وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَى ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحًا أَنْ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ فَإِذَا هُمْ فَرِيقَانِ يَخْتَصِمُونَ (النمل: 45).
قَالَ يَاقَوْمِ لِمَ تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ قَبْلَ الْحَسَنَةِ لَوْلاَ تَسْتَغْفِرُونَ اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ (النمل: 46).
قَالُوا اطَّيَّرْنَا بِكَ وَبِمَنْ مَعَكَ قَالَ طَائِرُكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ بَلْ أَنْتُمْ قَوْمٌ تُفْتَنُونَ (النمل: 47).
وَكَانَ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ تِسْعَةُ رَهْطٍ يُفْسِدُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلاَ يُصْلِحُونَ (النمل: 46).
قَالُوا تَقَاسَمُوا بِاللَّهِ لَنُبَيِّتَنَّهُ وَأَهْلَهُ ثُمَّ لَنَقُولَنَّ لِوَلِيِّهِ مَا شَهِدْنَا مَهْلِكَ أَهْلِهِ وَإِنَّا لَصَادِقُونَ (النمل: 49).
وَمَكَرُوا مَكْرًا وَمَكَرْنَا مَكْرًا وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ (النمل: 50).
فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ مَكْرِهِمْ أَنَّا دَمَّرْنَاهُمْ وَقَوْمَهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ (النمل: 51).
فَتِلْكَ بُيُوتُهُمْ خَاوِيَةً بِمَا ظَلَمُوا إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ (النمل: 52).
وَأَنجَيْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ (النمل: 53).
وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ وَأَنْتُمْ تُبْصِرُونَ (النمل: 54).
أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِنْ دُونِ النِّسَاءِ بَلْ أَنْتُمْ قَوْمٌ تَجْهَلُونَ (النمل: 55).
فَمَا كَانَ جَوَابَ قَوْمِهِ إِلاَّ أَنْ قَالُوا أَخْرِجُوا آلَ لُوطٍ مِنْ قَرْيَتِكُمْ إِنَّهُمْ أُنَاسٌ يَتَطَهَّرُونَ (النمل: 56).
فَأَنجَيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ إِلاَّ امْرَأَتَهُ قَدَّرْنَاهَا مِنْ الْغَابِرِينَ (النمل: 57).
وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ مَطَرًا فَسَاءَ مَطَرُ الْمُنذَرِينَ (النمل: 58).
قُلْ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ وَسَلاَمٌ عَلَى عِبَادِهِ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَى آاللَّهُ خَيْرٌ أَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ (النمل: 59).
أَمَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ وَأَنزَلَ لَكُمْ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَنْبَتْنَا بِهِ حَدَائِقَ ذَاتَ بَهْجَةٍ مَا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَنْ تُنْبِتُوا شَجَرَهَا أَءِلَهٌ مَعَ اللَّهِ بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ يَعْدِلُونَ (النمل: 60).
أَمَّنْ جَعَلَ الأَرْضَ قَرَارًا وَجَعَلَ خِلاَلَهَا أَنْهَارًا وَجَعَلَ لَهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَ
SURAH NAML AYAH 45 TO 60
(27:45) And We sent to Thamud their brother Salih (with the Message): “Serve Allah,” but all of a sudden they became split into two quarreling factions.57
57. For comparison, see (Surah Al-Aaraf: Ayats 73-79), (Surah Hud: Ayats 61-68), (Surah Ash-Shuara: Ayats 141- 159), (Surah Al-Oamar: Ayats 23-32), (Surah Ash-Shams: Ayats 11- 15).
58. That is, as soon as the Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) embarked on his mission, his people were divided into two groups, the believers and the disbelievers, and a conflict started between them as stated elsewhere in the Quran. The chiefs of his tribe, who were full
of pride, said to those who had believed from among the oppressed people, “Do you know it for certain that Salih is a Messenger from his Lord?” They replied, “Indeed, we believe in the message with which he has been sent.” But those who had the arrogant assumption of superiority, said, “We deny that which you believe”. (Surah Al-Aaraf: Ayats 75-76). One should note that precisely the same situation arose in Makkah at the advent of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The nation was divided into two factions and a conflict started between them. Therefore, this story fully applies to the conditions in which these verses were revealed.
(27:46) Salih said: “My people, why do you wish to hasten that evil rather than good should come upon you? Why should you not seek pardon from Allah so that mercy be shown to you?”59
59. That is, “Why do you hasten in asking for a torment instead of some good from Allah?”
The following saying of the chiefs of the Prophet Salih’s people has been related at another place: “O Salih, bring that scourge with which you threaten us if you really are one of the Messengers.” (Surah Al-Aaraf: Ayat 77).
(27:47) They said: “We augur ill of you and those who are with you.” Salih replied: “Your augury is with Allah. The truth is that you are a people who are being tried.”60
60. One meaning of what they said is: “Your movement has proved to be an evil omen for us. Since you and your companions have revolted against the ancestral religion, one or the other calamity is befalling us almost daily, because our deities have become angry with us.” In this sense, this saying is similar to the sayings of most of those polytheistic nations who regarded their Prophets as ominous. In Surah Yasin, for instance, a nation has been mentioned, that said to its Prophet “We regard you as an evil omen for ourselves.” (Ayat 18). The same thing was said by the Pharaoh’s people about the Prophet Moses (peace be
upon him). Whenever a good time came, they would say, “This is but our due”, and when there was a bad time, they would ascribe their calamities to Moses and his companions. (Surah Al-Aaraf Ayat 130). Almost similar things were said in Makkah about the Prophet (peace be upon him).
The other meaning of their saying is this: “Your advent has stirred up divisions in our nation. Before this, we were a united people, who followed one religion. Your ominous coming has turned brother against brother, and separated son from father.” This very accusation was being brought against the Prophet (peace be upon him) by his opponents over and over again. Soon after he started his mission of inviting the people to the faith, the delegation of the chiefs of the Quraish, who went to Abu Talib, had said, “Give up to us this nephew of yours: he has opposed your religion and your forefathers’ religion and has sown discord among your people, and has held the whole nation as foolish.”
On the occasion of Hajj, when the disbelievers of Makkah feared that the visitors from outside might be influenced by the Prophet (peace be upon him), they held consultations and decided to approach the Arab tribes and tell them: “This man is a sorcerer, who by his sorcery separates a son from his father, a brother from his brother, a wife from her husband, and man from his family.”
61. That is, “The truth is not that which you understand it to be. The fact that you have not yet realized is that my advent has put you to the test. Until my arrival, you were following a beaten track in your ignorance. You could not recognize the truth from the falsehood; you
had no criterion for judging the genuine from the counterfeit; your worst people were lording over your best people, who were rolling in the dust. But now a criterion has come against which you will all be judged and assessed. Now a balance has been set up publicly, which will weigh everybody according to his true worth. Now both the truth and the falsehood have been made manifest. Whoever accepts the truth will weigh heavy whether he was not being held even worth a farthing so far, and whoever persists in falsehood will not weigh a gram even though he was being esteemed as the chief of the chiefs before this.
Now the judgment will not be based on the nobility or otherwise of the family one came of, or the abundance of the means and resources that one possessed, or one’s physical strength, but on this, whether one accepted the truth gracefully or preferred to remain attached to
(27:48) Now there were nine ring-leaders 62 in the city who created corruption in the land and never worked to set things right.
62. That is, nine chiefs of the tribes each of whom had a band of followers with him.
(27:49) They said: “Swear to one another in the name of Allah that we shall make a sudden night swoop on Salih and his family and will then tell their heirs 63 that we did not witness the destruction of his family. We are indeed truthful.”64
63. “The Guardian”: the chief of the Prophet Salih’s (peace be upon him) tribe, who, according to the ancient tribal tradition and custom, could make a claim to blood vengeance. The same was the position in Makkah of the Prophet’s uncle (peace be upon him), Abu Talib. The Quraish were hesitant that if they attacked and killed the Prophet (peace be upon him), Abu Talib, the chief of Bani Hashim, would come out with a claim to blood vengeance on behalf of his clan.
64. This precisely was the kind of plot that the Makkan chiefs of the clans were devising against the Prophet (peace be upon him), and they devised the same ultimately on the occasion of migration (Hijrah) to kill him. They decided that men from all the clans would attack him in a body so that the Bani Hashim could not hold any one of the clans as
responsible for the murder, and, therefore, would find it impossible to fight all of them at one and the same time.
(27:50) Thus they planned and We too planned, the while they did not know.65
65. That is, “Before they could make the night attack on the Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) at the appointed time, Allah sent down His scourge which destroyed their whole nation completely. It appears that they made this plot after hamstringing the she-camel.
According to (Surah Hud: Ayat 65), when they had killed the she-camel, Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) gave them a notice to enjoy life in their houses for three more days, for then they would be seized by the torment. At this, they might have thought that the torment with which Salih (peace be upon him) threatened them that might come or might not, but they must take vengeance on Salih himself. Therefore, most probably they chose the same night for the attack which Allah had appointed for sending down the torment, and thus were struck down by Allah even before they could touch the Prophet Salih (peace be upon him).”
(27:51) So see what was the outcome of the plan they made: We utterly destroyed them and their people, all of them.
(27:52) Now behold their houses that lie in utter ruins because of their wrong-doing. Verily there is a Sign in this for the people who know.
66. That is, the ignorant people will say, “There is no link between the Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) and his shecamel and the earthquake which struck the people of Thamud.
These things have their natural causes. Their occurrence or otherwise has nothing to do with the piety and wickedness of the people of a place, with their highhandedness or their show of mercy. It is meaningless merely to say that such and such a city or land was filled with sin and wickedness, and therefore, it was overwhelmed by flood, or its habitation turned upside down by an earthquake, or it was ruined by a sudden disaster.” But the people who possess knowledge know that this universe is being ruled by an All-Wise, All-Knowing One
Who is deciding destiny? His decisions are not subject to physical causes, but the physical causes are subject to His will. His decisions to debase or exalt nations are not taken blindly but with wisdom and justice. In His Book of Law, there is also included the principle of retribution, according to which the wicked are made to suffer for their evil deeds even in this world, on moral grounds. The people who are aware of these realities, cannot explain away the occurrence of an earthquake by citing physical and natural causes; they will rather look upon them as the scourge of warning for themselves, and they will learn lessons from it.
They will try to understand those moral causes because of which the Creator annihilated a flourishing nation, which He Himself had created. They will divert their conduct and attitude from the track that brings Allah’s wrath to the way that joins them to His mercy.
(27:53) And We delivered those who believed and were wont to avoid disobeying (Allah).
(27:54) We also sent Lot,67 and recall when he told his people: “Do you commit shameless acts with your eyes open?68
67. For comparison, see (Surah Al-Aaraf: Ayats 80-84); (Surah Hud: Ayats 74-83); (Surah AlHijr: Ayats 57-77); (Surah Al-Anbiya: Ayats 71-75); (Surah Ash-Shuara: Ayats 160-174); (Surah Al-Ankabut: Ayats 28-75); (Surah As-Saffat: Ayats 133-138); (Surah Al-Qamar: Ayats 33-39)
For comparison, see (Surah Al-Aaraf: Ayats 80-84); (Surah Hud: Ayats 74-83); (Surah Al- Hijr: Ayats_ 57-77); (Surah Al-Anbiya: Ayats_ 71-75); (Surah Ash-Shuara: Ayats_160-174); (Surah Al-Ankabut: Ayats 28-75); (Surah As-Saffat: Ayats 133-138); (Surah Al-Qamar: Ayats 33-39).
68. This can have several meanings and probably all are implied: (1) “That you are not unaware of this act’s being wicked, but you commit it knowing it to be so”. (2) “You are also not unaware that the man has not been created for the man’s sexual desire, but the intimate relationship is between man and woman, and the distinction between them (man and woman) is not such as you cannot perceive, yet with open eyes, you commit this abominable ct.” (3) “You indulge in this indecency publicly when there are people watching you”, as stated in (Surah Al-Ankabut: Ayat 29), thus: “And you indulge in indecencies in your assemblies.”
(27:55) Do you lustfully approach men instead of women? Nay, you engage in acts of sheer ignorance.”69
69. The word jahalat here has been used in the sense of folly and stupidity. But even if it is taken in the sense of ignorance and lack of knowledge, it will mean: “You do not know the evil consequences of your acts. You only know that you are deriving sensual pleasure, but
you do not know what severe punishment awaits you for this criminal and heinous pleasure-seeking. The scourge of Allah is ready to strike you but you are engaged in a senseless, filthy game with impunity.
(27:56) But this had only one answer from his people. They said: “Expel Lot’s folk from your city. They pretend to be absolutely clean.”
(27:57) Eventually We saved (Lot) and his family, except his wife. We had decreed that she should be among those who would remain behind.70
70. That is, “The Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) had already been instructed not to take the woman along because she had to be destroyed along with her people.”
(27:58) And We rained down upon them a rain. It was an evil rain for those who had already been warned.
(27:59) Say, (OQ Muhammad):71 “All praise be to Allah, and peace be on those of His servants whom He has chosen.” (Ask them): “Who is better: Allah or the false gods that they associate with Him as His partners?72
71. From here starts the second discourse, and this is its introductory sentence. This introduction teaches how Muslims should begin a speech. That is why truly Islamic- minded people have always been starting their speeches and discourses with the praise of Allah and salutation on His righteous servants. But now this is looked upon as characteristic of bigotry, and the present-day Muslim speakers have no idea of starting their speech with these words or feel shy about doing so.
72. Superficially the question of whether Allah is better or the false deities appears to be odd.
As a matter of fact, there can be no question of goodness in the false gods and, therefore, they cannot be compared to Allah. As for the polytheists, even they had no misconception that Allah could be compared to their gods. But they were asked this question in order to be warned against their error. For obviously none in the world would do anything unless he saw some good in it. Now if the polytheists served their deities and implored them for their needs instead of Allah, and presented their offerings before them, this would be meaningless unless they perceived some good in them. That is why they have been
explicitly asked to consider whether Allah is better or their deities, for they could not face and answer this forthright question. Even the most hardened polytheist among them could not venture to say that their deities were better. But if they acknowledged that Allah is better it would demolish their whole creed, for then it would be unreasonable to adopt the inferior against the superior creed. The Quran at the very outset made the opponents helpless. After this, pointed questions have been asked, one after the other, about the manifestations of the power and creation of Allah to the effect: “Whose works are these? Is
there besides Allah any other god also associated with these works? If not, why have you then set up these others as your deities?”
According to traditions, whenever the Prophet (peace be upon him) recited this verse, he would immediately respond to it, saying: “Nay, but Allah is better, and He alone is the Everlasting and Exalted and High.”
(27:60) Who is it that has created the heavens and the earth and sent down for you water from the sky and then We caused to grow therewith orchards full of beauty whose trees you could never grow. Is there any god associated with Allah (in these tasks)?”73 Nay, they are a people who are veering away from the Right Path.
73. No one from among the mushriks could answer that someone other than Allah had done these works, or someone else was Allah’s associate in doing these. The Quran at other places says with respect to the pagans of Makkah and the Arab Mushrikin: “If you ask them, who has created the heavens and the earth?” they will surely say: “The All-Mighty, the All-Knowing One has created them.” (Surah Az-Zukhruf: Ayat 9). “And if you ask them, who has created them?” they will surely say, ‘Allah’. (Surah Az-Zukhruf: Ayat 87), “If you ask
them, who sent down rainwater from the sky and thereby raised the dead earth back to life?” they will surely say, ‘Allah’. (Surah Al- Ankabut Ayat 63). “Ask them, who provides for you from the heavens and the earth? who has power over these faculties of hearing and sight? who brings forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living? who controls and directs the system of the universe?” they will surely say, “Allah’.” (Surah Yunus: Ayat 31). Not only the polytheists of Arabia but of the whole world generally acknowledged, and acknowledge even today, that Allah is the Creator of the universe and He alone controls and directs its system. Therefore, none of them could answer this question even obstinately for the sake of the argument that their deities were Allah’s associates in those works, for if he had done so, thousands of his own people would have belied him saying that, that was not their belief.
This and the other questions that follow not only contain a refutation of the creed of shirk (polytheism) but of atheism as well. For example, in this first very question, has been asked, “Who has sent down rainwater and caused it to spring up by its beautiful gardens?”
Just consider whether the presence of the substances essential for the growth of countless kinds of plant life, in the soil or near the soil and the existence in the water of those very qualities that are in accordance with the requirements of animal and vegetable life, and the evaporation of this water again and again from the seas, and its condensation and raining regularly in different parts of the earth from time to time, and the coordination between the soil and the air, the water, the temperature; etc, conducive to the proper growth of plant life and fulfillment of the countless requirements of every sort of animal life, could be just accidental, or the result of the wise scheming and planning the supreme power and will of an All-Wise Designer. And is it possible that this accident should continue to recur constantly for millions and millions of years? Only an obstinate person who has been
blinded by prejudice will regard it as accidental, for no truth-loving, sensible person can make such a senseless claim or accept it.