Quran English Translation & Commentary

Surah Dukhan

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بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Introduction and Summary

For the chronology and the general theme of the Surahs of  Ha Mim series of which this is the fifth, see the Introduction to Surah 40.

The theme of this particular Surah is how worldly pride and power are humbled in the dust if they resist spiritual forces, and how Evil and Good find their true setting in the Hereafter.

The title of Dukhan occurs in verse 10. It means smoke or mist, and may refer to a drought or famine, as explained in the notes to the verse.

Summary- Revelation explains clearly how worldly pride and arrogance may come to naught, even at long odds, against spiritual truths (44:1-29, and C. 216).

A people may be given all blessings and may fail in its trust, as did Israel: will the Quraysh learn the lesson of Good and Evil? (44:30-59, and C. 217).

C.216 (The running Commentary, in Rhythmic Prose)

(44:1-29)

blest is the night in which Allah's Message

Comes down, as a Mercy to men, to warn them

Against Evil. How fractious of men to ignore

Or suppress such warnings? Proud Pharaoh

And his chiefs did resist Allah's authority,

But their sins rebounded on themselves:

They were swallowed up by the sea; and their tilth,

their gardens, their noble fanes and buildings,

And all the advantages of which they boasted

Passed to other hands. Not a tear

Was shed over them in heaven or earth.

Thus ends the tale of power misused.

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ


حم ﴿١

1.     Ha Mim.

C4688. These Abbreviated Letters are discussed in Introduction to Surah 40.

وَالْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ ﴿٢

2.     By the Book that makes things clear --

C4689. The Quran is its own evidence. In the last Surah (43:3) stress was laid on the fact that everyone could understand it.

Here the stress is on the fact that it is a Message of Mercy from Allah in that it warns mankind against evil.

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ ...

3.     We sent it down during a blessed night:

C4690. Usually taken to be a night in the month of Ramadhan, say the 23rd, 25th, or 27th night of that month. It is referred to as the Night of Power in 97:1-2.

See also 2:185.

But perhaps we need not fix it literally by the calendar. The night that a Message descends from Allah is indeed a blessed night like a day of rain for a parched land.

... إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ ﴿٣﴾

for We (ever) wish to warn (against Evil).

فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ ﴿٤

4.     In that (night) is made distinct every affair of wisdom,

C4691. Such an occasion is one on which divine Wisdom places before us, through Revelation, the solution of spiritual problems of the highest import to mankind.

أَمْرًا مِّنْ عِندِنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا مُرْسِلِينَ ﴿٥

5.     By command, from Our presence.

For We (ever) send (revelations),

رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿٦

6.     As a Mercy from thy Lord:

for He hears and knows (all things);

C4692. It is because Allah is the friend of the friendless and the help of the helpless that He hears all sincere prayers, and as His knowledge embraces all things, He grants to us whatever is best for us, not as we see it, but as He knows it in His perfect knowledge.

رَبِّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا إِن كُنتُم مُّوقِنِينَ ﴿٧

7.     The Lord of the heavens and the earth and all between them,

if ye (but) have an assured faith.

C4693. Cf. 2:4.

They cannot fully realise what a tremendous thing it is that Allah is their own Lord and Cherisher (next verse), as He is the Lord and Cherisher of the whole Universe, until they firmly believe,-until their Faith amounts to a certainty, secure and unshakable.

لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ رَبُّكُمْ وَرَبُّ آبَائِكُمُ الْأَوَّلِينَ ﴿٨

8.     There is no god but He:

it is He Who gives life and gives death --

the Lord and Cherisher to you and your earliest ancestors.

بَلْ هُمْ فِي شَكٍّ يَلْعَبُونَ ﴿٩

9.     Yet they play about in doubt.

C4694. The story is mainly about the Quraish. But there is a wider meaning behind it, applicable to men generally, and at all times.

As a body the Quraish, especially in the earlier stages of the preaching of Islam, before they started persecution, received the Message with more amusement than hatred. They played about with it, and expressed doubts about it, whereas the Preacher was most earnest about it, with all his heart and soul in it, as he loved his people and wished to save them from their wickedness and folly.

فَارْتَقِبْ يَوْمَ ...

10.  Then watch thou for the Day,

C4695. What Day is this?

It obviously refers to great calamity, and from the wording it is to be a great calamity in the future, seen with the prophetic eye.

The word yagsha in verse 11 may be compared to gashiya in 88:1, which obviously refers to the final Day of Judgment.

But verse 15 below ("We shall remove the Penalty for a while") shows that it is not the final Judgment referred to here, but some calamity that was to happen soon afterwards, Perhaps it was a famine, about which see the next note.

... تَأْتِي السَّمَاء بِدُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴿١٠﴾

that the sky will bring forth a kind of smoke (or mist) plainly visible.

C4696. The "smoke" or "mist" is interpreted on good authority to refer to a severe famine in Makkah, in which men were so pinched with hunger that they saw mist before their eyes when they looked at the sky.

Ibn Kathir in his Tarikh mentions two famines in Makkah, one in the 8th year of the Mission, say the fourth year before the Hijrah, and another about the 8th year after the Hijrah. But as either or both of these famines lasted as many as seven years, the dates are to be taken very roughly. It is even possible that the two famines were continuous, of varying severity from year to year.

Bukhari mentions only the post-Hijrah famine, which was apparently so severe that men began to eat bones and carrion. Abu Sufyan (about 8 A.H.) approached the holy Prophet to intercede and pray for the removal of the famine, as the Pagans attributed it to the curse of the Prophet. Surah 23., which is also Makkan, but of later date than the present Surah, also refers to a famine:

see 23:75, and n. 2921.

As Surahs were not all revealed entire, but many came piecemeal, it is possible that particular verses in a given Surah may be of different dates from the Surah as a whole.

يَغْشَى النَّاسَ هَذَا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿١١

11.  Enveloping the people:

this will be a Penalty Grievous.

 

رَبَّنَا اكْشِفْ عَنَّا الْعَذَابَ إِنَّا مُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿١٢

12.  (They will say:)

"Our Lord! remove the Penalty from us for We do really believe!"

أَنَّى لَهُمُ الذِّكْرَى ...

13.  How shall the Message be (effectual) for them,

C4697. The Quraish had before them a prophet whose purity of life was openly known to them; they themselves called him al-Amin (worthy of all trust); he preached in their own language in words of burning eloquence and transparent clearness; yet they turned away from him and called him a madman, or one whose Message was not inspired by Allah, but written by some hidden hand (see next note)!

How will the teaching of spiritual Truth make way among such unreasonable people?

... وَقَدْ جَاءهُمْ رَسُولٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿١٣﴾

seeing that a Messenger explaining things clearly has (already) come to them --

ثُمَّ تَوَلَّوْا عَنْهُ وَقَالُوا مُعَلَّمٌ مَّجْنُونٌ ﴿١٤

14.  Yet they turn away from him and say:

"Tutored (by others), a man possessed!"

C4698.

Tutored.- see 16:103, and n. 2143.

Possessed: see 15:6, and n. 1940.

إِنَّا كَاشِفُو الْعَذَابِ قَلِيلًا ...

15.  We shall indeed remove the Penalty for a while,

C4699. Allah gives every chance to all His creatures, however rebellious. He gives them a little trial, perhaps personal, perhaps economic, to see if that would bring them to their bearings, and train their will in the right direction.

Some are thus reclaimed, and some do not learn. Perhaps, for the latter, he gives them a chance by removing the trial; some are reclaimed, and some still remain obdurate.

And so, in His wisdom, He allows His grace to work, again and again, until, at the last, Judgment must seize the last and irreclaimable remnant "with a mighty onslaught".

Such working of Allah's Providence is clearly visible in the story of the Quraish. It is a pity that the economic conditions of Makkah have not been studied in detail in any of the standard biographies of the Prophet. The so-called biographies by non-Muslims, e.g. , Muir's Life, do not even mention any Makkan famine or its reactions on the Quraish mind!

...إِنَّكُمْ عَائِدُونَ ﴿١٥﴾

(but) truly ye will revert (to your ways).

يَوْمَ نَبْطِشُ الْبَطْشَةَ الْكُبْرَى إِنَّا مُنتَقِمُونَ ﴿١٦

16.  One day We shall seize you with a mighty onslaught:

 We will indeed (then) exact Retribution!

 

وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمَ فِرْعَوْنَ ...

17.  We did, before them, try the people of Pharaoh:

C4700. This reference is to the pride of Pharaoh and his Egyptians, and their fall, rather than to the story of Moses himself; just as in 44:30-33 the reference is to the blessings bestowed on Israel, contrasted with their pride, unbelief, and fall;

and in 44:37, to the ancient Himyar kingdom in Yemen, which similarly fell for its sins.

... وَجَاءهُمْ رَسُولٌ كَرِيمٌ ﴿١٧﴾

there came to them and messenger most honorable,

C4701. Most honourable: this epithet is specially applied to Moses here, as expressing the truth, in contrast to the Pharaoh's false characterization of him as "a contemptible wretch". (43:52).

أَنْ أَدُّوا إِلَيَّ عِبَادَ اللَّهِ ...

18.     Saying:

"Restore to me the servants of Allah:

C4702. The argument of Moses and his "authority manifest" will be found at 7:104-108, 120-126, 130-137.

Notice how fully he assumes the authority of his office here. He claims all "servants of Allah", i.e., true worshippers, as under his protection, for his mission was both to the Egyptians and the Israelites; he asks that they should be restored to him; and he boldly denounces the Pharaoh's arrogance "as against Allah".

... إِنِّي لَكُمْ رَسُولٌ أَمِينٌ ﴿١٨﴾

I am to you an messenger worthy of all trust;

C4703. "Worthy of all trust": Amin, a title applied to prophets in Surah 26: e.g., see 26:107.

As the holy Prophet had historically earned that title among his own people, the reminiscences of the story of Moses apply to him in his relations with the arrogant Quraysh.

وَأَنْ لَّا تَعْلُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ إِنِّي آتِيكُم بِسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴿١٩

19.  "And be not arrogant as against Allah:

for I come to you with authority manifest.

وَإِنِّي عُذْتُ بِرَبِّي وَرَبِّكُمْ أَن تَرْجُمُونِ ﴿٢٠

20.  "For me, I have sought Safety with my Lord and your Lord, against your injuring me.

C4704. It is no use their plotting his death or his vilification; for his safety is in Allah. As he truly says, "Allah is not only my Lord, but your Lord also; your responsibility arises apart from my preaching, but I preach in order to remind you of it."

C4705. "Injuring me": literally "stoning me". "Stoning" may be here symbolical of any injury or vilification.

وَإِنْ لَّمْ تُؤْمِنُوا لِي فَاعْتَزِلُونِ ﴿٢١

21.  "If ye believe me not, at least keep yourselves away from me."

C4706. If you do not believe me, at least go your ways: do not add to your sins by trying to suppress me and the Message of Truth which I bring: keep out of my way.

فَدَعَا رَبَّهُ أَنَّ هَؤُلَاء قَوْمٌ مُّجْرِمُونَ ﴿٢٢

22.  (But they were aggressive):

then he cried to his Lord:

"These are indeed a people given to sin."

C4707. They would not even leave him alone to do his duty. So he cried to Allah, not indeed to destroy them, for a Prophet does not judge, but only Allah judges; he justified himself in prayer, that he had done his best, but they were obdurate in sin, and they were trying to oppress and injure the believers.

Then came the order to march. They were to march under the cover of night, because the enemy was sure to pursue. They were to march with all believers, presumably believing Egyptians (such as were not martyred) as well as Israelites, for some Egyptians had believed: 7:121.

فَأَسْرِ بِعِبَادِي لَيْلًا إِنَّكُم مُّتَّبَعُونَ ﴿٢٣

23.  (The reply came):

"March forth with My servants by night: for ye are sure to be pursued.

وَاتْرُكْ الْبَحْرَ رَهْوًا ...

24.  "And leave the sea as a furrow (divided).

C4708. For the passage of Moses and his following, the sea had divided: they were to pass through the gap or furrow and leave it alone, to lure on the Egyptian host, on which the sea afterwards closed in, totally destroying them.

... إِنَّهُمْ جُندٌ مُّغْرَقُونَ ﴿٢٤﴾

For they are a host (destined) to be drowned."

كَمْ تَرَكُوا مِن جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ ﴿٢٥

25.  How many were the gardens and springs they left behind.

C4709. There follows a word-picture of all the fine and enjoyable things which the ruling caste had monopolized. Now these proud monopolists were drowned in the sea, and the inheritance went to other hands.

وَزُرُوعٍ وَمَقَامٍ كَرِيمٍ ﴿٢٦

26.  And corn-fields and noble buildings.

وَنَعْمَةٍ كَانُوا فِيهَا فَاكِهِينَ ﴿٢٧

27.  And wealth (and conveniences of life), wherein they had taken such delight!

كَذَلِكَ ...

28.  Thus (was their end)!

... وَأَوْرَثْنَاهَا قَوْمًا آخَرِينَ ﴿٢٨﴾

And We made other people inherit (those things)!

فَمَا بَكَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّمَاء وَالْأَرْضُ ...

29.  And neither heaven nor earth shed a tear over them:

C4710. They died, "unwept, unhonoured, and unsung". They were too inordinate to be given another chance. Pharaoh had claimed to be their supreme god; and they had followed him!

... وَمَا كَانُوا مُنظَرِينَ ﴿٢٩﴾

nor were they given a respite (again).

C.217 (The running Commentary, in Rhythmic Prose)

(44:30-59)

So with the Children of Israel;

Granted gifts and favours, they became

Arrogant and fell. Can the Quraysh

Escape the doom for sin? We created

The World for just ends. The Day

Will come when good and evil will be

Sorted out; each will meet

The fruits of its own deeds. Give good heed

To the Message revealed, and wait and watch.

Section 2

وَلَقَدْ نَجَّيْنَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ الْمُهِينِ ﴿٣٠

30.  We did deliver aforetime the Children of Israel from humiliating Punishment,

C4711. The Israelites were held in bondage prior to the Exodus. Their hard taskmaster placed every indignity on them, and by Pharaoh's decree their male children were to be killed, and their females were to be kept alive for the Egyptians.

مِن فِرْعَوْنَ...

31.  Inflicted by Pharaoh,

... إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَالِيًا مِّنَ الْمُسْرِفِينَ ﴿٣١﴾

for he was arrogant (even) among inordinate transgressors.

وَلَقَدِ اخْتَرْنَاهُمْ عَلَى عِلْمٍ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٣٢

32.  And We chose them aforetime above the nations, knowingly,

C4712. From degrading servitude, Israel was delivered, and taken, in spite of many rebellions and backslidings on the way, to "a land flowing with milk and honey", where later they established the glorious kingdom of David and Solomon. This was not merely fortuitous.

In Allah's decree it was to be a link in furthering His Plan. But their being chosen did not mean that they could do what they liked. In that sense there is no "chosen race- before Allah. But Allah gives every race and every individual a chance, and when the race or individual fails to live up to it, he or it must fall and give place to others.

وَآتَيْنَاهُم مِّنَ الْآيَاتِ مَا فِيهِ بَلَاء مُّبِينٌ ﴿٣٣

33.  And granted them Signs in which there was a manifest trial.

C4713. Among the "Signs" given to Israel were their own Revelation under Moses, their prosperous land of Canaan, their flourishing Kingdom under David and Solomon, their prophets and teachers of Truth, and the advent of Jesus to reclaim the lost ones among them. All these were trials. When they failed in the trials, they were left to wander desolate and suffer.

 

إِنَّ هَؤُلَاء لَيَقُولُونَ ﴿٣٤

34.  As to these (Quraish), they say forsooth:

C4714. The cases of the Egyptians and the Israelites having been cited as great nations which fell through inordinate vanity and wrong-doing, the case is now pressed home against the Quraish leaders in their arrogance to the holy Prophet himself.

They deny Revelation; they deny a future life, as the Sadducees did among the Jews before them; they persecute the prophet of Allah, and those who believe in him: and they mockingly demand that their ancestors should be brought back to life, if it is true that there is a future life.

They are reminded that better men than they lived in their own country of Arabia, men who had knowledge of Allah's revelation under the earliest Dispensation. See next note. They perished because of their unbelief and wrong-doing. What chance have they unless they turn and repent?

إِنْ هِيَ إِلَّا مَوْتَتُنَا الْأُولَى وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُنشَرِينَ ﴿٣٥

35.  "There is nothing beyond our first death, and we shall not be raised again.

فَأْتُوا بِآبَائِنَا إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ﴿٣٦

36.  "Then bring (back) our forefathers if what ye say is true!"

أَهُمْ خَيْرٌ أَمْ قَوْمُ تُبَّعٍ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ...

37.  What! are they better than the people of Tubba and those who were before them?

C4715. Tubba' is understood to be a title or family name of Himyar kings in Yemen, of the tribe of Hamdan.

The Himyar were an ancient race. At one time they seem to have extended their hegemony over all Arabia and perhaps beyond, to the East African Coast.

Their earliest religion seems to have been Sabianism, or the worship of the heavenly bodies. They seem at different times, later on, to have professed the Jewish and the Christian religion.

Among the Embassies sent by the holy Prophet in A.H. 9-10 was one to the Himyar of Yemen, which led to their coming into Islam. This was of course much later than the date of this Surah.

... أَهْلَكْنَاهُمْ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ ﴿٣٧﴾

We destroyed them because they were guilty of sin.

C4716. In prehistoric times the Himyar and Yemen seem to have played a large part in Arabia and even beyond: see last note. But when they were intoxicated with power, they fell into sin, and gradually they ceased to count, not only in Arabia but even in Yemen.

وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا لَاعِبِينَ ﴿٣٨

38.  We created not the heavens, the earth, and all between them, merely in (idle) sport:

C4717. Cf. 21:16, and n. 2676.

All creation is for a wise and just purpose. But men usually do not realise or understand it, because they are steeped in their own ignorance, folly, or passions.

مَا خَلَقْنَاهُمَا إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٣٩

39.  We created them not except for just ends:

but most of them do not understand.

إِنَّ يَوْمَ الْفَصْلِ مِيقَاتُهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿٤٠

40.  Verily the Day of Sorting Out is the time appointed for all of them --

C4718. Day of Sorting Out, or the Day of Decision. Cf. 37:21, and n. 4047.

Ignorance, prejudice, passion, spite, and selfishness, seem sometimes to flourish in this probationary life. In any case they are mixed up with knowledge, justice, commonsense, love and regard for others. But the good and the evil will be sorted out and separated at the Day of Judgment. There is a time appointed for it. In Allah's good time all will come right.

يَوْمَ لَا يُغْنِي مَوْلًى عَن مَّوْلًى شَيْئًا وَلَا هُمْ يُنصَرُونَ ﴿٤١

41.  The Day when no protector can avail his client in aught, and no help can they receive.

C4719. When that Day comes, the strictest justice will prevail. No man, however prominently he may have walked on the world's stage, can help another. He himself will need help, not the sort of log-rolling help which high and low render to each other in this life, but which in the conditions of reality will be of no avail. The only things which will help will be the Mercy of Allah.

إِلَّا مَن رَّحِمَ اللَّهُ...

42.  Except such as receive Allah's Mercy:

C4720. Allah's Mercy will be the only thing of any efficacy, for He is both able to help ("Exalted in Might") and willing to forgive ("Most Merciful").

...إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿٤٢

for He is exalted in Might, Most Merciful.

Section 3

إِنَّ شَجَرَةَ الزَّقُّومِ ﴿٤٣

43.  Verily the tree of Zaqqum

C4721. Now follows a word-picture of the horrors to which Evil must lead us. What human language and what figures of speech can adequately describe them?

C4722. The opposite of "delicious Fruits" is the terrible tree of Zaqqam, which is further described in 37:62-68, where see n. 4073.

Also see 17:60, n. 2250.

طَعَامُ الْأَثِيمِ ﴿٤٤

44.  Will be the food of the Sinful --

كَالْمُهْلِ يَغْلِي فِي الْبُطُونِ ﴿٤٥

45.  Like molten brass; it will boil in their insides,

كَغَلْيِ الْحَمِيمِ ﴿٤٦

46.  Like the boiling of scalding water.

خُذُوهُ فَاعْتِلُوهُ إِلَى سَوَاء الْجَحِيمِ ﴿٤٧

47.  (A voice will cry:)

"Seize ye him and drag him into the midst of the Blazing Fire!

ثُمَّ صُبُّوا فَوْقَ رَأْسِهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْحَمِيمِ ﴿٤٨

48.  "Then pour over his head the Penalty of Boiling Water;

ذُقْ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْكَرِيمُ ﴿٤٩

49.  "Taste thou (this)!

Truly wast thou Mighty, full of honor!

C4723. In this particular Surah the besetting sin we are considering is the arrogance born of place or power, wealth or honour, as understood in this world. The punishment of ignominy looks back to the kind of sin which is to be punished.

إِنَّ هَذَا مَا كُنتُم بِهِ تَمْتَرُونَ ﴿٥٠

50.  "Truly this is what ye used to doubt!"

C4724. When the Punishment becomes a realized fact, how foolish will those look who doubted whether there would be a Hereafter?

 

إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي مَقَامٍ أَمِينٍ ﴿٥١

51.  As to the Righteous (they will be) in a position of Security,

C4725. There will be no uncertainty, as on this earth; no danger of discontinuance: no possibility of their satisfaction being terminated.

فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ ﴿٥٢

52.  Among Gardens and Springs;

يَلْبَسُونَ مِن سُندُسٍ ...

53.  Dressed in fine silk,

C4726. Cf. 18:31, and n. 2373.

... وَإِسْتَبْرَقٍ مُّتَقَابِلِينَ ﴿٥٣﴾

and in rich brocade, they will face each other;

C4727. Everything will be open and in social companionship: for all the petty feelings of jealousy or exclusiveness will have passed away.

كَذَلِكَ ...

54.  Moreover,

وَزَوَّجْنَاهُم ...

and We shall Join them to Companions...

C4728. The Maidens, like the scene, the dress, the outlook, and the fruit, will be beautiful. There will be life, but free from all earthly grossness. The women as well as the men of this life will attain to this indescribable bliss. (R).

... بِحُورٍ عِينٍ ﴿٥٤﴾

...  with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes.

C4729. Hur implies the following ideas:

-         purity,

-         beauty, especially of eyes, where the intense white of the eye-balls stands out against the intense black of the pupil, thus giving the appearance of lustre, and intense feeling, as opposed to dullness or want of expression; and

-         truth and goodwill.

يَدْعُونَ فِيهَا بِكُلِّ فَاكِهَةٍ آمِنِينَ ﴿٥٥

55.  There can they call for every kind of fruit in peace and security;

C4730. The signification is explained in n. 4671 to 43:73.

لَا يَذُوقُونَ فِيهَا الْمَوْتَ إِلَّا الْمَوْتَةَ الْأُولَى ...

56.  Nor will they there taste Death, except the first Death;

C4731. First Death: the ordinary natural death from this life, which brought them to the Garden of Felicity: there will be no further death after that.

Cf. 37:59, and n. 4071.

... وَوَقَاهُمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ ﴿٥٦﴾

and He will preserve them from the Penalty of the Blazing Fire

C4732. In Islam we are taught that salvation is not possible by our unaided efforts. Certainly, striving on our part is an indispensable condition: but it is the Mercy of Allah which comes to our help and keeps us from the Fire of final Punishment.

This is mentioned last as the foundation on which is built our eternal felicity and our positive spiritual joys. (R).

فَضْلًا مِّن رَّبِّكَ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ ﴿٥٧

57.  As a Bounty from thy Lord!

That will be the supreme achievement!

C4733. This is our idea of Salvation; the negative avoidance of all the consequences of evil, and the positive attainment of all-and more than all-that our hearts could possibly desire. For Allah's Bounty outstrips anything that our eyes have seen, or our ears have heard of, or our imagination can conceive.

 

فَإِنَّمَا يَسَّرْنَاهُ بِلِسَانِكَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿٥٨

58.  Verily, We have made this (Qur'án) easy, in thy tongue, in order that they may give heed.

C4734. Easy: not only to understand, being in the Arabic tongue; but mellifluous, whose rhythm carries off our spirits to a higher spiritual plane.

In another sense, it is difficult; for to get to its deepest meaning, we shall have to strive hard, as the contents of this Surah alone will show.

فَارْتَقِبْ إِنَّهُم مُّرْتَقِبُونَ ﴿٥٩

59.  So wait thou and watch;

for they (too) are waiting. 

 

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Zahid Javed Rana, Abid Javed Rana, Lahore, Pakistan

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