لَهُمْ مِنْ جَهَنَّمَ مِهَادٌ وَمِنْ فَوْقِهِمْ غَوَاشٍ وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الظَّالِمِينَ (الأعراف: 41).
وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لاَ نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا أُوْلَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ (الأعراف: 42).
وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِمْ مِنْ غِلٍّ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهِمْ الأَنْهَارُ وَقَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي هَدَانَا لِهَذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِنَهْتَدِيَ لَوْلاَ أَنْ هَدَانَا اللَّهُ لَقَدْ جَاءَتْ رُسُلُ رَبِّنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَنُودُوا أَنْ تِلْكُمْ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ (الأعراف: 43).
وَنَادَى أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ أَصْحَابَ النَّارِ أَنْ قَدْ وَجَدْنَا مَا وَعَدَنَا رَبُّنَا حَقًّا فَهَلْ وَجَدْتُمْ مَا وَعَدَ رَبُّكُمْ حَقًّا قَالُوا نَعَمْ فَأَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ بَيْنَهُمْ أَنْ لَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ (الأعراف: 44).
الَّذِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَيَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا وَهُمْ بالآخِرَةِ كَافِرُونَ (الأعراف: 45).
وَبَيْنَهُمَا حِجَابٌ وَعَلَى الأَعْرَافِ رِجَالٌ يَعْرِفُونَ كُلاًّ بِسِيمَاهُمْ وَنَادَوْا أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ أَنْ سَلاَمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَمْ يَدْخُلُوهَا وَهُمْ يَطْمَعُونَ (الأعراف: 46).
وَإِذَا صُرِفَتْ أَبْصَارُهُمْ تِلْقَاءَ أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ قَالُوا رَبَّنَا لاَ تَجْعَلْنَا مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ (الأعراف: 47).
وَنَادَى أَصْحَابُ الأَعْرَافِ رِجَالاً يَعْرِفُونَهُمْ بِسِيمَاهُمْ قَالُوا مَا أَغْنَى عَنْكُمْ جَمْعُكُمْ وَمَا كُنتُمْ تَسْتَكْبِرُونَ (الأعراف: 48).
أَهَؤُلاَءِ الَّذِينَ أَقْسَمْتُمْ لاَ يَنَالُهُمْ اللَّهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ لاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلاَ أَنْتُمْ تَحْزَنُونَ (الأعراف: 49).
وَنَادَى أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ أَنْ أَفِيضُوا عَلَيْنَا مِنْ الْمَاءِ أَوْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمْ اللَّهُ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ حَرَّمَهُمَا عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ (الأعراف: 50).
الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا دِينَهُمْ لَهْوًا وَلَعِبًا وَغَرَّتْهُمْ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا فَالْيَوْمَ نَنسَاهُمْ كَمَا نَسُوا لِقَاءَ يَوْمِهِمْ هَذَا وَمَا كَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا يَجْحَدُونَ (الأعراف: 51).
وَلَقَدْ جِئْنَاهُمْ بِكِتَابٍ فَصَّلْنَاهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ (الأعراف: 52).
هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلاَّ تَأْوِيلَهُ يَوْمَ يَأْتِي تَأْوِيلُهُ يَقُولُ الَّذِينَ نَسُوهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ قَدْ جَاءَتْ رُسُلُ رَبِّنَا بِالْحَقِّ فَهَلْ لَنَا مِنْ شُفَعَاءَ فَيَشْفَعُوا لَنَا أَوْ نُرَدُّ فَنَعْمَلَ غَيْرَ الَّذِي كُنَّا نَعْمَلُ قَدْ خَسِرُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ وَضَلَّ عَنْهُمْ مَا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ (الأعراف: 53).
إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ يُغْشِي اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومَ مُسَخَّرَاتٍ بِأَمْرِهِ أَلاَ لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالأَمْرُ تَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ (الأعراف: 54).
ادْعُوا رَبَّكُمْ تَضَرُّعًا وَخُفْيَةً إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ (الأعراف: 55).
وَلاَ تُفْسِدُوا فِي الأَرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلاَحِهَا وَادْعُوهُ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِنْ الْمُحْسِنِينَ (الأعراف: 56).
وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُرْسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرًا بَيْنَ يَدَيْ رَحْمَتِهِ حَتَّى إِذَا أَقَلَّتْ سَحَابًا ثِقَالاً سُقْنَاهُ لِبَلَدٍ مَيِّتٍ فَأَنزَلْنَا بِهِ الْمَاءَ فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ مِنْ كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ كَذَلِكَ نُخْرِجُ الْمَوْتَى لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ (الأعراف: 57).
وَالْبَلَدُ الطَّيِّبُ يَخْرُجُ نَبَاتُهُ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِ وَالَّذِي خَبُثَ لاَ يَخْرُجُ إِلاَّ نَكِدًا كَذَلِكَ نُصَرِّفُ الآياتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَشْكُرُونَ (الأعراف: 58).
لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَى قَوْمِهِ فَقَالَ يَاقَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ إِلَهٍ غَيْرُهُ إِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ (الأعراف: 59).
قَالَ الْمَلَأُ مِنْ قَوْمِهِ إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي ضَلاَلٍ مُبِينٍ (الأعراف: 60).
قَالَ يَاقَوْمِ لَيْسَ بِي ضَلاَلَةٌ وَلَكِنِّي رَسُولٌ مِنْ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ (الأعراف: 61).
أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَالاَتِ رَبِّي وَأَنصَحُ لَكُمْ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنْ اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ (الأعراف: 62).
أَوَعَجِبْتُمْ أَنْ جَاءَكُمْ ذِكْرٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِنْكُمْ لِيُنذِرَكُمْ وَلِتَتَّقُوا وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ (الأعراف: 63).
فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَأَنجَيْنَاهُ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ فِي الْفُلْكِ وَأَغْرَقْنَا الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَوْمًا عَمِينَ (الأعراف: 64).
وَإِلَى عَادٍ أَخَاهُمْ هُودًا قَالَ يَاقَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ إِلَهٍ غَيْرُهُ أَفَلاَ تَتَّقُونَ (الأعراف: 65).
قَالَ الْمَلَأُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ قَوْمِهِ إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي سَفَاهَةٍ وَإِنَّا لَنَظُنُّكَ مِنْ الْكَاذِبِينَ (الأعراف: 66).
قَالَ يَاقَوْمِ لَيْسَ بِي سَفَاهَةٌ وَلَكِنِّي رَسُولٌ مِنْ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ (الأعراف: 67).
أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَالاَتِ رَبِّي وَأَنَا لَكُمْ نَاصِحٌ أَمِينٌ (الأعراف: 68).
أَوَعَجِبْتُمْ أَنْ جَاءَكُمْ ذِكْرٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِنْكُمْ لِيُنذِرَكُمْ وَاذْكُرُوا إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَاءَ مِنْ بَعْدِ قَوْمِ نُوحٍ وَزَادَكُمْ فِي الْخَلْقِ بَسْطَةً فَاذْكُرُوا آلاَءَ اللَّهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ (الأعراف: 69).
قَالُوا أَجِئْتَنَا لِنَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ وَحْدَهُ وَنَذَرَ مَا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُنَا فَأْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَا إِنْ كُنتَ مِنْ الصَّادِقِينَ (الأعراف: 70).
قَالَ قَدْ وَقَعَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ رِجْسٌ وَغَضَبٌ أَتُجَادِلُونَنِي فِي أَسْمَاءٍ سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنْتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُمْ مَا نَزَّلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ سُلْطَانٍ فَانتَظِرُوا إِنِّي مَعَكُمْ مِنْ الْمُنتَظِرِينَ (الأعراف: 71).
فَأَنجَيْنَاهُ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِنَّا وَقَطَعْنَا دَابِرَ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا وَمَا كَانُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ (الأعراف: 72).
وَإِلَى ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحًا قَالَ يَاقَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ إِلَهٍ غَيْرُهُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُمْ بَيِّنَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ هَذِهِ نَاقَةُ اللَّهِ لَكُمْ آيَةً فَذَرُوهَا تَأْكُلْ فِي أَرْضِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ (الأعراف: 73).
وَاذْكُرُوا إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَاءَ مِنْ بَعْدِ عَادٍ وَبَوَّأَكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ تَتَّخِذُونَ مِنْ سُهُولِهَا قُصُورًا وَتَنْحِتُونَ الْجِبَالَ بُيُوتًا فَاذْكُرُوا آلاَءَ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تَعْثَوْا فِي الأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ (الأعراف: 74).
قَالَ الْمَلَأُ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا مِنْ قَوْمِهِ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا لِمَنْ آمَنَ مِنْهُمْ أَتَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ صَالِحًا مُرْسَلٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِ قَالُوا إِنَّا بِمَا أُرْسِلَ بِهِ مُؤْمِنُونَ (الأعراف: 75).
قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا إِنَّا بِالَّذِي آمَنتُمْ بِهِ كَافِرُونَ (الأعراف: 76).
فَعَقَرُوا النَّاقَةَ وَعَتَوْا عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِمْ وَقَالُوا يَاصَالِحُ ائْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَا إِنْ كُنتَ مِنْ الْمُرْسَلِينَ (الأعراف: 77).
فَأَخَذَتْهُمْ الرَّجْفَةُ فَأَصْبَحُوا فِي دَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ (الأعراف: 78).
فَتَوَلَّى عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَاقَوْمِ لَقَدْ أَبْلَغْتُكُمْ رِسَالَةَ رَبِّي وَنَصَحْتُ لَكُمْ وَلَكِنْ لاَ تُحِبُّونَ النَّاصِحِينَ (الأعراف: 79).
وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُمْ بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِنْ الْعَالَمِينَ (الأعراف: 80).
SURAH AL ARRAF AYYAH 41 To 80
(7:41) wrong-doers. Hell shall be their bed, and also above them their covering. Thus do We reward the wrong doers
(7:42) And those who believe and do good – We do not impose upon any of them a burden beyond his capacity. They are the people of Paradise. And there they shall abide.
(7:43) We shall strip away all rancor from their hearts,22 and rivers shall flow beneath them, and they shall say: ‘All praise be to Allah Who has guided us on to this. Had it not been for Allah Who granted us guidance, we would not be on the Right Path.
Surely the Messengers of our Lord did indeed come down with truth.’ Then a voice will cry out to them: ‘This is the Paradise which you are made to inherit as a reward for your deeds.” 33
32.If there develops any rancor or ill-will among good people during the course of their worldly lives, such rancor and will be removed in the Hereafter. Their hearts will be purged of all hostile feelings and they will enter Paradise as cordial friends. They will not feel envious towards those who had formerly been opposed or hostile to them that they share with them the bounties of Paradise. Significantly, ‘Ali once recited this very verse and remarked: ‘I wish that I and ‘Uthman and Talhah and al-Zubayr will be among those about whom God has said: “And We shall take away all rancor from their hearts” ‘ (verse 43). (See Qurtubi’s comments on verse 43 – Ed.)
Reflection on the verse leads one to conclude that out of His mercy, God will first purge the righteous of their blemishes. This will be done before admitting them to Paradise. Thus they will enter Paradise in a state of untainted purity.
33.This refers to something of a fine and delicate character that will take place in Paradise.
Instead of boasting about their virtuous deeds which led them to Paradise, the righteous will thank and praise God profusely and acknowledge His grace ,and mercy without which they could never have entered Paradise. On the other hand, God will not impress his bounty upon the righteous; He will rather emphasize that Paradise is granted to them by way of compensation for their righteous conduct, that it is the fruit of their hard labor; that it is not like the crumbs of charity but a fair recompense for their striving. The subtlety involved here is further brought into relief by the fact that the above response will not be made by God. It will rather be just announced to them.
What is said above about the Hereafter may be discerned in the attitude of the righteous in the world itself. The wicked and arrogant ones take great pride in their worldly attainments and ascribe them to their own efforts. They firmly believe that what they have achieved is the fruit of their labor Saved by such notions, they continue to act even more haughtily.
Conversely the righteous look upon all the bounties which they receive as favor fom God.
Accordingly, they thank and praise Him out of gratitude. The more they are lavished with worldly favors, the more humble and generous they become. Moreover, they do not suffer from the illusion that their righteousness will certainly earn them their salvation. On the
contrary, they consistently repent over their lapses and earnestly turn to God in the hope that He will pardon them out of His grace and mercy. They are always fearful of God’s reckoning lest their evil deeds are found to outweigh their good deeds. According to a tradition, the Prophet (peace be on him) said: ‘Know well that none will he able to enter Paradise by dint of his good deeds.’ When asked if that would apply to him as well, the Prophet (peace be on him) replied: ‘Yes, in my case as well; unless God covers me with His mercy and favor.’ (Bukhari, Kitab al-Riqaq, ‘Bab al-Qasd wa a Mudawamah ala al-Amal’ – Ed.)
(7:44) And the people of Paradise shall cry to the people of Hell: ‘Surely we have found our Lord’s promise to us to be true. Have you also found true what your Lord has promised you?’ ‘Yes’, they shall answer; and a herald shall cry out among them: ‘Allah’s curse be upon the wrongdoers;
(7:45) upon those who hinder men from the path of Allah and seek to make it crooked; and disbelieve in as Hereafter. ‘
(7:46) And between the two there will be a barrier, and on the Heights will be men who will recognize each person by his mark and will cry, out to the people of Paradise: ‘Peace be to you. These will be the ones who had not yet joined them in Paradise, though they long to do so.
34. The people of A’rraf (Heights) will be the people who are neither righteous enough to enter Paradise nor wicked enough to he cast into Hell. They will, therefore, dwell at a place situated between the two.
(7:47) And when the eyes of the people of the Heights will be turned towards the people of Hell they will say: ‘Our Lord! Do not cast us among the wrongdoing people.
(7:48) And the people of the Heights will cry out to the men whom they would recognize by their marks. saving: ‘Neither your numbers nor the riches of which you were proud availed you.
(7:49) Are these not the ones of whom you swore that Allah shall grant them nothing of His mercy?’ To such, it will be said: ‘Enter Paradise. You have no cause to fear, nor shall you grieve.’
(7:50) And the people of the Fire will cry out to the people of Paradise: ‘Pour out some water on us or throw at us something of what Allah has bestowed upon you.’ They will reply: ‘Allah has forbidden to the deniers of the truth,
(7:51) who have made their religion a sport and play. and whom the life of the world has beguiled. So on that Day We shall forget them in the manner they forget their meeting of this Day with Us and persist in denying Our revelations.’5
35.The dialogue between the People of Paradise, and the People of the Fire. and the People of the Heights gives some indication of the tremendous range of human faculties in the next World. These faculties would increase to such an extent that the People of Paradise, the People of the Fire and the People of the Heights will be able to see, hear and talk to one another. Other Qur’anic statements about the Hereafter enable us to realize that the laws operating in the Next World will be altogether different from those in the present.
Notwithstanding this, men’s personalities will not undergo any such change. Those who cannot perceive any thing beyond the present limited world and who are incapable of imagining scales bigger than the ones relating to the present world, make fun of the statements in the Qur’an and Hadith about life in the Hereafter. This only betrays their poverty of understanding and imagination. The fact, however, is that the possibilities for life are not as narrow and limited as their minds.
(7:52) Surely We have brought them a Book which We expounded with knowledge; a guidance and a mercy to those who believe ‘ 22
36.The Qur’an has spelled out in some detail what constitutes the fundamental reality, explained the attitude that man ought to adopt, and laid down the fundamentals of the way of life that he ought to follow. The tails laid down in the Book in this regard are based on sound knowledge rather than on conjecture and fancy.
37.The contents and teachings of the Book are perspicuous enough to show one the right way. Moreover, lifestyle life-style of those who believe in this Book also bears out, by the beneficial effects it produces on human life, how well it guides man. The blessings of the Qur’an becomes evident if the man first notes the healthy changes that it brings about in his outlook, character, and morals.
The above verse in fact alludes to the wonderful effect belief in the Qur’an had on the lives of the Companions of the Prophet (peace be on him).
(7:53) Are they waiting for the fulfillment of its warning?38 On the Day that warning is fulfilled, those that have neglected it before will say: ‘The Messengers of Our Lord did indeed bring forth the truth. Are there any intercessors who will now plead on our behalf? Or, can we be restored to life that we might perform differently from that which we did? ‘2 They surely ended in an utter loss, and the lies they had fabricated failed them.
38.The position of the people in question is as follows. The difference between good and evil was first explained to them, and yet they turned a deaf ear to it. Then some people established a good example by following the right path notwithstanding the dominant trend towards error. The wholesome effect of righteous conduct became evident from the lives of such people, but it made no impression on the people concerned. Their persistence in error could only mean one thing: that they would only learn the lesson the hard way when they saw the painful effects of their error. Such people are like stupid patients who neither follow the directions of the physician nor learn any lesson from their own observations of the many patients who have been cured of their diseases by following the directions of physicians. These people will realize – if they realize at all – on their deathbed that their ways were foolish and fatal.
39.Such people will long to return to the world, pleading that they will believe in the truth which they had rejected since they have now witnessed it. They will also ensure that their attitude will be different from what had been before. For a fuller discussion of this plea and the rejoinder to it see (al-An’am 6: 27-8); (Ibrahim 14: 44 and 45); (al-Sajdah 32: 12-13); (al-Fatir 35: 37); (al-Zumar 39: 56-9); and (al-Mu’min 40: 11-12).
(7:54) Surely your Lord is none other than Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days,“° and then ascended His Throne;4! Who causes the night to cover the day and then the day swiftly pursues the night; Who created the sun and the moon and the stars making them all subservient to His command. Lo! His is the creation and His is the command. Blessed is Allah,#2 the Lord of the universe.
40.The word ‘day’ in the above verse has been used either in the usual sense of the twenty-four hour unit of time, or in a more general sense of ‘period’ of time such as in the following verses of the Qur’an: Verily a Day in the sight of your Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning (al-Hajj 22: 47).
The angels and the Spirit ascend unto Him on a Day the measure of which is fifty thousand years (al-Ma’arij 70: 4). For further explanation see (Fussilat 41, nn. 12-15.)
41.It is quite difficult to appreciate fully the exact nature of the Qur’anic statement: ‘(Allah) ascended the Throne.’ One possibility is that after the creation of the universe God focused His effulgence at a particular point in His Kingdom which is known as the Throne, from where He showers the blessings of life and power, and governs the whole universe.
It is possible that the word ‘Throne’ stands for dominion and authority and that God’s ascending the Throne signifies His actual taking over the reins of the universe after having created it. Whatever the exact meaning of the expression ‘(Allah) ascended the Throne’, the main thrust of the verse is that God is not just the creator of the universe, but is also its sovereign and ruler; that after creating the universe He did not detach Himself from, nor become indifferent to, His creation. On the contrary, He effectively rules over the universe as a whole as well as every part of it. All power and sovereignty rest with Him. Everything in the universe is fully in His grip and is subservient to His will. Every atom is bound in obedience to Him. The fate of everything existent is in His Hands. Thus the Qur’an undermines the very basis of the misconception which leads man at times to polytheism, and at others to self-glorification and so to rebellion against God. This is the natural corollary of considering God divorced from the affairs of the universe. In such cases, there are two possibilities. One, that beings other than God are considered to have the power to make or mar man’s destiny. Here, man is bound to turn to those beings in devotion and subservience. The second possibility is for man to consider himself as the master of his own destiny. Here, man considers himself independent of, and indifferent to, any higher being.
It is significant that the words and figures of speech employed by the Qur’an to denote the relationship between God and man are closely related to kingship, dominion, and sovereignty. This is too conspicuous a fact to be missed by any careful student of the Qur’an.
It is strange, however, that it has led some superficial critics and persons of biased outlook to conclude that the Qur’an reflects the milieu in which man’s outlook was dominated by monarchical concepts, and that therefore its ‘author’, who in their view was the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him), presented God as a sovereign ruler, an absolute monarch.
Quite contrary to this is the fundamental truth which the Qur’an emphatically affirms -God’s sovereignty over the heavens and the earth. It negates, with equal emphasis, that sovereignty belongs to anyone else. Such a doctrine demolishes the very assumption on the basis of which the above erroneous conclusion was derived. The Qur’anic concept of God’s sovereignty is in sharp contrast to the idea that creatures of God may lay claim to sovereignty and kingship. In contrast to the weak, mortal kings of the world, God is eternal and all-powerful This undermines the very basis of the misconceived criticism that Islam has a monarchical basis since no hunian being can conform to the Islamic description of the sovereign. All sovereignty vests in the One True God. Hence, all those who claim total or partial sovereignty either for any person or group of people are merely cherishing an illusion. It is evident, therefore, that it is totally inappropriate for man, who is a part of the universe created and governed by God, to adopt any other attitude than that of acknowledging God as the only object of worship and as the only sovereign in a societal and political sense.
42.This is an elaboration of the idea propounded in the note immediately above explaining the meaning of God’s ascension to the Throne. To reiterate, God is not merely the sole creator but also the only One Who commands and governs. He has not detached Himself from His creation, leaving it to the care of others who might rule over it as they please. Nor has He granted independence to His creation or any part of it so that they might function as they, wish. On the contrary, His grip over the entire universe is very firm. He rules over it according to His sovereign will. If we find alternation taking place between day and night, it is a result of God’s command. God has full power both to hold that process in abeyance, or to alter the very system which causes the alternation. The heavenly bodies – the sun, the moon, and the stars – are all absolutely powerless. They are totally subservient to God’s overpowering will, and have been yoked to function according to His command.
43.The word barakah signifies growth and increase. The notions of elevation and greatness as well as of permanence and stability are also an essential part of the word’s meaning.
Besides these the word inalienably carries nuances of goodness and beneficence. To say that God is full of barakah means that His goodness knows no bounds; that endless beneficence emanates from Him; that He is the Exalted One Whose loftiness knows no end; that His beneficence and loftiness are permanent, and thus they will never vanish or suffer decline. (For further elaboration see Tafhim al-Qaran, (al-Furqan 25: nn. 1 and 19.)
(7:55) Call upon your Lord with humility and in secret. Surely He does not love transgressors.
(7:56) And do not make mischief in the earth after it has been set in order,“ and call upon Him with fear and longing. Surely Allah’s mercy is close to those who do good.
44.The command not to make mischief in the earth means not to vitiate the right order of life. What basically, constitutes ‘mischief-making’ is to surrender oneself to one’s lusts, to commit acts in subservience to other human beings and to subscribe to base morals, social orders, civilizations, principles and laws derived from sources other than God’s Guidance.
This is the essential mischief from which innumerable evils issue and which the Qur’an seeks to eradicate. The Qur’an also emphasizes that sound order is the original condition, and disorder and mischief occurred later as accidents resulting from man’s ignorance and transgression. In other words, man’s life on earth did not start with ignorance, savagery, polytheistic beliefs, rebellion against God and moral disorder where after reforms were gradually introduced. On the contrary, man’s life began with good order and was later corrupted because of man’s perversity and folly. God sent Prophets from time to time in order to eradicate the disorder that had set in and to restore the original, good order. These Prophets constantly exhorted people to refrain from disrupting the original order and creating mischief.
Thus the Qur’anic view on this question is altogether different from that of the proponents of the false doctrine of evolution, who postulate that man has gradually come out of darkness into light; that life has advanced in a unilinear fashion, towards increasingly better conditions. The Qur’an rather postulates that human life began in the full light of the Divine Guidance, that the original state of affairs was in accord with the Right Way prescribed by God. The blame for corruption goes to the man who falling victim to Satan’s allurements, veered towards darkness and corrupted the right order of human life again and again. As to for God, He continually sent Prophets in order to summon men from darkness to light, and to ask them to eschew evil and wickedness. (See Towards Understanding the Qur’an, (al- Baqarah 2, n. 230, pp. 165-6 – Ed.)
45.This clearly shows what the expression ‘mischief-making’ in the verse signifies. It consists of man’s turning to others than God as his guardian, patron and helper, and calling them to his aid and support. To bring about reform, therefore, consists of man’s turning exclusively to God as his guardian and helper.
‘Calling upon Allah with fear and longing’ conveys the idea that man should fear God alone, and to Him alone, he should look for the fulfillment of his wishes. While calling upon God man should realize that he is totally dependent on God’s favor and that he can attain success only if God helps and guides him to it. Similarly, man should also bear in mind that once he is deprived of God’s support, he is doomed to utter failure and undoing.
(7:57) And it is He Who sends forth winds as glad tidings in advance of His Mercy, and when they have carried a heavy-laden cloud We drive it to a dead land, then We send down rain from it and bring forth therewith fruits of every kind. In this manner do We raise ~ dead that you may take heed.
(7:58) As for the good land, vegetation comes forth in abundance by the command of its Lord, whereas from the bad land, only poor vegetation comes forth.4¢ Thus do We expound Our signs in diverse ways for a people who are grateful.
46.It is necessary to grasp the subtle point made here in order to appreciate the full purport of what is being said. The reference to rain and its advantages is intended to bring into focus God’s power, and to affirm life after death. Moreover, it is also intended to draw attention in allegorical, albeit graphic, terms to the blessings of prophethood, and how it helps men to distinguish between good and evil, between pure and impure. The intimation of Divine Guidance through the Prophets is compared to the movement of winds, the appearance of rain-laden clouds, and the fall of life-sustaining raindrops. In the same way as rainfall causes dead earth to be revived and makes the hidden treasures of life burst forth from its womb, so the impact of the teachings of the Prophets also brings dead humanity back to life, causing the hidden goodness in men to burst forth.
This allegory also hints at another important fact. In the same way that only fertile soil profits from rainfall, so only men of a righteous nature can profit from the blessings of prophethood. As for the wicked, they are like a wasteland. Rainfall can cause such land to bring forth only thorny bushes and cacti. Similarly, when the wicked come into contact with the teaching of the Prophets, the hidden evils of their nature come into full play.
This allegory is followed by a well-sustained account with illustrations from history showing that whenever the Prophets preach their Message, men Split into two camps. The righteous receive the blessings of prophethood and flourish, bringing forth the fruit of their goodness. As for the wicked, once the criterion provided by the Prophets is applied their impurities are fully exposed. This enables human society to purge itself of impurities in the same way as the goldsmith purges precious metals of alloy.
(7:59) Indeed We sent forth Noah to his people #7 and he said: ‘0 my people! Serve Allah, you have no other god than Him 48 Indeed I fear for you the chastisement of an awesome Day.
47.This historical narrative opens with an account of the Prophet Noah and his people. For the people of Noah were the first to drift away from the right way of life which was followed by the Prophet Adam and his descendants. God, therefore, sent Noah to guide and reform them.
In light of the Qur’anic allusions and Biblical statements, it seems certain the people of Noah inhabited the land presently known as Iraq. This view is also supported by inscriptions of pre-Biblical times discovered in the course of archaeological excavations in Babylonia. Those inscriptions contain almost the same account which is recounted in the Qur’an and the Torah. The locale of the event in the vicinity of Mosul. Kurdish and Armenian traditions also corroborate this account insofar as they mention that it was in this area that Noah was Ark anchored. Some rely on ascribed to Noah are still found in Jazirat Ibn ‘Urnar, situated to the north of Mosul and on the frontiers of Armenia in the vicinity of the Ararat mountain mass. The inhabitants of Nakhichevan believe to this day that their town was founded by Noah.
Traditions similar to the story of Noah are also found in classical Greek Egyptian, Indian and Chinese literature. Moreover, stories of identical import have been popular since time immemorial in Burma, Malaya, the East Indies, Australia, New Guinea and various parts of
Europe and America. This shows clearly that the event took place at some point in the dim past when men lived together in one region and it was after Noah’s Flood that they dispersed to different parts of the world. This is why traditions of all nations mention the Flood of the early time. This is notwithstanding the fact that the actual event has increasingly been shrouded in mystery, and the authentic elements of are the event overlaid with myth and legend.
48.It is evident from the above verse and from other Qur’anic descriptions of the people of Noah that they were neither ignorant of, nor denied the existence of God, nor were they opposed to the idea of worshipping Him. Their real malady was polytheism. They had associated others with God in His godhead and considered them akin to God in their claim that human beings should worship them as well. This basic error gave rise to a number of evils among them. There had arisen among them a class of people representing the false gods they themselves had contrived. Gradually this class of people virtually monopolized all religious, economic and political authority. This class also introduced a hierarchical structure of society which led to immense corruption and injustice. The moral degeneration which this system promoted sapped the roots of mankind’s higher characteristics. When corruption reached a high peak, God sent Noah to improve the state of affairs. For long, Noah strove with patience and wisdom to bring about reform. All his efforts, however, were thwarted by the clergy which craftily kept people under its powerful hold. Eventually Noah prayed to God not to spare even a single unbeliever on the face of the earth, for they would go about misguiding human beings, and their progeny would likewise be wicked and ungrateful. (For a detailed discussion see( Hud 11: 25-48), (al-Shu’ara’ 26: 105-22) and (Nuh 71: 1-28.)
(7:60) The leading men of his people replied: ‘We see that you are in palpable error. ‘
(7:61) He said: ‘0 my people! There is no error in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of the universe.
(7:62) I convey to you the messages of my Lord, give you sincere advice, and I know from Allah that which you do not know.
(7:63) Do you wonder that admonition should come to you from your Lord through a man from amongst yourselves that he may warn you, that you may avoid evil and that mercy may be shown to you?’42
49.There were striking similarities between Muhammad and Noah (peace be on them). The Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) received the same treatment from his people as did Noah from his. The message that each of them sought to preach was also the same. Likewise, the doubts and objections raised by the people of Muhammad (peace be on him) with regard to his prophethood were the same as those raised by Noah’s people several thousand years ago. Again, what Muhammad (peace be on him) said in response to the doubts and objections raised against him were exactly the same as what Noah had said.
The Qur’anic narration of the stories of the Prophets makes it amply clear that the attitude of the nations to whom the Prophets were sent had always been the same as that of the Makkans towards the Message of Muhammad (peace be on him). Apart from this, the accounts of the various Prophets and their people, display the same striking resemblances. Likewise, the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be on him) vindication of his teaching in response to the Makkans is identical with similar attempts by other Prophets to vindicate their teachings. So doing, the Qur’an seeks to emphasize that in the same way as the error and misguidance of which men become victims have remained essentially the same throughout the ages, the Message of God’s Messengers has also been the same in all places and at all times. Again, there is a striking resemblance in the ultimate fate of all those peoples who reject the message of the Prophets and who persist in their erroneous and evil ways. This too has also been the same, namely utter destruction.
(7:64) But they charged him with falsehood. Thereupon we delivered Noah and those who were with him in the Ark, and caused those who rejected Our signs as false to be drowned. Surely they were a blind folk.
50.An uninitiated reader of the Qur’an may, mistakenly conceive that the mission of each Prophet – to call his people to God – would have finished after the few attempts they made in that connection. Some people might even entertain a rather simplistic image of their mission. It might be thought that a Prophet would have suddenly risen and proclaimed to his people that he had been designated by God as a Prophet. This would have been followed by the raising of objections to that claim. Subsequently, the Prophet concerned would have explained the matter and might have removed their misgivings. The people would have stuck to their position, would have rejected the Prophet’s claim and called him a liar.
whereupon God must have visited that people with punishment. The fact of the matter, however, is that the Qur’an has narrated in just a few lines a story that was worked out over a long period of time. The brevity of the Qur’anic description owes itself to the fact that the Qur’an is not interested per se in story-telling; that its narration and purpose are didactic. Hence, while recounting a historical event, the Qur’an mentions only those fragments of the event which are relevant, ignoring those details which are irrelevant to Qur’anic purposes. Again, at different places in the Qur’an the same event is mentioned for a variety of reasons. On every occasion only those fragments of the story which are relevant to a specific purpose are mentioned and the rest are left out. An instance in point is the above narrative about Noah. In narrating Noah’s story the Qur’an aims to point out the consequences attendant upon the rejection of the Prophet’s Message. Since the total period spent on conveying the Message does not have any direct relationship with that purpose, the Qur’an altogether ignores it here. However, in passages where the Prophet and the Companions have been asked to remain patient, the long duration of the Prophet Noah’s missionary, effort has been mentioned. This has been done precisely, with a view to raising the morale of the believers and to prevent them from feeling low because they did not see any, good results coming out of that struggle. By mentioning how Noah strove patiently for such a long period of time and in the face of discouraging circumstances is quite relevant in this context as it helps to teach the lesson which is intended. That lesson is to persist in serving the cause of the truth and to refuse to be daunted by the adversity of the circumstances. See(_al-‘Ankabut 29: 14).
It would be appropriate to remove, at this stage, a doubt which might agitate the minds of some people. For one frequently reads in the Qur’an accounts of nations that rejected their Prophets and charged them with lying. One also reads about the Prophets warning them of God’s punishment, and then about its sudden advent, scourging the nation and totally destroying it. This gives rise to the question: Why do such catastrophic incidents not take place in our own time? Nations still rise and fall, but the phenomenon of their rise and fall is of a different nature. We do not see it happen that a nation is served with a warning, and is then totally destroyed by a calamity such as an earthquake. a flood, a storm, or a thunderbolt.
In order to understand this, it should be remembered that a nation that has directly received God’s Message from a Prophet is treated by God in a different manner from nations which have not witnessed a Prophet. For if a nation directly witnesses a Prophet – an embodiment of righteousness – and receives God’s Message from his tongue, it has no valid excuse left for rejecting that Message. And if it still rejects the Message, it indeed deserves to be summarily punished. Other nations are to be placed in a different category since they received God’s Message indirectly. Hence, if the nations of the present time are not visited by; the devastating punishments which struck the nations of the Prophets in the past, one need not wonder since prophethood came to an end with the advent of Muhammad (peace be on him). One should indeed have cause to wonder if one saw the opposite happen – that is, if the nations of the present were visited by punishments from God which had afflicted those nations that rejected their Prophets face to face.
This does not mean, however, that God has ceased to inflict severe punishments on nations which turn away from God and are sunk in ideological and moral error. The fact is that God’s punishments still afflict different nations of the world. These punishments are both minor and major. Minor punishments are aimed at warning those nations, and the major ones are of a much more serious character and cause considerable damage. However, in the absence of the Prophets who are wont to draw attention to moral degeneration as the basic cause of these calamities, the historians and thinkers of our time only scratch the surface and explain these in terms of physical laws or historical causes. These sophisticated explanations are of little help. On the contrary, nations so afflicted with heedlessness and moral stupor are thereby further prevented from appreciating that God has always warned evil-doing nations against following their evil ways, and that when they willfully disregard these warnings and adamantly stick to their erroneous ways. He ultimately inflicts disastrous punishments upon them.
(7:65) And to ‘Aad! We sent forth their brother Hud. He said: ‘0 my people! Serve Allah; you have no other god than Him. Will you, then, not avoid evil?!
51.’Ad, an ancient Arab people, were well-known throughout Arabia. They were known for their proverbial glory and grandeur. And when they were destroyed, their extinction also became proverbial. So much so that word ‘Ad has come to be used for things ancient and the word ‘adiyat for archaeological remains. The land whose owner is unknown and which is lying fallow, from neglect is called ‘adi al-ard.
Ancient Arabic poetry is replete with references to these people. Arab genealogists consider the ‘Ad as the foremost among the extinct tribes of Arabia. Once a person of the Banel Dhuhl b. Shayban tribe, who was a resident of the ‘Ad territory, called on the Prophet (peace be on him). He related stories to the Prophet about the people of ‘Ad, stories handed down to the people of that region from generation to generation. (See Ahmad b. Handball, Musnad, vol. 3, p. 482 – Ed.)
According to the Qur’an, the people of ‘Ad lived mainly in the Ahqaf region which is situated to the south-west of the Empty Quarter (al-Rub’ al-Khali) and which lies between Hijaz, Yemen and Yamamah. It was from there that the people of ‘Ad spread to the western coast of Yemen and established their hegemony in Oman, Hadramawt, and Iraq. There is very little archaeological evidence about the ‘Ad. Only a few ruins in South Arabia are ascribed to them. At a place in Hadramawt, there is a grave that is considered to be that of the Prophet Hud. James R. Wellested, a British naval officer, discovered an ancient inscription in 1837 in a place called Hisn al-Ghurab which contains a reference to the Prophet Hud. The contents unmistakably bear out that it had been written by those who followed the Shari’ah of Hud. (For details see Tafhim al-Qur’an, (al-Al. Ahgaf 46, n. 25.)
(7:66) The unbelievers among the leading men of his people said: ‘Indeed we see you in folly, and consider you to be liars.
(7:67) He said: ‘0 my people! There is no folly in me; rather 1 am a Messenger from the Lord of the universe.
(7:68) I convey to the messages of my Lord, and I give you sincere advice.
(7:69) Do you wonder that an exhortation should come to you from your Lord through a man from amongst yourselves that he may warn you? And do call to mind when He made you successors after the people of Noah and amply increased you in stature. Remember then the wondrous bounties of Allah, that you may prosper.’
52.The word ala’ used in the above verse stands for bounties, wondrous works of nature, and praiseworthy qualities. The purpose of the verse is to impress upon man to gratefully, recognize the favours God has lavished upon him, bearing in mind that God also has the Power to take them away.
(7:70) They said: ‘Have you come to us that we should worship none other than Allah and forsake all whom our forefathers were wont to worship? Then bring upon us the scourge with which you have threatened us if you are truthful?’
53.It is worth noting that the people of ‘Ad neither disbelieved in God nor refused to worship Him. They did not, however, follow, the teachings of Hud who proclaimed God alone should he worshipped, and that none other may be associated in servitude to Him.
(7:71) Hud warned them: ‘Surely punishment and wrath from your Lord have befallen upon you. Do you dispute with me about mere names that you and your forefathers have concocted and for which Allah has sent down no sanction?5 Wait, then, and I too am with you among those who wait.’
54.They looked to gods of rain and gods of wind, wealth, and health. But none of these enjoys godhead. There are many instances in our own time of people whose beliefs are no different from the ones mentioned above. There are people who are wont to call someone Mushkil Kusha, ‘the remover of distress’ or to call someone else Ganjbakhsh, ‘the bestower of treasures’. But God’s creatures cannot remove the distresses of other creatures like themselves, nor do they have any treasure that they might give away to others. Their titles are merely empty words, bereft of the qualities attributed to them. All argumentation aimed at justifying those titles amounts to a lot of sound and fury about nothing.
55.The Makkans could produce no sanction from Allah – Whom they themselves acknowledged as the Supreme God – that He had transferred to their false gods any of His power or authority. None has any authorization from God to remove distress from, or bestow treasures on, others. It is the Makkans themselves who arbitrarily chose to confer parts of God’s power on those beings.
(7:72) Then We delivered Hud and his companions by Our mercy, and We utterly cut off the last remnant of those who called the lie to Our signs and would not believe.
56.,The Qur’an informs us that God brought about the total extermination of the ‘Ad, a fact borne out by both Arabian historical traditions and recent archaeological discoveries. The ‘Ads were so totally destroyed and their monuments so completely effaced that the Arab historians refer to them as one of the umam ba’idah (extinct peoples) of Arabia. The Arab tradition also affirms that the only people belonging to the ‘Ad who survived were the followers of the Prophet Hud. These survivors are known as the Second ‘Ad (‘Ad Thaniyah).
The Hisn al-Ghurib inscriptions referred to earlier (n.51) above are among the remaining monuments of these people. One inscription, which is generally considered to date from the eighteenth century B.C., as deciphered by the experts, contains the following sentences:
We have lived for a long time in this fort in full glory, free of all want. Our canals were always full to the brim with water .. . Our rulers were kings who were far removed from evil ideas, who dealt sternly with mischief-makers and governed us according to the Law of Hud. Their edicts were recorded in a book. We believed in miracles and resurrection.
The above account fully corroborates the Qur’anic statement that it was only the companions of Hud who survived and inherited the glory and prosperity of the ‘Ad.
(7:73) And to Thamud We sent forth their brother. Salih. He said to them: ‘0 my people! Serve Allah, you have no other god than Him. Truly there has come to you a clear proof from your Lord. This she-camel from Allah is a Divine portent for you. So leave her alone to pasture on Allah’s earth, and touch her with no evil lest a painful chastisement should seize you.
57.The Thamud are another ancient Arab people, next only to the ‘Ad in fame. Legends relating to them were quite popular in pre-Islamic Arabia. In fact, poetry and orations of the pre-Islamic (Jahiliyah) period abound with references to them. They are also mentioned in the Assyrian inscriptions and in the Greek, Alexandrian and Roman works of history and geography. Some descendants of the Thamud survived a little before the birth of Jesus.
The Roman historians mention that they entered in the Roman army and fought against the Nabateans, their arch-enemy.
The Thamud lived in the north-western part of Arabia which is still called al-Hijr. In the present time there is a station on the Hijaz railway, between Madina and Tabuk. This is called Mada’in Salih, which was the capital town of Thamud and was then known as al-Hijr, the rock-hewn city. This has survived to this day and is spread over thousands of acres. It was once inhabited by no less than half a million people. At the time of the revelation of the Qur’an ,Arab trade caravans passed through the ruins of this city.
While the Prophet (peace be on him) was on his way, to Tabuk, he directed the Muslims to look upon these monuments and urged them to learn the lessons which sensible persons ought to learn from the ruins of a people that had been destroyed because of their evil-doing.
The Prophet (peace be on him) also pointed to the well from which the she-camel of the Prophet Salih used to drink. He instructed the Muslims to draw water from that well alone and to avoid all other wells. The mountain pass through which that she-camel came to drink was also indicated by the Prophet (peace be on him). The pass is still known as Fajj al-Naqah.
The Prophet (peace be on him) then gathered all the Muslims who had been directed to look around that city of rocks, and addressed them. He drew their attention to the tragic end of the Thamud, who by their evil ways had invited God’s punishment upon themselves. The Prophet (peace he on him) asked them to hastily move ahead for the place was a grim reminder of God’s severe punishment and he hence called for reflection and repentance. (See waqidi, al-maghazi, vol. 3, pp. 1006-8. See also the comments of Ibn Kathir on verses 73- 8 – Ed.)
58.The context seems to indicate that the clear proof referred to in the verse stands for the she-camel which is also spoken of as ‘a Divine portent’. In(al-Shu’ara’ 26: 154-8) it is explicitly mentioned that the Thamud themselves had asked the Prophet Salih to produce some sign which would support his claim to be God’s Messenger. Responding to it, Salih pointed to the she-camel.
This illustrates clearly that the appearance of the she-camel was a miracle. Similar miracles had been performed earlier by other Prophets with a view to fulfilling the demand of the unbelievers and thus indicating their claim to prophethood. The miraculous appearance of the she-camel reinforces the fact that Salih had presented it as a ‘Divine portent’ and warned his people of dire consequences if they harmed it. He explained to them that the she-camel would graze freely in their fields; on alternate days she and other animals would drink water from their well, They were also warned that if they harmed the she camel they would be immediately destroyed by a terrible chastisement’ from God Such statements could obviously only have been made about an act hat was known to be of a miraculous nature. The Thamud observed the she-camel graze freely in their fields and she and the other camels drank water on alternate days from their well. The Thamud, though unhappy with the situation, endured this for quite some time. Later, however, after prolonged deliberations, they killed her. Such lengthy deliberations demonstrate that they were afraid to kill the she-camel. It is clear that the object of their fear was none other than the she-camel as they had no reason to be afraid of Salih, who had no power to terrify them.
Their sense of awe for the she-camel explains why they let her graze freely on their land. The Qur’an, however, does not provide any detailed information as to what the she-camel looked like or how she was born. The authentic Hadith also provides information about its miraculous birth. Hence, one need not take too seriously the statements of some of the commentators on the Qur’an about the mode of her birth. However, as far as the fact of her miraculous birth is concerned, that is borne out by Qur’an itself.
(7:74) And call to mind when He made you successors after ‘Ad and gave you power in the earth so that you took for yourselves palaces in its plains and hewed out dwellings in the mountains.2 Remember, then, the wondrous bounties of Allah and do not go about creating mischief in the land.’
59.The Thamud were highly skillful-carving, and made huge mansions by carving the mountains, as we have mentioned earlier see (n. 57 )above. In this regard, the works of the Thamud resemble the rock carvings in the Ajanta and Ellora caves in India and several other places. A few buildings erected by the Thamud are still intact in Mada’in Salih and speak of their tremendous skills in civil engineering and architecture.
60.The Qur’an asks people to draw a lesson from the tragic end of the ‘Ad. For just as God destroyed that wicked people and established Muslims in positions of power and influence previously occupied by them, He can also destroy the Muslims and replace them by Others if they should become wicked and mischievous. (For further elaboration see (n. 52 )above.
(7:75) The haughty elders of his people said to those believers who had been oppressed: ‘Do you know that Salih is one sent forth with a message from his Lord?! They replied: ‘Surely we believe in the message with which he has been sent.’
(7:76) The haughty ones remarked. ‘Most certainly we disbelieve in that which you believe.
(7:77) Then they hamstrung the she-camel,“! Disdainfully killed the commandment of their Lord, and said: ‘0 Salih! Bring upon us the scourge with which you threatened us if you are truly a Messenger [of Allah].’
61. Although the she-camel was killed by an individual, as we learn also from surahs al- Qamar (54) and al-Sharns (91), the whole nation was held guilty since it stood at the killer’s back. Every sin which is committed with the approval and support of a nation, is a nation’s crime even if it has been committed by one person. In fact, the Qur’an goes a step further and declares that a sin that is committed publicly in the midst of a gathering is considered to be the collective sin of the people who tolerate it.
(7:78) Thereupon a shocking catastrophe seized them, so that they lay prostrate in their dwellings.
62.Other Qur’anic expressions used for the calamity are ‘rajifah’ (earthquake) (al-Nazi’at 79: 6); ‘sayah’ (awesome cry) (Hud_11: 67); ‘Sa’igah’ (thunderbolt) (al-Baqarah 2: 55); and ‘taghiyah” (roaring noise) (al-Hagqah 69: 5).
(7:79) And Saleh left them, saying: ‘O my people! I conveyed to you the message of my Lord and gave you good advice; but you have no, liking for your well-wishers.’
(7:80) And remember when We sent Lot [as a Message to his people and he said to them: ‘Do you realize you practice an indecent practice which no other people in the the world was guilty of it before you?
63.The land inhabited by the people of Lot, which lies between Iraq and Palestine, is known as Trans-Jordan. According to the Bible, its capital town was Sodom, which is situated either somewhere near the Dead Sea, or presently lies submerged under it. Apart from Sodom, according to the Talmud, there were four other major cities, and the land lying between these cities was dotted with such greenery and orchards that the whole area looked like one big garden enchanting any onlooker. However, the whole nation was destroyed and today we can find no trace of it. So much so that it is difficult to even locate the main cities which they inhabited. If anything remains as a reminder of this nation it is the Dead Sea which is also called the Sea of Lot. The Prophet Lot who was a nephew of the Prophet Abraham, accompanied his uncle as he moved away from Iraq. Lot sojourned to Syria, Palestine, and Egypt for a while and gained practical experience of preaching his message. Later God bestowed prophethood upon him and assigned to him the mission of reforming his misguided people. The people of Sodom have been referred to as the people of Lot presumably because Lot may have established matrimonial ties with those people.
One of the many accusations recorded against Lot in the Bible – and the Bible has been tampered with extensively by the Jews – is that Lot migrated to Sodom after an argument with Abraham (Genesis 13: 10-12).
The Qur’an refutes this baseless charge and affirms that Lot was designated by God to work as His Messenger among his people.
The author refers to an argument between Abraham and Lot which he considers to be a fabrication of Jews. The obvious basis of this is that such an argument between the Prophets is inconceivable since it is unbecoming of them as Prophets. The basis of this inference is a statement in Genesis 13:1-12.
It seems that there has been some confusion with regard to this inference. The verses of Genesis in question makes no reference to any strife between the two Prophets. The strife to which it refers allegedly took place between the two Prophets. In addition, when the two Prophets parted company it was on a pleasant note for Abraham had suggested that since there was an abundance of land, Lot should choose that part of the land he preferred so as to exclude all possibilities of strife between their herdsmen. (See Genesis 13:1-5-Ed.)