بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Introduction and Summary
This is an early Makkan Surah, the second of the seven Surahs forming a group dealing with revelation and the Hereafter. See introduction to Surah 50. this Surah deals with the varying ways in which Truth prevails irresistibly even against all human probabilities. (R).
Summary- The winds may blow and scatter, lift and rash, or divide in all directions; but the Truth and Promise of Allah are sure and stable, whereof you may see Signs both around and within you (51;1-23 and C. 226).
Past events and what you see before you point to the unfailing consequences of all you do: Allah, of His Grace, sends you a Reminder: the loss is your own if you reject and deny (51:24-60, and C. 227).
C.226 (The running Commentary, in Rhythmic Prose)
Various are the ways of working we see
In Allah's world-strong and gentle, scattering
And uniting: through it all runs a Purpose
True and stable, which we all shall see fulfilled
On the Day of Judgement and Justice, which
Must inevitably come to pass: give up
False doctrines, which agree not among themselves
Or with facts. For evil must end in evil,
And good in joy and felicity. The good
Worship Allah and serve Allah's creature:
Those needing help are ever in their thoughts.
They see Signs of Allah in all things in heaven
And earth, and in their own hearts and minds.
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
1. By the (Winds) ...
C4986. Four things are mentioned in verses I to 4 as evidences or types of the certainty and unity of a Truth described in verses 5-6.
What these things are is described by certain adjectival participles, the noun understood being usually taken to be "Winds": the word for Wind (Rih) being feminine in Arabic.
Some Commentators however understand other nouns as being implied. e.g., angels in all four verses, or different things in each of the four verses.
Whatever these things are, their different modes of working are evidence of the power and goodness of Allah, the Unity of His Plan, and the certainty of Good and Evil reaching their own destined ends, when Judgment and Justice will have given each one his due. (R).
... ذَرْوًا ﴿١﴾
... that scatter broadcast;
C4987. Winds may blow strong, and scatter particles of dust far and wide; but they do not diminish by one jot the substance of Allah's material creation; on the contrary they help to readjust things.
They reshape the configuration of the earth; in the vegetable kingdom they carry seeds about and plant new seeds in old soils; in the region of air they produce mighty changes in temperature and pressure that affect animal and vegetable life; they carry the moisture of equatorial Africa to the parched plains of India; and so on.
Yet they are just one little agency showing Allah's working in the material world. So in the spiritual world. Revelation works mighty changes; it may be resisted, but the resistance will be swept away; it ever points to the one Great Final Event, "to which the whole Creation moves".
فَالْحَامِلَاتِ وِقْرًا ﴿٢﴾
2. And those that lift and bear away heavy weights;
C4988. The things that lift and bear away heavy weights may be the Winds that carry the heavy rain-clouds or that sweep off every resistance from their path, or it may be the heavy moisture-laden clouds themselves. So works Revelation: it lifts and sweeps away the burdens of custom, superstition, or man's inertia, and ever leads onwards to the destined End.
فَالْجَارِيَاتِ يُسْرًا ﴿٣﴾
3. And those that flow with ease and gentleness;
C4989. These may be Winds that fill the sails of ships with gentle and favourable breezes, that carry men and merchandise to their destinations. Or they may be the ships themselves, whose smooth motion through the waters is described in many places, by the verb jara, "to flow", e.g., cf. 2:164.
فَالْمُقَسِّمَاتِ أَمْرًا ﴿٤﴾
4. And those that distribute and apportion by command --
C4990. These may be Winds (or other agencies) that distribute and apportion moisture or rain or atmospheric pressure or other blessings of Allah, -not haphazard but by fixed laws, i.e., according to the Command of their Lord. So with Revelation. Its blessings are distributed all round, and it produces its marvelous effects sometimes in the most unlikely places and ways.
إِنَّمَا تُوعَدُونَ لَصَادِقٌ ﴿٥﴾
5. Verily that which ye are promised is true;
C4991. That which ye are promised: the Promise of Allah about Mercy and Forgiveness to the Penitent, and Justice and Penalty to the Rebellious, the promise of the Hereafter: the promise that all does not end here, but that there is a truer and more lasting world to come, for which this is but a preparation.
وَإِنَّ الدِّينَ لَوَاقِعٌ ﴿٦﴾
6. And verily Judgment and Justice must indeed come to pass.
C4992. Din: the giving to each person his precise and just due; this is implied in Judgment and Justice. All the inequalities of this Life are to be redressed.
وَالسَّمَاء ذَاتِ الْحُبُكِ ﴿٧﴾
7. By the Sky with (its) numerous Paths,
C4993. The study of the numerous regular orbits of the planets and irregularly regular orbits of comets, and the various motions, visible or invisible, of the fixed stars or revolving stars, form in themselves a network of knowledge or science, of a highly technical nature; the highest astronomy or mathematics can only barely reach its fringe.
But these have all a fixed Plan and Purpose under Allah's Dispensation. In them variety leads to Unity. In contrast look at the confused medley of doctrines, views, and dicta put forward by the Skeptics, as described in the next verse.
إِنَّكُمْ لَفِي قَوْلٍ مُّخْتَلِفٍ ﴿٨﴾
8. Truly ye are in a doctrine discordant,
C4994. Qaul = saying, word, theory, doctrine.
Mukhtalif = differing, various, inconsistent with itself, discordant.
No theory or doctrine based on a denial of a Hereafter can be consistent with spiritual facts as we know them, or with Allah's Goodness, Justice, and Mercy.
يُؤْفَكُ عَنْهُ مَنْ أُفِكَ ﴿٩﴾
9. Through which are deluded (away from the Truth) such as would be deluded.
C4995. Some Commentators draw from this a rigid doctrine of Calvinistic Predestination or Determinism, which I do not think is fairly deducible from the words. "Ufika" should I think be translated "will be or would be deluded", meaning "have the wish or desire to be", and not "must necessarily be deluded by eternal predestination".
قُتِلَ الْخَرَّاصُونَ ﴿١٠﴾
10. Woe to the falsehood-mongers --
الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي غَمْرَةٍ سَاهُونَ ﴿١١﴾
11. Those who (flounder) heedless in a flood of confusion:
C4996. They are in great spiritual danger: yet they care not.
يَسْأَلُونَ أَيَّانَ يَوْمُ الدِّينِ ﴿١٢﴾
12. They ask,
"when will be the Day of Judgment and Justice?"
يَوْمَ هُمْ عَلَى النَّارِ يُفْتَنُونَ ﴿١٣﴾
13. (It will be) a Day when they will be tried (and tested) over the Fire!
ذُوقُوا فِتْنَتَكُمْ هَذَا الَّذِي كُنتُم بِهِ تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ ﴿١٤﴾
14. "Taste ye your trial! this is what ye used to ask to be hastened!"
C4997. They used to say scoffingly, "if there is to be punishment for our sins, let it come at once!"
إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ ﴿١٥﴾
15. As to the Righteous, they will be in the midst of Gardens and Springs,
C4998. Gardens and Springs are the two most frequent examples for the highest satisfaction and bliss.
آخِذِينَ مَا آتَاهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ
16. Taking joy in the things which their Lord gives them,
إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَبْلَ ذَلِكَ مُحْسِنِينَ ﴿١٦﴾
because, before then, they lived a good life.
كَانُوا قَلِيلًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ مَا يَهْجَعُونَ ﴿١٧﴾
17. They were in the habit of sleeping but little by night,
C4999. They were engaged most of the night in worship and in the planning of good deeds. They preferred activity to idleness, the service of Allah and His creatures to the indulgence of Self.
وَبِالْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ ﴿١٨﴾
18. And in the hours of early dawn, They (were found) praying for Forgiveness;
C5000. They were up early before dawn, ready for their devotions.
The praying for Forgiveness and Mercy does not necessarily imply that they had committed fresh sins, Indeed they began the day with such devotions, showing their great humility before Allah and their anxious care for others, for whom they prayed as much as for themselves.
See the last sentence of n. 21 to 1:5.
وَفِي أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ لِّلسَّائِلِ وَالْمَحْرُومِ ﴿١٩﴾
19. And in their wealth and possessions (was remembered) the right of the (needy), him who asked, and him who (for some reason) was prevented (from asking).
C5001. True charity remembers not only those in need who ask, but also those who are prevented by some reason from asking. The man of true charity seeks out the latter. There may be various reasons which prevent a man from asking for help:
- he may be ashamed to ask, or his sense of honour may prevent him from asking;
- he may be so engrossed in some great ideal that he may not think of asking;
- he may even not know that he is in need,
- he may not know that you possess the things that can supply his needs; and
- he may be a dumb and helpless creature, whether a human being or a dumb animal, or any creature within your ken or power.
Charity in the higher sense includes all help, from one better endowed to one less well endowed.
وَفِي الْأَرْضِ آيَاتٌ لِّلْمُوقِنِينَ ﴿٢٠﴾
20. On the earth are Signs for those of assured Faith,
وَفِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ ﴿٢١﴾
21. As also in your own selves: will ye not then see?
C5002. The Signs and Evidence of Allah are in all nature and within the body and soul of man, if man has but the spiritual eyes to see.
وَفِي السَّمَاء رِزْقُكُمْ وَمَا تُوعَدُونَ ﴿٢٢﴾
22. And in heaven is your Sustenance, as ((also) that which ye are promised.
C5003. "Sustenance", here as elsewhere, includes physical sustenance, as well as spiritual sustenance. Similarly heaven or sky has both the physical and the spiritual meaning.
The physical sustenance grows from rain from the sky; the spiritual sustenance comes from divine aid, grace, and mercy, and includes the Good News and the Warning which come from Revelation about the Hereafter.
فَوَرَبِّ السَّمَاء وَالْأَرْضِ إِنَّهُ لَحَقٌّ مِّثْلَ مَا أَنَّكُمْ تَنطِقُونَ ﴿٢٣﴾
23. Then, by the Lord of heaven and earth, this is the very Truth, as much as the fact that ye can speak intelligently to each other.
C5004. Attention having been called to the Signs or Evidences of Allah's working on the earth, within ourselves, and in the heavens, in verses 20-22, an appeal is made to our own inner conscience, in the name of the Lord of heaven and earth, to acknowledge and act up to the truth of Revelation, and turn to the spiritual Realities. For they are as real as our own conscious and self-intelligent existence, on which is based all our knowledge.
As a philosopher (Descartes) has said: "I think; therefore I am."
C.227 (The running Commentary, in Rhythmic Prose)
Even Abraham the True had need to be told
Before he could realize the purpose of Allah.
Clear Signs were sent for warning, as, of old,
To Pharaoh, the 'Ad, the Thamud, and the people
Of Noah, and the warning inevitably came
To pass. Our Signs are for your instruction
Heed them and learn by them. Those who believe
Find profit in their lives; those who reject
Or deny-alas! they learn not from the past.
Woe unto them! The loss is their own!
هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ ضَيْفِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ ﴿٢٤﴾
24. Has the story reached thee, of the honored guests of Abraham?
Cf. also 15:51-56.
إِذْ دَخَلُوا عَلَيْهِ فَقَالُوا سَلَامًا...
25. Behold, they entered His presence, and said: "Peace!"
C5006. They were angels, who appeared suddenly before him at his tent-door in the guise of men, and saluted him with the salutation of peace. He returned the salutation, but felt, from their appearance and their manner, that they were unusual, not ordinary, strangers.
He said, "Peace!"
...قَوْمٌ مُّنكَرُونَ ﴿٢٥﴾
(and thought, "these seem) unusual people."
C5007. Munkar: unknown, uncommon, unusual, not customary, (hence by derived meaning, not applicable here, not fair or just);
opposite in both primary and secondary meanings to maraf, well-known, usual, customary, just. Cf. 15:62.
فَرَاغَ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ فَجَاء بِعِجْلٍ سَمِينٍ ﴿٢٦﴾
26. Then he turned quickly to his household, brought out a fatted calf.
C5008. They seemed unusual strangers, but he said nothing and quietly proceeded to perform the rites of hospitality. He brought a roast fatted calf and placed it before them to eat. But the strangers did not eat (11:70).
This disconcerted him. According to the laws of hospitality, a stranger under your roof is under your protection, but if he refuses to eat, he refuses your hospitality and keeps himself free from any ties of guest and host.
"What were their designs?" thought Abraham, and he felt some distrust. But they were angels and could not cat. They declared themselves, and announced the birth to Abraham of a son endowed with wisdom,-in other words that Abraham was to be the head of a long line of Prophets! (15:53).
فَقَرَّبَهُ إِلَيْهِمْ قَالَ أَلَا تَأْكُلُونَ ﴿٢٧﴾
27. And placed it before them...
He said, "Will ye not eat?"
فَأَوْجَسَ مِنْهُمْ خِيفَةً...
28. (When they did not eat), He conceived a fear of them.
...قَالُوا لَا تَخَفْ وَبَشَّرُوهُ بِغُلَامٍ عَلِيمٍ ﴿٢٨﴾
They said, "Fear not,"
and they gave him glad tidings of a son endowed with knowledge.
فَأَقْبَلَتِ امْرَأَتُهُ فِي صَرَّةٍ فَصَكَّتْ وَجْهَهَا وَقَالَتْ عَجُوزٌ عَقِيمٌ ﴿٢٩﴾
29. But his wife came forward (laughing) aloud: she smote her forehead and said:
"a barren old woman!"
C5009. Abraham's wife Sarah was old and barren. This news seemed to her too good to be true. She came forward, clamoured (11:71), struck her forehead with her hands, indicative of her amusement and incredulity as "a barren old woman": 11:72.
قَالُوا كَذَلِكَ قَالَ رَبُّكِ...
30. They said, "Even so has thy Lord spoken:
C5010. The angels said:
"What may sound improbable to human beings will yet come to pass if Allah commands. And Allah thy Lord has spoken. So shall it be. For all His promises are full of wisdom and knowledge."
So the angels on that occasion. But the application is for all time and to all human affairs. Never despair. However much Truth may be in the shade, it will shine with full splendour. And the Judgment will come, when good will come to its own!
إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْحَكِيمُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿٣٠﴾
and He is full of Wisdom and Knowledge."
قَالَ فَمَا خَطْبُكُمْ أَيُّهَا الْمُرْسَلُونَ ﴿٣١﴾
31. (Abraham) said: "And what, o ye Messengers, is your errand (now)?"
قَالُوا إِنَّا أُرْسِلْنَا إِلَى قَوْمٍ مُّجْرِمِينَ ﴿٣٢﴾
32. They said,
"We have been sent to a people (deep) in sin --
لِنُرْسِلَ عَلَيْهِمْ حِجَارَةً مِّن طِينٍ ﴿٣٣﴾
33. "To bring on, on them (a shower of) stones of clay (brimstone),
The angels' errand of mercy to Abraham (to announce the succession of godly men in his line) was coupled with their errand of justice and punishment to the people of Lut, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, who were deep in the most abominable and unnatural sins.
So Allah's Mercy and Justice go hand in hand in all human affairs. Faith has nothing to fear, and wickedness has only to turn and repent, to obtain Allah's Mercy.
مُسَوَّمَةً عِندَ رَبِّكَ لِلْمُسْرِفِينَ ﴿٣٤﴾
34. "Marked as from thy Lord for those who trespass beyond bounds."
Every crime has its due punishment as marked out in the decrees of Allah.
فَأَخْرَجْنَا مَن كَانَ فِيهَا مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٣٥﴾
35. Then We evacuated those of the Believers who were there.
C5013. The only just or righteous persons found in Sodom and Gomorrah (Cities of the Plain by the Dead Sea) were in the house of Lut, who was the Prophet sent to call them to repentance. He and his believing family and adherents were told to leave in due time, and the wicked were destroyed in a shower of brimstone.
فَمَا وَجَدْنَا فِيهَا غَيْرَ بَيْتٍ مِّنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ ﴿٣٦﴾
36. But We found not there any just (Muslim) persons except in one house:
وَتَرَكْنَا فِيهَا آيَةً لِّلَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ الْعَذَابَ الْأَلِيمَ ﴿٣٧﴾
37. And We left there a Signs for such as fear the Grievous Penalty.
C5015. The Grievous Chastisement: that is, the Final Judgment.
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in this life is taken as the type of the Final Judgment. The vestiges can be seen-as a Sign and a Warning-in the sulphury plain round the Dead Sea: Cf. xv. 79.
وَفِي مُوسَى ...
38. And in Moses (was another Sign):
C5016. Cf. 44:17-31.
The story of Moses and Pharaoh is here just referred to. The points emphasized here are:
- that Moses had manifest authority, yet Pharaoh doubted;
- that Pharaoh's reliance was on his Chiefs and his forces, but they could not help when his doom came; and
- that in the most extraordinary and incredible ways (judged by ordinary human standards), his arrogance and his reliance on his Chiefs and forces was his undoing.
... إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَاهُ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ بِسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴿٣٨﴾
Behold, We sent him to Pharaoh, with authority manifest.
فَتَوَلَّى بِرُكْنِهِ وَقَالَ سَاحِرٌ أَوْ مَجْنُونٌ ﴿٣٩﴾
39. But (Pharaoh) turned back with his Chiefs, and said,
"A sorcerer, or one possessed!"
فَأَخَذْنَاهُ وَجُنُودَهُ فَنَبَذْنَاهُمْ فِي الْيَمِّ وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ ﴿٤٠﴾
40. So We took him and his forces, and threw them into the sea: and his was the blame.
C5017. The ungodly Egyptians were all destroyed, but the chief blame lay on Pharaoh for misleading them. Pharaoh's punishment was just. He could not blame any one else. And certainly no one can blame the course of Allah's Justice, for Allah was patient, and gave him many chances to repent.
وَفِي عَادٍ ...
41. And in the 'Ad (people) (was another Sign):
C5018. Cf. 46:21-26.
The point here is that the 'Ad were a gifted people: Allah had given them talents and material wealth: but when they defied Allah, they and all their belongings were destroyed in a night, by a hurricane which they thought was bringing them the rain to which they were looking forward. How marvelously Allah's Providence works, to help the good and destroy the wicked!
... إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الرِّيحَ الْعَقِيم َ ﴿٤١﴾
Behold, We sent against them the devastating Wind:
مَا تَذَرُ مِن شَيْءٍ أَتَتْ عَلَيْهِ إِلَّا جَعَلَتْهُ كَالرَّمِيمِ ﴿٤٢﴾
42. It left nothing whatever that it came up against, but reduced it to ruin and rottenness.
وَفِي ثَمُودَ إِذْ قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَمَتَّعُوا حَتَّى حِينٍ ﴿٤٣﴾
43. And in the Thamud (was another Sign):
C5019. See the story of the Thamud and their prophet Salih in 7:73-79. Here the point is the suddenness of their punishment and its unexpected nature.
Behold, they were told, "Enjoy (your brief day) for a little while!"
C5020. Salih their prophet gave them three days' clear warning for repentance (11:65). But they heeded him not. On the contrary they flouted him and continued in their evil courses.
فَعَتَوْا عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِمْ ...
44. But they insolently defied the command of their Lord:
... فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الصَّاعِقَةُ وَهُمْ يَنظُرُونَ ﴿٤٤﴾
so the stunning noise (of an earthquake) seized them, even while they were looking on.
C5022. Saiqat. a stunning sound like that of thunder and lightning (2:55);
فَمَا اسْتَطَاعُوا مِن قِيَامٍ وَمَا كَانُوا مُنتَصِرِينَ ﴿٤٥﴾
45. Then they could not even stand (on their feet), nor could they help themselves.
C5023. They were swept off in the earthquake.
وَقَوْمَ نُوحٍ مِّن قَبْلُ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَوْمًا فَاسِقِينَ ﴿٤٦﴾
46. So were the people of Noah before them: for they wickedly transgressed.
C5024. The generation of Noah was swept away in the Flood for their sins: 7:59-64.
The point is that such a Flood seemed so unlikely to them that they thought Noah was "wandering in his mind" when he delivered Allah's Message: 7:60.
وَالسَّمَاء بَنَيْنَاهَا بِأَيْدٍ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ ﴿٤٧﴾
47. With the power and skill did We construct the Firmament: for it is We Who create the vastness of Space.
C5025. If you do not wish to go back to the wonderful things in the past, which show the power and goodness of Allah, and His justice supreme over all wrong-doing, look at the wonderful things unfolding themselves before your very eyes!
1. The space in the heavens above! Who can comprehend it but He Who made it and sustains it?
2. The globe of the earth under your feet! How great its expanse seems over sea and land, and spread out for you like a wonderful carpet or bed of rest!
3. All things are in twos:
- sex in plants and animals, by which one individual is complementary to another;
- in the subtle forces of nature, Day and Night, positive and negative electricity, forces of attraction and repulsion: and numerous other opposites, each fulfilling its purpose, and contribution to the working of Allah's Universe:
- and in the moral and spiritual world,
Love and Aversion,
Mercy and Justice,
Striving and Rest, and so on;
-all fulfilling their functions according to the Artistry and wonderful Purpose of Allah. Everything has its counterpart, or pair, or complement. Allah alone is One, with none like Him, or needed to complement Him. These are noble things to contemplate. And they lead us to a true understanding of Allah's Purpose and Message.
وَالْأَرْضَ فَرَشْنَاهَا فَنِعْمَ الْمَاهِدُونَ ﴿٤٨﴾
48. And We have spread out the (spacious) earth: how excellently We do spread out!
وَمِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَا زَوْجَيْنِ ...
49. And of everything We have created pairs:
C5026. See 3 in the last note.
... لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿٤٩﴾
that ye may receive instruction.
فَفِرُّوا إِلَى اللَّهِ ...
50. Hasten ye then (at once) to Allah:
C5027. If you understand Nature and yourselves aright, you will know that Allah is the Truth, and you will fly at once to Him. This is the teaching which the Prophet of Allah has come to give you, in clear terms and openly to all.
... إِنِّي لَكُم مِّنْهُ نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٥٠﴾
I am from Him a warner to you, clear and open!
وَلَا تَجْعَلُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ
51. And make not another an object of worship with Allah:
C5028. Verses 50 and 51, ending with the same clause to emphasize the connection between the two, should be read together. The Prophet's mission was (and is):
The one convinces us of sin and opens the door to the Mercy of Allah; the other cures us of the madness of paying court to idle or worthless objects of desire; for in the worship of Allah, the One True God is included the best service to ourselves and our fellow-creatures.
If fully understood, this sums up the whole duty of man: for it leads us by the right Path to the love of Allah and the love of man and of all creatures.
إِنِّي لَكُم مِّنْهُ نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٥١﴾
I am from Him a Warner to you, clear and open!
كَذَلِكَ مَا أَتَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِم مِّن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا قَالُوا سَاحِرٌ أَوْ مَجْنُونٌ ﴿٥٢﴾
52. Similarly, no messenger came to the Peoples before them, but they said (of him) in like manner,
"A sorcerer, or one possessed"
C5029. They said this of Moses: 51:39.
أَتَوَاصَوْا بِهِ ...
53. Is this the legacy they have transmitted, one to another?
... بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ طَاغُونَ ﴿٥٣﴾
Nay, they are themselves a people transgressing beyond bounds!
C5030. There is a tradition of Evil as there is a tradition of Good. The ways of Evil in dealing with the teachers of Truth are similar in all ages, But such evil traditions would have no effect, were it not that the generation following them is itself ungodly, "transgressing beyond bounds."
فَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ فَمَا أَنتَ بِمَلُومٍ ﴿٥٤﴾
54. So turn away from them: not thine is the blame.
C5031. When the Prophet freely proclaims his Message, it is not his fault if obstinate wickedness refuses to listen. He can leave them alone, but he should continue to teach for the benefit of those who have Faith.
وَذَكِّرْ فَإِنَّ الذِّكْرَى تَنفَعُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٥٥﴾
55. But teach (thy Message): for teaching benefits the Believers.
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ ﴿٥٦﴾
56. I have only created jinns and men, that they may serve Me.
C5032. Creation is not for idle sport or play: 21:16. Allah has a serious Purpose behind it, which, in our imperfect state, we can only express by saying that each creature is given the chance of development and progress towards the Goal, which is Allah. Allah is the source and centre of all power and all goodness, and our progress depends upon our putting ourselves into accord with His Will. This is His service.
It is not of any benefit to Him: see the next two verses: it is for our own benefit.
مَا أُرِيدُ مِنْهُم مِّن رِّزْقٍ وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَن يُطْعِمُونِ ﴿٥٧﴾
57. No sustenance do I require of them nor do I require that they should feed Me.
C5033. Sustenance: in both the literal and the figurative sense; so also "Freed Me" at the end of the verse.
Allah is independent of all needs. It is therefore absurd to suppose that He should require any Sustenance, and still more absurd to suppose that we can feed Him! The gifts, the Sustenance, the goodness, all come from His side.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الرَّزَّاقُ ذُو الْقُوَّةِ الْمَتِينُ ﴿٥٨﴾
58. For Allah is He Who gives (all) Sustenance, Lord of Power, Steadfast (for ever).
C5034. Allah commands all power; therefore any power we seek must be from Him. And His power is steadfast, the same to-day as yesterday, and for ever. Therefore His help is always sure.
فَإِنَّ لِلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا ذَنُوبًا مِّثْلَ ذَنُوبِ أَصْحَابِهِمْ ...
59. For the wrongdoers, their portion is like unto the portion of their fellows (of earlier generations):
C5035. Each generation, that acts like any of its predecessors, must meet a similar fate. If the wicked came to an evil end in the past, the same results will follow in the present and the future. The punishment will come suddenly enough: let them not in mockery ask that it should be hastened.
... فَلَا يَسْتَعْجِلُونِ ﴿٥٩﴾
then let them not ask Me to hasten (that portion)!
فَوَيْلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن يَوْمِهِمُ الَّذِي يُوعَدُونَ ﴿٦٠﴾
60. Woe, then, to the Unbelievers, on account of that day of theirs which they have been promised!
C5036. That is, their eternal Punishment in the Hereafter, as well as any punishment that may come to them in this life.