رَبِّ قَدْ آتَيْتَنِي مِنْ الْمُلْكِ وَعَلَّمْتَنِي مِنْ تَأْوِيلِ الأَحَادِيثِ فَاطِرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ أَنْتَ وَلِيِّ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ (يوسف: 101).
ذَلِكَ مِنْ أَنْبَاءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا كُنتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ أَجْمَعُوا أَمْرَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَمْكُرُونَ (يوسف: 102).
وَمَا أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ (يوسف: 103).
وَمَا تَسْأَلُهُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ ذِكْرٌ لِلْعَالَمِينَ (يوسف: 104).
وَكَأَيِّنْ مِنْ آيَةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ يَمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهَا وَهُمْ عَنْهَا مُعْرِضُونَ (يوسف: 105).
وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللَّهِ إِلاَّ وَهُمْ مُشْرِكُونَ (يوسف: 106).
أَفَأَمِنُوا أَنْ تَأْتِيَهُمْ غَاشِيَةٌ مِنْ عَذَابِ اللَّهِ أَوْ تَأْتِيَهُمْ السَّاعَةُ بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ (يوسف: 107).
قُلْ هَذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ عَلَى بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا وَمَنْ اتَّبَعَنِي وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَمَا أَنَا مِنْ الْمُشْرِكِينَ (يوسف: 108).
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُوحِي إِلَيْهِمْ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَى أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الأَرْضِ فَيَنْظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَدَارُ الآخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ لِلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ (يوسف: 109).
حَتَّى إِذَا اسْتَيْئَسَ الرُّسُلُ وَظَنُّوا أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُوا جَاءَهُمْ نَصْرُنَا فَنُجِّيَ مَنْ نَشَاءُ وَلاَ يُرَدُّ بَأْسُنَا عَنْ الْقَوْمِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ (يوسف: 110).
لَقَدْ كَانَ فِي قَصَصِهِمْ عِبْرَةٌ ِلأَوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ مَا كَانَ حَدِيثًا يُفْتَرَى وَلَكِنْ تَصْدِيقَ الَّذِي
بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَتَفْصِيلَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ (يوسف: 111)
SURAH YOUSAF AYAH 101 TO 110
(12:101) My Lord! You have bestowed dominion upon me and have taught me to comprehend the depths of things. O Creator of heavens and earth! You are my Guardian in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die in submission to You, and join me, in the end, with the righteous.”71
71. The few sentences that were uttered by Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him) at the happiest occasion of his life help depict the most graceful pattern of the virtues of a true believer. There is the man from the desert, whom his own brothers had, out of jealousy, attempted to kill, now sitting on the throne after passing through many vicissitudes of life.
All the members of his family have been forced by famine to come before him for help. The same jealous brothers, who had made an attempt on his life, are now standing before him with downcast heads. Had there been a “successful man of the world” in his place, he would have used this opportunity for boasting of his greatness and bragging of his successes, and giving vent to his grievances and hurling malicious taunts at his defeated enemies. In utter contrast to this, the true man of God behaves in a quite different way.
Instead of boasting and bragging of his own greatness, he is grateful to his God Who had shown grace to him by raising him to such a high position of power, and for arranging his meeting with his people after such a long period of separation. Instead of giving vent to his grievances against his brothers, making taunts at them for their ill treatment, he does not make even a mention of such things but puts up a defense for them, saying that it was all due to Satan, who had stirred up strife between them: nay, he even puts it forward as a blessing in disguise, being one of the mysterious ways of Allah by which He had fulfilled His design of raising him to the throne. After saying these things in a few concise sentences, he at once turns to his Lord in gratitude for bestowing on him kingdom and wisdom, instead of letting him rot in the prison, and prays to Him to keep him as His faithful and obedient servant as long as he was alive, and to join him with the righteous people after his death. What a pure and high pattern of character.
It is strange that this speech of Prophet Joseph has neither found a place in the Bible nor in the Talmud, though these books are full of irrelevant and unimportant details of this story and others. It is an irony that these Books are void of those things that teach moral values and throw light on the real characters and the mission of the Prophets. Now that this story has come to an end, the readers are again reminded that this story of Prophet Joseph as given in the Quran is not a copy of the story given in the Bible and the Talmud for there are striking differences between them. A comparative study of these Books will show that the story in the Quran differs from that given in the other two Books in several very important parts. The Quran contains additional facts in some cases and omits certain facts in other cases or even refutes some parts as contained in the Bible and the Talmud. Therefore there is absolutely no room for anyone to allege that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) related this story merely in the form he heard it from the Israelites.
(12:102) (O Muhammad), this is part of news from the Unseen that We reveal to you for you were not present with them when Joseph’s brothers jointly resolved on a plot.
(12:103) And most of the people, howsoever you might so desire, are not going to believe.
(12:104) You do not seek from them any recompense for your service. 72This is merely an admonition to all mankind.73
72. In order to grasp the full significance of the underlying admonition implied in it, we must keep in view the background of the revelation of this story given in the introduction to this Surah. The Quraish themselves had invited the Prophet (peace be upon him) to a meeting that had been arranged for putting him to a test which was to show whether he was a true Prophet or not. When he arrived there, they put this question to him without any previous notice or intimation: why did the Israelites go to Egypt? In answer to this, the Prophet (peace be upon him) recited this Surah then and there. As they themselves knew
that this was an abrupt question and there had been no preparation for its answer beforehand, it was expected that they would believe in his Prophethood. But they were so obdurate that they did not believe in him even then. As Allah was aware of their intentions, he informed His Messenger beforehand, as if to say: Though you have come out successful in the test, to which they themselves put to you, yet most of them are not going to believe it because they are not sincere in their quest for the truth. That is why they will not believe even now when the revelation of this Surah has proved conclusively that the Quran is not being forged by you but is being sent down by Allah Himself. As their real aim and intention is to reject your message anyhow, they will now invent another excuse for their denial.
This is not meant to remove any misunderstanding the Prophet (peace be upon him) might have cherished, but is merely an indirect warning to the questioners that Allah knew their intentions well. This was meant to warn them like this: O obdurate people, this Surah has been placed before you to serve as a mirror for you. You demanded a proof from Our Messenger that he was not forging the Quran: had you been reasonable and sincere people, you would have accepted the truth that has been established according to your own test, but you are obdurate people and are still denying it.
73. This is another admonition more subtle than the one given above. Though this, too, has been addressed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), it is meant for the unbelievers, as if to
say: O people, consider your attitude towards the message from another point of view. Had you noticed anything in the mission and the message of Our Prophet that might have smelt of any self interest whatsoever, you would have been justified in rejecting it as the work of a selfish person. But you yourselves have experienced it that he has absolutely no self interest in his work and demands no recompense for the message, which is nothing but instruction for all the people of the world. Therefore you should listen to it and consider it without prejudice and make your decisions about it on merit and merit alone.
(12:105) How many are the signs in the heavens and the earth which people pass by without giving any heed 74
74. Now that the story of Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him) has come to an end, the Quran has made use of the opportunity for conveying its basic message, for it does not tell stories merely for the sake of storytelling. As they themselves had invited the Prophet and
were attentively listening to the story, the essence of the message was presented in a few concise sentences (Ayats 105-111).
75. This is to arouse people from their apathy towards the signs of Allah that lie scattered all over the earth and the heavens and to urge them to make a search for the reality by making right observations. As each and everything is not merely a thing but also a sign which points
to the reality, a seeker after it should look at these with a look different from that of animals.
This is because even an animal sees a tree, a mountain and water and takes it as a mere tree, a mountain or water, and with the help of his senses makes use of these according to his needs. But Allah has endowed man with a mind that is able to consider things in other than
their physical and material aspects so that he may think deeply and make a search for the reality by means of these signs of Allah. The reason why people fail to discover the reality and go astray is that they do not consider things as signs and pay no heed to this aspect.
Had they not deliberately shut their minds against the message of the Prophets, it would not have been difficult for them at all to understand it and get guidance from it.
(12:106) And most of them believe in Allah only when they associate others with Him in His Divinity.76
76. They associate other deities with Allah because they do not pay heed to His signs, which serve as pointers to the right way. So they go astray from it and get lost in thorny bushes.
Nevertheless, many of them do not lose sight of the reality entirely, and do not disbelieve in Allah as their Creator and Sustainer, but they get involved in shirk. That is, they do not deny the existence of God, but they believe that there are other deities who are also partners
in His being, His attributes, His powers, and His rights. They should never have been involved in shirk, had they considered these signs in the heavens and the earth from this point of view, for in that case they would have discovered everywhere, in each and every one of them, the proofs of the Oneness of Allah.
(12:107) Do they, then, feel secure that an overwhelming chastisement shall not visit them, and the Hour shall not suddenly come upon them without their even perceiving it? 77
77. This question has been posed to rouse the people from their care free attitude towards life produced by temporary security from dangers, and by a feeling that there is a long life to enjoy: so the problems can be postponed safely to a distant future. This is obviously a wrong attitude, for no man has any guarantee that he will live up to a certain age: for no one knows when, where and how one would die. Therefore the questions meant to ask, “Does not your daily experience tell you that you knew nothing even a minute beforehand what your future was hiding for you? Therefore, wisdom demands that you should make preparations for it now, and consider seriously whether the path you are treading is the right path. Have you any real proof to show that it is right? Do you find any sound argument in the heavens and the earth to support your decision? Did the people who trod
such a path before you reach their destinations safely and securely? Finally, do the results of following such a path, which are appearing in your own time and culture, confirm that you are treading the right path?
(12:108) Tell them plainly: “This is my way: I call you to Allah, on the basis of clear perception – both I and those who follow me. Allah – Glory be to Him – is free of every imperfection. I have nothing to do with those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity.”
78. That is, Allah is absolutely free from such things that are ascribed to Him: He is free from the weaknesses and shortcomings which every believer in shirk ascribes to Him; He is free from all defects, evils and errors that must necessarily be ascribed to Him as a logical result
of the conception of God hold by mushriks.
(12:109) The Messengers whom We raised before you, (O Muhammad), and to whom We sent down revelations, were only human beings, and were from among those living in earthly habitations. Have these people not travelled in the earth that they may observe the end of their predecessors? Certainly the abode of the Hereafter is much better for those (who accepted the call of the Messengers and) acted in a God- fearing manner. Will you still not act with good sense? 79
79. A very comprehensive subject has been condensed here into a couple of sentences, which may be expanded like this: “O Muhammad! these people do not listen to you because it is not an easy thing for them to believe you to be a Messenger of Allah just because you are a
mere human being who was born in their own city among them and brought up like other people. But there is nothing strange in this. For this is not the first instance of its kind. All the Prophets, whom We sent before you, were also human beings and lived in the same habitations to which they were sent. It never happened that a stranger came to a town and declared, “I have been sent as a Messenger to you. On the other hand, all the Prophets, Jesus, Moses, Abraham and Noah (peace be upon them all), who were raised for the reform of the people, were human beings who were born and brought up in their own habitations. Then it addresses the disbelievers directly, as if to say: Now it is for you to judge and decide whether you should accept the Messenger or reject him on such flimsy grounds as these.
You have traveled abroad and seen the end of those people who rejected the message of their Prophets and followed their own desires. You have seen, on your journeys, the ruined habitations of the people of Aad, Thamud, Midian, Lot, and others. Have you not observed
these as object lessons, for these warn you that they would meet with far worse consequences in the Hereafter, and that conversely, those who are pious and God fearing will have a very happy life?
(12:110) (It also happened with the earlier Messengers that for long they preached and people paid no heed) until the Messengers despaired of their people, and the people also fancied that they had been told lies (by the Messengers), then suddenly Our help came to the Messengers. And when such an occasion comes We rescue whom We will; as for the guilty, Our chastisement cannot in averted from them.
(12:111) Certainly in the stories of the bygone people there is a lesson for people of understanding. What is being narrated in the Qur’an is no fabrication; it is rather confirmation of the Books that preceded it, and a detailed 80 exposition of everything, and a guidance and mercy for people of faith.
80. That is, it gives details of everything that is required for the guidance of man. Some people take details of everything to mean the details of everything in the world. So, when they do not find in it the details of mathematics, physics, medicine etc. etc. they become skeptical. Whereas the Quran claims to give the details of only one subject, “Guidance”, for which it has been sent down, and it does give the details of everything that is essential for it.
13. Surah Ar Ra’ad (The Thunder)
This Surah takes its name from the word (ar-Ra’ad) (thunder) that occurs in v. 13. It is merely the symbolic name of the Surah and does not in any way mean that the Surah deals with the scientific problems connected with thunder.
Period of Revelation
The internal evidence (vv. 27-31 and vv. 34-48) shows that this Surah was revealed in the last stage of the Mission of the Holy Prophet at Makkah and during the same period in which Surahs Yunus, Hud and Al- A’araf were sent down. The manner of speech indicates that a long time had passed since the Holy Prophet had been conveying the Message. On the one hand, his opponents had been contriving different devices to defeat him and his Mission, and, on the other, his followers had been expressing a desire that by showing a miracle the disbelievers might be brought to the Right Way. In answer, Allah impressed on the Believers that it is not His way to convert people by this method and that they should not lose heart, if He is giving the enemies of the Truth a rope long enough to hang themselves. Otherwise, He is able to show such signs as may bring the dead out of their graves and make them speak (v. 31), but even then these obdurate people will invent an excuse to explain this away. All this decisive evidence clearly proves that this Surah was revealed during the last stage of the Prophet’s Mission at Makkah.
The first verse enunciates the main theme of this Surah, that is, “The Message of Muhammad (Allah’s peace be upon him) is the very Truth, but it is the fault of the people that they are rejecting it.” This is the pivot on which the whole Surah turns. This is why it has been shown
over and over again in different ways that the basic components of the Message — Tauhid, Resurrection and Prophethood-are a reality: therefore they should believe sincerely in these for their own moral and spiritual good. They have been warned that they shall incur their
own ruin if they reject them, for kufr by itself is sheer folly and ignorance. Moreover, the aim of the Surah is not merely to satisfy the minds but also to appeal to the hearts to accept the Faith. Therefore it does not merely put forward logical arguments in support of the truth
of the Message and against the people’s wrong notions, but at appropriate intervals it makes frequent use of sympathetic and earnest appeals to win over their hearts by warning them of the consequences of kufr and by holding out the happy rewards of Faith so that the foolish people should give up their obduracy.
Besides this, the objections of the opponents have been answered without any mention of them, and those doubts which are proving a hindrance in the way of the Message or were being created by the opponents have been removed. At the same time, the Believers; who
had been passing through long and hard ordeal and were feeling tired, and waiting anxiously for Allah’s succor, have been comforted and filled with hope and courage.
(13:1) Alif. Lam. Mim. Ra’. These are the verses of the Divine Book. Whatever has been revealed to you from your Lord is the truth, and yet most (of your) people do not believe.1
1. This is the introduction to this Surah, in which its aim and object has been enunciated in a few words. Allah has addressed the Prophet (peace be upon him) to this effect: O Prophet, most of your people are rejecting the teachings of the Quran for one reason or the other, but
the fact is that what We are sending down to you is the truth whether people believe it or not.
After this brief introduction, the discourse deals with the main subject of the Surah which consists of three basic things. First, the entire universe belongs to Allah alone, and none besides Him has any right to service and worship. Second, there is another life after this life in which you shall have to render an account of all your actions. Third, I am a Messenger of Allah: whatever I am presenting before you is not from myself but from Allah. As the people were rejecting these three things, these have been reiterated over and over again in various forms to remove doubts and objections from the minds of the disbelievers.
(13:2) It is Allah Who has raised the heavens without any supports that you could see,2 and then He established Himself on the Throne ? 3(of Dominion). And He it is Who has made the sun and the moon subservient: 4(to a law), each running its course till an appointed term.5 He governs the entire order of the universe and clearly explains 6 the signs that you may be firmly convinced about meeting your Lord.7
2. In other words, “Allah is He who raised the heavens without (any) pillars that you can see.” Though there is nothing apparent and visible that is supporting these heavens, yet there is an invariable and imperceptible Power which is not only holding but keeping in its
place each and every one of these huge heavens and whatever is in between them.
3. For further details of “Then He established upon the Throne,” please refer to (E.N. 41 of Surah Al-Aaraf). Here the purpose will be served if it is understood that this thing has been mentioned in the Quran at many places in order to bring out clearly the fact that Allah has not only created the earth, but also rules over His Kingdom, and that His universe is a factory that is not working automatically as some ignorant people seem to think nor is it being ruled by many gods as other ignorant people seem to believe. But it is a regular system that is being run and ruled over by its Creator.
4. It should be noted here that the addressees themselves accepted the truth of all the claims that have been made in this verse. Therefore no proofs were required of the facts that it is Allah Who has raised up the heavens without any visible support and subjected the sun and
the moon to a fixed order. These things have been mentioned here only as arguments to prove that Allah is the sole Sovereign and ruler of the entire universe.
Now let us consider this question: How can such an argument as this convince those who do not believe at all in the existence of God nor acknowledge that He is the Creator of the universe and the Director of all of its affairs? The answer is that the arguments in support of the doctrine of Tauhid advanced in the Quran to convince the mushriks equally apply against the atheists to prove the existence of God. It is like this: The entire universe, the earth, the moon, the sun and the countless heavenly bodies constitute a perfect system which is working under the same all powerful law. This is a proof that such a system must have been designed by some All-Powerful Sovereign, Who possesses wisdom and unerring knowledge.
This proves conclusively the existence of that Allah Who has no other equal nor associate nor partner. For there can be no system without an administrator, no law without a ruler, no wisdom without a sage, and no knowledge without the possessor of that knowledge. Above all, no one can ever conceive that there can be any creation without a Creator except the one who is obdurate or has no sense left in him at all.
5. This system is not only a standing proof of the fact that an All-Powerful Sovereign is ruling over it, but is also an evidence of the great wisdom underlying it. It also bears witness that there is nothing everlasting in it. Everything in it remains for a fixed term after which it
comes to an end. This is equally true for each and every component part of it as well as for the whole system. It is quite evident from its physical structure that there is nothing everlasting and immortal. There must be some fixed term for the system as a whole, after the expiry of which it shall come to an end. Then there shall be another world. Therefore it is most likely that there shall be Resurrection as predicted in the Quran: nay, its inevitability is beyond any doubt.
6. Allah makes plain those signs which help prove the truth of what the Prophet (peace be upon him) was informing them. These signs are spread all over the universe and everyone who observes these with open eyes can perceive that the realities towards which the Quran
invites the people are testified by these signs.
7. The preceding signs have been cited to prove two things. First, the universe has only one Creator and Administrator. Second, there shall be life in the Hereafter in which everyone shall be judged in the divine court and awarded rewards and punishments on merit. As the first thing was quite obvious, it has not been mentioned in the conclusion drawn from the signs. But the second thing, life in the Hereafter, has been mentioned because that was rather hidden from perception. Therefore it has specifically been stated that these signs have been made plain in order to convince you that you shall meet your Lord in the Hereafter and render an account of all your actions in this world.
Now let us consider how these signs help prove life in the Hereafter. These make it evident in two ways.
(1) When we consider how big heavenly bodies as the sun and the moon are completely subject to the will of Allah, our hearts feel convinced that Allah Who has created these things and regulated their movements so orderly around their orbits, has undoubtedly the power to bring to life the whole human race after its death.
(2) The terrestrial system also proves that its Creator is All- Wise. Therefore it can never be imagined that the All-Wise Creator could have created man and endowed him with wisdom and intelligence and invested him with power and authority, and then left him free to do
what he liked with these, without being responsible and accountable for their use or abuse.
For His Wisdom demands that He should take full account of all the acts and deeds of man in this world. It requires that He should take to task those who committed aggressions and compensate their victims and He should give rewards to those who practiced virtue and punishments to those who did wicked deeds. In short, His Wisdom requires that He should call to account every human being and demand: How did you carry out the trust that was placed in your hands in the shape of your wonderful body with its wonderful faculties and
the numerous resources of the earth? It may be that a foolish and unjust ruler of this world might entrust the affairs of his kingdom in the hands of his agents and then forget to call them to account, but such a thing can never be expected from the All-Wise and All-Knowing Allah. It is this way of observing and considering the heavenly bodies that can convince us that life in the Hereafter is both possible and inevitable.
(13:3) He it is Who has stretched out the earth and has placed in it firm mountains and has caused the rivers to flow. He has made every fruit in pairs, two and two, and He it is Who causes the night to cover the day.’ Surely there are signs in these for those who reflect.8
8. After citing some heavenly signs in support of the doctrines of Tauhid and the Hereafter, a few signs are being cited from the earth for the same purpose. Briefly the following are the arguments for Tauhid, Resurrection and Accountability.
(1) Tauhid: The fact that the earth is closely connected with the heavenly bodies (which help create life on it), and the fact that the mountains and the rivers are so interrelated with that life are clear proofs that all these things have not been created by separate and different gods nor are being governed, by gods with independent powers and authorities. Had it been so, there could not have been so much harmony, congruity, accord and unity of purpose among them; nor could these relationships have continued for such a long time. For
it is quite obvious that if there had not been One All-Powerful and All-Wise Allah, it could not have been possible and practicable for different gods to sit together and evolve out such a harmonious system of the universe without any discord or conflict between its myriads of bodies.
(2) Resurrection: This wonderful planet, the earth, is itself a great proof that its Creator is All-Powerful and can, therefore, raise the dead whenever He will. For it is floating in space round the sun and it has high mountains fixed in it and has large rivers flowing on its surface: it produces countless fruit-bearing trees and it brings about the cycles of the day and the night with precise regularity. All these things bear witness to the boundless power of its Creator. It would, therefore, be sheer folly to doubt that such All-Powerful Creator is incapable of raising mankind to life after death.
(3) Accountability: The earth, with all its wonderful and purposeful signs, is a clear evidence of the fact that its Creator is All-Wise. Therefore it cannot even be imagined that He has created man, His noblest creation, without any purpose. Just as His wisdom is apparent
from the structure of the earth, its mountains, its rivers, the pairs of its trees and fruits, its night and day, so it is quite obvious that it has not been made the habitation of man without any purpose, nor will it be brought to naught without the fulfillment of that purpose.
Clearly mankind shall be accountable to its Creator for the fulfillment of that divine purpose.
(13:4) And on the earth there are many tracts of land neighboring each other.9 There are on it vineyards, and sown fields, and date palms: some growing in clusters from one root, some standing alone.12 They are irrigated by the same water, and yet We make some excel others in taste. Surely there are signs in these for a people who use their reason.
9. That is, If you observe carefully, you will find divine wisdom, design and purpose in the diversity of the structure of the earth. Though it has countless regions adjoining one another, they are different from one another in their shapes, colors, component parts, characteristics,
potentialities, productive capacity and source of minerals. This diversity has countless points of wisdom and advantage. Let alone other creatures, if we consider the diversity of regions from the point of the good it has done to mankind, we shall have to acknowledge that this is the result of the well thought and well planned design of the All-Wise Creator.
For this diversity has helped the growth of human civilization so much that only an unreasonable person can assign this to mere accident.
10. Some of the date palm trees have only a single trunk from the root while others have two or more stems from the same root.
11. The things mentioned in this verse contain many other signs besides the proofs of Tauhid and the boundless powers and All-Comprehensive Wisdom of Allah. Let us consider one of these, that is, the diversity in the universe, including mankind. There is the one and the same earth but all its regions are quite different from one another. Then there is one and the same water but it helps to produce different kinds of corn and fruits. Then one and the same tree bears fruits which, in spite of likeness, differ from one another in shapes, sizes, and other features. Then there is one and the same root from which sometimes one and at others two trunks sprout up, with their own different characteristics. If one considers these aspects of diversity, one shall come to the conclusion that the divine wisdom demands the same kind of diversity in the natures, temperaments and inclinations of human beings, and, therefore, in their conducts. So, one need not worry about the existence of this diversity.
As it has been stated in (Ayat 31), if Allah had willed, He could have created all human beings alike and virtuous by birth. But the wisdom that underlies the creation of the universe, including mankind, requires diversity and not uniformity. Otherwise, all this creation would have become meaningless.
(13:5) And were you to wonder, then wondrous indeed is the saying of those who say: “What12 After we have been reduced to dust, shall we be created afresh?” They are the ones who disbeliev ed in their Lord; they are the ones who shall have shackles around their necks.13 They shall be the inmates of the Fire, wherein they will abide for ever.
12. They “disbelieved in their Lord”: their denial of the Hereafter is, in fact, the denial of the Power and Wisdom of Allah. As they say that it is impossible to bring them again to life after their death, it implies that, God forbid, their Allah Who has created them lacks not only
power but wisdom, too.
13. As a shackle around the neck is a symbol of imprisonment, the words “shackles upon their necks” have been used here idiomatically to show that they are slaves of ignorance, obduracy, lust and are blind followers of their forefathers. As their thinking is influenced by their prejudices, they cannot believe in the Hereafter and would deny this, though there is every reason to believe that it is inevitable.
(13:6) They challenge you to hasten the coming of evil upon them before the coming of any good, although people who followed a like course before had met with exemplary punishment (from Allah). Verily your Lord is forgiving to mankind despite all their wrong-doing. Verily your Lord is also severe in retribution.
14. This refers to the demand of the Quraish from the Prophet (peace be upon him): If you are a true Prophet (peace be upon him) of God, why don’t you hasten to bring that scourge of God upon us of which you have been threatening us, when we are flouting and denying
you? They did this in different ways. Sometimes they would invoke God mockingly and say: O Lord, settle our accounts now and do not postpone these to the Day of Resurrection. At another time, they would say: Our Lord, if what Muhammad (peace be upon him) says be
true, and be from Thee, then stone us from the sky or send down some other scourge upon us from the sky or send down some other painful torment upon us. In this verse an answer has been given to such impudent demands of the disbelievers. They have been admonished
to refrain from such foolish demands and avail of the respite that was being given to them and mend their ways, for they were incurring the wrath of God by adopting the attitude of
(13:7) Those who refused to believe in you say: “Why has no (miraculous) sign been sent down upon him from his Lord?” You are only a warner, and every people has its guide.15
15. This showed their mentality. The only criterion of judging whether Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a true Prophet or not according to these disbelievers, was whether he would perform a miracle to them. This was because they would not judge his message by rational arguments: they would not learn a lesson from his high character nor from the moral revolution that was being brought about among his companions by his message and noble example: nor would they carefully consider the rational arguments given in the Quran to prove the errors of their religion of shirk and superstitions of ignorance. They would ignore these rational things and demand a miracle to decide the issue.
16. This is the concise answer to their demand, though it has not been directly addressed to the disbelievers but to the Messenger (peace be upon him). It is this: O Prophet, you should not worry at all about some miracle which you might show to these people in order to convince them, for it is not a part of your mission. Your duty is only to warn the people of their negligence and of the evil consequences of their wrong ways. And for this purpose, We have always sent a guide to every people. Now you, too, are performing this duty, and it is for them to open their eyes and judge the truth of your Message. After giving this concise answer, Allah overlooks their demand but warns them, in the succeeding verses, that they have to deal with the All- Knowing Allah Who has full knowledge about everyone of them from the time they were in the wombs of their mothers, and Who keeps a keen watch over
everything they do. Therefore their fates shall be decided strictly with justice in accordance with their merits and that there is no power on the earth and in the heavens that can influence in the least His decisions and judgments.
(13:8) Allah knows what every female bears; and what the wombs fall short of (in gestation), and what they may add. With Him everything is in a fixed measure.17
17. When amplified the verse will mean: Allah remains fully aware of all the developments that take place in the child while in its mother’s womb, and He watches over the decrease or increase in each of its limbs, and its potentialities, capabilities and powers.
(13:9) He knows both what is hidden and what is manifest. He is the Supreme One, the Most High.
(13:10) It is all the same for Him whether any of you says a thing secretly, or says it loudly, and whether one hides oneself in the darkness of night, or struts about in broad daylight.
(13:11) There are guardians over everyone, both before him and behind him,18 who guard him by Allah’s command. Verily Allah does not change a people’s condition unless they change their inner selves. And when Allah decides to make a people suffer punishment, no one can avert it. Nor can any be of help to such a people against Allah.19
18. That is, Allah not only directly watches over whatever each person does, and is fully aware of everything he does, but He has also appointed such guardians as accompany him everywhere and keep a full record of all his deeds. This has been stated here to warn those
people who live their lives under the delusion that they have been left absolutely free to do whatever they like and shall not be required to render an account of what they did in this worldly life. The warning is that such people invite their own retribution.
19. This is to warn them further that they should not remain under any delusion that some holy person or saint or angel has the power to rescue them from divine retribution, for there is none who could defend them against Allah, even though they might have been paying
homage and making offerings to their so called patrons and protectors in the hope that they would rescue them from punishment from Allah on the Day of Judgment.
‘(13:12) He it is Who causes you to see lightning that inspires you with both fear and hope, and He it is Who whips up heavy clouds
(13:13) The thunder celebrates His praise and holiness,“ and the angels, too, celebrate His praise for awe of Him.2! He hurls thunderbolts, striking with them whom He wills while they are engaged in disputation concerning Allah. He is Mighty in His contriving.
20. The thunder is a proclamation of Tauhid for those who have ears to hear the real meaning of its loud noise which follows the flash of lightning, though it is merely a kind of noise for those who hear it like animals. For it proclaims that Allah Who raises clouds from the oceans and carries them wherever He wills, and makes the lightning flash from the clouds and then turns them into rain so as to supply water to the dwellers of the earth, is perfect and worthy of all praise, is All-Wise and All-Powerful and is flawless in every respect and has do partner whatsoever.
21. The mention of the fact that the angels are filled with awe of their Lord, and they proclaim His praise has a special significance here. This is to refute the shirk of the ignorant people who have always worshiped the angels as gods and deities and believed them to be
partners with God in His Godhead. It has been stated that they are not partners with Allah but His most obedient servants; so much so that they praise Him and are filled with awe of Him.
22. He has countless plans and measures which are so effective and sudden that He can smite anyone with any one of them from any side He wills. So much so that the intended victim is absolutely unaware of it. This is a proof that those people, who say absurd things about such All- Powerful Being, are absolutely void of sense.
(13:14) To Him alone should all prayer be addressed,“ for those to whom they do address their prayers beside Him are altogether powerless to respond to them. The example of praying to any other than Allah is that of a man who stretches out his hands to water, asking it to reach his mouth, although water has no power to reach his mouth. The prayers of the unbelievers are a sheer waste.
23. “For Him is the supplication of truth,” for Allah alone has the power and the authority to give help and remove difficulties.
(13:15) All that is in the heavens and the earth prostrates itself, whether willingly or by force, before Allah; and so do their shadows in the morning and in the evening.
24. “And to Allah falls in prostration whoever is in the heavens and the earth” in the same sense that every creation of His has to obey and submit to His Physical law in every detail.
The only difference between the submission of a believer and an unbeliever is that the former submits to it with a willing heart while the latter is forced to do so against his will, for it is absolutely beyond his power to oppose it.
25. “Their shadows” in the sense that they fall to the west in the morning and to the cast in the evening and so on. This shows that they, too, have to submit to some law.
(13:16) Ask them: “Who is the Lord of the heavens and the earth?”26 Say: “Allah.” Tell them: “Have you taken beside Him as your patrons those who do not have the power to benefit or to hurt even themselves?” 27Say: “Can the blind and the seeing be deemed equals? Or can light 28 and darkness be deemed equals?” If that is not so, then have those whom they associate with Allah in His Divinity ever created anything like what Allah did so that the question of creation has become dubious to them?29 Say: “Allah is the creator of everything. He is the One, the Irresistible.30
26. It will be worthwhile to note that though the question, “Who is the Lord of the heavens and the earth?” was put to the disbelievers, Allah told the Prophet (peace be upon him) to answer it himself and say, “Allah”. This was because the disbelievers hesitated to answer it one way or the other. They could not say that it was not Allah for they themselves believed that Allah was the Creator of everything. On the other hand, they could not acknowledge this fact in so many words in answer to such question. For, they would then have to acknowledge the doctrine of Tauhid. Then no basis could have been left in favor of shirk. As they realized their weak position, they would not give any answer to such questions. That is why Allah asks His Messenger (peace be upon him) to put such questions to the disbelievers:
“Who is the Creator of the heavens and the earth? Who is the Lord of the Universe? Who sustains you with provisions of life?” When they do not give any answer to such questions, Allah asks His Messenger (peace be upon him) to say “Allah” in answer. He then proceeds
on with this argument: When Allah does all these things, how do the deities you worship come in?
27. The blind man is the person who cannot see any of the countless signs of the Oneness of Allah, though these lie spread over before him in the universe. On the other hand, the seeing man is the person who can see in every particle of the universe and in every leaf of grass
and tree signs pointing to their Creator. Thus the question that has been posed means: O disbelievers, if you are blind to the signs, why should the one who can see the signs should behave like a blind man and stumble along like you?
28. Here “light” means the light of the knowledge of the truth which the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his followers possessed. In contrast to this, there was the “darkness” of ignorance in which the disbelievers were wandering about. The question that has been
posed means to ask this: Why should those, who have received the light, extinguish it and wander about in the darkness like you? Well, if you do not know the worth of the light, you may choose to wander in the darkness. But how can you expect the one who has received
the light and who appreciates the difference between the light and the darkness, and who is seeing the right way as if in broad daylight, to leave the light and wander about in the darkness?
29. The question is intended to impress on the disbelievers that there is absolutely no reason why they should practice shirk. When they themselves admit that their gods did not create even an iota in the universe and that they do not have even the smallest and most
insignificant share in the creation, there remains no ground for them to cherish any doubts about it. Why should, then, their false gods and deities share the rights and powers of the Real Creator?
30. The Arabic word Qahhar literally means “The one who rules over all by virtue of His own power, and keeps all under His complete control.”
This fact that He is “the One, the Prevailing” follows naturally from the preceding fact that
“Allah is the Creator of all things” for this fact was also acknowledged by the mushriks and
was never denied by them. This is so because the Creator of everything should logically be
Unique, and every other thing or being must necessarily be His creation. Therefore nothing
could be the equal of the Creator or partner in His Being, attributes, powers and rights.
Likewise, the Creator must have complete power and control over His Creation. For, it can never be imagined that the Creator would create anything over which He has not full control. Therefore, the one who acknowledges Allah to be the Creator must also acknowledge Him to be the Unique and the All-Powerful. After this, there remains no
reason why one should worship anyone other than the Creator or invoke someone else for help in resolving his difficulties and fulfilling his needs.
(13:17) Allah sends down water from the heavens and the river-beds flow, 31each according to its measure, and the torrent carries along a swelling scum.32 In like manner, from that metal which they smelt in the fire to make ornaments and utensils,22 there arises scum like it. Thus does Allah depict truth and falsehood. As for the scum, it passes away as dross; but that which benefits mankind abides on the earth. Thus does Allah explain (the truth) through examples.
31. In this simile the knowledge which had been sent down by Allah to the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been likened to the rain from the sky, and the believers to the streams, rivulets and rivers. Just as the streams etc. fill themselves with rain water, each according to its capacity, so his followers gained knowledge from him, each according to his ability. On the other hand, the hue and cry that was raised by the opponents of the Islamic movement has been likened to the swelling foam etc. that begins to dance about on the surface of flood water, but soon vanishes away.
32. As it is but natural that scum should appear on the surface when ornaments are heated in the furnace for purification, likewise bad people would come to the surface and take prominent part in persecuting the good people who are passed through the furnace of
persecution for their purification.
(13:18) There is good reward for those who respond to the call of their Lord. And those who do not respond to their Lord, (a time will come when) they shall offer all they have – even if they have all the riches of the world and the like of it besides to redeem themselves (from the chastisement of Allah).33 They will be subjected to a severe reckoning“ and Hell shall be their refuge. What a wretched resting place it is34
33. This shows that the disbelievers would be in such a sad plight that they would not hesitate to give their all for their redemption.
34. “Those will have the worst reckoning”: they shall have to bear the full consequences of their evil deeds. No sin, no shortcoming, in short, nothing will be forgiven and no evil shall go unpunished.
We learn from the Quran that the rebels of Allah shall have to render a reckoning, whereas there shall be a light reckoning from those who have been faithful and obedient to their Lord. In consideration of their loyal services, their cases will be dealt with leniently, and taking their general goodness into account many of their shortcomings will be forgiven.
This is further amplified by a tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Aishah relates: I said, O Messenger of Allah, the most dreadful verse of the Quran is this: “Whoso shall commit an evil, he shall be punished for it. (Surah An- Nisa, Ayat 123).” The Prophet answered: O Aishah, don’t you know how Allah clears the accounts of His faithful and obedient servant. Whatever harm or trouble he receives in this world, even so much as the pricking of a thorn, is taken by Allah as atonement for one or the other of his sins. As regards to the Hereafter, everyone who shall be called upon to render an account of any sin,
shall be punished for it. At this Aishah asked: Then what is meant by light reckoning in this verse: Whoso shall be given his “Book of Deeds” in his right hand, he will render a light reckoning? (Surah Al- Inshigqag, Ayats 7-8). The Prophet (peace be upon him) answered:
This means merely the presentation of his whole conduct, that is, all his deeds, good and bad, shall be presented before Allah but he shall not be called upon to clear the account of all his deeds; for the one who shall be called upon to clear the whole of his account, shall be
The same thing is happening even in this world. A master deals very leniently with his faithful and obedient servant and connives at his minor faults and even forgives his major faults in consideration of his meritorious services. On the other hand, if a servant is proved to be treacherous and dishonest, no consideration is given even to his services, and he is punished both for his minor and for major faults.
(13:19) He who knows that the Book which has been sent to you from your Lord is the Truth, is he like him who is blind to that truth?35 It is only people of understanding who take heed36
35. That is, as the attitude of the two in this world will be different from each other, so shall be their ultimate end in the Hereafter.
36. That is, those who listen to the message that has been sent down by Allah, and accept His Messenger, are really very wise people. This is why their conduct in this world is quite different from those foolish people who are blind to its merits: and so is their ultimate end in the Hereafter, as stated in the subsequent verses.
(13:20) those who fulfil their covenant with Allah and do not break their compact after firmly confirming it;37
37. This covenant is the same that was made by Allah with the entire mankind at the beginning of the creation that they would worship Him alone. (Refer to (E.Ns 134 and 135 of Surah Al-Aaraf). As this covenant has been made with every human being, it has been imbued firmly in human nature. When a human being is born in this world, he, so to say, confirms the same covenant because he owes his creation to the same Allah with Whom he had made that covenant. Then he is brought up by His Provider and fed and nourished with His provisions, and uses the powers and faculties endowed by Him. All these things bind him by themselves into a covenant of bondage with his Lord. It is obvious that wise, loyal and faithful people fulfill their covenant and dare not break it except that they might break it unconsciously and unwillingly.