16) سورة النحل
أَتَى أَمْرُ اللَّهِ فَلاَ تَسْتَعْجِلُوهُ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ (النحل: 1).
يُنَزِّلُ الْمَلاَئِكَةَ بِالرُّوحِ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ عَلَى مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ أَنْ أَنذِرُوا أَنَّهُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ أَنَا فَاتَّقُونِي (النحل: 2).
خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ بِالْحَقِّ تَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ (النحل: 3).
خَلَقَ الإِنسَانَ مِنْ نُطْفَةٍ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ مُبِينٌ (النحل: 4).
وَالأَنْعَامَ خَلَقَهَا لَكُمْ فِيهَا دِفْءٌ وَمَنَافِعُ وَمِنْهَا تَأْكُلُونَ (النحل: 5).
وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا جَمَالٌ حِينَ تُرِيحُونَ وَحِينَ تَسْرَحُونَ (النحل: 6).
وَتَحْمِلُ أَثْقَالَكُمْ إِلَى بَلَدٍ لَمْ تَكُونُوا بَالِغِيهِ إِلاَّ بِشِقِّ الأَنفُسِ إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ (النحل: 7).
وَالْخَيْلَ وَالْبِغَالَ وَالْحَمِيرَ لِتَرْكَبُوهَا وَزِينَةً وَيَخْلُقُ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ (النحل: 8).
وَعَلَى اللَّهِ قَصْدُ السَّبِيلِ وَمِنْهَا جَائِرٌ وَلَوْ شَاءَ لَهَدَاكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ (النحل: 9).
هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ مِنْ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً لَكُمْ مِنْهُ شَرَابٌ وَمِنْهُ شَجَرٌ فِيهِ تُسِيمُونَ (النحل: 10).
يُنْبِتُ لَكُمْ بِهِ الزَّرْعَ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالنَّخِيلَ وَالأَعْنَابَ وَمِنْ كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ (النحل: 11).
وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمْ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومُ مُسَخَّرَاتٌ بِأَمْرِهِ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآياتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ (النحل: 12).
وَمَا ذَرَأَ لَكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُخْتَلِفًا أَلْوَانُهُ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَذَّكَّرُونَ (النحل: 13).
وَهُوَ الَّذِي سَخَّرَ الْبَحْرَ لِتَأْكُلُوا مِنْهُ لَحْمًا طَرِيًّا وَتَسْتَخْرِجُوا مِنْهُ حِلْيَةً تَلْبَسُونَهَا وَتَرَى الْفُلْكَ مَوَاخِرَ فِيهِ وَلِتَبْتَغُوا مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ (النحل: 14).
وَأَلْقَى فِي الأَرْضِ رَوَاسِيَ أَنْ تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ وَأَنْهَارًا وَسُبُلاً لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ (النحل: 15).
وَعَلاَمَاتٍ وَبِالنَّجْمِ هُمْ يَهْتَدُونَ (النحل: 16).
أَفَمَنْ يَخْلُقُ كَمَنْ لاَ يَخْلُقُ أَفَلاَ تَذَكَّرُونَ (النحل: 17).
وَإِنْ تَعُدُّوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ لاَ تُحْصُوهَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ (النحل: 18).
وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُسِرُّونَ وَمَا تُعْلِنُونَ (النحل: 19).
وَالَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ لاَ يَخْلُقُونَ شَيْئًا وَهُمْ يُخْلَقُونَ (النحل: 20).
أَمْوَاتٌ غَيْرُ أَحْيَاءٍ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبْعَثُونَ (النحل: 21).
إِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَالَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بالآخِرَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ مُنكِرَةٌ وَهُمْ مُسْتَكْبِرُونَ (النحل: 22).
لاَ جَرَمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُسْتَكْبِرِينَ (النحل: 23).
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ مَاذَا أَنزَلَ رَبُّكُمْ قَالُوا أَسَاطِيرُ الأَوَّلِينَ (النحل: 24).
لِيَحْمِلُوا أَوْزَارَهُمْ كَامِلَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَمِنْ أَوْزَارِ الَّذِينَ يُضِلُّونَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ أَلاَ سَاءَ مَا يَزِرُونَ (النحل: 25).
قَدْ مَكَرَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ فَأَتَى اللَّهُ بُنْيَانَهُمْ مِنَ الْقَوَاعِدِ فَخَرَّ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّقْفُ مِنْ فَوْقِهِمْ وَأَتَاهُمُ الْعَذَابُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ (النحل: 26).
ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يُخْزِيهِمْ وَيَقُولُ أَيْنَ شُرَكَائِيَ الَّذِينَ كُنْتُمْ تُشَاقُّونَ فِيهِمْ قَالَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ إِنَّ الْخِزْيَ الْيَوْمَ وَالسُّوءَ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ (النحل: 27).
الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ ظَالِمِي أَنفُسِهِمْ فَأَلْقَوْا السَّلَمَ مَا كُنَّا نَعْمَلُ مِنْ سُوءٍ بَلَى إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ (النحل: 28).
فَادْخُلُوا أَبْوَابَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا فَلَبِئْسَ مَثْوَى الْمُتَكَبِّرِينَ (النحل: 29).
وَقِيلَ لِلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا مَاذَا أَنْزَلَ رَبُّكُمْ قَالُوا خَيْرًا لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا فِي هَذِهِ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةٌ وَلَدَارُ الآخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ وَلَنِعْمَ دَارُ الْمُتَّقِينَ (النحل: 30).
جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ يَدْخُلُونَهَا تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ لَهُمْ فِيهَا مَا يَشَاءُونَ كَذَلِكَ يَجْزِي اللَّهُ الْمُتَّقِينَ (النحل: 31).
الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ يَقُولُونَ سَلاَمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ (النحل: 32).
هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلاَّ أَنْ تَأْتِيَهُمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ أَوْ يَأْتِيَ أَمْرُ رَبِّكَ كَذَلِكَ فَعَلَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَمَا ظَلَمَهُمُ اللَّهُ وَلَكِنْ كَانُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ (النحل: 33).
فَأَصَابَهُمْ سَيِّئَاتُ مَا عَمِلُوا وَحَاقَ بِهِمْ مَا كَانُوا بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِئُون (النحل: 34).
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا لَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا عَبَدْنَا مِنْ دُونِهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ نَحْنُ وَلاَ آبَاؤُنَا وَلاَ حَرَّمْنَا مِنْ دُونِهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ كَذَلِكَ فَعَلَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ فَهَلْ عَلَى الرُّسُلِ إِلاَّ الْبَلاَغُ الْمُبِينُ (النحل: 35).
وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَسُولاً أَنْ اُعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ هَدَى اللَّهُ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الضَّلاَلَةُ فَسِيرُوا فِي الأَرْضِ فَانْظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ (النحل: 36).
إِنْ تَحْرِصْ عَلَى هُدَاهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَهْدِي مَنْ يُضِلُّ وَمَا لَهُمْ مِنْ نَاصِرِينَ (النحل: 37).
وَأَقْسَمُوا بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ لاَ يَبْعَثُ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَمُوتُ بَلَى وَعْدًا عَلَيْهِ حَقًّا وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ (النحل: 38).
لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمْ الَّذِي يَخْتَلِفُونَ فِيهِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا كَاذِبِينَ (النحل: 39).
إِنَّمَا قَوْلُنَا لِشَيْءٍ إِذَا أَرَدْنَاهُ أَنْ نَقُولَ لَهُ كُنْ
SURAH OF QURAN “An Nahl” (The Honey Bee) AYAH NO 1 TO 40
(16:1) Allah’s judgment has (all but) come;1 do not, then, call for its speedy advent. Holy is He, and far above their associating others with Him in His Divinity.2
1. That is, the time for final judgment has come near. As regards to the use of the past tense in the original, this may be to show the certainty of its occurrence in the near future or to emphasize the fact that the rebellion and the wrong deeds of the Quraish had become so
unbearable that they warranted that the time for decisive action had come.
Here question arises as to what that judgment was and how it came. We are of the opinion (and true knowledge is with Allah alone) that that judgment was hijra (the migration) of the Prophet (peace be upon him) from Makkah. For a short time after this revelation, he was bidden to emigrate from there. And according to the Quran, a Prophet (peace be upon him) is bidden to leave his place only at that time when the rebellion and antagonism of his people reach the extreme limit. Then their doom is sealed, for after this Allah’s punishment comes on them either as a direct scourge from Him, or they are destroyed by the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his followers. And this did actually take place. On the the occasion of the migration, the people of Makkah regarded it as a victory for themselves, but in fact, it turned out to be a defeat for shirk and disbelief which were totally uprooted within a decade or so after the migration, not only from Makkah but from the rest of Arabia as well.
2. In order to understand the interconnection between the first and the second sentences, one should keep in view the background. The challenge of the disbelievers to the Prophet (peace be upon him), to hasten divine judgment, was really based on their assumption that
their own religion of shirk was true and the religion of Tauhid presented by Muhammad (peace be upon him) was false. Otherwise, they argued, the divine scourge with which he threatened them would have come upon them long before because of their disbelief and
rebellion, if there had been the authority of Allah behind it. That is why after the declaration of the judgment, their misunderstanding about the cause of delay in the punishment was removed as if to say: You are absolutely wrong to assume that punishment has not been inflicted on you because your creed of shirk is true, for Allah is free from and far above shirk and has no partner.
(16:2) He sends down this spirit(of prophecy)3by His command through His angels? on any of His servants whom He wills,‘4 (directing them): “Warn people that there is no deity but Me; so hold Me alone in fear. 5
3. This means the Spirit of Prophethood with which a Prophet is imbued in order to fulfill his mission by word and deed. The Quran has called this the Spirit in several places, for this has the same relation to the mission of a Prophet and his moral life, which the soul has to the physical human life.
4. As one of the things, which prompted the disbelievers to challenge the Prophet (peace be upon him) for the scourge, was their presumption that he was not a true Prophet. Allah told them categorically that he was a true Prophet who had been imbued with the Spirit which We had sent down on him.
“Spirit of His command, upon whom He wills.” This is the answer to the objections that the chiefs of the Quraish used to raise against the Prophet (peace be upon him): Had Allah wanted to send a Messenger to them, was there no one better than Muhammad (peace be upon him), son of Abdullah, for this mission. Why did He not choose one of the big chiefs of Makkah or Taif for the purpose? Such absurd objections needed no other answer than this that is why such an answer has been given in several places of the Quran as if to say: Allah
knows best how to do His work, and does not stand in need of any advice from you. He chooses for His mission anyone whom He considers fit for it.
5. This verse declares the essence of the Spirit of Prophethood, which is this: Godhead belongs to one Allah alone, so only He is worthy of fear. Therefore, there is no other anchor that might make fast and hold together the human moral system than His fear. For it is the fear of His displeasure and His punishment, and the fear of the consequences of His disobedience that alone can act as a strong deterrent to restrain one from deviation. That is why mankind has been admonished: Fear Me.
(16:3) He created the heavens and the earth with Truth. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Allah in His Divinity.6
6. That is to say, the entire system of the earth and the heavens is a witness to the truth of the doctrine of Tauhid and to the negation of shirk. You may look at anything in the universe and consider the system from any point of view you like, you will find proof of the fact that it is being run by one God and not by many gods. Then how is it that you believe in shirk when there is no proof whatsoever of this in the universe As a fitting sequence of this, proofs of Tauhid and refutation of shirk have been given from man himself and from other
signs in the universe, and it has also been shown that Prophethood is based on truth.
(16:4) He created man out of a mere drop of fluid, and he turned into an open wrangler.7
7. This has two meanings and both are meant here.
(1) Though Allah created man from an insignificant sperm drop, he is capable of arguing and giving reasons in support of his claim.
(2) Man who has such an insignificant origin, has become so vain that he does not hesitate to dispute even with his Creator.
If considered in its first sense, it is a chain in the series of arguments given in many succeeding verses to prove the truth of the message of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Please refer to (E.N. 15). If taken in the second sense, it is meant to warn the man that he should not forget the insignificant origin of his existence while engaged in his rebellious arguments against his Creator. If he remembered the different stages of his humiliating birth and growth, he would consider many times before he assumed a haughty and rebellious attitude
towards his Creator.
(16:5) He created the cattle. They are a source of clothing and food and also a variety of other benefits for you.
(16:6) And you find beauty in them as you drive them to pasture in the morning and as you drive them back — in the evening;
(16:7) and they carry your loads to many a place which you would be unable to reach without much hardship. Surely your Lord bi Intensely Loving, Most Merciful.
(16:3) And He created horses and mules and asses for you to ride, and also for your adornment. And He creates many things (for you) that you do not even know about.’8
8. That is, there are many agencies which are working for the good of man but he is quite unaware of such servants and the services rendered by them.
(16:9) It rests with Allah alone to show you the Right Way, even when there are many crooked ways.? Had He so willed, He would have (perforce) guided you all aright.
9. This contains an argument for Prophethood along with a proof of Tauhid and of Allah’s compassion and providence. The argument is this:
There are many divergent ways of thought and action open for man to choose from. Obviously, all these divergent ways cannot be straight ways, because there can be only one straight way; therefore, there can be only one right theory of life which is based on that way and only one right way of life that is based on that right theory. Thus it is clear that the choice of the right way of life is man’s most important and basic need, for its wrong choice would inevitably lead to his ruin. This is because all other things fulfill his animal needs only, but this is the greatest necessity of his life as a human being, and without its fulfillment, his life would be an utter failure.
Now, it cannot be expected that Allah Who made so many provisions, and on such a large scale, for the fulfillment of the animal life of man, did not make any arrangement for the fulfillment of this real and greatest necessity of man. Just as He has provided for all the necessities of his life, so He has also provided for this greatest need of his through Prophethood. If Prophethood is denied then it should be pointed out in what way Allah has fulfilled this basic need of man. Experience over centuries has shown that mankind has always
blundered whenever it has chosen a way of life by itself. This is because man’s wisdom and intelligence are limited, and he cannot depend on these for the choice of the right way of life.
Above all, one cannot say that Allah has made no arrangement for this basic need of man, for this, will be the greatest misconception of Allah that He may make the most elaborate arrangements for man’s animal life but should leave him in the lurch to search out a way for himself for the fulfillment of this most important and basic need.
10. Here a question arises: Why didn’t Allah will to guide all the people aright inherently when He had taken it upon Himself to show the right way? It is true that Allah could have imbued man, like other creatures, with the inborn instinct and enabled him to choose the right way without conscious thought, experience, or teaching. But this would have been against His will which was to create a being, having will and power and freedom to follow the right way or the wrong way, whichever he chose for himself. This is why he has been endowed with different means of knowledge and power of conscious thought, deliberation, and will, and has been empowered with the authority to make use of all powers in him and all things around him. Moreover, He has placed in him and all around him such factors as might lead him to guidance or deviation. All these things would have become meaningless, had he been created righteous by birth, and he could never have attained the heights of progress, which can be achieved only by the right use of freedom. That is why Allah has chosen Prophethood for man’s guidance and left him free to follow or reject a Prophet. This is a test by means of which Allah judges whether man accepts the guidance that is presented to him in a rational way.
(16:10) He is Who sends down water for you from the sky out of which you drink and out of which grow the plants on which you pasture your cattle.
(16:11) and by virtue of which He causes crops and olives and date palms and grapes and all kinds of fruit to grow for you. Surely in this, there is a great sign for those who reflect.
(16:12) He has subjected for you the night and the day and the sun and the moon and the stars have also been made subservient by His command. Surely there are Signs in this for those who use their reason.
(16:13) And there are also Signs for those who take heed in the numerous things of various colors that He has created for you on earth.
(16:14) And He is Who has subjected the sea that you may eat fresh fish from it and bring forth ornaments from it that you can wear. And you see ships plowing their course through it so that you may go forth seeking His Bounty 11 and be grateful to Him.
11. That is, try to get your sustenance in lawful ways.
(16:15) And He has placed firm mountains on the earth lest it should move away from you,12 and has made rivers and tracks 13 that you may find your way,
12. This shows that the real function of mountains is to regulate the motion and speed of the earth. We have come to this conclusion, for the Quran has made this benefit of mountains very prominent in many places. Therefore, their other benefits should be regarded as incidental.
13. Natural ways are those routes that are formed along the banks of streams, ravines, and rivers. Though the importance of these ways is great even in the plains, one feels their sore need, especially in the mountainous regions.
(16:16) and He has set other landmarks 14 in the earth. And by the stars too do find their way.15
14. This is a sign of Allah that He has broken the monotony of land by placing conspicuous landmarks on it to distinguish different regions from one another. These have many benefits and one of these is to help guide travelers and navigators to their destinations. One also
realizes the importance and value of these landmarks, when one is traveling through the sandy desert where there are hardly any objects to guide on the way, and one is liable to lose the way at any time. One feels the lack of landmarks much more in the sea voyage. It is in the deserts and the seas that people realize the true significance of stars by which they are directed aright to their destinations.
This verse contains arguments for Tauhid. Providence, and Compassion of Allah, and also a proof of Prophethood. For the mind is instinctively turned towards this question: Can it be possible that Allah who has made so elaborate arrangements for man’s guidance to fulfill his physical needs has neglected to provide for his moral and spiritual needs? It cannot be so, for it is obvious that even the greatest loss of some physical necessity due to the adoption of a wrong way is nothing as compared to the loss of spiritual and moral values due to deviation from the right way. It would be nothing less than having doubt in Allah’s Compassion and Providence to think that He, Who had made so elaborate provision for man’s guidance on land and sea by creating mountains, rivers, stars, and other objects, would have neglected to make provision for his moral and spiritual guidance. And it stands
to reason that He must have provided prominent beacons of light to guide man to that right way of life which is indispensable to his true success.
15. In( Ayats 4-16), some signs have been mentioned in succession in order to focus people’s attention on the creation of man himself and of the earth and the heavens. They will thus find that everything supports the truth of the doctrines taught by the Prophet (peace be
upon him). A critical study of all these signs shows that these must have been designed and created by an All-Wise Being, and One Being alone, and there could not have been any partner or associate to help Him. Let us consider this theme from the point of view of man, the central figure in the creation. This wonderful being, who is able to speak with his tongue and is capable of arguing his case with it, has been created from an insignificant sperm drop.
Then many animals have been created to satisfy the necessities of his life. They provide food, clothing, and conveyance for him and help satisfy his aesthetic taste as well. Then there is a remarkable system of rainwater from the sky to produce crops, fruits, verdure, etc. on
the earth to fulfill man’s needs. Then there is the creation of regular days and nights and seasons, which are closely connected with all kinds of production of the earth, and also with man’s general well-being. Then there are oceans, which help fulfill many of his physical and
aesthetic demands and provide waterways for traffic. Likewise, mountains have been created to provide man with many benefits. Then there are landmarks on the earth and stars in the heavens to guide travelers and navigators to their destinations. In short, there are
innumerable signs in the earth and the heavens which are closely interconnected and are also indispensable to man’s welfare, nay, to his very existence. All these are clear proofs that only One Being has designed the entire universe and created it in accordance with that
design. It is He Who is all the time creating new things to fit in that scheme, and working this wonderful universe that spreads from the earth to boundless heavens. Who can then claim, except a foolish or obdurate person, that all this has come into existence by a mere
accident? Or, who can say that these different aspects, which are working under a perfect system and are intimately connected with one another and are well balanced, have been created by different gods and are under the control of different guardians?
(16:17) Is then the One Who creates like the one who does not create?16 Will you not, then, take heed?
16. That is, if you, people of Makkah, acknowledge (and they acknowledged this just as other mushriks did) that Allah alone is the Creator of all of you and everything, and no one of the partners, you have set up with Him, has created anything in the universe. How is it,
then, that you ascribe from among the creation, a status equal to or like that of the Creator in the system of the universe created by Him? How can it be possible that the power and the rights of the creation should be equal to the power and the rights of the Creator in the universe created by Himself? How can it be believed that the Creator and the creation possess the same qualities and characteristics, or can have such a relationship as father and son?
(16:18) For, were you to count the favors of Allah, you will not be able to count them. Surely Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
17. Here the connection of Allah’s attributes, “Forgiving and Compassionate”, with the preceding verse is so obvious that it has been left unmentioned. It is this: Though Allah goes on showering countless blessings upon people, they behave in an ungrateful, faithless, and rebellious manner towards Him. He does not punish them immediately, but gives them respite, for He is Forgiving and Compassionate. This is true of both individuals and communities. There are people, who deny even the existence of God, yet He goes on
bestowing His favors on them for years. There are others who set up partners with Him in his attributes, power, and rights and show their gratitude to others than Him for His blessings, yet He does not withhold His favors from them. There are still others who profess
to acknowledge Him as their Creator and Benefactor, yet rebel against Him and are disobedient to Him and consider freedom from Him to be their birthright, but in spite of all this, He continues to shower His countless blessings on them as long as they live.
(16:19) Allah knows all that you conceal and all that you disclose. 18
18. A grave misunderstanding might arise as to why Allah’s blessings should continue to be showered even on those who deny Him and set up partners with Him and are disobedient to Him. The foolish people are liable to conclude from this that He does not withhold His favors from such people because He has no knowledge of their wicked deeds, The Quran declares: Even though He has full knowledge of all the deeds of the people, whether these are done secretly or openly, He does not discontinue His blessings on the sinners, for He is Forgiving, Compassionate and Merciful. Therefore: O people, get rid of this
misunderstanding and reform yourselves.
(16:20) Those whom they call upon besides Allah have created nothing; rather, they themselves were created;
(16:21) they are dead, not living. They do not even know when they will be resurrected. 19
19. The words employed here to refute man-made deities clearly indicate that these deities were deceased prophets, saints, martyrs and pious, and other extraordinary beings buried in their graves and not angels, jinns, devils, or idols. For the angels and devils are alive:
therefore, the words, “They are dead, not living” cannot apply to them, and it is out of the question to say about idols of stone or wood that “They do not know at all when they shall again be raised to life” in the Hereafter. As regards the objection to this version that there were no such deities in Arabia, this is based on the lack of knowledge of the history of the pre-Islamic period. It is well known that there was a large number of Jews and Christians living among many clans of Arabia, who used to invoke and worship their Prophets, saints, etc. It is also a fact that many gods of the mushriks of Arabia were human beings, whose
idols they had set up for worship after their death. According to a tradition cited in Bukhari on the authority of Ibn Abbas: “Wadd, Sua, Yaghuth, Yauq, and Nasr were pious human beings, whom the succeeding generations had made gods.” Another tradition, related by
Aishah: “Asaf and Nailah were human beings.” There are also traditions to the same effect about Lat, Munat, and Uzza. So much so that according to some traditions of the mushriks, Lat and Uzza were the beloved ones of Allah who used to pass His winter with Lat and
summer with Uzza. But Allah is absolutely free from such absurd things they attribute to Him.
(16:22) Your God is the One God. But the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter are steeped in rejection of the Truth, and they are given to arrogance.”
20. That is, those who do not believe in the life in the Hereafter, have become so irresponsible, carefree, and intoxicated with the life of this world, that they feel no hesitation or pang in denying any reality, and they put no value on or attach no worth to truth. That is why, they are not prepared to impose any moral restraint on themselves and feel no need to investigate as to whether the way, they are following is right or wrong.
(16:23) Surely Allah knows all that they conceal and all that they disclose. He certainly does not love those who are steeped in arrogance.
(16:24) When21 they are asked: “What is it that your Lord has revealed?” They answer: “They are merely tales of olden times 22
21. In the preceding (Ayat 23) those arrogant people who were rejecting the message were
warned that Allah has full knowledge of all their deeds. Now from (Ayat 24) the Quran takes up those deeds one by one and deals with the arguments they presented against the Messenger (peace be upon him), the objections they raised and the lame excuses they invented for their rejection, and reproaches and admonishes them.
22. One of their cunning devices was to create doubts about the Quran. Whenever outsiders came to visit Makkah, they would naturally make inquiries about the Quran, which the Prophet (peace be upon him) declared, was being sent down to him by Allah. The disbelievers would answer that it contained merely fairy tales of the ancients. They would say such things in order to create doubts in the minds of the inquirers so that they should not take any interest in the message of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
(16:25) (They say so) that they may bear the full weight of their burdens on the Day of Resurrection and also of the burdens of those whom they misled on account of their ignorance. What a heavy burden are they undertaking to bear!
(16:26) Surely many people before them had plotted in a similar manner to (vanquish the Truth), but Allah uprooted the whole structure of their plot from its foundations so that the roof fell in upon them, and the chastisement (of Allah) visited them from unknown directions.
(16:27) And again, on the Day of Resurrection, He will bring them to disgrace, and say: “Tell Me, now, where are those to whom you ascribed a share in My Divinity, and for whose sake you disputed (with the upholders of the Truth)?” Those 23 who were endowed with knowledge (in the world) will say: “Surely today humiliation and misery shall be the lot of the unbelievers”;
23. There is a gap between this answer and the preceding question which has been left for the reader to fill. When Allah will ask: Now where are My partners, there will be dead silence in the plain where the entire mankind shall have to gather on the occasion of Resurrection. The disbelievers and the mushriks will be dumbfounded for they will be at a loss to find an answer to this. Then those who had been given knowledge will make the assertion, “Indeed, disgrace, this day, and evil are upon the disbelievers.”
(16:28) the same unbelievers who, when the angels seize them and cause them to die while they are engaged in wrong-doing, they will proffer their submission24 saying:
“We were engaged in no evil.” (The angels will answer them): “Surely Allah knows well all that you did.
24. This is Allah’s addition to the previous assertion and not its continuation. Those commentators, who have wrongly considered this as the continuation of the preceding sentence, are unable to offer any satisfactory explanation for their opinion.
25. That is, when the angels take possession of their souls at the time of death.
(16:29) Go now, and enter the gate of Hell, and abide in it forever.26 Evil indeed is the abode of the arrogant.
26. The (Ayats 28 and 32), and several other verses in the Quran, clearly and definitely assert that immediately after death, souls suffer torment or enjoy peace in the world of Barzakh.
The traditions use the word qabar (grave) metaphorically for this existence of the souls. This is the world in which souls enter immediately after death and will remain therein up to the Day of Resurrection. Yet the disbelievers of the traditions declare that after death souls will remain in a dormant state up to the time of Resurrection, and will neither feel any pain nor joy nor will be conscious of anything at all. Obviously, this is a wrong opinion. For,
according to (Ayat 28), just after death when the disbelievers will be conscious of the fact that they had been leading an evil life, they will try to make the angels believe that they had not done any evil deed. The angels will rebuke them for this boldness and will tell them that
they shall have to go into Hell. On the other hand, according to(verse 32), just after their death, the pious believers are welcomed by the angels and given the good news that they will enter in Paradise. Besides these verses, there is the mention of a dialogue between the
angels and those Muslims, who did not migrate to Al- Madinah, after their souls were seized by the angels in (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 97). Above all, according to (Surah Almomin Ayats 45-46), the people of Pharaoh have been encircled by torment and are exposed before the fire of Hell every morning and every evening. This will go on till the Day of Resurrection when they shall be sentenced to eternal torment.
In fact, both the Quran and the traditions present the same kind of picture of the condition of the soul after death till the Resurrection. Death causes merely the separation of the soul from the body but does not annihilate it. The soul lives with the same personality that was
formed by the different experiences and the mental exercises and moral activities it had in its worldly life in cooperation with the body. This nature of the consciousness, feelings, observations, and experiences of the soul, during the waiting period, is similar to that of a dream. Just as a criminal sentenced to death suffers from mental torture on the eve of his crucifixion, in the same way the angels take to task the guilty as in a dream, torture it and take it to the horrible Hell in order to make it foretaste the impending torture. In contrast to
this, the pure soul is welcomed by the angels and is given the good news of entry into paradise and is made to enjoy its pleasant breeze and smell and feel happy like the faithful servant who is invited to the headquarters to receive his reward. But this life in the world of Barzakh will suddenly come to an end on the second blowing of the Trumpet of
Resurrection. When the guilty souls will again enter into their former bodies and muster in the Plain, they will cry in horror: Oh! woe to us! Who has roused us from our sleeping places? But the true believers will say with perfect peace of mind: This is exactly what the Beneficent had promised, and the Messengers had told the truth. (Surah Yaseen, Ayat 52).
As the guilty ones will be under the delusion that they had been lying on their death bed for an hour or so and had been roused from sleep. Those who were given knowledge and faith will say: According to the Record of Allah, you have remained after death till this Day of Resurrection and this is the same Day of Resurrection, but you did not know this. (Surah Ar- Room, Ayats 55-56).
(16:30) And when the God-fearing are asked: “What has your Lord revealed?” they answer: “Something excellent!”27? Good fortune in this world awaits those who do good, and certainly, the abode of the Hereafter is even better for them. How excellent is the abode of the God-fearing:
27. In contrast to the disbelievers (Ayat 24), the righteous people spoke highly of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and of the teachings of the Quran to the people coming from the suburbs of Makkah. Unlike the former, they did not delude the people nor created misunderstandings in their minds. They were full of praise for them and told the truth about the Prophet (peace be upon him).
(16:31) everlasting gardens that they shall enter; the gardens beneath which rivers shall flow, and where they shall have whatever they desire! Thus does Allah reward the God-fearing,28
28. This is the best blessing of Paradise. The dweller will get there whatever he will desire and wish and there will be nothing at all to offend him. This is a blessing that has never been attained even by the richest and the most powerful people in this world. On the contrary, every dweller of Paradise will enjoy this blessing to his fill because he will always have everything to his desire and liking, and will have each and every wish and desire fulfilled.
(16:32) those whose souls the angels seize while they are in a state of purity, saying: “Peace be upon you. Enter Paradise as a reward for your deeds.”
(16:33) (O Muhammad), are they waiting for anything else than that the angels should appear before them, or that your Lord’s judgment should come?22 Many before them acted with similar temerity. And then what happened with them was not Allah’s wrong-doing; they rather wronged themselves.
29. This is to admonish the unbelievers to this effect: Why are they still hesitating to accept a message which is very simple and clear? We have tried every method to present each aspect of the truth clearly with arguments and brought witnesses thereof from the whole
system of the universe, and have left no room for any man of understanding to stick to shirk.
Now, what are they waiting for is nothing more than this that the angel of death should come before them, and then they will accept the message at the last moment of their lives. Or, do they wait for the scourge of God to overtake them and make them accept the Message?
(16:34) The evil consequences of their misdeeds overtook them and what they mocked overwhelmed them.
(16:35) Those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity say: “Were Allah to will so, neither we nor our forefathers would have worshipped any other than Him, nor would we have prohibited anything without His command. 30Their predecessors proffered similar excuses.31 Do the Messengers have any other duty but to plainly convey the Message?
30. In order to understand the significance of this argument the reader should keep in view (Ayats 148-150 and E.N.s 124-126 of Surah Al-Anaam), for this has been cited and answered there.
31. That is, your argument is not a new one but the same old one which had always been offered by erroneous people who went before you. Today you are, like them, excusing yourselves for your deviation and evil conduct, saying that it is the will of God. You know
that this is a lame excuse that has been invented to delude yourselves and to escape from admonition.
This answer also contains a subtle retort to the objection of the disbelievers that the Quran consisted merely of old stories of the ancients (Ayat 24). They meant to imply that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had nothing new to offer. So he was repeating the same old
stories that had been repeated over and over again since the time of Prophet Noah (peace be upon him). The retort is this: If the Prophet (peace be upon him) was not presenting anything new but was reciting the old stories of the ancients, you yourselves are not putting forward any new excuse in defense of your evil deeds, but the same old excuse that was put forward by the people who went before you.
(16:36) We raised a Messenger in every community (to tell them): “Serve Allah and shun the Evil One.”32 Thereafter Allah guided some of them while others were overtaken by error.33 Go about the earth, then, and observe what was the end of those who rejected the Messengers, calling them liars.34
32. That is, you are not justified in excusing yourselves for these sins, saying that it is the will of God for We sent Messengers to every umma, who told the people in plain words that they should worship Us and none else and should not follow and obey taghut. Besides this, We have already warned you that We do not approve of your deviations. Why should you then put forward this excuse for your deviations? Do you mean to say that We ought to have sent such Messengers as would have forced you to follow the right way instead of bringing you to it by preaching? Please refer to (E.N. 80 of Surah Al-Anaam) for the
the distinction between God’s will and God’s approval).
33. That is, Whenever a Messenger came to a people, they were divided into two groups.
(1) Those who accepted the message (and that, too, could not have been possible except with the will of Allah).
(2) Those who rejected it and stuck to their deviation (For explanation see (E.N. 28 of Surah Al-Anaam).
34. That is, you can see for yourselves the lesson of human history. It is this that the people, who rejected the message, incurred the scourge of Allah like Pharaoh and the people of Pharaoh, while Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) received the blessings of Allah.
(16:37) (OQ Muhammad), howsoever eager you may be to show them the Right Way, Allah does not bestow His guidance on those whom He lets go astray, and in fact, none will be able to help them.
(16:38) They swear most solemnly in the name of Allah and say: “Allah shall not raise to life and who dies.” (Yes, He will do so); that is a promise by which He is bound, even though most people do not know that.
(16:39) (That is bound to happen in order that) He may make clear to them the reality regarding the matters on which they differ and that the unbelievers may realize that they were liars.
35. In (Ayat 39 )those two things have been stated which rationally and morally require that there must be Resurrection and life after death, that is:
(1) To reveal what the reality was, and
(2) To reward or punish people in accordance with the right or wrong stand they took about it in this world. It is common knowledge that since the creation of man on the earth there
have been many differences regarding the reality that have been sowing dissension between families, nations, and races. These have also led to the formation of many different societies, cultures, and creeds on different theories. At every age, millions of the torch bearers
of each of these theories have been putting at stake all their life, property, and honor to propagate and defend their favorite theory. Nay, there has always been such a bitter conflict between them that each group tried to annihilate the other, who, in his turn, stuck to it to the last. This being the case, common sense demands that such far-reaching and serious differences should be cleared some time or other, so as to decide with certainty what was right and what was wrong, who was in the right and who was in the wrong. Obviously, it is not possible to lift the curtain from the reality in this world so as to reveal things in their true perspective. This is because the system on which this world has been created does not allow this. Therefore, there should be another world to fulfill this demand of common sense.
This is not the demand of common sense alone but also of moral sense, which requires that the partners in this conflict should be rewarded or punished according to right or wrong, just or unjust part they played in it. For, some of these committed cruelties on the
others, who had to make sacrifices for their cause. Then each one should also bear the responsibility for formulating and practicing a moral or immoral philosophy that influenced millions and billions of others for better or worse. Moral sense demands that there should be a time for the moral consequences to take their due course. As this is not possible in this world there should be another world for the purpose.
(16:40) (As for the possibility of resurrection, bear in mind that) whenever We do will something, We have to do no more than say: “Be”, and it is. 36
36. This is the answer to those who imagined that it was the most difficult thing to raise the dead, and that, too, to raise together at once all the people who had died at any time. They have been told that it is an easy thing for Allah, Who has the power to bring into existence
anything He desires, merely by His command, “Be,” for He does not stand in need of any provisions, any means, and any favorable environment for this. His mere command produces necessary provisions, means, and environment. This world was brought into
existence by His mere command, “Be,” and likewise the next world will at once come into existence by His single command.
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