety) is less, his heart dies…”5

There are many other expressions of this kind. Imam Zayn-ul-‘Abidin (as) in one of his supplications says:

“A great crime has caused my heart to die”6

On the other side, the Qur’an has considered a special kind of apparent insight, hearing, apprehension, and perception, for man as about the disbelievers it says:

“…deaf, dumb, and blind (are they) wherefore they do not understand.”7

In another occurrence, Qur’an calls the hypocrites as some diseased-hearted people that Allah increases their disease:

“In their hearts is a disease, so Allah has increased their disease…”8

It introduces those who do not fear Allah as stone-hearted ones whose heart is harder than stone:

“Then your hearts hardened after that as stones or even worse in hardness…”9

In another place the Qur’an says:

“Only those accept who hearken, and (as for) the dead, Allah will raise them up, then unto Him they will be returned.”10

From all these meanings, and from some abundant other expressions which are similar to them, it is clearly understood that the Qur’an counts the pivot of life and death that very pivot of human and wisdom, because the whole value of man has also been put in this very section.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 71-72

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّا خَلَقْنَا لَهُم مّـِمَّا عَمِلَتْ أَيْدِينَا أَنْعَاماً فَهُمْ لَهَا مَالِكُونَ

وَذَلَّلْنَاهَا لَهُمْ فَمِنْهَا رَكُوبُهُمْ وَمِنْهَا يَأْكُلُونَ

71. “Have they not seen that We have created for them of that Our hands wrought cattle that of them they own?”
72. “And then (the cattle) We have subdued to them, and some of them they ride upon, and some of them they eat.”

In order to recognize the Power of Allah, men can take help by nothing to the animals which are always available for him almost every where.

Again in these verses the Qur’an returns to the subject of Monotheism and polytheism and, after counting some signs of the greatness of Allah in the life of men, and removing their needs from the side of Allah, it points to the weakness and inability of idols and, in a clear comparison, it makes manifest the truthfulness of the line of monotheism and falseness of the line of polytheism.

At first, it says:

“Have they not seen that We have created for them of that Our hands wrought cattle that of them they own?”

Then, in the next verse it implies that in order that they can enjoy these cattle well Allah has subdued them to them so that not only they ride upon them but also they eat from them.

It says:

“And then (the cattle) We have subdued to them, and some of them they ride upon, and some of them they eat.”

If cow and sheep were not tamed, the door of the world of dairy products, which have many benefits for man, would be shut to him, and if all animals were wild, many of the journeys could not be performed.

Both the earth:

“…has made the earth manageable…”11

and animals are subdued:

“And then (the cattle) We have subdued…”12

But man, who is in need of both of them is disobedient:

“Verily man does transgress all bounds.”13

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 73

وَلَهُمْ فِيهَا مَنَافِعُ وَمَشَارِبُ أَفَلاَ يَشْكُرُونَ

73. “And therein they have benefits and drinks, will they not then be grateful?”

The Arabic word /mašarib/ is the plural form of /mašrab/ and it is the place of drinking water, but here the purpose of it is ‘to drink milk’.

This verse implicitly says that their benefits do not end to only this, but there are some other benefits for them in these animals.

It says:

“And therein they have benefits and drinks…”

Yet, do they not thank for these blessings, a thank which is the means of Knowing Allah and recognizing the Benefactor?

It continues saying:

“…will they not then be grateful?”

Among the different blessings which have surrounded man, here the Qur’an stresses on the blessing of cattle, because they are permanently present in the daily life of man, so that man’s life has been mixed with them in a manner that if it may be obliterated from his life, it will really be difficult for him; but because of their constant presence they are less regarded.

The sentence:

“Therein they have benefits”

points to many other benefits which man gets from cattle, including: their wool for kinds of clothing, carpets, and tents; their skin for clothes, shoes, hats, and different means of life.

Even today when the industry has entirely changed the feature of man’s life, yet the need of men from the point of both nutrition and clothes and other means of life to cattle has remained.

Even today, different kinds of serums and vaccines which are the most effective means for struggling against disease or for prevention, are provided from cattle and the materials taken from their blood.

Even the most worthless things in the life of cattle, that is, their feces, are used, too. By them lands will be fertilized and trees are made fruitful.

The application of the Qur’anic term /mašarib/ refers to the kinds of milk which are taken from different cattle and a great part of man’s food stuff is usually produced from it and its productions, so that the milk industries and the products from milk in the world today form an important part of exports and imports of some countries, the same milk which is a complete food for man.

This wholesome drink comes out from special parts of the body and causes the pleasure of its drinkers and is the source of strength for the weak.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 74-75

وَاتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ ءَالِهَةً لَّعَلَّهُمْ يُنصَرُونَ

لاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ نَصْرَهُمْ وَهُمْ لَهُمْ جُندٌ مُّحْضَرُونَ

74. “And they have taken gods besides Allah, haply they might be helped.”
75. “They shall not be able to help them; and yet they (the disbelievers) are their host (who in Hereafter) shall be brought forth (in Hell Fire).”

Polytheism and idolatry both are counted as ingratitude of blessings. The incentive of idolaters is based on imaginations and conjectures.

This verse refers to the status of polytheists, where it says:

“And they have taken gods besides Allah, haply they might be helped.”

What a false conjecture and vain thought they have that they put these powerless creatures, that cannot even defend themselves let alone the others, beside the Creator of the earth and the sky and the giver of those abundant merits and that they expect them to help them in the problems of life.

And, in the next verse, regarding the worshippers of idols, the Qur’an says:

“They shall not be able to help them; and yet they (the disbelievers) are their host (who in Hereafter) shall be brought forth (in Hell Fire).”

How painful it will be that on that Day these followers march at the back of idols and their hosts, and all of them will attend the Court of Justice of Allah and after that they entirely will be sent into Hell without that the idols can solve any problem of their own host.

In principle, the Arabic word /muhdarun/ (shall be brought forth) is a sign of contempt everywhere, and bringing persons forth without that they themselves be willing to it is the sign of their humiliation.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 76

فَلاَ يَحْزُنكَ قَوْلُهُمْ إِنَّا نعْلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ

76. “Therefore, let not their speech grieve you. Verily We know what they do in secret and what they do openly.”

As the console of the Prophet (S) and strengthening his spirit against those many hindrances, temptations, and superstitious thoughts and deeds, this holy verse says:

“Therefore, let not their speech grieve you…”

Sometimes they call you a poet, sometimes a sorcerer, and sometimes they accuse you with some other things, but Allah knows all what they hide in their hearts or they reveal by their tongues.

The verse continues saying:

“…Verily We know what they do in secret and what they do openly.”

Neither are their intentions concealed to Us nor their hidden plots, nor their belies, nor their open naughtiness. We know them all and We have kept their full account for the Reckoning Day, and We secure you in this world from their vice, too.

Not only the Prophet (S) but also every believer can be animated by this statement of Allah, because everything in this world exists in the Presence of Allah, and nothing of the devices of the enemies are concealed to Him. He will not leave His friends alone at the violent moments and He will always be their supporter and protector.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 77-78

أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الإِنسَانُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ مُّبِينٌ

وَضَرَبَ لَنَا مَثَلاً وَنَسِيَ خَلْقَهُ قَالَ مَن يُحْيِ الْعِظَامَ وَهِيَ رَمِيمٌ

77. “Has not man seen that We created him of a sperm-drop? Yet behold! He is an open disputant.”
78. “And he has struck for Us a similitude and forgotten his creation; he says: ‘Who shall quicken the bones when they are decayed?’”

Occasion of Revelation

In the majority of the concerning commentary books it has been cited that: A man from among the polytheists by the name of ’Ubay-ibn-Khalaf, or -ibn-Wa’il found a piece of rotten bone and said’Umayyat-ibn-Khalaf, or ‘As that by that firm proof he would stand with entity against Muhammad (S) and he might nullify his speech about Resurrection.

He took that piece of stone and came to the Prophet of Islam (S). (Perhaps, he made a part of it as powder at the presence of the Prophet (S)) and said:

“Who can give life again to these decayed stones? (And which intellect may believe it?)”.

Then the abovementioned verses together with four verses after them were revealed and gave a logical firm answer to him and those who thought like him.

The various discussions related to Origin, Resurrection, and prophethood, have been mentioned in Surah Ya-Sin in different sections. This Surah began with the name of the Holy Qur’an and the subject of prophethood, and it ends with seven related verses which contain the strongests statement about Resurrection.

At first, the Qur’an takes man to the beginning day of his life, the day when he was not more than a worthless sperm-drop, and makes him think.

It says:

“Has not man seen that We created him of a sperm-drop? Yet behold! He is an open disputant.”

What an expressive meaning it is! At first it emphasizes on the word ‘man’, that is, every man with any belief and school of thought and with any amount of knowledge can find out this truth.

Then it speaks of the Arabic word /nutfah/ which originally means: the naught worthless water; so that this proud and egoistic man thinks a little and knows that what he was on the first day.

And, yet, the entire of this naught drop of water has not been the source of his entity, but a very small living cell, which cannot be seen by the ordinary eyes, among thousands cells which were floating in that drop of water, combined with a very small living cell which was in the woman’s womb, and then, from that very small being, man came into being.

This creature passed the developing stages one after another, that according to the statement of the Qur’an, at the beginning of Surah Al-Mu’minun, six stages of them are inside the womb: (the stages of: sperm, then clot, then a lump of flesh, then the appearance of bones, then they being covered with flesh, and, finally, the appearance of sense and movement in it.)14

After his birth, when he was a weak and unable child, he quickly passed the stages of development, too, until when he reached the stage of his puberty: the bodily and mental growth. Yes, this weak and unable creature became so strong and powerful that he let himself stand against Allah and forget his both past and future and become the clear example of:

“an open disputant”.

It is interesting that the Qur’anic phrase /xasim-un-mubin/ (an open disputant) has an aspect of ‘strength’ and an aspect of ‘weakness’ that, apparently, here the Qur’an refers to both of them.

From one side, this action is not done save by a human being that naturally has intellect, thought, understanding, and independent will, authority, and power.

And we know that the most important thing in the man’s life is his ability of speaking, the contents of such speeches will formerly be provided in his thought, then they will be put together in the form of sentences and, like bullets of a gun, these sentences come out of the mouth and will be shot at the aim one after another.

This is the marvellous action that no living creature can do except man.

And, thus, the holy verse illustrates the power of Allah in this great strength that He has given to this apparently insignificant drop of water.

But, on the other side, man is a forgetful and proud being, and he uses these bounties, that He has bestowed on him, against Him and disputes inimically against Him. What an unaware and stubborn being he is!

The next holy verse implicitly announces that for man’s unawareness this is enough that he struck a similitude for Allah and as he thought he had found a firm proof while he, forgetting his first creation, said:

‘Who can quicken these bones when they are decayed?’.

The verse says:

“And he has struck for Us a similitude and forgotten his creation; he says: ‘Who shall quicken the bones when they are decayed?’”

The purpose of ‘striking similitude’ here is not an ordinary proverb or a simile and an allusion, but the purpose is the statement of a reasoning and mentioning an extension in order to prove a general matter.

Yes, he (’Ubay-ibn-Khalaf, or ’Umayyat-ibn-Khalaf, or ‘As-ibn-Wa’il) finds a rotten bone in the desert. It was not known to whom that bone belonged. Whether he had died by a natural death, or he had been killed badly in one of the battles of the Age of Ignorance, or he had died because of hunger. However, he thought he had found a very firm proof.

With an anger accompanied with happiness, he takes the piece of bone of a dead person and says:

“By this firm proof I stand with enmity against Muhammad (S) So that he can not give any answer.”

He came hastily to the Prophet (S) and shouted saying:

“Who can give life to this rotten bone?”

Then he crushed a part of the bone into powder and scattered it on the ground. He thought the Prophet (S) would not have any answer for that logic.

It is interesting that the Qur’an has given his whole answer in a short sentence, saying:

“…and forgotten his creation…”

although next to it, the Qur’an has also mentioned some more explanation with more reasoning so it implies that if he had not forgotten his creation, he would not have attached such a weak and vain reasoning.

O’ forgetful man, return back and look at your creation that you were an insignificant sperm and every day He put a new cloth of life on you.

You are always in the state of death and resurrection. You were changed from the state of clot into an animal and you came out from that world and became a human being. But you, O’ forgetful man! Did you forget all these states and ask who gives life to these decayed bones?

When this bone decays completely, just it will become dust. Were you not dust at first?

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 79

قُلْ يُحْيِيهَا الَّذِي أَنشَاَهآ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَهُوَ بِكُلّ‌ِ خَلْقٍ عَلِيمٌ

79. “Say: ‘He will enliven them who created them for the first time, and He knows all creation,”

Being attentive to the creation of man from sperm, may strengthen the faith of man in Resurrection.

Resurrection needs two things: the Power of Allah in recreation of man; and His cognizance to the people’s deeds. This verse refers to both of them.

The sentence which says:

“…who created them for the first time…”

is the sign of His power, and the sentence saying:

“…He knows all creation”

is the sign of His knowledge.

In this verse He commands the Prophet of Islam (S) to tell this obstinate, proud, and forgetful man that He gives life to him again Who created him on the first day.

Here is the commandment:

“Say: ‘He will enliven them who created them for the first time…”

If today there is a rotten bone available from him, once even this rotten bone did not exist either, and there was not also even any dust. Yes, He Who created him of nothing, enlivening the decayed bones is easier for Him.

And if you think that when this rotten bone became dust and was scattered everywhere, who could recognize those parts and gather them from different places? The answer to this question is also clear. He is aware of every creature and knows all his specialities.

The verse continues saying:

“…and He knows all creation,”

He Who has such a ‘Power’ and ‘Knowledge’ will have no difficulty for the subject of Resurrection and enlivening the dead. If we turn a magnet amongst a heap of dust which contains scattered pieces of iron, it will quickly gather all these pieces of iron, while it is not more than an inanimate being.

By a single command, Allah can easily gather all the particles of every man’s body in any place of the earth it may be.

He is aware of not only the principle of the creation of man, but also of their intentions and actions, and the account and reckoning of them is clear with Him.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 80

الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُم مِنَ الشَّجَرِ الأَخْضَرِ نَاراً فَإِذَآ أَنتُم مِنْهُ تُوقِدُونَ

80. “He Who made for you fire from the green tree, and behold! from it you kindle (fire).”

Allah gathers the opposites. He can gather water and fire, which do not have consistency with each other.

In this verse, the Qur’an brings some more discussions about the subject of Resurrection, and follows it by three or four interesting ways.

At first, it says:

“He Who made for you fire from the green tree, and behold! from it you kindle (fire).”

Allah is also able to give life to these rotten bones. What a wonderful and interesting meaning it is! that the more we contemplate about it, the more and deeper concepts it delivers to us.

In principle, many of the verses of the Qur’an contain several meanings. Some of them are simple for all people, in any time and any place, while some others are deep for the elect, and, finally, some of them are completely deep which are for the elites of the elect, or for other times and centuries in far distanced future.

In the meantime, these meanings do not contrast with each other; and in the same moment they are gathered in an expressive concept.

The first interpretation that many of the earlier Islamic commentators have mentioned for it, and it is a simple and clear meaning which is understandable for all people, is that: in ancient times, it was a custom among Arabs that for kindling fire they used the wood of some special trees called ‘Markh’ and ‘‘Afar’, which grew in the deserts of Arabia.

The Arabic terms /marx/ and /‘afar/ were the names of two kinds of kindling wood, the earlier was put in the below and the latter was put over it, and like a kindling stone, a spark came out from them and, in fact, they were used instead of today match. The Qur’an implicitly says: that the Lord, Who can bring out fire from these green trees, is also able to give life to the dead.

Water and fire are two opposite things. The One Who can put them beside each other, has the ability to put ‘life’ beside ‘death’ and ‘death’ beside ‘life’.

Praise upon the Creator of existence Who keeps ‘fire’ inside ‘water’ and holds ‘water’ in the middle of ‘fire’. It is certain that giving life to the dead people is not a difficult thing for Him.

If we step out beyond this meaning, we reach a more punctilious commentary, and it is that the property of kindling fire by the wood of trees is not limited to the wood of ‘Marakh’ and ‘Afar, but this property exists in all trees and in all of the materials of the world, (although the wood of the abovementioned two trees, because of their materials and their specific gravity, are more appropriate for this action).

In short, if any piece of wood of any trees strikes hard to another piece, they produce spark, even it is the wood of the green trees.

It is for this reason that sometimes there happen some vast and horrible fire accidents inside forests that nobody has been their factor; their only factor has been the strong blow of winds and storms that has caused the branches of trees to crush to each other and from between them a spark has come to burn dry leaves and then the blow of wind has helped it, and this has been the main factor.

This is the very spark of electricity which appears by friction and rubbing. This is the same fire which is hidden inside of all particles of the beings of the world and, at the time of friction and rubbing, it shows itself in such a way, He creates ‘fire’ from ‘a green tree’.

This is a vaster commentary which makes the perspective of gathering of opposites in creation vaster, and which shows subsistence in ‘destruction’ more clear.

But, here, there is a third commentary which is deeper than that, which has been found out by the help of modern science and we have called it ‘the resurrection of energies’.

Explanation: One of the important actions of plants is the subject of ‘taking carbon’ from air and making vegetal-cellules, the main parts of which are: ‘Carbon’, ‘Oxygen’ and ‘Hydrogen’.

Now, we may see how is this cellule made? The small parts of trees and plants take the carbonic gas from air and analyse it. Then, they release its oxygen and keep its carbon in themselves. They combine it with water and make the wood of trees from it. For more information, you may refer to the books written in this regard.

At the end, the action of kindling fire by using the wood of trees, though it is a simple matter in our view, a paying careful attention to it makes it clear that it is one of the most surprising matters, because the most part of materials of which a tree is formed is water and some particles of the soil, and neither of them is combustible.

What a power is this that has made this energetic matter from water, soil, (and air) which has been used closely in the life of men for thousands years.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verse 81

أَوَلَيْسَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ بِقَادِرٍ عَلَي أَن يَخْلُقَ مِثْلَهُم بَلَي وَهُوَ الْخَلاَّقُ الْعَلِيمُ

81. “Is not He, Who created the heavens and the earth, able to create the like of them? Yes, (He can!) And he is the Creator (Omnipotent), the Knower.”

In speaking with the disbelievers, we ought to begin with the insignificant subjects and then we refer to greater subjects. (The first parable was sperm, the next parable was green tree, and the third parable was the creation of heavens.)

Now, this verse beings by the way of the infinite Power of Allah, and implicitly says that whether the One, Who has created the heavens and the earth with those abundant glories, wonders, and amazing regular systems, can not create the like of these men who have become rotten (and return them to a new life). Yes, He can and He is the Omnipotent Creator, the Knower.

The verse says:

“Is not He, Who created the heavens and the earth, able to create the like of them? Yes, (He can!) And he is the Creator (Omnipotent), the Knower.”

This sentence, which has been started with ‘a positive interrogation with a negative sense’, in fact propounds a question for the vigilant consciences and alert wisdoms that whether you do not look at this splendid sky with all its wonderful planets and fixed stars and the numerous systems and galaxies in it, that any piece of it is a vast world?

The One Who is able to create such extraordinary great and regular worlds, how is it possible that He would not be able to enliven the dead?

And since the answer of this question is present in the heart of any vigilant person, it does not wait for its answer, and immediately implicitly says: Yes, He has such a power.

And next to it, the Qur’an emphasizes on these two great attributes of Allah, which must be noted in relation to this subject, viz., the attribute of Creativity and His infinite Knowledge, which, in fact, is an evidence upon the former statesment, saying that if you are in doubt concerning His Power in relation with creation

He is the Creator”.

And if the act of gathering these particles needs knowledge, He is Omnipotent and, from any point of view, is Aware and Knower.

By the way, the Arabic antecedent of the Qur’anic term /mithlahum/ (the like of them) returns to human beings, that is, the Creator of the heavens and the earth is able to create the like man.

Surah Ya-Sin - Verses 82-83

إِنَّمَآ أَمْرُهُ إِذَآ أَرَادَ شَيْئاً أَن يَقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ

فَسُبْحَانَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ مَلَكُوتُ كُلّ‌ِ شَيْءٍ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ

82. “His command, when he intends anything, is only to say to it ‘Be’, so it is.”
83. “So glory be to Him, in Whose hand is the domination of everything, and unto Whom you shall be returned.”

In the creation of existence, Allah needs neither a means nor any help, nor anyone who removes the barriers.

This holy verse is an emphasis upon what was said in the former verses. It is an emphasis on this fact that for His Will and Power, every creation is easy. It is the same for Him to create the lofty skies and the earth, or that He creates a small insect.

The verse says:

“His command, when he intends anything, is only to say to it ‘Be’, so it is.”

Everything depends on His only single command, and about the One Who has such a Power there is no room of doubt that He can give life to the dead.

It is evident that the command of Allah, here, is not a command in expression, and also the Arabic phrase /kun/ (Be) is not a phrase that states by utterance, because neither has He utterance nor is He in need of expressions, but the purpose is His Will upon the direct creation of something; and the application of the word /kun/ (Be) is for the sake that there is not a shorter, smaller and quicker than this one in consideration.

Yes, as soon as His intention comes to something, that thing comes into being.

In other words, when Allah intends something, it will immediately come into being, so that there is no distance between ‘His Will’ and the existence of the things.

Therefore, the application of ‘command’, ‘saying’ and the phrase: ‘Be’ all are an explanation for the subject of creation and making men understand His Power, and, as we said before, the command in expression, utterance and the word containing ‘B’ and ‘E’ are not necessary. All of them indicate the rapid existence of the things after the Will of Allah. He does not need any utterance and words.

And again in other more clear words, there are no more than two stages in the deeds of Allah: the stage of Will, and the stage of creation.

In the abovementioned verse, the second stage has been referred to as ‘command’, say, and the phrase ‘Be’.

How beautifully Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) says in one of his sermons:

“When He intends to create something He says ‘Be’ and there it is, but not through a voice that strikes (the ears) is that call heard. His speech is an act of His creation. His like never existed before this. If it had been created it would have been the second god.”15

In other words, every call needs an addressee, and when a thing has not been existed, how does Allah addresses it by the phrase ‘Be’? Is a non-existent thing addressable?

This very meaning has been mentioned in some other verses of the Qur’an.

For instance, Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 117 says:

“…and when He decrees a matter to be, He only says to it ‘Be’ and it is.”16

In the next verse, which is the last verse of Surah Ya-Sin, in a general conclusion on the subject of Origin and Resurrection it ends beautifully this discussion, where it says:

“So glory be to Him, in Whose hand is the domination of everything, and unto Whom you shall be returned.”

Regarding to the fact that the Arabic word /malakut/ is derived from /mulk/ in the sense of ‘government and ownership’ the additional Arabic letters ‘waw’ and ‘ta’ in the Qur’anic form of /malakut/ are for emphasis and exaggeration.

Then the concept of the verse is such: the unconditioned sovereignty and ownership of everything is in the hand of Allah, and such a Lord is far from any inability, and, in this case, giving life to the dead and quickening the rotten bones and their scattered dust will not bring any difficulty for Him, since certainly all of you will return to Him, and the Resurrection is true.

  • 1. Bihar, Vol. 77, P. 77
  • 2. Nahjul-Balaqah, sermon 110
  • 3. Ibid, sermon 133
  • 4. Ibid, saying 388
  • 5. Ibid, saying 349
  • 6. Sahifah Sajjadiyyah, Munajat-ut-Ta’ibin, line 2
  • 7. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 171
  • 8. Ibid, verse 10
  • 9. Ibid, verse 74
  • 10. Surah Al-’An‘am, No. 6, verse 39
  • 11. Surah Al-Mulk, No. 67, verse 15
  • 12. The verse under discussion
  • 13. Surah Al-Falaq, N0. 96, verse 6
  • 14. Surah Al-Mu’minun, No. 23, verse 14
  • 15. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, sermon 186
  • 16. Some more explanation may be studied in vol. 1, pp. 271-272 of the current commentary book

Surah As-Saffat, Chapter 37

(The Rangers)
No. 37 (Revealed at Mecca)
182 Verses in 5 Sections

The Feature of the Surah

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

This Surah, containing one hundred and eighty two verses, was revealed at Mecca. The name of this Surah has been taken from its first verse which begins with an oath by Saffat, a group of angels who are arrayed to perform the command of Allah.

This Surah is the first Surah of the Holy Qur’an which begins with an oath. Like most of other Meccan Suras, many of the verses of this Surah are also about Origin and Resurrection accompanied with some warnings and admonitions.

The Virtue of Reciting Surah As-Saffat

Imam Sadiq (as) said:

“Whoever recites Surah As-Saffat every Friday, he will be saved from every pollution and disease, and every contamination will be removed from his worldly life, and Allah will provide him with the most abundant sustenance and He does not afflict him, his children and his body with the harms of the cursed Satan and the hostile haughty ones.

And if he dies on that day or night, Allah will cause him to die as a martyr, and He will raise him among martyrs, and He will set him in the same grade with the martyrs in Paradise.”1

These abundant rewards are given for reciting the Surah if the person performs the content of the Surah and the Qur’an accordingly, and these are required but the barriers must be removed, too.

  • 1. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, following the verse

Section 1: Unity Shall Ultimately Triumph

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 1-3

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

وَالصَّافَّاتِ صَفّاً

فَالزَّاجِرَاتِ زَجْراً

فَالتَّالِيَاتِ ذِكْراً

1. “By those who range themselves in ranks,”
2. “And those who drive away (the evils and temptations) with reproof,”
3. “And the reciters of a Remembrance (Qur’an),”

It is necessary that there should be some impedimental factors of sins and forbidders of indecencies in the society.

This Surah is the first Surah of the Qur’an that the beginning verses of which begin with oaths. They are some expressive oaths which take the man’s thought with them toward different directions of this world and make it ready for accepting the facts.

It is true that Allah is more truthful than all truthful ones and He does not need to take any oath. Moreover, if the oath is for the believers, they are submitted without any oath, and if it is for the rejecters, they do not believe in the oaths of Allah. But noting to two points will solve the problem of oaths in all verses of the Qur’an upon which we will deal with henceforth.

The first point is this that oaths are always made by the worthy and important things. Thus, the oaths of the Qur’an show the importance and greatness of the things that the oaths are made by, and this very matter causes the more contemplation upon the thing that the concerning oaths are made by, a contemplation which makes man acquainted with some new facts.

The other point is that: oath is always for emphasis, and it is a proof upon this fact that the things for which the oath is made are among the completely earnest and emphasized affairs of creation.

Besides, when a speaker states his speech decisively, it will psychologically affect more on the addressee’s heart, strengthens the believers more, and makes the deniers of that speech milder.

However, at the beginning of this Surah, we find three groups by whom oaths are made.

At first, it says:

“By those who range themselves in ranks,”

Then, it says:

“And those who drive away (the evils and temptations) with reproof,”
“And the reciters of a Remembrance (Qur’an),”

Who are these three groups? And whom are these qualities about? And what is its final aim? The popular and known commentary is that these are some qualities for some groups of angels.

These are some groups of angels who have stood in rows in the world of existence and are ready for performing the command of Allah. They are some groups of Divine angels who restrain men from sins, and nullify the temptations of Satans in their hearts.

Or they are arranged for the cloud in sky to take them to different sides and make them ready to water the dry lands.

And, finally, there are some groups of angels who, at the time of revelation of the verses of the heavenly Books, recite them to the Divine prophets.

It is noteworthy that the Qur’anic term /saffat/ is the plural form of /saffah/ which in term has a plural sense, and it refers to a group who have ranged themselves in rank. Therefore, the term /saffat/ indicates some numerous rows.

The Qur’anic term /zajirat/ is derived from /zajr/ in the sense of driving away something with sound and shout. Then it has been used in a vaster scope of meaning which envelops any repel and prohibition. Therefore, the term /zajirat/ means some groups who act in prohibition, repelling, and driving others away.

The Arabic term /taliyat/ is derived from /talawat/, the plural form of /tali/, and means some groups who take action on reciting something.

And, regarding to the vastness of the concepts of these words, it is not surprising that commentators have mentioned different interpretations for them that, in the meantime, they do not contrast each other, and all of them may be found in the concept of these verses.

For example, the purpose of ‘Saffat’ is all the rows of the angels who are ready to perform the Divine commands in the world of creation, and also the angels who are ordered to bring the revelation down to Divine prophets in the atmosphere of religion; and also the rows of strivers and strugglers in the path of Allah, or the rows of keepers of prayer and worshippers.

Although the frame of references show that the purpose of it is mostly the angels, this meaning has been referred to in some Islamic narrations.1

Also, it does not matter that the Arabic term /zajirat/ refers to both the angels who drive away the Satanic temptations from the men’s hearts, and the men who perform the duty of forbidding from doing evils.

And the term /taliyat/ points to all Divine angels and groups of the believers who constantly recite the Divine verses and the name of Allah.

However, the oath of Allah made by all these groups shows the greatness of their rank with Allah, and in the meantime inspires this fact that those who pave the path of the Truth also for reaching the destination must pass these three stages. Firstly, they must arrange their rows and every group stand in their own row.

Then they must remove the barriers from the way and repel the troubles by shout and a loud voice. And, after that, they must continually recite the Divine verses and the commands of Allah to the receptive hearts and try to actualize their contents.

The strugglers of the path of the truth have not any way but passing these three stages, either. In the same manner, the truthful scholars, in their collective efforts, must also follow the same program.

It is notable that some of the commentators have rendered these verses into ‘strugglers’ and some others into ‘scholars’, but restricting the concept of these holy verses to those two groups seems improbable, while the generality of verses is not improbable; and we also consider them particular to the angels, again others can be inspired in their lives by the program of these angels.

In the first sermon of Nahj-ul-Balaqah, where the angels are spoken of, Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as), dividing them into different groups, says:

“…some of them (angels) are in array and do not leave their position. Others are extolling Allah and do not get tired. The sleep of the eye or the slip of wit, or languor of the body, or the effect of forgetfulness does not affect them. Among them are those who work as trusted bearers of the message, those who serve as speaking tongues for His prophets…”

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 4-5

إِنَّ إِلَهَكُمْ لَوَاحِدٌ

رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَرَبُّ الْمَشَارِقِ

4. “Verily your God is One,”
5. “Lord of the heavens and the earth and all between them, and Lord of the rising-places (of sun).”

Among the signs and proofs of Unity is the agreement between the heaven, the earth, and other creatures of the world of existence.

Therefore, in these holy verses, the Qur’an says:

“Verily your God is One,”
“Lord of the heavens and the earth and all between them…”

Here, there arises a question that: after mentioning the words heavens and the earth and what is between them, what is the need of mentioning ‘rising-places (of sun)’ which is also a part of them?

By noting to one point, the answer to this question will be made clear.

The Qur’anic term /mašariq/ (rising-places (of sun)) whether points to the rising-places of the sun during the year, or the rising-places of different stars in the sky, they have a particular program and order that their system, besides the system of the heavens and the earth, is the sign of the infinite Power and Knowledge of their Creator and their Administrator.

During the year, everyday the sun rises from a point in the sky which is different from the points where it rises the previous day and the next day, and the distance between these points is so exact and regular that they do not decrease or increase even one thousandth of a second during a year and for ever, and the order of the rising-places of the sun has been the same in thousands of thousands years.

This very order is also seen in the rising and setting of other stars, too.

Moreover, if the sun did not gradually pave this path, the different blessings that are produced because of four seasons of the year would not exist. This is itself another sign upon the greatness and administration of Allah.

Besides, one of the other meanings of /mašariq/ is that for the earth being globular, every point of it, comparing another point, is counted east or west. And, thus, the above verse attracts our attention to the globular shape of the earth and its different places of east and west.

The verse is concluded as follows:

“…and Lord of the rising-places (of sun).”

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 6-7

اِنَّا زَيَّنَّا السَّمَآءَ الدُّنْيَا بِزِينَةٍ الْكَوَاكِبِ

وَحِفْظاً مِن كُلّ‌ِ شَيْطَانٍ مَّارِدٍ

6. “Verily We have adorned the lower heaven with the adornment of the stars.”
7. “And to preserve against every rebel Satan;”

The adornment of the heaven of the world is a reflection of the Lordship of Allah.

The man’s willing to adornment and beauty is among his natural inclinations, and the Qur’an has verified it.

This holy verse says:

“Verily We have adorned the lower heaven with the adornment of the stars.”

Verily, a look at the sky at night, when it is dark and the stars are seen, will show man a very beautiful scenery that it fascinates him to itself.

As if they speak with us by dumb language and reiterate the secrets of Divine creation. It seems all of them were poets and constantly made the most beautiful amatory and gnostic poems.

Their nictitating express some secrets that exist nowhere but between a lover and a beloved.

Truly the scenery of the stars of the sky is so beautiful that never the eyes become tired from seeing them, on the contrary, they send out fatigue from the man’s body, although in our Age when the citizens of large cities are living in the smoke of the factories, and the like, and naturally they have a dark and black sky, these interesting subjects are not so meaningful.

But the villagers can still observe the concept of this verse of the Qur’an which says that the lower heaven is adorned with the adornment of the bright stars.

It is interesting that, in this verse, He says:

“…We have adorned the lower heaven with the adornment of the stars.”

While the hypothesis which dominated the thoughts of the scholars at that time said that only the higher sky was the sky of stars and planets: (according to hypothesis of Ptolemy, the eighth sky).

But as we know, the nullification of this hypothesis has been proved and that the Qur’an did not follow the wrong famous hypotheses of that time is itself a living miracle delivered by this heavenly Book.

Another interesting point is that from the view point of the modern science it is certain that the beautiful nictitating act of stars is as a reason of the air which has covered all around the earth and makes them to do so, and this meaning completely fits with the Qur’anic phrase /as-sama’-ud-duniya/ (the lower heaven).

But outside the atmosphere of the earth, the stars gaze and they lack sparkle.

The next verse refers to the protection of the sky from the penetration of Satans. It implicitly says that Allah preserves the heaven from every corrupt Satan who is far from any benevolence.

It says:

“And to preserve against every rebel Satan;”

The Arabic word /marid/ is derived from /mard/ which originally means ‘a high land empty of any kind of plant’. A tree that is bare of its leaves, in Arabic, is called /’amrad/, that is why for the young man on whose face has grown no hair this word is usually used. Here, in this verse, the purpose of /marid/ is the one who has no benevolence, or, in other words, ‘has nothing’.

We know that one of the ways of protecting the sky from Satans is by a group of stars called in Arabic /šuhub/ which will be dealt with in later verses.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 8-10

لاَّ يَسَّمَّعُونَ إِلَي الْمَلأِ الأَعْلَي وَيُقْدَفُونَ مِن كُلّ‌ِ جَانِبٍ

دُحُوراً وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ وَاصِبٌ

إِلاَّ مَنْ خَطِفَ الْخَطْفَةَ فَأَتْبَعَهُ شِهَابٌ ثَاقِبٌ

8. “They cannot listen to (the secrets of) the exalted assembly and they are thrown at from every side,”
9. “(To be) driven off, and for them is an everlasting chastisement,”
10. “Except him who snatches a fragment, and he is pursued by a piercing flame.”

Satans are some responsible beings who will be called to account and will be given retribution by Allah.

So, here the Qur’an says:

“They cannot listen to (the secrets of) the exalted assembly and they are thrown at from every side,”

The next verse implies that they will seriously be driven back and will be sent off from the scene of heaven, and there is a permanent punishment for them.

It says:

“(To be) driven off, and for them is an everlasting chastisement,”

The Qur’anic term /la yassamma‘un/ (which is used in the sense of /yatasamma‘un/) means that: they want to listen to the news of the exalted assembly (High council), but they are not allowed.

The Arabic phrase /mala’-il-’a‘la/ means the angels in the high world, because /mala’/ originally means ‘community and group who have the same attitude and, by this agreement and unity, they fill the eyes of others.

And superiors, notables, and entourage of the centres of power are also called /mala’/ because their outward situation is considerable, but when it is qualified by /’a‘la/ (high), it refers to the high ranked angels of Allah.

The Arabic term /yaqŏifun/ is derived from /qaŏf/ in the sense of ‘throw’ and ‘shooting to a distanced place’, and the purpose here is ‘repelling Satans’ by ‘flames’, which will be explained later. This shows that Allah does not let them even approach the realm of ‘High Council’.

The Arabic term /duhur/ is derived from /dahr/ in the sense of ‘drive off’. And the term /wasib/ originally means ‘chronic diseases’, but, in general, it means: permanent and lasting, and sometimes it has also been used with the sense of pure.

Here, it points to this meaning that not only Satans are prohibited from approaching the scene of heaven, but also they will finally be involved with the permanent chastisement, too.

This, verse refers to a group of rebellious and insolent Satans who intend to ascend to the high expanse of heaven.

It says:

“Except him who snatches a fragment, and he is pursued by a piercing flame.”

The Qur’anic term /šihab/ originally means: a flame which comes up from a burning fire. It is also called to the fiery flames which are seen in the sky like an extended line. We know that these are not stars, but they are alike to stars.

They are some small pieces of stone which are scattered in the sphere, and when they come into the gravity realm of the earth, they will be attracted toward the earth, and as the result of speed and their intense of strike with the air around the earth, they burn.

The Arabic word /thaqib/ means: penetrating and piercing, as if, because of an intense light, it pierces the face of the eye and burns it.

Therefore, there are two barriers for the influence of Satans into the expanse of heavens: the first barrier is ‘throwing from every side’, which is also apparently done by /šuhub/. The second barrier is a special kind of flame which is called: ‘a piercing flame’.

It waits for them that when they, now and then, approach ‘High council’ for eavesdropping, they will be struck by them.

Similar to this meaning is mentioned is Surah Al-Hijr, No. 15, verses 17 and 18, where He says:

“And We have guarded them against every accursed Satan” “Save him who steals the hearing, so there pursues him a clear flame.”

Again, Surah Al-Mulk, No. 67, verse 5 says some meaning like this.

It says:

“And We have adorned the lower heaven with lamps, and We have made them missiles for the Satans…”

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 11-12

فَاسْتَفْتِهِمْ أَهُمْ أَشَدُّ خَلْقاً أَم مَّنْ خَلَقْنَآ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُم مِن طِينٍ لاَّزِبٍ

بَلْ عَجِبْتَ وَيَسْخَرُونَ

11. “Then ask their opinion whether they are stronger in creation or (the others) whom we have created. Verily We created them of a sticky clay.”
12. “Nay! you wonder while they mock.”

We can adjust the mockers and proud persons by reminding them their own source of creation.

These two verses also pursue the subject of Resurrection and the opposition of the obstinate rejecters, and following the previous discussion about the Power of Allah over everything, Who is the Creator of the heaven and the earth, the first verse says:

“Then ask their opinion whether they are stronger in creation or (the others) whom we have created. Verily We created them of a sticky clay.”

Yes, Allah has created them of a simple thing, from a piece of sticky clay. It seems that the polytheists, who had denied Resurrection, after hearing the former verses concerning the creation of the heavens, the earth and the angels, stated that their creation was more important than them.

In answer to them the Holy Qur’an implies that the men’s creation compared with the creation of the earth and the vast heaven and the angels, which are in these worlds, is not such a significant thing, because the creation of man was from a little amount of sticky dust.

The Arabic phrase /’istaftihim/ is derived from /’istifta’/ which originally means ‘asking for some new news’.

And that a young man is called in Arabic /fata/ is because of the freshness of his body and soul.2

This application points to this fact that if they really know their creation more important and stronger than the creation of the heaven and the angels, they say a new word which is void of example.

The Arabic term /lazib/, as some have said, originally has been /lazim/ the ‘m’ of which has changed into ‘b’ and now it is used in this form.

However, it means some mud which is sticky, since the source of the creation of man at first was ‘dust’, then it was mixed with water and, little by little, it changed into a bad smell slime, and then it became a sticky mud. (And, thus, by this statement the different meanings in various verses of the Qur’an are gathered here)

Then, the Holy Qur’an implicitly says: you wonder of their denial concerning the Resurrection while they mock it.

It says:

“Nay! you wonder while they mock.”

By your pure heart, you see the matter so clear that you surprise of their denial, but these impure hearted people count this matter so impossible that they begin to mock.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 13-15

وَإِذَا ذُكّـِرُوا لاَ يَذْكُرُونَ

وَإِذَا رَأَوْا ءَايَةً يَسْتَسْخِرُونَ

وَقَالُوا إِنْ هَذَآ إِلاَّ سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ

13. “When they are admonished, they mind not,”
14. “And when they see a sign (miracle) they invite one another to scuff,”
15. “And they say: ‘This is nothing but an open sorcery.”

Admonishment is not usually effective for the hard-hearted persons.

The cause of these ugly actions is not only ignorance, but it is obstinacy and enmity. That is why when they are reminded the evidences, the argumentations of Resurrection and Divine punishment, they never mind and continue their own way.

The verse says:

“When they are admonished, they mind not,”

Then even they go beyond this, as the verse says:

“And when they see a sign (miracle) they invite one another to scuff,”

In the third verse, it says:

“And they say: ‘This is nothing but an open sorcery.”

They use the Arabic word /haŏa/ (this) in order to despise it and to show that the miracles and Divine verses are worthless.

And the application of ‘sorcery’ had been for the sake that, from one side, the supernatural deeds of the Prophet of Islam (S) were not deniable, and, on the other side, they did not want to submit before them and accept them as a miracle.

The only word, which could show their wickedness and quench their desires, had been this very word: ‘sorcery’, which, in the meantime, shows the confession of the enemy upon the wonderful and extraordinary influence of the Qur’an and the miracles of the Prophet (S).

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 16-18

ءَاِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَاباً وَعِظَاماً ءَاِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ

أَوَ ءَابَاؤُنَا الأَوَّلُونَ

قُلْ نَعَمْ وَأَنتُمْ دَاخِرُونَ

16. “(They say:) ‘When we are dead and have become dust and (rotten) bones, shall we (then) be raised up (again)?’”
17. “And also our forefathers?’”
18. “Say: ‘Yes, (you all shall be raised) while you will be brought low’.”

The rejecters of resurrection, instead of reasoning, consider it as improbable.

This holy verse introduces the improbability of the deniers of Resurrection as follows:

“(They say:) ‘When we are dead and have become dust and (rotten) bones, shall we (then) be raised up (again)?’”

And worse than this, they say:

“And also our forefathers?’”

Verily there has not remained from them aught but a little rotten bone or some scattered dust. Who can gather these scattered particles? And who can give life again to them?

But those blind-hearted persons had forgotten that on the first day all of them were dust and they were created from dust. If they were doubtful upon the Power of Allah, they should know that once He had shown them His Power, and if they were doubtful about the receptivity of dust, it would also have been proved once.

Moreover, the creation of the heavens and the earth, with all their greatness, has left no room for doubt upon the infinite Power of Allah in anybody.

It is noteworthy that they strengthened their statements upon denial with kinds of emphasises, which was an evidence on their ignorance and obstinacy.

The third verse contains a very harsh answer to them. It, addressing the prophet, says:

“Say: ‘Yes, (you all shall be raised) while you will be brought low’.”

The Arabic term /daxir/ is derived from /daxr/ and /duxur/ both of which mean: ‘disgrace’ and ‘humiliation’.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 19-21

فَإِنَّمَا هِيَ زَجْرَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ فَإِذَا هُمْ يَنظُرُونَ

وَقَالُوا يَاوَيْلَنَآ هَذَا يَوْمُ الدّ‌ِينِ

هَذَا يَوْمُ الْفَصْلِ الَّذِي كُنتُم بِهِ تُكَذّ‌ِبُونَ

19. “Then it (the Resurrection) will only be a single cry, and behold, they begin to see (the scene of Hereafter)!”
20. “And they shall say: ‘Woe for us!’ This is the Day of Judgment.”
21. “(They will be told:) ‘This is the Day of Separation (of right and wrong), which you used to belie.”

Man becomes dust and it is not a barrier for his being quickened again.

The obstinately denying the Resurrection causes humiliation in the Hereafter.

This holy verse indicates that you think that quickening you and your forefathers is difficult for Allah, the Mighty, the Omnipotent. But by a single great cry, ordered from the side of Allah, all will suddenly come out of their graves, and, being alive, they all will see the scene of Resurrection by their own eyes, the thing which they would have been denying until that Day.

The verse says:

“Then it (the Resurrection) will only be a single cry, and behold, they begin to see (the scene of Hereafter)!”

The Arabic word /zajrah/ is derived from /zajr/ and, as we pointed out before, sometimes it means ‘drive away’, and sometimes means ‘cry’, and here the second meaning is meant. It points to the second Blast, which will be done by Seraph: the explanation about it will be stated in the commentary of the verses of Surah Az-Zumar, Allah willing.

The Arabic sentence /yanzurun/ (they begin to see) refers to their look at the scene of Hereafter awaiting for the punishment. And, however, its purpose is that not only they will be quickened, but also will gain again their senses of understanding and seeing by that one single cry.

Regarding to the content of these two Arabic words: /zajratan wahidah/ (a single cry) the verse refers to the speed of the event and that Resurrection will happen suddenly, and it is easy for the Might of Allah that by a commanded cry of ‘the angel of Resurrection’ everything will be arranged.

It is in this place that the moaning of these obstinate proud polytheists, which is the sign of their weakness and disgrace, is heard, as the verse says:

“And they shall say: ‘Woe for us!’ This is the Day of Judgment.”

Yes, when they observe the just court of Allah, the witnesses and the judgment of this court, and the sings of chastisement, they involuntarily cry moaning and thoroughly confess the truthfulness of Resurrection, a confession that cannot solve any problem for them, or create the least mitigation in their sentence.

The third verse indicates that it is here that from the side of Allah or His angels they will be addressed, as the holy verse says:

“(They will be told:) ‘This is the Day of Separation (of right and wrong), which you used to belie.”

This means: the separation of the right from the wrong, the separation of the rows of the wrong doers from the good doers, and the Day of arbitration of Allah, the Exalted.

Some other verses of the Qur’an contain a similar meaning like this very verse which have introduced the Hereafter Day as the Day of separation: /yaum-ul-fasl/. What a wonderful, expressive and horrible meaning it is! It is noteworthy that on the Day of Hereafter when the pagans speak about that Day they render it as the Day of Judgment.

But Allah refers to it as ‘the Day of separation’. This difference of meaning may be from this view that the guilty think only about their own retribution and sentence, while Allah points to a vaster meaning, one of which is the subject of sentence and it is one of its dimensions, and that the Day of Hereafter is the Day of separations.

Yes, it is the Day of separation of the rows of the ugly doers from the righteous ones, as Surah Yasin, No. 36, says:

“And (they will be told) get you aside this day O’ you the guilty ones!”.3

And how painful this is that they observe that their faithful children and relatives separate from them and go toward Paradise! Moreover, that Day is the Day of separation of the truth from false. The opposite schools and lines, and the true programs and false ones are not mixed with each other, like this word, Everyone of them must be set in their own position.

Besides all, that Day is the Separation Day, that is, the Day of Judgment, and the Lord of the Worlds, the Just, in the rank of judgment, will issue the most exact judgments about His servants, and it is here that there will be a complete disgrace for the polytheists.

Shortly speaking, the nature of this world is with the mixture of right and wrong, while the nature of Hereafter is the nature of separation of these two from each other.

That is why one of the names of Hereafter in the Qur’an, which has been numerously repeated, is /yaum-ul-fasl/ (the day of separation). In principle, on the day when all the hidden things are made manifest, the separation of the rows is unavoidable.

  • 1. Burhan, the commentary, Vol. 4, P. 15, Ad-Durr-ul-Manthur, Vol. 5, P. 271
  • 2. Rauh-ul-Ma‘ali, following the verse
  • 3. Surah Yasin, No. 36, verse 56

Section 2: The Sufferings of the Guilty

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 22-24

احْشُرُوا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا وَأَزْوَاجَهُمْ وَمَا كَانُوا يَعْبُدُونَ

مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ فَاهْدُوهُمْ إِلَي صِرَاطِ الْجَحِيمِ

وَقِفُوهُمْ اِنَّهُم مَّسْؤُولُونَ

22. “(And Allah will command the angels:) ‘Gather you together those who were unjust and their mates and what they used to worship,”
23. “Besides Allah, and lead them (all) unto the path of Hell’.”
24. “And stop them, for verily they must be questioned:”

He, who does not accept the Divine guidance in the world, will be lead to the Hell on the Day of Hereafter.

Therefore, Allah will command the angels, who are responsible to send the guilty toward the Hell, as follows:

“(And Allah will command the angels:) ‘Gather you together those who were unjust and their mates and what they used to worship,”

This is enough for the wretchedness of man that he should be mustered together with inanimate idols.

And in the next verse the noble Qur’an implies that whatever they worshipped, besides Allah, should be lead to the Hell. Thus, the wrong objects of worship not only are not able to solve any problem, but also they themselves will have difficulty.

The Qur’anic term /’uhšuru/ is derived from /hašr/, and as Raqib says in Mufradat, it means to excel a group of people from their place and to send them to a battle-field, and the like. In many instances, this word has been used in the sense of: ‘gathering javelins’.

However, this statement is either from the side of Allah or from the side of a group of angels unto another group who are responsible to gathering and moving the guilty toward the Hell, and the consequence is the same.

The Arabic word /’azwaj/ (wives) here refers to their guilty wives who are idol worshippers, or to those who have the same opinion and manner with theirs, because this word has been used in both of these two meanings; as we recite in Surah Al-Waqi‘ah, No. 56, verse 7:

“And you shall be sorted out into three classes.”

Therefore, the polytheists together with polytheists, and wrong doers together with people and things like them, will be sent into the Hell in some rows.

Or the purpose is the Satans who had the same shape and the same action as theirs.

In the meanwhile, these three meanings do not contrast with each other, and they all may be found in the concept of the verse.

The Qur’anic sentence:

‘… and what they used to worship’

refers to the polytheists’ object, of worship, irrespective of idols, Satans, and the cruel people such as Pharaohs and Namruds. And this meaning may be for the sake of this that their objects of worship were some inanimate things that had no intellect.

The Qur’anic word /jahim/ means Hell and is derived from /jahmah/ with the sense of ‘violence of the burning fire’.

The Qur’an says:

“Besides Allah, and lead them (all) unto the path of Hell’.”

It is interesting that the Qur’an renders it into:

lead them (all) unto the path of Hell’.

What a wonderful sentence it is! One day they were lead unto the Straight Way, but they did not accept it, but today they must be lead unto the path of Hell, and they have to accept it. This is a heavy blame which burns their souls deeply.

The next verse implies that the command will be issued saying:

“And stop them, for verily they must be questioned:”

Yes, they must be stopped and answer some different questions. But, what will they be questioned of? Some commentators have said that they will be questioned of the innovations they have left.

Some other commentators of the Holy Qur’an have said they will be questioned of the ugly deeds and sins they have committed.

Some have added that they will be asked of Unity, and of ‘there is no god but Allah’.

A group of them have said they will be questioned of different bounties: the bounties of their youth, health, lifetime, wealth, and the like. A well known tradition narrated by the Sunnites and Shi‘ites indicates that they will be questioned of ‘the friendship (Wilayah) of Ali (as)’.

This matter has also been narrated in Sawa‘iq from Abu Sa‘id Khidri, from the Prophet (S); and also in Shawahid-ut-Tanzil by Hakim Abul-Ghasim Huskani it has also been narrated from him (S). It has also been recorded in ‘Uyun ’Akhbar-ur-Rida narrated from Ali-ibn-Musar-Rida (as)1.

These commentaries, of course, do not contradict with each other, because on that Day everything will be questioned of: of beliefs, of Unity, of friendship (Wilayah), of sayings and deeds, and of the bounties and merits that Allah has bestowed on man.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 25-27

مَا لَكُمْ لاَ تَنَاصَرُونَ

بَلْ هُمُ الْيَوْمَ مُسْتَسْلِمُونَ

وَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَي بَعْضٍ يَتَسَآءَلُونَ

25. “(They will be told:) ‘How now, that you help not one another?’”
26. “Nay! this day they make full submission.”
27. “And some of them shall turn to the others questioning each other.”

On the Day of Hereafter, the guilty cannot help anything to each other. These miserable hellish people can do nothing when they will be leading in the path to Hell.

They will be told that they used to refuge to each other in the world forgetting help in their difficulties, but in Hereafter, the verse says:

“(They will be told:) ‘How now, that you help not one another?’”

Yes, all the supports they imagined for themselves in the world have been ruined here. They can neither get help from each other, nor their object of worship come to aid them, because they are themselves helpless.

It is said that on the day of the Battle of Badr, Abu-Jahl shouted, saying:

“We all help each other (and will overcome Muslims).”

This statement has been reiterated in the Qur’an, Surah Al-Qamar, No. 54, verse 44 saying:

“…We are a host allied together to help each other.”

But in Hereafter the people who are like Abu-Jahl, and those who have such qualities, will be asked why they do not help each other, while they have no answer to this question, and they can do nothing save having a disgraceful silence.

The next holy verse adds implying that they will submit the command of Allah (s.w.t.) and will not be able to do anything let alone opposition.

It says:

“Nay! this day they make full submission.”

It is here that they begin to blame each other and everyone of them tries to put his sin on the shoulder of another.

The followers count their chiefs and leaders guilty and vice versa; as in the next verse, it says:

“And some of them shall turn to the others questioning each other.”

Surah As-Saffat – Verse s 28-29

قَالُوا إِنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَأْتُونَنَا عَنِ الْيَـمِينِ

قَالُوا بَل لَمْ تَكُونُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ

28. “They will say: ‘Verily you used to come unto us, from the right side.”
29. “They answer: ‘Nay! you (yourselves) were not believers.”

One of the current styles of the leaders of the infidels and polytheists for beguiling others is using force or pretending to benediction.

In this verse, the aberrant followers tell their perversive leaders that through the way of advice and benevolence and sympathy and as guidance, and leading, you came to us, but you had nothing except plot and delusion.

The verse says:

“They will say: ‘Verily you used to come unto us, from the right side.”

Because of our nature, we were seeking for benevolence, purity, and happiness that we accepted your invitation. We were unaware that under your benevolent feature there is hidden a Satanic feature which drives us to the valley of wretchedness.

Yes, all our sins originate from you. We had no capital save good intention and purity in heart, but you, the satans, the liars, had no means but deceit and illusion.

The Arabic word /yamin/ which means ‘right hand’, or ‘right side’, is sometimes used ironically by Arabs in the sense of goodness, blessing, and advice. And Arabs, basically, used to whatever comes to them from the right side take as a ‘good omen’.

That is why, as we said in the above, many of the Islamic commentators have commented the Qur’anic sentence: /kuntum ta’tunana ‘anil yamin/ (you used to come unto us from the right side) ‘showing benediction and advice’.

However, this is a common culture that the right limb and the right side is considered ‘honoured’, and the left side rather ‘dishonoured’, and this very thing has caused ‘right’ to be used in good things and charitable deeds.

A group of commentators have mentioned here another interpretation and said that the purpose is that ‘you came to us by relying on your force’, since the right side is usually stronger. It is for this reason that most people do their important actions by their right hand, and therefore, this application has been ironically understood as power.

However, in the second verse it implies that their leaders will not be silent, either, and as the verse says:

“They answer: ‘Nay! you (yourselves) were not believers.”

If your innate state were not receptive of deviation and if you yourselves were not the seeker of vice and Satanic actions, how would you come to us? Why did you not answer to the invitation of the prophets, the sages, and the purified ones, and as soon as we hinted you hastened to us?

Thus, it is certain that the fault is in you, yourselves. You must blame yourselves, and send all your curses to yourselves.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 30-31

وَمَا كَانَ لَنَا عَلَيْكُم مِن سُلْطَانٍ بَلْ كُنتُمْ قَوْماً طَاغِينَ

فَحَقَّ عَلَيْنَا قَوْلُ رَبّـِنَآ إِنَآ لَذَآئِقُونَ

30. “And there was not for us any authority over you. Nay! You were a rebellious people!”
31. “So, now the word of our Lord has been proved against us that verily we shall taste (the chastisement).”

The leaders of infidelity both confess to their own aberration and accept the responsibility of deceiving and misleading their followers, but they do not accept the responsibility of force and authority over others.

In this verse they say:

“And there was not for us any authority over you. Nay! You were a rebellious people!”

How painful is that a person sees that the leader, in whom he believed for a life-long-time, has provided the causes of his wretchedness and then he repudiates from him like that! He puts the whole sin and fault on his shoulder and acquits himself entirely.

The fact is that each of these two groups is right from one point of view. Neither these nor those are sinless. Those were seductive and evil, and these were practically submissive to their seductions.

So, the second holy verse implies that these debates result nothing and, at last, these aberrant leaders confess this fact and say that for this reason the command of Allah has been fixed against all of them and the order of punishment has been issued about them and they all shall taste it.

The verse says:

“So, now the word of our Lord has been proved against us that verily we shall taste (the chastisement).”

You were disobedient and this is the end of the disobedient persons (to the command of Allah), and we were both pervertible and perversive.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 32-33

فَاَغْوَيْنَاكُمْ إِنَّا كُنَّا غَاوِينَ

فَإِنَّهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ فِي الْعَذَابِ مُشْتَرِكُونَ

32. “So we misled you, for verily we were ourselves astray.”
33. “So verily they (both) on that Day are sharers in the (Divine) chastisement.”

In the world, the leaders and chiefs of polytheists have heard the promise and warning of Allah, but they have denied it intentionally.

In the above verses and in some other verses of the Qur’an there are some expressive hints to the enmity between the aberrant leaders and their followers in Hereafter or in the Hell.

The verse says:

“So we misled you, for verily we were ourselves astray.”

This is an instructive warning to all of those who put their intellect and religion in the authority of aberrant leaders.

On that Day, when everybody tries to acquit from another, and even puts his own sin on that one’s shoulder, yet neither of them can prove his innocence.

Therefore, this verse implies that, on that Day, everyone irrespective of obedient and obeyed, follower and leader, all are sharers in the punishment of Allah.

The verse says:

“So verily they (both) on that Day are sharers in the (Divine) chastisement.”

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 34-36

إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَفْعَلُ بِالْمُـجْرِمِينَ

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا إِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لآ اِلَهَ اِلاَّ اللَّهُ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

وَيَقُولُونَ أَئِنَّا لَتَارِكُواْ ءَالِهَتِنَا لِشَاعِرٍ مَّجْنُونٍ

34. “Verily thus do We deal with the guilty.”
35. “Verily they used to be proud when it was said to them: ‘There is no god but Allah’.”
36. “And said: ‘Shall we give up our gods for the sake of a mad poet?”

The first verse indicates that Allah implicitly says that He will deal with the guilty seriously by His punishment. This is the everlasting way of treatment of Allah; a way of treatment that has originated from the law of justice.

The verse says:

“Verily thus do We deal with the guilty.”

The sign of a guilty is that he has proud manner concerning Monotheism. So, this verse says:

“Verily they used to be proud when it was said to them: ‘There is no god but Allah’.”

Yes, the root of all their deviations was mostly pride, self-admiration and assumption, refusing the clear right, having obstinacy and often insisting on the wrong customs and false imitations, and looking at everything contemptuously.

The opposite point of pride is humbleness and submission to the Truth, and the true Islam is only this. That pride is the cause of wretchedness, and this humbleness and submission is the source of happiness.

And in the next holy verse the Qur’an implies that for this great sin of theirs the polytheists brought a clumsy excuse, and always they murmured:

“And said: ‘Shall we give up our gods for the sake of a mad poet?”

They called him a poet because his statements influenced so deeply in the hearts and attracted the people’s emotions that as if he made the most rhythmical poets, while his ordinary talk was never poetry.

They called him mad, because he did not follow the current custom of his environment, and he stood against the superstitious beliefs of the crowd of zealous obstinate people. From the view of some groups of aberrant people, this action was a kind of self-murder and insanity. But this was the greatest honour of the Prophet (S), and he did not submit to those circumstances.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 37-39

بَلْ جَآءَ بِالْحَقّ‌ِ وَصَدَّقَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

إِنَّكُمْ لَذَآئِقُواْ الْعَذَابِ الأَلِيمِ

ومَا تُجْزَوْنَ إِلاَّ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

37. “Nay: he has come with the Truth and verified the (former) messengers.”
38. “Verily you will taste the painful punishment, (too).”
39. “And you are not requited except (for) what you were doing.”

The teachings of all Divine prophets are the same, and all prophets invite to Unity and the Truth, and the Prophet of Islam (S) has verified them, too.

In this verse, in order to negate these baseless words and to defend the rank of revelation and prophecy of the holy Prophet (S), the Qur’an adds:

“Nay: He has come with the Truth and verified the (former) messengers.”

But you, O blind-hearted people! And you, O’ aberrant and foul-mouthed ones! You will surely taste the painful chastisement of Allah, because the retribution of those who intentionally called the content of the Holy Qur’an poems, and considered the holy Prophet of Islam (S) mad is a painful punishment.

“Verily you will taste the painful punishment, (too).”

This verse implies that they should not imagine that Allah is taker of vengeance and He wants to take vengeance from them.

It is not such, as the verse says:

“And you are not requited except (for) what you were doing.”

In fact, it is the result of your own deeds that incarnates in front of you and remains with you and hurts you. Your retribution is that very deed of yours.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 40-44

إِلاَّ عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُـخْلَصِينَ

اُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمْ رِزْقٌ مَّعْلُومٌ

فَوَاكِهُ وَهُم مُّكْرَمُونَ

فِي جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ

عَلَي سُرُرٍ مُّتَقَابِلِينَ

40. “Save the servants of Allah, the purified ones,”
41. “For them is a known sustenance,”
42. “(Kinds of) fruits, and they shall be highly honoured,”
43. “In the gardens bountiful,”
44. “Upon thrones facing each other.”

In this holy verse the Qur’an says:

“Save the servants of Allah, the purified ones,”

For the relation of this group to Allah, only the phrase /‘ibad-allah/ (servants of Allah) is enough, but when the word /muxlasin/ (the purified) comes beside it, the phrase will earn another kind of depth in its meaning.

The Arabic word /muxlas/ is in passive participle form, which means: ‘the one whom Allah has purified’. He is purified from any kind of polytheism and hypocrisy, and also from any kind of Satanic temptation and blemishes of low desire.

Yes, it is only this group whose deeds will not be simply rewarded, but Allah (s.w.t.) will treat them with His Grace and generosity and will give them innumerable rewards.

In the second verse under discussion, the Qur’an mentions the numerous merits and blessings that Allah bestows on the purified servants. They can be referred to shortly in a few divisions.

At first, it says:

“For them is a known sustenance,”

Is this an extract of the bounties which will be explained in later verses of the Qur’an, or it refers to the unknown spiritual and unexplainable blessings which are at the top of the blessings of Paradise?

According to the interpretation of a group of commentators, the proportion of discussion and totality of blessings are more consistent with the second meaning, and, thus, the first blessing from the blessings which have been mentioned in the verses under discussion, are spiritual merits, spiritual pleasures, and apprehension of the splendour of the Pure Essence of Allah, and being drunk from the pure wine of His love.

The same pleasure which none knows unless he sees it.

And that the material merits of the Paradise have been mentioned frequently in the verses of the Holy Qur’an, but the spiritual merits and the pleasures of soul have been stated ambiguously is for this very sake that the former ones are explainable and the latter ones are not explainable.

Concerning the Arabic phrase: /rizqun ma‘lum/ (a known sustenance) there have been delivered many statements: whether its time is known; or its duration, or its other qualifications. But, based on what was said in the above, the Arabic word /ma‘lum/ is an ambiguous sense for these unexplainable merits.

In the third verse, the Qur’an has referred to stating other blessings, and before anything else, it has mentioned the blessings of heaven. They are the blessings which will be given to the people of Paradise with the utmost respect.

It says:

“(Kinds of) fruits, and they shall be highly honoured,”

They will be entertained honourably as some dear guests who are received with utmost esteem, not like some animals that food is poured in front of them.

And in the fourth verse, after mentioning the blessings: the colourful fruits and respecting and honouring the purified servants, the words are about their position in the green, bountiful gardens.

The verse says:

“In the gardens bountiful,”

Whatever blessing they wish they can find there, and whatever they intend to have will be ready in front of them.

In view of the fact that the greatest delight of man is enjoying the meeting of sincere friends, this bounty is pointed out in the fourth stage. It says about the people of Paradise that they sit therein:

“Upon thrones facing each other.”

They look each other, and speak about everything.

They sometimes talk about their past deeds in the world, and sometimes about the great bounties of Allah in Hereafter, sometimes about the attributes of beauty and dignity of Allah, and sometimes about the ranks of the saints and their extraordinary acts, and some other affairs the information upon which is not conceivable for us, the prisoners of this world.

The Arabic word /surur/ is the plural form of /sarir/ which is called to the thrones on which people sit in the meetings of pleasure and intimacy; though it has also been used in a vaster scope of meaning, so far that sometimes the shroud of a dead has been called /sarir/, perhaps for the hope that it may be a mount of happiness for him toward he Divine forgiveness and His eternal garden.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 45-47

يُطَافُ عَلَيْهِم بِكَأْسٍ مِن مَّعِينٍ

بَيْضَآءَ لَذَّةٍ لّـِلشَّارِبِينَ

لاَ فِيهَا غَوْلٌ وَلاَ هُمْ عَنْهَا يُنزَفُونَ

45. “Round will go unto them a cup (of wine) from a clear spring,”
46. “Crystal-white, delicious to the drinkers,”
47. “Free from headiness, nor will they suffer intoxication from it.”

Being entertained in Paradise is not limited to a particular side, but the bounties are turned round from every side of the people of Paradise.

In the fifth stage of the statement of the merits of the people of Paradise, the words are about their purified drink. It says:

“Round will go unto them a cup (of wine) from a clear spring,”

Whenever they decide they can be satiated from its cup and can feel its world of mirth and spirituality.

These cups are not set in a corner or a place that they come and ask for one of them, but these cups will be turned round unto them.

The Arabic word /ka’s/ philologically is called to a cup which is completely full, and if it is rather empty it is called ‘goblet’.

Raqib in Mufradat says:

“Cup is a container which is full of beverage.”

The Qur’anic term /ma‘in/ is derived from /ma‘n/ in the sense of ‘flow’. It points to this fact that there are some flowing springs therein which have purified wine out of which every moment the cups are filled and turned round among the people of Paradise.

It is not such that this purified wine finishes or that it may need any trouble, pain, and task to be provided, or that it may become old, decayed, and imperfect.

Then, the second holy verse explains these cups of purified wine.

It says:

“Crystal-white, delicious to the drinkers,”

The pleasures in Heaven have no hidden and manifest evil sequels. The heavenly wine is delicious, but it has not the intoxication and other sequels of the worldly wine.

The third holy verse, by mentioning a short and expressive sentence, explaining that purified wine, says:

“Free from headiness, nor will they suffer intoxication from it.”

And there is nothing in it but spiritual intelligence, mirth, and joy.

The Arabic word /qaul/ originally is in the sense of a corruption which penetrates into a thing in a hidden manner and it is for this reason that, in the literature of Arab, the hidden murders and terrors are called /qilah/.

The Arabic term /yunzafun/ originally is derived from /nazf/ in the sense of ‘to destroy something gradually’. When this word is used for the water of a well, its concept is that the water is gradually taken out from the well until when it finishes.

However, the purpose of it in the verse under discussion is that the gradual destruction of intellect does not absolutely exist in the purified wine of Paradise. It neither decreases the intellect, nor does it cause any infection.

These two meanings are implicitly very thin and exact about the worldly wines and alcoholic materials which gradually influence in man’s body and cause destruction and decadence in it.

It not only spoils intellect and the system of nerves, but also it has an undeniable destructive effect on all systems of man’s body, irrespective of heart, blood vessels, stomach, kidneys, and liver. As if it destroys man. And also like the water of a well, it gradually decreases the man’s intellect and intelligence until when it empties it.

But, in Hereafter the purified wine of Allah is free from all these qualities.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 48-49

وَعِندَهُمْ قَاصِرَاتُ الطَّرْفِ عِينٌ

كَأَنَّهُنَّ بَيْضٌ مَكْنُونٌ

48. “And with them will be chaste women; restraining their glances,”
49. “As if they were (as white as) eggs (secured) hidden.”

Among the characteristics of the women in Paradise is that they restrain their eyes from other than their husbands. The women in Paradise are not only beautiful and charming, but also chaste and covered.

And finally, in the sixth stage, the Qur’an points to the chaste women in Paradise, who do not make love to anyone save their husbands, and do not look at anybody except them. They have beautiful large eyes.

It says:

“And with them will be chaste women; restraining their glances,”

The Arabic word /tarf/ originally means eyelids, and since at the time of looking the eyelids move, this word ironically refers to the act of looking. Thus, the Qur’anic phrase /qasirat-ut-tarf/ means the women who have a short glance; and in commenting it, there have been delivered different numerous probabilities of meaning which, at the meanwhile, can be gathered with together.

The first meaning is that: they look only at their husbands, and restraining their eyes from anything, they look at them alone.

The second meaning is that: this application canonically shows that they make love only to their husbands, and except their love, they have no other love in their hearts. This is one of the greatest privileges of a wife that she does not think of anyone but her husband and makes love to none but to him.

The Arabic word /‘iyn/ is the plural form of /‘iyna’/ in the sense of ‘a large-eyed woman’.

The next verse explains these very women in Paradise in another form of statement, and introduces their chastity and the sanctity of their bodies as follow:

“As if they were (as white as) eggs (secured) hidden.”

Indicating that: from the point of intense of purity, delicacy, whiteness, and serenity, their bodies are like some eggs that neither the hand of a man has touched, nor has any dust covered them, but they have been as if covered and hidden under the wing and feather of a hen.

The Arabic word /bayd/ is the plural form of /baydah/ with the sense of ‘egg’, (the egg of any bird); and the term /maknun/ is derived from /kin/ in the sense of ‘covered’.

This resemblance of the Qur’an will exactly be made clear when a person sees closely the egg of a hen at the time when it separates from the hen and no man’s hand has still touched it and it is under the wing and feather of the hen. At this time, it has a wonderful transparency and pleasantness.

Some commentators have taken the Qur’anic term /maknun/ in the sense of the content of an egg which is concealed under the egg-shell and, in fact, the above resemblance refers to the time when the egg has been cooked and its shell has been entirely separated. In that state, besides its whiteness and its brightness, it has a special delicacy and smoothness.

However, the Qur’anic meanings in stating the facts are so deep and comprehensive that in a short and tender expression it conveys a lot of matters with a particular delicacy.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 50-52

فَاَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَي بَعْضٍ يَتَسَآءَلُونَ

قَالَ قَآئِلٌ مّـِنْهُمْ إِنّـِي كَانَ لِي قَرِينٌ

يَقُولُ أَءِنَّكَ لَمِنَ الْمُصَدّ‌ِقِينَ

50. “Then shall some of them advance to others, questioning each other.”
51. “One of them will say: ‘Verily I had an intimate companion (in the world),”
52. “Who used to say: ‘Are you really among the believers (of Hereafter)?’”

In the feast of the people of Paradise, where they have sat on the thrones in front of each other, they begin questioning about their worldly companions.

Through this verse the Qur’an implies that the sincere servants of Allah who, according to the previous verse, are in the spiritual and material bounties of Paradise, including the kinds of fruits of Paradise, from one side, and with the maidens (a nymph) of Paradise, from the other side, and the cups of the purified wine turned round them while they are leaning against the thrones in Paradise busy speaking with their sincere friends, suddenly some of them think of their past and their friends in the world, the same friends who separated their way and they are missed in Paradise and among them.

They want to know what their destiny is.

Yes, while they are busy speaking and talk about everything, as the verse says:

“Then shall some of them advance to others, questioning each other.”

Then, in the second and third verse, the Qur’an implicitly says that one of them remembers some events and then he turns to the others, talking as follows:

“One of them will say: ‘Verily I had an intimate companion (in the world),”

But unfortunately, he was led astray and paved the way of the rejecters of Resurrection. He repeatedly used to ask me whether I had really believed this word of theirs and confirmed it.

The verse says:

“Who used to say: ‘Are you really among the believers (of Hereafter)?’”

Surah As-Saffat – Verse 53

أَءِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَاباً وَعِظَاماً أَءِنَّا لَمَدِينُونَ

53. “When we die and have become dust and bones, shall we then in fact be brought in account?”

Pagans never have any proof upon their saying of lack of Resurrection.

Whatever they have in this regard is mostly improbability and wonder, so, concerning the disbelievers, this verse says:

“When we die and have become dust and bones, shall we then in fact be brought in account?”

They say this and strengthen it by announcing that they do not believe in it.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 54-55

قَالَ هَلْ أَنتُم مُطَّلِعُون

فَاطَّلَعَ فَرَءَاهُ فِي سَوَآءِ الْجَحِيمِ

54. “He says: ‘Can you take a look?’”
55. “Then he looks and sees him in the midst of Hell.”

The people of Paradise get information about the state of the people of Hell that the rejecters of Hereafter are in the midst of Fire.

So, the first verse from the tongue of him about his friend, says:

“He says: ‘Can you take a look?’”

Then, the second holy verse implies that it is here that this friend also begins searching about him and looks toward the Hell and suddenly he sees his friend in the middle of Hell.

The verse says:

“Then he looks and sees him in the midst of Hell.”

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 56-57

قَالَ تَاللَّهِ اِن كِدتَّ لَتُرْدِينِ

وَلَوْلاَ نِعْمَةُ رَبّـِي لَكُنتُ مِنَ الْمُـحْضَرِينَ

56. “He says: ‘By Allah! You had almost caused me to perish;”
57. “And had it not been the bounty of my Lord, certainly would I have been brought into (the Hell)’.”

The Qur’anic term /turdin/ is derived from /’ida’/ in the sense of ‘to fall from a height which is accompanied with destruction’.

In these two verses the Qur’an implies that he addresses his deviated friend and:

“He says: ‘By Allah! You had almost caused me to perish;”

And also it was nigh that your temptations would affect on my pure heart and bring me into the same deviated path that you were in.

The verse says:

“And had it not been the bounty of my Lord, certainly would I have been brought into (the Hell)’.”

It was the Divine success which helped me in my way and it was the grace of Allah that came to me and guided me aright.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 58-61

أَفَمَا نَحْنُ بِمَيِّتِينَ

إِلاَّ مَوْتَتَنَا الأُولَي وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ

إِنَّ هَذَا لَهُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

لِمِثْلِ هَذَا فَلْيَعْمَلِ الْعَامِلُونَ

58. “Is it that we do not die,”
59. “Save our first death; and we shall not be chastised?”
60. “Verily this is the mighty triumph,”
61. “And for the like of this let the workers work.”

In the first two verses in the above, the Qur’an implicitly says that the believing person turns to his hellish friend and, as a blame, reminds this word to him, saying:

“Is it that we do not die,”

And that, except the first death in the world, there is not any death and life again after it, and there will not be any punishment.

The verse says:

“Save our first death; and we shall not be chastised?”

Now you may look and see that what a great mistake you made. After death, there is such a life and such reward, recompense, and retribution. Now all the facts have been made manifest for you, but alas, there is no way to return.

According to the commentator of these two holy verses, by the statement of the faithful person to his hellish friend, he reminds him his words upon the denial of Resurrection.

But some other commentators have mentioned another probable commentary on these two verses. It says that the talk of the man in Paradise with his hellish friend has finished and the people of Paradise speak again with each other.

One of them happily cries:

“Is it then that we do not die,”
“Save our first death; and we shall not be chastised?”

Do we have an eternal life here and does this grace of Allah remains for ever and we will not be chastised?

These words, of course, are not said doubtfully, but they are expressed because of joy and happiness. Just like the person who, after a long time of expectation, gains a vast and comfortable house.

He surprisingly says:

“Is this mine? O’ Lord! What a blessing it is! Will it not be taken from me?”

However, in the next two verses, this debate finishes with an expressive, meaningful fall of feelings and is emphasized by kinds of emphasis.

It says:

“Verily this is the mighty triumph,”

What a triumph is greater than this that a person is given an eternal bounty and a permanent life that has kinds of Divine bounties? What can be considered better and more superior than this?

And, finally, by an expressive, awakening and short sentence, Allah, the Great, puts an end to this discussion:

“And for the like of this let the workers work.”

Some commentators have thought that the recent verse may also be said by the people of Paradise. But it seems very improbable, because on that Day there is no deed to be done.

And, in other words, on that Day there is not any program that by this sentence people may be encouraged to it, while the apparent of the verse shows that the aim is that, by mentioning this sentence, all the former verses can be concluded and people may be driven toward faith and action. Therefore, it is suitable that this word of Allah comes at the end of this discussion.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 62-64

أَذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ نُّزُلاً أَمْ شَجَرَةُ الزَّقُّومِ

إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاهَا فِتْنَةً لّـِلظَّالِمِينَ

إِنَّهَا شَجَرَةٌ تَخْرُجُ فِي أَصْلِ الْجَحِيمِ

62. “Is that the better entertainment or the Tree of Zaqqum?”
63. “Verily We have appointed it as a trial for the unjust.”
64. “Verily, it is a tree that grows in the bottom of the Hell.”

We must compare the examples of the grace of Allah with His wrath so that we may act better. The tyrants, who cause others to feel smarting grief in the world, will be entertained with a blazing food in the Hereafter.

After stating the pleasant and worthy bounties of Paradise, the verses under discussion refer to the painful and grievous chastisement of the Hell, and illustrate them in such a way that, comparing the aforementioned Divine bounties, they affect deeply on the receptive persons and restrain them from performing any ugly and impure action.

At first, I implicitly ask whether these eternal and pleasant bounties with which the people of Paradise are entertained are better or the Tree of Zaqqum.

The verse says:

“Is that the better entertainment or the Tree of Zaqqum?”

Regarding to its concept, the application of the Arabic term /nuzul/ is called to something which is prepared for the entertainment of a guest. Some commentators have said that it is the first thing by which a guest is entertained. This shows that the people of Paradise will be entertained as some dear and respectful guests.

The Holy Qur’an asks whether this is better or the Tree of Zaqqum.

The application of the word ‘better’ is not any evidence that the tree of Zaqqum is a good thing and the bounty of the people of Paradise is better than that. These meanings are sometimes used in the Arabic language for the aspects that, from one side, they have no goodness at all. But there is this probability that this is a kind of allusion.

It is just like this that a person, as the result of being polluted by kinds of sins, has become seriously disgrace among people and we tell him whether this disgrace is better or honour and honesty.

As for the Arabic word /zaqqum/ according to the philologists, it is the name of a plant which has some small leaves that are bitter with bad smell. It grows in the land of Tahamah and polytheists were acquainted with it.2 And it is also said in Tafsir-Rauh-ul-Ma‘ani that this plant has a sap that when it reaches the body of a person, it swells.3

Raqib in Mufradat says that Zaqqum is any kind of hateful food for the people of Hell.

However, the Arabic word does not always mean ‘Tree’. Sometimes it is also used in the sense of ‘plant’, and the context shows that its objective meaning here is ‘plant’.

Then, in the second verse, referring to some qualities of this plant, the Qur’an says:

“Verily We have appointed it as a trial for the unjust.”

The Qur’anic term /fitnah/ may be used in the sense of punishment, or with the sense of trial, as the Qur’an has often applied it in this meaning. Thus, it points to this concept that when they heard the name of Zaqqum, they began to mock and, therefore, it became a mean of trial against the unjust.

In the next verse, the Qur’an says:

“Verily, it is a tree that grows in the bottom of the Hell.”

But these proud unjust people continued mocking and said that:

“Is it possible that a tree grows in the bottom of Hell?”

“How different is between Fire and a tree and plant?”

Therefore, hearing the name of this plant and its qualities is the source of their trial in this world, and the tree itself is the source of their pain and punishment in Hereafter.

It seems that they were neglectful of this fact that the principle governed on the life of the next world is very different from that of this world. The plant and tree which grows in the bottom of Hell is of the same nature of Hell, and it has grown up with the conditions of Hell.

It is not a plant like the plants that grow in the gardens of this world. And perhaps they are unaware of this point; but their aim is only mock and ridicule.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 65-68

طَلْعُهَا كَأَنَّهُ رُؤُوسُ الشَّيَاطِينِ

فَإِنَّهُمْ لأَكِلُونَ مِنْهَا فَمَالِؤُونَ مِنْهَا الْبُطُونَ

ثُمَّ اِنَّ لَهُمْ عَلَيْهَا لَشَوْباً مِنْ حَمِيمٍ

ثُمَّ إِنَّ مَرْجِعَهُمْ لإِلَي الْجَحِيمِ

65. “The shoots of its fruit-stalks are like the heads of devils,”
66. “Then verily they eat from it and fill (their bellies with it.”
67. “Then verily on Top of it they will have a mixture made of boiling water.”
68. “Then verily their return shall be unto the Hell.”

Like the people of Paradise, the people of Hell have also some things to eat and to drink, but the latter not only is not delicious and pleasant, but also they are ugly, distasteful, and injurious.

For being far from the foods of Hell, there is no way to escape, nor any way to evade.

The people of Hell are so hungry that they fill their bellies with the worst food.

(… and fill (their) bellies with it.)

The first verse says:

“The shoots of its fruit-stalks are like the heads of devils,”

The Arabic word /tal‘/ is usually used for the shoot of some white strings that later they change into a cluster of dates. This term is derived from /tulu‘/, because it is the first fruit that appears on the tree as if it rises.

Here, there comes forth a question asking whether people had seen the heads of devils that the Qur’an likens the shoots of Zaqqum to it.

The commentators have answered this question by different answers. Some of them have said: one of the meanings of ‘Satan’ is a kind of ugly snake that the shoots of Zaqqum have been likened to it.

Some have said that it is a kind of ugly plant. It is cited in Muntah-il-Adab: /ra’s-uš-šaytan/ or /ru’us-uš-šayatin/ is an ugly plant.

But what is more correct is that this likening is for the statement of the utmost ugliness and its hateful shape.

Then, in the second verse, the Qur’an implies that these proud unjust people will certainly eat of this plant and fill their bellies from it.

The verse says:

“Then verily they eat from it and fill (their bellies with it.”

This is the same punishment and trial which was mentioned on the previous verse. Eating from this hellish plant, with that bad smell and bitter taste, and with that sap, the touch of which with the body causes hurt and swelling, and specially eating abundantly, is a painful chastisement.

It is evident that eating this bitter and unwholesome food brings thirst, but what do they drink when they become thirsty?

The Qur’an in the third verse says:

“Then verily on Top of it they will have a mixture made of boiling water.”

The Arabic word /šaub/ means something which is mixed with something else; and the Qur’anic term /hamim/ is ‘hot blazing water’. So, the hot water they drink is not unmixed, but it is polluted.

That is the food of the people of Hell and this is their drink, but where do they go after this entertainment?

The Qur’an in the fourth verse says:
“Then verily their return shall be unto the Hell.”

Some of the commentators have understood from this meaning that this hot polluted water comes from a spring from outside of Hell. The people of Hell are formerly taken there like animals that are taken to a pond, and after drinking from it, they are returned into the Hell.

As we pointed out before, neither the blessings of Heaven are available for us in this world as they are, nor the chastisements of the people of Hell. Only by some short sentences their outline from a far distance are partly illustrated in our mind.

(O’ Lord! Protect us, by Your grace, from these punishments.)

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 69-70

إِنَّهُمْ أَلْفَوْا ءَابَآءَهُمْ ضَآلّـِينَ

فَهُمْ عَلَي ءَاثَارِهِمْ يُهْرَعُونَ

69. “Verily they found their fathers on the wrong path.”
70. “So in their footsteps they are being hastened on.”

One of the qualities of the people of the Hell is blindly imitation from their fathers and ancestors, while imitation in beliefs is not permissible and one’s beliefs should be based on the basis of intellect and reasoning.

In these two verses, the Qur’an states the main cause of the inflection of the people of Hell in the grips of these painful punishments through two short and expressive sentences.

It says:

“Verily they found their fathers on the wrong path.”

Yet, involuntarily they hasten to follow them.

The Qur’an says:

“So in their footsteps they are being hastened on.”

It is interesting that the Arabic term /yuhra‘un/ is mentioned in the passive form derived from /’ihra‘/ which means ‘to run swiftly’. It indicates that they have so believed in imitating from their ancestors that as if they had not any act of willing from their own selves. And this is a sign of their utmost bigotry and being interested in their ancestors’ superstitions.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 71-74

وَلَقَدْ ضَلَّ قَبْلَهُمْ أَكْثَرُ الأَوَّلِينَ

وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا فِيهِم مُنذِرِينَ

فَانظُرْ كَيفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُنذَرِينَ

إِلاَّ عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُـخْلَصِينَ

71. “And indeed most of the ancient went astray before them.”
72. “And certainly We sent among them warners.”
73. “Then see how was the end of those warned,”
74. “Except the servants of Allah, the purified ones.”

In the atmosphere of deviation, the most important dusty is ‘warning’. Allah has sent some warners for the deviated nations.

Through these verses, the Qur’an prepares the ground for the life story of many former nations, the information of whose states is an expressive proof for the former discussions. These are nations such as: the peoples of Noah, Abraham, Moses and Aaron, Lot, Yunus, and the like.

At first, it says:

“And indeed most of the ancient went astray before them.”

It is not only the polytheists of Mecca who, imitating their ancestors, are involved in a deep corruption, but before them, the majority of the ancient nations were involved in the same fate, too, and the number of their believers comparing those who went astray were very small.

This is a solace for the Prophet (S) and the believers of Mecca whose number was small and were surrounded by the enemy from every side.

Then, in the second verse, the Holy Qur’an adds that their aberration was because of having no leader or guide.

So, He says:

“And certainly We sent among them warners.”

These warners were the Divine prophets who used to warn them from polytheism, disbelief, injustice, tyranny, and blindly imitation from others, and made them acquainted with their responsibilities.

It is true that the Divine prophets had the letter of warning in one hand and the letter of glad tiding in the other hand, but since the great pillar of their teaching, specially for such a corrupt and rebellious nation, was ‘warning’, it has been emphasized on here.

And, in the third verse, through a short and meaningful sentence, it says:

“Then see how was the end of those warned,”

The addressee in the Qur’anic sentence /fanzur/ (then see) may be the Prophet (S) himself, or any other wise and aware person.

This sentence, in fact, is a hint to the end of the nations whose explanation will be expressed in the coming verses.

Through the fourth verse, as an exception, it says:

“Except the servants of Allah, the purified ones.”

In fact, this sentence points to this fact that you may see the end of these nations that how Allah caused them to be involved in a painful punishment and destroyed them, except the purified faithful servants who were saved from this destruction.

It is noteworthy that in this Surah ‘the purified servants of Allah’ are emphasized on five times in different verses, and this is a sign upon the greatness of their rank.

And, as we pointed out before, they are those who have been so victorious in the path of Knowledge, faith, and struggle against carnal soul that Allah has elected them and purified them, and that is why they have become secured from deviations and faults.

Satan cannot influence in them and, from the first day, hopelessly he expressed his inability before them.

The uproar of the environment, the temptations of the seductive factors, the imitation from ancestors, and the wrong and oppressive cultures can never mislead them from their way.

And this, in fact, is a message for the persisting believers of that day in Mecca, and for us, the Muslims of the world of today that we should not be afraid of the abundance of the enemies and try to stand in the row of the purified servants of Allah, because it is only the purified servants of Allah who take the warnings of the prophets earnest.

“Then see how was the end of those warned,”
“Except the servants of Allah, the purified ones.”
  • 1. Among those who have narrated this tradition are the following scholars:
    A) Ibn-Hajar Hiythami, in Sawa‘iq-ul-Muhraghah, P. 147
    B) ‘Abd-ur-Razzaq Hanbali, according to Kashf-ul-Qummah, P. 92
    C) ‘Allamah Sibt-ibn-Jauzi, in Tathkirah, P. 21
    D) ’Alusi, in Rauh-ul-Ma‘ani, following the verse under discussion
    E) ’Abu-Na‘im Esfahani, according to Kifayat-ul-Khisal, P. 360
    And some others that for more information you may refer to the worthy book entitled ‘’Ihqaq-ul-Haqq’, Vol. 3, P. 104 (new edition), and Al-Murajirat, P. 58.
  • 2. Tafsir-i-Rouh-ul-Bayan, Vol. 7, P. 464
  • 3. Rauh-ul-Ma‘ani, Vol. 23, P. 85

Section 3: The Great Sacrifice Shifted

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 75-79

وَلَقَدْ نَادَانَا نُوحٌ فَلَنِعْمَ الْمُـجِيبُونَ

وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ مِنَ الْكَرْبِ الْعَظِيمِ

وَجَعَلْنَا ذُرّ‌ِيَّتَه هُمُ الْبَاقِينَ

وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الأَخِرِينَ

سَلاَمٌ عَلَي نُوحٍ فِي الْعَالَمِينَ

75. “And indeed Noah did call upon Us, and the most excellent answerer (of prayer are We).”
76. “And We delivered him and his people from the great distress,”
77. “And We made (only) his progeny the survivors.”
78. “And We perpetuated to him (praise) among the later generations.”
79. “Peace be on Noah among the nations.”

If a person calls Allah sincerely, his supplication will be accepted and answered.

From here on, the story life of three great prophets, which was secretly pointed out in the former verses, begins. At first, Noah, the chief of the Divine prophets, and the first arch-prophet, is referred to and, before anything else, his pungent prayer, when he became disappointed from the guidance of his people, is pointed out.

It says:

“And indeed Noah did call upon Us, and the most excellent answerer (of prayer are We).”

This call may point to the same thing which is mentioned in Surah Noah:

“And Noah said: ‘O’ my Lord! Leave not of the unbelievers, a single one on the earth!”
“For, if You do not leave (any of) them, they will but mislead Your devotees, and they will breed none but wicked ungrateful ones.”1

Or it is the prayer which he asked Allah before embarking on the Ark.

He said:

“…‘My Lord! Cause me to land with a blessed landing, for You are the Best to cause to land’.”2

Or it is the prayer which is mentioned in Surah Al-Qamar, No. 54, verse 10, saying:

“Then he called on his Lord: ‘I am one overcome; do You then help (me)!’”

Of course, there is no problem that the verse under discussion might be a hint to all of these prayers and Allah answered them all in the best way.

So, in the next verse, it immediately says:

“And We delivered him and his people from the great distress,”

According to Raqib in Mufradat, the Arabic term /karb/ means ‘a severe grief’.

Which grief has been this great grief that troubled Noah seriously? It may refer to the mockeries of the proud faithless people, and their oral hurts, such as their violation and affront to him and his followers. Or it may refer to the consecutive denials of this obstinate nation.

They hurt this patient Divine prophet, Noah, and acted so impolitely unto him and said that he was mad, that as the Qur’an says:

“He (Noah) said: ‘My Lord help me against what they belie’.”3

However, a group of these unwholesome events and harsh sarcasms presses his heart violently until when the flood came, and Allah delivered him from the grip of that cruel nation and that great distress.

Some of the commentators have said that the probable purpose of the Qur’anic phrase /karbin ‘azim/ has been that very Flood in which none delivered except Noah and his followers, but this meaning seems improbable.

Then, in the next verse, it adds:

“And We made (only his progeny the survivors.”

Are really all the human beings, who are living on the earth at the present time, from among the progeny of Noah? And does the above verse say the same meaning? Or did great group of prophets, saints, and righteous ones remain from his seed, though all human beings are not from his seed?

Some of the great commentators have said that all the members of humankind after Noah have come into being from his generation and, just now, all people are the Children of Noah.

A great deal of the historians have cited that there have remained three sons from Noah, by the names of: Sam, Ham, and Yafith, and all the present nations living on the earth terminate to them. The races of Arab, Persian, and Roman are called Semitic (races).

The Turkish race and another group of people are considered as the progeny of Yafith. The races in Sudan, India, Nubia, Ethiopia, Qibt, and Barbary are counted as the progeny of Ham.

The discussion is not upon this matter that, for example, this race is from which son of Noah, because there are many different ideas delivered by the commentators and historians upon this subject. The discussion is upon this matter that do all the human races terminate to these three ones?

This question arises here that: did not some other believers embark in the Ark with Noah? Then, what fate did they have? Did they all pass away without having any offspring after them? Or, if they had some children, would they be girls who married with Noah’s sons?

This problem is not so clear from the point of history, but it can be understood from Some Islamic narrations that, in relation with the hints in the verses of the Qur’an, there remained some children from them on the earth and there exist some people from those children, too.

Upon the explanation of the above holy verse, there is a tradition recorded in the Commentary of Ali-ibn-’Ibrahim narrated from Imam Baqir (as) who said:

“The purpose of Allah from the verse saying:

‘And We made (only) his progeny the survivors’”

is that the Truth, prophethood, the (heavenly) Book, and Faith remained in the progeny of Noah, but the entire people who are living on the earth from the children of Adam are not from the offspring of Noah (as), because Allah, the Exalted, says in His Book:

‘… We said: ‘Embark therein, of each kind a pair and your family (a part from your wife and a son) except for those against whom the Word has already passed – and whoever believed. And there believed not with him but a few.”4

And also He, the Almighty, (addressing the Children of Israel,) says:

‘(O’ you!) the offspring of those whom We embarked along with Noah (on the Ark).…’56

And thus, whatever is known about the whole races on the earth terminating to the Noah’s sons is not fixed.

In the Next verse, the Qur’an says:

“And We perpetuated to him (praise) among the later generations.”

Noah is known as a steadfast, brave, patient, sympathetic, and kind prophet, and he is called ‘the chief of the Divine prophets’.

Noah’s life story is usually the example of persistence and perseverance, and his manner and program is as a sample for all those who pave the path of Truth against the hard hindrances of the enemies.

In the last verse of this group of verses, the Qur’an says:

“Peace be on Noah among the nations.”

What an honour is higher than this that Allah, the Exalted, sends greeting to him? It is a greeting that remains in the world among the nations of the world and will be stretched until the Hereafter. Allah’s greeting is accompanied with the beautiful praise and good mention of the servants of Allah.

It is interesting that there is hardly a greeting in the Qur’an about anyone as vast as this one, specially that the Qur’anic word /‘alamin/ (nations), which is in plural form and with the Arabic signs (of definite article).

It contains such a vast meaning that it may envelop not only all human beings but also the whole angels and those who are in the entire Universe.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 80-82

إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُـحْسِنِينَ

إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

ثُمَّ أَغْرَقْنَا الأَخَرِينَ

80. “Verily thus do We recompense the doers of good.”
81. “Verily he was (one) of Our faithful servants.”
82. “Then We drowned the others.”

The reward of Allah for the righteous ones is a course and an Allah’s way of treatment, not a temporary event and an eventual happening.

Therefore, in this holy verse the Qur’an clearly says:

“Verily thus do We recompense the doers of good.”

That is why, when there comes a Divine chastisement in the world, only believers and the righteous ones may be delivered and the others will be punished whether they are disbelievers or inattentive.

And in the next holy verse, concerning Noah (as), it says:

“Verily he was (one) of Our faithful servants.”

In fact, the rank of servitude and submission as well as Faith accompanied with kindness and benevolence, which have been referred to in the recent two verses, are the main evidence of the grace of Allah unto Noah and delivering him from the great grief, and the greeting of Allah unto him.

If this program is followed by others, too, they will be inside the same mercy and grace that Noah (as) was in, since the criterions of Allah’s graces are unchangeable and they have not a personal and private aspect.

In the third verse, through a short and awakening sentence, the Qur’an states the fate of that unjust, vicious, and anonymous nation, where it says:

“Then We drowned the others.”

There came a flood from the sky, water gushed out from the earth, and all over the sphere of the earth turned to a rough ocean. It ruined the castles of the tyrant ones, and their corps remained floating over the face of water.

It is interesting that He states His favours unto Noah in several verses, but He mentions the chastisement of that rebellious people through a short sentence heedlessly and contemptuously, because the rank of stating the honours and victories of the believers, and the aid of Allah unto them, is the rank of explanation, while the rank of stating the circumstance of the disobedient ones is the rank of heedlessness.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 83-84

وَإِنَّ مِن شِيعَتِهِ لإِبْرَاهِيمَ

إِذْ جَآءَ رَبَّهُ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ

83. “And verily Abraham was of his persuasion.”
84. “When he came unto his Lord with a sound (pure) heart.”

We ought to purify inside of ourselves at first, and then we may try to purify the society. The necessary condition of the success of the religious leaders is to have a sound pure heart.

In these verses a considerable part of the life story of ’Ibrahim, the iconoclastic hero (as), together with some parts of the adventurous history of Noah (as) are referred to.

Here, at first it begins with the event of Abraham’s idol-breaking and the harsh reaction of the idolaters against him, and in another part, it speaks about the greatest scene of Abraham’s self-sacrifice, sacrificing his son. This part of the event has exclusively been mentioned only in this section of the Qur’an.

The first verse relates the event of Abraham with the event of Noah as this:

“And verily Abraham was of his persuasion.”

Abraham paved the same way of Unity and Justice, the same path of piety and sincerity that Noah paved, since all divine prophets were the preachers of the same school and the teachers of the same university, and every one of then continued and completed the program of the previous one.

What an interesting meaning this is! Abraham was one of the followers of Noah! Though there was a long time between them, (according to some commentators, about (600 years), but we know that time has not any effect on the relation of religious schools.

In the second verse, it says remember the time:

“When he came unto his Lord with a sound (pure) heart.”

The commentators of the Qur’an have delivered different meanings for the Qur’anic term /qalb/ (heart), each of which refers to one of the dimensions of it: a heart which is free from polytheism; the sincere heart which is far from sins, grudges, and hypocrisies; a heart empty of the love of the world, because the love of the world is the source of faults, and, finally, a heart which contains nothing but Allah.

The fact is that the Qur’anic term /salim/ is derived from /salamat/ (health), and when healthy is propounded in its absolute state, it envelops health from all kinds of ethical and creedal sicknesses.

Concerning the hypocrites, the Qur’an implies that there is a disease in their hearts and, as the result of their obstinacy and sins, Allah will increase this sickness:

“In their hearts is a disease, so Allah has increased their disease…”7

Imam Sadiq (as) has stated the best commentary on the Qur’anic phrase /qalbin salim/ where he says: “A sound heart is the one which meets his Lord while there is none in it except Him.”8

This clear commentary is conclusive of all aforementioned qualities.

Again, in another authentic tradition narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) he said:

“Whoever has a truthful intention is the possessor of a sound heart, because the soundness of the heart from polytheism and doubt, purifies the intention for Allah in all affairs.” 9

This is sufficient about the importance of the sound heart that the Qur’an counts it as the capital of safety in Hereafter, as in Surah As-Shu‘ara, No. 26, verses 88 and 89 from the tongue of this very prophet, Abraham (as), we recite:

“The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail,” “Except for him who comes to Allah with a pure heart.”

In a tradition from Imam Sadiq (as) we recite he said:

“The heart is the sanctuary of Allah; do settle no one in the sanctuary of Allah, except Him.”

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 85-87

إِذْ قَالَ لأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَاذَا تَعْبُدُونَ

أَئِفْكاً ءَالِهَةً دُونَ اللَّهِ تُرِيدُونَ

فَمَا ظَنُّكُم بِرَبّ‌ِ الْعَالَمِينَ

85. “When he said to his father and his people: ‘What is it that you worship?’”
86. “Is it a falsehood – gods other than Allah that you desire?”
87. “What is then your idea about the Lord of the Worlds?”

In invitation to Monotheism, clarity, explicitness, bravery, inattentiveness to the tribal and genealogical considerations, are the sings of a firm Faith. In this regard, Abraham condemned the creed of the father.

Yes, Abraham was ordered to struggle against idolatry with a sound pure heart, a pure spirit, a strong will, and a firm decision.

He began from his father (uncle) and his own relatives, as the Qur’an says:

“When he said to his father and his people: ‘What is it that you worship?’”

Is it not a pity that man, with his natural honour and his good intellect, stands in front of some worthless pieces of stone and wood and bows? Where is your wisdom?

Then, in the next holy verse, the Qur’an completed this meaning, which was a clear contempt, with another sentence, saying:

“Is it a falsehood – gods other than Allah that you desire?”

Regarding to the fact that the Arabic term /’ifk/ means a great lie or the ugliest lies the decisiveness of Abraham’s talk about the idols will become more clear.

He concluded his speech in this regard with another severe sentence, and said:

“What is then your idea about the Lord of the Worlds?”

You consume His sustenance, His merits have surrounded your selves thoroughly, yet you have worshipped some worthless things instead of Him, and yet do you expect Him to have mercy on you, and that He would not give you retribution with a terrible chastisement? What a great mistake, and what a dangerous aberration you have!

The application of the Qur’anic phrase /rabb-il-‘alamin/ (the Lord of the worlds) points to this fact that the whole universe is being managed under the Lordship of Allah, but you have left Him and attached to some conjectures and illusions which have no source of effect.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 88-92

فَنَظَرَ نَظْرَةً فِي النُّجُومِ

فَقَالَ إِنّـِي سَقِيمٌ

فَتَوَلَّوْا عَنْهُ مُدْبِرِينَ

فَرَاغَ إِلَي ءَالِهَتِهِمْ فَقَالَ أَلاَ تَأْكُلُونَ

مَالَكُمْ لاَ تَنطِقُونَ

88. “Then he glanced, casting glance at the stars,”
89. “Then he said: ‘Verily I am sick (and I cannot participate in your festival).”
90. “So they went away from him, turning back.”
91. “Then he turned unto their gods secretly and (mockingly) said: ‘Why do you not eat?’”
92. “What is the matter with you that you do not speak?”

The logic of Divine prophets is negation of idolatry, and it is very clear, natural, and rational.

History and commentary books indicate that every year the idolaters of Babylon had some special festival ceremonies when they used to cook and prepare some food, in idol temple, and put them there imagining that the foods would become blessed.

Then they went out from the city and returned back in the evening when they went into their idol temple in order to worship and to eat food.

That day, the city became empty of people, and it was a good opportunity for Abraham to break idols. It was an opportunity for which Abraham was waiting for a long time and he did not like to lose it easily.

So, at night, when he was invited to participate in their ceremonies, the verse says:

“Then he glanced, casting glance at the stars,”
“Then he said: ‘Verily I am sick (and I cannot participate in your festival).”

And in this way, Abraham (as) excused himself, and the verse says:

“So they went away from him, turning back.”

Here, there come forth two questions:

The first: Why did Abraham look at stars? What was his aim of this glance?

The second is that whether he was really sick when he said:

Verily I am sick’?

And What ailment did he have?

The answer to the first question: Regarding to the beliefs of the people of Babylon, and their customs, its answer is clear, because they had some studies in astronomy, and even it is said that their idols were in the shape of stars, and they respected them because they were the symbols of stars.

Beside their astrologic information, of course, there were also many superstitions in this field current among them, including that they believed stars were effective in their fates, and asked goodness and blessing from them. They reasoned their situation for the future events.

In order to make them convenient, according to their custom, Abraham (as) cast a glance to the stars in the sky in order that they thought he had foresighted his sickness by studying the situations of the stars, and they might be convinced, some of the great commentators have also offered this probability that he wanted to find out exactly the time of his sickness from the movement of the stars; because there was a kind of sickness, like fever, which came to him between some particular points of time.

But, regarding to the condition of the thoughts of the people of Babylon, the first probable is more fitting.

Some other commentators have also said that perhaps his glance to the sky was, in fact, a glance of study in the secrets of the creation, though they considered his glance as the glance of an astronomer who wanted to foresight the future events by the situations of the stars.

Concerning the second question, there have been delivered numerous answers, including that he was really sick, although if he had been safe either, he would not have participated in the ceremonies of the festival of idols.

But his sickness was a good excuse for his absence in that festival and utilizing the golden opportunity for breaking the idols, and there is no evidence for us to say he equivocated, because equivocation is not suitable for prophets.

Some others have said that Abraham had not really a bodily ailment, but as the result of the wrong actions of those people and their infidelity, polytheism, injustice, and corruption, his soul was sick. Thus, he stated a fact though they thought differently and considered him bodily sick.

So, in the fourth holy verse the Qur’an implies that only Abraham remained in the city and the idolaters, leaving the city empty, went outside of it.

Abraham cast a glance around him, there appeared a light of happiness in his eyes, because the moments, he had been waiting for from a long time ago, had come. He thought he should begin fighting against idols lonely and strike a hard blow on their bodies, a strike that might shake the minds of the idolaters and awaken them from their sleep.

The Qur’an says:

“Then he turned unto their gods secretly and (mockingly) said: ‘Why do you not eat?’”

Abraham implicitly said to the idols that their worshippers had prepared those sweet, various, delicious and colourful foods:

“Why do you not eat?”

Then, in the next verse he, addressing the idols, tells them why they do not speak, as if they were dumb.

The above verse says:

“What is the matter with you that you do not speak?”

In this way, Abraham mocked all their superstitious beliefs. No doubt he knew well that the idols did neither speak nor eat food and they were not anything but some inanimate beings. He wanted, in fact, to give the reason of his breaking idols in this beautiful and tender form.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 93-94

فَرَاغَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضَرْباً بِالْيَـمِينِ

فَاَقْبَلُوا إِلَيْهِ يَزِفُّونَ

93. “Then he turned against them in secret, striking (them) with the right hand.”
94. “So they (people) advanced towards him hastening.”

There are some stages in the act of ‘forbid from doing evil’, if the first stage, which is speaking, did not affect, the second stage would be the practical action. According to this verse, Abraham decided to begin the action. He took the axe in his hand and moved it with strength and intentionally struck a severe stroke on their bodies.

The verse says:

“Then he turned against them in secret, striking (them) with the right hand.”

The objective meaning of the Arabic word /yamin/ is really here ‘right hand’ that man often does his most actions with it, or it ironically means ‘power’ and ‘force’, (both of the meanings can also be used).

However, before soon, he made that beautiful furnished idol temple as a terrible ruined place. The idols were totally turned into pieces, and each of them, with broken hands and feet, was fallen in a corner, and, verily, they got a state of sad, grievous, and heart-rending scenery for the idol-worshippers.

Abraham did what he should do, and silently, and calmly he came out from the idol temple and went toward his home, while he was preparing himself for the future events.

He knew that he had created a great explosion not only in the city but also throughout the country, Babylon, the news of which would be heard later. Because of anger he began walking since he was alone in the midst of that tempest! But he had Allah with him and that very One was enough for him.

And, the next holy verse implicitly denotes that the idol worshippers returned to the city and went into the idol temple. They encountered a horrible view and astonished, as if they had been fixed there as statues.

They could not think for some moments and were gazing, looking at those ruined scattered idols. They saw that the idols, which they imagined as the shelter of their day of wander, were defenceless over there.

Then their amazing motionless state changed into the state of shouting, crying, and roaring.

They protested saying:

Who has done this? Which unjust one has committed it?

And before long, they remembered that there was a young theistic man in that city by the name of Abraham, who mocked idols and had threatened that he had designed a dangerous plan for their idols. They thought it might be his action.

The verse says:

“So they (people) advanced towards him hastening.”

The Arabic term /yaziffun/ is derived from /zaf/ which has originally been applied for the blow of the wind, and fast motion of the ostrich, which is a mixture of walking and flying. Then this word has ironically been used in the sense of taking bride toward the house of bridegroom.

However, the purpose is that the idolaters came hastily toward Abraham. (The rest of the event will be mentioned through later verses.)

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 95-98

قَالَ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مَا تَنْحِتُونَ

وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

قَالُوا ابْنُواْ لَهُ بُنْيَاناً فَأَلْقُوهُ فِي الْجَحِيمِ

فَأَرَادُوا بِهِ كَيْداً فَجَعَلْنَاهُمُ الأَسْفَلِينَ

95. “He said: ‘Do you worship what you (yourselves) hew out?’”
96. “While Allah has created you and what you make.”
97. “They said: ‘Build for him a furnace, then cast him into the burning fire’.”
98. “So they desired a plot against him, but We made them lower ones.”

Everything in the world must be devoted to Monotheism and Monotheistic thought. Imam Hussayn (as) is sacrificed in order that false deity might no dominate over people. All the troubles, and even the souls of the Divine prophets, were devoted for Monotheism. Here Abraham risked and did a dangerous action in order to root out idolatry.

At last, after the event of breaking idols, Abraham was taken to the court with the same accusation.

Abraham was inquired, and he was ordered to explain who accomplished the horrible event of the idol temple.

The Holy Qur’an has explained this event in Surah Al-Anbiya’, No. 21, and, in the verses under discussion, it suffices to one sensitive point of it which is the last statement of Abraham with them about the falsehood of idolatry.

The verse says:

“He said: ‘Do you worship what you (yourselves) hew out?’”

Does any wise man worship his own handicraft? Does any intellectual person knee before his own created thing? Which intellect and logic have given you such a permission?

In the next verse, the Qur’an implies that the heavens and the earth all are created by Allah and the entire time and place belong to him. Such a Creator must be worshipped.

The verse says:

“While Allah has created you and what you make.”

This is a very strong proof. They had no response to give against it.

Oppressors and tyrants have never been familiar with logic and reasoning. It was for the same reason that the evident and strong argumentation of Abraham (as) did not affect on the hearts of the cruel rulers of Babylon, though it awakened a group of the oppressed people of the time.

But, the proud tyrants, who found out the advance of this Monotheistic logic as a barrier for their own benefits, came in with the logic of force, weapon, and fire: a logic except which they understood nothing.

They relied on their own power and, the verse says:

“They said: ‘Build for him a furnace, then cast him into the burning fire’.”

It is understood from his meaning that, at first it was ordered that a large place with four walls to be built. Then inside of it some fire was made ready. Perhaps for the purpose that not only they could control the fire from scattering and from probable dangers, but also they might practically prepare a hell fire by which Abraham threatened the idolaters.

It is true that for burning a man like Abraham only a small load of wood was enough, but in order to quench the fire of their hearts resulted by breaking the idols and so to speak, to take their vengeance in utmost level, and, by the way, to give a glory and greatness to the idols in order that their lost honour might be returned, and also to use severity upon all their opponents so that that event would not happen again in the history of Babylon, they prepared that vast, huge fire.

(Be careful that the Arabic word /jahim/ philologically means: ‘Some fires which are heaped up with together.)

Some commentators have rendered the Qur’anic word /bunyan/ here into catapult (mangonel), which was a means of throwing heavy things from a distance. But most of the commentators have chosen the first interpretation.

The fourth holy verse, in a condensed and interesting conclusion, states the end of this event as follows:

“So they desired a plot against him, but We made them lower ones.”

The Arabic word /kayd/ means any ‘thinking of a mean’ whether it is in a correct way or a wrong one, though it is often used for an evil aspect; and regarding to the form of the word here as an indefinite article which indicates to greatness and importance, it refers to the vast plot that they had designed for the annihilation of Abraham and wiping out the effects of his oral and practical propagation.

Yes, Allah set them the lower ones, and set Abraham in a ‘high rank’, like his logic which had superiority.

In the event of burning and fire, Allah gave him superiority, too, and caused his powerful enemies to be low. He made the fire cold and safe for him, and without that even his hair burnt, he came out safely from that huge heap of fire.

One day He delivers Noah from being drowned, and on the other day He delivers Abraham from being burnt, in order to make it clear that both water and fire obey His command and whatever Allah says to do they do accordingly.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 99-102

وَقَالَ إِنّـِي ذَاهِبٌ إِلَي رَبّـِي سَيَهْدِينِ

رَبّ‌ِ هَبْ لِي مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

فَبَشَّرْنَاهُ بِغُلاَمٍ حَلِيمٍ

فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْيَ قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ إِنّـِي أَرَي فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنّـِي أَذْبَحُكَ فَانظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَي قَالَ يَآ أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ سَتَجِدُنِي إِن شَآءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ

99. “And he said: ‘Verily, I am going unto my Lord, He will guide me’.”
100. “My Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!”
101. “So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy,”
102. “And when he (the son) reached (the age of working) with him he said: ‘O my son! Verily I see in a dream that I shall sacrifice you. Now see what is your view. He said: ‘O’ my father! Do what you are commanded; you will find me, Allah willing, of the patient ones’.”

A righteous son is one of the Divine remittals, and one of prophets’ supplications is for it, and he is the best helper along side the path of the movement of the family toward Allah.

The former verses indicated that, after fulfilling his duty of prophecy in Babylon, Abraham emigrated from that place. His first beseech from Allah was that He would give him a righteous son, because he had had no child until that day.

The first verse of the verses under discussion talks about the acceptance of this prayer of Abraham.

It says:

“And he said: ‘Verily, I am going unto my Lord, He will guide me’.”
“My Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!”
“So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy,”

In fact, there are three glad tidings in this sentence: the glad tiding of a son, the glad tiding of reaching the son to the age of adolescence, and the glad tiding of the good quality of being for bearing.

Upon the commentary of the Arabic word /halim/ it is said that he is the one who does not haste in any action before its proper time, while he has its ability; and does not haste in the retribution of the guilty. He has a great spirit, and can control his emotions.

Raqib in Mufradat says that: the term /hilm/ means: forbearing at the time of commotion of anger, and since this status originates from wisdom, it has sometimes been used in the sense of intellect, too, else the real meaning of /hilm/ is the same thing which was said at the beginning.

By the way, it is understood from this quality that Allah has given the glad tiding of the existence of this son until he reaches an age that he can be qualified by ‘forbearing’. As we will recite in the following verses, he proved the rank of his being forbearing at the time of the event of ‘sacrifice’. Also, Abraham showed his being forbearing both at that time and at the time of the fire accident.

It is interesting that the word /halim/ (forbearing) has been used fifteen times in the Qur’an, and is often used as an attribution for Allah, except in two cases which has been mentioned in the word of Allah as a quality for Abraham and his son, and in one occurrence it is a quality for Shu‘ayb from the tongue of others.

As some commentators believe, the Arabic word /qulam/ (boy) is used for any child before reaching the age of adolescence, while some others have used it for the child who is more than ten years old and has not reached the age of puberty.

By the different meanings which have come in the Arabic language, it can be understood that /qulam/ is an age between childhood and youth that is usually meant into adolescence.

Then, in the next verse, the Qur’an implies that at last according to the glad tiding of Allah, the promised son of Abraham was born, and enlightened the heart of the father who was waiting for a righteous son and was expectant for many years. This child passed his childhood and reached the age of adolescence.

Here, the Qur’an says:

“And when he (the son) reached (the age of working) with him…”

That is, he reached a stage in which he could work and struggle in the different affairs of life, accompanying his father and helping him.

Some commentators believe that the Qur’anic word /sa‘y/ here means worship and working for Allah. This term, of course, has a vast meaning and encompasses this concept, too, but it is not restricted to it. And the application of the Arabic word /ma‘ahu/ (with him) shows that its purpose is his assistance to the father in the affairs of life.

However, as some of the commentators have said, at that time his son was thirteen years old when Abraham sees a wonderful dream which denotes the beginning of another great trial in respect to this respectable prophet. In his dream he sees that he was ordered from the side of Allah to sacrifice his only son by his own hand and to cut his head.

Being very terrified, Abraham awoke. He knew that the prophets’ dream was true and it was far from the Satanic temptations. Yet the same dream was repeated two times more, which was an emphasis on the necessity of that action as well as its urgency.

It is said that at the first time Abraham saw this dream in the night of ‘Tarwiyah’ (the eighth night of Zil-Hajjah), and on the night of ‘Arafah and the night of Feast of Sacrifice (the ninth and tenth of Zil-Hajjah) the dream was repeated, so there remained no doubt for him that it was the decisive command of Allah.

Abraham, who had repeatedly become successful in the hard trials of Allah, this time again he must obey the command of Allah, either, and kill the son for whom he waited for a lifetime and now he was a handsome adolescent by his own hand.

But, before anything else, he ought to make the son prepared for this action.

So, Abraham, addressing him, informed him as follows:

“…he said: ‘O my son! Verily I see in a dream that I shall sacrifice you. Now see what is your view…”

The son, who was as a copy of the father, the donator, and had learnt the lesson of patience and perseverance, and faith in his father’s school during his short lifetime, happily and eagerly accepted that Divine commandment, and explicitly and with conclusiveness, answered as follows:

“…He said: ‘O’ my father! Do what you are commanded; you will find me, Allah willing, of the patient ones’.”

How expressive and meaningful the sentences of the father and son are! And how many delicate things there are inside them!

From one side, the father suggests the subject of sacrifice to his thirteen-year-old son and asks his view about it. He considers independent personality and freedom of decision for him, because he does never intend to deceive his son and blindly invites him to this great field of trial.

He wishes that the son may also participate in this excellent struggle willingly and, like the father tastes the pleasure of submission and contentment.

On the other side, the son intends that the father would be firm in his decision, then he does not say ‘sacrifice me’, but he says:

Do what you are commanded

and that he submits to His commandment.

The son specially addresses the father by the phrase: ‘O my father!’ in order to show that this subject does not decrease the least from the affection between father and son, since the commandment of Allah (s.w.t.) prevails over everything.

And, on the third side, he keeps the state of courtesy at the presence of Allah in the best form. He never relies on the power of his own faith, will, and decision, but he relies on the divine will and providence of Allah and, through this sentence, he seeks success, perseverance and steadfastness from Him.

And thus both father and son (as) pass completely and successfully the first stage of this great examination.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 103-106

فَلَمَّآ أَسْلَمَا وَتَلَّهُ لِلْجَبِينِ

وَنَادَيْنَاهُ أَن يَآ إِبْرَاهِيمُ

قَدْ صَدَّقْتَ الرُّؤْيَآ كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُـحْسِنِينَ

إِنَّ هَذَا لَهُوَ الْبَلآءُ الْمُبِينُ

103. “So when they both submitted (to Our command) and he (Abraham) laid him (the son) prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),”
104. “And We called out to him: ‘O Abraham!’”
105. “Indeed you have proved true the dream; verily thus do We reward the doers of good!”
106. “This is indeed the manifest trial.”

The commandments of Allah (s.w.t.) are sometimes for trial. Allah wanted that Abraham would detach his heart, not that the Ishmael’s blood might be shed.

In these holy verses, the Qur’an says:

“So when they both submitted (to Our command) and he (Abraham) laid him (the son) prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),”

Again here the Qur’an explains shortly and lets the hearer pursue the story with the waves of his affections.

Some commentators have said that the objective meaning of the Qur’anic phrase /tallahu lil jabin/10 was that Abraham put the forehead of Ishmael on the dust according to the son’s own suggestion, lest his eyes might see the son’s face and the fatherly affections would be exited and might hinder the fulfilment of the command of Allah/.11

However, Abraham put the son’s face on the dust and moved the knife and, swiftly and powerfully, put it on the child’s throat, while his soul had been filled with excitement, and it was only the love of Allah which forwarded him undoubtedly alongside his way. But the sharp knife left the least effect on the smooth throat of his child.

Abraham was in full surprise. He tried again and used the knife, but for the second time it affected naught. Yes, Abraham, the friend, says: “Cut it”, but Allah, the Majestic, says: “Do not cut”; and the knife obeyed only Allah’s command.

In the next verse, the Qur’an with a short and expressive sentence, puts an end to all expectations and says:

“And We called out to him: ‘O Abraham!’”
“Indeed you have proved true the dream; verily thus do We reward the doers of good!”

That is, We give them both the success of triumph in trial, and We do not let his beloved child be lost for him. Yes, he who submits thoroughly to Him and has one goodness in its highest degree will not have any recompense, but this.

Then, in the next verses it adds:

“This is indeed the manifest trial.”

To sacrifice a child by his own hand, a young child who is worthy enough, for a father who has been expecting such a son, is not simple action.

How can he detach his heart from such a child? And more important than that without showing any frowning, but with the utmost submission and contentment, he hastens to fulfil this commandment. He accomplished all the primary affairs up to the last stage, so that he would not neglect anything from the point of psychological and practical preparations.

And more wonderful than that, there was the absolute submission of this lad before this command, who eagerly and with certainty of mind, by the grace of Allah and submitting to His will, hastened to receive the sacrifice.

Some Islamic narrations indicate when this action was done, Gabriel (surprisingly) shouted:

Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is the greatest! Allah is the greatest).

And Abraham’s son cried:

There is no god but Allah. Allah is the greatest!

And the devoted father, the hero, also said:

“Allah is the greatest and the praise belongs to Allah.”12

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 107-113

وَفَدَيْنَاهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيمٍ

وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الأَخِرِينَ

سَلاَمٌ عَلَي اِبْرَاهِيمَ

كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ

إنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

وَبَشَّرْنَاهُ بِإِسْحَاقَ نَبِيّاً مّـِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

وَبَارَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَي إِسْحَاقَ وَمِن ذُرّ‌ِيَّتِهِمَا مُحْسِنٌ وَظَالِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ مُبِينٌ

107. “And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice.”
108. “And We left (praise) for him among generations (to come) in later times.”
109. “Peace be on Abraham.”
110. “Thus do We recompense the doers of good,”
111. “Verily he was (one) of Our believing servants.”
112. “And We gave him the glad tidings of Isaac, a prophet among the righteous ones.”
113. “And We bestowed Our blessings on him and on Isaac, and of their offspring are the doers of good, and (also) those who are clearly unjust to their own selves.”

The act of sacrifice is one of Abraham’s way of treatment. A sincere action turns to be a great current in the history, and every year hundreds of thousand sheep, cows, and camels are sacrificed in the altar of Ishmael in his remembrance.

This holy verse indicates that in order that Abraham would complete the program of his sacrifice at the presence of Allah and attain his wish, Allah sent a big sheep for him to sacrifice it instead of the child and that could be a manner left from Abraham for the coming generations in the rites of Hajj and the land of Muna, as the Qur’an says:

“And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice.”

There are different ideas among the Islamic commentators concerning the greatness of this sacrifice and that from which point of view it was great: from the bodily and appearance point, or from this point that it became the ransom of Abraham’s child, or from the point that it was for the sake of Allah and in the path of Allah, or from this point that this sacrifice was sent for Abraham from the side of Allah?

But it does not matter that all these aspects can be found in the ‘great sacrifice’, and that it has greatness from different points of view.

One of the signs of the greatness of this sacrifice is that by the past of time every year its scope increases, and now more than one million sacrifices are ransomed each year, and its remembrance is kept alive.

The Arabic phrase /fadaynah/ is derived from /fada/ which originally means: ‘appointing something as alms and designed to avert evil from a person or something else. That is why the sum which is paid for manumission of a captive is called /fidyah/ (ransom). And also the atonement which some sick people pay instead of fasting is called by this name.

Upon the idea that how was this big sheep given to Abraham, many commentators believed that Gabriel brought it? Some believe that it came down from the sides of the hills of Muna, but whatever it was, it was done by the command of Allah and by His will.

The next holy verse implies that not only Allah praised the victory of Abraham in this great trial on that day, but also He made its remembrance eternal.

The verse says:

“And We left (praise) for him among generations (to come) in later times.”

Abraham (as) became an example for all the coming generations and as a paradigm for all the lovers of Allah, and Allah made his program eternal as a rite of Hajj during the future centuries until the end of the world. He was the father of the great prophets, the father of the Ummah of Islam, and the father of the Prophet of Islam.

Then, in the third and fourth verses, the Qur’an says:

“Peace be on Abraham.”
“Thus do We recompense the doers of good,”

It is a recompense as great as the world; a recompense eternal throughout the time; a recompense fit for the peace of Allah, the Almighty!

It is interesting that the sentence:

Thus do We recompense the doers of Good

one time has been mentioned here and another time in former verses. This repetition certainly contains a proper point.

Its reason may be in this that in the first stage Allah verifies Abraham’s victory in his great trial, and He approves his success. This is a great reward and recompense, and this was the most important glad tidings that Allah gave Abraham.

Then there is the subject of ‘the great sacrifice’ and that it and his name remained as ever lasting. And the greeting of Allah to him which is another great merit and Allah introduces it as the recompense of the righteous.

By the way, there are many authentic narrations stated in the commentary books such as Majma‘-ul-Bayan and Nur-uth-Thaqalayn recorded under these verses which you can refer to.

The fifth verse says:

“Verily he was (one) of Our believing servants.”

This sentence, in fact, is a witness upon what was said, and also stated this reality that if Abraham sincerely gave his entire entity and his dear son in a lump and sacrificed them in the path of his Lord, it was because of his deep faith and his promise. Yes, all of these have a wonderful manifestation.

However, this meaning expands and generalizes the act of Abraham, and separates it from a personal and private form, and shows that wherever there is faith, you can find donation, love self-sacrifice, and remittal.

Abraham liked whatever Allah liked, and he wanted the thing that Allah wanted; and every believer can be like that.

The sixth verse refers to another merit of Allah bestowed on Abraham.

It says:

“And We gave him the glad tidings of Isaac, a prophet among the righteous ones.”

Regarding to the holy verse saying:

Verily thus do We recompense the doers of good

which has been mentioned at the beginning of this event13, it is made clear that these two glad tidings relate to two children.

If the recent glad tidings according to the explicit mentioning of the verse under discussion relates to Isaac, then the Qur’anic holy phrase ‘forbearing boy’, the patient adolescence, surely refers to ’Isma‘il, and those who urge to consider Isaac as ‘the sacrificed one’ have taken both verses referring to one thing, with this difference that they think of the first verses as the statement of the main glad tidings and the second verse as a glad tiding to the prophethood; but this meaning is very improbable, and the abovementioned verses clearly say that these two glad tidings relate to two offspring.

Moreover, the glad tiding of prophethood shows that Isaac should remain alive and perform the duties of prophethood, and this does not adopt to the subject of sacrifice.

It is interesting that here again we confront the greatness of the rank of the righteous, and for the qualification of Isaac it implies that he must become a prophet and become one of the righteous and how excellent is the rank of the righteous with Allah, the Almighty!

And in the seventh verse the words are about the blessing that Allah bestowed on Abraham and his sin, Isaac.

It says:

“And We bestowed Our blessings on him and on Isaac…”

But there is not any explanation saying in which thing the blessing was given, and We know that when a verb is usually said absolutely and there is not any condition in it, has a general sense. Therefore, it concludes blessing in every thing: in lifetime and in living, in the coming generations, in history and school of thought, and in all things.

Here, it is clear that the verse under discussion points to prophethood, and all Divine blessings unto Abraham and Isaac (and their family). One of the blessings that Allah granted to Abraham and Isaac was this that all the Divine prophets of the Children of Israel came into being from the progeny of Isaac, while the great Prophet of Islam (S) was from the progeny of ’Isma‘il.

But in order that there does not come forth an imagination that the existence of this blessing in the family of Abraham has the aspect of genealogy and race, but it is in relation with religion, school of thought, and faith, at the end of the verse it adds:

“…and of their offspring are the doers of good, and (also) those who are clearly unjust to their own selves.”

The Arabic term /muhsin/ here means: a believer and the one who is obedient to Allah (s.w.t.); and what a kindness and goodness can be considered better than this!

The term /zalim/ is in the sense of disbeliever and sinful, and the application of /linafsihi/ points to this fact that disbelief and sin are at the first degree of being unjust to oneself, a clear injustice.

And thus, the above verse answers to a group of the Jews and the Christians who boasted that they were from the progeny of the prophets, that only the relative relation is not an honour unless it comes under the shelter of mental and religious relation.

The reference of this statement is the tradition narrated from the holy Prophet (S) who, addressing Bani Hashim, said:

“O Bani Hashim! Let it not be that on the Day of Hereafter people come to me with their deeds and you come with your relations and relatives, in a manner that they may have religious relation and you may have bodily relation.”14

  • 1. Surah Noah, No. 71, verses 26-27
  • 2. Surah Al-Mu’minun, No. 23, verse 29
  • 3. Surah Al-Mu’minun, No. 23, verse 26
  • 4. Surah Hud, No. 11, verse 40
  • 5. Surah ’Isra’, No. 17, verse 3
  • 6. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Vol. 4, P. 405; and Tafsir-us-Safi, following the verse
  • 7. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 10
  • 8. Al-Kafi, according to Tafsir-us-Safi under Surah As-Shu‘ara’, No. 26, verse 89.
  • 9. Ibid
  • 10. The Qur’anic word /tallahu/ is derived from /tal/ originally in the sense of a high place and the whole phrase means that he put one side of his face on the ground in a high place.
  • 11. The Qur’anic word /tallahu/ is derived from /tal/ originally in the sense of ‘a high place’ and the whole phrase means that he put one side of his face on the ground in a large place.
  • 12. The commentaries of Qurtabi, and Rauh-ul-Bayan.
  • 13. verse 80
  • 14. Rauh-ul-Bayan, Vol. 7, P. 479

Section 4: Allah’s Blessings on Moses

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 114-116

وَلَقَدْ مَنَنَّا عَلَي مُوسَي وَهَارُونَ

وَنَجَّيْنَاهُمَا وَقَوْمَهُمَا مِنَ الْكَرْبِ الْعَظِيمِ

وَنَصَرْنَاهُمْ فَكَانُوا هُمُ الْغَالِبِينَ

114. “We bestowed Our favour on Moses and Aaron.”
115. “And We delivered them both and their people from the great distress.”
116. “And We helped them so that they were the victors (over their enemies).”

The remembrance of the graces and favours of Allah to the former Divine prophets (as) was the cause of peace, comfort, encouragement and consolation of the Prophet of Islam (S) and the Muslims in the terrible circumstances of Mecca.

These verses refer to a part of the Divine favours unto Moses and his brother, Aaron, and there are some discussions consistent with what was formerly said about Noah and Abraham in the previous verses. The contents of these verses are fairly similar to each other, and the words are somehow harmonized so that they may arrange a firm training program about the believers.

Again in these verses for the explanation of many events the style of ‘epitome and expansion’, which is the style of the Qur’an, has been used.

At first, it says:

“We bestowed Our favour on Moses and Aaron.”

In Philology and the uses of the Qur’an, the Arabic term /minnat/ has a vast meaning which includes bestowing the divine heavy bounties, too.

However, in these verses Allah secretly gives the news of some worthy and great favours which he granted to these two brothers; and in the later verses He explains a few of these favours each of which is worthier than the other.

In the second verse, Allah says:

“And We delivered them both and their people from the great distress.”

What grief was greater than this that the Children of Israel were captured in the grips of the cruel, blood-thirsty people of Pharaoh who used to slaughter their sons and spared alive their females to serve them and make their men work hard for them?

Yes, losing freedom and being involved in the grips of a cruel king who had mercy neither on the children nor on the adults, and he even misused the honour of the females of a nation, was a great distress and a heavy grief. This was the first favour that Allah bestowed on the Children of Israel.

Then, in the third verse, the Qur’an implies that Allah helped Moses and Aaron and the Children of Israel so that they could win their powerful enemies, on the day when the great blood-thirsty army of Pharaoh, and in front of them Pharaoh himself, forcefully attacked them, the Children of Israel were very weak and had not enough fighters and means of war to fight against them, but the grace of Allah came to help them and buried the troops of Pharaoh in the waves of the sea.

So the Children of Israel were delivered from great distress and He gave the Pharaohs’ castles, wealth, gardens, and properties to them.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 117-119

وَءَاتَيْنَاهُمَا الْكِتَابَ الْمُسْتَبِينَ

وَهَدَيْنَاهُمَا الصّـِرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِمَا فِي الأَخِرِينَ

117. “And We gave them both the Book making things clear.”
118. “And We guided them both on the right way.”
119. “And We left (praise) for them both among the later generations.”

The first is deliverance from that tyrant ruler, and then there is invitation to the Book and Path of Allah.

These verses point to the favours and spiritual merits that Allah gave to this group of people.

The Qur’an says:

“And We gave them both the Book making things clear.”

Yes, the Torah, the clear Book, was a Book which made things clear, and answered all the religious and worldly needs of the Children of Israel at that time; as in Surah Al-Ma’idah, No. 5, verse 44 we recite:

“Verily We have sent down the Torah, wherein is guidance and light…”

And in the next verse it points to another spiritual merit, the merit of guidance to the Straight Way, when it says:

“And We guided them both on the right way.”

It is the same right way which is far from any crookedness and deviation and which is the way of the Divine prophets and there is not any line of deviation, aberration and fall in it:

It is interesting that in all our prayers, when we ask Allah to guide us to the straight Path, we say:

“The path of those upon whom You have bestowed Your bounties, and not (the path) of those inflicted with Your wrath, nor (of those) gone astray.”1

And this is the path of prophets and saints.

In the third verse, it refers to the duration of the religious school and their good name (praise) and says:

“And We left (praise) for them both among the later generations.”

This is the same meaning that the Qur’an mentioned in the former verses about Abraham and Noah.

In principal, the history and the names of all men of Allah and those who pave the great path of the right, are eternal and it must be so, because they do not belong to a proper people or nation, but they belong to the whole world of humanity.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 120-122

سَلاَمٌ عَلَي مُوسَي وَهَارُونَ

إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُـحْسِنِينَ

إِنَّهُمَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

120. “Peace be on Moses and Aaron.”
121. “Verily thus do We reward the doers of good.”
122. “Verily they were both of Our faithful servants,”

The godly men are alive and receive Allah’s greetings.

These verses refer to the greeting and peace of Allah to Moses and Aaron, a salutation from the side of Allah, the Exalted, the Merciful, a greeting which is the secret of health in religion and faith, in belief and religious school, and in the right line and doctrine. It is a greeting which denotes to the deliverance and security from the Divine punishment in this world and the next.

It says:

“Peace be on Moses and Aaron.”

Through the next verse, Allah refers to the recompense and to His great reward to them, and says:

“Verily thus do We reward the doers of good.”

If they obtained these honours, it is not undue. They were righteous. They were faithful, sincere, and benevolent, and such ones must be given all these rewards.

Finally, in the third verse, the Qur’an points to the same proof that was formerly mentioned in the story of Abraham and Noah.

So, concerning Moses and Aaron, it says:

“Verily they were both of Our faithful servants,”

It is faith that makes man’s spirit so clear and strong that he goes after kindness, benevolence, purity and virtuousness, a kindness which opens the doors of Divine mercy to man, and brings kinds of blessings down to him.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 123-125

وَإِنَّ إِلْيَاسَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَلاَ تَتَّقُونَ

أَتَدْعُونَ بَعْلاً وَتَذَرُونَ أَحْسَنَ الْخَالِقِينَ

123. “And verily Elyas was of the apostles.”
124. “When he said to his people: ‘Will you not be in owe (of Allah)?’”
125. “Do you call on Ba‘l and abandon the best of the creators?”

The fourth life story, which is mentioned in Surah, out of the life stories of the former prophets, is the short biography of Elyas.

It says:

“And verily Elyas was of the apostles.”

There is no doubt that Elyas (as) is one of the prophets of Allah, and the verse under discussion has explicitly stated this matter.

The name of this Divine prophet has been mentioned in two verses of the Qur’an, once in this very Surah, As-Saffat, and the other one is mentioned is Surah Al-’An‘am, No. 6, verse 85. However, there are different stories and various matters about this Divine prophet recorded in books.

You may refer to the commentary books of Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Al-Mizan, Rauh-ul-Bayan, Al-Kabir by Fakhr-i-Razi, Fi-Zalal, ’A‘lam-ul-Qur’an, and Encyclopaedia by Dehkhuda.

In the second verse, it implicitly announces that they ought to remember the following event:

“When he said to his people: ‘Will you not be in owe (of Allah)?’”

This statement points to the subjects of godliness, avoiding from polytheism and idolatry, from sins, injustice, and corruptions and from whatever drives man into destruction.

With a more precision, in the third verse it says:

“Do you call on Ba‘l and abandon the best of the creators?”

It is understood from this verse that they had a famous idol by the name of Ba‘l, in front of which they fell themselves in prostration, and Elyas dissuaded them from that ugly action and invited them toward the great Creator of the world and pure Unity.

It is for this reason that some commentators believe that the centre of the activity of Elyas was Ba‘labak, one of the cities of Syria since the name of that special idol was Ba‘l, and /bak/ meant ‘city’ and with the combination of those two parts the word Ba‘lbak had been formed.

It has been said that this long idol had been so big that the length of it was nearly twenty one meters and it had four faces with a few guards.

But some other commentators have not considered Ba‘l as the name of a definite idol and they have taken it as the absolute name of idol, while some others use it as the concept of Rabb (lord) and object of worship. Raqib in Mufradat says:

“Originally /ba‘l/ means husband, but Arabs use the objects by which they drew nigh to God called Ba‘l.”

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 126-129

اللَّهَ رَبَّكُمْ وَرَبَّ ءَابَآئِكُمْ الأَوَّلِينَ

فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَإِنَّهُمْ لَمُـحْضَرُونَ

إِلاَّ عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُـخْلَصِينَ

وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الأَخِرِينَ

126. “Allah is your Lord and the Lord of fathers of old.”
127. “But they belied him, therefore they shall certainly be brought (to Hell).”
128. “Except for Allah’s sincere servants;”
129. “And We left (praise) for him among the later generations.”

The comparison of an idol and Allah makes any conscience awake, Elyas seriously reprimanded this idol worshipping nation, and reminded them that they had left the Lord Who is their Lord and the Lord of their fathers.

He told them He had been the Owner and Lord of all of them, and any blessing they had was from Him, and solution of any problem is possible by His Might, and besides Him, there is neither any source of goodness and favour nor any remover of vice and impediment.

It seems that, similar to the idol worshippers of the time of the Prophet of Islam (S), the idol worshippers of the time of Elyas, in order to justify their own deed, relied on the tradition of their ancestors, and in answer to them, Elyas says:

“Allah is your Lord and the Lord of fathers of old.”

The application of the Arabic word /rabb/ is the best motive for contemplation and thinking, since the most important matter in a man’s life is this fact that he knows from the side of whom he has been created and now who is his authorized one, his lord, and his benefactor.

In the next verse the Qur’an implies that this obstinate and self-loving group of people did not hearken to the reasonable advices and clear guidance of this Divine great prophet and they belied him.

The verse says:

“But they belied him…”

So, Allah has stated their punishment in a short sentence where the Qur’an continues saying:

“…therefore they shall certainly be brought (to Hell).”

In Hereafter, they will be called in the Divine court of Justice and then brought into the chastisement of the Hell where they will receive the retribution of their ugly and evil deeds.

The third verse indicates that a small group of people, who were sincere, pure and righteous, believed in Elyas, and in order that their right would not be wasted.

The verse immediately after it says:

“Except for Allah’s sincere servants;”

And in the fourth verse, Allah says:

“And We left (praise) for him among the later generations.”

Later generations will never forget the utmost efforts of these great prophets in guarding the line of Monotheism and growing the seed of faith, and their remembrance and their school of thought will be alive as long as the world exists.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 130-132

سَلاَمٌ عَلَي إِلْ يَاسِينَ

إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُـحْسِنِينَ

إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

130. “Peace be on ’Ilyasin (Elyas).”
131. “Verily thus do We reward the doers of good.”
132. “Verily he was (one) of Our faithful servants.”

We must learn from Allah (s.w.t.) how to greet to Divine prophets, the great friends of Allah.

This verse says:

“Peace be on ’Ilyasin (Elyas).”

The application of the term ’Ilyasin instead of Elyas is either for the sake that ’Ilyasin was a word inside the term Elyas and both of them have the same meaning; or it refers to Elyas and his followers which has been used in this total form.

“Verily thus do We reward the doers of good.”

Here the purpose of righteousness and kindness is in their vast meaning which envelops both performing all His laws and commandments and then struggling against any kind of polytheism, deviation, sin and mischief.

And in the third verse it refers to the main root of all of these things which is faith.

Concerning Elyas, it says:

“Verily he was (one) of Our faithful servants.”

Faith and servitude is the origin of kindness, and kindness causes that one may be involved in the row of the sincere ones and be addressed with the greeting of Allah.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 133-136

وَإِنَّ لُوطاً لَّمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

إِذْ نَجَّيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ أَجْمَعِينَ

إِلاَّ عَجُوزاً فِي الْغَابِرِينَ

ثُمَّ دَمَّرْنَا الأَخَرِينَ

133. “And verily Lot was (one) of the Envoys.”
134. “When We delivered him and his people all.”
135. “Except an old woman among those that tarried.”
136. “Then We destroyed the rest.”

The life story of the people of Lot is a gazing-stock for all. In these verses the life story of Lot (as) has been reiterated as an instructive lesson.

According to the explicit statement of the Qur’an, Lot was contemporary with Abraham and he was one of great prophets of Allah. Lot’s name has been mentioned in many verses of the Qur’an, and both he and his people have repeatedly been discussed in it, and the painful fate of this deviated nation, in particular, has been explained in the clearest form.

The first verse says:

“And verily Lot was (one) of the Envoys.”

In the second verse, after this short statement, base on the style of epitome and expansion that the Qur’an has, it refers to a part of his event in order to be remembered, and says:

“When We delivered him and his people all.”

And, in the third and fourth verses, it continues saying:

“Except an old woman among those that tarried.”
“Then We destroyed the rest.”

The above mentioned short sentences point to the history of every adventure of this nation the explanations of them were stated in the verses of Suras: Hud, No. 11, Ash-Shu‘ara, No. 26, and Al-‘Ankabut, No. 29.

Like other Divine prophets, Lot began his invitation with Monotheism, and then he applied his utmost struggle against the corruptions of the society, specially against the same famous ethical deviation, their act of homosexuality, the disgrace of which is known throughout of history.

This great prophet suffered very much and he did his best for the improvement of this deviated nation and he did whatever he could to hinder them from their ugly shameful deeds, but he failed and got no positive result. There were, of course, a few people who believed in him and very quickly they went out from that polluted environment.

At last, Lot became hopeless of them and decided to pray and asked for the deliverance of his own self and his family from Allah. So He accepted his invocation and delivered that small group save his wife, the same old woman who not only did not follow his teachings but also helped his enemies.

Allah sent the most grievous punishments for that nation. At first, He destroyed their cities and then He caused a rain of pebbles to be rained over them in a form that all of them were annihilated and even their bodies were effaced.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 137-138

وَإِنَّكُمْ لَتَـمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهِم مُّصْبِحِينَ

وَبِالَّيْلِ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ

137. “And verily you pass by them in the morning.”
138. “And at night; do you not then understand?”

Both deliverance and destruction are in the power of Allah.

This verse declares that every morning you usually pass by their ruined cities and you see what kind of fate they afflicted with.

The verse says:

“And verily you pass by them in the morning.”

Of course, these things are as a preparation for awakening the proud neglect ones.

And, in the next verse, it says:

“And at night; do you not then understand?”

This statement is for the sake that the cities of the people of Lot were located alongside the way of the caravans of the people of Arabia toward Syria and, in their travelling, these people used to pass by them both day and night.

If they had a spiritual ear they would hear the painful cries of this sinful afflicted people, because the ruins of their cities, by a mute tongue, teach all the passengers and make them aware of being afflicted in the grips of some other events similar to them.

Yes, there are a lot of lessons for taking example, but those who may take an example are few.

Ali (as) says:

“How many are the objects of lessons, but how few the taking of lessons.”2

There is a narration from Imam Sadiq (as) who, in answer to the question about the commentary of these verses, said:

“When you are reciting the verses of the Qur’an you pass by them. The Qur’an reiterates the news which Allah has stated for you.”3

  • 1. Surah Al-Fatihah, No. 1, verse 7
  • 2. Nahjul-Balaqah, saying No. 297
  • 3. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Vol. 4, P. 432

Section 5: Jonah’s Delivery From Distress

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 139-141

وَإِنَّ يُونُسَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

إِذْ أَبَقَ إِلَي الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُونِ

فَسَاهَمَ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْمُدْحَضِينَ

139. “Verily Jonah was (one) of the Envoys,”
140. “When he ran away to the laden ship.”
141. “So he cast lots, and was of the rebutted,”

To become familiar with the history of prophets is a lesson for us today.

It says:

“Verily Jonah was (one) of the Envoys,”

The last life story of the Divine prophets and the former nations, which has been mentioned in this Surah is the life-story of Yunus (Jonah) and his repentant people who, by seeing the signs of Divine punishment, came out of their negligence and repented.

Therefore Allah showered His favours over them and caused them to enjoy His material and spiritual blessings. Even Yunus (Jonah) (as) encountered some difficulties and problems because of the leaving the better he performed in hastening for emigration from among his people.

And even the Qur’anic word /’abaq/ (ran away), which is usually used for the run-away servants, is used for him. This meaning refers to this fact that whether the pagans of Arab and the polytheists in the length of history want to be like the people of Jonah. Do they seek for that evil and painful end or a happy prosperous fate? It depends on their decision.

However, like other prophets, Jonah began his invitation from Monotheism and struggled against idolatry and then he referred to struggling against the corruptions which were current in the society.

But those zealous people, who blindly used to follow their ancestors, did not accept his invitation. Like a kind father, Jonah (as) sympathetically and benevolently continued admonishing that deviated nation, but in spite of this wise logic he did not hear from those enemies anything save fallacy and sophistry.

Only a very small group, who were perhaps no more than a few persons, believed in him. There was a servant of Allah and a knowledgeable man among them. Jonah (as) preached so much that he approximately became disappointed from them.

Some Islamic authentic narrations indicate that, considering the circumstances of that aberrant nation, he decided to curse them. This decision was performed and Jonah cursed them. It was revealed to him that the Divine punishment would come to them at so and so time.

When the appointed time of punishment was approaching, Jonah accompanied the servant of Allah went out from among those people while he was angry. He went as far as he reached the shore. Over there he saw a ship full of people and laden with loads. He asked them to take him with them, too.

The next verse implies that this is the same thing which the Qur’an points to, and announces that you do remember when he ran away toward the ship full of loads and people.

It says:

“When he ran away to the laden ship.”

The application of the Qur’anic term /’abaqa/ is derived from /’ibaq/ in the sense of ‘to run away a servant from his master’ which here is a wonderful application. It shows that how much important a very small ‘leaving the better’ from the side of the high rank stationed prophets is with Allah and is taken so hard from His side that He calls His prophet ‘a ran away servant’.

No doubt Jonah was an immaculate prophet, and never did he commit a sin, but it was better that he would tolerate more again and remain among people until the last moment, perhaps they could awaken.

It is true that according to some narrations he preached for forty years, but it was better for him to add some more days or hours to it, and since he did not so, he was likened to a run away servant.

The third verse implies that Jonah embarked a ship and, according to some Islamic narrations, a great fish, opening his mouth wide, came across the ship and intercepted its way as if it demanded its food. The people in the ship said it seemed there was a sinner among them, and he had to become the bait of that fish. They could not help it save casting lots.

Here they cast lots and the lot fell upon Jonah. According to a narration the lot was repeated three times and every time the lot fell upon Jonah’s name. Therefore, they took Jonah and threw him into the mouth of the great fish.

Through a short sentence the Qur’an points to this event where it says:

“So he cast lots, and was of the rebutted,”

The Qur’anic term /sahama/ is derived from /sahm/ which originally means ‘arrow’ and the term /sahama/ has been used in the sense of ‘lottery’, because at the time of lottery the names were written on the end of the arrows rejected out and everyone whose name was fallen by the lot he was involved in it.

The Arabic term /mudhad/ is derived from /’idhad/ in the sense of: ‘to nullify, to wipe out, and to overcome’, and here the purpose is that the lot fell upon his name.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 142-144

فَالْتَقَمَهُ الْحُوتُ وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ

فَلَوْلآ أَنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُسَبّـِحِينَ

لَلَبِثَ فِي بَطْنِهِ اِلَي يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ

142. “Then the fish swallowed him while he blamed himself;”
143. “So had he not been of those that glorify Allah,”
144. “He would have tarried in its belly until the Day of Resurrection.

Sometimes animals are ordered from the side of Allah to do something.

So, the great fish swallowed Jonah while he deserved to be blamed.

The verse says:

“Then the fish swallowed him while he blamed himself;”

The Arabic term /mulim/ originally is derived from /lawama/ in the sense of ‘blame’ and when it is conjugated in this Arabic form it means: to be deserved of blame.

It is certain that this blame and scorn was not because of a lesser sin or a heinous sin but its cause was only the leaving the better which he committed.

That he hastened in going out and emigrated from among his people. But the Lord Who makes fire safe inside water and glass beside stone, ordered this great animal that it would not hurt his servant, Jonah, the least hurt.

Jonah should pass an unprecedented term in prison in order to note his own ‘leaving the better’ and to try to recompense it. An Islamic narration indicates that Allah inspired the fish not to break any bone and not to cease any join of him.1

In the second and third verses, the Qur’an implies that Jonah realized the situation very soon and thoroughly he turned to Allah and asked Him forgiveness for his ‘leaving the better’. So, in this verse, through a short sentence, it says:

“So had he not been of those that glorify Allah,”
“He would have tarried in its belly until the Day of Resurrection.

Thus, this temporary prison would be changed into a permanent prison, and that permanent prison would be changed into his grave. Or the fish might remain alive forever and Jonah would be kept prisoner in its belly until the Hereafter.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 145-147

فَنَبَذْنَاهُ بِالْعَرَآءِ وَهُوَ سَقِيمٌ

وَأَنبَتْنَا عَلَيْهِ شَجَرَةً مِن يَقْطِينٍ

وَأَرْسَلْنَاهُ إِلَي مِاْئَةِ أَلْفٍ أَوْ يَزِيدُونَ

145. “But We cast him forth on the naked shore while he was sick,”
146. “And We caused to grow over him a plant of gourds.”
147. “And We sent him to a hundred thousand (people) or more.”

Allah protected four prophets in relation with water in different forms: Jonah was protected under the water; Noah on the water; Moses and Yusuf beside the water.

In a tradition Imam Baqir (as) said:

“Jonah was kept prisoner in the belly of a fish for a few days where his hairs went away and the skin of his body became thin. Then he came out from the belly of the fish. He sucked the bush of gourd and rested under the shade of the gourd.”2

The verse says:

“But We cast him forth on the naked shore while he was sick,”

The great fish approached the dry shore where there was no tree or plant and, by the command of Allah, it threw out the morsel which was extra inside it. But it is clear that this wonderful prison disturbed the bodily health of Jonah and he was delivered from that prison while he was sick.

The second verse indicates that again the grace of Allah came to him. Since his body was sick and he was bodily tired and feeble, the shore sunshine hurt him and his tender face. It was necessary for him to rest under the shade of the wide leaves of that plant.

The Qur’an says:

“And We caused to grow over him a plant of gourds.”

As many of the philologists and commentators have said, the Arabic word /yaqtin/ is called to every plant which has not a stalk and has wide leaves, such as the bush of melon, cucumber, watermelon and the like. But a great deal of commentators and Islamic narrators here have stipulated that the purpose here is particularly gourd.

It should be noted that the Arabic word /šajarah/ is used for both the plants which have stalk and branches, and those without stalk and branches, and in other words, it is irrespective of tree and plant.

There has been narrated a tradition from the holy Prophet of Islam (S) that someone asked him whether he liked gourd, and he (S) answered:

“Yes, it is the plant of my brother Jonah.”3

By the way, besides that a gourd has some wide leaves full of water which can be used as a good shady recess, flies and other insects do not approach it.

When Jonah left his people angrily, and the sign of the Divine Wrath was also going to appear to them, they were shocked severely and came to themselves. They went toward the learned man who was among them and by his leadership they decided to repent.

Some Islamic narrations denote that they entirely moved toward the desert and they caused a separation between men and women, and their children, and also between animals and their children. Then they began crying loudly and for the sins and wrongs they had performed against the prophet of Allah, Jonah, repented sincerely.

It was then that the Divine punishment went away and was poured on the mountains, and the faithful people who had repented returned safely by the mercy of Allah.4

After this event Jonah came back to his people to see what the punishment had done upon them. When he came he wondered that how they were all idol worshippers on the day of his emigration and now they were wholly worshippers of Allah.

The Qur’an says:

“And We sent him to a hundred thousand (people) or more.”

Surah As-Saffat – Verse 148

فَأَمَنُوا فَمَتَّعْنَاهُمْ إِلَي حِينٍ

148. “And they believed, so We gave them enjoyment for a while.”

Repentance for the past actions accompanied with sincere faith is a ground for the future success. Jonah’s people repented and Allah took back His Wrath and made them successful.

So, this verse says:

“And they believed, so We gave them enjoyment for a while.”

Their beginning faith and repentance were formerly existed, but their detailed faith in Allah and His prophet Jonah and his teachings and instructions performed when Jonah (as) returned back among them.

It is noteworthy that it is understood from the verses of the Qur’an that this second return has been toward that very former people and that some commentators have considered this return as a new duty for him does not adopt to the verses of the Qur’an, because from one side, we recite here that these people, whom Jonah was appointed to guide, believed and Allah gave them enjoyment for a certain time.

This makes it clear that the purpose of ‘for a while’ is the same as the end of their life and their natural death. There is a question that why in the previous verses it has been said ‘a hundred thousand people or more’ the apparent state is that these kinds of meanings are for emphasis and the greatness of something, not for the sake of the doubt of the speaker.

Surah As-Saffat – Verse 149

فَاسْتَفْتِهِمْ أَلِرَبّـِكَ الْبَنَاتُ وَلَهُمُ الْبَنُونَ

149. “Then ask them whether your Lord has daughters and they have sons.”

Asking from conscience is the key to contemplation and warning of people.

A group of the polytheists theists of Arab, because of the lack of knowledge and degradation of thought, compared Allah with their selves, and considered child, and sometimes wife, for Him.

Among them there were mainly the tribes of Jahinah, Salim, Khuza‘ah, and Bani Malih who believed that the angels were Allah’s daughters, and also a great deal of Arab polytheists imagined jinn as His offspring, or some of them believed that Allah had a wife from jinn.

These baseless and superstitious imaginations had completely deviated them from the path of truth in a manner that the signs of Monotheism and Oneness of Allah had disappeared from among them.

It is said in a tradition that an ant thinks that its Lord has two small feelers, like an ant.5

Yes the low thought drives man into gossip. The comparison of the Creator with the creature is the worst factor of aberration in recognizing Allah. However, at first the Qur’an refers to those who considered the angels as the daughters of Allah and answers them in three various ways: experimental, intellectual, and traditional.

It says:

“Then ask them whether your Lord has daughters and they have sons.”

The Qur’anic phrase /’istaftihim/ is derived from /’istifta’/ which is taken from /fatwa/ which is in the sense of ‘the answer to difficult problems.’

However, it implicitly asks them how they consider for Allah that which they do not desire for themselves.

This statement is according to their wrong belief who severely hated daughters and were seriously interested in sons, since sons had a very effective function in their lives, their fights, and their robberies while daughters could not help them in these affairs.

No doubt, from the point of value and being a ‘human’, a daughter and a son are the same with Allah and the criterion of both of them is piety, but the reasoning the Qur’an here, in terminology, is for mentioning the certain issues of the enemy in which the subjects of the opposite party is taken and they are returned to him again.

The like of this meaning has been mentioned in some other Suras of the Qur’an: such as Surah An-Najm, No. 53, verses 22-23 where it says:

“What! For you the male sex and for Him the female?”
“Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair.”

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 150-152

أَمْ خَلَقْنَا الْمَلآَئِكَةَ إِنَاثاً وَهُمْ شَاهِدُونَ

أَلآ إِنَّهُم مّـِنْ إِفْكِهِمْ لَيَقُولُونَ

وَلَدَ اللَّهُ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ

150. “Or did We create the angels females while they were witnesses?”
151. “Beware! Verily it is of their own lie that they say.”
152. “Allah has begotten, and verily they are liars.”

Those who consider the angels as pregnant women will be called to account by Allah.

In this verse, it refers to a sensible proof of the subject and, again by the way of appositive interrogative with a negative sense, the Qur’an asks whether Allah created the angels as girls and those people were as witnesses over it. No doubt their answer in this regard will be negative because none of them can claim that they were present at the creation of the angels.

The verse says:

“Or did We create the angels females while they were witnesses?”

In the second and third verses the Qur’an returns to the rational proof which has been taken from their certain mental issues and says:

“Beware! Verily it is of their own lie that they say.”
“Allah has begotten, and verily they are liars.”

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 153-156

أَصْطَفَي الْبَنَاتِ عَلَي الْبَنِينَ

مَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ

أَفَلاَ تَذَكَّرُونَ

أَمْ لَكُمْ سُلْطَانٌ مُبِينٌ

153. “Has He chosen daughters in preference to sons?”
154. “What has happened to you, how is it that you judge?”
155. “Will you not then receive admonition?”
156. “Or have you a clear authority?”

Man may reach a point that, basing on a wrong opinion, he considers daughter bad and son good. Then, it happens that he may imagine daughters for Allah (s.w.t.) and sons belonging to him.

So, with the sense of blame and reprimand, in these four verses the Holy Qur’an implies whether they have preferred daughters to sons. What is the matter with them and how do they judge? Do they understand what they say?

Is it not the time they would leave these vanities and ugly superstitions, because these words are so vain and baseless that if a person has a little intellect and contemplates he will realize its vanity.

Here are the verses:

“Has He chosen daughters in preference to sons?”
“What has happened to you, how is it that you judge?”
“Will you not then receive admonition?”
“Or have you a clear authority?”

After the nullification of their superstitious claim, by a sensible reasoning and a rational reasoning, it refers to the third evidence which is a reasoning stated in tradition. It indicates that if the thing you say is correct, there must be a remark or symptom from it in the former Books. Do you have any clear evidence in this regard?

Surah As-Saffat – Verse 157

فَأْتُوا بِكِتَابِكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

157. “Then bring your book if you are truthful.”

The heavenly Books are mostly proofs and documents for judgment about Allah, and in neither of these Books there is any word saying that Allah has child.

So, in this verse, the Qur’an says if you have anything in this regard and you are truthful, bring your Book and show in which Book, in which writing and in which heavenly revelation such a thing has been mentioned and to which prophet it has been revealed.

The verse says:

“Then bring your book if you are truthful.”

No, these are not the things found in the heavenly Books. These are some superstitions which have been transferred from one ignorant generation to another ignorant generation and have no acceptable source.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 158-160

وَجَعَلُوا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْجِنَّةِ نَسَباً وَلَقَدْ عَلِمَتِ الْجِنَّةُ إِنَّهُمْ لَمُـحْضَرُونَ

سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ

إِلاَّ عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُـخْلَصِينَ

158. “And they have set up a kinship between Him and the jinn, while the jinn know (quite well) that they shall surely be brought up (to account).”
159. “Glory be to Allah! (He is free) from what they ascribe (to Him)!”
160. “Except for Allah’s sincere servants.”

The beliefs of polytheists are artificial and false. Beliefs should be based on intellect, nature, and tradition. This verse refers to another superstition of polytheists. They believed in a kinship between Allah and the jinn.

The Qur’an changes the form of the statement from the kind of ‘address’ to the form of absent one, as if they were so worthless that they had not the eligibility of being spoken to face in face.

It says:

“And they have set up a kinship between Him and the jinn…”

What kind of kinship was it that they believed between Allah and the jinn? In answer to this question it has been said that the purpose of it is any kind of kinship and relation although they have no relationship. And we know that a group of pagan Arabs used to worship the jinn and considered them as partners of Allah and thus they believed in a communication between them and Allah.

However, the Qur’an seriously rejected this superstitious idea and implies that the jinn whom the superstitious idol worshippers imagine as their objects of worship, or they believe in a kinship relation between Allah and them, themselves know well that these superstitious idol worshippers will be brought up to the court of justice of Allah for reckoning and punishment.

It continues saying:

“…while the jinn know (quite well) that they shall surely be brought up (to account).”

In the next verse, the Qur’an says:

“Glory be to Allah! (He is free) from what they ascribe (to Him)!”

And in the third verse, it implicitly says: except for the explanation that the sincere servants of Allah have about Him knowingly, there is no other explanation suitable for the Pure Essence of Allah. It says:

“Except for Allah’s sincere servants.”

Thus, every qualification that man may have about Allah from himself is incorrect and Allah is free from it, except for that which the sincere servants have about him. These are the true servants who are quit of any kind of polytheism, low desire, ignorance, and aberration.

They do not qualify Allah save that which He Himself has allowed them to explain.

For obtaining more knowledge in this regard, we must refer to the words of the Prophet (S), the sermons of Ali (as) in Nahj-ul-Balaqah, and the comprehensive supplications of Imam Sajjad (as) in Sahifah Sajjadiyyah, and know Allah under the light of the explanations of these servants of Allah.

Imam Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) says:

“…He has not informed (human) wit about the limits of His qualities. Nevertheless, He has not prevented it from securing essential knowledge of Him…”6

In another place, upon qualifying Allah, he (as) says:

“…Imagination cannot reach Him so as to assign Him quantity. Understanding cannot think of Him so as to give him shape. Senses do not perceive Him so as to feel Him. Hands cannot touch Him so as to rub against Him.

He does not change into any condition. He does not pass from one state to another. Nights and days do not turn Him old. Light and darkness do not alter him. He is not qualified by anything of the limbs, nor by the parts of the body, nor by the length and width.

It cannot be said that He has a limit, extremity, or end, or termination, nor do things control him so as to raise Him or lower Him, nor anything carry Him…” 7

Ali-ibn-il-Hussayn (as) in Sahifah Sajjadiyyah says:

“Praise belongs only to Allah Whose Existence is the source of creation, an Essence that the eyes of the lookers cannot see Him and the understanding and thought of the explainers are not able to explain His qualities…”8

The cognition and knowledge of Allah must be learnt from the school of the leaders of the religion.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 161-163

فَإِنَّكُمْ وَمَا تَعْبُدُونَ

مَآ أَنتُمْ عَلَيْهِ بِفَاتِنِينَ

إِلاَّ مَنْ هُوَ صَالِ الْجَحِيمِ

161. “So verily you and what you worship,”
162. “Can never excite (anyone) against Him.”
163. “Except such as are (themselves) going to the blazing Fire.”

Through the first and second verses, the Qur’an implies that the temptations of idol worshippers do not affect on the hearts of the pure and righteous ones, and only the polluted hearts and hellish souls, which tend to their mischief, surrender themselves to these temptations.

It says:

“So verily you and what you worship,”
“Can never excite (anyone) against Him.”

It indicates that neither you nor what you worship can deceive anyone by it and separate them from Allah, or deviate them by means of delusion and mischief.

In the third verse the Qur’an says:

“Except such as are (themselves) going to the blazing Fire.”

These verses are as a hint to this fact that none can consider himself excused before deviations and claims that he has been deceived and driven to idol worship. The Qur’an implies that you idol worshipper have not the ability of deceiving persons except for those who choose the path of Hell willingly.

The evidence for this meaning is the phrase: ‘going to the blazing Fire’, since the Arabic word /sali/ has originally been in the form of ‘active participle’, and usually when an active participle form is used for an intellectual being its concept is that the accomplishment of an action is done willingly and with authority like the Arabic words: /qatil/ (murderer), and /darib/ (striker).

Therefore, the Arabic phrase /sal-il-jahim/ means a person who is willing to burn himself in the Fire of Hell. Thus, the Holy Qur’an shut the way of pretext to every deviated one.

By the way, it is necessary to note to this point that the word /sali/ is derived from /saly/ in the sense of candling fire and entering into fire, or being burnt and roasted by it.

The Arabic term /fatin/ is an active participle derived from /fitnah/ in the sense of tempter.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 164-166

وَمَا مِنَّآ إِلاَّ لَهُ مَقَامٌ مَعْلُومٌ

وَإِنَّا لَنَحْنُ الصَّآفُّونَ

وَإِنَّا لَنَحْنُ الْمُسَبّـِحُونَ

164. “And (the angels say:) ‘There is not (any one) of us, but for him is an assigned place,”
165. “And verily we are they who range ourselves in order.”
166. “And verily we are they who celebrate His glory.”

In the world of angels, there is a rank, position, special responsibility and hierarchy for every one of them, the same angels whom the idol worshippers used to imagine as the daughters of Allah.

It is interesting that the Qur’an narrates this statement from their own tongue, and says:

“And (the angels say:) ‘There is not (any one) of us, but for him is an assigned place,”

And, in the second and third verses the Qur’an announces that they said they were all ready to obey the command of Allah and waiting to receive His order while celebrating His glory.

Yes, they say that they are some servants who are always ready, with their whole entity, to perform His order. They say they are far off to be Allah’s offspring and they count Him free from these kinds of ugly and false attributes, and that they hate these superstitions and delusions of the polytheists.

The abovementioned three verses, in fact, refer to three qualities of the angels. The first is that each of them has a proper rank which they do not exceed. The second is that they are always ready to obey the command of Allah in the expanse of creation and execute His orders in the whole world of existence.

The third is that they constantly celebrate the glory of Allah and exempt Him from whatever is not suitable for him.

It is noteworthy that, concerning these verses, a group of the commentators have narrated a tradition from the Prophet (S) who said that in all heavens there is no room, even as large as a span, except that an angel is over there busy praying and glorifying Allah.9

Another narration indicates that one day the prophet of Islam (S) was sitting with some of his companions when he said:

“Once the heaven began moaning (because of its heavy burden), and it is right to moan because there is no space in it even as large as a footstep save that an angel is bowing or prostrating there”,

then he recited these verses.10

These different meanings are as a tender hint to the fact that the world of existence is full of the obedient beings of Allah and those who glorify Him.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 167-169

وَإِن كَانُوا لَيَقُولُونَ

لَوْ أَنَّ عِندَنَا ذِكْراً مِنَ الأَوَّلِينَ

لَكُنَّا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُـخْلَصِينَ

167. “And verily they used to say:”
168. “If we had had but a reminder from the men of old.”
169. “We would certainly have been Allah’s sincere servants.”

The history of the past should not be taken as a pretext against logic and reasoning. So in the above three verses the Qur’an announces that the polytheists used to say if they had had one of the old heavenly Books with them, they would have been among the sincere servants of Allah.

This statement is just like the words of the lazy students who have failed in their examinations and in order to cover their own laziness they say if they had had some good and clever teachers they would have certainly been some first grade students, too.

Here are the concerning verses:

“And verily they used to say:”
“If we had had but a reminder from the men of old.”
“We would Certainly have been Allah’s sincere servants.”

Surah As-Saffat – Verse 170

فَكَفَرُوا بِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ

170. “Then they disbelieved in it, so soon they will know.”

We must be careful of the end of the affairs, because being neglectful unto the future can be the cause of disbelief and denial.

There has been narrated from Imam Baqir (as) who said that the polytheists of Mecca and the pagans of Quraysh used to curse the Jews and the Christians who belied their prophets.

They swore by Allah that if they had had one of the heavenly Books of old with them, they would have believed in it, but when the holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, (S) was appointed as a Divine prophet, they disbelieved in him and denied him.

The verse says:

“Then they disbelieved in it, so soon they will know.”

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 171-173

وَلَقَدْ سَبَقَتْ كَلِمَتُنَا لِعِبَادِنَا الْمُرْسَلِينَ

إِنَّهُمْ لَهُمُ الْمَنْصُورُونَ

وَإِنَّ جُنْدَنَا لَهُمُ الْغَالِبُونَ

171. “And certainly Our word has already gone forth for Our servants, the apostles:”
172. “Verily they shall be the assisted ones.”
173. “And verily Our host alone shall be the victorious ones.”

The prophets of Allah being helped is Allah’s way of treatment. The future will also witness the victory of the Divine prophets and the failure of their enemies. The prophets and their followers are the troops of Allah, and certainly the army of Allah is victorious in all sense.

Therefore, these three verses indicate that the conclusive promise of Allah about the sincere servants of Allah has already been confirmed that they will be helped and the army of Allah is always victorious in all scenes. What an explicit and expressive sentence, and what an enlivening and pleasant promise this is!

Allah says:

“And certainly Our word has already gone forth for Our servants, the apostles:”
“Verily they shall be the assisted ones.”
“And verily Our host alone shall be the victorious ones.”

Yes, the victory of the army of truth over the troops of falsehood and the help of Allah unto the sincere servants is among the certain promises of Allah and is one of His decisive treatments which has been mentioned in the above verses as an Allah’s way of treatment done from the beginning.

It is evident that Allah, Who is Mighty over everything, and there has not been any failure in His promises, can fulfill these great promises and, like the unchangeable precedent custom of the world of existence, will make the men of truth completely victorious.

This Divine promise is one of the most important issues by which the people of the way of truth are encouraged and take spirit from it whenever they become tired.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 174-176

فَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّي حِينٍ

وَأَبْصِرْهُمْ فَسَوْفَ يُبْصِرُونَ

أَفَبِعَذَابِنَا يَسْتَعْجِلُونَ

174. “So turn you away from them for a time,”
175. “And see them, for they soon shall see (their retribution)”
176. “Do they seek to hasten Our chastisement?”

At first there must be warning, admonition, and ultimatum and after that there comes punishment. In these verses, both for the condolence of the Prophet (S) and the believers, and for emphasis on their victory, and also for threatening the neglectful polytheists the Qur’an says:

“So turn you away from them for a time,”

This is an expressive and frightful threat which originates from the certainty in final Divine victory, specially that it has ambiguously been said ‘for a time’.

The length of this time is not known, whether it is the time of migration, the time of the Battle of Badr, the time of the Conquer of Mecca, or the exact time when the conditions of ultimate and common raise of Muslims against these blind-hearted people will be provided.

Similar to these threats, of course, are seen in some other verses of the Qur’an, such as Surah an-Nisa’, No. 4, verse 81, and Surah Al ’An‘am, No. 6, verse 91.

This sentence is emphasised with another threat in the second verse where it implicitly points to their situation to be seen that it is empty of content: their obstinacy, their lies, their superstitions, and their pertinacities; but they will see the result of their evil deeds soon.

The verse says:

“And see them, for they soon shall see (their retribution)”

Soon they will see the victory of you and the believers over them and their humiliating failure in this world and the Divine punishment in the next world.

Since those obstinate shameless people used to repeat this word that what happened to the promise of Allah about His punishment, and if you, the Prophet, are truthful why do you hesitate?

So, in the third verse, the Qur’an with a threatening tone answers them, saying:

“Do they seek to hasten Our chastisement?”

Sometimes they say:

“…‘When will this promise be, if you are truthful?’”11,

and sometimes they say:

“…‘When shall be this victory, if you are truthful?’”12

They should know that the chastisement of Allah will seize them soon.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 177-179

فَإِذَا نَزَلَ بِسَاحَتِهِمْ فَسَآءَ صَبَاحُ الْمُنذَرِينَ

وَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّي حِينٍ

وَأَبْصِرْ فَسَوْفَ يُبْصِرُونَ

177. “But when it shall descend in their courtyard, how evil will be the morning of them that are warned!”
178. “And turn you away from them for a time.”
179. “And see you, for they shall soon see (their fate).”

Against the heedlessness of the pagans to the threats of Allah, repetition is necessary. The Qur’anic commandments: /tawalla ‘anhum/ (turn you away from them) and /wa ’absir fasaufa yubsirun/ (and see you, for they shall soon see) have been repeated two times.

The first verse indicates that when the punishment of Allah will come down in the courtyard of their houses and their circumstances become dark for them, that time they will understand how bad and dangerous the morning of those who are warned is.

It says:

“But when it shall descend in their courtyard, how evil will be the morning of them that are warned!”

The application of the Arabic word /sahat/ (courtyard) is for the sake that it may illustrate the descent of the punishment inside their life and living, and that it shows them that the centre of their peace and tranquillity changes into a terror and terrible centre.

The application of the Qur’anic phrase /sabah ul munŏarin/ (the morning of them that are warned) points to this meaning that the chastisement of Allah upon this cruel nation, like in many ancient nations, will come in the morning. Or that morning is the time of awakening and they will awaken when there has been no way to salvation and everything has been done.

The subject discussed in the second and third verse is the same thing which was mentioned formerly, too, and it is repeated here again for emphasis.

The Qur’an, with a threatening tone, says:

“And turn you away from them for a time.”
“And see you, for they shall soon see (their fate).”

As we said before, this repetition is for emphasis, so that they know that this is a decisive subject that they will meet the painful results of their evil deeds, and that the believers are surely victorious either.

Or it is for the sake that, at first, it threatens them to the worldly punishment, and in the second time it threatens them to the chastisement and retribution of Allah in Hereafter.

Surah As-Saffat – Verses 180-182

سُبْحَانَ رَبّـِكَ رَبّ‌ِ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ

وَسَلاَمٌ عَلَي الْمُرْسَلِينَ

وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبّ‌ِ الْعَالَمِينَ

180. “Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of Honour, far above that which they ascribe (unto Him).”
181. “And peace be upon the messengers,”
182. “And (all) praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.”

The world of creation is the manifestation of the Lordship of Allah. The Lordship of Allah is the doorway to the praise of Allah. The attributes that the polytheists ascribed to Allah do not agree with the rank of honour and Lordship of Allah, because He is the Owner and Manager of the whole world of existence.

This verse says:

“Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of Honour, far above that which they ascribe (unto Him).”

They sometimes call the angels as the daughters of Allah, and sometimes they consider a communication between Him and the jinn, and sometimes they put some worthless things, such as pieces of stone, and wood, in a row with Allah. The emphasis on the honour and might of Allah, in fact, is in the sense of nullifying all these imaginary objects of worship.

The verses of this Surah have sometimes spoken of the glorification of the sincere servants of Allah, and sometimes the glorification of the angels are referred to, and here the words are about the glorification of Allah due to His Pure Essence.

In the second verse Allah has involved all the messengers in His endless grace and favour and says:

“And peace be upon the messengers,”

This is a greeting which is the sign of health and security from any kind of punishment and retribution in Hereafter. It is a peace that is security against failures and is an evidence to victory over the enemies.

In the third verse the Qur’an concludes the words with the praise of Allah when it says:

“And (all) praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.”

These three recent verses can be a short review over all the materials of this Surah, because an important part of this Surah is about Unity and struggling against kinds of polytheism. The first verse, by glorifying Allah, nullifies all the undue qualities that the polytheists attribute to Him.

Another part of this Surah is the statement about the states of former seven great prophets; and the second verse refers to them. And, finally, another part of this holy Surah is about the Divine bounties, specially the kinds of blessings in Paradise, and the victory of the army of Allah against the troops of the pagans. The praise of Allah, mentioned at the end, is an indication to all of them.

Numerous traditions narrated from the holy Prophet of Islam (S), from Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as), and sometimes from Imam Baqir (as) indicate that whoever desires that on the Day of Hereafter his container of reward would be filled and given fully with the great container, his last word in any meeting he participates should be this, saying:

“Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of Honour, far above that which they ascribe (unto Him).”
“And peace be upon the messengers,”
“And (all) praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.”13

Yes, our meetings must be concluded by the glory to the Pure Essence of Allah, and peace to his prophets, and praises and thank to Him for His blessings, so that if we have done something wrong or said some undue words in this meeting they may be recompensed.

O Lord! You have promised to help Your messengers and to make Your army victorious; set us in the line of Your messengers and in the rows of Your army, and make us victorious over the blood-thirsty enemies who have raised from the east and west of the world against the Qur’an to vanish it and to quench its light!

O Lord! Protect and secure us from being polluted to any polytheism and deviation from the way of Monotheism!

O Lord! Those difficulties which the appointed prophets faced with during the length of history against the troops of infidelity and polytheism, have just now appeared in our Islamic society, may You involve us in the same peace that was the cause of the health of the appointed messengers in these events!

Amin, O’ the Lord of the Worlds.

  • 1. The commentary by Fakhr-i-Razi, and Burhan under the verse.
  • 2. The commentary book of Qummi and Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, under the verse.
  • 3. Al-Bayan, Vol. 7, P. 489; Nur-uth-Thaqalayn under the verse
  • 4. You can read these matters in Burhan commentary, under the verse
  • 5. Tafsir-i-Nimunah, Vol. 19, P. 171
  • 6. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, sermon 49
  • 7. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, sermon 186
  • 8. Sahifah Sajjadiyyah, Supplication One
  • 9. Tafsir-i-Qurtabi, Vol. 8, P. 5581
  • 10. Durr-ul-Manthur and Al-Mizan, under the verses
  • 11. Surah Yunus, No. 10, verse 48
  • 12. Surah As-Sajdah, No. 32, verse 28
  • 13. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, under the verses, Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Vol. 4, P. 440

Surah Sad, Chapter 38

No. 38 (Revealed at Mecca)
88 Verses in 5 Sections

The Feature of Surah Sad

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

This Surah was revealed at Mecca and contains eighty eight verses.

The name of this Surah, which is one of the Qur’anic abbreviated letters, is taken from its first verse. Similar to Surah As-Saffat, the verses of this Surah are about the continuation of the current of prophethood during the length of history and the opposition of the polytheists and pagans against the belief of Unity and Resurrection.

In Surah As-Saffat, the names of some Divine prophets such as: Noah, Abraham, Lot, Moses, Aaron, Elyas (Elija) and Yunus were mentioned. Here, this Surah mostly refers to the life history of David, Solomon, and ’Ayyub (Job).

The ending part of this holy Surah refers to the event of the creation of man, the angels’ prostration unto Adam and the disobedience of Satan in order that the believers recognize the innate greatness of man with Allah and that they avoid following Satan.

The Virtue of Recitation of This Surah

In the virtue of this Surah that for its beginning has been called Surah Sad, a tradition narrated from the Prophet of Islam (S) denotes that he said:

“Whoever recites Surah Sad, will Allah give him reward as much as the weight of every mountain that Allah had subjected it for David (as), and He protects him from persisting in committing sins whether minor or major.”1

In another tradition Imam Baqir (as) said:

“Whoever recites Surah Sad in the night before Friday will be given good rewards of the world and the Hereafter (by Allah) as much that have not been given to anyone of the people save the Divine prophets and the near-stationed angels, and Allah admits him and all those he loves from among his household in Paradise, even the servant who served him.”2

If we put the content of this Surah beside these rewards, the relation of these rewards with those instructions will be made clear, and again it is an emphasis on this fact that the purpose is not a mere dry recitation of the Surah, but it is a recitation that inspires contemplation and creates decision, a contemplation and decision which leads to action, in a manner that the content of the Surah may be practised in man’s living.

  • 1. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Vol. 8, P. 463
  • 2. Ibid

Section 1: The Utter Defeat of the Clans Combined, Prophesied

Surah Sad - Verses 1-3

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

ص وَالْقُرْءَانِ ذِي الذّ‌ِكْرِ

بَلِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فِي عِزَّةٍ وَشِقَاقٍ

كَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِن قَبْلِهِم مّـِن قَرْنٍ فَنَادَوْا وَّلاَتَ حِينَ مَنَاصٍ

1. “Sad (s). By the Qur’an, full of admonition,”
2. “Nay, those who disbelieve are in false pride and opposition.”
3. “How many a generation We destroyed before them, then they cried, but time was none to escape.”

The Occasion of Revelation

There are some similar occasions of revelation for the beginning verses of this Surah recorded in the commentary and tradition books. Here we refer to one of them which is more detailed and more inclusive than others. It is the tradition that the Late Kulayni has narrated from Imam Baqir (as).

Once Abujahl and a group of the members of Quraysh came to Abutalib, the Prophet’s uncle (S) and said:

“Your brother’s son has annoyed us and has made our gods inconvenient, too. Call him up and tell him to abandon our gods so that we may not abuse his God.”

Abutalib sent a person to the Prophet (S) to come.

At the time when the Prophet (S) entered his uncle’s house and looked around the room, he saw that there was nobody beside Abutalib save the polytheists; then he said:

‘And peace will be upon him who follows the guidance!’,1

and then he sat down. Abutalib reiterated their words for the Prophet (S).

In answer to him, the Prophet (S) said:

“Do they agree with me in a sentence and by it they precede all Arabs and they will govern?”

Abujahl said:

“Yes, we agree. What is that sentence?”

The Prophet (S) said:

“You may say: ‘There is no god but Allah’, (and send away these idols which are the source of your misery and disgrace).”

When the audience heard this sentence, they terrified so much that they put their fingers in their ears and quickly went out of the room while they were saying:

“We have not heard such a thing yet. This is a lie.”

It was here that the beginning verses of Surah Sad were revealed.2

In the first verse of this Surah again we encounter one of the abbreviated letters of the Qur’an, Sad (s), and so the former discussions about the commentary of these letters come forth that whether they point to the greatness of the Qur’an meaning that the Qur’an has been made up of some simple things such as alphabetical letters, or it contains something which changes the world of humanity.

And this is the great wonderful might of Allah that by those simple things He has provided such a surprising combination.

Or it points to the secrets which had been between Allah and His Prophet and is a message from the side of a familiar One toward a familiar one. Or it is a hint to the Names of Allah, because many of the Names of Allah begin with the letter ‘Sad’, like: Sadiq (truthful), Samad, and Sani‘; or it points to the holy sentence: /sadaqallah/ (Allah is truthful) which has been abridged in one letter, Sad.

Some more detailed explanation about the commentary of the abbreviated letters can be studied at the beginning of Suras Al-Baqarah, ’Al-i-‘Imran, and Al-’A‘raf.

The first verse indicates that by the Qur’an, which contains the admonition, you are on the truth and this Book is the miracle of Allah.

It says:

“Sad (s). By the Qur’an, full of admonition,”

The Qur’an is both itself remembrance and contains remembrance. The Qur’anic term /ŏikr/ means: ‘a reminder’ and ‘to remove the rust of negligence from the face of the heart’. The remembrance of Allah is the remembrance of His bounties, the remembrance of the Great Court in Hereafter, and the remembrance of the aim of the creation of man.

Yes, the important and main factor of Man’s misery is his forgetfulness and negligence, and the Holy Qur’an wipes it out.

Concerning the hypocrites, the Qur’an says:

“…They have forsaken Allah, so He has forsaken them, (too)…”3

And in this very Surah, Sad, verse 26 talks about those who go astray:

“…(as for) those who go astray from the path of Allah, they shall surely have a severe punishment, because they forgot the Day of Reckoning.”

Yes, the great pest of the aberrant people and sinners is that very forgetfulness, so much so that they forget the value of their own selves, and the Qur’an is a means for breaking these curtains of forgetfulness, and it is a light for removing the darkness of negligence.

Its verses cause man to remember Allah and Resurrection, and its sentences make man acquainted with the values of his own self.

The next holy verse implies that if you see that they do not surrender to the awakening verses of the Qur’an, it is not for the sake that there has been fallen a curtain over the words of truth, but the disbelievers have a kind of pride which hinders them from accepting the truth, and their enmity and disobedience prevent them to accept the invitation of the Prophet (S).

The verse says:

“Nay, those who disbelieve are in false pride and opposition.”

As Raqib says in Mufradat, the Arabic term /‘izzat/ is a state which hinders man to defeat, and originally it is derived from /‘izaz/ in the sense of a solid, firm, and impenetrable land.

It is of two kinds: sometimes it is the acceptable and worthy honour like when we attribute the pure Essence of Allah with the word ‘Aziz (Mighty); and sometimes it is the blameworthy honour, and it is the impenetrable state against the Truth and being proud to accept the realities, and this honour is, in fact, an abasement.

The Arabic word /šiqaq/ from the point of etymology is derived from /šiq/ and originally means: ‘To cleave’, then it has also been used in the sense of ‘difference’, because difference causes that every group to be separated into a section.

Here the Qur’an has counted the subject of impenetrability, pride, and paving the path of separation dispersion, and disunity as the factor of unhappiness of the pagans. Yes, these are some ugly and evil qualities which cast a curtain over the man’s eyes, ears, and understanding and take the sense of recognition from him.

How painful is that the eye and the ear of man are valid, yet he is blind and deaf.

Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 206 says:

“And when it is said to him: ‘Hear Allah’, pride drives him toward sin. So Hell shall be sufficient for him and it is an evil abode in deed.”

Then, in order to awaken these proud and negligent people, the Qur’an takes them to the past history of man and shows them the evil end of the proud, haughty and obstinate nations, perhaps they take a lesson.

It says:

“How many a generation We destroyed before them, then they cried, but time was none to escape.”

The day when the Divine prophets and the saints advised them and warned them of the evil end of their deeds, they not only did not hearken, but also mocked and hurt the believers and even they killed them.

They lost their opportunities and all their future possibilities. So, at the time when the doors of repentance and returning were all shut for them the worldly sudden punishment came over them to destroy them and their shouts of asking for help remained useless.

The Arabic word /lat/ is used for negation and originally it has been /la/ as a negative sign in Arabic, and the letter /t/ is for emphasis added to it.

The Arabic term /manas/ is derived from /nawasa/ in the sense of ‘shelter’ and ‘a reliever’. It is said that when a harsh and very horrible event had happened, specially in battles, it was customary that Arabs repeated this word and said / manas/. This word means: ‘where is shelters’. And since this word is accompanied with ‘escape’, it has also been used in the sense of ‘the place of escape’.4

However, when these proud negligent people had respite to refuge to the graceful mercy of Allah they did not use it, and later, when they lost their opportunities, and the worldly sudden punishment came to them, their shouts of asking help and their struggle for finding a shelter and a way of escape did not assist them.

This Allah’s way of treatment had worked in all former nations and it will continue in future, too, because there is no change in Allah’s way of treatment.

There is a pity that a great deal of people are not ready to use the experiences of others, and they want to try on the bitter experiences of others themselves. They are the experiences that sometimes happen only once in the whole lifetime of a person and there will not be a turn for the second time.

Surah Sad - Verse 4

وَعَجِبُوا أَن جَآءَهُم مُّنذِرٌ مّـِنْهُمْ وَقَالَ الْكَافِرُونَ هَذَا سَاحِرٌ كَذَّابٌ

4. “And they did wonder that a Warner from among themselves came to them, and the disbelievers said: ‘This is a lying sorcerer’.”

The Occasion of Revelation

There has been cited an occasion of revelation for these verses similar to what was stated upon the previous verses, but since this one contains some new matters, we narrate it from the commentary written by Ali-ibn-’Ibrahim, as follows:

When the Messenger of Allah (S) announced his invitation openly, the chiefs of Quraysh came to Abutalib and said:

“O Abutalib! Your brother’s son calls us feeble-minded, and abuses our gods. He has made our youths corruptible and has dispersed our community. If this action is because of financial deficiency, we will gather so much money for him that he can be the wealthiest man among Quraysh, and we are even ready to choose him as a chief.”

Abutalib conveyed this message to the Messenger of Allah (S).

The Prophet (S) said:

“If they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand, I would not intend it; but (instead of these promises) they may agree with me in one sentence so that by which they govern over Arab and also non-Arab come into their religion, and they will be kings in Paradise.”

Abutalib sent this message to them, and they said they were ready to accept ten sentences instead of one sentence.

The Prophet (S) told them:

“You may testify that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah.”

They terrified very much (from this statement) and said:

“Do we leave three hundred and sixty gods and go to only one God? What a surprising thing is this? (That God Who can never be seen).”

It was here that the following verse was revealed, saying:

“And they did wonder that a Warner from among themselves came to them, and the disbelievers said: ‘This is a lying sorcerer’.”5

This very meaning, with a slight difference, has been narrated in Majma‘-ul-Bayan, and at the end of it there has been added:

“While tears were flowing from the Prophets eyes, he said:

‘O’ my uncle! If they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand in order that I abandon this statement, I would never do so; except that I cause this word to penetrate in the society, or that I would be killed in its path.”

When Abutalib heard this statement, he said:

“You may follow your program. By Allah! I will never leave helping you.”6

The most important duty of the Divine prophets is to warn people, but the proud and self-loving ones are both impenetrable and absolutist. They do not formally assume anything save what they have perceived by their own limited and deficient thoughts and they take the same things as the criterion of the values.

That was why when the holy Prophet of Islam (S) announced Islam in Mecca and stood against the small and big idols, the number of which was around 360 idols, sometimes they wondered why the Divine prophet, the Warner, had appeared from among them, and their surprise was because of this that Muhammad (S) was one person from themselves.

The verse says:

“And they did wonder that a Warner from among themselves came to them…”

They used to say why there had not been sent an angel from the heaven. They imagined this great point of strength as a point of weakness.

The one who had come out from among the mass of people, who was aware of their needs and pains, and was acquainted with their difficulties and the problems of their lives, could be an example in all things for them.

They considered this great privilege as a dark point in the invitation of the Prophet (S) and wondered upon it. And sometimes they went beyond this stage, too.

The verse continues saying:

“…and the disbelievers said: ‘This is a lying sorcerer’.”

We have repeatedly said that attributing sorcery to the Prophet (S) was for observing the undeniable miracles and his extraordinary penetration in the people’s thoughts; and attributing falsehood to him was for the sake that he stood against the superstitious customs and deviated ideas which were counted as the certain things of that environment, and he spoke against them in his claim as a prophet from the side of Allah.

Surah Sad - Verses 5-7

أَجَعَلَ الأَلِهَةَ إِلَهاَ وَاحِداً إِنَّ هَذَا لَشَيْءٌ عُجَابٌ

وَانطَلَقَ الْمَلأُ مِنْهُمْ أَنِ امْشُوا وَاصْبِرُوا عَلَي ءَالِهَتِكُمْ اِنَّ هَذَا لَشَيْءٌ يُرَادُ

مَا سَمِعْنَا بِهَذَا فِي الْمِلَّةِ الأَخِرَةِ إِنْ هَذَآ إِلاَّ اخْتِلاَقٌ

5. “Has he made gods (all) into One God? This is indeed a strange thing!”
6. “And the chiefs from them departed, (saying:) ‘Go! and be steadfast to your gods; this is a thing to be desired.”
7. “We never heard (the like) of this in the former creed; this is nothing but a made up tale.”

The first action of the prophet is the negation of the false objects of worship and proving the One God.

When the Prophet (S) openly revealed his theistic invitation, the disbelievers looked and said to others to come and hear the things they had not heard ever before.

They said:

“Has he made gods (all) into One God? This is indeed a strange thing!”

Yes, sometimes pride, self-loving, absolutism, and the aberration of the environment change the man’s insight and judgment so violently that he wonders from the clear facts while he is seriously bond to some superstitions and vain conjectures.

The Arabic term /‘ujab/, in this verse, denotes to an exaggerative meaning and is used for some very strange affairs.

These empty-minded persons used to think the more their objects of worship could be, the more power and influence of credit they would have, and that was why Allah, the One, seemed a little thing to them, while we know that, from the point of philosophy, the numerous things are always limited, and the unlimited Essence is not more than One.

That is why all the studies in theology end to the line of monotheism.

In the second verse, the Qur’an indicates: when the leaders of them become hopeless from Abutalib and his mediation, they came out from his place and said that they should walk away and remain constant to their gods since Muhammad (S) wanted to destroy their society and to cease the bounties of the gods from them by turning away from their idols and he himself would govern over them.

The verse says:

“And the chiefs from them departed, (saying:) ‘Go! and be steadfast to your gods; this is a thing to be desired.”

The Arabic term /’intalaqa/ is derived from /’intilaq/ in the sense of: ‘going out quickly together with leaving the former affairs’. Here it means: ‘Leaving Abutalib’s meeting angrily’.

The Qur’anic term /mala’/ refers to the nobles and well known members of Quraysh who came to Abutalib, and after coming out from that meeting they told each other, or their followers, not to leave their idols and to be steadfast to their gods.

The Qur’anic phrase /lišay’in yurad/ means: ‘this issue is something desired’, and since it is an ambiguous sentence, commentators have delivered many commentaries upon it.

Among them is that some of them have said: it refers to the invitation of the Prophet of Islam (S) and its purpose is that this invitation is a plot the aim of which is we people. It has an appearance which is invitation to Allah, and it has an innate purpose which is to govern over us and to be a chief upon Arabs and all of these are pretexts for this matter.

So you people go away and be steadfast to your belief, and let us, the leaders, analyse about this plot.

This is the thing that the leaders of falsehood always refer to in order to make quiet the sound of the followers of the path of truth and call it ‘plot’, a plot that only politicians must analyse carefully and arrange a program to struggle against it, but the common people must pass by it heedlessly, and be careful of what they have in their hands.

In the third verse, the Qur’an implies that for deceiving people, or for satisfying themselves, they said:

“We never heard (the like) of this in the former creed; this is nothing but a made up tale.”

If the claim of Unity and negation of idols were really true, our ancestors, with that greatness and personality should perceive it and we would hear it from them, but this is only a false and baseless statement.

The application of the Qur’anic phrase: /fil-millat-il-’axirah/ may be a hint to the group of their fathers who were the last people with respect to them, as we said in the above.

And it may be a hint to the People of the Book, specially the Christians who were counted as the last nation and had the last religion before the advent of the Prophet of Islam (S).

This sentence means that there is nothing about the words of Muhammad (S) in the Book of the Christians, because they believe in trinity (three gods) and the monotheism of Muhammad (S) is a new matter.

But as the tone of the Qur’an in other different verses shows, the Arab of the Age of Ignorance did not rely on the Books of the Jews and Christians. All their reliance was on the custom and religion of their ancestors, and this is a good reference for the first commentary.

The Qur’anic word /’ixtilaq/ is derived from /xalaqa/ which originally means the creation of something with no trace. Afterward, this word has been used for ‘falsehood’, too, because, in many cases, falsehood refers to some matters that have no trace.

Therefore, the objective meaning of the word /’ixtilaq/ mentioned in the verse under discussion is that the claim of Unity which Muhammad (S) refers to, is a new claim with no former trace, and it had been completely unknown to the former nations, and this itself is a proof for its falseness.

Surah Sad - Verses 8-11

أَءُنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ الذّ‌ِكْرُ مِن بَيْنِنَا بَلْ هُمْ فِي شَكٍّ مِن ذِكْرِي بَل لَّمَّا يَذُوقُوا عَذَابِ

أَمْ عِندَهُمْ خَزَآئِنُ رَحْمَةِ رَبّـِكَ الْعَزِيزِ الْوَهَّابِ

أَمْ لَهُم مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فَلْيَرْتَقُوا فِي الأَسْبَابِ

جُندٌ مَّا هُنَالِكَ مَهْزُومٌ مّـِنَ الأَحْزَابِ

8. “Has the Reminder been sent down (only) on him out of us all? Nay, they are in doubt about My Reminder, nay, they have not yet tasted My chastisement.”
9. “Or have they the treasures of the Mercy of your Lord, the Mighty, the Greater Bestower?”
10. “Or is theirs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and what is between them? Then let them ascend by any means.”
11. “A defeated host are the factions that are there.”

The doubt of some of pagans in the prophecy of the Prophet of Islam (S) originates from the doubt in the principle of the possibility of revelation. Alike them are some of those who have pretext on the ordinances of the religion. They, in deed, do not accept the religion itself.

The verse says:

“Has the Reminder been sent down (only) on him out of us all?…”

When the pagans of Mecca saw that their own unlawful benefits were in danger, the fire of enmity and jealousy was lightened in their hearts, so in order to deceive people and also to satisfy themselves, as for opposition against the Prophet of Islam (S), they resorted to various logics, including with surprise and denial they said:

“Has the Reminder been sent down (only) on him out of us all?…”

Was not anybody else among these many old men and the wealthy ones, the well known ones, except Muhammad, the poor and the orphan, that Allah sent His Qur’an to him?

This logic was not allocated only to that time, but every time, and even in our age, too, when an important responsibility is given to someone, the mood of jealousy appears, the eyes become astonished, the ears become sharp to hear, and some grumbles, murmurs and seeking pretexts begin, and some persons say that was not there a proper man among people that this job was given to so and so who is from an unknown and poor family?

Yes, mammonism from one side, and jealousy from other side caused that the People of the Book (the Jews and the Christians), who were in common against the Muslims, to get distance with Islam and the Qur’an and to go to the idol worshippers and tell them that their way was better than the way of Muslims, as Surah An-Nisa’, No. 4, verse 51 says:

“Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the Book? They believe in Jibt (idol) and Taqut (false deities) and they say about the infidels: ‘These are better guided on the way than those who have believed (in Islam)’.”

It is evident that these wonders and denials which, besides jealousy and mammonism had another source, that is mistake in ‘recognizing the values’, could never be a logical criterion for judgment. Is the personality of man found in name, wealth, rank, and his age? Has the mercy of Allah been divided among people according to these criterions?

So, in the continuation of the verse, the Qur’an says:

“…Nay, they are in doubt about My Reminder…”

The objection to Muhammad (S) personally was not more than a pretext, and this doubt of theirs in the matter was not for the sake of the existence of ambiguity in the Holy Qur’an, but its origin was mainly their low desires, mammonism and jealousies.

And, finally, the Qur’an threatens them by this sentence, saying:

“…nay, they have not yet tasted My chastisement.”

They have not tasted the chastisement of Allah that they have stood so boldly against the messenger of Allah, and by these vain words they go to fight against the revelation of Allah.

Yes, there are always some persons whose ears do not hearken logical and proper statements and nothing dissuade them from pride save the lashes of punishment. They must be punished because their remedy is only Divine punishment.

In answer to them, through the next verse the Holy Qur’an implicitly inquires whether the treasures of the mercy of your Lord, the Mighty, the Beneficent are with them so that whomever they desire appoint to be a prophet and whomever they do not like can deprive of it.

The verse says:

“Or have they the treasures of the Mercy of your Lord, the Mighty, the Greater Bestower?”

For the case that Allah is the Lord (and is the Owner and Cherisher of the world of existence and the whole humanity) will choose the one for His messengership that can train and lead people alongside the path of development; and for the case that He is Mighty, he does not overcome to the desire of anyone so that He gives the rank of Messengership to an ineligible and incompetent person.

And, principally, the rank of prophethood is a rank so great that only Allah is able to give it to someone, and the case of His being the Bestower, He gives whatever He wants and to whomever He intends.

It is noteworthy that the Qur’anic term /wahhab/ in Arabic is an amplification form and means the All-giving.

This points to the fact that prophethood is not only a mere merit, but it is a combination of numerous merits that come together so that a person can undertake that position, including the merits of knowledge, piety, infallibility, bravery, and manliness.

Similar to this Qur’anic statement is also recited in Surah Az-Zukhruf, No. 43, verses 31-32, saying:

“…‘Why was not this Qur’an revealed to a man of importance…”
“Will they distribute the mercy of your Lord?’…”

By the way, it is understood from the application of the word ‘mercy’ that prophecy is a mercy of Allah upon the world of mankind, and it is verily so, because if there were not prophets, human beings would lose both the way of hereafter and spirituality, and the path of this world; and those who are far of the school of Divine prophets have lost both of them.

The third verse pursues the same meaning, where it says:

“Or is theirs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and what is between them? Then let them ascend by any means.”

This statement, in fact, is a complement to the former discussion. In that occurrence it implicitly said that the treasures of the mercy of Allah are not in your hands to give them to anyone who is harmonious to your desires.

Now it implies: now that these treasures are not in your hands and they are only in the power of Allah, the only way that you can choose is that you ascend to the heaven and hinder the revelation to come down to him; and you yourself also know that you can never do it.

Thus, neither ‘expedient’ is in your authority, nor you are able to create ‘a barrier’. Then what can you do? You may die because of jealousy and do whatever you are able to do.

Therefore, as some commentators have said, these two verses do not reiterate a single matter, but each of them refers to one of the dimensions of the subject.

The fourth verse, which is the last verse of this discussion, as a state of despising these proud feeble-minded persons, says:

“A defeated host are the factions that are there.”

The Arabic term /hunalika/ in the sense of ‘there’ is used for pointing to a distanced thing. That is why some of the commentators consider it as a hint to the defeat of the pagans in the Battle of Badr which happened in a rather far point from Mecca.

The application of the Qur’anic word /’ahzab/ in the verse apparently points to all the groups who worked against the Divine prophets and Allah destroyed them. These pagans are a small group out of those groups who will have the same fate as theirs.

(The evidence for this statement is the coming verses which have mentioned this matter.)

We should not forget that this Surah is one of the Meccan Suras, and the Qur’an stated this statement at the time when Muslims were in such a hard minority that pagans might destroy them easily.

“…and were fearful that people would snatch you away…”7

That day there was not any sign of victory seen for the Muslims. On that day the great victories of the Battles of Badr, Ahzab, and Hunayn had not happened, but the Holy Qur’an decisively said that these violent enemies were a small army that would be defeated.

Today, too, the Qur’an gives the same glad tiding to the Muslims of the world who are surrounded from every side by the powers of the cruel oppressors, saying that if they, like the early Muslims, stand firm on the covenant of Allah, He will also fulfil His Own promise concerning the defeat of the army of the disbelieving parties.

Therefore, in Surah ’Al-i-‘Imran the Qur’an says:

“…but if you are patient and be pious, their plotting will not harm you in any way…”8

and the Qur’an has depended the help of Allah on patience, perseverance and piety.

  • 1. Surah Ta-Ha, No, 20, verse 47
  • 2. Usul-i-Kafi, according to Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Vol. 4, P. 441
  • 3. Surah At-Taubah, No. 9, verse 67
  • 4. Mufradat by Raqib, Tafsir-i-Fakhr-i-Razi, Rauh-ul-Ma‘ani.
  • 5. The commentary by Ali-ibn-’Ebrahim, according to the commentary of Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Vol. 4, P. 442
  • 6. Majma‘ul-Bayan, Vol. 8, P. 65
  • 7. 1Sura Al-’Anfal, No. 8, verse 26
  • 8. Surah ’Al-i-‘Imran, No. 3, verse 120

Section 2: Allah’s Blessings On David

Surah Sad - Verses 12-16

كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ وَعَادٌ وَفِرْعَوْنُ ذُو الأَوْتَادِ

وَثَمُودُ وَقَوْمُ لُوطٍ وَأَصْحَابُ لْئَيْكَةِ أُوْلَئِكَ الأَحْزَابُ

إِن كُلٌّ إِلاَّ كَذَّبَ الرُّسُلَ فَحَقَّ عِقَابِ

وَمَا يَنظُرُ هَؤُلآءِ إِلاَّ صَيْحَةً وَاحِدَةً مَّالَهَا مِن فَوَاقٍ

وَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا عَجّـِل لَّنَا قِطَّنَا قَبْلَ يَوْمِ الْحِسَابِ

12. “Before them, the people of Noah, and ‘Ad, and Pharaoh, the lord of stakes, belied (messengers),”
13. “And Thamud and the people of Lot, and the dwellers of the Thicket, these were the parties (who also rejected the messengers).”
14. “There was none of them but belied the messengers, so just was My retribution.”
15. “And these (infidels) do not wait aught but a single blast, which (when it comes) will brook no delay.”
16. “And they (ridiculously) say: ‘O our Lord! Hasten on to us our portion before the Day of Reckoning.”

These verses refer to the evil end of the peoples of six prophets who lived before Islam, so that both the pagans of the time of the Prophet of Islam (S) may take a lesson, and the Prophet (S) and the believers know that rejecting prophets has an old background and it is not a new thing and they should also know that if there comes a punishment there will not be given any respite to the disbelievers.

Following the last verse which was explained and informed of the defeat of the polytheists in future, and introduced them as a small army out of the ‘defeated parties’, now, it introduces a group of the parties who belied the prophets and afflicted a bad fate.

It says:

“Before them, the people of Noah, and ‘Ad, and Pharaoh, the lord of stakes, belied (messengers),”

And in the next verse it says:

“And Thamud and the people of Lot, and the dwellers of the Thicket, these were the parties (who also rejected the messengers).”

Yes, these were six groups out of parties of Ignorant and idolaters who opposed against the prophets:

The people of Noah against this great prophet.

The people of ‘Ad against Hud, the prophet.

Pharaoh against Moses and Aaron (as).

The people of Thamud against Hadrat Salih.

The people of Lot against Hadrat Lot.

The dwellers of the Thicket against Shu‘ayb, the prophet.

They did their best in belying, hurting and vexation of both Divine prophets and believers. But, finally, the Divine punishment came over them and, like a dry farm, it reaped them.

The people of Noah were destroyed by means of Storm and heavy rains; the people of ‘Ad by a strong wind; Pharaoh and his people by the waves of Nile; the people of Thamud by heavenly Blast (and great Thunderbolts); the people of Lot by a horrible earthquake accompanied with the rain of heavenly pebbles; and the people of Shu‘ayb were also destroyed by an annihilating thunderbolt which came down over them from a piece of cloud, and thus, the water, wind, dust, and fire which form the means of life for man were ordered to destroy them, and they vanished them so violently that there remained no trace of them.

These polytheists of Mecca should think that, comparing these parties, they were not more than a small group, why did they not awake from the sleep of negligence?

The attribution of /ŏul’autad/ (the lord of stakes) for Pharaoh which is mentioned clearly in these verses and also in Surah Al-Fajr, No. 87, verse 10 is ironically used to show firmness.

It is said, for example, the nails of so and so are firm; or the nails of this job have been fastened; or it has been fastened with four nails, because for firmness of a building or the tents the nails are always used.

Some commentators have considered it as a hint to the great troops of Pharaoh, because an army usually uses tents and for holding tents nails are used.

Some other commentators say that it refers to the horrible tortures of the Pharaohs unto their enemies that so to speak, they crucified them and fastened each of their hands and feet with nail to the ground, to a gallows-tree, or to a wall and left them to die.

And, at last, some commentators have said that probably the Arabic word /’autad/ is the same as /’ahram/ (pyramids) in Egypt which are fixed into the ground like a nail, and since pyramids are from the specialties of the Pharaohs, this quality in the Qur’an is used inclusively about them.

In the meanwhile, these probabilities are not contradictory with each other and they may gather in the concept of this word.

The Arabic word /’aykah/ means ‘tree’ and the Qur’anic phrase /’ashab-ul-’aykah/ are the very people of Hadrat Shu‘ayb who used to live in a land with abundant water and trees located between the lands of Syria and Mecca and Medina. In the commentary of Surah Al-Hijr, No. 15, verse 78 we have talked enough in this regard.

In the third verse, the Qur’an implies that each of these groups belied the Divine messengers and the chastisement of Allah came to them.

It says:

“There was none of them but belied the messengers, so just was My retribution.”

History shows that how each group of them died by a pest and their cities were changed into ruins during a short time and their members turned to be some corpses.

In the fourth verse, the Holy Qur’an implicitly says whether these polytheists of Mecca, by these bad actions can have a better fate than them, while their deeds are the same as theirs and Allah’s way of treatment is the same.

So, as a decisive and hard threat, it says:

“And these (infidels) do not wait aught but a single blast, which (when it comes) will brook no delay.”

This blast may be similar to the blasts which came upon the former nations. It was a horrible thunderbolt, or an earthquake with a tremendous sound which wiped out their livings.

However, these neglectful people, by their rejections and denials of the Divine revelations, and their undue accusations unto the Prophet (S) and their persisting and obstinacy on idolatry, cruelty, and corruption, seemed that they had been waiting for the Divine punishment, a punishment which would burn the stack of their lifetime, or a blast that would put an end to the life of the world and take them to a way which was not returnable.

As many of the commentators and philologist have said, the Arabic word /fawaq/ originally means the length of time between two times of milking milk from the udder, because when the milk is fully milked, it needs waiting a while until the milk gathers in the udder again, and since after milking the milk the udder rests, this word has also been used in the sense of resting and calmness.

And also since this distance of time is for returning milk to the udder, this meaning has been used in the sense of ‘return’, too, and that is why the convalescence of a sick person in Arabic is called /’ifaqah/ since health turns back to him.

However, there is no return of rest, calmness, and peace in this horrible blast, and when it happens all the doors will be shut to them. Neither regret is useful nor there is possibility of recompense, nor are shouts of avail.

The last verse of the verses under discussion points to one of other statements of the pagans and rejecters who spoke mockingly as follows:

“And they (ridiculously) say: ‘O our Lord! Hasten on to us our portion before the Day of Reckoning.”

Those blind hearted proud persons were so haughty that even they used to mock the punishment of Allah and His just court. They used to say why He delayed in the portion of their punishment.

Among the former nations, these kinds of self-loving feeble-minded persons were not scanty either, but at the time of being captured in the grips of the Divine punishment, they cried like animals and nobody came to help them.

The Arabic term /qitt/ originally means something which is cut from its width, and the word /qadd/ means something which is cut from its length.

And since the certain portion of everybody is similar to something broken and cut, this word has been used in the sense of portion.

Sometimes it is in the sense of a piece of paper on which something is written, or the names of persons and their prizes are written on it. So, some of the commentators have said upon the commentary of the above mentioned verse that the purpose is this:

O’ Allah! Give us the record of our deeds before the day of Judgment.

They said this statement when the above verses informed that on the Day of Judgment a group of people will have the record of their deeds in their right hand and another group in their left hand. The disbelievers mockingly said that how well was it that their records of deeds were given to them that they would read them and see their own position and fate.

However, ignorance and pride are two qualities which are very ugly and blameworthy and they often do not separate from each other. They are the ignorant proud ones, and the proud ignorant ones, and the effects of these two are seen in the polytheists of the Age of ignorant abundantly.

Note the Following Traditions:

1- Imam Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said:

“The utmost ignorance is that a person is happy for his ignorance.”1

2- Again he (as) said:

“The utmost of wisdom is confession to what he does not know.”2

3- Again he (as) said:

“The utmost of knowledge is the awe of Allah, Glory be to Him.”3

Surah Sad - Verses 17-20

اصْبِرْ عَلَي مَا يَقُولُونَ وَاذْكُرْ عَبْدَنَا دَاوُدَ ذَا الأَيْدِ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ

اِنَّا سَخَّرْنَا الْجِبَالَ مَعَهُ يُسَبّـِحْنَ بِالْعَشِيّ‌ِ وَالإِشْرَاقِ

وَالطَّيْرَ مَحْشُورَةً كُلٌّ لَّهُ أَوَّابٌ

وَشَدَدْنَا مُلْكَهُ وَءَاتَيْنَاهُ الْحِكْمَةَ وَفَصْلَ الْخِطَابِ

17. “Bear patiently what they say, and remember Our servant David, the possessor of power, verily he ever turned (to Allah).”
18. “Verily We subjected the mountains to give glory with him at the evening and the sunrise,”
19. “And the birds assemble together, every one to him reverting;”
20. “And We strengthened his kingdom, and gave him wisdom and a clear judgment.”

The requisite of leadership is tolerance and patience in the face of the bitter words of others.

David used to turn to Allah very much, and in all his affairs in his life he turned to Him. This permanent attention was the cause of his power. David (as) was one of the great prophets of the Children of Israel who had a very large government, and his high rank has been praised in many verses of the Qur’an.

Following the discussions mentioned in the former verses about the hindrances of polytheists and idolaters and their undue accusations to the Prophet of Islam (S), in order to console the holy Prophet (S) and the small group of the believers of that day, here the Qur’an explains the story of David, the one to whom Allah gave those many forces and He even made the mountains and birds subjected to him, in order to show that when His favour comes to someone, the mass of enemies can do nothing.

But this great prophet, with those many apparent forces, was not secure from the people’s sarcasm, so that he would be a comfort and solace for the Prophet (S), because this matter was not only for him but the great men of the world had had a share of it.

At first, it says:

“Bear patiently what they say, and remember Our servant David, the possessor of power, verily he ever turned (to Allah).”

The Qur’anic word /’ayd/ has been used both in the senses of ‘power’ and ‘bounty’, and David had both of them. His bodily power was so that he could defeat Jalut, the tyrant, in the battle-field by a strong strike that he left the stone by his sling toward him and Jalut fell bloody on the ground.

Some writers have written that the stone cleft his chest and came out from other side.

And from the point of political power, he had a powerful government so that he could stand with full power against the enemies. And from the point of spiritual and ethical power and the strength of worship, it was such that he was vigilant a great part of the night busy worshipping Allah, and half of the days of the year he was fast.

From the point of the bounties of Allah, he had been bestowed kinds of apparent and hidden bounties. In short, David was a strong man in fights, in worship, in knowledge, and in government, and also he had abundant bounties.

The Arabic word /’awwab/ is derived from /’aub/ with the sense of voluntary return toward something, and since the word /’aub/ is an Arabic amplification form, it indicates that he turned to his Lord very much and repented for the slightest negligence and leaving the better.

Then in the second verse, after shortly referring to the Divine bounties to David, in order to explain a part of them, He says:

“Verily We subjected the mountains to give glory with him at the evening and the sunrise,”

In the third verse He implicitly says that not only the mountains were subjected to him, but also the birds did in order that they glorify Him with him.

It says:

“And the birds assemble together, every one to him reverting;”

All the mountains and birds obeyed the command of David and joined in singing with him.

The pronoun in the Arabic word /lahu/ may refer to David. If so, the meaning of the sentence is the same which was said in the above. It is also probable that it refers to the Pure Essence of Allah, which means all the particles of the world return to Him and are obedient to Him.

Concerning the quality of the act of birds and mountains joining in singing with David (as), it has been said that this glorification of God had been together with the apparent sound accompanied with a kind of understanding which is in the innate of the particles of the world.

According to this idea all of the beings of the world have a kind of wisdom and understanding, and when they heard the delightful sound of this great prophet at the time of his worship, they accompanied him and the sound of their glorification were heard with together.

And this is not far from the power of Allah. It was a murmur which was always current in the inside of the innate of the beings of the world, but Allah caused it to be appear for David by the power of miracle, in the same way which was seen in respect to the glorification of the pebbles in the hand of the Prophet (S).

The fourth verse again continues mentioning the bounties of Allah unto David.

It says:

“And We strengthened his kingdom…”

This was in a way that all the haughty ones, disobedient persons and the enemies would take heed of him.

Besides that, Allah gave him wisdom; the same wisdom about which the Qur’an says:

“…and whoever has been granted wisdom, indeed has been given abundant good…”4

The verse says:

“…and gave him wisdom…”

The Qur’anic term /hikmat/ here means knowledge and the ability of managing the affairs of country, or the rank of prophecy, or all of them. This word has sometimes the scientific aspect which is rendered into ‘excellent sciences’; and sometimes it has the practical aspect which is rendered into ‘ethic and righteous deed’, and David had enjoyed all of them abundantly.

The last bounty of Allah unto David was that he was given the knowledge of correct and just judgment.

The holy verse continues saying:

“…and a clear judgment.”

The application of the Arabic phrase /fasl-ul-xitab/ as an attribute for judgment is for the sake that the word /xitab/ is the debate of two parties of quarrel, and /fasl/ means: ‘cut and separation’.

And we know that the talks of a person who quarrels may be ceased when a correct judgment is done between the two parties, therefore this phrase has been meant in the sense of a just judgment.

There is also this probability in the commentary of this phrase that Allah gave David a strong logic which contained an excellent thought and deep meditation. Not only in the occasion of judgment, but also everywhere David would say the last word and the best statement.

Truly, with the existence of such a Lord Who is able to give an eligible man so many powers and abilities, there is no room for anybody to be despair from His grace, and this was not only the cause of comfort for the Prophet (S) and the believers who were under a hard pressure on those days, but it is the cause of solace for the whole captured believers in all centuries.

Some commentators have extracted ten great Divine merits from the above mentioned verses for David which clear both the high rank of this prophet and the specialties of a complete man.

1- The Prophet of Islam (S), with that great glory, is ordered to imitate David in patience and to get help from his history:

“Bear patiently what they say and remember Our servant David…”

2- Allah qualifies him by the rank of servitude and, in fact, He counts his first specialty this very rank of his servitude:

Our servant”.

Similar to this meaning is said concerning the holy Prophet of Islam (S) relation to the subject of Muhammad’s ascension to Heaven where the Holy Qur’an says:

“Glory be to Him Who took His servant by night from Masjid-ul-Haram to Masjid-ul-’Aqsa…”5

3- Having power:

“Verily We subjected the mountains to give glory with him…”

4- Returning to Allah and his turning to Him constantly:

“…Verily he ever turned (to Allah).”

5- The mountains being subjected to him and that they gave glory with him:

“…to give glory with him…”

6- Allah counts the birds’ glorification with him as one of his god-given merits:

“And the birds assembled together…”

7- That all of them joined in singing with him:

“…every one to him reverting.”

8- Sovereignty and government:

“And We strengthened his kingdom…”

9- The Divine wisdom:

“…and gave him wisdom…”

10- His ability of giving just judgment and putting an end to the conflicts:

“…and a clear judgment.”

And verily the bases of no government are firm without these qualities: knowledge, power, logic, godly piety, ability of controlling the carnal desire, and also approaching the rank of servitude to Allah.

By the way, David was one of the prophets who had had prophethood and kingdom with together.

Surah Sad - Verses 21-22

وَهَلْ أَتَاكَ نَبَؤُاْ الْخَصْمِ إِذ تَسَوَّرُوا الْمِـحْرَابَ

إِذْ دَخَلُوا عَلَي دَاوُدَ فَفَزِعَ مِنْهُمْ قَالُوا لاَ تَخَفْ خَصْمَانِ بَغَي بَعْضُنَا عَلَي بَعْضٍ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَنَا بِالْحَقّ‌ِ وَلاَ تُشْطِطْ وَاهْدِنَآ اِلَي سَوآءِ الصّـِرَاطِ

21. “And has the story of the litigants come to you when they climbed the wall into the (David’s) prayer chamber?”
22. “When they entered to David, and he was frightened of them, they said: ‘Fear not, (we are) two litigants, one of us has exceeded against the other, so decide between us with truth, and treat not unjustly, and guide us unto the right way.”

The act of judgment in the prayer room increases its value and sanctity. Hadrat Ali (as) used to judge among people in Kufah Mosque, and the place of David’s judgment was often in his prayer chamber.

Following to the previous verses which stated the special qualities of David and the great merits that Allah gave him, the Holy Qur’an explains the event which happened for him in a judgment.

At first, addressing the holy Prophet of Islam (S), the Qur’an says:

“And has the story of the litigants come to you when they climbed the wall into the (David’s) prayer chamber?”

The Arabic word /xasm/ originally means: ‘To quarrel’ but it frequently happens that each of the parties of a quarrel is called /xasm/ (enemy). This word is used for both singular and plural forms, but sometimes its Arabic plural form has been used in the shape of /xusum/.

The Qur’anic phrase: /tasawwaru/ is derived from /sur/ in the sense of a high wall which has surrounded around a house or a city; but it must be noted that this word originally means: ‘to jump and climb’.

The Arabic term /mihrab/ means: the highest seat of an assembly, or the rooms in upstairs; and since the place of worship had usually been there it has gradually been used in the sense of ‘temple’, and in daily usages it is particularly used for the place where the prayer leader stands for performing the congregation prayer.

It has been narrated in Mufradat that the prayer niche of a mosque is called such because it is the place of fight against Satan and the carnal desire.

The second verse denotes that though David had numerous protectors, the two parties of quarrel climbed the wall of his prayer chamber and, through an unusual way, they entered his castle and suddenly they appeared in front of him.

In the continuation of this discussion, the Qur’an implicitly says that they suddenly entered David’s room and, without previously informing him or getting permission, they stood in front of him. Therefore, by observing them, David terrified, because he thought they had an evil intention about him.

The verse in this regard says:

“When they entered to David, and he was frightened of them…”

But soon they removed his terror by their manner.

The verse continues saying:

“…they said: ‘Fear not, (we are) two litigants, one of us has exceeded against the other, so decide between us with truth, and treat not unjustly, and guide us unto the right way.”

The Qur’anic term /tuštit/ is derived from /šatat/ which originally means: ‘much remoteness’, and since injustice and cruelty keeps man aloof very much from the truth, the word /šatat/ has been used in this sense. It is also called to the speech which is far from reality.

The two parties of a quarrel must demand the execution of the truth, not the protection of their profits.

Surah Sad - Verse 23

إِنَّ هَذَا أَخِي لَهُ تِسْعٌ وَتِسْعُونَ نَعْجَةً وَلِيَ نَعْجَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ فَقَالَ أَكْفِلْنِيهَا وَعَزَّنِي فِي الْخِطَابِ

23. “Verily this my brother has ninety nine ewes, and I have (only) one ewe, but he says: ‘Give her into my charge’ and he overcame me in the argument.”

This verse indicates that they did not give so much respite to David and one of them preceded the other to tell him their complain.

He said:

“Verily this my brother has ninety nine ewes, and I have (only) one ewe, but he says: ‘Give her into my charge’ and he overcame me in the argument.”

The Arabic word /na‘jah/ means ‘ewe’; it is also used for female wild cow and wild sheep.

The Qur’anic term /’akfilniha/ is derived from /kifalat/ which here ironically means ‘to abandon’. (The sentence means that you do abandon the charge of it to me, or give it to me.)

The Arabic term /‘azzani/ is derived from /‘izzat/ in the sense of ‘overcome’, and the concept of the sentence is: ‘He overcame me’.

However, man is usually greedy and solicitous, and he never satiates from the wealth of the world.

Surah Sad - Verses 24-25

قَالَ لَقَدْ ظَلَمَكَ بِسُؤَالِ نَعْجَتِكَ إِلَي نِعَاجِهِ وَاِنَّ كَثِيراً مّـِنَ الْخُلَطَآءِ لَيَبْغِي بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَي بَعْضٍ إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَقَلِيلٌ مَا هُمْ وَظَنَّ دَاوُدُ أَنَّمَا فَتَنَّاهُ فَاسْتَغْفَرَ رَبَّهُ وَخَرَّ رَاكِعاً وَأَنَابَ

فَغَفَرْنَا لَهُ ذَلِكَ وَإِنَّ لَهُ عِندَنَا لَزُلْفَي وَحُسْنَ مَأَبٍ

24. “(David) said: ‘Indeed he has been unjust to you in demanding your ewe to add her to his own ewes; and verily many of the associates are wrongfully unto one another, save those who believe and do good deeds, and few are they!’ And David perceived that We had tried him, so he sought forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down bowing, and he repented.”
25. “So We forgave him that (lapse), and verily for him, with Us is a nearness and an excellent resort.”

Man can own a lot of properties. David (as) did not criticize for having ninety nine ewes, but he criticized the brother’s oppressive avariciousness.

The verse indicates that before hearkening to the statement of the opposite party, as it is understood from the apparent of the verses of the Qur’an, David turned to the complainant and spoke as follows:

“(David) said: ‘Indeed he has been unjust to you in demanding your ewe to add her to his own ewes…”

But this is not a new thing and many of the friends and persons who work with together are unjust to each other.

The verse continues saying:

“…and verily many of the associates are wrongfully unto one another, save those who believe and do good deeds, and few are they!’…”

Yes, those who observe the right of others perfectly in association and friendship and do not have the least oppression to their friends are few, and only those who have got enough share of the capital of faith and righteous deed can usually pay the rights of their friends