11) سورة هود
الر كِتَابٌ أُحْكِمَتْ آيَاتُهُ ثُمَّ فُصِّلَتْ مِنْ لَدُنْ حَكِيمٍ خَبِيرٍ (هود: 1).
أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُوا إِلاَّ اللَّهَ إِنَّنِي لَكُمْ مِنْهُ نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ (هود: 2).
وَأَنْ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُمْ مَتَاعًا حَسَنًا إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ وَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ كَبِيرٍ (هود: 3).
إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ (هود: 4).
أَلاَ إِنَّهُمْ يَثْنُونَ صُدُورَهُمْ لِيَسْتَخْفُوا مِنْهُ أَلاَ حِينَ يَسْتَغْشُونَ ثِيَابَهُمْ يَعْلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ (هود: 5).
وَمَا مِنْ دَابَّةٍ فِي الأَرْضِ إِلاَّ عَلَى اللَّهِ رِزْقُهَا وَيَعْلَمُ مُسْتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهَا كُلٌّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُبِينٍ (هود: 6).
وَهُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ وَكَانَ عَرْشُهُ عَلَى الْمَاءِ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلاً وَلَئِنْ قُلْتَ إِنَّكُمْ مَبْعُوثُونَ مِنْ بَعْدِ الْمَوْتِ لَيَقُولَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِنْ هَذَا إِلاَّ سِحْرٌ مُبِينٌ (هود: 7).
وَلَئِنْ أَخَّرْنَا عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابَ إِلَى أُمَّةٍ مَعْدُودَةٍ لَيَقُولُنَّ مَا يَحْبِسُهُ أَلاَ يَوْمَ يَأْتِيهِمْ لَيْسَ مَصْرُوفًا عَنْهُمْ وَحَاقَ بِهِمْ مَا كَانُوا بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِئُون (هود: 8).
وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَا الإِنسَانَ مِنَّا رَحْمَةً ثُمَّ نَزَعْنَاهَا مِنْهُ إِنَّهُ لَيَئُوسٌ كَفُورٌ (هود: 9).
وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَاهُ نَعْمَاءَ بَعْدَ ضَرَّاءَ مَسَّتْهُ لَيَقُولَنَّ ذَهَبَ السَّيِّئَاتُ عَنِّي إِنَّهُ لَفَرِحٌ فَخُورٌ (هود: 10).
إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمْ مَغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ كَبِيرٌ (هود: 11).
فَلَعَلَّكَ تَارِكٌ بَعْضَ مَا يُوحَى إِلَيْكَ وَضَائِقٌ بِهِ صَدْرُكَ أَنْ يَقُولُوا لَوْلاَ أُنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ كَنزٌ أَوْ جَاءَ مَعَهُ مَلَكٌ إِنَّمَا أَنْتَ نَذِيرٌ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَكِيلٌ (هود: 12).
أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَاهُ قُلْ فَأْتُوا بِعَشْرِ سُوَرٍ مِثْلِهِ مُفْتَرَيَاتٍ وَادْعُوا مَنْ اسْتَطَعْتُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ إِنْ كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ (هود: 13).
فَإِلَّمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا لَكُمْ فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا أُنزِلَ بِعِلْمِ اللَّهِ وَأَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ فَهَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ (هود: 14).
مَنْ كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيْهِمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فِيهَا وَهُمْ فِيهَا لاَ يُبْخَسُونَ (هود: 15).
أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ إِلاَّ النَّارُ وَحَبِطَ مَا صَنَعُوا فِيهَا وَبَاطِلٌ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ (هود: 16).
أَفَمَنْ كَانَ عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَيَتْلُوهُ شَاهِدٌ مِنْهُ وَمِنْ قَبْلِهِ كِتَابُ مُوسَى إِمَامًا وَرَحْمَةً أُوْلَئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِهِ مِنْ الأَحْزَابِ فَالنَّارُ مَوْعِدُهُ فَلاَ تَكُنْ فِي مِرْيَةٍ مِنْهُ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكَ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ (هود: 17).
وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا أُوْلَئِكَ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَى رَبِّهِمْ وَيَقُولُ الأَشْهَادُ هَؤُلاَءِ الَّذِينَ كَذَبُوا عَلَى رَبِّهِمْ أَلاَ لَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ (هود: 18).
الَّذِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَيَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا وَهُمْ بالآخِرَةِ هُمْ كَافِرُونَ (هود: 19).
أُوْلَئِكَ لَمْ يَكُونُوا مُعْجِزِينَ فِي الأَرْضِ وَمَا كَانَ لَهُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مِنْ أَوْلِيَاءَ يُضَاعَفُ لَهُمْ الْعَذَابُ مَا كَانُوا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ السَّمْعَ وَمَا كَانُوا يُبْصِرُونَ (هود: 20).
أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ وَضَلَّ عَنْهُمْ مَا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ (هود: 21).
لاَ جَرَمَ أَنَّهُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ هُمْ الأَخْسَرُونَ (هود: 22).
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَأَخْبَتُوا إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ أُوْلَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ (هود: 23).
مَثَلُ الْفَرِيقَيْنِ كَالأَعْمَى وَالأَصَمِّ وَالْبَصِيرِ وَالسَّمِيعِ هَلْ يَسْتَوِيَانِ مَثَلاً أَفَلاَ تَذَكَّرُونَ (هود: 24).
وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَى قَوْمِهِ إِنِّي لَكُمْ نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ (هود: 25).
أَنْ لاَ تَعْبُدُوا إِلاَّ اللَّهَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ أَلِيمٍ (هود: 26).
فَقَالَ الْمَلَأُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ قَوْمِهِ مَا نَرَاكَ إِلاَّ بَشَرًا مِثْلَنَا وَمَا نَرَاكَ اتَّبَعَكَ إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ هُمْ أَرَاذِلُنَا بَادِيَ الرَّأْيِ وَمَا نَرَى لَكُمْ عَلَيْنَا مِنْ فَضْلٍ بَلْ نَظُنُّكُمْ كَاذِبِينَ (هود: 27).
قَالَ يَاقَوْمِ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ كُنتُ عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّي وَآتَانِي رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِنْدِهِ فَعُمِّيَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أَنُلْزِمُكُمُوهَا وَأَنْتُمْ لَهَا كَارِهُونَ (هود: 28).
وَيَاقَوْمِ لاَ أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مَالاً إِنْ أَجْرِيَ إِلاَّ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَمَا أَنَا بِطَارِدِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّهُمْ مُلاَقُو رَبِّهِمْ وَلَكِنِّي أَرَاكُمْ قَوْمًا تَجْهَلُونَ (هود: 29).
وَيَاقَوْمِ مَنْ يَنصُرُنِي مِنْ اللَّهِ إِنْ طَرَدْتُهُمْ أَفَلاَ تَذَكَّرُونَ (هود: 30).
وَلاَ أَقُولُ لَكُمْ عِندِي خَزَائِنُ اللَّهِ وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ وَلاَ أَقُولُ إِنِّي مَلَكٌ وَلاَ أَقُولُ لِلَّذِينَ تَزْدَرِي أَعْيُنُكُمْ لَنْ يُؤْتِيَهُمْ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ إِنِّي إِذًا لَمِنْ الظَّالِمِينَ (هود: 31).
قَالُوا يَانُوحُ قَدْ جَادَلْتَنَا فَأَكْثَرْتَ جِدَالَنَا فَأْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَا إِنْ كُنتَ مِنْ الصَّادِقِينَ (هود: 32).
قَالَ إِنَّمَا يَأْتِيكُمْ بِهِ اللَّهُ إِنْ شَاءَ وَمَا أَنْتُمْ بِمُعْجِزِينَ (هود: 33).
وَلاَ يَنفَعُكُمْ نُصْحِي إِنْ أَرَدْتُ أَنْ أَنصَحَ لَكُمْ إِنْ كَانَ اللَّهُ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يُغْوِيَكُمْ هُوَ رَبُّكُمْ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ (هود: 34).
أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَاهُ قُلْ إِنْ افْتَرَيْتُهُ فَعَلَيَّ إِجْرَامِي وَأَنَا بَرِيءٌ مِمَّا تُجْرِمُونَ (هود: 35).
وَأُوحِيَ إِلَى نُوحٍ أَنَّهُ لَنْ يُؤْمِنَ مِنْ قَوْمِكَ إِلاَّ مَنْ قَدْ آمَنَ فَلاَ تَبْتَئِسْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ (هود: 36).
وَاصْنَعْ الْفُلْكَ بِأَعْيُنِنَا وَوَحْيِنَا وَلاَ تُخَاطِبْنِي فِي الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا إِنَّهُمْ مُغْرَقُونَ (هود: 37).
وَيَصْنَعُ الْفُلْكَ وَكُلَّمَا مَرَّ عَلَيْهِ مَلَأٌ مِنْ قَوْمِهِ سَخِرُوا مِنْهُ قَالَ إِنْ تَسْخَرُوا مِنَّا فَإِنَّا نَسْخَرُ مِنْكُمْ كَمَا تَسْخَرُونَ (هود: 38).
فَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ يَأْتِيهِ عَذَابٌ يُخْزِيهِ وَيَحِلُّ عَلَيْهِ عَذَابٌ مُقِيمٌ (هود: 39).
حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءَ أَمْرُنَا وَفَارَ التَّنُّورُ قُلْنَا احْمِلْ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلٍّ زَوْجَيْنِ اثْنَيْنِ وَأَهْلَكَ إِلاَّ مَنْ سَبَقَ عَلَيْهِ الْقَوْلُ وَمَنْ آمَنَ وَمَا آمَنَ مَعَهُ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ (هود: 40).
11. Surah Hud AYA No 1 To 30
This Surah has been named after Prophet Hud whose story has been related in vv. 50-60.
Period of Revelation
If we consider its theme deeply, we come to the conclusion that it was revealed during the same period as Surah Yunus and most probably followed it immediately.
The Surah deals with the same subject as Surah Yunus, that is, invitation to the Message, admonition and warning, with this difference that the warning is sterner. This is also supported by a Tradition:
It is related that after its revelation, once jinab Abu Bakr said to the Holy Prophet, “Of late I have been noticing that you are growing older and older. What is the cause of it?” The Holy Prophet replied, “Surah Hud and the like Surahs have made me old.” This shows that it was a very hard time for the Holy Prophet and these stern warnings added greatly to his anxieties that were caused by the persecution from the Quraish, who were doing their worst to crush down the Message of Islam. For it was obvious to the Holy Prophet that the last limit of the respite given by Allah was approaching nearer and nearer and he was afraid lest the term of the respite should expire and his people be seized by the torment.
The invitation is this: Obey the Messenger of Allah; discard shirk, and worship Allah and Allah alone: establish the entire system of your life on the belief that you shall be called to account in the Hereafter.
The admonition is this: Remember that those people who put their faith in the outward appearance of this worldly life and rejected the Message of the Prophets met with dire consequences. Therefore you should consider it seriously whether you should follow the same way that history has proved to be the path to ruin.
The warning is this: You should not be deluded by the delay in the coming of the punishment: it is because of the respite that Allah has granted you by His grace so that you might mend your ways: if you do not make use of this opportunity, you shall be inflicted with an inevitable punishment that will destroy you all except the Believers.
Instead of addressing the people directly, the Quran has used the stories of the people of Noah, Hud, Salih, Lot, Shu’aib and Moses to achieve the above mentioned objects. What is most prominent in their stories is that when Allah passes His judgment on the people, He does not spare anyone whatsoever, even if he be the nearest relative of the Prophet of the time. Only that one is rescued who had believed in the Prophet, and none else, not even his own son or wife. More than that: the Faith demands from each and every Believer that he should totally forget his relationships when that judgment comes and remember only the relationship of the Faith. For it is against the spirit of Islam to show any regard whatsoever for the relationships of blood and race. And the Muslims demonstrated these teachings practically in the Battle of Badr, four years after the revelation of this Surah.
(11:1) Alif. Lam. Ra. This is a Divine Command1 whose contents have been made firm and set forth in detail 2 from One Who is All-Wise, All-Aware
1. The Arabic word kitab has been translated into Book because of the context. For its meaning is not confined to book or something written but it includes command and sovereign decree as well and has been used in several places in the Quran in the same sense.
2. The contents of this Book are firm, strong, and unchangeable: they are well balanced and measured. There is no tinge of verbosity, pedantry, volubility, poetic fancy and rhetorical exaggeration. The truth has been stated accurately, and there is nothing more and nothing
less than the truth. Moreover, the contents have been given in detail and everything has been made so clear and plain that there is neither confusion nor complication nor ambiguity in it.
(11:2) that you may worship none but Allah. Verily, I have come to you as a warner and a bearer of good news from Him
(11:3) that you may seek forgiveness of your Lord and turn to Him in repentance whereupon He will grant you a fair enjoyment of life until an appointed term,3 and will bestow favor on everyone who merits favour.4 But should you turn away (from the truth), I fear for you the chastisement of an Awesome Day.
3. The assurance that “He will let you enjoy a fair provision for a term appointed” has been given to remove the misunderstanding which Satan has imbued in the heart of every foolish worshiper of the world that piety ruins one’s worldly life, though it might lead to one’s success in the Hereafter. Allah has reassured the true believers that He will shower His blessings on God fearing people and they will live happy and peaceful lives and will be honored and respected everywhere. The same thing has been stated in a different manner in (Surah An-Nahal, Ayat 97): “Whoso will do good deeds, whether a man or a woman,
provided the one is a believer, We will surely make such a one lead a pure and clean life in this world.” Allah has refuted this theory of Satan and his disciples that piety inevitably brings poverty, distress and affliction and ignominy to the person who adopts truth, righteousness and virtue. He has assured that He will make the life of the one who will believe in Him and adopt a righteous life truly successful both in this world and in the Hereafter. And it is common experience that only those people enjoy real peace of mind and are honored and respected who are God fearing and possess a pure character, who are fair and generous in all their affairs and dealings and who are free from evil. For they are trusted by all and none fears any wrong or wickedness from them.
According to the Quran, the provisions of life are either mataul hasana meaning good provisions or mataul ghuroor meaning deceptive provisions. Here those, who return to Allah, have been assured that they will be given good provisions of life and not deceptive ones. The provisions are good if their recipient becomes even more grateful to Allah than before and uses these for fulfilling His rights and the rights of mankind and of his own self.
Such good provisions make his life truly successful in this world and also in the next world.
On the contrary, the provisions are deceptive, if they become a temptation for the recipient, and get him involved in the worship of the things of this world more than before. Though the deceptive provisions might appear to be a blessing and a favor, these are, in fact, a curse and means of some future torment.
4. This verse enunciates a fundamental divine principle. The higher a person rises in character and conduct, the higher is the rank he obtains in the sight of Allah. That is to say that Allah does not let go waste the good deed of anyone. He does neither appreciate any evil deed, nor detracts from any good deed. Everyone will be given the honor which he deserves for his deeds.
(11:4) Unto Allah is your return, and He has power to do everything.
(11:5) Lo! They fold up their breasts that they may conceal themselves from Him.3 Surely when they cover themselves up with their garments Allah knows well what they cover and what they reveal. Indeed He even knows the secrets hidden in the breasts.
5. They were those people of Makkah, who though not very active in their antagonism against the message of the Prophet (peace be upon him), nevertheless were very averse to it. Therefore they did not like to hear it nor come face to face with him, and did their very best to avoid him. If, by chance, they found him sitting somewhere and talking to the people, they would at once turn back on their heels. Or if they saw him coming towards them, they would slink away or hide their faces with cloth for fear that he might address them and convey his message to them. As they did not have the courage to face the truth, they would bury their heads ostrich-like and make believe that the reality from which they were hiding had disappeared, whereas it was all along there and watching their ridiculous attempts to hide from it.
(11:6) There is not a single moving creature on the earth but Allah is responsible for providing its sustenance. He knows where it dwells and where it will permanently rest.6 All this is recorded in a clear Book.
6. That is, it is foolish on your part to deceive yourselves that you can escape punishment by hiding yourselves from Allah Who has full and perfect knowledge of everything. Who knows the nest where the tiniest sparrow lives and the hole where the smallest insect resides,
and provides their sustenance to them wherever they be. Who knows the dwelling place and the final resting place of every creature and gives life and death to them at the appointed time. Do you think that by hiding yourselves from His messenger, you can also hide yourselves from the All-Knowing Sovereign Who has sent him? Do you think that
Allah does not see His messenger doing his very best to convey His message to you and you are trying to turn a deaf ear to it?
(11:7) And He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six days – and [before that] His Throne was upon the water? that He may test you, who of you is better in conducts If you were to say ‘O Muhammad’ ‘All of you will surely be raised after death’, then those who disbelieve will certainly say: ‘This is nothing but plain sorcery.7
7. This is a parenthetical clause that has probably been inserted in answer to a question, which has not been cited: if the heavens and the earth were created afterwards in six days, what was there before their creation? The answer is: then there was water. It is not possible for us to say what exactly was the nature of that water. It might have been the common fluid known by that name. Or perhaps, the word water has been used as a symbol for the fluid state of the matter before it was changed to its present form. As regards to “His Throne was
upon the water” I am of the opinion that it means: “His Kingdom was over water.”
8. This enunciates the purpose of the creation: Allah created the heavens and the earth for the sake of the creation of mankind and He created mankind to test human beings by delegating to them the powers of vice regency and making them morally responsible for
using or abusing them, just as they liked. Thus it has been emphasized that the sole purpose of the creation is the moral trial of man and his consequent accountability to the Creator for the use or abuse of the delegated powers, and the award of rewards and punishments. For
without this basic purpose, the whole work of creation would have become meaningless and useless.
9. That is, the disbelievers very foolishly considered the purpose of the creation to be no more than a pastime in which they themselves were mere playthings. They were so absorbed in their foolish conception that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) told them what the real purpose of creation was and what part they were required to play in it, they would scoff at him, saying: Your message is like a piece of sorcery and beyond our understanding.
(11:3) And were We to put off the chastisement from them for a determined period, they will cry out: ‘What withholds Him from chastising?’ Surely when the day of the chastisement will come, nothing will avert it and the chastisement which they had
ridiculed shall encompass them.
(11:9) If We ever favor man with Our Mercy, and then take it away from him, he becomes utterly desperate, totally ungrateful.
(11:10) And if We let him taste favors after harm has touched him, he says: ‘All my ills are gone’, and he suddenly becomes exultant and boastful,“
10. This disgraceful characteristic of man has been mentioned here because the disbelievers were exhibiting it at that time. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) warned them of the consequences of their disobedience to Allah, they would scoff at him as if to say: Are you mad? Can’t you see our prosperity and power? We are enjoying all the good things of life and dominating over everything and everyone all around us. How is it that you are prophesying torment for us?
The above mentioned arrogant behavior was due to the disgraceful human characteristic which has been mentioned in this verse. It is this: Man is, by nature, shallow and superficial and lacks the depth of thought. Therefore, when he enjoys prosperity and power he becomes joyous, arrogant and boastful; so much so that he never even dreams of any possibility that his happy condition would ever come to an end. And if and when adversity befalls him, he becomes an embodiment of despair and begins to complain of his misfortune here, there, and everywhere; so much so that he does not hesitate even to abuse God and taunt at His Godhead. But whenever there is a change for the better in his fortune, he again begins to brag of his foresight, wisdom and success. That is why the disbelievers were exhibiting such a shallow and superficial characteristic in answer to the warning of the
Prophet (peace be upon him). They forgot that Allah was deferring their punishment because of His mercy to give them sufficient time to consider well their absurd attitude and mend their ways during the respite given to them, and not to delude themselves by imagining that their prosperity had very deep foundations and would last for ever.
(11:11) except those who are patient and act righteously. Such shall have Allah’s forgiveness and a great reward.12
11. Here sabr (fortitude) also implies another meaning, that is, steadfastness, the antonym of shallowness etc. that has been mentioned in the preceding verse. Those “Who are steadfast” remain fine and unwavering in their purpose in spite of the vicissitudes of life. They are not influenced by the changes of circumstances but stick to the right reasonable and correct attitudes they have adopted. They do not give themselves airs nor become intoxicated nor over jubilant and boastful if they win power, prosperity and name. On the contrary, they are neither subdued nor depressed if they are visited by adversity. In short, they come out successful in their trial by Allah, whether it be in the shape of favor or adversity and remain steadfast in both the cases.
12. This is the favor that Allah shows to such people; He forgives their shortcomings and gives them rich rewards for their good deeds.
(11:12) (O Messenger!) Let it not happen that you omit (to expound) a portion of what was revealed to you. And do not be distressed that they will say: ‘Why was a treasure not bestowed upon him?’ or ‘Why did no angel accompany him?! For you are merely a warner, whereas Allah has control over everything.
13. In this verse, Allah has comforted and urged His Messenger (peace be upon him) to propagate the message without the least hesitation and not to waver in his determination for fear of ridicule or for lack of response from his people. He should convey the message in its entirety and leave the result to Allah for He has full power over every thing. In order to grasp its full significance, we should keep in view the circumstances that necessitated it.
At the time of this revelation, the Quraish were the most powerful and influential of all the clans. As they were the guardians of the Ka’bah (Makkah), the religious center of the Arabs, they enjoyed religious, economic, and political superiority over the entire Arabia. Thus it was
quite natural that they should resent and oppose that message which proclaimed: “The religion of which you are the leaders is absolutely false, and the system of life you are following is rotten to the core. As you are rejecting the message, torment of Allah is threatening you. The only way of escape from it is that you should accept the right way and
the righteous system of life I have brought from Allah.” Obviously this message struck a hard blow at their superiority and therefore they were averse to it from the very beginning.
The second reason why they did not accept it was that the Messenger (peace be upon him) possessed nothing extraordinary to convince the people of his Prophethood except his pure character and his rational, and understandable message. Then for the Quraish, there was nothing to warrant a torment from Allah except the rotten condition of their religion, morality and culture. On the contrary, there was prosperity to delude them that that was a sure sign of the favors of Allah and of their gods and goddesses, which was a clear proof that the ways they were following were the right ways. The inevitable result was that only a small minority of those people, who had sound minds and hearts, accepted the message and the remaining large majority became hostile to it. Then some of them tried to suppress the message by persecutions and some did their worst to defame it by false accusations and frivolous objections and others resorted to calculated indifference to discourage it. There were still others who adopted an attitude of ridicule, derision, taunt and mockery in order to make light of it.
The above condition went on for many years and was liable to fill one with despair and discouragement. Therefore the Sovereign reassured His Messenger, as if to say, “We disapprove of these shallow, superficial and mean people, who are trying to make your mission a failure by their prejudice, indifference, ridicule, mockery and frivolous objections.
You should go on following the right way with perseverance and courage: you should go on proclaiming the truth that has been revealed to you without the least hesitation: you should never be afraid of propagating the message for fear of ridicule or indifference: you should go on inculcating the truth in its entirety whether anyone accepts it or rejects it for it is Allah Who has everything in His power and charge and He alone affords guidance to everyone He considers fit for it.”
(11:13) Do they say: ‘He has invented this Book himself?’ Say: ‘If that is so, bring ten surahs the like of it of your composition, and call upon all (the deities) you can other than Allah to your help. Do so if you are truthful.’
(11:14) Then if (your deities) do not respond to your call for help then feel assured that this Book was revealed with the knowledge of Allah, and that there is no true god but Him. Will you, then, surrender (to this truth)?“
14. Here one and the same argument has been advanced to prove two things. First, the Quran has been revealed by Allah. Secondly, it proves the truth of the doctrine of Tauhid.
The argument is this:
(1) You say that the Quran has not been revealed by Allah but has been devised and invented by myself and ascribed to Him. If your claim had been genuine you would have been able to invent a book like this in answer to the challenge I have given you over and over again. As you have failed to do so even with your combined resources and forces, my
claim that it has been revealed with Allah’s knowledge has been proved absolutely and completely true.
(2) Then there was a twofold challenge from the Quran to your deities but they utterly failed to meet it. They were challenged to come to your aid and help produce a book like the Quran. As they have not helped you, it is a clear proof that they are absolutely powerless and have no share at all in Godhead. You have seen that they have not only failed in this decisive test, but have also proved to be impotent to defend themselves against the open attacks made on them in this Book, which asks the people not to worship them for they have
no share in the powers of Godhead. These things have proved that there is nothing divine in them and you have made them your deities without rhyme or reason.
Incidentally, this verse shows that chronologically this Surah was revealed earlier than Surah Yunus. For at first they were challenged in this Surah to bring ten Surahs like the Surahs of the Quran, but they failed to do so. Then in Surah Yunus they were challenged (Ayat 38 and E.N. 46) to bring even one Surah like this.
(11:15) Those who seek merely the present world and its adornment.13 We fully recompense them for their work in this world, and they are made to suffer no diminution in it concerning what is their due.
15. This general statement has been made in continuation of the theme of the preceding verses, to refute the false excuses of the disbelievers mentioned therein for rejecting the message of the Quran. This verse says that in general those people who rejected the Quran then (and are rejecting it now) were the worshipers of this world and its pleasures. As the root cause of their rejection was (and is) this false creed that there is nothing more valuable than the pleasures of this world and its material gains. And there should be no restrictions, like the ones imposed in the Quran, on their acquisition. They first made this choice, and afterwards invented arguments, like the ones mentioned in the Quran, to deceive their own minds and those of others.
(11:16) They are the ones who shall have nothing in the Hereafter except Fire.16 (There they shall come to know) that their deeds in the world have come to naught; and that whatever they have done is absolutely useless.
16. This is a clear and stern warning to the worshipers of the world. They should know that they will get the full reward for the exertions (whatever they be) they put forth in order to acquire the worldly gains but they should note it well that they would get nothing in the next world. As they confined their efforts to the benefits of this world, and did nothing to earn the benefits of the next world, they should expect nothing for the deeds they have done for the material gains of this world. In order to illustrate this, let us take the case of a person who desires to build a palace for himself in this world and adopts all those devices, measures and means which help build such a palace. Most surely, he will succeed in building a grand palace, for no brick will refuse to stick to its place simply because he was an unbeliever. But it is equally obvious that he shall have to leave behind in this world that
grand palace along with all its furnishings as soon as he breathes his last breath. For there is no reason why the palace he had built (or done anything else) for this world, should be credited to him in the next world, if he had done nothing to provide himself with a palace in the next world. For only those who provide for themselves with the necessary material for a palace in the next world in accordance with the divine law, deserve to get a palace there.
Now a question arises in regard to the logical conclusion of this argument, according to which he should not get a palace in the next world. It is this: “Well, he may not get a palace, but why should he be thrown into the fire of Hell?” The answer is this (and the Quran itself
has given this same answer in different places) that the one who exerts and works only for a palace in this world in utter disregard of the Hereafter, naturally and inevitably adopts such treasures and means as help build a large fire for himself in the Hell. (Refer to (E.N. 12 of Surah Yunus).
(11:17) Can it happen that he who takes his stand on a clear evidence 17 from his Lord, subsequently followed by a witness from Him (in his support),18 and prior to that the Book of Moses was revealed as a guide and a mercy, (would even he deny the truth in the manner of those who adore the life of this world)? Rather, such men are bound to believe in it.12 The Fire shall be the promised resort of the groups that disbelieve. So be in no doubt about it for this indeed is the truth from your Lord although most people do not believe.
17. This shows that even apart from revelation, there is ample evidence in man’s own self, in the structure of the heavens and the earth, and in the order that prevails in the universe to prove that God is the only creator, master, lord and sovereign of the universe. The evidence
referred to above also inclines man to believe that the present life will be followed by another one in which man will be required to render an account of his deeds and wherein he might be requited.
18. The “witness from Him” is the Quran. The testimony of the natural phenomena combined with that provided by man’s own self had already created in man the disposition to affirm the truths mentioned earlier. All that was further reinforced by the Quran which came as reassurance that what he was predisposed to believe in was indeed true.
19. In the present context the verse means that those who are overly infatuated with the allurements of a worldly life will be inclined to reject the message of the Quran.
Distinguishable from these are those who take full note of the testimony furnished by their own beings and by the structure and order prevailing in the universe in support of God’s unity. This testimony was further reinforced by the heavenly books revealed before the Quran. How could such persons close their eyes to such overwhelming testimony as this and join their voice with those of the unbelievers?
This verse clearly indicates that even before the Quran was revealed, the Prophet (peace be on him) had reached the stage of belief in the Unseen. We have seen, in (Surah Al- Anaam Ayat 75), the case of Abraham. Before being appointed as a Prophet, Abraham (peace be on
him) was led by a careful observation of the natural phenomena to knowledge of God’s unity. Likewise, the present verse makes it clear that by his reflection, the Prophet (peace be on him), had been led to believe in the Unseen even before the Quran was revealed.
Subsequently, when the Quran was revealed it not only confirmed what he had already become inclined to accept, but also provided definite knowledge about it.
(11:18) And who is a greater wrong-doer than he who invents a lie against Allah?22 Such men will be set forth before their Lord and witnesses will say: ‘These are the ones who lied against their Lord. Lo! Allah’s curse be upon the wrong-doers;20
20. To invent a lie against God consists of stating that beings other than God also have a share with God in His godhead, that like God they are also entitled to be served and worshiped by God’s creatures. Inventing a lie against God also consists of stating that God is not concerned with providing guidance to His creatures, that He did not raise Prophets for that purpose, and that He rather left men free to behave as they pleased. Inventing a lie against God also consists of stating that God created human beings by way of jest and sport and that He will not have them render an account to Him, and that He will not requite them for their deeds.
21. Such a proclamation would be made on the Day of Judgment.
(11:19) upon those2 who bar people from the way of Allah, and seek in it crookedness,23 and disbelieve in the Hereafter.
22. This is a parenthetical statement. That is, that God’s curse will be proclaimed in the Hereafter against those who are guilty of the crimes mentioned.
23. Such persons do not like the straight way being expounded to them. They would rather have the straight way rendered crooked by altering it under the influence of lust, prejudice, fancy, and superstition. It is only after the way that was once straight has been rendered
crooked that they will be willing to accept it.
(11:20) They had no power to frustrate Allah’s design in the earth,24 nor did they have any protectors against Allah. Their chastisement will be doubled.25 They were unable to hear, nor could they see.
24. This, again, refers to what will happen in the next life.
25. They will suffer punishment for being in error and for misleading others and leaving behind a legacy of error and misguidance for coming generations. (Surah Al-Araf, E.N. 30).
(11:21) They caused utter loss to themselves, and all that they had invented failed them.
26. All their conjectures regarding God, the universe and their own selves will prove to be absolutely baseless in the next life. Similarly, the notions they entertained about the help and support they would receive from those they considered to be either their deities, or their
intercessors with God, or their patrons will prove to be false. Likewise, it will become obvious that all their notions about the Afterlife were utterly untrue.
(11:22) Doubtlessly, they shall be the greatest losers in the Hereafter
(11:23) As for those who believed and acted righteously and dedicated themselves totally to their Lord -they are the people of Paradise, and there they shall abide
(11:24) The example of the two parties is that one is blind and deaf, and the other capable of seeing and hearing. Can the two be equals? Will you, then, not heed 28
28. Can the attitude and ultimate end of both these types of people be the same? Obviously, he who fails to see the right way and ignores the instruction of the guide who directs him to the right way will necessarily stumble and meet with some terrible mishap. However, he
who perceives the right way and follows the instructions of his guide will reach his destination, and reach it safely.
The same difference is found between the two parties mentioned here. One of these carefully observes the realities of the universe and pays heed to the teachings of God’s Messengers. The other party, however, neither uses their eyes properly to perceive God’s signs nor pays heed to His Messengers. The behavior of the two parties is, therefore, bound
to be different. And when their behavior is different, there is no reason to believe that their ultimate end will be identical.
(11:25) (Such were the circumstances) when We sent forth Noah to his people.29 (He said): ‘[ have been sent to you to warn you plainly
29.( E.Ns 47-50 of Surah Al-Aaraf )should be kept in view.
(11:26) that you may worship none but Allah or else I fear for you the chastisement of a Grievous Day.30
30. This is the same thing that has been put into the mouth of Muhammad (peace be upon him) in (Ayats 2-3).
(11:27) The notables among Noah’s own people, who had refused to follow him, responded: ‘We merely consider you a human being like ourselves.2! Nor do we find among those who follow you except the lowliest of our folk, the men who follow you without any proper reason. We see nothing in you to suggest that you are any better than us. Rather, we believe you to be liars.’
31. The same foolish objection was being raised by the people against the Prophet (peace be upon him). They argued like this: You are a man like us: you eat and drink, you walk and sleep and have a family, and there is nothing in you that might show that you have been sent by God. (See E. N. Surah Yaseen).
32. The big people of Makkah passed the same remarks about those who followed the Prophet (peace be upon him). They taunted him with things like these: Your followers consist of mere inexperienced boys or slaves or the lowest strata of society, in short, of such people as are credulous and lack commonsense and wisdom. Refer to (E.Ns 34-37 of Surah Al-Anaam) and (E.N. 75 of Surah Yunus).
33. This is to say, You claim that you are the favored ones of God Whose blessings are on you, and that those who do not follow your way are under His wrath. But the reverse of this is true for it is we who have been favored with wealth, servants and power and you possess
nothing of the sort. Please point out anything in which you are superior to us.
(11:28) Noah said: ‘My people! If I base myself on a clear evidence from my Lord, and I have also been blessed by His mercy to which you have been blind, how can we force it upon you despite your aversion to it?
34. This is the same thing that has been put into the mouth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in( Ayat 17). That is, At first I recognized the reality of Tauhid by observing keenly the signs of God in the universe and in my own self. Then the same was confirmed by revelation to me. This shows that all the Prophets acquired the knowledge of the Unseen by observation and contemplation. Then Allah blessed them with the actual knowledge of the same at the time of their appointment as Prophets.
(11:29) My people! I seek no recompense from you. My recompense is only with Allah. Nor will I drive away those who believe. They are destined to meet their Lord.35 But I find you to be an ignorant people.
35. This was to bring home to them the fact that he had no selfish motive in the performance of his mission, as if to say: I am conveying the admonition to you without any demand or hope or expectation of worldly gains. Nay, I am bearing all the sufferings in the hope that
you may at last realize that I have no axe to grind. And you cannot point out anything to show that I have any personal or selfish interest before me in the mission of the Message. See. (E.N. 70 of Surah Al-Mominoon), (E.N. 17 of Surah Saba vand (E.N. 41 of Surah Ash- Shura).
36. That is, their true worth will be known only when they shall meet their Lord. Therefore it is not proper for you to treat them with contempt here in this world. Maybe they are precious stones, their Lord alone knows, and you are treating them as mere worthless stones. See (Surah Al- Anaam, Ayat, 52), (Surah Al-Kahaf, Ayat 28).
(11:30) My people! Were I to drive the men of faith away, who will protect me from (the chastisement of) Allah? Do you not understand even this much?