الر كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ النَّاسَ مِنْ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ إِلَى صِرَاطِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ (إبراهيم: 1).
اللَّهِ الَّذِي لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَوَيْلٌ لِلْكَافِرِينَ مِنْ عَذَابٍ شَدِيدٍ (إبراهيم: 2).
الَّذِينَ يَسْتَحِبُّونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا عَلَى الآخِرَةِ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَيَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا أُوْلَئِكَ فِي ضَلاَلٍ بَعِيدٍ (إبراهيم: 3).
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ رَسُولٍ إِلاَّ بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمْ فَيُضِلُّ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ (إبراهيم: 4).
وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مُوسَى بِآيَاتِنَا أَنْ أَخْرِجْ قَوْمَكَ مِنْ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ وَذَكِّرْهُمْ بِأَيَّامِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآياتٍ لِكُلِّ صَبَّارٍ شَكُورٍ (إبراهيم: 5).
وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ أَنجَاكُمْ مِنْ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ يَسُومُونَكُمْ سُوءَ الْعَذَابِ وَيُذَبِّحُونَ أَبْنَاءَكُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيُونَ نِسَاءَكُمْ وَفِي ذَلِكُمْ بَلاَءٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ عَظِيمٌ (إبراهيم: 6).
وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِنْ كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ (إبراهيم: 7).
وَقَالَ مُوسَى إِنْ تَكْفُرُوا أَنْتُمْ وَمَنْ فِي الأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَنِيٌّ حَمِيدٌ (إبراهيم: 8).
أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ نَبَأُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ قَوْمِ نُوحٍ وَعَادٍ وَثَمُودَ وَالَّذِينَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُهُمْ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ جَاءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُمْ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ فَرَدُّوا أَيْدِيَهُمْ فِي أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَقَالُوا إِنَّا كَفَرْنَا بِمَا أُرْسِلْتُمْ بِهِ وَإِنَّا لَفِي شَكٍّ مِمَّا تَدْعُونَنَا إِلَيْهِ مُرِيبٍ (إبراهيم: 9).
قَالَتْ رُسُلُهُمْ أَفِي اللَّهِ شَكٌّ فَاطِرِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ يَدْعُوكُمْ لِيَغْفِرَ لَكُمْ مِنْ ذُنُوبِكُمْ وَيُؤَخِّرَكُمْ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى قَالُوا إِنْ أَنْتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِثْلُنَا تُرِيدُونَ أَنْ تَصُدُّونَا عَمَّا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُنَا فَأْتُونَا بِسُلْطَانٍ مُبِينٍ (إبراهيم: 10).
قَالَتْ لَهُمْ رُسُلُهُمْ إِنْ نَحْنُ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَمُنُّ عَلَى مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَمَا كَانَ لَنَا أَنْ نَأْتِيَكُمْ بِسُلْطَانٍ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلْ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ (إبراهيم: 11).
وَمَا لَنَا أَلاَّ نَتَوَكَّلَ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَقَدْ هَدَانَا سُبُلَنَا وَلَنَصْبِرَنَّ عَلَى مَا آذَيْتُمُونَا وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلْ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ (إبراهيم: 12).
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِرُسُلِهِمْ لَنُخْرِجَنَّكُمْ مِنْ أَرْضِنَا أَوْ لَتَعُودُنَّ فِي مِلَّتِنَا فَأَوْحَى إِلَيْهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ لَنُهْلِكَنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ (إبراهيم: 13).
وَلَنُسْكِنَنَّكُمْ الأَرْضَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ خَافَ مَقَامِي وَخَافَ وَعِيدِ (إبراهيم: 14).
وَاسْتَفْتَحُوا وَخَابَ كُلُّ جَبَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ (إبراهيم: 15).
مِنْ وَرَائِهِ جَهَنَّمُ وَيُسْقَى مِنْ مَاءٍ صَدِيدٍ (إبراهيم: 16).
يَتَجَرَّعُهُ وَلاَ يَكَادُ يُسِيغُهُ وَيَأْتِيهِ الْمَوْتُ مِنْ كُلِّ مَكَانٍ وَمَا هُوَ بِمَيِّتٍ وَمِنْ وَرَائِهِ عَذَابٌ غَلِيظٌ (إبراهيم: 17).
مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَرَمَادٍ اشْتَدَّتْ بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي يَوْمٍ عَاصِفٍ لاَ يَقْدِرُونَ مِمَّا كَسَبُوا عَلَى شَيْءٍ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الضَّلاَلُ الْبَعِيدُ (إبراهيم: 18).
أَلَمْ تَرَى أَنَّ اللَّهَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ بِالْحَقِّ إِنْ يَشَأْ يُذْهِبْكُمْ وَيَأْتِ بِخَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ (إبراهيم: 19).
وَمَا ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ بِعَزِيزٍ (إبراهيم: 20).
وَبَرَزُوا لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا فَقَالَ الضُّعَفَاءُ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا إِنَّا كُنَّا لَكُمْ تَبَعًا فَهَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُغْنُونَ عَنَّا مِنْ عَذَابِ اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ قَالُوا لَوْ هَدَانَا اللَّهُ لَهَدَيْنَاكُمْ سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْنَا أَجَزِعْنَا أَمْ صَبَرْنَا مَا لَنَا مِنْ مَحِيصٍ (إبراهيم: 21).
وَقَالَ الشَّيْطَانُ لَمَّا قُضِيَ الأَمْرُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ وَوَعَدْتُكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُكُمْ وَمَا كَانَ لِي عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ سُلْطَانٍ إِلاَّ أَنْ دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِي فَلاَ تَلُومُونِي وَلُومُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ مَا أَنَا بِمُصْرِخِكُمْ وَمَا أَنْتُمْ بِمُصْرِخِيَّ إِنِّي كَفَرْتُ بِمَا أَشْرَكْتُمُونِي مِنْ قَبْلُ إِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ (إبراهيم: 22).
وَأُدْخِلَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ تَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلاَمٌ (إبراهيم: 23).
أَلَمْ تَرَى كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلاً كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاءِ (إبراهيم: 24).
تُؤْتِي أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ (إبراهيم: 25).
14. Surah Ibrahim (Abraham)
The Surah takes its name from v. 35 in which mention has been made _ of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). But it does not mean that it contains the life story of Prophet Abraham. The name is merely a symbol lid the names of many other surahs, i.e., the Surah in which Abraham’s mention has been made.
Period of Revelation
It appears from the tone of the Surah that it belongs to that group of the Surahs which were revealed during the last stage of the Makkan period. For instance, v. 13 (“The disbelievers warned their Messengers, ‘you shall have to return to our community or we will assuredly expel you from our land”) clearly indicates that the persecution of the Muslims was at its worst at the time of the revelation of this Surah, and the people of Makkah were bent on expelling the Believers from there like the disbelievers of the former Prophets. That is why in v. 14 they have been warned, “We will destroy these evil doers,” and the Believers have been comforted as were the believers before them, “and after them settle you in the land” Likewise the stern warning contained in the concluding portion (vv. 43-52 also confirms that the Surah relates to the last stage of the Makkan Period.)
Central Theme and Purpose
This Surah is an admonition and a warning to the disbelievers who were rejecting the Message of the Holy Prophet and devising cunning schemes to defeat his Mission. But warning, reproof, censure and reproach dominate admonition. This is because a good deal of admonition had already been made in the preceding Surahs, but in spite of this their obduracy, enmity, antagonism, mischief, persecution etc. had rather increased.
(14:1) Alif. Lam. Ra’. This is a Book which We have revealed to you that you may bring forth mankind from every kind of darkness into light, and direct them, with the leave of their Lord, to the Way 1of the Mighty, the Innately Praiseworthy,2
1. This is the purpose for which the Prophet (peace be upon him) had been sent. He was entrusted with the mission that he should bring mankind back from the ways of darkness and ways of wickedness into the way of God by the help of the light of the Quran. For everyone who is not on the way of God is, in fact, wandering about in the ways of the
darkness and ignorance, even though he might consider himself to be very enlightened and full of knowledge. On the other hand, the one who finds the Way of Allah, comes into the light of knowledge, even though he might be an illiterate person.
As regards to “by the permission of their Lord”, this implies that the most a missionary of Islam, even though he be a Messenger of Allah, can do is to present the right way. It is not in his power to bring anyone forcibly to the way, for this can only happen by the help and
permission of Allah. That is why only that person whom Allah helps and permits gets guidance. Otherwise, even a perfect missionary like a Messenger fails to bring a person to the right way. As regards to the divine law, according to which Allah helps and permits a person to gain guidance, we learn from different passages of the Quran that Allah gives help only to that person who himself has a desire to get guidance: who frees himself from obduracy, obstinacy and prejudice: who is not a follower of his lust, nor a slave of his desires: who is inclined to see with open eyes and hear with open ears and think with a clear mind, and is ready to accede to any reasonable thing.
2. The word Hameed is more comprehensive than Mahmud. A person will be entitled to be Mahmud only when he is praised. But the Being Who is Hamed, is naturally and permanently worthy of praise, whether anyone praises Him or not, because the element of praise is inherent in Him and is inseparable from Him.
(14:2) (to the Way of) Allah to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. Woe be to those who reject the Truth for a severe chastisement,
(14:3) to those who have chosen the life of the world in preference to the Hereafter,3 who hinder people from the Way of Allah, and seek to make it crooked.4 They have gone far astray.
3. Those who reject the truth are the people whose interests are entirely bound with the life of this world, and who do not care at all for the interests of the life of the Hereafter: who are prepared to undergo any punishment in the next world for the sake of the interests, pleasures and comforts of this world: who, on the other hand, cannot bear the sacrifice of even the smallest pleasure in this world, nor are ready to bear any loss or encounter danger or trouble in this world for the sake of the joys of the next world. In short, such are the people who have coolly considered and weighed the pleasures of this world against the joys of the next world, and decided in favor of this world: therefore, they readily sacrifice the interest of the next world whenever there is a clash between the two.
4. That is, “They do not want to follow the Way of Allah, but endeavor that Allah’s Way should follow their desires: it should adjust itself in such a way as to include all their conjectures, theories and whims as its part and parcel, and exclude every creed that does not suit their way of life: it should provide sanction for all their habits, customs and manners: it should not demand from them anything which they do not like: in short, the way of Allah should be their obedient slave and turn in the direction their devilish lusts want it to turn: nay, it should neither criticize them nor ask them to follow Allah’s injunctions. This is their
condition for accepting the guidance of Allah.
(14:4) Never have We sent a Messenger but he has addressed his people in their language 5that he may fully expound his Message to them.6 (And after the Message is expounded), Allah lets go astray whomsoever He wills, and guides to the Right Way whomsoever He wills. He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.7
5. This implies two things: First, Allah sent down His message in the language of the people from among whom a Prophet was raised so that they might not have any excuse left that they could not understand the language of the message. Secondly, this ruled out the
presumption that a Messenger was ever given the message in a different language merely for the sake of a miracle. For Allah considered it more important to make the people understand the message and guide them rightly than to satisfy their curiosity. Obviously the purpose could best be served only if the message was sent down to them in their own language by their Prophet and not in any other.
6. That is, although the Messenger conveys the message in the mother tongue of the people, which is understood by everyone of them, yet all of them are not guided aright. This happens because of the fact that all of those who understand a message do not necessarily accept it. For it is entirely with Allah to show guidance by means of His message to anyone He wills and to let go astray anyone in spite of it.
7. As Allah is All-Powerful, no one is able by oneself to get guidance or to go astray, for none is completely independent but is under the power of Allah. But as He is All-Wise, He does not use His power blindly so as to show guidance to anyone He wills and to let go
astray anyone He desires without rhyme or reason. In fact, the one who gets guidance from Him gets it on merit and the one who is let go astray is deprived of guidance because he himself deliberately chooses deviation.
We indeed sent Moses with Our Signs, saying: “Lead your people out of all kinds of darkness into light, and admonish them by narrating to them anecdotes from the Days of Allah.”’ Verily in it there are great Signs? for everyone who is patient and gives thanks (to Allah).
8. The Arabic word ayyam technically means memorable historical events. Therefore Ayyam-u-Allah (divine history) implies all those eventful chapters of human history which mention the rewards and punishments that were meted out to the great personalities and
nations according to their deeds in the past ages.
9. Those historical events are signs in this sense that their proper and intelligent study provides proofs of the fact that there is only one God: and that the law of retribution is universal and is based absolutely on the differentiation between the knowledge and moral practice of the truth and falsehood: that this law also requires another world (the Hereafter) for its due fulfillment. Moreover, these events contain signs that serve as warnings against the evil consequences of building up systems of life on false creeds and theories, and help one to learn lessons from them.
10. Though these signs are always there, only those persons learn lessons from them who remain steadfast in trials and appreciate the blessings of Allah rightly and are grateful to Him. Obviously, frivolous and ungrateful persons cannot learn any lesson from these signs,
even though they might grasp their significance.
(14:6) And call to mind when Moses said to his people: “Remember Allah’s favors upon you when He delivered you from Pharaoh’s people who afflicted you with a grievous chastisement, slaughtering your sons, while letting your women live. In it there was a terrible trial from your Lord.”
(14:7) Also call to mind when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks, I will certainly grant you more; but if you are ungrateful for My favors, My chastisement is terrible.
11. That is, if you are grateful, you will appreciate Our favors and make right use of them, and will not rebel against Our commandments, but will surrender and submit to Us to show your gratitude to Us.
12. Deuteronomy (Bible) contains a long and detailed discourse to this effect. According to it, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), on the eve of his death, reminded the Israelites of all important events from their history, and reiterated all the divine commandments of the Torah which Allah had sent to them through him. Then he told them in a long speech that if they obeyed their Lord, they would be given great rewards. But if they adopted the attitude of disobedience, they would get a terrible punishment. This discourse spreads over chapters 4,6, 8, 10, 11 and 28, 30. Some of these passages are so impressive and instructive that it will be worthwhile to quote a few of them: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deut. 6: 47).
And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways; and to love him, and to serve the Lord Thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is thy Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. (Deut. 10: 12-14).
And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.
Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face. The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto. The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee. And thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath. (28: 1-13).
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all those curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do. The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee. And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them. Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof. Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes. Therefore, shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: And he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other. (Deut: 28: 15-64).
(14:8) Moses said: “Were you to disbelieve – you and all those who live on earth – Allah is still Self-Sufficient, Innately Praiseworthy.13
13. It should be noted that a reference to Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and his people has been made here to war towards this favor of Allah that He has raised Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from among them. This was a timely warning, for at that time they were showing ingratitude by rejecting that message. They were, therefore, warned to learn a lesson from the miserable condition of the Israelites, which was the result of their ingratitude to and rebellion against Allah’s favors.
As the Quraish themselves could see the consequences of that rebellious attitude of the Israelites, they were, so to say, asked this question: Do you also desire to meet with the same consequences by showing ingratitude towards the message which is a great favor to you?
Obviously, the great favor which was shown to the Quraish was that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was raised from among them with that message about which he assured them over and over again: Accept this Message of mine: all the Arabs and the non-Arabs will
surrender and submit to you?
(14:9) Have the accounts of your predecessors not reached you14 the people of Noah, the Ad, the Thamud, and those who came after them – they whose number is not known to any except Allah? Their Messengers came to them with Clear Signs, but they thrust their hands in their mouths,15 and said: “We do surely reject the Message you have brought, and we are in disquieting doubt about what! you are summoning us to.”
14. The speech of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) ended with(Ayat 8). From here begins a direct address to the disbelievers of Makkah.
15. There has been a great deal of difference of opinion in regard to the meaning of the Arabic words of the text and different commentators have assigned different meanings to them. But we arc of the opinion that these express merely the intolerance and perplexity and a bit of anger that was being shown by the disbelievers towards the message and this is confirmed by the subsequent sentence.
16. They had a “grave doubt” about the message because it had taken away their peace of mind. This was because invitation to the message always makes the minds uneasy, for it becomes hard even for its opponents to reject it outright or oppose it with peace of mind.
Howsoever they might give vent to their doubts about it and oppose it tooth and nail the force of its truth and its sound arguments, its frankness and candor and its winning manners of exposition produce a great agitation in the minds of its bitterest opponents. Then the pure and spotless character of the Messenger and the marked change for the better brought about in his followers produce such an accumulative effect on their minds that even their most bitter antagonists begin to feel uneasy about their own stand. Thus, those who try to disturb the peace of mind of the upholders of the truth are themselves deprived of their own peace of mind.
(14:10) Their Messengers said: “Can there be any doubt about Allah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth?17 He invites you that He may forgive you your sins and grant you respite till an appointed term.18 They replied: “You are only a human being like ourselves.19 You seek to prevent us from serving those whom our forefathers have been serving all along. If that is so, produce a clear authority for it.”20
17. The Messengers posed this question to those who rejected the message in order to bring home to them the absurdity of their stand with regard to God. For though, the mushriks of every age believed in the existence of God and acknowledged that He was the Creator of the
heavens and the earth, they did not accept the message, its logical result, that He alone was entitled to their worship. That is why the Messengers asked them: Do you have any doubt about the existence of Allah?
18. In the case of individuals, the appointed term may be either the time of one’s death or the doomsday. As regards the appointed term for the rise and fall of communities, it is determined by their collective behavior. For instance, if a capable community degenerates before the expiry of its term, the assigned period is shortened and it is deposed. On the other hand, if a degenerate community changes its ways for the better, its term is extended, so much so that it may extend even to the doomsday. This same thing is implied in (Ayat 11 of Surah Ra’ad): The fact is that Allah does not change a people’s lot unless they themselves change their own characteristics.
19. The disbelievers meant to imply: You are a human being like us in every respect: you eat, drink and sleep like us and have wife and children like us. You feel hungry and thirsty, and suffer from heat and cold, disease and calamities like us. In short, you have every human
limitation like us, and we see nothing unusual and extraordinary in you to induct us to accept you as a Prophet and believe that God communicates with you and sends His angels to you.
20. That is, if you still insist that you are a Prophet, bring a tangible proof of your appointment so as to convince us that you have really been sent by God and your message
is from Him.
(14:11) Their Messengers told them: “Indeed we are only human beings like yourselves,21 but Allah bestows His favors on those of His servants whom He wills.” It does not lie in our power to produce any authority except by the leave of Allah. It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust.
21. That is, “No doubt we are human beings like you but it is Allah’s will that He has chosen us from among you and blessed us with the knowledge of the Truth and keen discernment.
And this is Allah’s will and He has full powers to bestow anything on anyone He wills. We are not in a position to ask Him to send that blessing to you or to anyone else: nor can we deny the realities which have been shown to us.”
(14:12) And why should we not put our trust in Allah when it is indeed He Who has guided us to the ways of our life? We shall surely continue to remain steadfast in face of your persecution. All those who have to put trust, should put their trust only in Allah.”
(14:13) Then the unbelievers told their Messengers: “You will have to return to the fold of our faith22 or else we shall banish you from our land.” Thereupon their Lord revealed to them: “We will most certainly destroy these wrong-doers,
22. It will be wrong to conclude from this demand of theirs that the Prophets professed the religion of their people before their appointment to the divine office. This only meant that their people thought so because before their appointment they led a quiet life and did not propagate a new religion nor refuted the religion in vogue at that time. That is why their people were under the wrong impression that the Prophets also professed the religion of their forefathers, and, therefore, accused them of apostasy. The fact, however, is that they
had never followed the religion of their mushrik forefathers and were not guilty of apostasy.
(14:14) and will then cause you to settle in the land 23 as their successors. That is the reward for him who fears to stand for reckoning and holds My threat in awe.”
23. This was to reassure the Prophets that they should not worry at all about the threat that the disbelievers would banish them from their country, as if to say: We will uproot them from their land, and establish you and your followers firmly in their place.
(14:15) They sought Our judgement. And (thanks to that judgement) every obstinate tyrant opposed to the Truth was brought to naught.
24. In order to grasp the real significance of these historical events, it should be kept in view that these are being related here as answers to those objections which the disbelievers of Makkah raised before the Prophet (peace be upon him). As the conditions there at the time
of the revelation of this Surah were exactly like those of the peoples of the former Prophets, they have been cited here to warn the Quraish along with the other mushriks of Arabia of the consequences, as if to say: The former disbelievers challenged their Messengers and were destroyed and the believers were established in the land. Likewise your future also entirely depends on the attitude you adopt towards the message of your Prophet. If you accept this, you will be allowed to remain in the land of Arabia, and if you reject it you shall be utterly uprooted from here. The subsequent events proved that this prophecy was literally fulfilled within fifteen years after this, for there remained not a single mushrik in the whole of Arabia.
(14:16) Hell is for him and he shall be made to drink of the oozing pus,
(14:17) which he will gulp but will scarcely swallow, and death will come upon him from every quarter, and yet he will not be able to die. A terrible chastisement lies ahead in pursuit of him.
(14:18) This is the example of those who disbelieve in their Lord: their works are like ashes upon which the wind blows fiercely on a tempestuous day. They shall find no reward for their deeds.25 That indeed is the farthest point in straying.
25. That is, those who were perfidious, faithless, and disobedient to the divine message, and refused to adopt that way to which the Messengers invited, will find in the end that all the deeds and earnings of their lives were as worthless as a heap of ashes. Just as each and every particle of a high mound of ashes formed during a long course of years is scattered by the wind on a stormy day, likewise all their grand works will prove on the stormy doomsday to be no more than a mound of ashes. Their dazzling culture, their grand civilization, their
wonderful kingdoms and states, their magnificent universities, their sciences and their literatures, nay, even their hypocritical worship, and so called virtuous deeds, their charitable and reformative works of which they were very proud in the worldly life, shall prove to be as worthless as a heap of ashes, and will be scattered by the storm of the Day of Resurrection. So much so that there shall not remain a single particle of their works worthy of being placed in the divine scale on that Day in their favor.
(14:19) Do you not see that Allah created the heavens and the earth in Truth?2 Were He to will, He could take you away and bring a new creation.
26. This is the proof of the preceding statement that the works of the disbelievers are worthless like ashes. The question implies: Why are you skeptical of this? Do you not see that the grand system of the earth and the heavens is based on the survival of truth and not
on the survival of falsehood. Everything bears witness to the fact that anything which is not based on truth and reality but rests on unreal speculation and guess work cannot continue to live long. Therefore anyone who builds his works on the latter will most surely fail in his
designs. For it is obvious that such a person builds his works on sand and should not, therefore, expect that they can last long. Likewise those who discard the truth and reality and build their works on false theories and presumptions should not expect at all that they can have any lasting value for they are bound to be scattered like worthless ashes. If this is obvious as it is, why should you cherish any doubts about the fact that anyone who builds the system of his life on the basis that he is independent of Allah or on the godhead of someone else (whereas there is no other God) shall inevitably find all his works to be worthless. When the fact is that man is not absolutely independent in this world nor is he the servant of anyone else than Allah, why should you not expect that anyone who builds
his works on this falsehood, shall find that all his works were worthless like the heap of ashes that was scattered all over by the wind?
(14:20) That is not at all difficult for Allah.
27. This is by way of admonition that follows immediately the proof of the statement in the preceding verse. This removes also any doubt that might arise concerning that decisive statement. One might question it like this: If the creation is really based on the survival of truth, why is it that every follower of falsehood and every wrongdoer is not destroyed
forthwith? This is the answer: O foolish man, do you think that it is difficult for Allah to destroy such a person? Or, do you think that Allah does not destroy him because he has some close relationship with Him? If this is not so, and you yourself know that it is not so, you should understand it well that any community that follows falsehood and commits wicked deeds is always in danger of being removed to make room for a better community to work in its stead. If respite is given and the threat does not take a practical shape, it does not
mean that there is no danger at all. Instead of being neglectful, you should make use of every moment of this respite and realize that the false system which you are following is not stable and durable. You should, therefore, build it on stable and durable foundations.
(14:21) Then all of them will appear exposed before Allah,28 and the weak ones will say to the haughty ones: “We merely followed you. Will you, then, protect us from Allah’s chastisement? 29 They will say: “Had Allah shown us the Way to our salvation, we would surely have also guided you. Now it is all the same whether we cry or suffer patiently, we have no escape.
28. The word baruz means to emerge and also implies to become known. That is why it has been translated into “shall appear before Allah”, for it implies both these meanings. As a matter of fact, all the people are fully exposed all the time before Allah but they do not
realize it. They will, however, realize it on the Day of Judgment when they shall be presented before the Greatest of all Judges that they were fully exposed before Him all along. So much so that every deed they did and each and everything they thought and desired is known to Him.
29. This is to serve as a warning to all those people who follow others blindly or obey and submit to tyrants because they say: We are weak. They are warned, as if to say: You should note it well that those leaders, saints, officers and rulers whom you arc following blindly today, will not be able to protect you at all from the chastisement of Allah. Therefore, you should consider it well today where such people, whom you are following or obeying, are themselves going and where they are leading you.
(14:22) After the matter has been finally decided Satan will say: “Surely whatever Allah promised you was true; as for me, I went back on the promise I made to you. I had no power over you except that I called you to my way and you responded to me.30 So, do not blame me but blame yourselves. 31Here, neither I can come to your rescue, nor can you come to mine. I disavow your former act of associating me in the past with Allah. 32 A grievous chastisement inevitably lies ahead for such wrong doers.”
30. When the criminals will charge Satan with leading them astray, he will plead guilty, as if to say: You yourselves see now that all the promises and warnings made by Allah have come out true and all the promises which I made have proved to be false. I also confess that
it was all deception that I gave you false assurances of prosperity, beguiled you by greed and enticed you in the snare of great expectations. I assured you that in the first instance there will be no life in the Hereafter, and that, if there be any, you will be freed by the
intercession of such and such a saint. The only thing you have to do is to make offerings before him: then you may do whatever you please, for he will deliver you from all the consequences. | repeat that I said all these things and asked my agents to say the same.
31. That is, you cannot say and prove that it was I who forced you to follow the wrong way, whereas you wanted to follow the right way. You will yourselves admit that it is not so. I did no more than this that I invited you to falsehood in opposition to the invitation to the truth and tempted you to vice instead of virtue. But I had no power to force you to the wrong way, if you desired to follow the right way, when you had the power and the option to follow either of the ways. Now I am ready to bear the burden of the wicked invitation I extended to you, but you are not justified in any way to throw on me the burden of
accepting my invitation for you did it on your own responsibility. You should, therefore, yourselves bear all its consequences.
32. This is a clear proof of shirk in practice, as apart from shirk in creed. As Satan will charge his followers with making him a partner with God, it is obvious that as far as creed is concerned there is no one who makes Satan a partner with God in His Godhead or His worship: nay, every one curses him for his evil ways. Nevertheless, people obey and submit to him and follow him blindly, as if he were their god and that is what has been termed shirk.
Let us now consider this thesis from the opposite point of view. Someone might say that this does not hold good, for this is based on a mere saying of Satan which has been cited here. First, this objection is not sound because Allah Himself would have refuted it, had it been
Secondly, this is not the only instance of shirk in practice in the Quran. Here are a few more instances of this.
(a) It charges the Jews and Christians with shirk because they set up their priests and monks as their Lords besides Allah. (Surah At-Tauba, Ayat 31).
(b) Those who follow the superstitious customs have been called mushriks. (Surah Al- Anaam, Ayats 136-139).
(c) Those who follow their lusts have been charged with making their selves as their god. (Al-Furgan, Ayat 43).
(d) Those who are disobedient to Allah have been accused of worshiping Satan. (Suranh Saba, Ayat 60).
(e) Those who follow man made laws without Allah’s sanction have been reproved for setting up the makers of the laws without Allah’s sanction as partners with God. (Surah Ham-Sajdah, Ayat 21).
All the above instances are clear proofs of the fact that shirk is not confined to this creed alone that one might set up a partner with Allah in His Godhead as an article of faith. But it is also shirk that one should follow and surrender to someone other than Allah without any divine sanction or in spite of a divine prohibition. Such a one shall be guilty of shirk even though the follower might be at the same time cursing him whom he follows and obeys. The only difference between the two kinds of shirk may be the extent of the crime and not its nature.
(14:23) As for those who had believed and did good in the world, they shall be admitted to the Gardens beneath which rivers flow. There, with the leave of Allah, they shall abide forever,33 and will be greeted with: “Peace”.
33. The Arabic word tahiyyah is literally a prayer for long life, but in usage it is a greeting at meeting. Therefore, the expression may mean: They will welcome one another with peace be upon you, or will be welcomed with these words. It may also be noted that the word salam
implies both a prayer for peace and a congratulation on it.
(14:24) Do you not see how Allah has given the example of a good word?34 It is like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and whose branches reach the sky,35
34. Though the expression literally means pure word, here it stands for truthful saying and righteous creed. According to the Quran, this saying and creed are the acceptance of the doctrine of Tauhid, belief in Prophethood and revelation, and in the life of the Hereafter, for
it declares these things to be the fundamental truths.
35. This is to show the strength and extent of the pure word. As the entire system of the universe hangs upon the reality contained in this pure word which the believer professes, the earth and its entire system cooperates with him and the heaven with its entire system welcomes him. There is, therefore, no conflict between him and the law of nature, and everything in its very nature extends its help to him.
(14:25) ever yielding its fruit in every season with the leave of its Lord.36 Allah gives examples for mankind that they may take heed.
36. That is, the pure word is so fruitful that every person (or community) who bases his system of life on it, gets benefit from it every moment for it helps to produce clearness in thought, balance in temperament, strength in character, purity in morals, firmness in
conduct, righteousness in talk, straightforwardness in conversation, good temperament in social behavior, nobility in culture, justice and equity in economy, honesty in politics, nobility in war, sincerity in peace; confidence in promises and pledges. In short, it is the elixir that changes everything into gold if one makes the proper use of it.
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