Surah Ya-Seen

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  Surah Ya-Seen




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For an introduction to our tafsirs and for a discussion of the Basmallah, which is the first ayah of

this Surah, please see our tafsir of Surah Fatihah, which is also on Quran-Tafsir.org




2. Ya Seen.

        Much like several other Surahs of the Quran, Allah (swt) begins this Surah with some

letters of the Arabic alphabet. As we have mentioned in our previous tafsir books, Allah (swt)

Knows best as to the true meaning of such ayahs. These are what we call mutashabiyat ayahs or

ayahs for which only Allah (swt) Knows the true meaning. Although we do not know the true

meaning of this ayah, we can still take a general meaning from it. That meaning is that these

letters remind us how the Quran is in the Arabic language. The Miracle of the Quran is the Arabic

language, the way in which it uses the Arabic language. So by placing letters from this language

at the beginning of Surahs Allah (swt) reminds us that this Book is in the Arabic language. Arabic

is a language that is known to man, so if this Book is not divine in origin then why is it that man

has still not been able to reproduce it. Thus through these letters Allah (swt) reminds us of the

Divine origin of this Book and how it truly is a Miracle that man cannot reproduce.

        However for these particular letters of “Ya Seen”, many scholars have said that it has an

additional meaning. That meaning is that it is one of the names of the Prophet (saw). We know

that the Prophet (saw) had several names including “Muhammad” and “Ahmad”. But this name of

“Ya Seen” is a very special name because it is has been given to him (saw) by Allah (swt). So

Allah (swt) Himself has named the Prophet (saw) with this name in His (swt)’s blessed Book. This

once again shows us the Love that Allah (swt) has for the Prophet (saw) in that He (swt) would

dedicate an entire ayah of the Quran just to give this special name to the Prophet (saw). If we

love Allah (swt) then how much should we love the Prophet (saw)? How can we claim to be close

to Allah (swt) and then not have this overflowing love for His (swt)’s Beloved (saw)? The benefit

that we must take from it is that we too must increase in our love for him (saw). How can you not

love the most perfect of human beings? The very best of creation?




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        The scholars have said that Ya Sin means the “leader of all mankind”. This is who the

Prophet (saw) is. He (saw) is not the leader of the Quraysh, or the Arabs, or the Muslims, but

rather he (saw) is the leader for all mankind. All mankind. Not only for mankind who lived during

his time and after his time, but even for those people who lived before he (saw) was sent. For all

the generations who came before him (saw) and all the generations who came after him (swt).

The Prophet (saw) is even the leader for Adam (as) himself! This is the great meaning that this

Name gives. How then can you not respect him (saw) and regard him (saw)?

        . We should also remember that on the Day of Judgment the grave of the Prophet (saw)

will be the first grave to open. He (saw) will be the first one to come out from his grave. He (saw)

will be the first to march forward towards the Plain of Judgment. All of mankind, every single

human being, will then follow him (saw). Then at his (saw)’s request the Judgment will start and

he (saw) will be the first to enter the Garden. This is also why we say that he (saw) is the leader

of all mankind. Do you then realize the kind of human being that he (saw) is? What then should

be your relationship with him (saw)?

        Thus we see how Allah (swt) begins this ayah by calling out to the Prophet (saw). In

addition to reminding us of the Miracle of the Quran, these two Arabic letters make up a special

name that Allah (swt) gave to His (swt)’s beloved (saw). A name that He (swt) calls him (saw) by

here. So we see that even though this ayah is mutashabiyat it still does serve a purpose. There is

still a benefit and a guidance that we can take from it. First of all it reminds us of the Miracle of the

Quran, it also shows us the status and the rank of the Prophet (saw) compared to all mankind, it

also shows us the love that Allah (swt) had for him (saw), and finally it reminds us that in these

ayahs Allah (swt) is directly addressing and speaking to the Prophet (saw). So even in the

mutashabiyat ayahs there is still a benefit and a guidance that we can take even if we do not

know their true interpretation. May Allah (swt) help us to realize this fact! May Allah (swt) save us

from ever interpreting any ayah in such a way that it does not give any benefit or guidance!




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3. By the Wise Quran.

        In the previous ayah we saw how Allah (swt) called out to the Prophet (saw). In this ayah

He (swt) continues that address. However before He (swt) tells the Prophet (saw) what He (swt)

has to say, He (swt) first takes an oath. What does He (swt) take the oath by? By this very Quran

itself. Allah (swt) only swears by what is tremendous and by Him (swt) swearing by this Quran we

are reminded of indeed how tremendous it is. How true then must be the statement that follows

this oath be that Allah (swt) would take such a tremendous oath to affirm it?

        Notice also the word that Allah (swt) chooses to describe the Quran with here. Allah (swt)

calls it the “Wise” Quran. Without a doubt this Book is filled with wisdom. It calls us to the worship

and servitude of Allah (swt). It shows us the correct way on how to worship and serve Him (swt).

What could have more wisdom than that? If wisdom is knowing what is right and doing what is

right then what could be more right than worshipping and serving Allah (swt)? This is the purpose

for which we were created. This is what gives true peace and tranquility in this life. This is what

leads to the Garden in the Hereafter. Who then could be more wise than the one who follows this

path? The Quran is the Book which calls to this worship. That is why it is a Book that is filled with

wisdom. Anyone who holds fast to the guidance in this Book, and who bases their decisions on

the teachings of this Book will be the wisest of all people. They would be fulfilling the purpose for

which mankind was created. For which the entire universe was created. That is why Allah (swt)

describes the Quran here as “Wise”. Following it is following the best of paths.

        However in Arabic this word Hakeem that Allah (swt) uses has a far deeper meaning than

simply wisdom. It gives also the meaning of that which restricts and demarcates. Something

which not only shows the right way to follow but also that which puts you on that right way and

keeps you on it. Such is the Quran. In it is wisdom and guidance and in it is also the means that

will allow you to stick to and hold on to this guidance. The only onus that is upon you is to look to

this Quran and to see what it has to say. Once you do Insha Allah you will be guided.



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        Also derived from the same root word as Hakeem is that which rules and legislates. The

Hakim is the One Who rules and legislates. Thus not only does the Quran show the right way and

not only does it keep one on that way, but it is also a legal Book. A Book of Law. What does the

Law of the Quran cover? Everything of course. Do you expect the Lord and Master of the

universe to send down a law that is not comprehensive? A law that is only restricted to worship

rituals, inheritance, transactions, and marriage? Is that all that Islam is? No rather this Divine Law

is far more comprehensive than that. It covers every single action that the human being can take.

Everything from the government and foreign policy to even the way the bathroom should be used

and the body should be groomed. It is all here in this Book. Thus the very nature of the Quran is

that it is a legal Book. Allah (swt) describes at such in this ayah. Why then do we as an Ummah

not treat it as such?

        Sayyid Qutb tells us in his tafsir of this ayah that because Allah (swt) uses the word

“wise” to describe the Quran how that shows us the “humanity” of this Book. When it comes to the

creation, wisdom is an essential quality of human beings. Of all the creation only human beings

are capable of wisdom. This is true even though many humans often do not behave wisely.

Despite our laziness to use this capacity, it is still something that Allah (swt) has bestowed us

with. So by being described as “wise”, the Quran can also be described as “human”. According to

Sayyid Qutb it is not just human in any sense of the word, but it is human in that it is like your

friend. The one who advises you. The one who is always with you. The one who shows you at

every moment what is the correct course of action to follow. A wise friend. A loving friend. A friend

who will never abandon you. This is the kind of friend that the Quran was for Sayyid Qutb. We

pray that Allah (swt) makes it into such a friend to us as well.

        In addition to addressing the Prophet (saw) this ayah is an admonition for us as well.

Before Allah (swt) tells us anymore about this beautiful Surah He (swt) first reminds of the Book

that we are reading. We are not just reading any book but rather this is His (swt)’s Book. This is

the Quran. Allah (swt) reminds us of this fact here at the very beginning of this Surah. How then

should we approach this Surah? How should we respond to what it tells us? Ultimately the Quran

is a Book about Allah (swt) because He (swt) is the Real and the True. Everything else in the




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universe is only an illusion. Now to constantly remember Allah (swt). To constantly be present of

heart with Him (swt). That is the challenge. That is what we must strive to do. Not only must we

always be with Allah (swt) but we must strive to call others to Him (swt). That is the mission for

which our Creator created and for which He (swt) sustains us. This task is by no means easy.

How do we fulfill it? What will show us the way? What will give us the strength? It is only this

Quran. Such is the purpose of the Quran. It shows the way to Allah (swt). It gives us the strength

and the determination to call others to Him (swt).That is why it is a Wise Book. Because there is

no wisdom except in turning to Allah (swt) and dedicating your all to Him (swt). Any way other

than this is utter foolishness. May Allah (swt) help us all to realize this! May this Book be a light

for all those who sincerely turn to it!




5. Most surely you are of the messengers.

        In the previous ayah Allah (swt) took an oath by the Quran itself. In this ayah He (swt)

shows us what He (swt) has taken that oath to. It is an oath where Allah (swt) swears by the

Quran itself that the Prophet (saw) is surely of the messengers. Recall from the previous ayah

how Allah (swt) had called out to the Prophet (saw). Here He (swt) tells him (saw) what He (swt)

has to say. By the Wise Quran, oh Muhammad (saw), you indeed are of the messengers. There

are two linguistic tools of emphasis that Allah (swt) uses in this ayah. Both of these show that

Allah (swt) emphasis and stresses this point again and again. With the utmost certainty and

without a doubt the Prophet (saw) is indeed of the messengers.

        Now what is the significance of being among the messengers? What does it mean to be

from among the messengers? Who are the messengers? The messengers are without a doubt

the greatest of human beings to ever walk on the face of the earth. Never has this earth been

blessed as much as it has when the feet of the messengers have walked on it. This is because

the messengers are the representatives of the Divine. They connect all mankind with the Real




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and the True. Who is greater than Allah (swt)? What is more important than knowing Him (swt)

and drawing close to Him (swt)? The messengers are who facilitate this. They allow mankind to

know the purpose of their existence. In this life they rescue mankind from the torment of

heedlessness and they show them the serenity of gnosis. In the next life they rescue them from

the burning of the Fire and show them the bliss of the Garden. So how important are the

messengers? We were never them. We were never close to them. So we can never truly realize

the burden that they carried. They carried the greatest burden but they also had the best reward

with their Lord. Their efforts and their striving brought them closer to Allah (swt) than everyone

else. There is no one who is closer to Allah (swt) than the messengers. So if we want to approach

Allah (swt). If we want to be close to Him (swt) then what should be our task in life? Could there

be any nobler task than following in their footsteps calling to Him (swt)?

        But we should also remember that this ayah was first and foremost addressed to the

Prophet (saw). So why was it so significant for Allah (swt) to remind him (saw) that he (saw) was

among the messengers? Should not he (saw) have known this fact already? We can understand

why Allah (swt) says this if we understand the context in which this Surah was revealed. This

Surah was revealed at the later phase of the Makkan dawah. This was a period in which the

Prophet (saw) had spent years and years calling the people to Islam without much success. As

we know the ultimate goal of the Prophet (saw) in Makkah was to establish the Islamic State

there. However the Quraysh chiefs were unwilling to give up their political authority. They wanted

to be the ones to legislate the laws for that land rather than give that right to Allah (swt). They

knew that the Prophet (saw) was the Messenger of Allah (swt). But they did not want to accept

him (saw) as this because they knew what it would entail. They would rather live a life where they

served themselves and their desires, rather than their Creator like they knew that they were

created to do. So they rejected the Prophet (saw) even when they knew that he (saw) was truly

the Messenger. Every time he (saw) called them and told them that he (saw) was the messenger,

they rejected him (saw) and told him (saw) that he (saw) was not.

        Now this constant rejection must have weighed down heavily on the blessed heart of the

Prophet (saw). To hear his own tribe and his own people tell him (saw) that he (saw) was not the




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Messenger. To hear them say that he (saw) was a madman or that he (saw) was possessed by

spirits. Imagine how difficult it must have been for the Prophet (saw) to hear this from those who

were all around him (saw). That is why Allah (swt) revealed this ayah to the Prophet (saw). It was

to ease his (saw)’s heart. It was to let him (saw) know that indeed he (saw) was of the

messengers. Despite what these people said. Their words were false, and the Word of Allah (swt)

was true. In addition to easing his heart, this ayah was also an encouragement for him (saw) to

continue. He (saw) should pay no heed to this people. He (saw) should make Allah (swt) the

central focus of his heart. He (saw) should keep doing what he (saw) has to do. Even if the victory

never comes. Even if the Islamic State is never established. What matters is not the result but it is

the effort. What is important is not us but Allah (swt).




4. On the Straight Path.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to address the Prophet (saw) and all those who carry

this dawah after him (saw). In the previous ayah Allah (swt) reminded the Prophet (saw) how he

(saw) was indeed of the messengers. Of those who have been sent by Allah (swt) to mankind.

People may deny this fact. People may reject this fact. But it does not change the reality. This is

the Truth. Allah (swt) is True. This Message is True. The fact that we are the bearers of this

Message is True. We have the Quran that is filled with wisdom. A close friend that will show us

the way and one that will always be with us. Now we know what we are and what we have. Here

in this ayah Allah (swt) shows us where we must go. He (swt) describes for us the path on which

we must walk. This is the path that the Prophet (saw) walked on. This is the path that leads to the

Pleasure of Allah (swt). This is the path that all of us were created to walk on. This is the path that

leads to the goal which is the purpose of our existence. Should we not then try to find out as

much as we can about this path?




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        The Arabic word that Allah (swt) uses to describe this path is far more comprehensive

and has a far deeper meaning than simply “straight”. Straight is just one of the many meanings

given by this word. Another meaning is constant. So not only is this path straight but it is always

straight. It never deviates or turns. It is one that keeps going and going on a straight and

unbending line. This is what Islam is. It is a path. It is a way of thinking and a behavior that results

from that thinking. First and foremost you must believe that you exist only to please Allah (swt).

That is the only purpose for your existence. That is the first step on this path. To know your

purpose. To know your reason for being. What flows naturally from this is repentance because

once you know Allah (swt) then you will realize that you could never do enough to be worthy of

Him (swt). All that you can do is sincerely try to the best of your ability and hope that He (swt)

accepts it from you. So the next step in this path is servitude. You try to please Allah (swt) with all

of your thoughts and actions. You keep striving to stay on this path until your death comes.

        Sayyid Qutb tells us in his tafsir how this ayah also shows us the simplicity of Islam. So

not only is Islam straight but it is also simple. First and foremost the belief is simple. What could

be a more simple belief than to know that there is but One Creator for this entire universe? This

Creator is Perfect in every way with absolutely no weaknesses or limits imaginable. Not only has

this Creator brought every single thing into existence but He (swt) is also sustaining and

maintaining everything at every moment. Our duty is but to dedicate ourselves to this Perfect

Being. The One Who truly deserves that everything be dedicated to Him (swt). What could be

simpler than that? There is no struggle between church and state. There are no mind boggling

philosophies or archaic dogma. Nothing in this belief defies logic and reason. On the contrary

everything that this belief teaches is what the human being can arrive at rationally were he to

study the proofs in the world around him. Furthermore there is no clergy or institutions of

intermediaries between the worshipper and the Divine. There is no struggle to find spirituality or a

sense of purpose in a world of materialism. There is just you and your Creator. Your only task is

to worship and serve Him (swt) to the best of your ability. If you do that then you will find peace

and contentment in this life because you would have found your Reason for being. Furthermore

when you die you will be rewarded with pleasures and joys unimaginable. It will be yours for all




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eternity. If however you fail in this task and you turn away from your Creator, then it is completely

up to Him (swt) to deal with you in a way that He (swt) pleases. What we can be certain of is that

Allah (swt) will not do injustice to anyone. In the end justice will be done for everyone. What could

be simpler than this? How could anyone then turn away from this Din?

         This is the Din that the Prophet (saw) brought to us from Allah (swt). This is the path

upon which he (saw) walked. The noblest path that any creation can walk on. In fact all of

creation longs to walk on this path. They all wish to be on this path. Everything from the angels in

the heavens to the fish in the lowest depths of the ocean. This is because they know where this

path ends. The Pleasure of Allah (swt). What could be better than that? So Allah (swt) reminds

the Prophet (saw) here that he (saw) is indeed on this path. Why then should he (saw) care about

the enemies of this Message? They mean nothing to Allah (swt). As long he (saw) is on this path

then he (saw) already has all of the good of this world.




6. Sent down by the Mighty, the Merciful.

         In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to address the Prophet (saw). In the previous ayahs

Allah (swt) called out to the Prophet (saw) and reminded him (saw) that he (saw) was indeed of

the messengers and that he (saw) was on the Straight Path. Allah (swt) swore by the Quran itself

to this fact. Now in this ayah Allah (swt) tells us about the nature of the Quran and about the

nature of the path upon which the Prophet (saw) and the true believers walk. What is the reality of

this? How best can we describe it? Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah. As you read this ayah realize

that Allah (swt) is telling you here both about the Quran and also about the Din of Islam for which

it is the foundation of.

         First Allah (swt) tells us about this Quran that it has been sent down. This refers to how

the Quran was sent down to earth from the highest heavens. We know that atop the highest

heaven is the Guarded Tablet on which the Quran is written. Forever inscribed there are the




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Divine Words. The benefit that we can take from this is to remind ourselves here of the loftiness

and the greatness of this Book. This is not just any book. This is not a book that has been written

by some man. Rather it is the very words that the Lord and Master Himself (swt) has inscribed on

the Guarded Tablet. Can you then realize the tremendousness of this Book? Can you realize the

place that it must have in your life? Many scholars have said that if you read anything less than a

juz a day of the Quran then you have neglected it. So we must strive to read more and more of

the Quran, to contemplate and reflect on its meanings, and to allow it to bring us closer to our

Lord with every ayah. Only then can you even begin to realize the magnitude of this Book. We

must also have the same regard for the Din of Islam itself. This is because the Quran was not

sent merely to be placed at the highest level of the bookshelf or to be read when someone

passes away. Rather it was sent to establish a society and a way of life. A community and a state

that submits wholly to Allah (swt). If we do not work to bring this about then we too have

neglected this Book. How could we when we know now where it came from?

        After Allah (swt) describes the Quran and this Din of Islam that comes from it, He (swt)

then describes the One Who sent it down. Of course this is Allah (swt) Himself. He (swt)

describes Himself (swt) here with two of His most beautiful Names. The first of these names in

Arabic is Al-Aziz. This does not simply mean the One Who is Mighty as we have translated it

here. Our translation is at best an approximation and there is a far deeper meaning that the

original Arabic gives. First of all when it comes to the Might of Allah (swt) this Name gives the

meaning that He (swt) is so powerful that He (swt) can do whatsoever that He (swt) pleases. So

overwhelmingly Powerful is He (swt) that there is nothing that He (swt) cannot do. He (swt) can

do everything by Will alone. There is not the least bit of effort involved for Him (swt) for anything

that He (swt) does. Not even the creation and the sustaining of the universe. Such is the Lord that

you have.

         In addition to that this Name also gives the meaning that He (swt) has the authority and

the right to do whatsoever He (swt) pleases. Thus Allah (swt) can do all things and no one can

question Him (swt) in anything that He (swt) does. The One Who has absolute Power and

absolute authority. The One Who can put you in the Fire forever right at this moment and such




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would not be injustice for Him (swt). This is the One Who has sent down this Quran and this Din

of Islam. What then should be your relationship with this Book? How then should you live this

Din? How can you sleep contently at night while knowing that most of this Din is not being

implemented and that most of the people are unaware of this Book? Do you not realize that right

at this moment you are in the grasp of Al-Aziz? Should this not send chills down your spine?

        This was how most of the Sahabah were when they heard this Name of Allah (swt). They

trembled with fear. So much was their fear that it was almost paralyzing. They were so crippled

with fear of Allah (swt) that they could not do anything. This is how they would always have been

if Allah (swt) did not mention another Name of His, and that is His Mercy. The overflowing Mercy

of Allah (swt) is the only refuge that we have from His Might and His Authority. Fortunately for us

this is a tremendous Mercy. So much is this Mercy that all of creation tastes from it. Even the

worst of criminals and disbelievers taste of this Mercy. So we should not fear. Allah (swt) will not

punish us unless we truly deserved that punishment. Even when we are deserving of punishment,

He (swt) will show Mercy to us. More Mercy that we can ever imagine. All that we need to do is

follow this Quran to the best of our ability. Then we hope for this Mercy.

        The scholars say that true believer should always have a balance of fear and hope. This

means that he should fear Allah (swt) and at the same time hope for Mercy from Him (swt). This

fact is brought to light by these two Names of Allah (swt). The Name of the Mighty gives a sense

of dread and fear for the servant and the Name of the Merciful gives hope and peace for the

servant. Both of these must be present in equal amounts for the servant to properly serve his

Master. If there is an imbalance then the proper relationship with Allah (swt) cannot be

established. If there is too much hope then you will think that Allah (swt) will forgive you for

whatever you do and then you will fall into constant sin. If there is too much fear then you will

think that Allah (swt) will never forgive you and that He (swt) will never have mercy on you so

once again you fall into sin. The only to keep yourself in the Pleasure of Allah (swt) is to have an

equal amount of hope and fear. Allah (swt) reminds us of this fact here by mentioning these two

Names of His (swt). So not only is He (swt) telling us about Himself (swt) but He (swt) is also

telling us how our hearts should be.




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        The scholars also say that the fear must come before the hope. For example for the

youth they should have more fear because they are especially vulnerable to their lusts and their

arrogance. Fear should also come first when one is contemplating whether or not to sin. When

Shaitan prompts you to commit sin then there should be fear. It would be folly to think of the

Mercy of Allah (swt) at the moment when you are being called to sin. That is why in the ayah the

Name that invokes Fear is mentioned first. But by no means does this indicate that the Wrath of

Allah (swt) is more than His (swt)’s Mercy. In fact we know that the Mercy of Allah (swt) is greater

than His (swt)’s Wrath. So if you are not able to resist the temptations and you succumb to the sin

then you must remember the Mercy of Allah (swt). Do not ever allow Shaitan to tell you that you

are beyond the Mercy of Allah (swt). If you do then you have underestimated this Mercy. So much

is the Mercy of Allah (swt) that it will drown out any sin that you may have done. Thus when it

comes to your past and all the sins that you have committed previously then think of the Mercy of

Allah (swt), but if you are called to sin today or tomorrow then remember that Allah (swt) is also

Al-Aziz. The One with Might Who can do whatsoever He (swt) pleases.

        This then is the One Who has sent down this Quran and this way of life. Then when you

know that this Message has been sent to you by the One Who could destroy you at any moment

and it would mean nothing for Him (swt) to do so, how then can you turn away from it? When you

also know that He (swt) is so Merciful that Mercy is one of His (swt)’s very names how then can

you turn away from such Mercy? Do you not want to taste that Mercy in this life and especially in

the Hereafter? How else can you other than by turning to Allah (swt) and to the Message that He

(swt) has sent you? How else can you other than by studying this Quran and trying to establish

the Din that springs forth from it in your life? Realize now the One Who has sent this Book to you

and then you will realize what you must do with it.




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8. So that you may warn a people whose forefathers were not warned and so they are

heedless.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to address the Prophet (saw). In the previous ayahs

Allah (swt) reminded the Prophet (saw) that he (saw) was surely of the messengers and that he

(saw) was on the Straight Path. He (swt) also reminded him (saw) of the greatest of gifts and

blessings that He (swt) had conferred upon him (saw) and that is this Quran. Now that the

Prophet (saw) knew who he (saw) was, and what he (saw) has, and the path that he (saw) is on,

Allah (swt) now shows him (saw) the task that he (saw) has to fulfill. Allah (swt) shows the

Prophet (saw) what his mission is.

        Allah (swt) tells the Prophet (saw) here that his mission is to warn a people whose

forefathers had not been warned. This refers to the Arabs at the time of the Prophet (saw). It also

refers to all people whose forefathers lived without guidance from Allah (swt). Any people who

had not received a messenger. Allah (swt) refers to the Prophet (saw) here as warning such

people. One of the main components of this Message is the warning. It warns the people about

the true nature of this universe. It warns the people by reminding them that they are not in this

world to enjoy themselves and play. It warns them by reminding them that they are being tested

while they are in this world. Tested on how well they worship and serve Allah (swt).

        Now many were the people who had never received this warning, many were the people

who had never received this guidance. As we mentioned included in this category were the Arabs

at the time of the Prophet (saw). Although Ibrahim (as) and Ismail (as) were prophets who were

sent to their ancestors, many were the generations that had passed in which the guidance that

they brought had been lost. Now the Arabs at the time of the Prophet (saw) found themselves

without any guidance from Allah (swt) whatsoever. Neither they nor their fathers had been

warned by any Warner. The Light of Guidance that Ibrahim (as) had brought had been lost




                                                                                                    14
generations ago. That is why Allah (swt) reminds the Prophet (saw) here that he (saw) has been

sent to warn a people whom neither they nor their forefather had been warned before.

        The scholars of language have noted several meanings from the root of the Arabic word

nadr that Allah (swt) uses here for “warning”. One meaning is that it is a warning from which

precaution can be taken. It is a warning from which one can be saved. Sometimes a danger

comes from which there is nothing that one can do to save oneself from it. No matter what one

does the calamity or the danger will befall them. However there are other dangers from which a

warning will save one. These are dangers which one can avert if they heed the warning that is

given. This word nadr is used to describe such a warning. A warning which one can use to save

oneself from danger. An example that the scholars give for the usage of this word is that snake

charmers would this word in training young charmers. The snake charmers would warn their

students about how to handle the snake. How to charm it in such a way so that they do not get

stung. Thus they give their students a warning from which benefit can be derived. A warning that

one can use to save oneself from pain. Similar is the warning that the Prophet (saw) brought.

        Another meaning from this word nadr is a promise or an oath. So not only does the

Prophet (saw) bring the people warning but he (saw) also bring them a promise. A promise from

their Lord. A promise that this world is not the end of existence. A promise that they will return to

Him (swt). A promise of the Garden and the Fire. A promise of His contentment and His Wrath. A

promise of what the true purpose of our life is. The Prophet (saw) brings them this promise from

their Lord. He (saw) brings it to all those who had never received this promise before. Now the

people have been given this promise. Now they have no excuse before their Lord whatsoever.

        Yet another meaning derived from the root of this word nadr is something that is out of

the ordinary or something that is not expected. This word has been used in such a way to

describe a steep rock that sticks out from a mountain. Because this rock is radically different from

the rest of the rock in the mountain. It sticks out and is prominent from the rest of the rock through

its sticking out. So through this warning the Prophet (saw) is reminding the people that the world

will not remain as it is. Life will not go on forever as it had been going soon. Very soon a calamity

will happen. Very soon an event will befall. When this even happens then the world will be forever




                                                                                                   15
changed. Nothing will be the same. That is the Day of Judgment. The Day on which the universe

will be changed forever. The Prophet (saw) brings warning of this.

        So this warning is what the Prophet (saw) brings to a people who had not previously

received this warning. Before the Prophet (saw) had been sent, these people had been denied of

this warning. What has been the result of this? Allah (swt) tells us in the next part of the ayah “so

they are heedless”. They are heedless of Allah (swt). They are heedless of the true reality of this

universe. They are heedless of the fact that they have been created and this universe around

them has been created for a great purpose. They are utterly ignorant of all of this. The Arabic

word ghafala that Allah (swt) uses here to describe their heedlessness is beautiful. It gives the

meaning of someone who is so preoccupied with chasing something that he becomes completely

oblivious to everything else that is around him. That is the situation of these people. This is the

result of their being deprived of this guidance. This is the result of a Warner from Allah (swt)

never coming to them. They are so bent on chasing after the life of this world that they have

forgotten Allah (swt) and they have forgotten their responsibility to worship Him (swt). They have

forgotten the true reality of this universe. All that they can see is this world. All that they desire is

getting more and more of it. Their focus of this world has made them blind to the truth of this

existence. This is one meaning of this word ghafala. Another meaning is a road that does not

have any markings on it. A road with no signs or guide. This meaning also describes the

heedlessness of these people. It is like they are on a road that does not go anywhere, a road

which if one follows one will get lost on. That is the situation of these people. Without guidance

from Allah (swt) their lives have no purpose and no meaning. They do not know what they are

doing here, where they came from, or where they are going. All that they know is the life of this

world. They chase after it and dedicate their lives for it even though they know that they soon

have to leave it. Allah (swt) tells the Prophet (saw) here that he (saw) has been sent to remedy

this situation. He (saw) has been sent to warn these people so that they come out of their

heedlessness. They are walking towards a pit of Fire and they do not even know it. Allah (swt)

reminds the Prophet (saw) here that he (saw) is the one who has been sent to warn them. To

show them the way. To save them. What task then could be more important than this?




                                                                                                        16
        One lesson that we can take from this ayah is to realize that today we are wearing the

shoes of the Prophet (saw). We are the ones who have been sent to warn those who are

heedless. How many people in the world today are among the heedless? Even many among the

Muslims are among the heedless. They do not realize the purpose for which they exist. They are

unaware of Allah (swt) while He (swt) is the Real and the True. Allah (swt) is the One Who

brought us into existence and He (swt) is the One Who sustains our existence for every moment.

Yet how many people in the world today are even conscious of this fact let alone try to show their

gratitude to Him (swt) for it? How can we expect such people to fare on the Day of Judgment if

they were to return to Him (swt) after living a lifetime of heedlessness to Him (swt)? Can we be

sure that they will be forgiven? Can we be sure that they will be saved?

         How can we expect ourselves to fare on that Day if we did not even make the effort to

warn them? The world today is drowning in this heedlessness. So much has technology and

innovation opened up the world for the people that material goods are all that they care about.

They just care about getting more and more of this world. Capitalism is the ideology that

consumes the world today. Everything is about marketing, selling your product. This

consumerism is what is fed to the people day and night. This makes the people not care about

anything except getting more and more goods of this world. Their homes for them are nothing but

places where they can keep their things while they go out to buy more things. They even have to

pay for storage because they are buying so much. This is the pathetic situation that many among

mankind are in. They have completely forgotten Allah (swt) and the reason why they are here.

Allah (swt) is telling us in this ayah to save the people from this. So for those of us who are

aware of the true reality of this universe, we have to make the best effort that we can to warn

those around us. We have to use all of the outlets that are at our disposal. We have to remind the

people about Allah (swt). Remind them of the Day of Judgment. Remind them why they are here

on this planet. This is the reason why we have been given the Quran. This is the reason why we

are part of the Ummah of the Prophet (saw). This is what it means to walk on the Straight Path.

Dawah is an obligation for every single Muslim. One that can no longer be neglected or

postponed. May Allah (swt) give us the enabling grace to take up this call and be steadfast on it!




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8. Most surely the word (of punishment) has proven true against most of them because

they do not believe.

        To understand this ayah we have to once again remind ourselves of the context in which

this Surah was revealed. Recall how we said that this Surah was revealed at the later phase of

the Makkan dawah. This was a time when the Prophet (saw) had already presented this Message

to his tribe the Quraysh. As we know most of them had rejected his call. Even though they knew

that he (saw) was truly the Messenger from Allah (swt), even though they were absolutely

convinced of it, they still decided to turn away. They turned away only to follow their lusts and

desires. They turned away only because they did not want to worship and serve Allah (swt) as

they were created to do. They knew that Allah (swt) was their Creator and Sustainer. They knew

that He (swt) had a right that He (swt) be submitted to. But they turned away from Him (swt).

How evil are a people who would turn away from Allah (swt) when He (swt) is the Real and the

True? So in this ayah Allah (swt) tells us what was their fate on the account of their turning away.

        Allah (swt) says in this ayah “Most surely the word (of punishment) has proven true

against most of them because they do not believe”. There is the word of forgiveness and the

word of punishment. Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah that for those among the Quraysh who

rejected the call of the Prophet (saw) the word of punishment has proven true for them. So with

Allah (swt) were two words. One was a word of mercy and one was a word of pain. When these

people chose not to believe in this Message. When they chose to reject this Message even when

they knew that it was the Truth. Then they made the word of pain to come true against them.

They made the word of punishment to befall them. This was the result of the choice that they

made. Even though the word of punishment was already there with Allah (swt), it was their choice

to reject this Message that made this word come true against them. Allah (swt) tells us clearly in




                                                                                                    18
this ayah that the word of punishment befalling them was a result of their not choosing to believe.

If they had believed then the word of punishment would not have befallen them.

        One lesson that we can take from this ayah is to see that the human being does indeed

have free-will. This is because Allah (swt) clearly tells us in this ayah that the word of punishment

proved true against them because they chose not to believe. In other words the reason why the

punishment befell them is because they chose not to believe. Now there were some deviant

groups in the history of our Ummah who denied that the human has any free will at all. This ayah

is a clear evidence to show how wrong they were. Everything is in the Knowledge of Allah (swt).

Everything happens by the Decree of Allah (swt). Yet at the same time every human has free-will

to choose or reject worshipping and serving Allah (swt). Allah (swt) is beyond time. The past, the

present, and the future are all the same for Him (swt). So what He (swt) decreed for us is exactly

what He (swt) Knew that we would do. With the Quraysh chiefs Allah (swt) Knew that they would

reject this Message. That was why He (swt) decreed that the word of punishment be true against

them. In other words the Decree of Allah (swt) was a consequence of the choice that He (swt)

allowed them to make. Allah (swt) allowed them to make the choice, and because they chose the

wrong path, that is why the punishment became due upon them. So this clearly shows that we

have free-will and that we will be judged in the Hereafter based on the choices that we make.

This ayah clearly proves this point. However it is important to note that although the human being

does have free-will, he still needs Allah (swt) in order to be guided. He cannot guide himself to the

Straight Path. Although he himself can go astray from the path, he needs Allah (swt) to guide him

on the path. So the guidance comes only from Allah (swt). Once the human being chooses the

Straight Path, he still needs Allah (swt) to show him the way and to keep him steadfast on that

way. This is our understanding of this concept and Allah (swt) Knows best!

        So we see how this ayah was also meant to comfort and console for the Prophet (saw).

He (saw) saw the people rejecting his call for years upon years. He (saw) knew that they knew

that this Message was the Truth, yet he (saw) still saw them rejecting it. How painful must this

have been for the Prophet (saw) to see them turning away from him (saw) when he (saw) was

calling them to their salvation? When he (saw) was calling them to Allah (swt). Then on top of that




                                                                                                   19
was all of the persecution and oppression that they were leveling upon the Prophet (saw) and

those few believers who were with him (saw). We know of how they would cause pain and

suffering to both the Prophet (saw) and many of his (saw)’s companions. They would use torture,

slander, blackmail and bribery, coercion, social and economic boycotts. Any means possible to

make the Prophet (saw) and the believers to give up this dawah. To give up the call to Allah (swt).

In this ayah Allah (swt) reassures the Prophet (saw) by letting him (saw) know that all of this evil

has not gone unnoticed. The result of the evil from these people who were causing him (saw)

pain is that the word of punishment has come true against them. In this life the result of this word

was humiliation and disgrace. In a matter of a few years the Quraysh would lose all of their power

and their city would be conquered. But in the next life is when they would truly see the

ramifications of this word of punishment. Allah (swt) tell us how this is so in the next ayah.




9. Surely we have placed iron collars around their necks, reaching to the chins, so their

heads are raised up.

        In the previous ayah Allah (swt) promised the Prophet (saw) that the word of punishment

had come true against those who rejected him (saw). We mentioned how this word for them in

this world was disgrace and humiliation. Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah what this word for them

will be in the Hereafter. As you read the description that Allah (swt) gives of their punishment

think of what it is that they did in the life of this world to deserve this punishment. Allah (swt) is the

Most Just so He (swt) would not subject a people to such a terrible punishment unless they

deserved to it. Not only does Allah (swt) only punish to the extent that they deserve but He (swt)

also punishes with the most fitting of punishments. Now think to yourself as to what crime is it that

could warrant such a terrible punishment.


                                                                                                       20
        In this ayah Allah (swt) describes how these people will have iron collars around their

necks. These collars are so stiff and so tight and they reach all the way up to their chins. These

collars then not only take up a small portion of their necks but in fact they consume their necks.

Their entire necks are wrapped in these iron collars. These collars reach from their shoulders to

their chins. Think about how painful this must be. To have your entire neck enshrouded in iron.

So much does the iron consume their necks that they are not even able to look down. Their

heads are forced up and they cannot even see what is around them.

        This is the terrible punishment that these people have been promised in the Hereafter.

The terrible punishment that they will have to endure for all eternity. Not what crime did they

commit that made them deserving of this punishment? What particular crime is this punishment

fitting for? Of course the lists of sins that these people have done are endless. They rejected this

Message that they knew was the Truth. They tortured and persecuted the believers. They caused

suffering and hardships for the Prophet (saw). They exploited and oppressed their own people.

They treated their women as objects and they satisfied every wanton pleasure that they had.

They stole the property of the orphans and the defenseless. They engaged in usury and fraud.

They did every crime known to man. But there was one crime that was the root of all of this. One

sin that was the cause of all other sins. Of course it was their pride and arrogance. This was in

fact the worst of their crimes. Because how can a human being have pride in his heart when he

knows Allah (swt)? When you know that there is such a Being then who do you think that you are

to become arrogant? How can you even compare to Him (swt)? How can you think of yourself as

anything? So these people forgot Allah (swt) and they became overly proud of themselves. They

became their own gods. It is for this reason that they have been promised such a terrible

punishment. May Allah (swt) save us from this fate! May Allah (swt) save us from ourselves!

        Because of their arrogance and pride, when they walked on this earth they walked with

haughtiness and self glory. They always stuck their heads up so that they could think of

themselves as better than everyone else. They actually thought that they were better than others.

Through some estimation in their minds they considered themselves superior to their fellow man.

So in the Hereafter they will be forced to walk in this way. Their heads will be forced up with iron




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collars and they will not be able to bring them down. This is the fitting punishment for arrogance

and pride. The fitting recompense for thinking yourself to be a god. This is the sin that is most

displeasing to Allah (swt) because all honor and glory is a right that belongs only to Him (swt).

They are His cloak and robe. If anyone competes with Him (swt) in these then He (swt) casts

such people into the Fire. May Allah (swt) save us from that fate!

        In his tafsir of this ayah Sayyid Qutb tells us that we can also take a metaphorical

meaning from this ayah. He tells us that another meaning of this ayah is that it even describes the

situation of these people in the life of this world. In this world as well Allah (swt) has placed chains

on the necks of these people. These “chains” are their arrogance and stubbornness. These

chains prevent them from seeing the true reality of the world around them. They do not perceive

how everything in this universe points to Allah (swt). How every single thing around them is a

sign for Him (swt). They have their heads the sky so they are not able to perceive all of this that is

around them. They are so focused on bringing themselves up that they have made themselves

blind to Allah (swt). They live in the illusion of this world. All that they care about is getting more of

this world and gratifying themselves with it. They do not take the time to consider the world

around them. To realize the true nature of this universe. Their heads are always looking to the

sky and they are completely unaware of the true reality of the world around them. Only on the

Last Day will they wake up from this slumber. Only then will they see what their eyes had turned

away from. What then will be their station with Allah (swt)? How can they hope to save

themselves from Him (swt)? So we see that Allah (swt) has chained their necks in this world just

like He (swt) will chain them in the Hereafter. Punishment upon punishment because they turned

away from Him (swt). Punishment upon punishment because of their arrogance and pride. May

Allah (swt) save us from their fate!




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10. And We have set before them a barrier, and behind them a barrier, so We have covered

them, so they cannot see.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to describe the fate of those who reject this Message.

Their fate both in this life and in the Hereafter. Because of their rejection of Allah (swt), these

people have a punishment in this life and a punishment in the Hereafter. Such is the fate of all

those who turn away from Allah (swt). Such is the enormity of the crime to turn away from the

Real and the True. So as you read these ayahs do not wonder at how severe is the punishment

for these people. Rather wonder at how severe was their crime was when they chose to turn

away from their Originator and Sustainer. There is no creation whom Allah (swt) has favored like

man and there is no creation who has been as ungrateful and rebellious to Him (swt) as man.

        For these people Allah (swt) tells us how He (swt) has placed a barrier both in front of

them and behind them. This barrier is all around them such that it covers them. Similar to the

previous ayah, we can understand this ayah literally as meaning what will happen to these people

in the Hereafter, and we can also understand it metaphorically to realize their situation in this

world. So double is their punishment because of the terrible crime that they have done. They are

punished in this world and they will be punished in the Hereafter as well.

        In the Hereafter these people will be covered on all sides in that there will be barriers in

front of them and behind them. These barriers are the Fire itself. We know that their home in the

Fire will be a very constricted place. Allah (swt) will make it so that they are surrounded by Fire.

They will not be able to move forward of backward. Rather they will be held fast to a single

location. This will be their home for all eternity. This single narrow place. They will be covered on

all sides by Fire. These barriers of fire have been set in place by Allah (swt) so they cannot be

moved. Neither they nor the angels can hope to move these barriers even by an inch. Such is

their fate for all eternity because they turned away from the Real and the True.


                                                                                                      23
        In the Hereafter not only will these people have physical barriers of fire but they will also

be barred from Allah (swt). Allah (swt) should be the goal for everyone. He (swt) is the

destination Who everyone was created to travel to. Many people in this world today do not realize

this fact. But in the Hereafter everyone will realize this. In the Hereafter they will realize the Real

and the True, the One Who they had barred themselves from in the life of this world. When they

finally realize their Lord they will want to come close to Him (swt). They will want to be among

those who witness His (swt)’s Majestic Beauty because they know that this is the greatest

pleasure of all. But they will be denied this. A barrier will be placed between them and Allah (swt)

such that they will not even be allowed to come near Him (swt). They will not be allowed to

approach Him (swt) and offer their excuses as to why they did not submit to Him (swt) when they

were commanded to. They will be barred from Allah (swt). A covering will also be over their eyes

so that they cannot even see Him (swt). Of all things that could cause them pain nothing will

cause them more pain this. May Allah (swt) save us from this fate!

        In addition to describing their punishment in the Hereafter, this ayah also describes their

punishment in this world. Even in this world they are not able to see Allah (swt). Even though

there are countless signs that point to Him (swt). Even though everything in this universe is a sign

for Him (swt). They still cannot see Him (swt). Allah (swt) has placed barriers all around them so

that they are blinded from Him (swt). These barriers cover their eyes so that they cannot see. All

that they see is the life of this world. May Allah (swt) save us from this fate!

        The lesson that we can take from this ayah is to realize that these are the people who we

have to save ourselves from becoming. These people have the worst of fates both in this life and

in the Hereafter. They have been denied Allah (swt). They are blind from Him (swt) in this life and

they will be blind from Him (swt) in the next one. Now why is it that they became deserving of

such a terrible punishment? What did they do that brought this punishment upon them? Notice in

the ayah that it is Allah (swt) Himself Who placed these barriers around them. It was Allah (swt)

Himself Who barred them from Himself (swt). So their crime was that they displeased Him (swt).

Because they displeased Allah (swt), through their thoughts and their actions, He (swt) barred

Himself from them both in this life and the next. So in order to save ourselves from their fate we




                                                                                                      24
must be among those who are always striving to please Him (swt). Do not let a moment go by in

your life except that you ask yourself how could please your Lord in that moment.

        Many of us foolishly believe that we can relax somewhat during our youth. When we are

young we are absolutely certain that death will not come for us tomorrow. We are certain that we

can follow our pride and desires for yet another day. We are certain that death will not catch up to

us at the very next moment. Allah (swt) shows us in this ayah how foolish such thinking is. Even if

we were correct in such foolish assumptions, which of course we are not, but even if we were we

still cannot escape the threat that Allah (swt) give us in this ayah. Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah

that for those whom He (swt) is displeased with He (swt) will place barriers all around them so

that they cannot see the Truth. So if you were to displease Allah (swt) by committing sins and by

failing in your obligations then how do you know that such a barrier and covering will not be

placed between you and the Truth? If such were to happen then you would be forever misguided.

For whoever Allah (swt) allows to go astray there can be none to guide him. So we have to

realize that the time to be the best Muslim that we can be is not tomorrow or the day after. It is not

even one hour from now or five minutes from now. But the time is now. Now is the time to strive

to please Allah (swt), or else you must fear these barriers that He (swt) can place between you

and Him (swt). If you are blinded to Allah (swt) then what else is left there for you to see? If you

do not have Allah (swt) in your life then what is the point of life? How can you be among those

who know of such a Being and yet choose to turn away from Him (swt)?

        So the lesson that we can take from this ayah is that we must strive to be among those

whom Allah (swt) is pleased with. If we do not then we would become barred from seeing the

truth. Barriers will be placed before us and in front of us. The Truth is there in the universe around

us but we would not be able to see it. How terrible would that be? This is a point that cannot be

stressed enough because none of us truly recognize it. The beholding of Allah (swt) and

nearness to Him (swt) is the greatest of joys and fulfillments and distance from Allah (swt) and

being blind to Him (swt) is the greatest of torments and punishments. May Allah (swt) help us to

realize this! May Allah (swt) allow us to spend every moment trying to come closer to Him (swt)!




                                                                                                      25
10. And it is the same on them whether you warn them or you do not warn them, they will

not believe.

        So far we have learned that the Prophet (saw) has been sent to warn a people whose

forefathers had not been warned. He (saw) has been given the Quran full of Wisdom. A revelation

from the Mighty and the Wise. He (saw) is on the Straight Path. He (saw) calls to Allah (swt) Who

is the Real and True. When one considers all of this then there should have been no reason for

the people not to follow him (saw). How could you not follow a messenger whose truthfulness is

so obvious? But Allah (swt) also told us in the previous ayahs about a certain kind of people. A

certain kind of people who have earned His (swt)’s displeasure. These are the people who we

always have to save ourselves from becoming like.

        Allah (swt) tells us that for these people it is the same upon them whether we warn them

or not. No matter how much warning they are given they will not believe in the Truth of this

Message. This is because of what Allah (swt) told us in the previous ayah. Allah (swt) has placed

a barrier between them and the Truth. Their eyes are covered so that they do not see their Lord

in all that is around them. Now no matter how many times you warn these people, no matter how

stern or forceful is the warning, they will not believe. Even if you were to show them the very

Hellfire itself they still will not believe. Their eyes and their hearts are covered so that the Light of

guidance cannot enter. May Allah (swt) save us from this fate!

        Mawdudi tells us in his tafsir of this ayah how this does not mean that we should not carry

dawah. We should still carry dawah to the best of our ability to everyone that we know. We should

still invite them to Allah (swt). But at the same time we should not feel disappointed if we do not

find success. We should realize that the guidance of hearts is upon Allah (swt) and so there are

some people who simply will not respond no matter how many times they are warned. Mawdudi

tells us that once it becomes clear that a certain person is from this group then we should leave

him. We should focus on those who will respond. Those whom Allah (swt) tells us about next.




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12. You only warn the one who follows the Reminder and who fears the Merciful in the

unseen, so give good news to him of forgiveness and a great reward.

        The Quran is a Book of guidance. In it Allah (swt) gives us examples of those whom we

must strive to be like and those whom we must avoid becoming like. Allah (swt) has already

shown us the former of these groups, and here He (swt) shows us the latter. Pay close attention

to the way Allah (swt) describes these people whom He (swt) is pleased with. These are the ones

who benefit from the warning of the Prophet (saw). They are the ones who are saved from that

which the warning threatens. That which the warning threatens is the worst of all, the Fire and

distance from Allah (swt). What could be a greater tragedy than that? In this ayah is the guidance

with which you can save yourself.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “You only warn the one who follows the

Reminder”. Here Allah (swt) describes for the Prophet (saw) a certain kind of people. These are

the ones who heed the warning that he (saw) gives. Allah (swt) first describes these people as

the ones who follow the Reminder. There are two words that are a key to understanding this part

of the ayah, one is the word “follow” and the other is the word “Reminder”. The word “follow” that

Allah (swt) uses here means to follow a path very closely and very carefully. To follow without

deviation or error. To follow without laxity or laziness. The word “Reminder” means the Message

of Islam. The Message which Allah (swt) sent to remind us of the purpose of our existence. In

other words the Quran and the Sunnah. Thus the only ones who will benefit from the warning that

the Prophet (saw) gives are those who listen and follow closely the Message that he (saw) was

sent with. This may seem obvious but how many of us truly recognize the meaning of it. Just like

the desert Arabs, we were all a people who were steeped in heedless. Ignorant of the true reality

of this universe. The Prophet (saw) came to warn us. But we will only benefit from this warning if

we actually pay heed to it. This is obvious but how many of us realize it?




                                                                                                  27
         So the first characteristic of the people who take heed of the warning is that they follow

closely the Message that the Prophet (saw) was sent with. They believe with utmost certainty

what the Prophet (saw) tells them. They rush to do all that he (saw) tells them. They stay far away

from all that he (saw) has forbidden for them. This is what we must do as well if we want to be

among the saved. Allah (swt) calls the Message in this ayah a “Reminder”. This is because of the

propensity of the human being to forget. We always forget, such is part of our nature. Such is the

weakness of our knowledge and the weakness in our ability to retain knowledge. We all know that

we exist for a reason. We know that this reason is something more than this world. But we forget.

So Allah (swt) in His (swt)’s Mercy has sent this Message to remind us. But how many of us look

to this Reminder? How many of us try to follow it? If we do not then no amount of warning will

benefit us at all.

         The next description that Allah (swt) gives of the one who heeds the warning is that he

“fears the Merciful in the unseen”. The “Merciful” here of course refers to Allah (swt). So to

heed the warning, to save yourself, you must be among those who fear Allah (swt) in the unseen.

The word “fear” in this ayah does not mean a simple fear like you would fear the creation. Rather

it is a deep and overflowing fear. It is a fear that does not come from terror but it comes from awe

and reverence. When you realize the Majesty and Tremendousness of your Lord then you are

scared to do anything that might displease Him (swt). This is the kind of fear that this ayah

speaks of. Not only must you fear Allah (swt) but you must fear Him (swt) while He (swt) is in the

unseen. Allah (swt) is in the unseen. We cannot see Him (swt) with our eyes. And this is a good

thing because were Allah (swt) to reveal Himself (swt) to the creation then the entire universe

would be destroyed only from beholding Him (swt). So you must have this overwhelming fear and

reverence of Allah (swt) even though He (swt) is in the unseen. Now if this fear does not come

from your eyes and senses, then where does it come from? It comes from your heart. It comes

from your knowledge. So in order to get this fear you must learn about your Lord as He (swt) has

described Himself to be in His (swt)’s Book and on the words of His (swt)’s Messenger. The

reflection and contemplation of this knowledge in your heart is what will give you this fear. This

then is how you can save yourself. How important then is knowledge of this Din?




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        Now if you are among those who follow the Quran and Sunnah closely, and you fear your

Lord with the fear that is due to Him (swt) despite the fact that you do not see Him (swt), then

what will be yours? What will you get out of it? Allah (swt) tells us in the final part of the ayah “so

give good news to him of forgiveness and a great reward”. The Forgiveness from Allah (swt)

and on top of that a great reward. If you truly realized the value of what Allah (swt) is promising

you here then you will not even allow a moment in your life to pass by except that you are in

eager in anticipation of this. We are all in desperate need of Forgiveness from Allah (swt). We

who sin by night and day. We who are in perpetual sin. We who do not even come close to

worshipping and serving Allah (swt) as He (swt) deserves to be. Just for Allah (swt) to forgive us.

For Him (swt) to look over our many sins and misdeeds. For Him (swt) to consider us worthy to

be His (swt)’s slaves. Such a thing would be more valuable than all of the riches and all of the

treasures in the world. Do you not realize this? If you realized how Perfect and Magnificent a Lord

that you have then you will realize how valuable this is.

        In addition to Forgiveness, Allah (swt) is also promising you a great reward. What kind of

a reward must this be if Allah (swt) Himself calls it “great”? Allah (swt), the Creator and Sustainer

of all the universe, for Him (swt) to call a reward as “great” then what kind of a reward must it be?

This reward is so tremendous that there is a portion of it in this world and a portion of it in the

Hereafter. In this world this reward is nearness to Allah (swt). It is that station of Ihsan and Taqwa

where you are conscious of the Divine Presence for every moment of your life. Once you reach

this level then nothing in this world can grieve you or cause you fear. Less and less do you see

the world and more and more do you see your Lord. This is the state of tranquility that many

aspire to but few reach. But Allah (swt) promises it to you here. All that you have to do is follow

the guidance of the Quran and Sunnah to the best of your ability and fear your Lord with the fear

that is due to Him (swt). This is the reward only in this world. The reward in the Hereafter is far

greater. It is so great that any description we give of it here will not do it justice. All of mankind will

fall into two groups. Those who get Forgiveness from their Lord and this great reward, and those

who do not. Which of these groups do you want to belong to? Your choices today will decide.




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12. Surely We give life to the dead, and We record all that they send forth and all their

traces left behind, and every single thing have We counted exactly in a clear Book.

        Now we know the two paths that lie before us. We know the path of those who heed the

warning that Allah (swt) has sent through the Prophet (saw), and we know the path of those who

cannot even hear this warning. One of these groups is the saved and the other is the damned. In

order for us to be among the group that is saved we now know what we have to do. We have to

strive to remember Allah (swt) at every moment and we have to give to Him (swt) the fear that is

due to Him (swt). Based on this consciousness and based on this fear we have to try to the best

of our ability to follow this Reminder that He (swt) has sent us. Now is this something that we

have to do at every moment? Does every action that we do count? How much do we really have

to strive to remember Allah (swt) and serve Him (swt)? Allah (swt) explains in this ayah.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “Surely We give life to the dead”. Here our Lord

brings our attention to the Day of Resurrection. The Day on which all mankind will be brought

back to life. Brought back to life and made to stand before the King and Master for judgment.

Allah (swt) brings our attention to this Day to remind us once again that this life is not our final

abode. There is a Hereafter after this life. How many Muslims, even those of us who are

knowledgeable and practicing, seem to forget this fact? We live in this life like we are going to

stay here forever. We are not willing to give up anything in this world for the sake of Allah (swt)

and in anticipation of the Hereafter. We think and behave just like the one who is completely

ignorant of the Day of Resurrection. So we need to be reminded of the reality of this Day and that

is why Allah (swt) reminds us here. The Prophet (saw) has told us that the reminder benefits the

believer. The problem often times is not that we do not have the knowledge. We do have the

knowledge. But we forget. We forget the knowledge that we have and we get caught up in this

life. You know that there is a Day of Judgment, but how often do you remember?




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        There are two points to note in the language of this part of the ayah alone. First notice the

way in which Allah (swt) is describing how He (swt) brings the dead back to life. Allah (swt) is

describing it almost as if it is an event that is occurring right now. Right now Allah (swt) is giving

life to that which is dead. This reminds us how close the Day of Resurrection really is. It is so near

that it is almost as if it is happening right now. The Hereafter for each and every one of us begins

the moment that we die. For each and every one of us that moment is sooner than we think.

When the angel of death comes to each of us we would think that he came too soon. So the first

benefit that we can take from the use of the language in this part of the ayah to realize how close

the Hereafter is. As far as our Lord is concerned it is as if it is happening right now.

         We can also note in the language of the ayah how Allah (swt) emphasizes with certainty

that it is He (swt) Who will bring us back to life. Many people refuse to believe in the Resurrection

because they cannot believe how we can ever be brought back to life after we have become

bones and dust. Allah (swt) reminds us here that it is possible because it is He (swt) Who will do

it. What do you think about the Creator and Sustainer of this universe? If you believe that such a

Being Exists, and to think otherwise would be utter foolishness, then do you not think that such a

Being could bring you back to life? Would you even think that such a Being Whose Knowledge

and Wisdom is Perfect would allow us to live only for this worldly life? We who feel so much and

have such hearts. Is this life truly the end of our existence? Furthermore would Allah (swt) Who is

Perfect in His Justice and His Mercy allow any injustice to be done to His creation? The Day of

Judgment is the Day on which Allah (swt) would do justice to all of the creation. So if you deny

this Day then you are denying that Allah (swt) does justice to the creation. So a belief in the

Creator necessitates a belief in the resurrection and the afterlife. Allah (swt) would not have

created us unless He (swt) intended for us eternity and unless He (swt) intended for us justice

and mercy. So if you have any doubts about being brought back to life then think about the One

Who will bring you back to life and you will realize that indeed He (swt) is Able. Allah (swt) is the

One and Only Who will bring us back to life and He (swt) emphasizes that fact with certainty in

this ayah.




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        In the next part of the ayah Allah (swt) says “and We record all that they send forth”.

After bringing our attention to the resurrection in the previous part of the ayah, Allah (swt) tells us

here about what we will find when we return to Him (swt). Is it simply that Allah (swt) will bring us

back to life? Did Allah (swt) create us just to live and die and then be brought back to life? Of

course not. We know that we will be brought back for judgment. But on what we will be judged?

Will we only be judged for our conduct and if we avoided hurting other people? Will we only be

judged for our prayer and our fasting? Will we only be judged on if we ate halal meat or not?

What is it that Allah (swt) will judge us on when He (swt) brings us back to life? Allah (swt) tells us

in this ayah that He (swt) will judge us on everything. There is nothing that is excluded from the

judgment. Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah that He (swt) records all that they send forth. What we

send forth are our deeds. From every moment that we spend in this life a deed is created. This

could either be a good deed or a bad deed. This deed then is what we send forth to the Hereafter.

Allah (swt) tells us here that He (swt) records all these deeds that we send forth. So much so that

every moment of our life is recorded. Every moment has a ramification on our judgment. The

scholars say that the Scale on the Day of Judgment is the most sensitive of scales. Such that it

will move for even the smallest of good deeds or the smallest of evil deeds. This is how exacting

the reckoning will be. All that we do and all that we do not do with our time in this world is what

we send forth for the Hereafter. Our Lord tells us here that He (swt) records it all.

        But we should not be overwhelmed with dread and fear because of what we learned

here. Rather we should realize that we have a Lord that is Most Forgiving and Most Merciful.

Even though we make so many mistakes, even though we spend so many moments of our life in

heedlessness to Him (swt), we have to realize that Allah (swt) can forgive all of this. The One

Name that Allah (swt) describes Himself the most with is His (swt)’s Mercy so we have to believe

that He (swt) will have mercy on us. The Prophet (saw) has told us that the Mercy for Allah (swt)

on us is more than the mercy of the most loving of mothers to her infant, so what kind of a Mercy

must this be? But at the same time we must not allow ourselves to become lazy and we must not

give into our passions. We must not use the Mercy of Allah (swt) as an excuse for us to betray

Him (swt). We must remember the Day on which we will return to our Lord. We must remember




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how He (swt) will judge us for everything. So we must try to the best of our ability to spend every

moment trying to please Him (swt). Even when we rest. Even when we eat. Even when we spend

time with our family. Even our nights with our wives. We should try to keep the intention in all that

we are doing for Allah (swt). We should be conscious of the fact that we are being judged for

every moment that we spend in this life. So we should try to dedicate every moment trying to fulfill

the purpose of our existence, try to win the Pleasure of our Creator. Of course we will fall short of

this ideal. We know that we will. That is when we take consolation in the Mercy of our Lord. We

have to believe that no matter how many times we fall Allah (swt) is willing to forgive us again and

again. So we should try our best, try our best to send as much good as we can for the Day on

which we will be brought back to life. Death is when our window of opportunity closes and it is far

closer that we can possibly imagine.

        Then Allah (swt) says “all their traces left behind”. Here Allah (swt) tells us that not only

does He (swt) record all that we send forth but He (swt) also records all that we leave behind. The

Arabic word that Allah (swt) uses here is beautiful and there is really no word in the English

language that does it justice. The only English word that even comes close in meaning is

“footprints” or the “traces left behind”. The Arabs at that time would sometimes brand the hooves

of their camels so that these animals leave a mark where they go. This would allow them to find

the animal if it ever got lost in the desert. They would use this word to then describe the traces

that these animals would leave in the sand. This is also what Allah (swt) records for us. The

traces we leave behind. Each of us makes an impression of where we have been. We all leave a

mark where we used to be. For some people this mark is more significant than it is for others. For

some people what they leave behind is remembered more than it for others. Some people leave

behind good and others leave behind evil. We all leave behind something. Here Allah (swt) tells

us that He (swt) records all this that we leave behind. So anything that you have done which is

pleasing to Allah (swt), as long as there are traces of it remaining on the earth, then it will be

recorded in your favor. On the other hand, anything that you have done which is displeasing to

your Lord, as long as there are traces of it remaining in the earth, you will be held accountable for

it. So for example suppose you taught some knowledge from which the people benefitted, or




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suppose you help to build a masjid where the people come and pray. As long as the people

continue to come closer to Allah (swt) because of what you did, then you will be rewarded for it.

But on the other hand if you started an innovation in the Din, or you made something that was evil

or something that was displeasing to Allah (swt). Then for as long as what you left behind on the

earth continues to misguide the people from their Creator you will be held accountable for it.

        So the lesson that we can take from this is that we must look to what we leave behind.

Not only must we be striving to do as many good deeds as possible but we must also be trying to

benefit those around us with the good that we do. What could be a better benefit that we can give

to the people other than to teach them about Allah (swt)? What could be a greater blessing and

gift that we can give them other than the knowledge of their Creator? So do not just learn

knowledge about Islam, but rather learn and teach others around you what you learn. Teach the

people about Allah (swt). Teach the people the Quran. Teach the people about the life of the

Prophet (saw) and the Sahabah. Teach the people about the Islamic State and what this Din truly

is. But do not just tell the people about Islam with your words but show them Islam with your

behavior as well. Behave with other people in a way so that you leave an impression on them of

what a true Muslim is. Let them know your honesty and your integrity and your good character. All

of this is from what you leave behind. Through your dawah and through your character if you

leave behind righteous people who are also devoted to Allah (swt), then everything which they do

will be a reward for you even after you have left them. Even after you leave this world. Allah (swt)

will count and record everything that they do, and all that the good that they do will be one more

good deed in your scale. We know that only one whose scale of good deeds is heavy will be

saved on the Last Day. Since our time in this world is so limited, how else can you hope to fill

your scale of good deeds unless you do dawah? You have so little time. How then can you hope

to fill your scale unless you do dawah? How do you hope to be saved on the Last Day unless

you leave behind something in this world that brings the people closer to their Lord? You lived in

this world for a certain period of time. But what is your legacy that you left behind? Your legacy

must be something that brings the people closer to Allah (swt). Only then will you get their deeds

as well. Only then will your scale be full enough to attain salvation.




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        In the final part of this ayah Allah (swt) says “and every single thing have We counted

exactly in a clear Book”. We learned in the previous part of the ayah that Allah (swt) records for

us all that we send forward to the Hereafter and all that we leave behind in this world. For any

action that we do there is a consequence in the Hereafter. It will be another weight on our scale

pan of good deeds or our scale pan of evil deeds. Allah (swt) also records all that we leave

behind in this world. Anything that we leave behind is also recorded. So not only must we be

constantly looking forward to our Hereafter and what we have sent it ahead for it, but we must

also look at what we will be leaving behind in this earth. The knowledge that we taught others, the

masajid and the schools that we helped to build, the impression that we left in people’s hearts of

our character. All of this will be recorded either for us or against us.

        Now in this part of the ayah Allah (swt) emphasizes for us the extent of this recording.

Allah (swt) says that He (swt) has counted every single thing in a clear Book. So there is nothing

that will be neglected. There is nothing that will not be counted. The Arabic word that Allah (swt)

uses here to describe the counting gives a meaning of exact precision. This means that every

single action that we do, every single thought that we have, every single moment that we passes

will be counted. Nothing will be left out. It will all be recorded in a clear Book. And on the Day of

Judgment. On that tremendous Day, it will all be brought out. We will all stand before our Lord

and He (swt) will judge us on each and every line in this Book. Now do you realize what it means

to be a believer?

        But the purpose of this ayah is not to terrify us or to make us think that we can never

reach the expectation that Allah (swt) expects of us. Allah (swt) Knows that we are forgetful

creatures. He (swt) Knows that we will constantly fall into sin. He (swt) Knows that we will allow

many moments of our life to pass by while we are heedless of Him (swt). He (swt) Knows all of

this. That is why He (swt) has promised us again and again that He (swt) is the Most Forgiving

and the Most Merciful. Rather the purpose of this ayah is to prevent us from becoming lazy and

complacent. Do not think that one more good deed will not make a difference, do not think that

one small sin will not make a difference. The smallest of deeds could be the difference for you on

that Day. So know the value of every deed. Of every moment.




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14. And strike for them the similitude of the companions of the city when there came to

them the Messengers.

        The Quran is a Book about dawah. How few Muslims today realize this fact? Even those

Muslims who revere and respect the Quran. Those Muslims who would hold protests all day long

and scream at the top of their lungs if they believe that a copy of the Quran has been thrown in

the toilet. How many of them realize that this is a Book about dawah? This is a Book that is

calling on them to do dawah. The reason why we do not come to this realization is because we

are in utter heedlessness to our Lord. If you truly realize Allah (swt) then what could be more

important in your life than establishing His Law on the earth and carrying His Message to

mankind. How can you be content and just live out your life when there are so many souls living

in heedlessness of Him (swt) and when there exists on His (swt)’s earth that which displeases

Him (swt)? How can you say that the times in which we are living in now are good times when

there is no organized dawah to mankind? When all that angers Allah (swt) such as usury,

adultery, homosexuality, pornography, women showing their beauty in public, taxes, unfair

distribution of wealth, idols, and so much more of what displeases the Lord has been made lawful

on the earth and the earth is rampant with it? How can you remain silent when such is the

situation of the world today? So dawah is an obligation on each and every believer. Anyone who

does not do dawah and calls themselves a Muslim is a hypocrite. Now no one is telling you that

you have to establish the Islamic State tomorrow. But you do have to make the best effort that

you can. You have to at least try. In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to tell us about the dawah.

        Here Allah (swt) tells the Prophet (saw) to give the people an example of when dawah

was carried out in the past. The story of a city to which the Messengers were sent. Messengers

who did dawah. What is this story other than a manual and a guide for those who do dawah? If




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you are not among those who do dawah then how could you possibly benefit from this story?

What is there in it for you? So just the existence of this story shows us how this is Book of dawah.

        Notice how Allah (swt) commands the Prophet (saw) to “strike” for the people this

“similitude”. Look at the choice of words that Allah (swt) uses. Why does Allah (swt) use a word

such as “strike”? Why does He (swt) not simply say “tell” or “narrate”? The choice of words that

Allah (swt) uses here shows us how we should do dawah. When we speak to the people we

should not be boring or dull. We should not communicate with them in a monotonous or

unenthusiastic tone. Rather we should be forceful. We should be full of emotion and power. It

should almost be like we are hitting them with our dawah. Of course this is not literally, but it is

how they should get our message. Most people today are asleep. They only know the life of this

world. We have to wake them up. We cannot wake them up if we are quiet or reserved. If we do

not use force and expression. They will only wake up if they are struck with this dawah.

        The other significant word to note from the beginning of this ayah is the word “similitude”.

Why does Allah (swt) use this word? Why did He (swt) not say “story” or “narration”? The reason

why Allah (swt) uses this word is because He (swt) wants to show us that the story of these

messengers is not different from our own story. They are similar to us in more ways than we can

imagine. Their story is the story of the dawah carriers. So it is the story of the Prophet (saw) and

the Sahabah. It is the story of all those who have carried this Message from Allah (swt). It is our

story as well. Thus in their behavior is a model for us to emulate. In the events that happen to

them are events that we can expect to happen to us. So do not look at their story as an event that

happened a long time ago which does not concern you at all. Rather look at them as a reflection

of yourself. If you want to journey to your Lord then their path is what you must walk.

        Also notice in this ayah how Allah (swt) tells us that these messengers were sent to the

“companions of the city”. These were the people to whom the messengers were sent. Their

description tells us that they were very close to their city. They loved their city. They were the

close companions of their city. They city in many ways represents the material accomplishments

of man. It is technology and innovation. It is industry and manufacturing. This is what these

people were close to. They were close to the comforts that their material advancements had




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brought them. In their city they had made for themselves a very pleasurable and comfortable

place to be in. That is why they were so close to it. That is why they were its companions. That is

why it took them away from Allah (swt).

        One lesson that we can take from this is to see the hidden danger of technology and

material progress. On the one hand it does bring us comforts and it makes our life on this earth

easier. For that we have to be eternally grateful to Allah (swt) for it is He (swt) Who has bestowed

all of this upon us. But on the other hand it could make our stay here too comfortable. Too

pleasurable. We might become so comfortable here that we might forget that this world is a place

of testing. We might fall so much in love with this world that we might be reluctant to leave it. We

might start to prefer this world to the Hereafter. This was not the case with the Prophet (saw) and

the Sahabah. They did not have all of these material comforts. They lived in the harsh deserts.

They tasted the bitterness of this world and they felt its difficulties. Now this is not to say that

there was no pleasure in their life and that there is no pain in ours. The Prophet (saw) himself

was offered a life of great pleasure and power, more than any of us could ever imagine, and he

(saw) walked away from it for the sake of his (saw)’s Lord. At the same time in our world we have

many fears and distresses. For the vast majority of people life in this world is difficult. We all have

to struggle. But on the whole, our lives are far more comfortable and we have much more in

terms of the wealth of this world, than those before us. Technology and innovations are among

the main reasons for this. So we have to be careful and not allow to happen to us what happened

to the companions of the city whom Allah (swt) describes in this ayah. We should not allow all

that we have been given to take us away from our Lord. Rather we should use it to be grateful to

Him (swt). So the next time that you partake in these comforts which you know that those before

you did not have then remember Allah (swt) Who gave it to you. If Allah (swt) has allowed you to

live through this time of material comforts and He (swt) has still saved you from being deceived

and seduced by them then you have to be grateful to Him (swt). You have to believe that it is

because He (swt) loves you and wants the best for you. So we should realize that we are living in

a time that is unlike any other. Allah (swt) has given us bounties and gifts that He (swt) had not

granted to any other generation prior to us. But in this there is also a test for us. All these




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comforts and conveniences could make us fall in love with the world and forget our Lord like the

people whom Allah (swt) describes in this ayah did. Or else every single bounty that we enjoy in

this life could be a means of us coming closer to Him (swt) by thanking Him (swt) for each of it.

         Both Mawdudi and Sayyid Qutb tell us in their tafsir of this ayah that we do not know for

sure exactly which city and which messengers this ayah speaks of. Some have said that it is the

Syrian city of Antioch but there is no authentic evidence for this in any hadith of the Prophet (saw)

or narration from the Sahabah. But for us to derive the lessons and the benefits from this story it

is not important for us to know exactly which people and which city this was. This is a story about

messengers from Allah (swt) who carried dawah. In it there is a warning for those who would

reject this Message and there is a guidance and a motivation for those who carry this Message.

This is all that should matter for us. We should always remember that we are reading the Quran

only to be guided to Allah (swt). We are not looking to learn about history or satisfy our curiosity.

If Allah (swt) did not tell us who these messengers were and which city they were sent to then it is

because such is not relevant for us. We can still be guided to Him (swt) if we learn this story and

if we reflect and contemplate on it Insha Allah, without knowing these details. May Allah (swt)

always give us the knowledge that will benefit us and may He (swt) save us from the knowledge

that will not!

         Not only do we not know the names of these messengers and the city to which they were

sent but we also do not know if they themselves received revelation from Allah (swt) or if they

were sent on behalf of a messenger who did receive revelation. Even in the past there were the

actual messengers who would receive the revelation from Allah (swt) and then there were their

supporters and helpers. Much like the Sahabah (raa) were for the Prophet (saw). However once

again these details are not important for us. What is important is that these were men who

believed in Allah (swt) and they worked to carry the Message of Allah (swt). Such is our job as

well. So the benefit that we take from their story is not to inquire about unnecessary details but

the benefit we take is to look for guidance in the task that we have been given. Our mission was

their mission. So in everything that they did and in everything that happened to them there is a

guidance for us. May Allah (swt) help us to realize this!




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15. When We sent to them two, but they rejected them both, so we strengthened them with

a third, and then they said “Surely we are to you all messengers”.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) brings our attention to the point in time when He (swt) sent the

messengers to this city. Here we learn more about how the dawah is to be carried and what will

be the response of the people. Remember that the Quran is a Book of guidance, a manual that

shows the way on how we can complete the mission that we have been given. In this ayah our

Lord reminds us once again who we are, what our task is, what we can expect to face, and how

we should respond to the difficulties we come across. It is all present in only this ayah.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “When We sent to them two”. Here Allah (swt)

reminds us that He (swt) originally sent to the city two messengers. These two messengers came

to the city on behalf of the Lord and Master of the universe. They were sent with a Message to

the people from the Creator and Sustainer of all. Can you then even begin to realize the noble

station that these messengers had? They are representing Allah (swt). They are bringing a

Message from the One Truth. The One Who is the Originator for everything in existence. The

One Who is sustaining everything in the universe at every moment. Such is the station that we

also have if we are among those who sincerely work for the propagation of this Message.

        Notice in the language of the ayah how Allah (swt) stresses the fact that He (swt) sent

two messengers. Allah (swt) uses the word for “two” and He (swt) also uses the dual form, this is

done to stress and emphasize that two messengers were sent. Allah (swt) wants to stress and

emphasize for us that there were indeed two messengers who were sent. The fact that Allah (swt)

sent two messengers is an even further proof against the people of this city. They had not one but

two messengers from Allah (swt) calling them to the Truth. How then could they turn away?

Double was the invitation. Double was the calling they heard to Allah (swt). But unfortunately for

them double also is the proof against them.


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        So two messengers were sent to this city. Unfortunately what was the response of the

people to these messengers? Allah (swt) says “but they rejected them both”. The people of the

city rejected both of these messengers. The Arabic word that Allah (swt) uses here for “rejecting”

is beautiful. It gives the meaning of rejecting something, or denying something, even when you

know that it is the Truth. So these people were absolutely certain that these messengers had

been sent by Allah (swt). They were certain of their responsibility to worship and serve Allah (swt)

because He (swt) is their Creator and Sustainer. However they rejected these messengers with

full knowledge of this. So they turned away from not one but two of Allah (swt)’s messengers

while knowing that these messengers were true. How evil then are such a people? As we read

the story we will find that their injustice and arrogance only becomes worse.

        In the next part of the ayah Allah (swt) says “so we strengthened them with a third”.

What did Allah (swt) do when the two messengers were rejected? He (swt) sent a third. He (swt)

strengthened the dawah by sending a third messenger to support the two that He (swt) had sent

already. This reminds us once again how Allah (swt) always looks after the carriers of His

Message. Anytime that we meet with opposition. Anytime that the mission becomes too difficult.

Then we must have a hope that Allah (swt) will send to us His help and support. Remember that

we are on this dawah for Him (swt). He (swt) is the One Who sent us. So if only we are sincere to

Him (swt) then we have to believe that He (swt) will take care of us and give us all that we need

to complete our mission for Him (swt).

        Finally Allah (swt) tells us how the messengers said to the people of the city “Surely we

are to you all messengers”. Here the messengers are reminding the people once again of who

they are. They are not simply preachers. They are not simply politicians. They are not wasting the

precious time of the people with their babble. Rather they are the messengers of the Divine. Can

you even begin to comprehend what this means? If you truly knew Allah (swt) then you will know

the station of His (swt)’s messengers. You will realize what a noble and honorable task you

yourself have if you are among those who work in this dawah. You are of the messengers. The

greatness and the sublimity of this is something that you will never understand.




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16. They said “You are nothing but human beings like us, and the Most Merciful has not

revealed anything at all, you are only lying”.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us what was the response of the people to the dawah that

was carried to them. Recall from the previous ayah that these were a people who were absolutely

convinced that this Message was true. Once they realized Allah (swt) and they realized the

Truthfulness of the Message that He (swt) had sent you would think that they would have

accepted it. You would think that they would have submitted to their Creator as they had been

created to do. But look at their response, and in their response realize the nature of this dawah.

This dawah is not about instant success. This dawah will take time. This dawah is by no means

easy. This dawah is only about struggle. The victory will only come when Allah (swt) is pleased

and He (swt) is the Patient.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by telling us how the people of the city said “You are

nothing but human beings like us”. This was their attitude towards the messengers. Men who

had come to guide them to Allah (swt). Men who had come to show them the purpose of their

existence. They saw them to be only human beings just like themselves. This shows us how

shallow and superficial was the thinking of these people. They only saw what was on the surface.

They did not look to the hearts of these men. They did not look to their character and personality.

They did not see how pure their hearts were. How they had attached themselves completely to

Allah (swt). If they would have looked closely at these messengers then they would have seen

that there is much more to them than just being human beings. We are all human beings in the

way we look, in the way we move, in the needs that we have, and in what we feel. But when a

human attaches himself to Allah (swt) then there is much more to him than his physical body. He

does not live for his body anymore but rather he lives for his Lord. Everything that he does is for


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his Lord. He is willing to sacrifice everything for his Lord. So he reaches a state that is much

higher than that of a human being. This is who the messengers were. This is what the people of

the city failed to see.

         Not only did the people of the city fail to see the messengers for whom they really are,

but they also ignored all of the clear signs and evidences that the messengers had been sent

with. Recall from the word which Allah (swt) used in the previous ayah to describe their rejection

that these people knew the Truth. They knew that these messengers were indeed sent from their

Creator. But they willfully chose to reject them. They chose to reject them only so that they could

follow their lusts and desires. Now their saying “You are nothing but human beings like us” is

only an excuse for their rejection. They knew that these men were indeed sent by Allah (swt). But

they did not care. They did not care about Allah (swt). They only cared about following their lusts

and desires. See how evil a people they were.

         They then say to the messengers “and the Most Merciful has not revealed anything at

all”. We see from here that these people knew very well about Allah (swt). They even knew one

of the greatest of His (swt)’s Names. Ar-Rahman or the Most Merciful. This is the One Name that

all of creation should know. Because all of creation is tasting the Mercy of Allah (swt) for every

moment of its existence. Even you and me. Just the fact that we exist at this moment is only from

the Mercy of Allah (swt). He (swt) is the One Who brought us into existence and He (swt) is the

One Who sustains that existence at every moment. These people of the city also knew that both

they and the universe around them must have a Creator and Sustainer. They knew that all of this

could not have come into existence from nothing. So they knew Allah (swt) well. They believed in

Him (swt) with utmost certainty. But as we see from the ayah what they refused to believe in was

that Allah (swt) would send revelation for us. They said that the Most Merciful has not revealed

anything at all. So they denied the very idea that Allah (swt) would send prophets and

messengers. They believed that a Creator exists, but they thought that He (swt) just created the

universe and let it be. They thought that this whole creation was for nothing. Just for man to live,

die and decompose. That was the purpose of all creation in the minds of these people. Many

people today have this same thinking. They believe in God but they refuse to believe that He




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would sent the people a guidance on how to live. They delude themselves into thinking in this

way only so that they can follow their lusts and desires. So they can live in whatever way they

want. So they do not have to answer to anyone.

        How foolish is such thinking? Do you really think that Allah (swt) created so magnificent a

universe only for amusement and play? Only so that you could live a pathetic existence of

chasing after the material goods of this world? Is this what all of the universe was for? Would a

Creator Who is capable of such a grand creation create all of this and then leave the human

being in darkness? Is that justice? In everything in this universe we see balance and justice.

Would Allah (swt) then do injustice to us by allowing us to wander on in darkness? How would

One Whose very Name is the Most Merciful do that? So from here we see the utter foolishness of

those who would deny revelation, both from the people about whom this ayah speaks and the

people in our own generation.

        Finally Allah (swt) tells us how the people of the city said to the messengers “you are

only lying”. The Arabic word that these people used is to describe someone who is lying when

they know that they are lying. When they know that what they are saying is not the Truth. This is

what these people accuse the messengers of, however it is exactly what they had done when

they had turned away from the Message. They were certain of the Truth but they chose

falsehood. Now they accuse the messengers of Allah (swt) of doing this. They are claiming that

the messengers of Allah (swt) are speaking a plain and clear lie. A lie which the messengers

themselves knew was a lie. This is what these people accused the messengers of. See how evil

a people they were. They knew that what these messengers brought was the Truth. They knew

that these messengers were calling them to Allah (swt) Who was the very purpose of their

existence. They knew the responsibility that they had to worship Allah (swt) on account of Him

(swt) being their Creator. But they turned away from all this. Not only did they turn away but they

even accused the messengers that Allah (swt) had sent to them of being liars. They claimed that

this Message was something that the messengers had made up in their minds. How do you think

Allah (swt) would look down upon such a people? Realize now the extent of the evil that man is

capable of. Then beg of Allah (swt) that He (swt) saves you from ever becoming like that.




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17. They said “Our Lord Knows that we are surely to you messengers”.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us what was the response of the messengers to what the

people had said to them. Recall from the previous ayah how the people of the city had accused

the messengers of lying. They had claimed that Allah (swt) had not revealed anything. They

made this claim even when they were certain to the contrary. Now Allah (swt) tells us what was

the response of the messengers to this. In this response Allah (swt) also teaches how we should

respond when the people reject us. He (swt) also teaches us how we should look at all of the

efforts and sacrifices that we make for this Din.

        The messengers tell the people of the city that Allah (swt) Knows that they are indeed

messengers to them. Allah (swt) Knows the reality of who they are. He (swt) Knows that they are

indeed His (swt)’s messengers. If Allah (swt) Knows then what else matters after that? What does

it matter what the people say or what they think. These messengers only live for their Lord. They

exist only to please Him (swt). If He (swt) is pleased with them then it does not matter for them if

all the creation is against them, and if He (swt) is displeased with them then it does not matter for

them if all of the creation loves them. The One True Reality is Allah (swt) and these messengers

realize this fact. That is why they tell their people that they do not care what they say about them.

They do not care if the people call them liars or charlatans. They are not here to please the

people. They are only here to please their Lord.

        This should be our attitude as well towards those who reject our dawah. We should

always remember that their rejection or acceptance is not why we are carrying dawah to them.

We are not here to convert them by force. We are not here to please them. We are only here for

the sake of Allah (swt). We are only doing this for the sake of Allah (swt). So even if they do not

accept what we say, even if they mock us, even if they speak lies against us, none of that should




                                                                                                   45
matter for us. We should not worry about what they say or what they think. Rather we should only

think about Allah (swt). It is only His (swt)’s estimation of us that we should worry about.

        Not only should this be our attitude when the people reject our dawah but this should also

be how we view all of our efforts and sacrifices for this Din. We should always remember that we

are not doing this for the people but rather we are only doing it for Allah (swt). Everything that we

do is only for Him (swt). So for all of the efforts and sacrifices that we make, it should be enough if

Allah (swt) Knows it. That is how we demonstrate our true sincerity to Allah (swt), and as the

Prophet (saw) has told us this Din is nothing but sincerity. So strive to the best of your ability to

please Allah (swt). To do your part for this His (swt)’s Din. And then strive to the best of your

ability to make your efforts only for Him (swt). If Allah (swt) Knows what you have done then what

else should matter after that?




18. “And there is nothing upon us except the clear conveyance”.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to relate to us the speech of the messengers. How they

responded to their people when their people accused them of being liars and false prophets. In

the previous ayah Allah (swt) told us how they told their people what their intentions were. Their

intention was only to please their Lord. They did not care what the people did or said. All of their

efforts and their striving was only for Allah (swt) and it was enough for them if He (swt) Knew

what they did. In this ayah they tell us what their mission is. They summarize for us so succinctly

the totality of the task that they had been given. This is in fact the mission of all dawah carriers.

This is all that we are here to do.




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        They say that there is nothing upon them except the clear conveyance of the Message.

This is all that they have been commanded to do. Allah (swt) has sent to mankind a Message and

their job is only to convey this Message. Notice that the adjective which they used to describe this

conveyance is “clear”. This means that they have to deliver this Message in the best and clearest

of ways possible. They have to strive to the best of their ability to make sure that this Message

reaches its intended recipients.

        Now some people may use this ayah to say that it is not an obligation upon us to work for

the restoration of Islamic State. They say that it would be enough for us to simply convey this

Message to the people. But these people forget the adjective “clear” which Allah (swt) uses to

describe the conveyance. As we mentioned this adjective means that we have to convey the

Message in the best way possible. Now what is the best way possible for us to make sure that

mankind receives this Message? Is it simply for us to setup dawah tables? Is it simply for us visit

the people door to door? Is it simply to have billboards and toll-free phone numbers to call? Is it

simply to have inter-faith dialogues? Is this the best way for us to convey this Message? The

Prophet (saw) has told us that when we are commanded to do something then we should do it in

the best way. What could be more in need of being done in the best way possible than dawah?

        No, rather the best way possible to convey this Message, the way of the Prophet (saw), is

the Islamic State. The Islamic State is the vehicle through which the dawah can be carried to

mankind. Why is the Islamic State the best way to convey this Message? First and foremost

because it was the way of the Prophet (saw). Anyone who studies the life of the Prophet (saw)

can see that he (saw) first established the State and then used the State to carry this Message to

mankind. He (saw) did not spend his entire life of dawah only carrying this Message to

individuals. Rather if you study the Seerah closely you would see that he (saw) established the

State and then used the State to take this Message to all of the nations of the world.

        Another reason why the Islamic State is the best way to convey this Message is because

through the State we can reach the most number of people. Realistically speaking how many

people do you think that you can reach with your dawah tables? How many are the people in the

world today to whom this Message needs to be conveyed to and how many can you reach by




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yourself? Even if you spent your whole life doing dawah you still would not reach even the tiniest

fraction of the people in this world who need this Message delivered to them. Even if all the

sincere brothers and sisters who want to do dawah were to work individually they still would only

reach a very small percentage of the population. Only the Islamic State can carry this Message

on a global and mass level. The Islamic State can ensure that entire nations receive this

Message. So when we are commanded to carry this Message in the best way possible, we have

to carry it in a way such that the most people receive it. That can only be done with the Islamic

State. The Islamic State can carry this Message to every corner of the earth.

         Another reason why the Islamic State is needed to properly carry this Message is

because the State creates an environment that is conducive for the people to accept this

Message. Even at the time of the Prophet (saw), the vast majority of the people only accepted

this Message after the Islamic State was established and after it had consolidated its power in the

peninsula by conquering Makkah. When the Prophet (saw) and the Sahabah were alone in

Makkah, and without any political authority, the number of people who accepted this Message

was very few. For thirteen years the Prophet (saw) carried dawah in Makkah, but the number of

followers that he (saw) got was less than a hundred. Compare this with the thousands and

thousands of people who entered into this Din when Makkah was conquered. This shows that the

people need an environment that is conducive for them to accept this Message. When the people

are living in a society of kufr, in a society of heedlessness to Allah (swt), then many of them will

not be willing to accept this Message even if they are convinced that it is the Truth. They will

realize how difficult it is to live the life of a believer in a world of kufr.

         Yet another reason why the Islamic State is required to properly carry this dawah is

because only when the Law of Allah (swt) is established in the land can the people receive this

Message purely. Do you think that today the majority of the people have received this Message

correctly? The majority of the people today know about Islam, but do they know the Truth about

it? Have they clearly been shown all of the signs and evidences which prove without a doubt that

this Message is indeed true? What is even the perception that most people have about this Din?

Do they see it as something good? Or do they see it as terror, fanaticism, and barbarism? The




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Islamic State would remove those elements which feed the people these lies about the Din of

Allah (swt). The State would then ensure that all of the people learn the Arabic language. This

way they can taste the Miracle of the Quran. They would see without a doubt that this Message

has indeed by sent by Allah (swt). Even when they see all of the laws of Islam being implemented

correctly and the justice that this brings, this also would help them to realize the Truth of this

Message. So part of conveying this Message clearly is ensuring that the people get a pure and

unadulterated perception of this Din. Their minds should not be filled with lies and propaganda.

Rather every argument and proof must be shown to them so that they can see the Truth clearly.

        So it is true that our only task is the clear conveyance of the Message, but in order to

accomplish this we need the Islamic State. Insha Allah this then should be our priority. Now this is

not to say that we should not carry dawah to people on an individual level. We must do what we

can as individuals as well. If we know any good people who may respond then we must carry

dawah to them and try to bring them into the Mercy of this Din. But our priority, our ultimate goal,

should be working to restore the Islamic State. That is the only way in which this Message can be

conveyed clearly to all mankind. Without a doubt it will be difficult. Without a doubt we have a

long road ahead of us. But this dawah is not about ease. This dawah is not about quick solutions.

Look at the story of the messengers in this ayah and all that they had to go through. If they met

with such opposition and difficulty then how could we expect anything less? But in the end what

matters is not that we establish the Islamic State. All that matters is that we try our best in

whatever capacity that we can. Such is all that our Lord asks of us.

        However this is not a duty that we can postpone or evade. Look at the speech of the

messengers in this ayah. They say that the conveyance of this Message is something that is

upon them. This means that it is something about which they will be questioned. This is a duty

that they must perform. It is a burden that they carry. Why would Allah (swt) tell us about this

obligation in His (swt)’s Book unless it were an obligation for us as well? So we must remind

ourselves once again of what the purpose of our life is. We are here only to serve Allah (swt) and

to call others to Him (swt). That is the reason why we exist. That is the reason why we have been

created and placed on this planet. So convey this Message to the best of your ability. Anything




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that you do with the sincere intention of pleasing Allah (swt) and serving His (swt)’s Din is an

action for which you will be rewarded. So if you study Arabic or the Islamic sciences or if you just

talk to your fellow Muslims about our obligation to live under the Law of Allah (swt) then this is all

part of dawah. In the end the intention in all that you do is to work for the reestablishment of the

dawah to mankind. This way Insha Allah you would have fulfilled the responsibility upon you. The

responsibility of the clear conveyance of this Message. May Allah (swt) aid all the sincere

brothers and sisters in this Ummah to fulfill this duty to the best of their ability!




19. They said “We see an evil omen from you, and if you do not desist, we will you surely

stone you and there will touch you from us a painful punishment.”

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to tell us about the dawah of these messengers. We

have to always remember that in all that they did, and all that they went through, there is a guide

for us. In this ayah Allah (swt) reminds us how this dawah is not without difficulties and dangers.

Islam is not without difficulties and dangers. Part of what it means to be a believer is that we will

have to face trials. Not just in the physical and material harm that the people may do to us, but

even in the way that people perceive us. Allah (swt) explains how this is so in the ayah.

        Allah (swt) begins by telling us how the people of the city said to the messengers “We

see an evil omen from you”. This is how the people of the city perceived the messengers to be.

They thought them to be an evil omen. As someone bringing bad news and misfortune. As

harbingers of calamites and disasters. This was how they saw the messengers. So much were

these people in love with the life of the world and with their desires that they saw the messengers

of Allah (swt) as evil. As bringing them evil. Even though the messengers were calling them to the

Real and the True. Even though the messengers were calling them to all that was good and pure.

Even though the messengers were calling them to a life of tranquility in this world and salvation


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and bliss in the next world. They still saw these messengers as evil. They saw them as coming to

take away all that they held dear. This was how twisted and corrupted was their perception of the

reality. How could they have forgotten about Allah (swt)? About their responsibility to worship and

serve Him (swt)? When they knew that these messengers had been sent by Allah (swt), when

they were absolutely certain of this fact, how then could they say these messengers were an evil

omen? How could they expect the messengers to bring them anything but good? Anything except

that which is pleasing to Allah (swt)?

        However the reality is that these people knew the Truth. They knew about Allah (swt) and

yet they turned away from Him (swt). Now they were just looking for an excuse to reject the

messengers. Not only to reject the messengers themselves but also to turn all their people away

from them as well. They did not want any of their people to follow the messengers. So they

accused these messengers of being an evil omen. So as to frighten their people away from them.

So that they themselves have an excuse for not following them. See how evil a people they are.

See how they would turn away from Allah (swt) even when He (swt) is the Real and the True. See

also the great Mercy of Allah (swt) in that He (swt) does not punish these people immediately for

such arrogance and insolence. We as human beings will never realize how much injustice we

have done to our Lord and how Kind and Forgiving He (swt) has been with us.

        We can see this same negative propaganda being generated today against Islam. The

powers be want to drive the people away from this Din so they make up all kinds of lies and

fabrications against it. They want the people to see Islam as a bad omen. As something that will

bring misery and suffering, darkness and terror. This is the perception that they want to create in

the minds of the people. When you realize this then do not be surprised at the injustice that these

people have done to Islam, even though they have done great injustice to this Din. They have

portrayed it as the exact opposite of what it truly is. But what is even greater is the injustice that

they have done to their Creator and Sustainer. Just as the people at the time of the messengers,

the people today know that Islam is the Truth. They are certain of it. Anyone who studies this Din

sincerely will come to conclusion that it is indeed the Truth. How can anyone not believe when the

signs are so clear? So these people know that this Message is the Truth and still they have




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chosen to oppose it. How great then is the injustice that they have done against Allah (swt)? They

know that their Creator has sent to them a Message. But not only do they not heed it, but they

even try to take other people away from it as well. They call this Message “evil” and “terror” when

they are certain to the contrary. When they speak such blasphemy against the Message that

Allah (swt) has sent they are in reality speaking it against Allah (swt) Himself. How great then is

the evil of these people? At the same time how Sublime and Forbearing is our Lord in that He

(swt) allows them to exist even after this. This by itself is enough of reason for us to worship Him.

        Then Allah (swt) tells us how the people of the city said “and if you do not desist, we

will you surely stone you and there will touch you from us a painful punishment”. So their

evil did not stop at merely spreading false propaganda against the messengers. No, they went

further. Not only did they want the masses in their city to fear the messengers, but they wanted to

do even more in their opposition to this Message. Look at their evil. They are threatening the

messengers. They are promising the messengers that if they do not desist in their dawah then

they would stone them to death. They even describe how this stoning will be by saying “there will

touch you from us a painful punishment”. Do you know how painful it is to be stoned to death?

To be pelted by hundreds of stones. Each hitting with such force every part of your body. It is a

slow and painful death. With each stone that hits you, your pain and agony will only grow. Each

stone will only a bring a new pain to you, and it will compound with the pain you are already

feeling to increase your misery and suffering. Death will only come after hours, if not days. This is

the horrible fate that the people of the city promised to the messengers.

        For what crime were the messengers promised this terrible punishment? Only for calling

the people to Allah (swt). For calling the people to the Real and the True. For calling the people to

the purpose of their existence. See here then the great evil that man is capable of when he turns

away from Allah (swt). This capacity for evil, this darkness, is within you as well. Because just like

the people of this city you also are among the children of Adam (as). So if you were to turn away

from your Lord, if you were to live a life where you only serve your desires, then what makes you

think that you would you not do something as evil and unjust? We are not saying that all people

who are not devout Muslims are like this, we are only saying that people have this propensity for




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evil. The only we in which we can truly keep ourselves safe from ever becoming like these people

is if we dedicate ourselves to Allah (swt). Only when we have given ourselves to Allah (swt) will

the propensity within us to do evil be completely removed. So one lesson that we can take from

this ayah is to realize the thinking and the behavior of those who are heedless of Allah (swt). In

order to save ourselves from ever becoming like them we have to attach ourselves to Him (swt)

and seek to draw closer to Him (swt) in everything that we do. Otherwise we know what would be

our fate in the life of this world, and we know the even worse fate that awaits us in the Hereafter.

        There is another meaning possible from the words of the people of the city when they

said “we will you surely stone you and there will touch you from us a painful punishment”.

The Arabic word which Allah (swt) uses for “stoning” could also mean rejecting and repelling.

Thus there is another dimension to the threat that these people give to the messengers. They are

telling the messengers that if they do not cease in their dawah then they will be completely

rejected and ostracized from the community. If they do not stop calling to Allah (swt), then all the

people of the city will turn away from them, and have nothing to do with them. Because of this

rejection, because of this stigma and labeling, the messengers will then suffer a painful

punishment. This is yet another meaning that comes from these words.

        Many of us today can especially see the relevance in the words of our Lord here. Do we

not see this attitude towards us from many of the people who are heedless of Allah (swt)?

Because of the fact that we live for Allah (swt), because of the fact that we are practicing Muslims

and we show that we are, because we work for this dawah, they look upon us as an evil omen.

They think that we are brining trouble for ourselves, for our family and our community. Because of

this they often ostracize themselves from us. They keep away from us. They do not want

associate with us. They do not want to offer us what they would offer others who are not

practicing and who are not involved in the dawah. As a result of this we are often denied what

others get. As a result of this we feel pain. This was done at the time of the Prophet (saw) when

the Quraysh chiefs had a social and economic boycott against the family of the Prophet (saw),

and it is happening today to the Muslims in several ways. In several countries, even supposedly

Muslim countries, you would find this kind of discrimination against those who are true believers.




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Against those who do dawah, those who reflect the fact that they are Muslims in their appearance

and their behavior. These sincere brothers and sisters are rejected by the community and as a

result of which they suffer from pain and hardship. This is the sad circumstance that will continue

as long as we do not rule by the Law of Allah (swt). As long the ones in power are those who do

not care for Allah (swt) or for Islam. May Allah (swt) save us!




20. They said “Your evil omen is with you. Because you are reminded? No rather you are a

people of extravagance”.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us what was the response of the messengers to what the

people of the city had said in the previous ayah. Notice here how this dawah is one of interaction

and argumentation. Now we are not saying that we should raise our voices towards the people or

that we should fight with them, that is not what this dawah is at all. Rather what we are saying is

that when the people to whom we are carrying dawah to bring one point we have to be ready to

respond with a stronger point to counter their point. We have to make it clear for them that we are

right and that they are wrong. After we have made the Message absolutely clear for them then if

they turn away, then it is between them and Allah (swt). But for our part we have to strive to make

the Message clear. That is what the messengers do in this ayah. They respond to the people of

the city and the accusations that they had made.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by telling us how the messengers said “Your evil omen is

with you”. The people of the city had accused the messengers of bringing an evil omen. They

said that their preaching brought darkness and suffering. The scholars of tafsir tell us that after

the messengers came and started preaching, storms and other natural disasters began to befall

the city. The people of the city immediately blamed the messengers for this. In this ayah the

messengers give the most appropriate of responses for such accusations. They say that the evil




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omens are with the people of the city. So the evil omens are not coming from the messengers but

they are coming the people of the city themselves. The people of the city are the ones who are

responsible for the evil omens befalling them. They have earned the Wrath of Allah (swt) because

of their evil and because of their rejection of this Message. That is why Allah (swt) has allowed

these calamities to befall them. It is a punishment for them. It is something that they themselves

brought down upon themselves. The messengers are not responsible at all for these evil omens.

        One lesson that we can take from this is that whenever any calamity or difficulty befalls

us, we must first and foremost look at ourselves. Instead of trying to blame others we must first

look at ourselves. Have we done something to displease our Lord? Are we fulfilling all of our

rights and obligations to Him (swt)? If our condition is one of good then Allah (swt) will not change

it to one of evil unless we do something evil, and similarly if our condition is one of evil then He

(swt) will not change it to one of good and unless we do something good. This has always the

way of Allah (swt). The more that we please Him (swt), the more that our situation will improve,

and the more that we displease Him (swt) the more that our situation will worsen.

        This is not only true in our individual lives but also the in the collective life of our Ummah.

Why is it that the situation of our Ummah today is so bad? Is it merely a test that Allah (swt) is

putting us through? Is all that is required of us merely to be patient through all of it? Or have we

failed in some of our most important responsibilities to Allah (swt) for Him (swt) to allow this to

happen to us? Did not Allah (swt) sent a Divine Law with which our Ummah is supposed to live?

Have we not failed to implement this Law? Do you think that Allah (swt) would be pleased with

such? Are we not then responsible for the suffering that this Ummah is going through? How then

can we return to Him (swt) on the Last Day? What excuse are we going to give Him (swt) when

He (swt) asks us as to why we did not even make the effort to bring back His (swt)’s Law in the

land? We did not even make the effort to carry His (swt)’s Message to mankind. So we have to

realize that any evil which befalls us is from our own selves. But there is also a hidden mercy in it

because it is a wake up call. Allah (swt) is telling us to change our ways. Allah (swt) is telling us to

return to Him (swt). Such did He (swt) do for the people of the city, and such is He (swt) doing to

our nation today.




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        In the next part of the ayah Allah (swt) tells us how the messengers said “Because you

are reminded?”. In the Arabic of the ayah these are only three small words. But there is an

ocean of meaning here. The messengers are asking the people a question. They are asking the

people if they have been accused of being an evil omen and have been threatened with such a

terrible punishment only for reminding them. In other words they are saying “We have only

reminded you, is it for this that you will label us as an evil omen and give us a painful torment?”.

        All that the messengers did was simply to remind their people. That was all that they did.

And for this they are being called an evil omen and threatened with a terrible punishment. Does

the punishment fit the crime? Is this justice? We were created to worship and serve Allah (swt).

He (swt) is the Who brought us into existence and He (swt) is the One Who sustains our

existence at every moment. In return we owe Him (swt) our complete submission and absolute

servitude. But most of us forget this. Most of us allow the moments of our life to pass by in

heedlessness of Him (swt). How unjust then are we being when we do this? How evil is the one

who breathes the air of the Lord, and sits on the earth of the Lord, and eats the food of the Lord,

and drinks the water of the Lord, and all enjoys all of the bounties of the Lord, but does not even

remember Him (swt) let along give thanks to Him (swt)? When one considers this then how

valuable and precious is the reminder? What could be a greater gift for someone to give you

other than to remind of your Creator and the obligations that you have towards Him (swt)? If

someone were to rescue you from such heedlessness and to remind you about Allah (swt) then

how grateful must you be to that person?

        This was all that the messengers had done. They simply reminded the people about their

Lord. They did not ask for any wage in return for this. Yet for this they were being called an evil

omen and they were being threatened with a terrible punishment. How evil then were the people

of the city? They would say such evil and do such evil against those who only reminded them

about Allah (swt). Against those who reminded them about the purpose of their existence. Their

evil is compounded on levels upon levels. First they themselves allowed themselves to be

heedless of their Creator. They allowed themselves to fall into sin and corruption. Then when

Allah (swt) in His (swt)’s Mercy and Love for them sends them two messengers they reject both of




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these messengers. Then Allah (swt) sends them yet another messenger and there were then

three calling them to their Lord. Not only do they reject all three of these messengers but they

even say that they are an evil omen and they promise them the painful torment of being stoned to

death. All this only for being reminded about their Creator. So see here the evil of man. See here

the ungratefulness and the arrogance of man. See also the Mercy and Forbearance of Allah

(swt). The Sublimity and the Nobility of Allah (swt). How then can you turn away from Him (swt)?

        Notice also from this ayah the courage and the bravery of the messengers. In the

previous ayah Allah (swt) told us how they were promised the painful punishment of being stoned

to death. Did this threat make them cease in their dawah? Did they beg for mercy and implore

that this threat not be fulfilled against them? No, on the contrary they were even more forceful in

their reply to the people. They gave these people a reply that they know would agitate them even

more. They did not care what was done against them. They only cared about Allah (swt). They

only cared about fulfilling their responsibility to Him (swt). To earn the displeasure of their Lord

and to be distant from Him (swt) was far more painful for them than the stones of their enemies.

So they said what needed to be said without fearing the consequences. This is the mark of a true

dawah carrier. A true scholar. How few of these there are left in the Ummah today?

        In the final part of the ayah, Allah (swt) tells us how the messengers said “No rather you

are a people of extravagance”. Here the messengers identify what is the root of their evil. This

is the reason why these people rejected the Message even when they knew that it was the Truth.

This is the reason why they accused the messengers of being an evil omen even though they

knew that they brought them nothing but good. This is why they threatened the messengers with

a painful punishment. It is only because they were a people of extravagance. This means that

they drowned themselves in this world and they did not hold themselves back at all. In His (swt)’s

Bounty and Mercy, Allah (swt) has allowed us to partake of some of this world. From the things

that are lawful Allah (swt) allows us to consume of them in moderation. From the things that are

unlawful He (swt) has told us to avoid and keep far away from them. These people however did

not care for these limits set by Allah (swt). They enjoyed themselves in everything and anything.

From the things that were lawful they partook of it in extravagance, consuming much more than




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they needed. Then they even ventured into the unlawful. Soon there was no difference for them

between the lawful and the unlawful. They just took from this world whatever they felt like. So

they fell in love with this world. They did not want to give up anything of this world. That was why

they rejected the messengers even when they knew that they were true. They knew that the Law

of Allah (swt) required them to make some sacrifices. They knew that as a test, Allah (swt)

required them to give up some things of this world that they desired. This they could not do.

        For many of us today we are much like the people of this city. Allah (swt) has given us

more and more of this world. But as we have mentioned, we have to use what we have been

given to be grateful to Him (swt). At the same time we must strive to never allow all that we have

been given to distract us from Him (swt). We also have to be careful of extravagance. By this we

mean that first and foremost we have to stay away from what is forbidden. The scholars say that

if we spend even one penny on what is forbidden then it would be a penny in extravagance. This

is because Allah (swt) has already given us more than what we need in what He (swt) has made

lawful for us. All that is forbidden is what we do not need and what will not bring us any good or

benefit. So it is extravagance.

        At the same time even in what Allah (swt) has made lawful for us we cannot be wasteful

and extravagant. We must consume what we have been given in moderation. We must take from

this world in moderation. Now we are not saying that we have to ascetics and deny ourselves any

of this world. No, on the contrary we can partake of the lawful things of this world with gratitude

for our Lord Who bestowed it on us. But we must not take more than what we need. We must not

be wasteful and extravagant. For example in food, there is a certain amount that we need to

consume for our body to be active and for us to fulfill all of our duties to Allah (swt). Now do we

really need to consume more than this? Is this the reason why were created and placed on this

earth? When we know that there is this danger in that consuming too much of this world could

make us fall in love with it and forget Allah (swt), then why should we? Even in the food that we

eat, why should we take more than what we need? Similarly in everything of this world, why

should we consume more of it than we need? Why should we gather and hoard more of this

world than we need? We should realize that the more that we consume the more that we have a




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responsibility to serve Allah (swt) in order for us to be grateful for it. Just like the people of the city

we have been given more and more of this world. If we wanted to drown ourselves in the material

things of this world then that would be very easy. But what would happen to our relationship with

Allah (swt) if we do? So we must save ourselves from this trap. We must always check ourselves

that we do not go beyond the limits. We must always check ourselves that we do not become a

people of extravagance. May Allah (swt) give us the enabling grace!




21. And there came from the furthest part of the city a man running, saying “Oh my people,

follow the messengers”.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) shows us how the dawah of the messengers received some

welcome support. Some support from where it was least expected. This serves to remind us how

Allah (swt) always looks after and helps this dawah. At the most desperate of moments. When all

hope seems to be lost. When all forces seem to have turned against the sincere dawah carriers.

That is when Allah (swt) is always there to support His (swt)’s Message and aid His (swt)’s

servants from where they least expected. Such is your Lord. How then can you ever turn away

from Him (swt)? How then can you ever give up working in His (swt)’s cause?

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “And there came from the furthest part of the

city a man running”. Try and imagine this scene in your mind. Here the messengers have just

been promised a painful punishment unless they abandon their dawah. But instead of yielding to

the threats of these people, they press forward calling to Allah (swt), calling to the Truth. Instead

of begging for more mercy or trying to compromise they enrage the people of the city even more

by telling them that their evil omens were because of themselves and that they were an

extravagant people. Imagine now how the people of the city must have responded to this. No


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doubt they must have been ready to start stoning the messengers. That was when the support

and help from Allah (swt) arrived.

        Allah (swt) tells us how a man came running from the furthest part of the city. Some

scholars have said that this man was “Habib the Carpenter”. But since Allah (swt) did not mention

his name or his occupation, it is not truly important for us. Rather what is important is what he did.

Similarly for us, Allah (swt) will not judge us for our names or how we earned our bread. As long

as our name is a lawful name and our income was a lawful income, our Lord will not question us

about this. However He (swt) will question us about what are the efforts that we made for this

dawah. What did we do to carry His (swt)’s Message to the people and to establish His (swt)’s

Law on the earth? This man did his part. He came racing to where the messengers were from the

furthest and most distant part of the city.

        Notice how Allah (swt) tells us that this man came from the most distant part of the city.

Firstly this tells us that this man was of the city. He was not a stranger or an outsider like the

messengers were. Rather he was one of the people of the city. This shows us that in all

environments and in all places there are good people. Even in the most corrupt and despised of

lands to Allah (swt) there are good people. So we see from here as well how wrong are those

Muslims who without the Islamic State would seek to make jihad against entire nations. They

target all people in such nations, including civilians and children. These Muslims need to consider

what Allah (swt) is telling us in this ayah. How can you be sure that all the people in such nations

are evil? Perhaps there are good people among them who have simply not received the Message

correctly yet. Are you then justified in harming them, causing them pain and even killing them? So

one lesson that we can take from this is to realize that there are good people in all nations. We

should therefore not pass judgments on nations as a whole but we should pass judgments on the

individual people and the institutions within those nations. May Allah (swt) give us the enabling

grace to distinguish the good from the evil!

        Another lesson that we can take from this ayah is to see how this man was from the most

distant part of the city. So even though he was part of the city he was not close to the city. He

was on the outskirts of the city. He kept his distance from the people of the city. He recognized




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that the people of the city were corrupt. He realized that if he became too close to them then he

might become corrupted as well. He knew the dangers of evil companionship and he knew that

Shaitan often invited to sin through the words of man. So although he was part of the city he kept

his distance from the people of the city. In this there is a lesson for us as well. When we see that

a certain group of people are immersed in this world. When we see that they do not remember

Allah (swt) often. Then we must keep away from them. Even if they may be our family or close

friends. Now we should not completely cut relationships with them, but at the same time we

should not spend too much time with them lest they make us among the heedless as well.

        Because this man kept his distance from the corrupt people of the city, he was among the

righteous. That was why he came running to the aid of the messengers. Notice how Allah (swt)

specifically mentions that he came running. Not only does the Arabic word which Allah (swt) uses

give the meaning of “running” but it also gives the meaning of “striving”. This man was striving his

utmost in coming to the aid of the messengers. In supporting and helping the dawah. So not only

was this man righteous, but he was among the most devoted servants of Allah (swt). He had

received the Message of his Lord. He had believed in that Message. Now he was struggling and

striving to the best of his ability for the propagation of this Message. He came running, racing as

fast as his legs could carry him, all the way from the far end of the city to aid Allah (swt)’s

messengers. Where are people like this in the dawah today?

        Finally Allah (swt) tells us how this man said “Oh my people, follow the messengers”.

Notice that even though this man had kept his distance from the people of the city, when he

speaks to them here he speaks to them in a way as if he is close to them. This is because at this

point he wants them to listen to his counsel. So he wants to become close to them. He wants

them to think of him as one of their own. That is why he calls on them by saying “Oh my people”.

Similarly in our lives, if our intention is dawah then we may need to associate and become close

with people whom we otherwise would not have. Thus the general rule that we should follow with

those people who are heedless of Allah (swt) is to keep our distance from them. But if we want to

call them to Allah (swt) and try to reform them, then we may get close to them. However even at

this point we should be careful. We should be careful that they do not lead us into sin and they do




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not make us into the heedless just like they are. May Allah (swt) guide us all to behave with the

people in a way that is pleasing to Him (swt)!

        Notice that this man does not simply call on his people to believe in the messengers but

rather he calls on them to “follow” the messengers. This reminds us once again as to what should

be our relationship with the Prophet (saw). It is not enough for us to simply believe in him (saw)

as the messenger of Allah (swt), nor is it enough for us to simply love him (saw) and sing about

him (saw). Rather we have to strive to the best of our ability to follow him (saw) in everything that

he (saw) did. May Allah (swt) give us the enabling grace!




22. “Follow the one who does not ask of you any repayment and (they) who are on

guidance”.

        This ayah continues the speech of the man who came racing to the aid of the

messengers. Here the man tells his people why they should follow the messengers. Mawdudi

tells us how Allah (swt) is teaching us here of what we should look for in those whom we follow.

This is the criteria that anyone whom we follow needs to fulfill. This is also the criteria that any

sincere caller to Allah (swt) needs to have. So look carefully at the conditions that Allah (swt)

establishes in this ayah. See if you have these conditions yourself and then also see if those

whom you follow and whom you take knowledge of this Din from have these conditions.

        The first condition that must be fulfilled is that one must not seek any reward or

repayment from any of the creation. In the dawah that we do. In the knowledge that we teach. In

the efforts that we make. We must not seek any kind of repayment or reward whatsoever from the

creation. Our reward and repayment is only with Allah (swt). We exist only for Him (swt). All that

we do is only for Him (swt). So our life must be a constant effort to turn our attention away from

the creation and towards Him (swt). What is the creation when compared to Him (swt)? Why do




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they deserve that we worry about them instead of Him (swt)? These messengers were devoted to

Allah (swt), and that is why the righteous man called on his people to believe in them.

        How many of the scholars and the dawah carriers in the Ummah today have forgotten

this lesson? How many of them in one way or another seek a reward or a payment from the

creation? How many government scholars endorse the regimes that do not rule by the Law of

Allah (swt)? How many a convention has come and gone and not one of the speakers in them

has ever mentioned the Islamic State? How many dawah carriers today charge a fee for the

knowledge of this Din or to attend their classes? How could they have forgotten Allah (swt) so?

Why do they focus only on this world? When they have forgotten even this basic rule then how

can we be sure that the knowledge which comes from them is correct?

        The second condition that the scholars and the dawah carriers need to have is that they

need to be on guidance. This means that they need to follow the sacred text that Allah (swt) has

revealed. Every idea that they bring, every idea that they call to, must have a basis in the Quran

and Sunnah. They have to be who they claim that they are, and that is the representatives of

Allah (swt). We only follow them because we believe that they represent our Lord. They speak on

behalf of our Creator. Otherwise we would never follow them. Who are they that they deserve for

us to follow them or even listen to them? They are human beings just like us. They have

weaknesses just like us. They make mistakes just like us. They leave a foul smell when they use

the restroom just like we do. So who are they for us to follow them? They only have credence if

what they call to can be found in the Quran and Sunnah. Otherwise they are nothing and they do

not deserve for us to follow them.

        So whenever you take any knowledge or whenever you accept any idea from any scholar

or student of knowledge, ask them for their evidence for what they say. The evidence of course is

an ayah of the Quran or a hadith of the Prophet (saw). If they do not bring this, if they simply ask

you to follow them because of who they are, then realize that they are not worth you following

them. Realize that they have not fulfilled this basic criterion that Allah (swt) has established in this

ayah. This never used to be a problem in the past when the Ummah had knowledge of this Din

and they had knowledge of Arabic. Every scholar would always bring evidences for the ideas that




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he presented and the people would be able to understand those evidences. But what has

happened is that our knowledge of the Din and our knowledge of Arabic has declined to such a

level that we ourselves cannot always understand the evidences when they are presented to us.

That is why many in the Ummah have consigned themselves to blindly follow their “scholars”.

They simply accept the fact that they no knowledge and so they must take blindly from those

whom they think have knowledge. So they end up following those who are not on guidance but

those who only follow their lusts and desires. As a consequence of this the entire Ummah can be

lead astray. The only way to save ourselves from this fate is to gain knowledge of this Din

ourselves and then to question the scholars who are speaking to the Ummah. To ensure that

what they are brining is based on guidance. May Allah (swt) give us the enabling grace!




23. “And what is there for me if I should not serve the One Who originated me, and to Him

you (all) will return”.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to tell us of the dawah of that one righteous man to his

people. Most of this section of the Surah is not speaking about the dawah of the messengers but

it is speaking about the dawah of this man. This shows once again how we should never belittle

the dawah that we do. Even if the entire nation were to reject the dawah, there still might be one

who accepts it. This one would be worth all of our efforts. Like this man that one might become of

the most righteous and the nearest to Allah (swt). If this was true then all of our striving would be

worthwhile. Because the Prophet (saw) has told us that if Allah (swt) guides even one person

through our dawah then that would be better for us than all of the treasures of this world.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by telling us how this man said “And what is there for me if

I should not serve the One Who originated me”. Here this righteous man asks himself a

question. He asks himself what he has to gain by turning away from the servitude of Allah (swt).




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He knows that Allah (swt) deserves to be served because He (swt) is the One Who originated

him. He would not even know of existence were it not for Allah (swt). The Arabic word Fatir that

Allah (swt) uses here is beautiful. It gives the meaning of bringing something into existence from

nothing. This is what Allah (swt) has done with all of us. We were nothing. We did not even know

of existence. Then He (swt) brought us into being from nothing. So realize that just the fact that

you are tasting existence at this moment is a gift from Him (swt) for which you have done nothing

to Him (swt) to deserve. Does not then the One Who brought you into existence deserve your

complete submission and total servitude? How could you give to Him (swt) anything less? When

every moment of your existence is only possible because of Him (swt) how then can you give that

moment to other than Him (swt)? Now of course most of us will not reach this ideal of where we

are serving Allah (swt) at every second of our lives. But this is the goal towards which we should

be striving. Even if we never reach it we should always be journeying towards it.

        So this man realized Who Allah (swt) IS and what he owes to Him (swt). That is why he

asks himself the question of what he has to gain by turning away from this servitude? When one

realizes the Majesty and the Glory of Allah (swt), the absolute Purity and Perfection of Allah (swt),

what then does one have to gain by turning away from serving Him (swt)? There is only this

world. This world doomed for destruction. This world filled with suffering and pain. This world

where every pleasure is transient. This world when there is hardly a moment without some pain

or discomfort. What is this world when compared to Allah (swt)? It is nothing. Is it then worth it to

forsake the servitude of Allah (swt) only for this world? This is what this righteous man wants his

people to realize by him asking them this question.

        Now of course the servitude of our Lord does not require us to forsake the world

completely. In fact in His (swt)’s Mercy Allah (swt) has allowed us to partake in and enjoy much of

this world. So Allah (swt) is not asking us to spend our entire life on the floor in prostration, nor is

He (swt) asking us to forsake everything of this world. Rather He (swt) only asks us to abide by

His (swt)’s Law. This is what it means to serve Him (swt). The servitude of Allah (swt) is nothing

but following His (swt) Divine Law. So make your five daily Salah, pay your Zakat if you can afford

to, fast in Ramadan, and make the Hajj if you are able to. At the same time avoid the major sins,




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and do what you can to learn knowledge of this Din and teach it to others. Do what you can to

teach the Muslims what Islam really is. Do what you can to carry this Message to others. This is

all that Allah (swt) asks of you. If you can do more than it is only better for you. But do not allow

the world to distract you from this. Do not allow the world to distract you from these few acts of

servitude that you have to your Lord.

        Then the man says to his people “and to Him you (all) will return”. The simple fact that

Allah (swt) is the Originator of every single human being should be enough of a reason for us all

to worship and serve Him (swt). But this reason was not enough for the people of the city. They

still turned away from the purpose of their creation. So here the man gives them another reason.

Another reason why they should dedicate themselves to Allah (swt). This reason why we should

all serve Allah (swt) is because one Day soon we will all return to Him (swt). We all came from

Allah (swt) and one Day soon we will all return to Him (swt). This Day is sooner that you think. So

if you turned away from serving your Lord. If you chose yourself over Him (swt). Even when the

Message came to you if you still turned away from it. If you threatened the messengers with a

painful punishment and made false accusations against them, then what will you do on the Day

that you return to Him (swt)? What excuse will you give when you are standing before Him (swt)?

        So realize this other important reason why Allah (swt) deserves your servitude. It is not

only because you came from Him (swt) but it is also because you will return to Him (swt). Of a

surety you are going back to Him (swt). Allah (swt) did not create you and place you on this earth

to live here however way that you want. If that is what you think then you are fooling yourself.

Rather Allah (swt) created you for a very noble purpose. He (swt) created you only to journey to

Him (swt). Even at this moment you are travelling towards Him (swt). With every moment that

passes in your life you only come closer to your destination. How then will it be when you return

to Him (swt)? Will you look forward to this reunion? So never forget the nature of your existence.

With every moment that passes try to draw closer to Him (swt). If you already became close to

Allah (swt) in the life of this world, then Insha Allah when you return to Him (swt), you will return to

a close Friend and a Beloved.




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        Look from this ayah the simplicity of this dawah. Allah (swt) has given us two reasons

here why we should worship and serve Him (swt). What could be better than these two reasons?

Can you deny the fact that Allah (swt) brought you into existence? Can you deny the fact that you

are going to return to Him (swt)? How then can you turn away from Him (swt)? How can anyone

who has a sincere and pure heart be convinced of these facts and then not dedicate themselves

completely to Allah (swt)? Such is the nature of this dawah. We call the human being to the very

core of his existence. Now that you realize what this dawah is all about, how then can you turn

away from it? Why would you not want to carry it? Allah (swt) is all that matters. We came from

Him (swt) and we are going back to Him (swt). Your quest in life is to convince as many souls as

you can of this Truth. May Allah (swt) give us all the enabling grace to do this!




24. “Should I take from below Him gods, if the Most Merciful intends me harm, their

intercession will not avail me at all, nor shall they be able to save me?”

        In this ayah Allah (swt) gives yet another reason why He (swt) deserves our worship and

servitude. Allah (swt) tells us through the words of the righteous man as he speaks to his people.

What Allah (swt) had told us in the previous ayahs should be reason enough. He (swt) is the One

Who created us and He (swt) is the One to whom we will return. Our eternity then will be

determined by Him (swt). How then can we turn away from Him (swt)? How then can we seek to

spend the moments of our lives for other than Him (swt)? But here Allah (swt) still gives us more

reasons as to why we should dedicate our all for Him (swt).

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by telling us how the man said “Should I take from below

Him gods”. Here Allah (swt) reminds us of the concept of shirk. The concept of taking gods from

below Him (swt). Now of course what most of us think of here is worshipping idols or humans or

other objects besides Allah (swt). But notice here how the man does not say “worship” but rather


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He (swt) says “take”. The man is asking his people as to how he could take other “gods” besides

Allah (swt). Now the word “gods” here does not simply mean something that is worshipped but

rather it means something that one’s heart is attached to. Something that is always on one’s

mind. Something that is the purpose of one’s actions. This could be wealth. This could be desires.

This could be children. Anything that occupies the heart. The heart which was created only for

Allah (swt). So this man asks his people how he could ever take anything else besides Allah (swt)

as the purpose of his life. This is the Islamic definition of the word “god”. The One that we live for.

        Then Allah (swt) tells us how the man said “if the Most Merciful intends me harm, their

intercession will not avail me at all”. Here the man is bringing to his people a hypothetical

scenario. He asks his people to consider that if he were to dedicate his life to other than Allah

(swt), then if He (swt) were to intend to him any harm then what could these false gods do for

him. Could these false gods make intercession before Allah (swt)? Could these false gods

convince Allah (swt) not to harm him if He (swt) intended to? Why should Allah (swt) even listen

to these false gods? Who or what are they to Him (swt)? What power or authority do they have

over Him (swt)? This is what this man wants his people to realize. He wants them to realize that

there is no might nor power except with Allah (swt). If Allah (swt) wanted to harm them then there

is none that can prevent that harm. All the false gods that they have dedicated their lives to

besides their Creator cannot intercede on behalf of them at all. Not even for the slightest amounts

can they argue in front of Allah (swt). Not even the slightest of harm can they remove if He (swt)

intends for them harm. They are absolutely worthless to the Real and the True.

        This is something that we need to realize as well. Allah (swt) is the Most Merciful and for

every moment we are drowning in His (swt)’s Mercy. He (swt) is so Merciful that most of us will

never even realize the full extent of His (swt)’s Mercy. But this does not mean that He (swt) will

never touch us with harm. He (swt) may indeed intend harm to us as He (swt) describes Himself

doing in this ayah. Allah (swt) is the complete Master and Owner of this universe and He (swt) is

Free to do with it whatsoever He (swt) pleases. Allah (swt) is Free to do with us whatsoever He

(swt) pleases. So if you want to turn away from Him (swt), if you want to dedicate your life to other

than Him (swt), then who or what can save you if He (swt) should intend for you some harm?




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        Allah (swt) can intend for us so many different kinds of harm and no one and nothing can

save us from Him (swt) except Him (swt). First there is the physical harm. Allah (swt) could allow

some injury or wound to afflict us. Some disease or illness could befall us. In one way or another

Allah (swt) could allow pain to befall us in the life of this world. Then there is the financial harm.

Allah (swt) could make us to lose our means of sustenance or else all of our wealth could

disappear. We could find ourselves in need and without all of the things of this world that we are

used to having. However much worse than all of these is the spiritual harm. Allah (swt) could

allow us become distant from Him (swt). Allah (swt) could allow us forget about Him (swt). The

Light of Faith could seep out of our hearts. How terrible would this be? If this were the harm to

befall us then we would feel the worst of pain both in this life and in the next.

        So our only hope lies in turning to Allah (swt). Only He (swt) can save us from all of this

harm. Anything else that we dedicate our lives to will not be able to save us from Him (swt). They

cannot even make intercession before Him (swt) on our behalf. Simply look at the words which

Allah (swt) uses in this ayah. He (swt) tells us that all of the false gods which the people have

chosen to dedicate their lives to instead of Him (swt) cannot benefit them in the least if He (swt)

were to intend them some harm. They cannot do a single thing at all whatsoever. See then how

worthless and powerless are these false gods. How then can you have any hope in them? Why

would you give the precious moments in your life to them? It is utter foolishness. So realize now

that there is no might nor power except with Allah (swt). If you give yourself to Him (swt) then you

are safe but if you turn away from Him (swt) then who can save you from Him (swt)?

        In the final part of this ayah Allah (swt) tells us how the man in the city said “nor shall

they be able to save me”. Not only will these false gods not be able to make intercession but

they even will not be able to save anyone to whom Allah (swt) intends harm. These false gods

have neither favor nor power with Allah (swt). They cannot help themselves or anyone else. Do

not think that this ayah is only speaking about idols or gods that are worshipped. No the Quran is

a Book of guidance for all generations of Muslims. So even for our generation it is a guidance.

Today most of us do not prostrate before idols. But many of us do consider something else in our

lives as more important than Allah (swt). We live for that instead of living for our Lord. Allah (swt)




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asks in this ayah if any of such false gods can save us from Him (swt). Allah (swt) created you to

worship and serve Him (swt). He (swt) is sustaining you at every moment so that you would fulfill

this purpose for your creation. Now if you were to turn away from Him (swt) for something else,

then do you think that this thing can save you from Him (swt)? Realize how foolish such thinking

is. Allah (swt) is telling you here that the false gods cannot save you from Him (swt). Is this not a

threat? Once you have this knowledge what then do you think will happen to you if you continue

to cling to your false gods. How can you feel safe? May Allah (swt) help us all to realize what He

(swt) is telling us here! May Allah (swt) allow us to turn away from all else except Him (swt)!




25. “Then I would surely be in clear misguidance”.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us how the righteous man continued to address his people.

In the previous ayahs we saw how he gave them one reason upon another as to why they should

dedicate themselves completely to Allah (swt). They were reminded of how Allah (swt) is their

Originator, the One Who brought them into existence. They were reminded of how they would all

return to Him (swt). Then He (swt) would be the One to decide where they would spend all

eternity. Then they were reminded about how even in this life, if Allah (swt) were to intend for

them some harm then none of their false gods could even intercede on behalf of them before

Allah (swt) for that harm to be averted. These false gods cannot do anything for them at all. Not in

the least bit could they avail them. In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us how this man continued to

address his people.

        Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah how this man said to his people “Then I would surely be

in clear misguidance”. Here he is telling his people that if he were to take a false god besides

Allah (swt) then he would surely be in clear error. The Arabic word dalal actually gives a far

deeper meaning than simply “misguidance”. It means to be completely lost and astray. It means

that you have no idea what you are doing and what your purpose is. It means that you are




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completely blind to the reality around you. This is the fate of all those who would turn away from

Allah (swt) and towards false gods. They do not even realize what is the purpose of their

existence. They do not know where they came from or where they are going. They spend their

entire existence chasing after illusions. Completely lost and astray. This is just one of their

torments for choosing to turn away from the Real and the True. Allah (swt) describes their

misguidance in this ayah as “clear”. This means that they are so astray that there is no doubt

about the fact that they are misguided. Not even for moment do they comprehend the true reality

of the universe. They are far away from where they should be. They should be with Allah (swt)

but they distant from Him (swt). Their distance from Him (swt) is clear for all to see.

        Now of course the opposite of misguidance is Guidance, and that is what the true

believers have. If you dedicate yourself to Allah (swt), if you make Him (swt) as the purpose of

your existence and you do everything for Him (swt), then never for one moment would you be

lost. How wonderful would it be to have this guidance? To know what you are doing on this earth.

To know for certain where you came from and where you are going. For every moment of your

life to never be confused or lost. To always know what is the right decision to make. This is what

you will be given if only you dedicate yourself to your Creator. Why then would you not want to?

Especially when you consider the alternative.




26. “Surely I have believed in your Lord, so listen to me”.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) shows us those people whom He (swt) is most pleased with and

then He (swt) shows us what should be our relationship with such people. Once again Allah (swt)

gives us these lessons through the words of this righteous man who carried dawah to his people.

Simply look at the wisdom and the insight of this man. Look at how he completely realized and

comprehended the true reality of the universe. He was in a society that was completely heedless

of Allah (swt). A society that was drowning in sin and corruption. But out of the snake pit comes a




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beacon of shining light. We can even see this same occurrence in the world happening in our

times. For example look at the West today. Are there not many Muslim youth in the West today

who have a correct and sound understanding of this Din? A much better understanding than their

parents who often times came from Muslim lands. They are practicing this Din, they are sincere in

their servitude of Allah (swt), and they realize the great responsibility that they have been given.

Thus does Allah (swt) raise His (swt)’s soldiers from where you would least expect. Similar was

this man. He realized the truth of what the messengers called to. He realized Allah (swt) and he

gave everything to Him (swt). He did this even though he came from a society of such darkness

and corruption. Allah (swt) made him into a light for his people.

         Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah how this man said to his people “Surely I have believed

in your Lord, so listen to me”. Notice how he does not refer to Allah (swt) as “my Lord” but

rather he says “your Lord”. This is to remind the people that Allah (swt) is just as much their Lord

as He (swt) is for the man. Allah (swt) is the Lord for all creation. From nothing did Allah (swt)

bring everything into existence, and for every moment He (swt) sustains all things. In return for

this He (swt) demands the worship and servitude of everything. Thus this man reminds his people

of the fact that they too have a responsibility to dedicate themselves to Allah (swt) just like he has

done. Allah (swt) is their Lord just like He (swt) is for all creation.

         This man tells his people to listen to him because he has believed in Allah (swt). Here

this man is reminding his people that he is the one who has a correct perception of the reality.

This man believes in Allah (swt) as He (swt) should be believed in. The people of the city do not.

Who then understands the reality correctly and who is ignorant of it? Who comprehends the true

nature of existence and who does not? Should not the ones who do not know then listen to the

one who knows? These people should realize that their beliefs are false and that the belief of this

man is true. On account of that they should listen to him. On account of that they should take their

knowledge from him. On account of that they should let him tell them about the world and about

what they are doing here. The fact that this man believes with a true and deep conviction. The

fact that Allah (swt) has opened his heart to the light of faith. The fact that he follows the guidance

of the messengers. Because of that is why he should be listened to.




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        So one lesson that we can take from this ayah is to see that Iman or the true and deep

conviction in the Truth of this Message is the most beloved of acts to Allah (swt). This man chose

to believe in this Message, and because of that Allah (swt) loved him. The words of this man

testifying to his Iman are the words that Allah (swt) tells us about in His (swt)’s Book. Does this

not show us how beloved Iman is to Allah (swt)? In the end, when all is said and done, Iman is

the difference between eternity in the Fire and eternity in the Garden. Do you then realize how

important it is? So make certain that you pass away with Iman in your heart. Make certain that

your children have Iman in their hearts. When we are surrounded by kufr on all sides, even from

the Muslim community, we see how important it is to hold on to Iman. Hold on and never let go.

        Iman is derived from a root word that means peace and security. We see how this

meaning is true when it comes to our faith. When we believe we feel safe. We feel that there is no

harm that can come to us from the creation either in this life or the next. All that we fear is our

Lord. And even that fear is not a negative fear because we are certain that He (swt) will never

harm us unless we deserve that harm and we are certain that He (swt) will never do any injustice

to us. We believe in Allah (swt) and because of that we feel secure. This is a serenity and inner

peace that most in this world search for but only the true believers ever find.

        Another lesson that we can take from this ayah is to realize who it is that we must listen

to. We must listen to the people of Iman. We must listen to the people of deep faith and

conviction. They should be the ones whom we should take our knowledge from. They should be

the ones to tell us about the world. They should be the ones whose advice is sought. Now of

course only Allah (swt) Knows who truly has Iman in their hearts and who does not. So we should

not follow anyone blindly. The only person who deserves to be followed without question is the

Prophet (saw). However if we are going to lend an ear to someone then we should lend an ear to

those who seem to have Iman. Those people who have the signs of Iman on them. The first and

foremost sign of Iman is humility. The people of deep faith are the ones who do not have much

room in their hearts for pride or arrogance. They are humble before Allah (swt) and not think

much of themselves. This is because they recognize the Majesty and Glory of their Lord and their

own worthlessness. The next sign of Iman is that such people have a love for the Book of Allah




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and the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw). They refer all of their affairs back to these sources of

Light. Any idea which they present to you is an idea for which they will give their evidence from

the Quran and Sunnah. The next sign is that they are obedient to the Law of Allah (swt). They

never commit any of the major sins and they refrain themselves as much as possible from the

minor sins. They also fulfill all of their trusts and obligations. If they do this then they are most

likely the people of Imam, and they deserve for us to listen to them. May Allah (swt) give us the

enabling grace to find the people of Iman and to keep their company!




27. (When it was said to him) “Enter the Garden”. He said “Oh would that my people had

known”.

        There is much that happens between this ayah and the previous ayah which Allah (swt)

does not explicitly tell us about. This is also part of the Miracle of the Quran. This is a Book that is

filled with so much meaning and so much guidance, but it is has only a finite number of words. So

based on this ayah and the previous one we can know of all that happened in between. Recall

from the previous ayahs how this righteous man carried dawah to his people. He reminded his

people of how the messengers called them to Allah (swt). He showed his people the qualities that

the messengers had which made them worthy to be followed. He also showed his people the

beauty of guidance and the ugliness of misguidance. He told his people to listen to him because

of the fact that he had believed. But do you think that his people listened to him? Allah (swt) tells

us in this ayah what happened.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “(When it was said to him) Enter the Garden”.

In Arabic these are only three small words, beautiful and poetic, but look how much meaning they

have. First we see that this man is being told to enter the Garden. From this we can imply that he

was killed. Not only was he killed but he was killed by his people because of the fact that he

called them to Allah (swt). This man was killed and at the exact moment when his soul left his




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body, his soul found itself at the gates of the Garden. That was when it was told to him to enter

the Garden. We know that the one who dies as a martyr, the one who dies while striving to

establish the Law of Allah (swt) in the land and carrying the Message of Allah (swt) to the people,

will go straight to the Garden. They will never see their grave, they will never see the Day of

Judgment, they will never seek the Reckoning and the Judgment. Within a fraction of a second

their souls leave this world and they find themselves at the gates of the Garden. This is the Love

that Allah (swt) has for those who sacrifice their lives in His (swt)’s cause. What then could be

better than this? When you realize this then how else would you wish to leave this world?

        Among the other meanings that we can take from this part of the ayah alone is to see

how the people of the city rejected the dawah of this man. Even though he gave them so many

reasons why they should believe. Even though he presented them with undeniable proofs and

arguments. Even though he himself was of them. They still rejected him. Not only did they reject

him but they also killed him. How evil are a people who would murder a man only because he

reminds them of their Creator and Sustainer. Only because he reminds them of the Real and the

True. Even greater than the injustice that they have done to this righteous man and the injustice

they have done to their own souls is the injustice that they have done to Allah (swt). How could a

people be so cruel to the One Who created them, the One Who sustains them for every moment

of their existence, to the Perfect One and the Pure One? How could a people turn away like this

from the Divine? There are not even words to describe the evil that they have done.

        Another of the meanings that we can derive from this part of the ayah alone is to realize

the great reward that this righteous man has been given. First of all notice in the ayah how

someone is speaking with him. This could either be the angels or it could be Allah (swt) Himself.

In either case how much of an honor and a blessing it must have been for him to hear these

words? Imagine if you were being addressed by the noble angels. Imagine if you were being

addressed by Allah (swt) Himself! Not only are you being spoken to, but you are being told the

best of words that can ever be told to any soul. You are being told to enter the Garden. Could you

possibly feel any joy in the life of this world as you would feel at that moment? Do you even

realize what the Garden is? The Garden is pleasure and joy that is beyond all imagination. The




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Garden is the fulfillment of every joy that you could possibly ever have. The Garden is the

removal of every pain, sorrow, discomfort, anxiety and fear. The Garden is physical pleasures

and spiritual pleasures, and the spiritual pleasures therein are far greater than the physical.

Because in the Garden at every single moment you are glorifying Allah (swt), you are making

Tasbih to Him (swt) and declaring how absolutely perfect He (swt) IS. When you truly know your

Lord then what could give you a greater pleasure than this? This is what this man had been

given. This is what you could be given as well if only you would dedicate your life to this Din and

this dawah.

        In the next part of the ayah Allah (swt) tells us how this man said “Oh would that my

people had known”. Here he is regretting and lamenting because his people did not have

knowledge. He wishes that his people could have known. His people were among the ignorant

and that was why chose the terrible fate that befell them. Now what knowledge is it that these

people did not have? Of course it was the knowledge of Allah (swt). They did not know their

Creator. They were completely heedless of Him (swt). They did not realize His (swt)’s Majesty

and Sublimity. Because of this they were veiled from Him (swt). Because of this they did not truly

know Him (swt). They knew that they had a Creator but they did not truly know Him (swt). They

thought that He (swt) would just create the human being and let him be. They did not realize how

Perfect and Majestic and Glorious He (swt) was. How He (swt) demanded the worship and the

servitude of every single thing. This was how ignorant these people were to the Divine and True.

Not only did these people not have any knowledge about Allah (swt) but they were also ignorant

of the Message that He (swt) sent. They did not know what He (swt) had told them in this

Message concerning the angels, the prophets, the books and the Last Day. They were also

ignorant of the Fire and the Garden. They did not know it with a true and certain knowledge. That

is why this righteous man was sad. Even as he was being told to enter the Garden he had this

worry for his people. He only wishes that they had known the Truth which he knew. The Truth

which he tried his best to tell them but they would not listen. Now as he is being told to enter the

Garden he wishes that his people could have known. He wishes that his people could have

known the joy and the felicity of truly knowing the Divine.




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        One lesson that we can take from this is to realize the importance of knowledge. We see

that if only these people had knowledge then they would have been saved. Knowledge is what

feeds Iman. The more that we know about Allah (swt) the more certain that we would be about

Him (swt). The more that we know about Allah (swt) the more that we would love Him (swt). The

same is true for the Message that He (swt) has sent. How can you say that you have certainty in

Allah (swt) and in the Message that He (swt) has sent without knowledge? How can you love

someone whom you do not even know? How can you practice a Din which you have no

knowledge about? We know that the denizens of the Fire will cry with regret because they did not

have knowledge in the life of this world. Similarly we know that the people of the Garden are the

scholars. So how then can you let the moments in your life pass you by without striving to gain

the knowledge of this Message that your Lord has sent you?




28. “With what great bounty my Lord has forgiven me and made me of the honored ones” .

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to tell us about the speech of this righteous man. See

here how many ayahs Allah (swt) dedicated in His (swt)’s Book only for this man. We do not even

know his name for certain, we do not know his occupation or his family or what he looked like. We

do not know anything about him. All that we know about him is that he did dawah. But this should

be more than enough for us because we know that it was for this reason that he became so

beloved to Allah (swt). So we are reminded here once again as to what is the most pleasing of

acts to our Lord. How can you call yourself a believer and then not dedicate yourself to the

spread of this Message? The least that you can do is teach others of the Quran that you learn

here or at least tell them about this website.

        Recall from the previous ayah how this man was lamenting because his people did not

have the knowledge that he had. He wished that his people had the knowledge of Allah (swt) that

he did. He wished that his people truly knew their Lord like he did. In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us




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about another knowledge that this man wished his people had. Allah (swt) tells us how this man

said “With what great bounty my Lord has forgiven me”. Now the man realized what was his

true station with Allah (swt). Now the man saw all that Allah (swt) had given him of the Garden

and the pleasures therein. He saw how Allah (swt) had given him a place near to Him (swt). But

he also knew that before the Message came he used to be a sinner. Just like the people of the

city he also used to immerse himself in the world and he was heedless of his Creator. So why

then should he be given all of these gifts and bounties? Why then should he have the Garden and

a station of nearness to Allah (swt)? Is that what sinners and criminals deserve? The reason why

he had been given all of this despite his sins and shortcomings was because Allah (swt) had

forgiven him. Allah (swt) had completely forgiven him for all of the wrong that he had done. If his

sins were like an ocean than the Forgiveness of Allah (swt) was an even greater ocean that

drowned the ocean of his sins. So great and so wide was the Forgiveness of Allah (swt) on this

man that it covered all of his sins and all of his moments of heedlessness. Here we see how he

wishes that his people could have seen this Mercy that his Lord has had on him. If only they

would have realized the Forgiveness of Allah (swt) then they never would have despaired or

given up hope. They could have seen that no matter how many sins they may have done in the

past, if they were to repent and truly dedicate themselves to Allah (swt) like this man had done,

then they too would have been completely forgiven. They too would have been able to go straight

to the Garden just like this man. If only they would have known the Forgiveness of Allah (swt).

        So one lesson that we can take from this part of the ayah is to never underestimate the

Forgiveness of Allah (swt). This man went to the Garden. He saw how Allah (swt) had forgiven

him despite all of the evil that he had done. So he realized the vastness of the Forgiveness of his

Lord. We who are still on this earth have not come to this realization. So Shaitan can sometimes

trick us and make us think that Allah (swt) is never going to forgive us. He can make us believe

that we are all destined for the Fire so we might as well enjoy this world while we have it. If you

ever find yourself inclining towards such a thought then remember this ayah. Remember how

surprised even this man was at the great Bounty that was the Forgiveness of his Lord. No matter

what sin you do Allah (swt) will never doom you. You will only doom yourself if you choose not to




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return to Him (swt) after your sin. You doom yourself when you choose not to ask for His (swt)’s

Forgiveness. Realize now that despite the greatness and the extent of your sin, the danger is

never that Allah (swt) would turn away from you but the danger is that you might turn away from

Him (swt). So no matter what sin you may have done always strive to come back to your Lord. As

we see from here the Forgiveness of our Lord is far greater than we can possibly ever imagine.

        Another lesson that we can take from this part of the ayah is to realize how humble this

man was before his Lord and how there was not a trace of arrogance in him. Even though he died

as a martyr in the Way of Allah (swt), he does not attribute his entering the Garden to himself.

Rather he attributes it to Allah (swt) forgiving his sins. In other words he is saying that if Allah

(swt) had not forgiven his sins then he would not have been able to enter the Garden. This is also

the attitude that we must have. We must never be proud of the good that we do, rather we should

always think about our sins and shortcomings. We should always feel that we could improve

ourselves. That we can travel even closer to our Lord. The first step in this journey is to clean our

hearts of all pride and realize our slavehood and nothingness before Him (swt).

        This man also wished that his people could have known how Allah (swt) had “made me

of the honored ones”. Not only did Allah (swt) forgive this man all of the wrong that he had done,

but He (swt) also made him among the honored. Even honor is something that must be granted

by Allah (swt). You cannot buy honor with wealth and you cannot force the people to honor you

because of your power. This is something that is only for Allah (swt) to grant and He (swt) grants

it to those whom He (swt) is pleased with. This man’s people looked down upon him in the life of

this world. They thought him to be insignificant. They did not listen to his advice and they did not

think much of killing him. But Allah (swt) honored him and raised him far above them. These lowly

people who chased after this world were only honorable in their own eyes, but this man was

honored in the Sight of the Real and the True. Who then has the true honor?

        So another lesson that we can take from this ayah is to realize how honor and dignity

comes only from Allah (swt). When we realize this then how sad is it to see Muslims seek honor

and dignity from other than Allah (swt)? How sad is it that we believe we can find honor by

copying those who are heedless of Allah (swt) and those who turn away from Him (swt)? On the




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contrary there is no honor and dignity in such people. Only in their eyes and only by the

standards which they have established do they think that they have honor. They think that honor

comes from this world. They think that honor comes from having more and more possessions of

this world. Do they not know how little Allah (swt) thinks of this world? Allah (swt) is the One Who

has true Knowledge of this world and so He (swt) is the One to make the correct estimation of it.

He (swt) has already told us that this world in His (swt)’s Sight is not even worth the wing of a

mosquito. How then can you hope to find honor in it? This righteous man did not seek any honor

for himself. He gave his life for the dawah, he gave his life to Allah (swt). Because of that Allah

(swt) made him among the honored. Now you know where honor lies.

        Another lesson that we can take from this ayah is to realize how this man cared for his

people. Despite the fact that they rejected his dawah. Despite the fact that they did not listen to

his pleas to spare the messengers. Despite the fact that they looked down on him and considered

him to be worthless. Despite the fact that they brutally murdered him. He still cared for them. He

was distraught that they did not gain the knowledge that he had. He was distraught that they did

not come to the realization of the Forgiveness of Allah (swt) that he came to. So despite their evil

he still cared for his people. He still longed for them to be guided to their Creator. So too must we

also care for the ones whom we carry this Message to. We must never think that we are better

than them. We must never think that they are evil or that Allah (swt) hates them. Only Allah (swt)

Knows their hearts and He (swt) is the One to judge them. For our part we should carry this

Message to the best of our ability and hope that He (swt) guides them. The moment that we start

thinking that we are better than them is the moment that Shaitan can put some trace of arrogance

in our hearts. This then would be the worst of calamites because we know that there is nothing

that is more displeasing to Allah (swt) than arrogance and pride. So just like this man we have to

always think the best of all people, we have to hope for the best for all people. If we cannot find it

within ourselves to love them for ourselves then we should at least love them for Allah (swt).




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29. And We did not send down on his people after him any army from the sky, nor had We

ever sent.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us what was the fate of the people of the city. The people

who were given many material pleasures and comforts. The people who made such

advancements in science and technology. The people who adopted materialism and secularism

as a way of life. The ones who rejected Allah (swt) and the Message that He (swt) sent. The ones

who thought that they did not need Allah (swt). The ones who thought that the purpose of life was

life itself. The ones who lived only to gather as much material riches as possible and to enjoy

themselves as much as possible. In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us what was their fate.

        Allah (swt) begins by saying “And We did not send on his people after him any army

from the sky”. Here Allah (swt) reminds us of the righteous man who had given his life for the

dawah. The people of the city are referred to in the ayah as “his people”. This is another way in

which Allah (swt) honors him. Not only that but Allah (swt) is also showing us how these people

are being punished because of their rejection of him. They were punished because they reviled

him and because they slaughtered him. Although this man had hoped for the best for his people,

Allah (swt) Knew the evil that was in their hearts. He (swt) Knew that they had received the

Message correctly and that they had turned away from it. So Allah (swt) Knew how they had

made themselves deserving of the punishment. First and foremost for their turning away from

their Creator. Then for their killing the messengers and the dawah carriers. Allah (swt) tells us in

this ayah that He (swt) did not send down on the people of this man any army from the sky. Now

we know that usually when Allah (swt) decides to punish a people He (swt) sends down angels

from the sky to punish them. But here Allah (swt) tells us that He (swt) did not send down any

angels upon these people. This does not mean that these people were not punished. Rather it

means that Allah (swt) Himself punished them. There was no need for any angels.


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        Then Allah (swt) says “nor had We ever sent”. This statement is to stress and

emphasize the fact that no angels and no army whatsoever were ever sent down on these

people. Never had Allah (swt) ever sent down any army against these people. There was no need

to. Their punishment was one that Allah (swt) carried out Himself (swt). This shows us how

angered Allah (swt) must have been with these people that He (swt) would destroy them Himself

(swt). When you are truly angered with someone then you yourself want to be the one to punish

them. Such is how angered Allah (swt) with these people.

        When we realize from this ayah how angered Allah (swt) had become with these people

then we must realize how much we must strive to save ourselves from becoming like them. As we

mentioned the root cause for the evil of these people was their love of this world. Through

technology and innovation Allah (swt) had opened up this world for them. That was why they

were referred to as the “companions” of the city. We also have to remember that our situation in

the world today is also very similar to their situation. We also have been given more and more of

this world. We also have comforts and pleasures that our ancestors never had. For those of us

who are living in the West this is even truer. Our standard of living is much higher than that of our

Muslim brothers and sisters in third world countries. Now we have to make certain that we do not

become deceived by all of this. We have to make certain that what happened to them does not

happen to us. We can see how angered Allah (swt) became with a people who turned away from

Him (swt) because of this world. We can see how angered Allah (swt) became with a people who

were ungrateful for all of the bounties and gifts that He (swt) bestowed on them of this world. So

when we are given of this world, we should never let it make us arrogant and think that we are

better than those who have not been given all of this. Realize that arrogance is in fact the worst of

sins. How are we better than the Prophet (saw) and the Sahabah? How are we better than those

Muslims in third world countries who right now do not even have clean water to drink? We are not

better than them. But Allah (swt) has given us more than He (swt) gave them. Because of this we

have to double and redouble in our efforts to please Him (swt). We have to strive to show our

gratitude to Him (swt). We have to make ourselves even more humble before Him (swt). So every




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time you are given a blessing in this world then remember your Lord Who gave it you. Then strive

in your life to do more to please Him (swt) in order that you may thank Him (swt) for it.




30. It was not but a single shout, and then they were all extinguished.

        In the previous ayahs Allah (swt) told us how He (swt) did not sent down any angels from

the heavens to destroy the people of the city. He (swt) told us how He (swt) destroyed them

Himself (swt). In this ayah He (swt) tells us how He (swt) destroyed them. Look at the way in

which Allah (swt) describes their punishment in this ayah. Consider once again their crime and

then consider the way in which they were punished. Realize then that these were a people who

had earned the Wrath of Allah (swt). They earned His Wrath because they chose to turn away

from Him (swt) for this world. They were given more and more of this world but it only increased

them in their ingratitude to Him (swt). It only increased them in their heedlessness of Him (swt).

Let a description of their punishment put a fear in you. Let this fear then motivate you to strive to

never become like them.

        Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah that their punishment was only a single shout and then

they were all destroyed. So their punishment was a deafening sound wave. A sound wave so

powerful that it killed everyone who heard it. Can you imagine how painful of a punishment this

must have been? You know how your whole body can shake when you hear an extremely loud

noise. Now think about a noise that is so loud that it kills everyone who hears it. How painful must

it have been for those who heard it. Allah (swt) is the Most Merciful. Allah (swt) is the Most

Loving. Allah (swt) is the Most Kind. But these people had done so much evil, they had caused so

much corruption and bloodshed, they had been so proud and arrogant, that they had even made

a Being so Kind and Merciful enraged with them. It was only a single shout. A single shout and

then they were all destroyed. This is how displeased He (swt) is by those who do not show thanks

for all the bounties and blessing that He (swt) bestows. This is how displeased He (swt) is with

those who harm the sincere dawah carriers.



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        One lesson that we can take from this is to remind ourselves once again that we cannot

always think of Allah (swt) as the Forgiving and the Merciful. Why would Allah (swt) tell us about

these people and about the terrible fate that befell them except to warn us and to put fear into us?

Should not then this fear motivate us to strive to save ourselves from becoming like them?

Remember that the two greatest crimes of these people was their arrogance and their overflowing

love for this world. See then if you have these traits within yourself and strive to rid yourself of it.

        The linguistic word that Allah (swt) uses here to describe this deafening sound wave is a

“shout”. It is the kind of shout that one would make when they are extremely distressed or

extremely enraged. Now we are not saying that these people literally heard the actual sound of

Allah (swt) shouting, but a connotation of that meaning is what is hinted at in the ayah. Look at

how Allah (swt) describes it as being only a single shout. That means that this noise was so

powerful that they only needed to hear it once. They only heard it once and they all died

immediately from the sheer intensity and pain of it. Now usually you would shout when you are

angry with someone. So how angry must Allah (swt) have been with these people for them to

hear such a terrible shout? Do you then realize Who your Lord IS? Do you then realize how this

life is not a joke? Do you then realize how much you have to strive in order to please Him (swt)

and in order to stay away from His (swt)’s Wrath? May Allah (swt) give us the enabling grace!

        What was the result of these people hearing this deafening sound wave? Allah (swt) says

“and then they were all extinguished”. They were no more. They were all completely dead. The

shout was so powerful that it did not spare any of them. Not a single one of them survived. As

soon as they killed the messengers and the righteous man, they then heard this terrible shout.

Within moments they were all dead. But those few moments were the most terrible and painful of

moments of their lives. The Arabic word that Allah (swt) uses here to describe their final fate in

this world is beautiful. It is the same word that one would use to describe a fire that is

extinguished. These people were like a fire. Burning with their desires for this world. Burning with

their arrogance and pride. Then it was but a single shout. A deafening and terrible shout. And

then they were all extinguished. They burned no more but they were but lifeless bodies on the

earth. Such is the fate of all those who turn away from the Real and the True.




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31. O regret for the slaves, there did not come to them from the messengers except that

they used to mock him.

        We saw in the previous ayah the terrible punishment with which the people of the city

were destroyed. It was but a single deafening shout that killed all of them. In this ayah Allah (swt)

comments on this punishment that befell them. Notice here that it is Allah (swt) Himself (swt) Who

is speaking and then notice the power of the language. So terrible and so disastrous was the fate

that befell these people. This is what our Lord wants us to realize. As horrible as the punishment

was that befell them, what was even worse was the intense regret that they felt after the

punishment. This is what Allah (swt) wants us to realize from this ayah. In order that perhaps we

can save ourselves from such regret.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “O regret for the slaves”. Imagine for a moment

the kind of regret that must have befell the people of the city. At that moment when they first felt

the pain of that awful cry. Imagine the kind of regret that must have flowed through them. They

finally realized at that moment that what the messengers and the righteous man had told them

was the truth. They finally realized all of the evil that they had done. They finally realized how

displeased their Lord was with them. They finally realized the pain and the torment that was in

store for them. Both in this life and in the next. Imagine then the intense regret that they must

have felt. Are there even words enough to describe this regret and anguish. This is what we have

to realize from this ayah. Look at the language in this part of the ayah. The regret is so great and

so overwhelming that Allah (swt) is calling out to it like you would call out to a person. This is the

extent of the regret. Not for Himself (swt) because we know that Allah (swt) does not regret

anything. Rather He (swt) is describing the regret that was in the hearts of these people. These




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slaves of His (swt) who were created to serve Him (swt). So great and so overflowing was their

regret. They regretted to the utmost extent such that they could not regret anymore.

        Of course the lesson that we can take from this part of the ayah is that we must strive to

avoid this regret in ourselves. If we choose to turn away from Allah (swt) today. If we choose to

do the actions that are displeasing to Him (swt), and if we fail to strive to do the actions that are

pleasing to Him (swt), then how do we know that a similar punishment will not befall us. You know

that death can come at any moment. You know that there are million ways in which you could just

fall down dead at this moment. How do you think that you would feel if such should happen while

you are in state where you are displeasing your Lord? Can you imagine the intense regret that

you would feel? You had this one chance in the life of this world to prove yourself to Allah (swt)

and you threw it away. You allowed yourself to fall into sin and heedlessness. Then what you

never thought would befall you befell you. Death caught you before you had a chance to make

Tawbah. Now you know where you would be going? You also know what you have denied

yourself. So then imagine the intense regret that you would feel. Are there even words to describe

it? This is what Allah (swt) wants to make us realize. As deep and powerful as our regret may be,

it cannot change anything. We cannot go back and do things differently. There are no second

chances. This is what we should realize. Our only hope is in the here and now. Today we should

return to Allah (swt). We should return to Allah (swt) and we should be steadfast on Him (swt).

We should be steadfast on remembering Him (swt) and on doing the actions that are pleasing to

Him (swt). So the next time that Shaitan invites you to sin or invites you to negligence and

laziness then remember this regret. There is nothing as bitter and excruciating as it.

        In the next part of the ayah Allah (swt) tells us about one of the greatest of their crimes.

One of the crimes for which they became deserving of this terrible punishment. Allah (swt) says

“there did not come to them from the messengers except that they used to mock him”.

These people used to mock all of the messengers that ever came to them. Every single

messenger. These messengers were the representatives of the Lord and Master of the universe.

Not only did these people not honor and regard them because of this but instead they mocked at

them. They would look down upon the messengers. They would ridicule and laugh at the




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messengers. They would say insulting names and phrases towards the messengers. This was

one of the greatest of their crimes. A crime for which they earned the Wrath of Allah (swt). A

crime for which they made themselves deserving of such a terrible punishment.

        One lesson that we can take from this is to realize what a great crime it is to mock the

messengers of Allah (swt). Of all the messengers we know that there is none greater than the

Prophet (saw), so what a great crime it is to mock him (saw). Mocking the Prophet (saw) is one of

the greatest of crimes that a human being can ever commit. Such that the penalty for it is death.

Regardless of who they are. Men or women. Old or young. Muslim or non-Muslim. Anyone who

insults the Prophet (saw) in any way is to be killed. Such is the Divine Law of our Lord. The

scholars say that even if someone says that the Prophet (saw)’s shirt is not clean then they are to

be killed for this. This is how hateful it is to Allah (swt) for anyone to say anything against His

beloved (saw). Even at the time of the Prophet (saw), he (saw) had people killed who were guilty

of this terrible crime. He (saw), as forgiving and kind and merciful as he (saw) was, had people

killed for this crime. Not because he (saw) himself wanted revenge but rather because this was

the Law of Allah (swt). It is that displeasing to Him (swt).

        How unfortunate is it then that today there are people who speak against the Prophet

(saw) and there are even people who mock the Prophet (saw) and yet no punishment whatsoever

is administered against them. Without a doubt these people will face a terrible torment when they

return to Allah (swt) but their crime is so great that it even in this world they should not be allowed

to live. They should not be allowed to breathe the air on the earth of Allah (swt) and eat the food

from the earth of Allah (swt) after they have spoken such against the beloved (saw) of Allah (swt).

Do any of the so called Muslim countries in the world today take any steps to see to it that such

people are killed? Even those so called countries which call themselves “Islamic”. Of course not.

        This then is yet another one of the laws of Allah (swt) that needs the true Islamic State to

be properly implemented. This is not something that can be done by individual Muslims. It is not

plausible nor is it following the way of the Prophet (saw) for individual Muslims to carry out this

punishment. In Makkah, before the Islamic State was established, there were those who used to

mock the Prophet (saw). But he (saw) never ordered such people to be killed. Even though it was




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within his power to do so. It was only when the Islamic State was established was this

punishment implemented. Then the Prophet (saw) even sent assassins to take care of those who

would speak such blasphemy. So for us to defend the honor of our prophet, for us to implement

this command of our Lord, we need to work for the restoration of the Islamic State.

        Another lesson that we can take from this ayah is to realize that even in our minds we

must not have anything but the best of thoughts towards the messengers of Allah (swt).

Especially towards the Prophet (saw). Even in our minds we cannot think anything but the best of

him (saw). We must not question anything that he (saw) did. We have to always think that

everything which he (saw) did was for the best. Everything which he (saw) did was to seek the

Pleasure of Allah (swt) with it. Never did he (saw) do anything for himself (saw). Even when he

(saw) married he (saw) married only to serve this Din. Even when he (saw) killed, he (saw) killed

for the sake of Allah (swt). There was nothing but purity in all of his thoughts and all of his actions.

He (saw) was the perfect human being. The role model created for all of mankind to emulate. So

we cannot even think anything negative about him (saw). May Allah (swt) give us the enabling

grace! May Allah (swt) allow us to love the Prophet (saw) as he (saw) should be loved!

        Another lesson that we can take from this ayah is to realize that since mocking the

messengers and especially mocking the Prophet (saw) is so displeasing to Allah (swt) then

honoring them and sending blessing upon them is an action that is most pleasing to Him(swt).

So we should always be in the habit of sending blessings upon the messengers and especially

upon the Prophet (saw). Think about the Prophet (saw). Ask Allah (swt) to bless him (saw) and

his (saw)’s family and his (saw)’s companions. Ask Allah (swt) to raise him (saw) to the highest

station in the Garden. This is something that is so easy for you to do but it is most beloved to your

Lord. So why then would you not do it? The scholars have even said that if we are ever in a

gathering and the name of the Prophet (saw) is mentioned then it is obligatory upon us to send

blessings upon him (saw) at least once. If we do not then we would be in sin.

        Realize also that honoring the Prophet (saw) is not only sending blessings upon him

(saw) but it is also striving to emulate him (saw) and striving to carry carrying on his (saw)’s

mission. What can you say about a Muslim who leaves the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) and




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emulates the way of the disbelievers in his appearance? What can you say about a Muslim who

does not realize the importance of dawah? What can you say about a Muslim who does not see

the need to work to bring back the Law of Allah (swt) to the earth? Are they not in a way mocking

the Prophet (saw) by showing such disregard for him (saw) and all that he (saw) worked for?




32. Have they not seen how many generations before them that We destroyed? Surely they

will not return to them.

        In the previous ayahs we learned of the terrible punishment that befell the people of the

city. Allah (swt) told us about the intense regret that they felt when this punishment befell them.

But how could they have been so foolish? Did they not know that their actions were angering

Allah (swt)? Did they not know that they had a responsibility to worship and serve their Creator?

That they had a duty to heed the messengers when they came? Any person should have realized

this. How can anyone think that they exist on this earth for no purpose? How could anyone turn

away from the messengers when they come with such undeniable signs? So these people had a

thousand and one reasons why they should not have ended up where they did. There was so

much that was calling them to the true purpose of their creation. So many chances did Allah (swt)

give them. Here Allah (swt) reminds us of yet another one of these.

        Allah (swt) asks us in this ayah “Have they not seen how many generations before

them that We destroyed?”. Did these people not know of the fate of those who came before

them? How many generations did Allah (swt) destroy before them? There were many nations to

whom Allah (swt) had sent messengers in the past. All these nations had turned away from their

messengers. They chose not to accept this Message even though they knew for certain that it

was indeed from their Creator. So there befell them the terrible punishment that befell them. Not a

single one of them was spared. They felt pain in the life of this world, and a far greater pain


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awaited them in the Hereafter. Did the people of the city not know of these generations of the

past? How could they not have known? The punishments of Allah (swt) are calamities of great

magnitude. Floods, storms, earthquakes. They devastate entire nations. So how could they have

not known about them? On the contrary they did know about them. They knew about them very

well but they chose to ignore it. They chose to ignore the terrible punishment that Allah (swt) sent

upon the people before them.

        Why did they ignore it? Pride and a love for this world. These are the two reasons why

people choose to turn away from Allah (swt). They are too arrogant to submit themselves before

Allah (swt). They do not want to see themselves as equals with the rest of mankind. They want to

follow their lusts and desires. They wanted to do whatever it is that they pleased. This is why they

choose to turn away from what is apparent and obvious. The fate of these former generations

was clear for all to see. Anyone with a half a mind and an eye could recognize it. But these

people chose to turn away from what their eyes showed them. Their eyes showed them the ruins

of these former nations but they chose to turn away. They had the warning but they chose not to

heed it. What excuse do they then have before Allah (swt)?

        Then Allah (swt) says “Surely they will not return to them”. These people who were

destroyed are not coming back. Once a soul leaves this world it never returns. Could these

people not realize this? People sacrifice their relationship with Allah (swt) only for the sake of this

world, but can they not realize the nature of this world. We will all be here only for a short time

and once we leave we are never coming back. All those generations who were destroyed are not

coming back. If Allah (swt) took so many souls never to return then what makes you think that

yours would be any different? Do you think that you would one day return to this world? Do you

think that you can find permanence here? Why then would you choose to stay here? Why not

make the journey to your Lord today when you know that to Him (swt) is the return of all?

        Such is the Power of Allah (swt). He (swt) can destroy entire nations and such is easy for

Him (swt). How then can you turn away from Him (swt)? How then can you live your life in

heedlessness to Him (swt)? Even today we can see manifestations of the destructive Might of our

Lord. How many natural disasters have befallen the earth in the past few years? Everything from




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hurricanes to tsunamis to earthquakes to cyclones. This earth which is so comfortable for us. This

earth which is usually so peaceful and still. How can our Lord turn it against us? How many were

the souls that left this world when these decrees of Allah (swt) came down? Are they ever going

to return? Can you then honestly feel safe? If you do then realize that it is utter stupidity on your

part? So we must make the effort to change our ways. We must make the effort to please our

Lord. May Allah (swt) enable us to take the lessons! May Allah (swt) save us from ourselves!




33. And surely every single one will be gathered before Us for the harvest.

        The Quran is a Book that describes for us the very nature of existence itself. It tells us

where we came from. It tells us where we are going. And it tells what we have to do here. It tells

us about those who are successful in this life and it tells us about those who are destroyed. In the

previous ayah Allah (swt) told us about the latter. Allah (swt) reminded us how many generations

He (swt) destroyed. All of them turned away from this Message. So all of them tasted the

consequences of their actions. They left this world never to return again. In this ayah Allah (swt)

tells us where they all went. In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us where we are all going.

        Every generation that has left this world has only destination. They are all returning to

their Creator. Notice in the ayah the emphasis with which Allah (swt) tells us how every single

generation will be gathered onto Him (swt). Allah (swt) uses not one, or two, but three words in

this ayah to emphasize how every single generation will be brought before Him (swt). This is the

emphasis with which Allah (swt) wants us to realize this. We should realize that we are not

exceptions to this rule. If every single generation who passed away before us is going to be

gathered before Him (swt) then what makes us think that we are any different. So understand

now that you are going to leave this world sooner than you think. Then you will be gathered

before your Lord. How then can you turn away from Him (swt) in the life of this world? How can

you choose to spend your moments in heedlessness or disobedience to Him (swt)?




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        Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah that we will be gathered before Him (swt) for the harvest.

This Day is when we will reap the harvest of what we have sown in this world. If you spend your

life in this world doing good then you will find the good that you did on that Day. On the other

hand if all that you planted for your Hereafter was evil, disobedience to your Lord and Master,

then that is what you will find on that Day. So this harvest of deeds is the reason for which you

will be gathered. Do you then realize how important is every moment in the life of this world? It is

why you were created and for what you will brought back.

        So the fact that we are all going to meet Allah (swt) is not what is in doubt. Every single

generation who passed away before us is going to be gathered before Him (swt) and we are no

different. The only unknown for us is whether or not Allah (swt) will be pleased with us when we

return to Him (swt). Are you going to return to your Lord with Him (swt) being pleased with you

are you going to return to Him (swt) with Him (swt) being displeased with you? Realize now that it

is your actions in the here and now that will determine this. So do not underestimate the worth of

any deed. Do not underestimate the worth of any moment. Rather strive at every moment to do

that action which you believe that He (swt) will be the most pleased with. Know that very soon

you will be gathered before Him (swt). Then you will see this moment. Then you will see this

action. Like a plant coming out from the earth you will see the harvest of what you have reaped.

Such is our existence. Our Lord tells us about it all in this Blessed Book. How important a place

then must this Book have in our lives?

        Let us contemplate further on why Allah (swt) is referring to our deeds as a harvest. This

is because it is only in the next life that the true reality of our deeds can be seen. Every single

deed that we do has a consequence in the Hereafter. It could either bring us closer to our Lord or

it could take us further away from Him (swt). It could either mean pleasure or pain. It could either

mean Allah (swt) being pleased with us or it could mean Him (swt) being displeased with us. But

in the life of this world we do not see this. We do not fully realize the significance of our actions. In

the life of this world we simply do the action and then it is over. But in the Hereafter, when we

return to Allah (swt), then we will see the true significance of that deed. We will see the reality of

that deed. We will see the consequence of that deed. Just like the farmer only sees the reality of




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what he plants when it comes out from the earth. We will see the true consequence of all that we

do on that when we return to our Lord. Of course there are some benefits to good deeds in this

life and evil deeds can harm us in this life as well. But the true reality of our deeds will only be

seen when the harvest is reaped. May Allah (swt) enable us to do the deeds that are pleasing to

Him (swt)! May Allah (swt) make our harvest one that we will be pleased with! May Allah (swt)

allow us to live by this Quran so that we could always be guided to the best of deeds!




34. And a Sign for them is the dead earth, We give life to it and bring forth from it grain,

from which they eat.

        With this ayah Allah (swt) begins a new section of the Surah. The Quran is nothing but a

Book that calls us to Allah (swt). Allah (swt) created us to worship and serve Him (swt). We forgot

this purpose for our existence. The Quran is the Book that He (swt) sent to remind us. Allah (swt)

did not need to send an entire Book. He (swt) could have simply sent a simple message telling us

that we had to dedicate ourselves to Him (swt) or else we would burn in Hell. But in His (swt)’s

Mercy He (swt) did not do that. Rather He (swt) sent an entire Book calling us to Him (swt). Every

ayah of the Quran in one way or another calls us to our Lord. In the previous ayahs Allah (swt)

called us to Him (swt) by reminding us of the examples of the previous nations. By telling us to

look at what happened to those who turned away from Him (swt). In this section He (swt) brings

our attention to signs that are in the world around us. Each of these is calling us to Him (swt).

        In this ayah Allah (swt) brings our attention to the dead earth and to how He (swt) gives

life to it. As we know this earth as a whole is also alive just like we are. Even though the earth as

a whole is alive there are some portions of it that are dead. Consider now the dead earth. Can

you plant anything on the dead earth? Will any plants or vegetation grow on the dead earth? Of

course not. The dead earth cannot benefit us in any way. We need Allah (swt) to give this earth



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life in order for it produce food for us. This is what He (swt) reminds us of in this ayah. Do you

then realize how dependent you are on Him (swt)? Can you survive without food? If you think that

you do not need Allah (swt), if you think that you can live your life in heedlessness of Him (swt)

and in disobedience to His (swt)’s Law, then see how long you can live without the food that He

(swt) produces for you. If it were not for Allah (swt) then all that you would have is the dead earth.

Dead earth that cannot do anything for you. Dead earth that cannot feed you. Thus there is a sign

for us in the dead earth. It reminds us of our Lord. It reminds us of His (swt)’s Power and

Oneness. It reminds us of our utter need of Him (swt).

        Notice how Allah (swt) connects Himself (swt) with our existence. Allah (swt) not only tells

us to worship and serve Him (swt) but He (swt) also tells us why we should. Just think about

where you would be now if you did not have food. You eat food everyday of your life. How then

can you not worship and serve the One Who provided this for you. Realize what Allah (swt) is

telling you in this ayah. The earth by itself is dead. It does not have the capacity or the

intelligence to produce for you your sustenance. It is not sentient in any way. Rather it is your

Lord Who gives the earth life and allows for your food to grow out from it. Even those in the West

will admit that there is a force which facilitates life on this planet. They may call it “mother nature”

or give it a name similar to that. But it is really Allah (swt). Allah (swt) is the One Who feeds us

every day of our lives. How then can we live our lives in heedlessness of Him (swt)?

        One lesson that we can take from this ayah is to see how Allah (swt) is encouraging us to

use our minds to come to the certainty in Him (swt) and in His (swt)’s Message. Islam is a

message that we have been presented with. But why do we believe it to be from Allah (swt)? How

do we even know that Allah (swt) is even there since we cannot see Him (swt)? Is it merely

because this is what we have been taught? Is it simply a choice that we made? Or is it a Truth

that we are thoroughly convinced of? As we see from this ayah the third of these is the path that

Allah (swt) wants us to take to Him (swt). He (swt) is showing us how His (swt)’s Signs so that

we may know that He (swt) is true and that this Message is true rather than just believe in it

based on blind faith. If Allah (swt) wanted us to believe based only on blind faith then why would

He (swt) tell us about these signs? Are not these signs encouraging us to use our minds in order




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to arrive at certainty of conviction in this Message? There are hundreds of ayahs similar to this in

the Quran. How do we explain these ayahs if we are only supposed to take our Din based on

blind faith? If we are not supposed to think and reason. So we see that the way in which we

should believe is through rational conviction and not blind faith.

         But how many Muslims today realize this? Do we mention these signs to our children or

to non-Muslims when we teach them about this Din? Do we tell them about this Message in such

a way that they would reach conviction in it? Unfortunately this is not the case. For many Muslims

today Islam is only an inheritance from their parents. Their parents simply told them that they

were Muslims rather than teaching them this Din in such a way that they would be convinced of it.

As a consequence of this the faith of many Muslims is weak. They do not have the conviction

and certainty in the Truthfulness of this Message. This is obvious in the actions of the majority of

this Ummah. How many Muslims today even pray their five daily prayers or even refrain from the

major sins? How many even remember Allah (swt) over the course of their day? Do you think that

they would think and behave in such a way if they were certain that Allah (swt) was watching

them and they would one Day soon return to Him (swt)? In this Quran Allah (swt) is teaching the

Muslims how they can arrive at certainty in their Iman, but most of them are ignorant of this. Can

you then imagine the consequences for them both in this life and the next because of this? How

distant they are from their Lord? Can you imagine the emptiness in their hearts while they are in

this world? Can you imagine the pain and torment that might await them in the Hereafter? All of

this because we have turned away from the Quran. All of this because we do not teach Islam like

the Quran does. What is even more unfortunate is that there are some who claim that we should

not arrive at our Iman through our minds. They claim that this is the way of the “deviant sects” like

the Muatizilla. If this is so, if this is not the way of the Quran then why do we find ayahs such as

this one? Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah that the dead earth is a sign for Him (swt). Is not the

purpose of a Sign to make us think and reflect? To ponder into what it points to? How then can

this be the way of deviance or innovation when there are hundreds of ayahs like this in the

Quran? Rather the real innovation is to turn away from the way of the Quran.




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        So an effort must be made to teach the Muslims the Quran’s way of proving the

Truthfulness of this Message. This is especially true for our youth. This is especially true for our

youth who are growing up in the West. Here they are surrounded by kufr on all sides. They are

surrounded by temptations and distractions. They are surrounded by foreign philosophies and

dogmas that can put doubts in their hearts about Islam. They are surrounded by materialism and

heedlessness to the Divine. What do you think will happen to the Iman of such youth if they only

believed in this Message because they were told to? If they were never shown that this Message

is true. If they are not convinced that this Message is true then what incentive do they have to

continue being Muslims when you are no longer there? Is it then any surprise that for the second

generation and onwards for the Muslims who have settled in the West their children are only

Muslim by name? Even the name is lost after some time. So try your best to teach your children

and the youth that you know the correct way of coming to their Iman. The way of the Quran.




35. And We have placed on it gardens of date-palms and grapes, and We cause to gush

forth from it springs.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to call us to Him (swt) by bringing our attention to the

signs in the world around us. This is the Quran’s way of dawah. It does not use complex logical or

philosophical arguments. Nor does it not tell us to believe only on blind faith. Nor does it not

simply play to our emotions and feelings. Rather it calls us to Allah (swt) by using the world

around us. Everything in the world around us is a sign for Allah (swt). Everything in one way or

another is manifesting the Creator Who brought it into existence and the Sustainer Who is

maintaining it. All that we have to do is to take note of this. All that we have to do is allow this to

lead us to Him (swt). That is why in this ayah Allah (swt) brings our attention to more of these

signs. So ponder deeply on these signs and find your Lord in them.



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        Allah (swt) begins by saying “And We have placed on it gardens”. The pronoun “it” here

refers to the earth. So Allah (swt) is bringing our attention here to all of the gardens that He (swt)

has placed on the earth. The word “garden” in Arabic is derived from a root word that means to

cover. This is because the lushness and the thickness of the vegetation in the Garden covers the

earth that is underneath it. So it is not simply any kind of garden that Allah (swt) is bringing our

attention to here. Rather it is the gardens filled with lush and thick vegetation. Just think about

such gardens. How many different kinds of plants grow in them? Each plant is so different, and

yet each plant is so similar. Each of them is very much alive. They are not static and stagnant.

They are all constantly doing the job which Allah (swt) created them for. They take in sunlight and

carbon dioxide and they produce oxygen for us. The very air that we breathe is coming from

these plants. Yet these plants have no intelligence. They have no mind or brain. How then do

they know how to come out from the earth? How to sprout leaves? How to make air for us? It is

only Allah (swt). He (swt) is the One Who is making and controlling these plants in these gardens.

        Then Allah (swt) says “of date-palms and grapes”. Here Allah (swt) brings our attention

to yet another benefit that we derive from the plants that He (swt) produces and maintains. Not

only does Allah (swt) produce for us the air that we need from these plants but He (swt) also

produces our food and sustenance. Among the best of foods are fruits, and among the best of

fruits are dates and grapes. How sweet and satisfying are these fruits that our Lord provides us

with? How perfectly do they satisfy our hunger and give us contentment? Why is it that the fruits

which these plants produce are exactly what our body needs? These plants could have produced

any kind of fruits. Even those that are not edible for us. Those who that would bring us no benefit

whatsoever. Yet the fruits which these plants produce are just what our body needs. Does this not

show you that there is a perfect system here? A perfect balance.

        Thus there are two benefits that we can take when we think about all of the fruits that

Allah (swt) has provided us with. All of the food and sustenance. The first is to realize how all of

this is part of a perfect system. To realize the balance and the harmony. To realize how we

complement the plants and how the plants complement us. This shows us how such a system

could not have come about at random or by chance or as the result of chaos. Order does not just




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come from chaos but rather chaos needs to be brought into order. The system must be created

and maintained, it does not come into being by itself.

        The next benefit that we can take is to realize how grateful to Allah (swt) we must be for

all that He (swt) has provided us with. The fruits that Allah (swt) brings forth from these plants are

what we all need for our survival and existence. Life as we know it would not exist if it were not for

these plants that our Lord brings out from the earth. We would not exist. So how then can we turn

away from Allah (swt)? How can we turn away from the One Who has given us everything that we

have? So gratitude to Allah (swt) is an obligation for every single human. The gratitude that is due

is in proportion to how much that He (swt) has given us. You think now as to how much He (swt)

has given you. Remember how that one date satisfied you after a long day of fasting. Imagine

what would have happened to you if Allah (swt) had not given you that date. Allah (swt) is the

One Who placed on the earth the garden from which that date came forth. How then can you be

disobedient to Him (swt)? How then can you refuse to serve Him (swt)?

        In the final part of this ayah Allah (swt) says “and We cause to gush forth from it

springs”. So far Allah (swt) has told us how He (swt) has provided us with food and air. What is

the one other thing that we all need to survive? Of course it is water. All life needs water. Even

the plants need water. Can you imagine trying to survive even one day of your life without water?

Now this planet is mostly water, but we cannot drink the vast majority of this water. So where then

does freshwater come from? Where does the water that we drink come from? It comes from the

earth. It comes from land and not from the oceans. But how can land hold water? Of course the

land needs to be cleaved and opened up in order for it to contain water. There has to be a crater

or fissure on the earth to hold the rainwater when it falls. So all of the springs, rivers, and lakes in

the world today have come from these cracks on the surface of the earth. Who then is the One

Who cleaved the earth to contain the rainwater? Did you do it? Did your ancestors do it? Do you

know how difficult it is to dig even a simple hole? Now imagine digging giant craters all over the

world in order to collect enough water to sustain all the life on this planet? Who else but the

Perfect One and the Sublime One could have done this?




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        The word that Allah (swt) uses in this ayah is beautiful. It gives the meaning of the earth

being cleft asunder and ripped open. It denotes activity and motion. Allah (swt) is showing us that

it was not a passive process through which these craters on the earth were formed. Rather He

(swt) is the One Who cut up the earth in such a way so that the water for all life can accumulate

and gather. So realize first the Power of your Lord. How He (swt) can tear up the mighty rocks of

the mountains. Realize then the Wisdom of your Lord. How He (swt) brought out the right amount

of freshwater so that all life can be sustained but not too much so that the earth is drowned.

Realize then the Mercy of your Lord in that He (swt) broke the very earth itself just so that you

would have enough water to drink. How then can you turn away from Him (swt)? How then can

you live in heedlessness of Him (swt)? Think of the air that you breathe, the food that you eat,

and the water that you drink. How can you take all of this from Him (swt) and then not live for Him

(swt)? What kind of an ungrateful creature would do that? Is that what you are?




36. That they may eat of its fruits, and their hands made it not, will they not then give

thanks?

        In the previous ayah Allah (swt) told us how He (swt) has arranged the earth in such a

way so that it could accommodate life. All life needs the water that Allah (swt) gives by cleaving

the earth in order for it to accumulate from the rainwater. Human life and animal life also need the

plants and the fruits that Allah (swt) has set in the countless gardens which He (swt) has made to

grow all over the earth. But why has our Lord done this? Why has Allah (swt) made the gardens

to grow and why has He (swt) cleaved the earth so that we would have water? Allah (swt) tells us

why in this ayah.




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        Allah (swt) says “That they may eat of its fruits”. So the reason why Allah (swt) has

placed gardens on the earth and the reason why He (swt) has cleaved the earth so that the water

may come out from it is so that we may eat of the fruits of the earth. Now both the word “eat” and

the word “fruit” here are not restricted only to the literal meaning. There is actually a far deeper

meaning for these words. The word “eat” could mean anything that we consume, and the word

“fruit” could mean anything that this earth provides. Thus Allah (swt) reminds us in this ayah how

He (swt) has created the earth in such a way that we may consume of its resources. Everything

that the earth produces is of its fruits. How much of these do we consume? We eat the food of the

earth, we breathe the air of the earth, we drink the water of the earth, we wear the clothes made

from the earth, we use the tools created from the materials of this earth, we live in the houses

made of the woods and cement of this earth, we ride in the transportation powered by the fuel of

this earth, we all consume so much of what this earth provides every day of our lives. Many of us

even use what this earth provides in a way that is displeasing to Allah (swt). Yet Allah (swt) still

gives us more and more. This is what Allah (swt) wants us to realize in this ayah. How much it is

that He (swt) gives to us. How grateful then should we be?

        Then Allah (swt) says “and their hands made it not”. In the previous part of the ayah we

realized the countless “fruits” of this earth which Allah (swt) provides us with. We consume all of

it. Often times we even consume more than what we need. But what right do we have to all this

that we consume? Are we the ones who created it? Did we help in any way in their creation? Did

we pay someone to create it for us? No of course not. This is what Allah (swt) brings our attention

to here. Everything that we eat, everything that we use, everything that we consume, it did not

come into existence through our hands. So we have no right to it whatsoever. We do not in any

way deserve it. We cannot consume it and just take it for granted that we have been given it. So

the next time that you eat some food, or the next time that you use anything that this earth has

provided, then realize that you have done nothing to create this. You are in no way entitled to it.

Allah (swt) is the One Who created it for you and the One Who provided it for you. What then

should be your relationship with Him (swt)?




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        Allah (swt) asks us in the next part “will they not then give thanks?”. How can man

consume all of these fruits that Allah (swt) has provided for him and then not render thanks?

What is the matter with us that we do not show our gratitude to our Lord? How can we possibly

be so arrogant? So selfish? So vile? This life is nothing but realizing all that Allah (swt) has given

you and then striving to the best of your ability to thank Him (swt) for it. The people who know

Allah (swt) and yet then do not show gratitude to Him (swt) are the worst of creation. That is why

one of meanings of the word kufr in Arabic is “ingratitude”. It is for such people that Allah (swt)

has promised a grievous torment in the Hereafter. They consume all that Allah (swt) has provided

for them of this world but they do not even once render thanks to Him (swt) for it. We have to

save ourselves from becoming like such people. We have to strive to bring to mind all that our

Lord has given us and we have to strive to thank Him (swt) for it. Of course this gratitude has to

be in the hearts, on our tongues and through our actions. So much has Allah (swt) give us that He

(swt) deserves the most complete and the fullest of gratitude. We have to thank Him (swt) to the

utmost of our ability because He (swt) does not deserve anything less. May Allah (swt) give us

the enabling grace to be in state of gratitude to Him (swt) at every moment of our lives!




37. Perfected and Pure is the One Who created pairs of every single thing, from what the

earth grows, and of their own selves, and of what they do not know.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to describe Himself (swt) to us. He (swt) continues to

tell us why He (swt) is the One Who deserves our worship and servitude. There are two reasons

why we should all seek to dedicate ourselves to Allah (swt). The first reason is what we have

mentioned in the previous ayahs. Because of all that He (swt) has done for us. Because of

everything that He (swt) has given us. Now in this ayah Allah (swt) brings our attention to the

second of these reasons. This is really an even greater reason.


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        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by describing Himself (swt). He (swt) says “Perfected and

Pure is the One”. The Arabic word sabh that Allah (swt) uses here is difficult to translate into a

single English word. It literally means “to swim” or “to float”. But when it is used for Allah (swt) it

means the One Who is so Perfect and so Pure that He (swt) is always the Highest and He (swt)

never comes down. Allah (swt) is the Highest not in the literal sense of the word but He (swt) is

the Highest in that He (swt) is Perfect in every way. In all of His (swt)’s Names and attributes our

Lord is the Perfect One. He (swt) is the Highest. So for example He (swt) is the Most Powerful.

He (swt) has so much Power and there is nothing that is outside His (swt)’s Power. He (swt) can

do anything and everything that He (swt) does is easy for Him (swt). He (swt) is also the Most

Knowing. There is nothing outside His (swt)’s Knowledge. He (swt) is also the Most Merciful in

that He (swt) has the most complete and perfect Mercy. Such is our Lord. Perfect in every way.

Pure with no defect or weakness. The Highest by all measures of comparison. So when the word

sabh is used in relation to Him (swt) this means that His (swt)’s Perfection and Purity must be

maintained. He (swt) must be allowed to remain as the highest and never come down. In no way

can any kind of weakness or flaw or inability be ascribed to Him (swt). He (swt) is the Most

Perfect and the Highest and He (swt) must always be so.

        This then is the next reason why Allah (swt) deserves our worship and servitude. How

can you not serve a Being Who is so Perfect and so Pure? When you realize that there is such a

Being as Allah (swt) Who is Perfect and Pure in everyway then how can you not dedicate yourself

completely to Him (swt)? How can you continue to live in heedlessness of Him (swt)? How can

you be disobedient to Him (swt) when you know that He (swt) Sees all that you do? Allah (swt) is

so Perfect and so Pure that He (swt) deserves to be worshipped. He (swt) deserves that we

submit to Him (swt) completely. Such is a right that He (swt) has over us. If you do not realize this

it is only because you are utterly ignorant of the Sublimity and Majesty that is He (swt). So

contemplate on your Lord and realize how Perfect He (swt) IS. Then let this realization increase

you in your dedication to Him (swt).

        Then Allah (swt) describes Himself (swt) by saying “the One Who created pairs of

every single thing”. Here Allah (swt) gives us an example of His (swt)’s Perfection. He (swt) tells




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us of something that He (swt) has done. Only One as Perfect as He (swt) could have done this.

Allah (swt) tells us how He (swt) has created every single thing in pairs. This demonstrates to us

the perfection of His (swt)’s Power and Ability as well as the perfection of His (swt)’s Wisdom and

Knowledge. How many are the pairs in this world? There are the pairs of male and female.

Darkness and light. High and low. Heavy and light. Good and evil. Hot and cold. Day and night.

War and peace. Happiness and sadness. In fact in every single created thing there is some form

of duality. Each one needs the other. Each one complements the other. Yet each one is so

different from the other. Who but a Being of absolute Perfection could have brought about such a

creation? So realize now this perfect balance that is in the world all around you. The pairing of

every single thing. Then realize the Perfection of your Lord Who brought it into being.

        Then Allah (swt) says “from what the earth grows”. Here Allah (swt) reminds us that

even in the plants which the earth produces there are pairs. Even the plants have a male and

female. At first glance, plants seem lifeless. They seem to be no different than a rock or any other

inanimate object. But they are alive. Not only are they alive but they reproduce with male and

female just like we do. So even in what Allah (swt) causes to grow out from the earth. In all the

plants all over the earth, He (swt) has created them in pairs. Do you not then realize His Power?

        Then Allah (swt) says “and of their own selves”. Here Allah (swt) reminds us that even

in ourselves He (swt) has created pairs. Of course the most obvious pair that comes to mind

when we think of ourselves as a human race is man and woman. The man and the woman need

each other. They complete each other and they complement each other. For every attribute that

the man has there is an attribute in the woman to complement it and for every attribute that the

woman has there is an attribute in the man to complement it. How beautiful then is this

combination that Allah (swt) has made? How perfect are man and woman for each other? Not

only does this pairing allow us to have children and continue ourselves through them, but men

and women also help each other to get through life. This is a Mercy that Allah (swt) has given to

the children of Adam. It also demonstrates His (swt)’s Power, His (swt)’s Wisdom and His (swt)’s

Knowledge. How then can you turn away from One so Perfect? The One Who created this.




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         Not only do we have pairs in male and female but there are several other pairs that we

have within ourselves. We all have two hands, two legs, two eyes, two ears and two lips. How

many are the benefits that we derive from these? How perfectly does each of these limbs support

each other and help each other? Imagine if you had only one of any of these? How difficult would

your life be? There are other pairs that exist within us as well. We all have within us the

propensity for good and the propensity for evil. There is a part of us that is always inclining

towards Allah (swt) and there is a part of us that is inclining away from Him (swt). We all also

have a scale of good deeds and a scale of evil deeds. Even at this moment there are two angels

by your side. One that writes every good that you do and one that writes every evil that you do.

These are just a few of the pairs that we have within our own selves. If you reflect and think some

more then you will find even more pairs that all humans have within themselves. Then you will

see how even more true is this part of the ayah.

         In the final part of this ayah Allah (swt) says “and of what they do not know”. So in this

ayah Allah (swt) has told us how Perfect and Pure He (swt) IS. He (swt) has told us how He (swt)

deserves our worship and obedience because of this utter Perfection. As an example to

demonstrate this Perfection, Allah (swt) has told us how He (swt) has created everything in pairs.

Allah (swt) reminded us that even in the plants that come out from the earth there are pairs. Even

in ourselves there are pairs. Now here Allah (swt) tells us that there are even pairs that we do not

know about. There are even pairs that we are not even aware of. So many are the pairs in all of

creation. Only a few of them are within our knowledge. There are many others, many, many

others, that we do not even know about. All of these demonstrate the utter Perfection and

Sublimity of our Lord. So if you still have not realized Allah (swt) then realize that it is only

because of your lack of knowledge. If you truly knew this universe, if you truly knew all that He

(swt) has created, then you would die just from your awe and reverence of Him (swt). The

realization of His (swt)’s Perfection would overwhelm you. This is the station that we must all be

trying to reach. Of course we never will but we must try. We were created only to journey to Him

(swt)!




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38. And a Sign for them is the night, We strip the day from it, so they are in darkness.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to call you to Himself (swt). He (swt) shows you yet

another sign through which you can know Him (swt). When you look at this sign then you are

reminded of His (swt)’s Existence, His (swt)’s Power, His (swt)’s Wisdom and His (swt)’s Mercy

and Bounty for you. So contemplate deeply on the sign that your Lord brings to your attention in

this ayah. This is sign that you see everyday of your life. So every time you see it you should be

reminded of Him (swt). Every time you see it you should be drawn closer to Him (swt). Every time

you see it you should increase in your worship and servitude of Him (swt).

        Allah (swt) says in this ayah “And a Sign for them is the night, We strip the day from

it”. Here Allah (swt) brings our attention to the night and the day. He (swt) describes for us how

He (swt) strips the day from the night. Think of the day and the night as layered above each

other. Imagine the night to be one sheet and the day to be another sheet. When it is daytime then

the sheet of the day is placed over the sheet of the night. When nightfall comes then Allah (swt)

pulls the sheet of the day away from the sheet of the night. This is what Allah (swt) is describing

here. Allah (swt) is describing in this ayah how He (swt) pulls the sheet of the day away so that

the sheet of the night remains.

        What is the result of Allah (swt) stripping the day away from the night? He (swt) tells us in

the next part of the ayah when He (swt) says “so they are in darkness”. This is what our Lord

does. He (swt) takes away the light of the day so that only the darkness of the night remains.

When Allah (swt) takes away the light of the day then all of the people are covered in darkness.

There is nothing that you can see and nothing that you can do. Realize now how dependent you

are on the light that Allah (swt) sends down. How lost you would be without it. All that Allah (swt)

has to do is take away the light of the day and we would be finished. Even the temporary light that

we have at night is only possible because of the light of day. And even those temporary lights, as




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weak and limited as they are, will not last forever. We the human race need the light of day,

otherwise we would be covered in darkness, doomed for destruction.

        Realize also from this ayah how active Allah (swt) is, how He (swt) is always involved in

the universe. He (swt) is not some distant god who created the universe a long time and then left

it to be. No, rather on the contrary our Lord is involved in the operation and maintenance of this

universe at every moment. Every day at dusk Allah (swt) strips the day away from the night, and

every day at dawn He (swt) puts the day back into the night. Just imagine where this world would

be if Allah (swt) did not do this. Imagine if there was perpetual day or perpetual night. Where

would you find a night to rest in or a day to function in? Would you even survive? Even the

scientists will admit that were it for this alternation of night and day, life on this planet would not

be able to survive. How much then are we in debt to Allah (swt)? How much are we in need of

Him (swt). Then realize how dependent you are on your Lord for every day of your life. How you

cling to His Mercy like the fetus clings to the umbilical cord. How then can you turn away from

Him (swt)? When you realize the Being that is doing this every day of your life. How Merciful, how

Powerful, how Perfect and Precise this Being is, when you know of such a Being, when you are

certain of the existence of such a Being, how then can you turn away from Him (swt)? How can

you continue to live in heedlessness of Him (swt) when you see Him (swt) so clearly in the world

around you. How can you not glorify Him (swt)? How can you not serve Him (swt)? How can you

not work in His (swt)’s cause? Allah (swt) is telling us about these signs for a reason. It is so that

we would be certain in Him (swt). It is so that we would rush to please Him (swt). Every evening

and every morning He (swt) manifests Himself for you through His Signs. So contemplate on the

coming and going of night, and realize that there is a Sign in it for Allah (swt). Then let this

realization have a positive effect on your life. Every day when you say the morning come try to be

a better servant to Allah (swt) than you were the day before, and every day when you see the

night come try to be a better servant to Allah (swt) than you were the night before.




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39. And the sun floats to its destination, that is the Decree of the Mighty and the Knowing.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) shows us further signs with which we can know Him (swt) and

gain certainty in Him (swt). He (swt) has already brought our attention to the dead earth, the

plants, the water, the pairs of all creation, and the day and the night. In this ayah He (swt) shows

us even more. There are two themes that Allah (swt) has continued to press in these ayahs. The

first is for us to realize how these signs demonstrate His (swt)’s Existence, His (swt)’s Oneness,

and His (swt)’s Names and attributes. Whenever we observe any of these signs we are reminded

of our Lord. Like all signs they point to Him (swt). They remind us that they would not be possible

if not for Him (swt). Do you think anyone other than Allah (swt) could have created the pairs that

we observe all over the world? Do you think anyone other than Allah (swt) could have set the

perfect system of night and day by which we live our lives? So the first theme that Allah (swt)

presses in this section of the Surah is to demonstrate for us how these Signs show Him (swt) to

us. The next theme that Allah (swt) brings to our attention is how we should be grateful to Him

(swt) for all that He (swt) has given us. Where would you be now if not for the cool water that

Allah (swt) has given you? Where would you be if not for the delicious fruits that He (swt) has

given you? Who is the One Who has given you all that you consume of this earth? So we as read

these ayahs, as we notice these signs in the universe around us, we should be even more

convinced in the Existence and Oneness of our Lord and in His (swt)’s Names and attributes. We

must also rush to be grateful to Him (swt) for all that He (swt) has given us. In this ayah Allah

(swt) brings our attention to yet another sign that we can see every day of our lives. So reflect

deeply on the Sign that your Lord shows you here. Realize how this Sign would not even be

present were it not for Allah (swt). Realize that this Sign would not behave in the way it does if not

for Allah (swt). Realize also all of the benefits that you take from this Sign. This Sign has always

been there for all to see. But in His (swt)’s Mercy and Love for us, He (swt) reminds us of it in His

(swt)’s Book. How then can you still continue to turn away from it?




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        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “And the sun floats to its destination”. Here

Allah (swt) brings our attention to the sun. Specifically He (swt) tells us to look at how it floats to

its destination. The imagery that Allah (swt) uses to describe the reality of the sun moving is

beautiful. He (swt) describes it to be like a ball that is floating in a river. Is this not how the sun is?

Is not like a ball of fire that is floating in the sky along a fixed path? This is something that we can

all see. Every single day of our lives we see the sun rise in the east. Then it climbs the sky. Then

like a ball of fire it floats in the heaven above us. Until it descends into the west where it sets.

Notice how Allah (swt) uses the most accurate of words to describe how we observe the sun to

be. This is how we all see the sun to be. We see the sun to be floating in the sky towards its

destination in the West.

        Notice how Allah (swt) does not describe the sun to be like how astronomers say that it

is. Astronomers say that the sun is stationary and that the earth revolves around it. While this

may be true, this is not how we observe the sun to be. Any human being at any place and at any

time who looks at the sun will see it to be how Allah (swt) describes it to be and not how the

astronomers claim that it is. As far as we can see, the sun is not stationary. We see it to be

moving on a path. So the Quran does not contradict what modern science has discovered in any

way. What Allah (swt) says is true because what He (swt) is describing how we see the sun to be.

He (swt) is not describing the sun as it truly is but rather He (swt) is describing it as we see it to

be. Our perception of it when we look at the sky above us. So this does not in any way contradict

what astronomers have discovered.

        Imagine if Allah (swt) had described the sun like how astronomers claim it to be. Imagine

if Allah (swt) had said that the sun was stationary and the earth revolves around it. Would this be

a phenomenon that the people of all ages and all places could observe? Could this be something

that the people everywhere could see and come closer to Allah (swt) through it? Of course not.

The purpose of the Quran was never a science book. The purpose of the Quran was never to

explain to us how the universe operates. Rather the purpose of the Quran was to show our Lord

to us in the universe around us. We need to see the dynamism in the world around us, we need

to see it changing and moving, when we see this then we can realize that it is Allah (swt) Who is




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doing this. That is why Allah (swt) did not describe the earth to be orbiting around the sun, but

rather He (swt) described the sun to be floating in the sky. This is something that all people at all

times and places could see and draw closer to Him (swt) through.

        We should also note that nothing which the Quran says contradicts what astronomers

have discovered. As we mentioned, Allah (swt) is not describing here how the sun truly is but

rather He (swt) is describing how we perceive it to be. This is completely different from the Bible

which does say that the earth is at the center of the universe and that the sun revolves around the

earth. What the Bible says has been proven to be false by science. That is why the West has

always had this conflict between religion and science. Because their scriptures have been tainted

by the hands of man, so much of what is in their books have been proven false by science. That

is why the Church in general has discouraged science and discouraged learning about the world

around us. That is why they have persecuted all those who would bring a theory or idea which

contradicts their scripture. This is completely different from Islam. Nothing in the Quran

contradicts what science has discovered. Even this ayah which at first glance may seem to

contradict what astronomers have discovered really does not. In our Din there was never a

conflict between religion and science. So science and learning was never discouraged in this Din

but rather it was encouraged. That was why when Europe was in the Dark Ages, when the

Church had the power, learning and advancements in their lands was all but null. But at that

same time Muslims were in the forefront of science and innovation. All of the new scientific

discoveries, all of the advancements in technology, all of the new learning, came from Muslim

lands. It was only when the West abandoned the Church and took the knowledge from the

Muslims that they were able to progress. Even they themselves will admit that their

advancements today were built on the shoulders of Muslim scholars and teachings. So we as

Muslims should be careful to never carry the bias that science has towards religion in the

Christian world to Islam. In our Din there is no contradiction between science and religion. There

is no contradiction between what the Quran says and what we find in the world around us. Rather

they match perfectly because they are both from the same Source.




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        In the final part of this ayah Allah (swt) says “that is the Decree of the Mighty and the

Knowing”. Here Allah (swt) describes for us the reality of the sun moving on its path in this way.

Such is His (swt)’s Decree. Such is His (swt)’s Law that has been fixed upon it. Does the sun ever

deviate on this path that it has been given? Does it ever rise in the West? Does it ever rise or set

anywhere except where it is supposed to? Does it ever change for even an inch along the path on

which it travels? Of course not. So why is this? Why does it always follow such a fixed and set

pattern? Because Allah (swt) is controlling it. Because Allah (swt) has decreed this path for it.

        This movement of the sun is a Divine Law that Allah (swt) has placed upon it. He (swt)

has subjugated it to His (swt)’s Will. So it always follows the course that has been ordained for it

by its Master. It never deviates from this path. This is something that can be observed by all

people. Anyone who looks to the sky above them and contemplates on the sun will be aware of

this reality. The fact that the sun always follows this path, the fact that it never deviates, shows

that it is being controlled. So it must have a Controller. It must have a Master. This Master must

be Perfect without flaw or weakness. This Master must also be One. This is because the system

according to which the sun operates is perfect. It never breaks. See then the perfection of the

system according to which the sun operates, and then realize the Perfection and Oneness of its

Lord and Master. Its Controller and Director.

        Notice the two Names which Allah (swt) uses to describe Himself (swt) in this ayah. The

Mighty and the Knowing. Who but the Mighty could have subjugated the sun so perfectly? We

know today just how large the sun is. It is far bigger than even our earth. It is blazing with infernos

at every moment. In one second the sun releases more energy than over a billion nuclear

explosions. Could just any human control an object of such power? Could even all mankind hope

to control it? Could any among the creation control it? No, rather only the All-Mighty could control

an object of such power. Not only has Allah (swt) subjugated the sun but He (swt) has complete

control over it. As we mentioned it is a perfect subjugation. The sun always follows the path

ordained for it and it never deviates. Who but One of absolute Might and Authority could have

subjugated such a powerful object so completely? How then could you ever choose to oppose

such a Being? How could you ever anger Him (swt)?




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        Allah (swt) also tells us in this ayah how He (swt) is the Knowing. He (swt) Knows the

path that the sun must follow. He (swt) Knows the exact moment in which it should rise and the

exact moment in which it should set. Not just for where you and I live but for every corner of this

planet. He (swt) also Knows the optimal distance that the sun must be from the earth. This

distance has to be precise, if it is off by even the smallest of amounts then life would not be

possible. You and I could not live. So the fact that the sun is fixed along this path not only

demonstrates the Power of Allah (swt) but it also shows us His (swt)’s Knowledge. He (swt)

Knows exactly when and where to make the sun rise to bring us the morning and He (swt) Knows

exactly when and where to make the sun set to bring us the evening. We set our clocks and run

our lives according to the Decree of His (swt)’s Perfect Knowledge. How then can you not realize

His (swt)’s Majesty and Glory? How then can you not worship and sanctify Him (swt) as He (swt)

deserves? If we truly realized His right then we would never be of the heedless.




40. And the moon We have set for it stages, until it returns to be like an old dry palm

branch.

        In the previous ayah Allah (swt) told us about the sun and how it was a sign for Him (swt).

In this ayah He (swt) brings our attention to the other celestial body that we see in the sky. Once

again try and look for the theme of this section of the Surah in this ayah. It is the same theme that

we encountered in the previous ayahs. On the one hand Allah (swt) is demonstrating for us His

(swt)’s Existence, His (swt)’s Oneness, and His (swt)’s Power. On the other hand He (swt) is also

showing what He (swt) has done for us and how we should be grateful to Him (swt) for it. When

you keep this in mind then every ayah which you learn should bring you closer to your Lord.

Every ayah that you learn should increase your certainty in Him (swt). Every ayah you learn

should make you want to do more to be grateful to Him (swt).



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        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “And the moon We have set for it stages”. Here

Allah (swt) brings our attention to the moon and the different phases that it goes through. We

know that the moon begins as a new moon, then a crescent, then a half moon, then a gibbous,

then a full moon, and then a gibbous once again, then a half moon once again, then a crescent

once again. These are the different cycles that the moon always goes through. This is a set

pattern that the moon always follows. Now does the moon ever deviate from its stages. Is it

gibbous on one day and then a new moon on the next day? Does the full moon ever appear

suddenly without there ever have been a crescent? No, rather what we can see is that the moon

always follows a set pattern. Similar to the sun, the phases of the moon also have a set course

that is always followed and never deviated from. In all the centuries since the dawn of creation

the moon has never once deviated from this path. Does this not show you that there is a Power

that is making the moon to always adhere to these stages? To always follow them and never

deviate. Does this not show you that the moon has a Controller?

        So these set and sequential phases that the moon always goes through shows us the

Existence of Allah (swt), the Oneness of Allah (swt) and the Power of Allah (swt). If Allah (swt)

were not there then who is making the moon follow this set order? The moon is not a sentient

being of intelligence, how does it know to always follow this set course? Similarly if there were a

multiplicity of gods each fighting and vying for power then would the pattern be so perfect with no

breaks in it? Or would there not be chaos because of the conflicts among the gods? Similarly

would any being other than the Most Powerful be able to subjugate and control an object as large

as the moon? For man just to travel to the moon is a great accomplishment for which he always

praises himself, when will the day when man is able to control the moon and to make it move in

whatever way he pleases? He does not have that power, how then can he turn away from the

Being Who does? So in just the moon and in the different phases which it always goes through

we are reminded once again of the Existence of our Lord, of His absolute Oneness and Unity,

and of His Irresistible Power and Might.

        The next theme of this section of the Surah is to remind us of the blessings and the

benefits that we take from what our Lord has done for us. How much of a blessing for us is the




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moon and the different phases that it goes through? In the Islamic State we know that the

calendar is kept according to the different phases of the moon. We know which month it is and

how far we are into the month based on the different phases of the moon. Unlike the solar

calendar, when one follows the lunar calendar one only has to look at the sky to see where in the

month they are up to. They do not need to carry an actual calendar with them. In the desert the

moon also provided light for the travelers. If not for the moonlight, it would have been impossible

to travel a journey of any significant distance. Because the moon always followed a set pattern,

the people knew when there would be moonlight so they could plan their journeys accordingly.

The light was always there when they needed it to be. It is also said that fishermen benefit from

the different phases of the moon. Certain fish and shrimp are known to come close to the shore

when the moon becomes full. These are just a few of the benefits that man has taken from the

moon and the different phases that it goes through. Why then can we not show gratitude to the

One Who gave this to us by striving to please Him (swt)?

        In the final part of this ayah Allah (swt) says “until it returns to be like an old dry palm

branch”. Here Allah (swt) makes an analogy to how the crescent moon is. He (swt) says that it is

like the branch of a date-palm tree when it becomes old and withered. How beautifully does this

describe the crescent moon? Not only is the shape very similar, but just like the date-palm ends

its life by becoming a withered branch so too does the moon end its life by becoming waning

crescent. Notice how Allah (swt) says that the moon returns to this phase. It first starts out as a

weak crescent and then it returns to this crescent when it is about to die. It comes back to the

state in which it began. Weakness. Much like the date-palm tree. Much like all of life. So see this

pattern and congruency that your Lord has placed all over the universe. Does it now show that

there is more to this universe than what we can see? The universe is something more than the

physical matter that we observe. The universe behaves according to a fixed pattern. Just like the

moon goes through phases only to return to a weak crescent, so too does the palm-tree grow its

leaf until it returns to a dry leaf. Does this not show us that there is a force that is controlling this

universe? Something far greater and more tremendous than we could possibly ever imagine.

Allah (swt) is there in the world all around us, if only we would look for Him (swt) there.




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114
        Another lesson that we can take from this ayah is to see how the analogies which Allah

(swt) uses are particular to the time and place in which the Quran was revealed. This shows us

that the Quran needs to be understood in the context of the time and place in which it was

revealed. Especially the language with which the Quran is studied has to be the language as it

was spoken by the Arabs during the time of the Prophet (saw). The pure Arabic as it was spoken

at the time of the Prophet (saw) Is what Allah (swt) revealed His Book so this is what we need to

master. We know that as Islam spread and went to different lands, the Arabic language become

diluted with the dialects and terminologies of the foreign peoples. New concepts and ideas were

introduced into the language. These were alien to the Arabic language as it was spoken during

the time of the Prophet (saw). So when we study the Quran and we study the hadith of the

Prophet (saw) and the sayings of the Sahabah, we have to understand these in the language that

was spoken at their time. Although the Quran is applicable for all times and places, the language

that it uses is the Arabic language at the time of the Prophet (saw). The analogy which Allah (swt)

uses in this ayah to describe the crescent moon clearly demonstrates this. This is our Din and our

life so we should take care when we study it. We have to strive to make certain that what we

learn from it is what our Creator taught us. May Allah (swt) give us the enabling grace!




41. It is not proper for the sun to overtake the moon, and never can the night outstrip the

day, and each one is an orbit swimming.

        This is the last ayah of this section of the Surah. This section where Allah (swt) has

brought our attention to the proofs and evidences for Him (swt) in the universe around us. So look

at the universe all around you. Realize how everything in it is a sign for your Lord. That is what

Allah (swt) has encouraged us to do in this section. To discover Him (swt) in the world around us.


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Now in this ayah He (swt) returns our attention to the celestial bodies that we see in the sky

above us. They and the way in which they behave are among the greatest of signs to show us the

Existence, the Oneness and the Power of Allah (swt). So look at the sky above you and see your

Lord revealing Himself to you in what you behold.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “It is not proper for the sun to overtake the

moon”. The sun and the moon are in a race with each other. Each one follows the other. Now

has the sun ever overtaken the moon? Have you ever seen the sun appear during the night?

When it was not supposed to? Or has it been subjugated so that it only appears when it is

supposed to? Yes, this is how the sun is. It only appears when it is supposed to. It never catches

up with the moon, it never overtakes the moon. Why is this? Why does the sun only appear on

the horizon at the exact moment when it is supposed to and never earlier? Does the sun have a

mind of its own so that it can tell itself exactly when to appear? Even if it did, would it always

appear only when it is supposed to? For eons since the dawn of creation the sun has only come

exactly when it was supposed to. How could this be possible? How can the system be so perfect

such that the sun only appears at the exact moment when it is supposed to and not a moment

earlier or later? How could this have been possible if the sun did not have a Perfect Controller? A

Controller Who is One in His Dominion and Sovereignty. A Controller Whose Power is Absolute.

Such is Allah (swt). How then can anyone deny Him (swt) when He (swt) is so obvious?

        Notice also the language that Allah (swt) uses in this part of the ayah. He (swt) says that

it is not proper for the sun to overtake the moon. It is not becoming of the sun to pass the moon.

Allah (swt) speaks of the sun and moon as if they are obedient servants who always obey His

(swt)’s command. Because this is in reality what the sun and the moon are. They are the servants

of Allah (swt). They are the worshippers of Allah (swt). Not a moment passes by except that they

are glorifying Allah (swt) in that moment. This is why the sun will never do what is not proper for it

to do. It will never overtake the moon. It is humbled and awed before the Majesty and Glory of its

Lord. Now think to yourself. If the sun, which is so powerful and so magnificent, will humble itself

before Allah (swt) and observe His (swt)’s Limits then who are you to transgress them? Who are

you to go beyond that which Allah (swt) has prescribed for you? What are you when compared to




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the sun? How dare then you be arrogant and proud? Realize your Lord and Master and realize

your place in the creation.

        In the next part of the ayah Allah (swt) says “and never can the night outstrip the day”.

Just like the sun and the moon race with each other, so do the day and the night race with each

other. Now we learned from the previous part of the ayah that the sun will never appear at night, it

will never overtake the moon, similarly will the night ever outstrip the day? In other words will the

night just suddenly appear during the daytime? Of course not. There is a set time for night and

there is a set time for day. One can never precede or overtake the other. This is the way that it

has been since the beginning of creation. Day follows night. Night follows day. Day follows night.

Each one comes only when it is supposed to. This is how it has been since before time began.

Never a break. Never a mistake. Never the night outstripping the day even though they are both

constantly racing with each other. Is this not a pattern? Is this not an incredible pattern? How

could this be if Allah (swt) is not there? How could the universe be behaving in this way? When

you realize the perfection of the systems according to which this universe operates then you will

realize the Perfection and Oneness of its Administrator and Controller. To deny Allah (swt), to

deny His (swt)’s Absolute Oneness and Sovereignty, to deny any of His (swt)’s Names or

attributes is to deny the very universe itself. The only ones who would do so are those who have

veiled themselves from the Real and the True. Veiled by their desires. Veiled by their arrogance.

        In the final part of this ayah Allah (swt) says “and each one is an orbit swimming”. Here

Allah (swt) is describing not only the sun and the moon, but all of the celestial bodies. All of the

stars, planets, and moons in the universe. He (swt) tells us that each one is swimming in an orbit.

This part of the ayah is yet another Miracle of the Quran. It is an example of a reality that could

not possibly have been known by anyone at the time of the Prophet (saw). Only today have

astronomers found out that all celestial bodies are in fact in orbits. The sun. The moon. The earth.

All the planets and their moons. All the stars. Every single one of them is swimming in an orbit

just as Allah (swt) has described in this ayah.

        Now how could anyone at the time of the Prophet (saw) have known about this? They did

not have telescopes to see into the depths of space. They did not have space shuttles to orbit the




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earth and see how it moves. So there was no one at that time who had this knowledge. Yet here

is the Quran describing the universe to be exactly as how modern science has discovered it to

be. Does this not show us that the Quran has a knowledge that the people at that time did not

have? Does this not show us that the Quran could not have been written by the Prophet (saw) or

anyone at his time?

        Look at even the words that Allah (swt) uses to describe the reality of these celestial

bodies. The first is the word “orbit”. All of the celestial bodies are in orbits. Including the sun and

the stars. They all move in perfect concurrent circles. The orbit of each complements the other.

They each form these perfect patterns around each other and they never deviate even an inch in

these orbits that they have. How could this be possible were it not for Allah (swt)? How could a

system so perfect exist without a Perfect Controller? We know that the sun, the moon, and all the

celestial bodies in their orbits are not perfect. They all have limitations. They are all created.

They are not even as intelligent as we are. They do not feel as we do. They only know to glorify

Allah (swt) and follow out His (swt)’s orders. So this perfect system could not have come from

them. Rather it had to have come from beyond them. It had to have come from Allah (swt). The

other Arabic word that Allah (swt) uses in this part of the ayah is “swimming”. Not only does this

word give the meaning of swimming but it also means “floating” and maintaining elevation. Is this

not how all of the celestial bodies are? As heavy as they are do they ever decay in their orbit? Do

we ever see any of them falling down? Why is it that their orbits are being maintained so

perfectly? What kind of a Power must it be that holds all of these stars, planets, and moons in

place and never allows them to fall? Only now is man beginning to discover just how vast this

universe is. Yet everywhere he looks he sees this perfection. Nowhere does he ever find

randomness or chaos. Is not then this universe screaming of the Creator and Controller behind it?

May Allah (swt) help us all to realize this!




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42. And a Sign for them is that We carried their children on the loaded ships.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to tell us about Himself (swt). He (swt) continues to

draw us closer to Him (swt). We have already seen all of the signs that Allah (swt) has shown us

in the universe around us. From the plants to the rivers to the pairs in the creation to even the

celestial bodies in the heavens. Now in this ayah Allah (swt) draws us toward Him (swt) in a

different way. He (swt) shows us how dependent we are on Him (swt). How we need Him (swt)

for every moment of our existence. He (swt) does this by reminding us of that time when we need

Him (swt) the most. When we are out on the open ocean. When we are in a tiny ship on that vast

expanse of endless water.

        Allah (swt) says in this ayah “And a Sign for them is that We carried their children on

the loaded ships”. Here our Lord tells us that a Sign for us is how He (swt) carries our children

on the loaded ships. How many are the ships that float on the open waters of this earth, and how

many are the souls on those ships. Allah (swt) describes these ships as being loaded because

they are usually filled with people and cargo. Yet despite their weight they do not sink. Rather it is

Allah (swt) Who holds these ships afloat just like He (swt) holds the planets in their orbits. All the

people on these ships are the children of someone. Mothers wait in anticipation for their sons to

return from their journeys. These mothers should realize that it is Allah (swt) and Allah (swt)

Alone Who carries their children on these loaded ships. He (swt) Alone hold these ships afloat in

the water. How then can they turn away from Him (swt)?

        Have you ever been on a ship or on a plane? Has anyone in your family? Realize that it

was only Allah (swt) Who carried you when you were on that vessel. If He (swt) were to have

removed His (swt)’s Power for just one moment then that plane would have fallen and that ship

would have sank. Do you then realize His (swt)’s Mercy and Love for you? Do you realize how

much you are in need of Him (swt)? Do you realize His (swt)’s Power that even at this moment

He (swt) is carrying all of the ships on the sea and all of the planes in the sky? Indeed upon every




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transportation that we ride it is only our Lord that carries us. Only by His (swt)’s Will and Power

does that vessel bear us. How then can we be heedless of Him (swt)? How then can we not

thank Him (swt)? How then can we not strive to please Him (swt)?

        So far we have seen how these ships that bear us are a sign for the Mercy and Bounty of

Allah (swt) upon us as well as His (swt)’s Power. But how exactly are they a Sign for His (swt)’s

Existence and Oneness? Why did He (swt) specifically mention that He (swt) carries our children

on these ships? Try to realize for a moment how dangerous any journey by sea is. This tiny craft

sailing on this endless expanse of water. Vast is the ocean beneath the ship and vast is the

ocean that surrounds it. Do you think that anyone would board one of these ships unless they

were fairly certain that they would reach safely? We ride these ships because we are confident

that they will not sink. We send our children on them because we believe that they will be safe.

Even the disbelievers do. Why is this? It is because they know that the universe behaves in a

certain way. They know that ships do not just sink at random. Imagine if this universe was based

on chaos rather than on law and order, would anyone ever board a ship or plane? Would any

mother send their children on a ship? As much as mothers love their children they send them on

these ships because they know that they will be safe. They know that this is the way in which the

universe operates. There is order. There is control. There are systems. What is the Source of all

this? Is it the universe itself? Or is it something beyond? There is a Force and a Power that holds

all these ships afloat. A power that even a parent would trust their children to. Who else could this

be if not Allah (swt)? Allah (swt) carries all the children of all the mothers in ships on the oceans

of the world. He (swt) has been doing this since time immemorial, ever since man first ventured

out into the sea. Even if some mothers will not acknowledge that He (swt) is the One Who carries

their children in the sea, just by the fact that they are willing to let their children get on that ship

shows that they acknowledge it deep down side. And if the child’s ship is ever late coming to

shore who is the first one that they turn to?




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43. And We have created for them the like of it on which they ride.

        In the previous ayah Allah (swt) told us how He (swt) carries us and our children in the

loaded ships on the oceans. In this ayah He (swt) tells us that He (swt) has created things that

are similar to those loaded ships and upon these things we ride. It seems and Allah (swt) Knows

best that this is referring to all the forms of transportation upon which the human being rides.

Allah (swt) reminds us in this ayah that He (swt) is the One Who created all of this for us. From

horses to camels to mules to cows to wagons to bicycles to cars to buses to trains to ships to

planes. These are just a few of the many different forms of transportation that Allah (swt) has

created for us to ride on. He (swt) reminds us in this ayah that it was He (swt) and He (swt) Alone

Who created these for us. Why then can we not be grateful to Him (swt)? Why then can we not

strive to serve Him (swt)?

        Even the concept of transportation is something for which we should always be thanking

Allah (swt). How great are the distances that these transportations have allowed us to traverse?

Imagine if we did not have ships and planes. How restricted and confined would we as human

beings be? We would be limited to the land in which we were born. This whole earth would not

have been open for us as it is today. We would not be able to travel to distant lands, we will not

be able to conduct trade and receive goods from foreign lands, most of us would not even be able

to perform Hajj. Absolutely limitless are the bounties and privileges that we have derived from

transportation.   Now were all these different forms of transportation really the creation of man?

Or did Allah (swt) create them? Did we create the materials for them? Did we create the land on

which they run or the air in which they fly or the water on which they sail? Did we create the fuel

that powers them? Did we even have the idea for them? No rather all of these were created by

Allah (swt). So it is only because of Him (swt) that we have all of the different forms of

transportation on which we ride. How then can we not give thanks? How can we continue to enjoy

the benefits and blessings and still live in heedlessness of the One Who gave it to us?




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        Even the concept of riding on transportation is a great blessing for which we should

always be thanking our Lord. Think about it. You are just sitting on a plane or on a train or on a

ship. Unless you are the driver or the pilot of this transportation you do not have to do anything.

You can just sit there and your body is traversing great distances. Distances that you would never

have been able to cross with only your two legs. During this time you can just sleep or read or

write or do whatever you want. The transportation that carries you does all the work for you and it

does it much better than you could. How wonderful then is this bounty that your Lord has created

just for you? Do you see any other creature besides human beings for whom Allah (swt) has

created these forms of transportation? How then can we continue to be ungrateful to Him (swt)?

How then can we continue to deny Him (swt)?




44. And if We so pleased We could have drowned them, then there will be no one for them

to hear their cries and they will not be saved.

        This is a most frightening ayah. It truly makes us realize the Power that Allah (swt) has

over us. It makes us realize that our relationship with Him (swt) is no joke. It makes us realize that

our servitude of Him (swt) must be always on our minds. This Din is not as how unfortunately

many Muslims take it today to be. This Din is not a thing to be neglected. Allah (swt) is not One to

be neglected. Look at how Allah (swt) describes Himself in this ayah. Look at what He (swt) says

that He (swt) is going to do. Then ask yourself how could ever be in heedlessness of Him (swt).

How you could ever do anything to displease Him (swt). Our Lord is the Most Kind and the Most

Merciful and the Most Loving and the Most Forgiving. But He (swt) is also the One upon Whom

we rely for every moment of our existence, and if He (swt) were to neglect us for even a moment

then we would be in a fate that is far worse than we could possibly ever imagine. In this ayah

Allah (swt) reminds us that He (swt) can do that do us if He (swt) so pleased. He (swt) reminds us

how utterly and completely we are dependent on Him (swt). Contemplate deeply on the meaning

of this ayah and then realize how terrified you must be of your Lord.




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        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “And if We so pleased We could have drowned

them”. Imagine ships sailing on the ocean. Realize how utterly dependent they are on Allah (swt).

There is a seemingly endless sea of blue all around them and underneath them. Allah (swt) tells

us in this ayah that if He (swt) so pleased He (swt) could simply drown them right there. It could

be so sudden. It could be without warning. One minute they are on their ships and the next they

could find themselves in the water. Such is Allah (swt). He (swt) can do all things and there is

none to question Him (swt). Do you then realize the Lord that you have? Do you realize the

magnitude of the threat that He (swt) is making in this ayah?

        In a way this is how we all are. Just like sailors on ships we all journey through life only

by the Will and Power of Allah (swt). At any moment that He (swt) pleased He (swt) could drown

us. How many are the ways in which He (swt) could make us be enveloped by this universe that

is around us if He (swt) so pleased? Of course there is death. Within a moment He (swt) could

take life away from any of us and that would be easy for Him (swt) to do. Then there are the

calamities and tragedies of this world. At any moment He (swt) could make the worst of our

nightmares to come true. At any moment He (swt) could make to happen that which we fear the

most. Be this loss of life, loss of family, loss of health and well being, loss of wealth, or loss or

sustenance. It could be anything for He (swt) has Power over it all. Countless are the calamities

of all different kinds that our Lord could make to befall us. All that He (swt) has to do is so please.

        However far worse than any of these is if we should lose our Iman. If we should slacken

in our worship and servitude of Him (swt). This is the true calamity. This is the true drowning that

He (swt) can make to befall us. Imagine what would be your fate in both this life and the next if

Allah (swt) were to do this to you. In this life you would lose that peace and tranquility in your

heart that comes from knowing Allah (swt). You would lose the joy of Salah and the joy of doing

all of the actions that are pleasing to Him (swt). You have tasted this joy in the life of this world.

You know that there is nothing like it. Now imagine how terrible it would be if you were to lose it.

So realize that if Allah (swt) so pleased He (swt) could make you drown in this sea of materialism

and heedlessness. It is only a desire from Him (swt) and it would be so. Can you see how utterly

dependent you are on Him (swt)? Can you see how terrified you must be of angering Him (swt)?




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        These are a few of the ways in which Allah (swt) could cause us to drown in this world if

He (swt) so pleased. But we know that this world is not a place of punishment. Although our Lord

could cause us pain in this world, this world was not created for that purpose. The true abode of

both joy and pain is the Hereafter. This is what Paradise and the Fire were created for. Now just

imagine what Allah (swt) could do to us in the Hereafter. He (swt) could drown us in an ocean of

fire. Drown in an ocean of pain and suffering. All that He (swt) has to do is so please. Do you then

realize the magnitude of the threat that your Lord is making here?

        Now the point of this ayah is not to make you become paralyzed with fear. We must

always remember that our Lord is the Most Forgiving and the Most Merciful. The One Who

pardons again and again. He (swt) is also Most Just and All Knowing. So we can be certain that

He (swt) will not send us an overwhelming punishment for no reason. He (swt) will not make us

drown for no reason. But at the same time we should also remember that His (swt)’s Din is no

joke. We cannot take our responsibility and our duty to Him (swt) lightly. Rather it must be on the

forefront of our minds. We spoke previously about how He (swt) looks at each and every one of

our actions. So we should always be striving to make every action that we do one that He (swt) is

pleased with. If we do not. If we allow ourselves to fall into heedlessness. If we do actions for

ourselves rather than for Him (swt) then that is when we must fear the threat that He (swt) gives

us in this ayah. May Allah (swt) save us from that! May Allah (swt) save us from Him (swt)!

        In the next part of the ayah Allah (swt) says “then there will be no one for them to hear

their cries”. The Arabic word Sarikha that Allah (swt) uses here means the “one who responds

to the cries for help”. So here He (swt) is telling us that for these people whom He (swt) pleases

to drown there will be no one to hear their cries for help. Imagine for a moment a ship out on the

open ocean. Supposing that Allah (swt) chooses for this ship to drown. Then who will be there out

in the open waters of the ocean to hear their pleas for help. They can scream out into the

vastness of the ocean all around them but there will be no one to hear their pleas except the

sharks. There will be none from the creation who can save them. Their only hope is in their Lord.

Is this not how our situation is as well? If Allah (swt) should touch us with any of the calamities

that we mentioned then who can save us except Him (swt)? Can we call out to any but He (swt)?




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        Finally Allah (swt) says “and they will not be saved”. This is the fate of all those who

turn away from Allah (swt). This is the fate of all those who rely on the creation instead of the

Creator. When Allah (swt) chooses to drown them, when He (swt) chooses to envelope them in

His (swt)’s chastisement then there will be none to save them except He (swt). So the lesson that

we must take from this is to see the futility of turning away from Allah (swt). To see the

foolishness of focusing on the creation instead of the Creator. There is Allah (swt) and then there

is this world. If we choose the later of these then we should realize the dangerous situation that

we have put ourselves. Only with Allah (swt) can we be saved. Only with Allah (swt) can we have

hope of not being drowned in heedlessness and sin.




45. Except a mercy from Us, and an enjoyment for a while.

        In the previous ayah Allah (swt) told us that the people whom He (swt) chooses to be

drowned will not be saved. In this ayah He (swt) gives an exception to that rule. There is one

group of people who will be saved. These are the ones whom He (swt) chooses to have mercy

on. These are the ones whom He (swt) is pleased with. As we have mentioned previously the root

word for the word “mercy” that Allah (swt) uses here a word that means the “womb”. The resting

place of the fetus in the womb of the mother. So this is how the mercy of Allah (swt) is. It is an

enveloping mercy. It is a complete and utter mercy. It is a mercy that surrounds you so that you

taste it for every moment of your existence. Just as Allah (swt) can drown those whom He (swt) is

displeased with, He (swt) can also envelop and wrap in His (swt)’s mercy those whom He (swt) is

pleased with. Which of these groups do you then want to be part of? Realize that this mercy

comes only from Allah (swt). If you were to turn away from Him (swt) when you know that He

(swt) is the Real and the True then what hope do you have of this mercy? You will drown in this

world of heedlessness and sin and there will be no one to save you from it. Only in the mercy of

your Lord does your salvation lie, why then do you not work for it?




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        So if Allah (swt) chooses to save you from drowning then it would only be by His (swt)’s

mercy. When He (swt) does He (swt) tells us here that He will also give you “an enjoyment for a

while”. This refers to the life of this world. It is an enjoyment but only for some time. No one can

deny that there is pleasure and enjoyment in this world. In fact the very reason why many people

choose to turn away from Allah (swt) is because they do not want to give up the pleasures of this

world. Such people want to enjoy everything in this world and they do not want to be restricted by

the Law of Allah (swt) in any way. But what we need to realize is that dedicating ourselves to

Allah (swt) does not mean that we need to give up the pleasures of this world completely. In this

part of the ayah Allah (swt) is describing those whom He (swt) is pleased with and He (swt) is

saying that they will have the enjoyments of this worldly life. So if we dedicate ourselves to Allah

(swt) then we can have a hope that He (swt) will give us some joy and comfort in this worldly life.

Now of course we know that the true reward is in the Hereafter and that is what we must always

be yearning for. But our Lord is so Bountiful and His Mercy is so vast that He (swt) may even give

us in this world if He (swt) so pleases. Many are the comforts and the provisions that our Lord can

give us even in this world. All of them are permissible in His Divine Law and so all of them are

open for us to enjoy. So the company of your spouse or the companionship of your friends or the

taste of your favorite food or the beholding of a sunset or the smile of a child are all from the

enjoyments of this world. Even better than all of these is the feeling that you get in your heart

when you know that you have done something to please your Creator. Be it the sujood in your

prayer or breaking your fast after a long and hot day. All of these are from the pleasures of this

world that Allah (swt) may give you if He (swt) is pleased with you. May Allah (swt) grant us the

good of this world and the good of the Hereafter and may He (swt) save us from the Fire!

        But also remember in this ayah how Allah (swt) says that the enjoyments in this worldly

life are only for a time. So do not become too attached to them and do not neglect Allah (swt)

because of them. If you do then they will be a curse for you instead of a blessing. You may enjoy

them for the short time that you are on this world but then you know what is waiting for you in the

next. So realize that you are not in this world for its enjoyments. You are only here to serve your

Lord. If He (swt) gives you some pleasures then take it and thank Him (swt) for it. But if He (swt)




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does not then still strive to be grateful to Him (swt) for all that He (swt) has given you including

you very existence and the faith in your heart. Know that only with Allah (swt) can you find mercy.

If you should turn away then you will drown in all the darkness that is not Him (swt).




46. And when it is said to them “Protect yourself from what is in front of you and what is

behind you in order that you may be shown mercy”.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) returns the theme to what He (swt) began the Surah with. That is

relating to us the attitude that many people have towards this Message when they are presented

with it. Recall how Allah (swt) began this Surah by addressing the Prophet (saw). By reminding

him (saw) of all of his qualities and of the noble mission that he (saw) had been charged with.

Then Allah (swt) also reminded the Prophet (saw) that the word of punishment had become true

against his (saw)’s people because they chose not to believe. Even though these people had

clearly seen the Truth of this Message they chose not to believe. Here in this ayah Allah (swt)

continues to tell the Prophet (saw) and us as well about such people. These are the ones who

choose to turn away from Allah (swt). These are the ones who choose not to see the Signs.

These are the ones who choose not to take the lessons. May Allah (swt) save us from ever

becoming like such people!

        In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us what is the response of these people to a warning that

they are given. The warning is that these people are told to protect themselves against what is in

front of them and what is behind them. Now what exactly does Allah (swt) mean here by what is

in front of them and what is behind them. We know that we were only created to worship and

serve Allah (swt). That is the reason why we exist. But have we always performed this duty to the

best of our ability? Have we always dedicated every moment for Him (swt)? No of course not.


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There were many moments when we were heedless of Him (swt). There were even many

moments in which we had done the actions that were displeasing to Him (swt). We have sinned in

the past and most likely we are going to sin in the future. That is the reality of being human. This

is what Allah (swt) tells us to protect ourselves from in this ayah. This is what the people were told

to protect themselves from. The sins of the past and the sins of the future.

        Now of course no one can fully protect themselves from sin. We will always sin. But what

we are being told to do here is to protect ourselves to the best of our ability. So as much as we

can we should try to stay away from sin. As much as we can we should try to stay away from

what is displeasing to Allah (swt). This is especially relevant for those who have not yet accepted

this Message because what could be a greater sin than turning away from the Message that your

Creator sends you? You have to protect yourself from that. You have to protect yourself from it by

responding to the Message when it reaches you. We spoke previously about the terrible

consequences of turning away from Allah (swt). In this ayah Allah (swt) tells all of mankind to

protect themselves from this.

        So we have sins in front of us and we have sins behind us. The sins in front of us are

those that we have not yet committed but what we could fall into. These are what Allah (swt) tells

us to protect ourselves from. We protect ourselves from them by trying our best to avoid them.

We have to avoid the sins themselves and we have to avoid the situations in which we could

commit those sins. So if you know that being in a certain environment or being in the company of

a particular people will make you more prone to sin then you must strive to avoid such

circumstances. Allah (swt) is telling you here to guard yourself against disobedience to Him (swt).

This means that every precaution must be taken.

        Now what exactly does Allah (swt) mean by protecting ourselves from the sins that we

have done in the past? To understand this we have to realize that every sin which we have done

is one more weight on our scale of evil deeds. Remember that on the Day of Judgment a scale

will be set up that will count each and every one of our actions. The scholars say that the weights

on this scale are so perfect that even an atom will tilt it. Now think about all of the wrong that you

have done. Think about all of the moments which you have lived in heedlessness to Allah (swt).




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How heavy must your scale of evil deeds be? We also know that every single evil deed that we

have done is a potential source of punishment for us. We know that every single evil deed could

be a moment in the Fire if Allah (swt) chooses not to forgive us. So we have to protect ourselves

from these evil deeds. We have to protect ourselves from the pain of the punishment. The way in

which we do this is by doing good deeds to make up for those evil deeds. The way in which we

do this is also by making Tawbah to Allah (swt) and begging for His (swt)’s Forgiveness for the

wrong that we have done. This is what Allah (swt) tells us here to do. To protect ourselves from

the evil consequences of our actions. May Allah (swt) give us the enabling grace because we

cannot do it without Him (swt)!

        Why is it that we need to make this effort to protect ourselves from the sins that we might

commit in the future and from the consequences of the sins that we have committed in the past?

Allah (swt) says “in order that you may be shown mercy”. We spoke in the previous ayah

about how enveloping was the Mercy of Allah (swt). How it will cover us both in this life and the

Hereafter. Here we see that this Mercy is conditional upon us taking the steps to protect

ourselves from sin. This Mercy is conditional upon us making Tawbah for the sins that we have

committed in the past. This Mercy is conditional upon rushing to do good deeds to make up for

the sins that we have done in the past. This Mercy is conditional upon us trying our best to avoid

sins in the future. So realize how desperate you are for the Mercy of your Lord, then realize how

incumbent it is upon you to do rush to do the deeds that are pleasing to Him (swt).

        Now in this ayah Allah (swt) tells us that this was what was said to the people to whom

this Message was presented to. They were told to protect themselves from what was in front of

them and what is behind them. They were told to protect themselves from all that they had which

was displeasing to their Creator. But notice in the ayah how Allah (swt) does not tell us what their

response was. Allah (swt) tells us that they were warned but He (swt) does not tell us what their

response to this warning was. This is because they did not respond. They did not change their

ways and try to reform themselves. They persisted in their rejection of this Message. What hope

then is there for such people? How could they be so stubborn and so arrogant? May Allah (swt)

save us from ever becoming like them!




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47. And there comes to them not a Sign from the Signs of their Lord except that they turn

away from it.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to describe for us the attitude of those who reject this

Message. Those who reject this Message even when they are certain that it is the Truth. Now you

may ask yourself as to why Allah (swt) has placed so many ayahs in the Quran telling us about

those who choose to turn away from Him (swt). In lieu of such ayahs why does not Allah (swt) tell

us about Himself (swt)? Why does not Allah (swt) give us some ayahs describing the Paradise?

Why are there not more ayahs describing the believers and praising their good qualities? Why are

there so many ayahs about those who disbelieve? These people are the worst of creation. Do

they really need so much mention in this blessed Book?

        There are actually two reasons why Allah (swt) has placed so many ayahs in His (swt)’s

Book describing these people. The first reason is because once we know these people well and

we know how they think and behave then Insha Allah we can take the steps to protect ourselves

from becoming like them. So far Allah (swt) has described for us their arrogance and their

stubbornness. How they will not follow even what they know to be the Truth. How they think that

they are better than others. How they think that what must always happen is what they want.

Allah (swt) has also described for us their love of this world. How they do not restrain or control in

any way their desires for the things of this world. Now we must look for such traits with ourselves

and we must strive to rid ourselves of these traits. When the path of misguidance has been made

clear to you then Insha Allah you will recognize and you will know to stay away from it.



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        The other reason why Allah (swt) spends so many ayahs on such people is because the

Quran is a Book of dawah. It is a manual and a guidebook that those who call to Allah (swt)

should follow. Just like the Prophet (saw) we also exist to call the people to Allah (swt). So in

these ayahs Allah (swt) is telling us what to expect from many of the people whom we carry

dawah to. Even though we are striving to call the people to Allah (swt). Even though everyone

was created only to dedicate themselves to Allah (swt). There will still be some who turn away

from the call. There will still be some who turn away with such obstinate rejection. So Allah (swt)

warns us beforehand about such people. He (swt) tells us just like He (swt) told the Prophet (saw)

and the Sahabah that this is what we should expect in our dawah. Thus we will not be surprised.

We will not be dejected and give up. Rather we would press forward in our dawah. The more that

the people reject us the more that we will continue to call them to Allah (swt). Now do you realize

how important the dawah must be in your life?

        Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah that for these people there does not come to them a sign

except that they turn away from it. They are averse to it. They do not want to see it. They want to

see other than it. This is true for any sign that comes to such people. And how many were the

signs that came to them? Signs that clearly showed them that they had a Creator, and that the

Creator is One, and that this Message is from Him (swt). All these Signs are from their Lord. All

these Signs are from the One Who they were created to serve. The One Who has given them

everything that they have and the One Who sustains them for every moment of their existence.

Allah (swt) did not need to give them so many signs. He (swt) could have given them just one

sign. That should have been more than enough for them. But in His (swt)’s Mercy and Love for

them, He (swt) sent them Sign after Sign. Evidence after evidence. Proof after proof. And still

they did not believe. Still they chose to turn away. Even though the Truth was right in front of

them and as clear as day they still chose to turn away. These are whom we should always pray to

Allah (swt) to save us from becoming.

         One lesson from this ayah is that we must always be looking for the Signs of our Lord.

Signs that will lead us to Him (swt). We will find that there are countless Signs if only we would

have an open ear, an open eye, and an open heart. Another lesson that we can take is that we




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should never give up on our dawah. We should expect failure. We should expect setbacks. We

should expect people to reject us. But we should still press forward. In the end all that matters is

that Allah (swt) pleased with us.




47. And when it is said to them “Spend from what Allah has provided for you”, the ones

who do kufr say to the ones who believe “Shall we feed him whom if Allah willed He could

have fed him”. “You are only in clear error”.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to describe those who would turn away from Him (swt).

He (swt) describes for us their thinking and their behavior. He (swt) especially shows us in this

ayah what is their estimation of Him (swt). These people know that they have a Creator and a

Sustainer. But what do they think of Him (swt)? What do they think that their relationship with Him

(swt) must be? Thus Allah (swt) is reminding us once again whom we are up against. He (swt) is

also showing us who we have to save ourselves from becoming. These are a people who are

distant from Allah (swt). They have drowned themselves in this world and in all that is not the

Real and True. So contemplate deeply on the description that Allah (swt) gives you of such

people. Know that if you want to journey to Him (swt) then the path that you must walk is the

opposite of this.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “And when it is said to them “Spend from what

Allah has provided for you””. Here Allah (swt) relates to us the speech of those whom He (swt)

is pleased with towards those whom He (swt) is displeased with. The true and sincere believers

are telling the ones who do kufr to spend from what Allah (swt) has provided them with. Now a

question to ask ourselves here is who exactly are these people whom Allah (swt) describes in this

ayah as “the ones who do kufr”. Is this speaking about the ones who openly reject this Message?

Is this speaking about the non-Muslims? Now we know that the precondition for all good actions

is belief. For Allah (swt) to accept any action it must be done only for Him (swt). So this ayah


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cannot be referring to those who disbelieve or those who have not accepted the Message. The

believers would never be calling on such people to spend for Allah (swt), rather they would first

call them to accept this Message and to accept Allah (swt) as their Lord and Master.

        So we believe, and Allah (swt) Knows best, that the ones who do kufr that this ayah

speaks of are the Muslims who have already this accepted this Message. Why does the ayah

refer to them as those who do kufr you may ask? This is because they do kufr to the favors and

bounties of Allah (swt) upon them. Recall that there are two levels of kufr. The greater kufr is to

reject this Message even when you are certain that it is the Truth. The lesser kufr is to reject all

of the favors and bounties of Allah (swt) upon you by failing to show gratitude for them. It is this

form of kufr that these people were guilty of. Unlike the greater form of kufr, this form does not

condemn a person to the Fire forever but it is still most displeasing to Allah (swt).

        Thus we see in the ayah how these Muslims who commit this lesser form of kufr are

being told by their Muslim brothers and sisters to spend in the way of Allah (swt) from what He

(swt) has bestowed on them. Notice in the ayah how they are not being told to spend from what

they have but rather they are being told to spend from what Allah (swt) has provided them with.

This serves to remind us all once again how everything that we have is really from Allah (swt).

Nothing that we have is from our own selves. Nothing that we have is what we deserve because

or who we are of what we have done. It is all a Gift and a Mercy from our Lord.

        What is the response of these people when they are told to spend for Allah (swt)? Our

Lord tells us how they say “Shall we feed him whom if Allah willed He could have fed him”.

Notice once again how even though these people are Muslims, Allah (swt) still refers to them as

“the ones who do kufr”. From this we should realize that even a Muslim can do kufr. Even a

Muslim can do what is displeasing to Allah (swt). So never think that it is enough for you only to

simply say the Shahadah and then expect to go straight to Paradise. The test for which Allah

(swt) created you is far greater than that. Instead of just saying with your tongue that there is no

illah except Allah (swt) and that Muhammad (saw) is the Messenger of Allah (swt) you have to

live the reality of what you say. You know that the word illah means “the one whom your heart is

attached to” and “the one whom you do everything for”. So you have to dedicate yourself




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completely to Allah (swt) and the way in which that you do this is by following the example of the

Prophet (saw). An integral part of this dedication and servitude is the showing of gratitude. You

have to render thanks to Allah (swt) for all that He (swt) has given you.

        Now look at the response of these Muslims who do kufr when they are being told to

spend from what Allah (swt) has given them. Allah (swt) tells us how they say “Shall we feed him

whom if Allah willed He could have fed him”. The believers are telling them to spend for the

sake of Allah (swt) to feed the poor person. Their response is why they should feed the person

whom Allah (swt) Himself could have fed if He (swt) wanted. Look at their thinking. Look at their

mentality. Look at the way they view their relationship with their Creator and Sustainer. Of course

it is true that Allah (swt) could have fed the poor person if He (swt) willed but that is not the

reason why He (swt) asks them to feed him. They are being told to feed the poor person to

demonstrate their worship and servitude of Allah (swt). To demonstrate their total submission to

Him (swt). To demonstrate their willingness to give up what they love for Him (swt). But they do

not realize this. They do not see Allah (swt) as their Lord and Master. The One Who they should

live for. Rather they are proud and arrogant towards Him (swt). They want Him (swt) to do their

job for them. They think that they are the masters and that He (swt) is the slave. How foolish is

such thinking? How dark are their hearts? May Allah (swt) save us from ever becoming like them!

        Another despicable attribute of theirs that we can see from this ayah is their love for this

world and their miserliness. All that they are being told to do is to feed a poor person. How much

money does it take to give one meal to a poor person? Even this was something that they were

not willing to do. How cruel can a people be that they cannot even find it within themselves to give

food to someone who is hungry? Even just one meal. Rather they say that it is Allah (swt) Who

must do it. Just to save those few dollars that it would cost them to give food to a poor person

they would speak such blasphemy against their Lord. So much is their love for the material goods

of this world. So much is their hatred to part with any of it even for the sake of Allah (swt).

        In the final part of this ayah Allah (swt) says “You are only in clear error”. This part of

the ayah is actually the response of the believers to what the ones who do kufr had said in the

previous part of the ayah. When the people who do kufr tell Allah (swt) to feed the poor person,




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this is what the believers then say to them. They are in clear error and misguidance. To have

such covetousness for the goods of this world when you know that it is doomed for destruction.

To show such arrogance and insolence before Allah (swt) when you know that He (swt) is your

Lord and Master. This is the worst of error and misguidance. Only those who are utterly heedless

to the true reality of this universe would think and behave in such a way. Only those who have

deviated far from being the servants of Allah (swt) that they were created to be would be this way.

They are far, far away from the Straight Path. They are in clear error and misguidance.

         As hard as it may be for you to believe there are many so called Muslims today who are

as Allah (swt) describes them in this ayah. They have an overflowing desire for the material

goods of this world. Their desire is so great that they do not want to part with anything that they

have. They do not pay Zakat on their wealth, they do not give any charity, and they do not even

help their close family members who may be in need. They just want to hoard as much as they

can for themselves. Even though they are extremely rich, they are not even willing to give the

smallest of charity to feed a poor person.

         However even worse than their greed and their miserliness is their attitude towards their

Lord and Master. Whenever these hypocrites are reminded of any of their duties and

responsibilities for the Din they put it upon Allah (swt). They themselves do not make any kind of

effort, they simply say that it is up to Allah (swt). As if it is His (swt)’s job to do their work for them.

So for example when they are told to work for the reestablishment of the Islamic State, they say

that Allah (swt) will bring back the State whenever He (swt) pleases. Now this is true, but this still

does not absolve them of the responsibility of working towards its restoration. Look at the

example of the Prophet (saw). He (saw) knew that the victory would only come from Allah (swt).

He (saw) knew that only Allah (swt) will establish His (swt)’s Din on the earth. But for his part, he

(saw) made the effort. So too must we make the effort. We know that Allah (swt) is the One Who

provides our sustenance, yet we still go out into the world and seek it. We seek the sustenance

because Allah (swt) commanded us to, not because we think that it comes because of our own

efforts. Similarly Allah (swt) is the One Who will bring the Islamic State. Allah (swt) is the One

Who will guide the hearts of the people to this Din. But we have to do our responsibility. We




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cannot sit lazily at home and say that this is Allah (swt)’s job. Such is the height of arrogance and

insolence. But this is what these hypocrites do. They put everything upon Allah (swt) and they

themselves do nothing. Even though it is their duty to work for this dawah they still do nothing.

        These are the people who we have to save ourselves from becoming. We have to always

pray to Allah (swt) that He (swt) does not allow such kufr into our hearts. How could we be so

ungrateful to Allah (swt) that we would not be willing to spend anything that He (swt) gave us?

Even for the poor and the unfortunate? How can we be so ungrateful to Allah (swt) that we are

not willing to work to make His (swt)’s Din supreme in the land and to carry His (swt)’s Message

to the people? Allah (swt) can do whatsoever He (swt) pleases but we have to remember that our

job is to work. Our job is to try to the best of our ability to do the deeds that will please Him (swt).

So we should always remember our place and the place of Allah (swt). We are the slaves and He

(swt) is the Master. We are the creation and He (swt) is the Creator. We should also remember

that everything we have. Every possession. Every breath of air that we take. Even our very lives

belong completely to Him (swt). So we should never be reluctant to give to Him (swt). When we

spend for Him (swt) we are only returning to Him (swt) what He (swt) has given us. This is what

we must always remember. May Allah (swt) give us the enabling grace! May Allah (swt) save us

from becoming like the people whom He (swt) described here!

        Yet another lesson that we can take from this ayah is to see how Allah (swt) loves for the

hungry to be fed. When these people are called on to spend for Allah (swt), they are not being

called on to spend for a masjid or an organization rather they are being called to feed the poor.

So we should all do what we can to feed the poor people of the world. Now we can contribute to

charities and give something to the poor that we meet face to face, but we should know that the

best way to help all the poor people in the world, the best way to feed all of them, is to bring back

the system that will take care of them. In other words to bring back the Islamic State. The Islamic

State as an organization exists to take care of the people. It ensures that the wealth of the land is

fairly distributed. It ensures that there are no people left poor and hungry. It is the Divine Law of

Allah (swt) so how can you expect from it anything less from it?




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49. And they say “When is this promise if you are truthful”.

        In this previous ayah Allah (swt) described for us the hypocrites in our community. The

ones who bring excuses when they are told to spend for Allah (swt). The ones who prefer this

world and its chattels to their Lord and Master, the Majestic and the Sublime. The ones who are

utterly heedless to the Glory and the Omnipotence of Allah (swt) and His (swt)’s right to be

worshipped and served. All that these people are being called on to do is to feed a poor person.

They are simply being asked to give a tiny portion of their wealth to a feed a poor person, a

hungry person, so that they may gain the Countenance of their Lord through that deed. Not only

were they unwilling to do this but they have the audacity to say that Allah (swt) is the One Who

should do it. In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to describe for us such people.

        Recall that the previous ayah was a conversation. A conversation between the true and

sincere believers and those hypocrites who said that they believe but who were unwilling to do

anything to please their Lord and Master. The believers told the hypocrites to spend from what

Allah (swt) had provided them. The hypocrites replied by asking why they should spend to feed

one whom Allah (swt) Himself could have fed if He (swt) so pleased. In response to such

arrogance and rebellion the believers may have responded to the hypocrites by reminding them

of their duty to Allah (swt). By reminding them that they were only created to please Allah (swt).

By reminding them of that tremendous Day on which they will have to return to Allah (swt). The

Day which He (swt) promised would come. In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us what is the response of

these hypocrites towards this Day.

        Allah (swt) tells us how they say “When is this promise if you are truthful”. These

hypocrites are reminded of this terrible Day. The Day when this entire universe will be destroyed.

The Day when the eternity of every soul will be decided. The true believer realizes the reality of

this Day. He can almost picture it his mind. That is why he is terrified of it. He knows that it could

occur at the very next moment , but he is praying that it does not. He knows how frightening it will




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be when the sky starts breaking, and the mountains start crumbing, and the oceans start burning.

Moreover he knows that once this Day befalls then the test is over. Now the opportunity to please

Allah (swt) has ended. Now the deeds will be counted and it will be said to either go to the

Garden or to go to the Fire. So the believer wants one more moment in the life of this world to do

one more good deed to please his Lord. He is terrified of this Day and always thinking about what

he has done to prepare for it.

        Now look at the attitude of these hypocrites towards this Day. They are Muslims so they

know very well about this Day. But instead of being terrified it, instead of taking themselves to

account and looking to what they have for it, they only ask when it is going to occur. They know

that this Day is a Promise from Allah (swt) Himself. Yet still they are in doubt about it. Some of

them do not even believe it is going to happen. So they ask concerning it this foolish question.

Anyone who realizes the reality of this Day would never ask this question. But these people

reveal their hypocrisy and their lack of faith by asking such a question.




50. And they are not waiting except for a single shout, it will overtake while they are still

disputing.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) describes for us the reality of the Day of Judgment. The most

important Day in the creation of the heavens and the earth. This whole universe was only created

for this Day. Everything that everyone does at every moment was only a preparation for this Day.

On this Day, Allah (swt) will reveal Himself to all of us. On this Day, we will truly realize the

meaning of our existence. But most people in this world are completely heedless of this Day. Not

only do they not realize the sheer magnitude of it, but many do not even believe that it will occur.

When they are reminded of it, all that they can do is ask when it is going to occur. They treat it

like a simple matter. This is the Promise of Allah (swt) but they choose not care too much for it.

They choose to ignore it. They choose to live their lives like it is never going to occur. In this ayah

Allah (swt) describes for us the reality that the have chosen to turn away from.




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        Allah (swt) begins by saying “And they are not waiting except for a single shout”.

These people are waiting. Instead of spending their time striving to please Allah (swt), they spend

their time on the frivolities of this world. They choose to turn away from their Creator and

Sustainer. They choose to turn away from the worship and obedience that they own to Him (swt).

So in essence they are just waiting. Since they are not spending their time doing anything

worthwhile it is as if they are spending their time doing nothing. They are just waiting. But what

are they waiting for? Allah (swt) tells us here that it is only a single shout. Allah (swt) Knows best,

this is probably referring to the sound of the trumpet to begin the Day of Judgment or it could be

referring to the moment of their deaths. Both meanings are possible. In either case the result will

be the same. These people who are living in such heedlessness, who allow the moments of their

lives to pass them by without worshipping Allah (swt), they will be awakened by this terrible blast.

It will be a deafening cry that will wake them up to the reality that they chose to hide from. Can

you imagine what it will be like? Can you imagine the fear that will grip their hearts?

        Then Allah (swt) says “it will overtake while they are still disputing”. This is the reality

of this terrible shout. It will catch up to them while they are still arguing. The word that Allah (swt)

uses here gives the meaning that the Day of Judgment is the predator and they are the prey. The

unwary and unsuspecting prey. These people will still be arguing and disputing. They will be

disputing with the believers and bringing excuses as to why they have chosen not to believe.

They will be arguing with each other over the life of this world. Then when they least suspect it.

When they are still in the middle of their arguments and debates, this terrible Day will befall them.

They will hear the terrible shout and then they will be utterly silent. The predator that they used to

deny has caught up with them and seized them when they least expected it to. Can you imagine

the condition that they will be in? Do you ever want this to be your situation?

        So one lesson that we can take from this ayah is that we must take every precaution

possible to save ourselves from being among the heedless. How many people today think about

the Day of Judgment? How many Muslims think about it? How many of us even think about our

own deaths? Do we want to be like the people whom Allah (swt) has described in this ayah? The

ones who spend their lives just waiting, doing nothing to prepare for their meeting with their Lord.




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The ones whom the shout overtakes like a predator. Is this whom we want to be like? Imagine

how terrifying it would be? You are disputing over some worldly matter, totally concerned with this

world and heedless of your Lord, and then you hear this deafening cry. The most piercing and

frightening noise that you have ever heard. Can you imagine yourself in such a situation? You

would die just from the fear of it.

        So we must prepare for this day to the best of our ability. At every moment we must think

to ourselves as to what would be the most pleasing of actions to Allah (swt) and then we must

strive to do it. We must not let a moment pass us by except that we are at least remembering our

Lord in that moment and glorifying Him (swt) in it. Now of course none of us can prepare for this

Day as we really should. None of us can worship and serve Allah (swt) as He (swt) deserves. But

we must still try. Perhaps Allah (swt) will reward us more for our sincere intention than He (swt)

will for actual works. So try to make your five daily prayers and try to make them with the

tranquility of heart and the presence of mind that Allah (swt) deserves. Then increase in your

prayers and remember that the most beloved of prayers to Allah (swt) after the obligatory ones is

the late night prayer. Allah (swt) also loves for brothers to make the obligatory prayers in the

masjid. Then fast in Ramadan and try to make optional fasts. Try to spend more time learning

Arabic and learning knowledge of the Din. Try to behave with your family, your Muslim brothers

and sisters, and the people in general in a way that Allah (swt) will be pleased with. Try to forgive

them the wrong that they do to you and try to give them whatever will please them, even if it is

only a smile or a kind word. Try to clean your hearts of feelings of arrogance and jealousy. Try to

spend from what you have to help those in need. Try to teach the Muslims you know about what

Islam truly is, try to bring them close to Allah (swt) with His (swt)’s Book. Read more Quran. Make

more dhikr. Do what you do in life in the best way that you can. Be this your work or school or

looking after your family. Honor all of your trusts and obligations. Know that all of these are

actions that are pleasing to Allah (swt). All of these can help you to prepare for that Day. May

Allah (swt) allow us to do all that we can to prepare! May Allah (swt) save us from being among

the heedless! May Allah (swt) help us to always realize the magnitude of this Day!




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        Another lesson that we can take from this ayah is to see how arguing and disputing over

the affairs of this world is displeasing to Allah (swt). Notice how Allah (swt) describes these

people as disputing when the shout catches up to them. This shows how it is the behavior of

those whom Allah (swt) is displeased with. It is only those who are heedless of Allah (swt) who

argue and dispute over this world. The ones who are arrogant and proud. The ones who always

need to have everything happen the way that they want. The ones who need everyone to yield to

their perspective and their point of view. Such people do not care about the Truth. They only care

that they are right. This is who we have to save ourselves from becoming. Now we are not

speaking here about debating for the sake of the dawah. When we are presenting this Message

to someone or when we are trying to show someone the validity of an idea in Islam then we may

debate with them and show them the evidences. But what is displeasing to Allah (swt) is when we

argue for our own selves. For the sake of this world. So always check yourself whenever you

speak. Ask yourself if you move your tongue for yourself or for your Lord.




51. So they will not be able to make a will nor can they return to their families.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to describe for us the condition of the sinners when the

Day of Judgment befalls them. Recall from the previous ayah how Allah (swt) described for us the

condition that these people will be in when they hear the terrible shout. This piercing sound that

signifies the end of their existence. It could be the Last Day or the angel of death. It will overtake

them when they least expect it and take them completely by surprise. In this ayah Allah (swt)

continues to describe for us their condition when this happens. The dreadfulness and the

hopelessness of their situation. The utter worthlessness of their lives and all that they lived for.

        Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah that the Day of Judgment will come upon these people so

suddenly that they will not even be able to make a will or even return to their families. By bringing

our attention to both the will and their families, Allah (swt) is bringing our attention to what they




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lived their lives for. These people lived their lives for this world. For the accumulation of money

and the material goods of this world. That was the purpose of their existence. That was what they

spent their lives doing. Now what do you think is the first thing that they will think of when they

hear this terrible shout. When they know that their life is over. Of course they will think about their

wealth because it is the god for which they dedicated their existence. They will think to

themselves that they should at least leave their wealth for their families. If they cannot enjoy their

wealth then at least their children should. There should be some purpose or benefit to their lives.

        But Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah that they will not even be able to do this. They will not

even be able to make a will or even return to their families. This is how suddenly death will cease

them. They will not be able to do anything. So what then happened to all of their wealth? This

wealth that they spent their whole lives trying to accumulate. It will be gone. They will not be able

to take it with them nor will they be able to give it to their families. It will be completely gone. Their

whole lives would have been a complete waste. This one precious life that they had. This life in

which they could have secured for themselves the Garden and saved themselves from the Fire.

        So one lesson that we can take from this ayah is to realize the futility of any life that is not

lived for Allah (swt). Realize from this ayah the condition of those who chose this world over their

Creator. Do not let anything distract you from Him (swt). Do not let anything be the purpose of

your existence other than Him (swt). Not your wealth. Not your children. Not your family. If you

live for any of these instead of living for Him (swt) then realize how your life will be a complete

waste. Death or the Day of Judgment may come upon you so suddenly that you will not even

have time to make a will or even to return to your family.

        Now of course in this Din we have a responsibility to look after our families. We have to

provide for them and see that all of their needs are taken care of. Both when we are in this world

and after we leave it. But we must not do this at the expense of our duty to Allah (swt). In fact

looking after our families must only be done as part of our servitude to Allah (swt). We must

provide for them and look after them not for them or for us but only for Allah (swt). Most

importantly we must not neglect any of the other duties that we have in this Din because of our

families and because of the desire that we have to accumulate wealth for them. So do not miss




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your prayers, do not fail to give Zakat and charity, do not neglect the dawah, only because you

say that you want to look after you family. Look after your family and at the same time do not

forget your obligations for Allah (swt) and His (swt)’s Din.

        You have to believe that you can do both. You can work for Islam and look after your

family properly as well. Was this not what the Prophet (saw) and the Sahabah did? Were they not

also human beings just like us? Did they not also have the same twenty four hours that we do?

So look at your life and look at how you spend the moments in your life. Try to have a purpose

and a meaning for every moment in your life. Strive to not even allow a moment to pass you by

unless you are using that moment to someway serve your Lord. Of course this is a very high ideal

that we will never reach but this is what we must be striving to attain. Only then will our lives have

a true purpose. Only then will we leave behind for our families what will truly benefit them. The

Pleasure of Allah (swt).




52. And a blow in the horn, then when they come out from their places of death they will be

racing towards their Lord.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) brings our attention to the most important moment in the creation

of the heavens and the earth. The moment the horn is blown. The entire universe was only

created for this moment. Allah (swt) created all of us for a test. The moment the horn is blown is

when the test is over. This is the moment that we were all created to live for. Do you then realize

the magnitude of it? Do you realize the sheer reality of it? The reality of this world is like a bomb

that is ticking down to detonation. With every second that passes the moment only becomes

closer. Are you living your life in such a way so that you can properly prepare for it?




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        Do you know the reality of this horn? Imagine high above the heavens. A gigantic and

majestic angel. His name is Israfeel. His eyes are just like two shining stars. They never blink.

They never flinch. They never take a rest. He is waiting. Eagerly waiting. For the command of

Allah (swt) to come. The command for the horn to be blown. The Prophet (saw) asked himself as

to how he (saw) could enjoy anything in this life when he knows that the angel has already

brought the horn to his lips and he is just waiting for the command of Allah (swt) to come. You

have to bring yourself to believe with certainty the reality that Allah (swt) is describing for you

here. You have to always tell yourself that the very next moment could be the moment in which

you hear the sound of that horn. The Prophet (saw) and the Sahabah believed with this certainty.

That was why they were able to live every moment for itself. That was why they never wasted a

moment in their lives. That was why they were able to do what they did. They never thought to

themselves that this world was their home. They never thought that this world must be lived for its

sake. At every moment they thought about Allah (swt). They never thought that they could live

even one moment for themselves because they knew that the horn could be blown at that

moment. So at every moment they thought about the responsibility that Allah (swt) had given

them in the life of this world. At every moment they feared the blowing of the horn. So they lived

every moment as if was their last. They realized this reality and they were certain of it.

        Then Allah (swt) says “then when they come out from their places of death they will

be racing towards their Lord”. The scholars tell us that the horn will be blown three times. The

first is the blast of fear. When this blast is heard everyone will be shaken with fear. The second

blowing will cause all to fall down to dead. Finally the third blowing will bring everyone back to life.

It is to this third blowing of the horn that Allah (swt) brings our attention here. Allah (swt) tells us

that when the horn is blown for the third time people will come racing out of their places of death.

        Notice how Allah (swt) does not say that they will come out from their graves but He (swt)

says that they will come out from their places of death. This is because not every single human

being who has ever died has been buried in a grave. Some people have been cremated, some

people have drowned, and some people have just fallen dead somewhere on the earth. But no

matter where they may have died, when they hear the blast of the horn they will come out from




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their places of rest. When the horn is sounded then every single soul who has ever lived in all

human history will come out from the spot where it lay. Can you now realize the magnitude and

tremendousness of this moment? How then can you not prepare for it?

        Also notice in this ayah how Allah (swt) says of everyone that “they will be racing

towards their Lord”. Why does Allah (swt) specifically mention that the people will be racing

towards Him (swt)? It is because at that moment everyone will finally realize the true reality of this

universe. They will finally remember Allah (swt). They will remember the responsibility that they

had to Him (swt). Notice how Allah (swt) specifically says that they will be racing towards “their

Lord”. Now remember the time when Allah (swt) created every single soul, He (swt) asked them if

He (swt) was their Lord and they all declared that He (swt) indeed was. We all told Allah (swt) that

He (swt) was our Lord and that we would live our lives to serve Him (swt). Now at this moment

when they hear the sound of the horn, everyone will remember this promise. Everyone will

remember this responsibility and this duty that they had. So everyone will race to Allah (swt)

because they know that in Him (swt) is their only hope. They will finally remember that they were

created only for Him (swt) and so they will desire nothing but Him (swt). When everyone realizes

the gravity of this responsibility that they had been given, they will all feel that they had fallen

short. So they will run to Allah (swt) to make their excuses. To plead for forgiveness and mercy.

At that moment they will not care for anything else. Not their wealth. Not their children. Not their

families. Not even their own selves. All that they will care about is their Lord so they will race

towards Him (swt).

        We as Muslims know about this reality. We know very well what is going to happen. We

remember this solemn promise that we once gave to Allah (swt). How much of a blessing and a

gift is it for Allah (swt) to have told us about this beforehand? So many people in the world today

are ignorant and heedless of this Truth. How fortunate are we to know about it? We know about it

so that we can prepare for it. Now you know of this promise that you have given to your Lord. You

know of this moment when the horn will be blown and you will return to Him (swt). So why can

you not prepare for this moment now? When you have the chance.




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53. They will say “O destruction be upon us, who has raised us from our place of sleep?

This is what the Most Merciful promised and the messengers spoke the truth”.

        In the previous ayah Allah (swt) had brought our attention to the moment when the horn

is blown. The moment when all mankind will come out from their places of death. In this ayah

Allah (swt) brings our attention to those who had rejected this Message. The ones who had

received this Message but who had rejected it after they were certain that it was the Truth. In this

ayah Allah (swt) tells us what will be their reaction when this tremendous moment befalls them.

Contemplate deeply on the situation that Allah (swt) is describing for you in this ayah. If you can

take the lesson from what happened to them then Insha Allah you can save yourself from being in

their terrible condition. Today the ones who are in danger of being in this situation are not the

non-Muslims because most of them have not properly received this Message. Rather it is the

Muslims. Specially those Muslims who have been given some knowledge of the Din. We know

the Truth. We are aware of this Message. So we are in the greatest danger of sharing in this fate.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by telling us how these people say “O destruction be upon

us”. These people who loved life so much. These people who dreaded the moment when death

would take them. They now find themselves having been brought back to life. What then is their

reaction to this? How do they react to being granted life once again? They call for their own

destruction. Not only do they ask to die but they ask to be destroyed. They ask to be completely

destroyed such that they will never be brought back to life once again. Why do they say this? It is

because now they comprehend the true reality of their existence. Now they realize the reality that

they had all this time chosen to turn away from. Now they realize how they had failed in their duty

to Allah (swt), the Master Whom they were created to serve. That is why they would rather be

destroyed many times over rather than face Him (swt) again.




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         Then they will say “who has raised us from our place of sleep?”. These people were

not expecting to be brought back to life. They had always thought that death would be the end of

their existence. They thought that they could just live their lives as they pleased and then die

forever. They always thought that death would be just like sleep. In it they thought that they would

only know a state of peace and non-existence. That is why they thought that they had to live their

lives to the fullest. That is why they thought that they needed to enjoy themselves as much as

they could. For them this one life was all that they had. After this life all that awaited them was an

eternal sleep. They were never expecting to wake up to this reality. They were never expecting to

wake up to the sound of the horn. That is why when they wake up they ask who it is that has

raised them from their sleep. They thought they were just sleeping. They did not expect to be

raised up. Now they find themselves in that reality that they had chosen to deny. All that they

could do is wonder who brought them here. Who raised them up from their sleep. But deep down

inside they know Who. Deep down inside they will remember the One Who they had chosen in

the life of this world to deny.

         At another level there is an even deeper meaning to this part of the ayah. These people

were not only sleeping in their graves but their whole life has been a kind of sleep. They were

sleeping their whole lives and only on that Day will they truly wake up. Only on that Day will they

truly realize the reality. There is a reality beyond the reality that we know. There is a world beyond

the world that we can sense. But the vast majority of us are heedless to that reality. That is why

our life in this world is as if we are sleeping. Only on that Day will we wake up. Only on that Day

will we see the world as it is.

         In the final part of this ayah Allah (swt) tells us how they will say “This is what the Most

Merciful promised and the messengers spoke the truth”. This part of the ayah shows us that

these were a people who received the Message but then turned away from it. These people knew

the Truth. The Messengers came to them with a promise from the Most Merciful. A promise that

they would return to Him (swt). This blowing of the horn. This Day. This Judgment. It is a promise

from Allah (swt) Himself, their Creator and Sustainer. They knew about this all to well. Yet they

chose to turn away from this so that they could follow their lusts and desires. Because in their




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pride and arrogance they thought themselves to be above having to submit. Now they realize the

Truth of what they turned away from. This is what the Most Merciful had promised them. The One

Who had shown them so much Mercy had promised them this. The One Who created them, gave

them everything that they had, and sustained them for every moment. He (swt) had promised

them this. Now they can see the Truth of this His (swt)’s promise. Why did they turn away from it?

How could they have turned away from it when it was a promise from the Most Merciful?

         They also realize here that the messengers had spoken the Truth. The messengers

whom they had accused of lying. The messengers who they had claimed were only men like

themselves. The messengers who they had accused of error and misguidance. The messengers

who they had killed and tried to kill. Now they realize that these messengers had spoken to them

the truth. The messengers were only trying to save them. If only they had listened to them. If only

they had followed what they knew to be the Truth. Then perhaps they could have been saved.

         One lesson that we can take from this ayah is to see how it is only those who have

received the Message who will be held accountable. Notice how these people knew about the

Promise of Allah (swt) and they knew what the messengers had spoken. This shows us that they

received the Message correctly. They realized the Truth of this Message. That is why they were

held accountable. That is why they had such remorse and guilt. That is also why it cannot be said

for certain that all the non-Muslims who die today will be in the Fire. We cannot be certain who

has and who has not received the Message correctly. The people need to know about the

Promise of Allah (swt). They need to hear the words of the messengers and the dawah carriers.

Only then can it be said that they have received the Message. Do you think that the vast majority

of non-Muslims today are in this situation? Have they correctly been shown all of the proofs and

evidences which show without a doubt that Islam is the Truth. Or have they been shown lies and

propaganda of the enemies of this Message. How then can we say for certain that they will be

among the companions of the Fire if they do not become Muslim? Before we say anything about

them we have to look at our selves. We who know the Truth. We who have the Quran. And yet

still we do not live the life of a true believer.




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54. It is not but a single shout, and they will all gathered before Us present.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) reminds us once again where we will all end up. He (swt) reminds

us again of that moment which our entire lives have been leading up to. Every moment that

passes throughout our entire life has been nothing but a preparation for this moment. In the

previous ayah Allah (swt) told us about the moment when all mankind will be raised up from their

places of death. The ones who were heedless of Allah (swt). The ones who had turned away from

this Message. They will wonder who has raised them up from their long and peaceful sleep. Then

they will realize that this is the Promise of the Most Merciful. They will realize that the messengers

spoke the Truth. In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us what happens next.

        Imagine for a moment how this moment will be like. You wake up on the Last Day. You

see the world around you being destroyed. The earth is shaking. The mountains and the buildings

are crumbling. The sky is breaking open. The oceans and the rivers are burning. Everyone is

running around in confusion. People all over the world are scattered like moths. Then suddenly

you hear loud sound. Only a single sound. Then you find yourself standing before Allah (swt).

You and all of mankind. You have all been gathered before your Lord. All that it took was but a

single shout for all of the chaos to end. Now all of mankind is standing in one place. Standing and

waiting for the judgment to begin. This is the moment that Allah (swt) tells us about in this ayah.

The moment in which the shout will be heard and after which all of mankind will be gathered

before Him (swt) for the Judgment. No one can do anything. No one can say anything. It will be

but a single shout and then all of mankind will be made to gather before Him (swt). This is the

reality that will befall you very soon. This is the reality that your Lord reminds you of here.

        So one lesson that we can take from this ayah is to realize the Power of Allah (swt).

Imagine the utter chaos that the earth will be in on that Day. Every single human being who had

ever lived will be brought back to life. Then amidst the chaos of that great Day, when all these

people are all over the earth, fleeing in different directions, Allah (swt) will only cause there to be




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a single shout and then all of them will be gathered before Him (swt). Such is His (swt)’s Power.

Such is what He (swt) is capable of. How can you turn away from the Power of such a Being?

How can you deny such a Being? Realize that there is absolutely nowhere you can go to hide

from Him (swt) on that Day. It will only be a single shout, and then you will find yourself having

been gathered before His (swt)’s Awesome Presence. Now the purpose has been fulfilled. Now

the judgment can begin. Now all debts can be repaid. Everyone has returned to their Maker.

        Notice also how Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah how all of mankind will be present before

Him (swt). This means that there is no one who will be able to escape Him (swt). When He (swt)

gathers all mankind He (swt) will not leave anyone out. Every single soul will be gathered before

Him (swt). Not single soul will be able to escape. We will all be present before Him (swt). Lined up

in rows and columns before Allah (swt). This is an appointment that you have with your Rabb.

There is nothing that you can do to escape this. So if you fear this meeting now. If you take the

steps to protect yourself from this now, then perhaps you have a chance to be saved.




55. So on this Day no soul will have any injustice whatsoever, and you shall only be repaid

for what you used to do.

        This ayah in many ways summarizes the essence of what this Din is all about. In this

ayah alone our Creator tells us for what purpose He (swt) created us. This ayah alone is enough

to tell you what you need to do in order to be a righteous Muslim. If only you would understand

this ayah you would understand the reason behind this universe and all that exists. You would

understand the reason why you exist now. Here Allah (swt) continues to tell us about the Day of

Judgment. Recall from the previous ayahs how He (swt) had described this Day. One blast from

the horn and all of mankind will be raised back to life. Most of them will be running around

confused, thinking to themselves as to who has raised them up from their place of rest. Then

amidst all of the chaos of the people scattering across the earth it will only take one shout for




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them all to be gathered before Allah (swt). Brought before Him (swt) for judgment. To see the

harvest that they planted in the life of this world. To see their works and be judged for it. In this

ayah Allah (swt) describes for us how that judgment will be.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “So on this Day no soul will have any injustice

whatsoever”. First notice the word “so” here. This word links the meaning of this ayah with the

previous ayah. Now we have all been gathered before Allah (swt) for the judgment. He (swt) can

do to us whatsoever that He (swt) pleases. We are completely at His (swt)’s Mercy. If He (swt)

only wanted to He (swt) could send us straight to the Fire without judging us at all. If He (swt)

only wanted He (swt) could make our scale of evil deeds heavier than our scale of good deeds. If

He (swt) only wanted He (swt) could punish us for every sin that we have ever committed

regardless of if we made repentance for those sins or not. He (swt) can do whatsoever He (swt)

pleases because we are His (swt)’s complete property and on that Day we would be completely

at His (swt)’s Mercy. But will He (swt) do any of this?

        No because in this ayah Allah (swt) tells us that no injustice whatsoever will be done to

anyone. Can you imagine how beautiful is this promise that Allah (swt) is making? Why does

Allah (swt) even need to be just with us? What have we ever done for Him (swt) to deserve such

mercy? We who lived our lives in utter need of Him (swt). We who disobeyed Him (swt) and broke

His (swt)’s sacred law. Why should Allah (swt) show us justice? If it was anyone else but He (swt)

then they would have been corrupted by their power and they would have judged as they

pleased. With complete injustice and following nothing but their desires. But our Lord is not like

that. He (swt) the Most Sublime and the Most Majestic. Anything less than complete justice is not

befitting Him (swt). Do you now realize the kind of Lord that you have? How can you not but strive

to serve Him (swt) to the very best of your ability?

        So this ayah is in essence an exhortation for all of us to strive to the best of our ability to

please Allah (swt), to fulfill the purpose of our creation. First Allah (swt) tells us that no injustice

whatsoever will be done to us. This means that for any good deed that we do, even the smallest

of deeds, we can be certain that our Lord will notice it. We can be certain that He (swt) will place

it on our scales. Similarly for any sin that we commit, we can be certain that Allah (swt) will only




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punish us to the extent that we deserve and no more. He (swt) may even forgive many of our sins

completely if He (swt) so pleases. But what we can be certain of is that no injustice whatsoever

will be done to us. We will not be wronged in any way. Will you then realize the value of every

moment in the life of this world? How it is an opportunity for you to come closer to your Lord?

        Now that we know the importance of this Day. Now that we know the importance of the

life of this world in relation to this Day. Then what should we prepare ourselves for this Day with.

Allah (swt) tells us in the next part of the ayah “and you shall only be repaid for what you used

to do”. Actions. Our deeds. This is what we can prepare ourselves for this Day with. This is all

that we would have to show for ourselves on that Day. Not our wealth. Not our family. Not our

status amongst the people. Not our career. All that we have on that Day is what we have done

and we will be recompensed for it accordingly. For every action that we have done which was

pleasing to Allah (swt), He (swt) will reward us and for every action that we have done which was

displeasing to Him (swt), we may be punished. Only if Allah (swt) pleases will we be forgiven.

        So now see how this ayah shows us the true purpose of our existence. The true purpose

for the existence of this universe. Allah (swt) only created us and the universe around us to test

which of us is best in deeds. That is the reason for which we exist. Then one Day soon we will

return to our Lord and He (swt) will judge us on what we did in this life. So realize now that this

life is nothing but a quest to do as many of the deeds that are pleasing to Allah (swt) as possible.

To try to draw closer to Him (swt) in everything that we do. So for every moment in your life try to

remember Allah (swt), and try to do that which you think will please Him (swt) the most. When

you know that there is such a Being as Majestic and as Sublime as Allah (swt) then how can you

not seek to get closer to Him (swt). When you know that He (swt) Sees every one of your actions

and that every one of our actions can bring you closer to Him (swt) then how can you not strive

with every moment that you have to please Him (swt).

        So always remember this idea of reward and punishment. Always remember that every

action which you do in the life of this world has a consequence with Allah (swt). Both in this life

and in the Hereafter. It could bring you closer to Him (swt) or it could take you further away from

Him (swt). It could mean the difference between Iman and kufr. It could mean the difference




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between the Fire and the Garden. So do not neglect any good deed. Try to spend every moment

in your life doing something to please Allah (swt). Even if you are just walking try to use that time

do to do some words of dhikr. Try to make all your prayers on time. Try to behave with the

people in the best way possible. Try to read more Quran. Try to gain more knowledge of this Din.

Try to learn the Arabic language. Try to do more dawah. Teach your fellow Muslims about the Din

and invite the good non-Muslims that you know to it. And try to keep away from all that you think

may be displeasing to your Lord. You should stay as far away as you can from that which is

forbidden and you should even avoid that which is doubtful and that which you believe might lead

you into the forbidden. Then know that you will get the full reward for each and every one of these

works, you will get the full reward for every ounce of effort that you put into doing these actions,

and no injustice will done to you whatsoever. This is what your Lord is promising you here and

who is better at keeping a promise than He (swt)?

        Now you realize why the Sahabah were able to do what they did. They truly recognized

the nature of this existence. The Prophet (saw) had cultured them with this Quran. They realized

that their deeds were the keys to their Lord, and so they did not allow a moment to pass except

that they were striving to please Him (swt). This is the station that we too must reach if we are

going to help bring back Islam. This is the station that we must help our family members and

those close to us to also reach. To be part of an Islamic movement is a serous matter. It is a not a

club or a gang. It is not something that you join for socialization purposes or to give yourself a

sense of belonging. Only the very best are capable of it. Only the very best can bear the burden.

The Prophet (saw) and the Sahabah were at this level. We have to bring ourselves to this level as

well. Insha Allah when we are at that level, when we dedicate every one of our moments only for

Allah (swt) and His (swt)’s cause, then Insha Allah our Lord may bless us with the enabling grace

to do what the Prophet (saw) and Sahabah did. Just like for the Sahabah, the way that we reach

to that level is with the Quran.




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56. Most definitely the companions of the Garden on this Day are busy in happiness.

        In the previous ayah Allah (swt) showed us exactly what is the purpose of our existence.

He (swt) showed us what we live in this world to do. He (swt) showed us how we should be

spending the moments of our lives. In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us what will be our reward if we

are able to do this. We are being asked to dedicate our entire lives for Allah (swt). Here He (swt)

tells us what He (swt) will give us if we are able to do this. Think about Allah (swt). Think about

how much He (swt) can please you if He (swt) wanted to, then realize that what you are being

told in this ayah is not even a taste of the reality that awaits you.

        First notice the emphasis and certainty with which Allah (swt) begins this ayah. This is to

remind us that there can be no doubt whatsoever about the reality that is being described here.

When the Lord and Master of the universe tells you a fact which He Himself emphasizes with

such certainty then how can you doubt it? Much of what is being described here can be hard for

us to believe because we have never experienced it. We only know the life of this world. The

Garden is a reality that is not only beyond our imagination, but it is even beyond our

comprehension and understanding. We can never even fully understand the reality of it, let alone

imagine it. It is something that can only be experienced. But here in this blessed Book, Allah (swt)

has given us a few glimpses of it. While we can take comfort and solace from what is being

described here, and it can give us the patience to wait, we also have to trust in Allah (swt) that the

Garden will be far better than we ever thought it to be. Of this we cannot have any doubts

whatsoever. Just the first word in this ayah tells us so.

        Also notice in this ayah how Allah (swt) describes the righteous believers as the

companions of the Garden. The Arabic word for “companion” gives meanings of closeness,

friendship and love. This is the relationship of the righteous believers have towards the Garden.

They are its companions. They love it and it loves them. They are close to it in and it is close to




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them. They are deep inside of it and they stay forever in it. The Garden is the manifestation of the

Love and Mercy of Allah (swt). So these believers are really close to Allah (swt).

        In this ayah Allah (swt) describes the believers as being busy in happiness. This means

that for every moment of their existence in the Garden, they are happy. There is not a moment

that passes them by except that they find joy and contentment in it, peace and solace in it. They

are always occupied with something. Something that brings happiness and joy. Something that

bring pleasure and ecstasy. Allah (swt) has given them so much to do that they never feel bored

or lonely. Rather He (swt) has given them all that will please them. Just imagine Allah (swt), the

Creator and Source of all, the One Who can create anything, if He (swt) wanted to please

someone and make them feel joy then in how many ways could He (swt) please them. In how

many ways could He (swt) give them contentment and make them feel pleasure. He (swt) is the

One Who created us and so He (swt) Knows us better than anyone else. He (swt) Knows what

will truly make us happy. So think about all that brings you pleasure and happiness in the life of

this world. Then realize that in the Garden you will be given something similar but only much

better and to a far higher degree in contentment and pleasure. Allah (swt) will even give you

many things in the Garden which you never experienced in the life of this world. We know from

the hadith of the Prophet (saw) that there are delights in the Garden that no eye has ever seen,

no ear has ever heard and no heart has ever even imagined. Not only will you be given all of this

but you will be given it at every moment. Not a second will pass by except that you are enjoying

one of these pleasures in it. As Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah, the ones whom He (swt) is

pleased with will be busy in enjoying these blissful things. They will be busy in happiness.

        Also notice in this ayah how different is the afterlife for the righteous in our Din when

compared to other religions. The Christians for example believe that those who accept Christ as

their savior will ascend to the sky, there they will sit on the clouds and play a harp. How boring is

this? Can you imagine yourself doing this for all eternity? On the other hand the Hindus, the

Buddhists and many sects of Judaism believe in the concept of reincarnation. They say that the

soul returns to the earth to live another life with no memory of its past life. If you were a good

person then the best that you could hope for is a better life than your previous one. But you are




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still limited to the confines of this world. This world full of disease, despair and hardships. And you

are still destined to die again. How much better is what Allah (swt) has promised us in this ayah

when compared to these false beliefs? Which of these afterlives would you want for yourself?

        Although we know that the righteous will be given every kind of physical pleasure

imaginable, we also know that the best of these pleasures will be the beholding of the Divine and

to be in the Divine Presence. What could be better than this? Just to bask in the Glory and

Majesty of Allah (swt)? What could possibly be better than that? In the Garden even our very

breath itself will be words of glorification for Allah (swt)? Of all the activities that could keep you

busy in the Garden what could bring you more joy than beholding and worshipping your Lord?

        Mawdudi tells us how this ayah also hints at the fact that the believers will go through a

very easy reckoning or no reckoning at all. Why is this? It is because the previous ayah talked

about how all mankind will be gathered before Allah (swt) for the judgment. After that Allah (swt)

does not use the word “then” to indicate that some time will pass till the believers enter the

Garden. Also Allah (swt) says in this ayah that the believers will be enjoying these pleasures on

”this Day”. So the meaning that is hinted at is that the sincere and true believers will enter the

Garden while the rest of mankind is still going through the Judgment. On that Day when

everyone else is being reckoned for each and every one of their actions, the true believers will

enter the Garden with no reckoning or with a very swift reckoning.

        The lesson that we can take from this is that if we truly strive to please Allah (swt), if we

put our trust completely in Him (swt), then we do not need to be concerned for all of our moments

of heedlessness in the past. We do not need to have dread for all the sins that we have done in

the past. Rather we can hope that Allah (swt) will place us in that select company which is

allowed to enter the Garden without the excruciating reckoning that the rest of mankind will go

through. We have to believe that the only period of testing and trial for us is the life of this world. If

we are able to make it through this short time. If we are able to live our lives in this world in a way

that is pleasing to Allah (swt) then we have to believe that there is nothing but good which awaits

us in the Hereafter. Why would Allah (swt) make us to suffer in the Hereafter if He (swt) was

pleased with us when we died? When the life of every person ends there is only one of two of




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stations that they can be in. They can either be among those whom Allah (swt) is pleased with or

they can be among those whom He (swt) is not pleased with. If you are blessed by being among

the former then why should your Rabb give you anything but good? You have proven yourself.

You have passed the test. You have chosen Him over the life of this world. Why then does He

have a need to punish you further? So we have to believe that if we truly please Allah (swt) then

He (swt) will allow us to go straight to the Garden. This is the reward that He (swt) gives for the

martyrs, this is the reward that we hope for ourselves as well if we dedicate our lives completely

for Him (swt). May Allah (swt) grant our wish! May Allah (swt) allow us to find ourselves busy in

the pleasure of the Garden when we leave this world! We hunger for it for the strongest of

hungers. We thirst for it with the strongest of thirsts. We have come to realize the emptiness of

this world. How it pales in comparison to what He (swt) has kept reserved for us.




57. They and their spouses shall be in shades, reclining on raised couches.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to tell us about the bliss that the companions of the

Garden will enjoy. Once again it is important to remind ourselves that what is being described

here is an absolute reality. It is not a dream nor is it imagination. Nor is it a pleasure at the

spiritual level without anyway being physical. It is very real. More real than this world Although it

may be hard for us to comprehend, we still have to believe in it. We have to believe in it because

this Book has already been proven to be from Allah (swt). Once we are certain that this Book is

from the Creator then how can we have any doubt as to what is in it.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “They and their spouses”. Here Allah (swt) shows

us how the companions of the Garden will have spouses. All the men will have wives and all the

women will have husbands. Each will have the companion that is the best for them. We know that

the Prophet (saw) has told us that the best of treasures in the life of this world is a righteous wife.

What could be better than a spouse who pleases you? One who loves you and you love them.




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One who will support you and you can support them. One whom you can share your thoughts

with and one who will be your companion and friend. One who is pleasing for you to look at and

who will bring you warmth and pleasures. So the best of treasures in the life of this world will also

be the best of treasures in the Garden. Allah (swt) will give you the spouse which will please you

the most. It could be your spouse in this world if such a person is who is best for you or it could

be much better person than anyone who can find in this world. Any anger or hatred that you might

have for them will be removed and you will find nothing but love in your heart for them. They will

also be made beautiful for your eyes such that your spouse would the most beautiful person

whom you have ever beheld. It is said that when a man first enters the Garden and beholds his

wife that he will spend years just marveling at her beauty. He will just stare at her for years

because he would be so captivated by her beauty. So from this part of the ayah alone we see

that one of the best joys in the Garden is that Allah (swt) will give us the best of mates.

        Allah (swt) then says of the companions of the Garden and their spouses that they “shall

be in shades”. In the deserts of Arabia the land upon which this Quran was first revealed, the

one place where everyone wanted to be was under the shade. It was always so hot and the sun

was so intense that there was nothing which the people craved more than the shade. In fact

some of the wealthier Arabs would have lush gardens under which there was ample shade. They

would sometimes pour cool water over the trees in these gardens, then the shade that these

gardens provided would create a climate that was the most optimal for the human being. It would

be neither too hot nor too cold. If you were sitting under the shade of one of these gardens then

you would be in the most perfect setting that you could be in. The temperature would be just right

for your body and skin. You would be away from the blazing sun. A cool and moist breeze would

blow at you from the trees and a warm wind would come to you from outside the garden. These

two would create the most optimal of conditions to be in. Similar are the shades in the Garden.

Those underneath them would be in the most perfect condition that the human being could be in.

Neither too hot nor too cold. Just imagine how your skin will feel. Just imagine the pleasure and

the contentment of never again having to suffer in the blazing heat or the biting cold.




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        Another meaning given by the Arabic word that we have translated here as “shades” is

something that is continuous. So not only will this shade be cool and comfortable for the believers

but it will also be one that is continuous. Unlike the shade of this world it will never go away. For

as long as you want to remain under it this shade will be there for you. Hence we are reminded

here once again of another essential quality of the Garden and that is its permanence. In the

Garden there is nothing that will ever end. In the Garden there is nothing that is limited.

Everything there will last forever. Allah (swt) has given us a small taste of the Garden in the life of

this world. But Allah (swt) has also reminded us that this world is not the Garden by placing

finiteness and limitedness in every good thing in this world. Is there anything of this world that you

can enjoy without limit? Is there anything of this world that will not go away? Even the cool shade

that you find under a tree will go away as Allah (swt) moves His (swt)’s sun away from you. So

realize now the value of this world when compared to the Garden. Which of these would you

rather dedicate your time and efforts to?

        In addition to meaning shade, the Arabic word that Allah (swt) uses here also means

protection. So in addition to being given continuous shade and the most comfortable of all

temperatures, the companions of the Garden will also be protected from all harm. There is

nothing whatsoever that can cause them any harm in the Garden. They are in the Protection of

Allah (swt). Notice the language of the ayah. Allah (swt) does not say that they have His (swt)’s

protection but He (swt) says that they are in His (swt)’s Protection. So it covers them and wraps

them from all sides, they are enveloped in it. Just as they are not in any physical danger, they are

also not in any spiritual danger. Now there are no more devils and no more temptations to take

them away from their purpose for being. They are now close to their Lord and they will never be

distant from Him (swt) again. This meaning is also given just by the word “shade” that Allah (swt)

uses here.

        Finally in this ayah Allah (swt) tells us how the companions of the Garden are “reclining

on raised couches”. From the fact that they are reclining we can see that they are at ease and

they are relaxed. They are not worried or anxious. They do not have any concerns or any fears.

They are in a state where they are completely rested and completely free, nothing which could




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burden a soul burdens them now. So from the fact that they are reclining we see that both their

bodies and their hearts are at rest. In total comfort and at peace.

        Not only are they reclining, but they are reclining on raised couches. This is exactly as

how it sounds. These are actually couches that are floating in the air. Imagine how wonderful it

must be to sit on a couch or a bed that is floating above the ground. You can see the beautiful

garden below you and all around you. Recall from other ayahs of the Quran that this Garden is as

wide as the heavens and the earth. Now if you are in any kind of elevation then just think about all

of the wonderful images that will come to your eyes. You can see the expansive sky of the

Garden above you. You can see all the trees and flowers of the Garden below you. All the rivers

and fountains. All the different birds and animals. Every beautiful image imaginable and

unimaginable will be beheld by your eyes. Your eyes will feast and be in felicity just like every

other part of your body. All of these are pleasures upon pleasures and delights upon delights that

Allah (swt) gives for those whom He (swt) is pleased with.

        The fact that the believers are on raised couches also signifies how Allah (swt) has

honored them and elevated them in status and rank. Even if they may have been low in the life of

this world. Even if they may have been the forgotten in the life of this world. Even if they may

have been the ones whom everyone looked down upon and mocked at in the life of this world. In

the Garden Allah (swt) will raise them to the highest of stations. Allah (swt) will raise them on

these couches above the vastness of the Garden just so that all creation can see how pleased He

(swt) is with them. This will be a station of honor and dignity that they will have forever. No one

can take it away from them. Because it is one that has been given to them by the Lord and the

Master. See now all that awaits you if only you would choose to fulfill the purpose of your

creation. If only you would sincerely try your best to please Him (swt).




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58. For them in it are delights and for them in it is all that they ask for.

        The Garden is the place that Allah (swt) created to please us. It is the manifestation of

His (swt)’s Love and Mercy for us. In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to describe how He (swt) will

make us happy if we are able to enter this blessed place. The Prophet (saw) has told us that the

Mercy of Allah (swt) has been divided into hundred pieces. Only one piece did He (swt) send

down to the earth to be shared amongst all the creation. So all the mercy that is in the world,

including all the mercy that all mothers have for their young, is only from this one piece of mercy.

The remaining ninety nine pieces Allah (swt) has kept with Himself (swt). He (swt) is saving this

for the Day of Judgment. To give to those whom He (swt) is pleased with. To give to the

believers and to the righteous. Why then do you not choose to be among those who receive this

Mercy? In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to describe this Mercy.

        First Allah (swt) says “For them in it are delights”. Although the literal meaning of the

word that Allah (swt) uses here means “fruits”, it actually has a far more comprehensive meaning

that that. It is in fact all that makes one happy, all that one delights in. So anything it is that makes

you happy, anything that gives you joy and delight, can be described by this word. This is what

the companions of the Garden will be given. All things that can make the human soul can content

and give it pleasure. Now some people take delight in delicious fruits and sweet drinks, some

people take delight in the company of their mates, some people take delight in beholding the

creation, some people take delight speaking with their friends, some people take delight in

learning knowledge and making discoveries, some people take delight in sports and recreation,

and some people take delight in worshipping and glorifying their Lord. Whatever it is that pleases

you as an individual, whatever it is that makes you happy, that is what Allah (swt) will give you.

Not only of these worldly pleasures that we mentioned here, but many more pleasures that your

mind cannot even imagine. It will all be just for you and it will bring you contentment and joy that




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is to a level unlike anything that you have ever experienced in this world. How then can you turn

away from Allah (swt)? How then can you not make the few sacrifices that He (swt) asks of you?

        Then Allah (swt) says “and for them in it is all that they ask for”. In the previous part of

the ayah Allah (swt) told us that in the Garden He (swt) would give us all that would make us

happy and give us pleasure. Be this delicious fruits, or sweet drinks, or beautiful wives. But

suppose there was something specific that you wanted. Something particular that you yearned for

that was just for yourself. Allah (swt) tells us in this part of the ayah that He (swt) will grant such to

you. Whatever it is that you ask for will be yours. Perhaps your paradise is not exactly how you

expected it to be. Or perhaps one day you decide that you want to do something different or be

somewhere different. You only have to ask and what you desire will be yours. Once a companion

told the Prophet (saw) that what he enjoyed the most was farming. He loved to plant the seeds

and till the land. Even though this was something that required effort on his part it was still

something that he enjoyed doing. He asked the Prophet (saw) if he would be given the

opportunity to farm in the Garden, and the Prophet (saw) replied in the affirmative. So realize that

whatsoever you ask for will be yours. Even if it is something that only you enjoy doing. This is

something that Allah (swt) does for you. It is a gift and a bounty that He (swt) gives you because

of His (swt)’s Love for you and because He (swt) is pleased with you. Now in the life of this world,

Allah (swt) has told you to work for this reward. Do you not owe it to Him (swt) to at least try?

        However even as you try, you must remember that your actions by themselves are not

even enough to repay Allah (swt) for the gifts and bounties that He (swt) has given you in this

world, let alone being sufficient for all these unimaginable blessings that He (swt) has mentioned

here. Notice in the language of the ayah how Allah (swt) twice repeats the fact that all of these

gifts and bounties is something that He (swt) has given for the companions of the Garden. This is

to remind us once again that it is Allah (swt) Who confers these treasures and delights on the

servants. They themselves have not done anything to warrant it or to earn it. So always strive to

the best of your ability to please Allah (swt) as He (swt) has commanded you to. But do not ever

rely on your deeds to take you to this wonderful place, but rather rely on the Mercy of Allah (swt).

You can never do enough to earn this place so do not ever think that you have done enough.




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59. “Salam”. A word from the Merciful Lord.

        This ayah actually has a far more comprehensive meaning than it seems to have. When

we look at the previous ayahs we would think that this ayah is continuing to describe for us the

Garden. That it is continuing to describe for us the gifts and the bounties that the companions of

the Garden would receive. While that is true there is actually a far deeper meaning to this ayah.

This once again shows us the Miracle of the Quran. How there are not one but many dimensions

of meaning to a particular ayah. The Quran is an ocean whose depths can never be traversed by

man. Every generation of Muslims can look to this Book and find more and more meanings to it.

They can find more guidance to Allah (swt).

        In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us about a word that He (swt) speaks. A word that He (swt)

speaks as the Merciful Lord. So this word is connected both to Him (swt) being the Lord and also

to Him (swt) being the Most Merciful. What is this word? It is Salam. Allah (swt) speaks this word

in His (swt)’s Capacity as the Merciful Lord. So in this word there is both Mercy and there is also

Power and Authority. As part of His (swt)’s Mercy, Allah (swt) desires that there be “Salam” and

because He (swt) is the Lord, He (swt) has the Power and Authority to bring it about.

        Notice the language in this part of the ayah. Allah (swt) does not say “A word from the

Merciful Lord is ‘Salam’”, but rather He (swt) says “Salam”. A word from the Merciful Lord”.

This is done in order to place emphasis on the word Salam. Allah (swt) wants you to think about

and reflect on the meaning of this word. This is also done to draw you closer and peak your

interest in what is being said. Allah (swt) first says “Salam”, and then you think to yourself as to

what is “Salam”, what is so special about “Salam”, then when you have been engaged with the

text, when your interest has been peaked, that is when Allah (swt) tells you what is means. These

are subtle points in the language of the ayah that shows us the mastery and the eloquence in the

composition of the Quran. How it could be from by any except Allah (swt)?




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        So what exactly does the word “Salam” mean in this ayah? There are actually several

dimensions to its meaning. One meaning of this word is the greeting that we know. Where we say

“May Peace be upon you” to someone whom we love. If we take this meaning of the word then

the meaning of this ayah is that it is describing a greeting that Allah (swt) will give to the

companions of the Garden. Recall from the previous ayah how Allah (swt) was telling us of all of

the gifts and the bounties that the companions of the Garden will receive. In this ayah He (swt)

tells us of yet another blessing and that is how the companions of the Garden will hear Him (swt)

speak. They will actually hear the speech of their Lord and in this speech He (swt) will be greeting

them and sending peace and blessings upon them. Now just imagine how wonderful it must be to

actually hear Allah (swt) speaking to you. To know that you are being addressed by the Creator

and Sustainer of the entire universe. Imagine the feeling that you will get at that moment just to

hear that the One Whom you lived for is speaking to you and sending upon you this wonderful

greeting. Just from this word you would know that He (swt) is pleased with you and that He (swt)

loves you. Would this not be the best of joys and the best of delights?

        Now it would be wrong for us to think that the meaning of this ayah is only confined to the

meaning that we mentioned above. Although that is a tremendous meaning, and a blessed

meaning and more than anything else it makes us want to strive for the Garden, there is actually

an even deeper meaning to this ayah. The word Salam means more just the greeting that we

know. It means more than just “peace”. It also means health and well-being. Health and well-

being in the body, and more importantly health and well-being in the mind. With this meaning we

can even apply this ayah to the life of this world today. We can say that with this word, Allah (swt)

is giving well-being in both body and mind to those whom He (swt) is pleased with. Allah (swt)

speaks this word to those whom He (swt) is pleased with. From this we see yet another blessing

that comes from dedicating ourselves to Allah (swt). From striving to please Him (swt). It will give

us wellness in both body and mind. As we see from this ayah, Allah (swt) is the Most Merciful,

and He (swt) is also the Lord of all creation. Just one word from Him (swt) and all of our worries

and anxieties will be gone, and all of our diseases and pains will be cured. All that we have to do

is call out to Him (swt). All that we have to do is dedicate ourselves to Him (swt).




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        Yet another meaning that this ayah gives us it that here Allah (swt) is speaking about this

Din of Islam. What is this Din except a word of peace from the Merciful Lord? This is a Din of

peace. It came to bring peace to all mankind. Both for individuals and for nations. You as a

person by yourself can find peace in this Din. You can find a purpose for your existence. You can

know your Creator. You can know where you came from and where you are going when you

leave this world. All of this can be found in this Din and all of this can give you a sense of peace

and tranquility of heart that is unlike any other in this world. This is a tranquility that comes from

the remembrance of your Lord. From the realization of His (swt)’s Divine Presence. Once you

know what is your true purpose in life then you realize that happiness and contentment is not to

be found in the material goods of this world. You realize that only in knowing your Lord and

remembering Him (swt) do you find true peace. Have you ever heard of the Sahabah (raa) ever

becoming depressed or anxious and needing to take medications? They had much less than we

do and they had to go through much more than we do. Yet they always had peace in their souls

because they knew what their purpose was. They knew that as long as they were pleasing their

Creator then nothing else mattered. They realized that whatever pain that they felt or whatever

hardship that they had to endure was only a test from Allah (swt) and it only brought them closer

to Him (swt). In this Din is where they found this peace. So in essence that is what this Din is, a

word of peace from the Merciful Lord.

        Just as this Din brings peace for individuals, it also brings peace for nations. Allah (swt)

sent this Din to end all wars and conflicts. Allah (swt) sent this Din to make this entire earth an

abode of peace. How much bloodshed and suffering have wars caused over the years? Just

imagine if this earth could be as its Creator intended it to be. Under one flag. Under one

government. Dedicated only to worshipping and glorifying Him (swt). How beautiful a place would

it be? If mankind could live as one brotherhood. United in thought and purpose. Sacrificing for

each other and giving to each other only to please Allah (swt). This is Islam. This is the word of

peace from the Merciful Lord. When will the Day come when we will see it for what it is?




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60. “Get apart on this Day, O you who are criminals”.

        In the previous ayah Allah (swt) told us about all of the pleasures and delights that the

companions of the Garden will enjoy. These were the ones whom Allah (swt) is pleased with, so

He (swt) will make them pleased. However now in this ayah Allah (swt) brings our attention to

those whom He (swt) is displeased with. Look at the way in which Allah (swt) describes them and

look at what He (swt) does to them. It is clear from this ayah that these are a people who have

earned the Wrath of Allah (swt). They have earned the Wrath of Allah (swt) because of what they

had done. So if we want to save ourselves from becoming like these people then we have to

always look at our actions and make sure that they are pleasing to Allah (swt).

        In this ayah Allah (swt) commands the sinners and the criminals to separate themselves

from the companions of the Garden. We learned from the previous ayahs that when the horn is

blown then all the people will come out from where they had died. Then after a single shout all of

mankind will be standing before Allah (swt) for the judgment. Every single human being who has

ever lived will be present on that Day on the Plain of Judgment. Now at this point those whom

Allah (swt) is pleased with and those whom He (swt) is displeased with are still in the same

group. They are still mingled together. That is when Allah (swt) will give this command. He (swt)

will order the criminals and sinners to separate themselves from the true and sincere believers.

They can no longer be together. They have to be separated forever. One of them is a group that

Allah (swt) is pleased with and the other is a group that He (swt) is displeased with. So how can

they be together? Whatever Allah (swt) desires is what is fulfilled, so we can imagine that from

this command, the two groups will be separated. Even if the criminals do not want to be

separated. Even if they want to remain with the believers. They will not be allowed to. They will be

pulled away and placed in a separate group. This is a group that is destined for punishment. This

is a group that will have the Wrath of Allah (swt) upon them. How then can they be allowed to

remain with those whom Allah (swt) is pleased with?




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        Notice in this ayah how Allah (swt) does not call them disbelievers but rather He (swt)

calls them criminals. This is because they committed the greatest crime that any human can

commit. They turned away from the worship and servitude of Allah (swt). They turned away from

the Message that their Creator had sent them. Even the word that Allah (swt) uses to describe

them is derived from a root word that is most fitting to what happens to them in this ayah. That

root word gives the meaning of something that is cut off. So for example if you cut the branch of a

tree you would use this word to describe that cutting. Is this not the situation of these people?

They are cut off and separated from the rest of mankind because of their sin. Because they knew

about Allah (swt) and about the Message that He (swt) had sent them and still they chose to turn

away from it. Because of this they have been cut off. They are separated from the rest of

creation. When the universe is destroyed all of creation will receive the mercy of the Most

Merciful. Even the animals, and the plants, and the inanimate objects will receive this mercy. But

these people will not. They will be separated and cut off.

        Now a question to ask ourselves here is that of all the people who are alive in the world

today at this moment, who will most likely be among this group of criminals on the Last Day? Who

will be cut off and separated from the rest of mankind? Now the answer that will probably come to

many of our minds is that will be the non-Muslims. The ones who do not believe in Allah (swt) as

their Creator, and who do not believe in the Prophet (saw) as the Messenger of that Creator. You

would think that these are the people who are the most despised of people on the earth today to

Allah (swt). But what we have to remember is that most of these people have not yet received the

Message correctly. Most of these people have not been shown the proofs and evidences to prove

that this Message is indeed from Allah (swt). We also know that Allah (swt) will not hold a people

accountable until they receive the Message. Now there may be some disbelievers today who

have received the Message correctly and they have turned away from it. Without a doubt these

are among the most despised of people to Allah (swt). But since the Islamic State is not present,

since the dawah to the world on a global level is missing, we can be fairly certain that the majority

of the people in the world today have not received the Message properly. So then who are the

true criminals in the world today? Are there not a people today who have the Book of Allah (swt)




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but who fail to live by it? Are there not a people today who know what this Din truly is but who

choose not to work for its establishment? Are there not a people today who know what the Truth

is but who turn away from calling to it? Would these not then be the most hated of people to Allah

(swt)? Would these not be the criminals who are cut off from the rest of creation? Cut off from the

mercy of Allah (swt) on that Day when all things would be yearning for His (swt)’s Mercy. So

realize now with fear the situation that you will be in if you should choose to walk away from this

Din, this Quran and this dawah. The last thing that you want to is to be on the Plain of Judgment

on that tremendous Day and hear the words in this ayah being spoken to you. The only way that

you can save yourself from that fate is to dedicate yourself to Allah (swt). Dedicate yourself to

remembering Him (swt) throughout your day. Dedicate yourself by living your life according to His

(swt)’s Law. Dedicate yourself to seeking the knowledge about His (swt)’s Din. Dedicate yourself

to calling others to Him (swt) and working to establish His (swt)’s Law in the land. Without a doubt

this dawah is a huge responsibility. But all that Allah (swt) wants from us is that we sincerely try

our best. The best that we can do in our situation. May Allah (swt) give us the enabling grace to

do this because only with Him (swt) can we have any success!

        Another lesson that we can take from this ayah is to see how Allah (swt) desires that the

criminals be separated from the believers. This shows us that Allah (swt) does not like the

believers to mix with those whom He (swt) is displeased with. To keep their company and to

spend time with them. Of course this command for there to be separation will be given on the Day

of Judgment. But even before that Day, we have to strive to separate ourselves from those whom

Allah (swt) is not pleased with. Otherwise these people may draw us towards them. They may

make us adopt their corrupted way of thinking. That is why it is extremely important for us,

especially in this day and age, to avoid the company of those who are heedless of Allah (swt).

Those who choose the life of this world over the Real and the True. The ones who always make

excuses for themselves for not having to abide by the Divine Law. Sometimes we may need to be

with these people for dawah, or if we are doing business with them, or if they are family. In such

situations our company with them is unavoidable. We need to spend some time with them

because they are our close family or because we are doing business with them or because we




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are trying to carry dawah to them. However even for such circumstances we should limit the time

that we spend with them. We should not spend anymore time with them than we have to. Even

when we are with them, for as however long that it might be, we should not let their heedlessness

of the Divine to effect us. In other words when we are with them we should remember Allah (swt)

even if they do not. So whenever you deal with people who are distant from Allah (swt) then

remember this ayah. In the end on the Day of Judgment there will only be two groups of people.

Those whom Allah (swt) is pleased with and those whom He (swt) is displeased with. Then at one

moment Allah (swt) will give the command for these two groups to be separated forever. Never

again will these people see each other. One is a group that is destined for bliss and the other is a

group that is destined for torment. Which of these groups would you like to belong to? Your

choices and your behavior today will decide.




61. “Did I not take a promise from you, O children of Adam, that you should not serve

Shaitan, surely he is to you a clear enemy”.

        In the previous ayahs we saw how all mankind was divided into two groups. Those whom

Allah (swt) is pleased with and those whom He (swt) is displeased with. We saw the beautiful

reward that awaited the former of these groups and the painful chastisement that awaited the

latter. Now Allah (swt) created all mankind equal. He (swt) gave them all the same senses with

which to discover Him (swt), the same mind with which to know Him (swt), the same heart with

which to love Him (swt), and the same soul which has the propensity to please Him (swt) by doing

good or to displease Him (swt) by doing evil. Why is it then that so many among mankind failed

this test that Allah (swt) had given them? Why is it that most of mankind fell into the later of these

groups and not the former? Why is it that they were not able to please Allah (swt) as they were

created to do? Why is it that they constantly fall into sin and heedlessness? Allah (swt) tells us

why in this ayah.



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         Allah (swt) begins by saying “Did I not take a promise from you, O children of Adam”.

Recall from the previous ayah how the criminals and the sinners were separated from the true

and sincere believers. They were the ones who were separated and cut off from the Mercy of

Allah (swt). They were the ones who had earned the Wrath of Allah (swt). They were the ones

who chose themselves over their Creator and Sustainer. Now here we see that Allah (swt)

addresses these people. He (swt) asks them a question. Now of course Allah (swt) Knows the

answer to this question but it is asked to denote shock and surprise. It is asked to make us think

and reflect. In this question Allah (swt) asks these people about a promise that He (swt) took from

them. About a promise that He (swt) took from all mankind. The Arabic word that Allah (swt) uses

here actually gives a far deeper meaning than simply a promise. It means the strongest and most

binding of covenants. It is a covenant that is never to be broken. We all took this covenant from

Allah (swt). Before our souls were sent to this earth we stood in His (swt)’s Divine Presence and

gave Him (swt) this oath. So here in this ayah Allah (swt) speaks to these disbelievers and

criminals about this covenant that He (swt) took from them. This covenant that He (swt) took from

all of us.

         Now what exactly did we promise Allah (swt)? Allah (swt) tells us in the ayah. We

promised Him (swt) that we would not serve Shaitan. Now what exactly does it mean to serve

Shaitan? Do any of us serve him like we would serve a master? Do any of us worship him like we

would worship a god? Of course not. So what does it mean to serve him? It means that we follow

him wherever he takes us. It means that we listen to his suggestions. It means that we let our

guard down and allow him to control us. Shaitan wants to take us away from Allah (swt). So he

whispers in our ears and tells us to do that which we know is displeasing to Allah (swt). He never

orders like a master would. Rather he merely suggests to us. So subtle and so slight are his

suggestions. He suggests that our limbs do the actions that are not pleasing to Allah (swt). He

suggests that our limbs become lazy or complacent in performing those actions which are

pleasing to Allah (swt). He suggests that our tongues speak what is displeasing to Allah (swt) and

he suggests that our tongues refrain from speaking what is pleasing to Allah (swt). He puts in our

heart those emotions and feelings that are not pleasing to Allah (swt) and he tries to remove from




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our hearts those emotions and feelings that are pleasing to Allah (swt). If we follow him in what he

suggests. If we allow ourselves to be led by him then we would be serving him. May Allah (swt)

save us from that! This is the promise that we gave to Allah (swt) that we would not do.

        Yet how many among us fail in this promise. How many among us led our guard down

and allow Shaitan to control us. Not once but rather time and time again over the course of our

lives. We have to realize from this ayah that this is not a simple matter. We gave a promise to

Allah (swt) Himself that we would never serve Shaitan. Do you know what it means to give a

promise? Do you realize to Whom you gave this promise to? Do you realize His Greatness and

Majesty? Do you realize all that He (swt) has done for you? So strive to remember this promise.

Strive to remember the One to Whom you gave this promise to. And remember your enemy who

is trying to make you break this promise. As you go through your life, try and remember this.

Shaitan loves to make us forget. Our job then is to strive to remember.

        In the final part of this ayah Allah (swt) reminds us that Shaitan is a clear and open

enemy for us. Do you realize what this means? It means that he desires for you evil. He desires

for you pain and misery. He desires for you destruction. Of this fact there is no doubt. He has

already promised Allah (swt) that he will try and take us into the Fire with him. How then can we

not realize the danger that he poses? How then can we not take the steps to protect ourselves

from him? If you knew that right at this moment that there was a predator who was stalking you. If

you knew that it could attack at any moment. Would you then let your guard down? Would you

just fall asleep like you do not care? Unfortunately this is what most of us have done with Shaitan.

We have done this when in fact he is a far greater threat than any creature of this world. If we

allow ourselves to be attacked by any human or animal then we would only feel pain in this world.

But if we allow ourselves to be attacked by him we would suffer both in this world, and in the next.

In the Hereafter we would feel the pain of our foolishness and heedlessness for all eternity. We

seek refuge in Allah (swt) from that.

        Allah (swt) has told us elsewhere in the Quran that the plan of Shaitan is weak. So it is

easy for us to save ourselves from him if only we would make the effort. First and foremost we

have to strive to remember Allah (swt). If only we would remember Allah (swt) then we would




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realize why we do all that we do. We would realize the purpose of our existence. We would

realize how we must always be striving to bring ourselves to a state where we are more pleasing

to Him (swt). When we are at this level, then how can Shaitan come and attack us? How can he

deceive into sin when we are conscious of the Real and the True? So the first way in which we

can save ourselves is to always remember Allah (swt) and to seek refuge in Him (swt).

         After striving to remember Allah (swt), and seeking refuge in Him (swt), the next way in

which we can save ourselves from our enemy is that we have to know what his methods of attack

are. The first way in which Shaitan attacks us is through our emotions and desires. He makes us

become proud and arrogant. He makes us think that we are the best. He makes us think that we

are deserving of everything. He makes us look down on other people. If you ever find these

feelings within you then know that these are from Shaitan. Similarly he also places within us the

desire for that which is forbidden in the Law of Allah (swt). He will make you forget about all that

is lawful and pure which your Lord has given you and he will make you focus on what is

forbidden. He may not even start with the major sins. He might start with the minor sins. If you

are at a level where you are even avoiding the minor sins then he will make preoccupy your time

with that which is merely permissible instead of doing the actions that are pleasing to Allah (swt).

        Another mode of attack that he has is that he makes you fight and become angry with

your family members and with your Muslim brothers and sisters. Shaitan hates when the

believers are united and when Muslim families are closely knit together. He knows that the

strength of this Ummah, the strength of the dawah to Allah (swt), comes from the strength of the

Muslim unity. That is why he will strive to cause discord between family members and between

Muslims. In order to protect yourself from him, you have to watch out for this attack as well. So

whenever someone in your family or a Muslim brother or sister does something to upset you then

try to forgive them for the sake of Allah (swt). Realize that feeling you have towards them in your

heart at that moment is from Shaitan. Realize that it is a feeling that is not pleasing to Allah (swt).

Because of your love for Allah (swt), because of your desire that He (swt) forgives you the wrong

that you have done, try to forgive them, and try to love them. Otherwise if you let your guard

down, if you let these feelings to fester and grow inside of you, then you will be taking this devil as




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your master. You will be breaking the promise that you gave to Allah (swt). In the end his goal is

to take you away from Allah (swt). So even a moment in which he can make you heedless of

your Reason for being is a victory for him. Even one moment in your life when he can make you

forget Allah (swt) is a victory for him. And he is very patient. He will try so many ways to take you

away from your Lord. He has been doing this to the children of Adam since we first came to this

earth. Our only hope is in Allah (swt). It is in doing the actions that are pleasing to Allah (swt) all

the time. Of course none of us will reach this level. There will always be moments when we are

heedless. There will always be moments when we are not doing the actions that are pleasing to

our Lord. There will even be moments when we are displeasing to Him (swt). However we must

always be striving. This is the only way that we can keep the promise that we made to Him (swt).




62. “And that you should have served Me, that is the Straight Path”.

        This is one of the most comprehensive and complete of all ayahs in the entire Quran.

Here Allah (swt) lets us know what our purpose in life is. He (swt) lets us know what He (swt)

created us to do. Recall from Surah Faithah how we prayed to Allah (swt) to show us the Straight

Path. The Path that leads to His (swt)’s Pleasure. The Path that leads to Him (swt). The Path that

gives us peace and tranquility in this life and leads to contentment and bliss in the Hereafter. In

this ayah Allah (swt) shows us exactly what that Path is. Here all of mankind is being shown the

reason why we exist. We are being told what we need to do and we would get as a reward if we

should do it. Realize now the comprehensiveness and yet simplicity of this ayah.

        Allah (swt) says in this ayah “And that you should have served Me, that is the

Straight Path”. Not only does Allah (swt) tell us the purpose of our existence in this ayah but He

(swt) also does it in the context of continuing the story from the previous ayah. Recall that in the

previous ayah, Allah (swt) was addressing the criminals and the sinners. He (swt) ordered them

to be separated from the true and sincere believers. He (swt) reminded them of the promise that

they gave to Him (swt) not to serve Shaitan. That was just one part of the promise that they had




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given to Him (swt). Here He (swt) reminds them of the other part. He (swt) reminds them of their

promise to serve Him (swt). Instead of serving Shaitan they should have served their Creator.

This is a promise that we all gave to Allah (swt). Before Allah (swt) sent us to the earth, He (swt)

took this promise from each and every one of us. A promise that we would live our lives to serve

Him (swt). The criminals and the sinners failed in this covenant that they had given. That is why

they will have the punishment on that Day. So to save yourself from this punishment, you should

make sure that you do not fail in this duty.

        Now what does it mean to serve Allah (swt)? It means to submit yourself to Him (swt)

completely. The Arabic word abada that Allah (swt) uses here to describe to describe this

servitude is derived from a word that means an obedient and humble slave. Another meaning

from this root word is a camel that has been beaten into submission such that it always does what

it is bidden to do. So what Allah (swt) expects from us is complete submission. It is to strive to

reach a state where we are conscious of Him (swt) at every moment, and at every moment we

are striving to do the deeds that are pleasing to Him (swt). Not only should the actions of our

limbs be that which He (swt) is pleased with but even the emotions and feelings in our heart must

be pleasing to Him (swt) as well. With every moment that passes by, we should be thinking about

Him (swt) and we should be thinking about what we can do to please Him (swt). As we mentioned

previously this is a very high station that few of us will ever reach. But what Allah (swt) wants from

us is that we make the effort. What He (swt) wants from us is that we try. Even if it takes the

entirety of our lives we should still try. In the end we hope that Allah (swt) will reward us more for

the sincere intention that was in our hearts than for the actual results of our actions.

        You yourself have the capability to reach this station. Start with avoiding the major sins

and doing all of your obligations. You know what the major sins are, and you know which of these

you are in danger of falling into. When it comes to your obligations, start with the five daily

prayers. Be constant and steadfast on these. Pray them in the best way that you can. Then try to

fulfill the other pillars such as paying your Zakat if you have enough wealth, fasting in Ramadan,

and making the Hajj and Umrah if you are able to. Then try to cleanse your heart of all emotions

that are displeasing to Allah (swt) such as arrogance, jealousy, and miserliness, and try to




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inculcate those which are pleasing to Him (swt) such as patience, gratefulness, and humility.

Then try to behave with your family, your Muslim brothers and sisters, and the people in general

in the best way possible. Try to treat them in a way that you would like to be treated. Be kind and

respectful with them for the sake of Allah (swt). After that fulfill all of your duties and oaths. Fulfill

them for the sake of Allah (swt). Then try to learn more knowledge about this Din, and teach to

others the knowledge that you learn. Make sure that all of the knowledge that you learn brings

you closer to Allah (swt) and increases you in your fear of Him (swt). Teach the Muslims around

you who are close to you about what Islam really is, and how it is an obligation for us to live under

its Rule. If there are any good non-Muslims that you know then convey to them this Message.

Show them its proofs and evidences. Then try to do the voluntary prayers and fasts if you are

able to. Give what you are able to in charity. Recite more Quran. Do more Dhikr. Try to

remember Allah (swt) more throughout your day. This is what is means to serve Allah (swt). Insha

Allah we can all do it if we sincerely try. May Allah (swt) give us the enabling grace!




63. “And certainly he led astray a great multitude of you, so why then did you not use your

reason?”

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to tell us about His (swt)’s address to the criminals and

the sinners on the Day of Judgment. The ones who were cut off from His (swt)’s Mercy. The ones

who were separated from the true and sincere believers. In the previous ayahs He (swt) had

asked them as to why they had served Shaitan after they had given Him (swt) a promise that they

would not. He (swt) asked them as to why they did not serve Him (swt) when they knew that such

was their responsibility. In this ayah Allah (swt) gives them yet another reason why they should

not have walked down the path that they did. He (swt) reminds them of yet another way in which

they could have saved themselves.




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        Allah (swt) says in this ayah “And certainly he led astray a great multitude of you”.

Here Allah (swt) reminds these people once again of their enemy. The one who had put them in

this position where they were in. Here Allah (swt) describes Shaitan as the one who had led

astray a great multitude of mankind. How many human beings has Shaitan led astray since the

time of Adam (as)? Adam (as) himself was led astray by Shaitan, how then could his children be

immune? The Arabic words that Allah (swt) uses which we have translated here as “great

multitude” give the meaning of an extremely large number. So many were children of Adam

whom Shaitan led astray. Many, many, many souls. This is what Allah (swt) reminds these people

of in this ayah. Could they not realize the errors of those who came before them? Could they not

see how others had fallen and take the steps to protect themselves? So many were the ones in

the past who had fallen. Why could we not open our eyes and see?

        Then Allah (swt) asks them “so why then did you not use your reason?”. These

people knew about Shaitan. They knew how he went after the children of Adam and brought

about their destruction. They could see countless examples of this in the generations that

preceded them. Why then could they not take the lesson from what they saw happening to the

people around them? Why then did they not use their reason? Allah (swt) gave them a mind with

which to think. If all that Allah (swt) had given them were desires then perhaps they may have

had an excuse for being led astray. But their Lord had given them a mind. Why then did they not

use this mind? They could see that so many people before them who had been led astray. They

could see many other people turning away from the worship and servitude of Allah (swt). They

could see many people simply following their desires and committing sins without considering the

consequences in the Hereafter. Could they not realize the reason for this? Could they not figure

out that this was because of Shaitan? Could they not understand that the reason why so many

people around them were falling into sin was because of this open enemy that man has? These

people around them knew the Truth. They knew very well of Allah (swt)’s Law. Yet still they chose

the wrong path. Why could they not notice this? Why could they not see that this was because of

Shaitan? Why did they not think to save themselves by remembering Allah (swt) and seeking

refuge in Him (swt)?




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        So Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah how He (swt) will question the criminals and sinners on

the Last Day. He (swt) will ask them as to why they did not use their minds to reflect and realize

on what happened to all those people before them. All those people whom Shaitan had led

astray. The Arabic word thaqlioon that Allah (swt) uses in this part of the ayah is beautiful. Not

only does it give the meaning of using intellect and reason, but it also gives the meaning of

showing restraint and demonstrating patience. So everything that these people should have done

is conveyed by just this one word. First these people should have used their minds and thought

about the purpose of their creation. They should have realized that both they and the universe

around them has been created with a purpose. They should have realized Allah (swt) for Whom

everything in the heavens and the earth is a sign for. They should have used their minds to

realize the Truthfulness of this Message that He (swt) had sent to them. Then they should have

thought about Who Allah (swt) IS, and what He (swt) deserves from in worship and obedience.

Then they should have looked to all of the people before them whom Shaitan had led astray.

They should have seen what was the consequences that these people had to suffer both in this

life and the next. They should have taken the lesson from what happened to such people. Then

they should have shown restraint and demonstrated patience. When they were prompted to a sin,

they should have realized that it was Shaitan and they should have restrained themselves. When

they felt lazy in doing their obligations they should have realized that this was Shaitan as well,

and they should have been patient and steadfast on their duties. They should have realized that

this is an enemy who is coming after them at every moment in their lives, and so for every

moment they should have sought refuge in their lord. This is what these people should have

done. Why then did they not? How could they have been so foolish?

        The lesson that we can take from this ayah for our lives is that we must make sure that

what happened to these people does not happen to us. Notice how Allah (swt) describes the

great multitude of people whom Shaitan had misguided as being “from you”. This means that they

were also from the children of Adam just like we are. They were human beings just like we are.

So if we do not keep up our defenses against Shaitan, if we do not strive to remember Allah (swt)

at every moment and strive to please Him (swt), then without a doubt what happened to them will




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happen to us. Do you realize what would be your fate both in this life and the next if you allow

such a fate should befall you? May Allah (swt) save us from that! May Allah (swt) allow us to take

the lesson from what we see around us! Even if the whole world around us seems to have turned

away from Him let Allah (swt) allow us to be those strangers who are dedicated to Him (swt)! The

Truth is not where the masses are, but the Truth is what is in this Book. So hold on to it with all

the strength that you have. Even if it seems that the whole world around you has turned away

from it.




63. “This is hell which you were promised”.

           In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to tell us what He (swt) will say to the sinners and the

disbelievers on the Last Day. In the previous ayahs Allah (swt) told us how He (swt) would remind

them of the promise that they had given to Him (swt). About the open enemy that came to take

them away from that promise. And about the lesson that they should have taken from the great

number of people who were lead astray in the past. Now a question to be asked at this point is

that if it is so important that we live our lives in this world in worship and servitude to Allah (swt)

then why did He (swt) place the devil in this world to try and take us away from that purpose?

Why did He (swt) not give us something that will encourage us and motivate us to perform our

duty? This ayah answers this question. Here our Lord tells us that He (swt) did indeed give us

something that will motivate us, something that will encourage us to perform our duty. To worship

and serve Allah (swt) should be the natural way for all mankind. It is what we were all created to

do. Yet some of us lazy, some of us prefer the comforts of this world. Some of us like to stay

away from pain and difficultly. So if it is pain that we want to avoid then Allah (swt) tells us here of

a place that will more than motivate us. These people whom Shaitan led astray knew about this

place as well. They were promised its reality and its danger.




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        Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah how He (swt) addresses the sinners and disbelievers and

says to them “This is hell which you were promised”. When they are burning in the fire of hell,

they will be reminded that this was the same hell that they were promised. This was the promise

that they used to deny. Just imagine what it must feel like for these people to hear these words.

As they are burning, as they are in this excruciating pain, they will be reminded of the promise

that they had been given before. In the life of this world they were promised the reality of this

place. They were promised that this is where they would end up if they failed in their duty to

worship and serve Allah (swt). This is where they would end up if they did not protect themselves

from Shaitan. Did they heed this warning? No, they did not. So as they burn they will realize the

foolishness of their actions. Imagine the regret that must come over their hearts when they hear

these words. When they realize that they could have saved themselves from this only by

dedicating themselves to Allah (swt) as they were created to do. When they realize that now their

chance has passed and that they will never be able to return to heed this warning. This hell was a

promise that they had been given, but they chose to neglect it, now imagine their regret and

sorrow. The emotional pain from this regret will be as agonizing as the physical pain of burning.

        Hell is actually a great mercy that Allah (swt) has given mankind. We know from the

hadith that hell itself is surrounded by the desires. So one of the reasons why many of us stay

away from that which is forbidden is because of our fear for this place. Now of course we should

all strive to reach that level where we only abide by the Law of Allah (swt) because of our love for

Him (swt). But for those of us who have not yet reached that level, or at those moments when the

desires within us push so strong, then we can remember this place. This place that Allah (swt)

has promised for those whom He (swt) is displeased with. Our remembrance of this place, our

fear of this place, will keep us away from the forbidden. It will keep us close to Allah (swt). Is not

anything that keeps us close to Allah (swt) a mercy? What could be more painful than being

distant from Him (swt) or being heedless of Him (swt)? What could be a worse fate to befall us

other than falling into sin? Since hell protects us from that, it is indeed a great mercy for us from

our Lord. So we should always thank Allah (swt) for this mercy that He (swt) has given us.




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        Another way in which hell is a mercy is that it will allow all believers to enter the Garden.

We know that everyone who believes, even the worst of criminals and sinners, will eventually go

to the Garden. However Allah (swt) is Pure, and He (swt) will only accept those who are pure. So

those believers who have committed many sins will not be allowed to go straight to the Garden.

They will need to go to hell for some time in order to be purified. None of us can say for sure

which of us will have this fate. It is completely up to Allah (swt). However at the same time we

should also realize what a mercy the Fire is because were it not for it then the believers who have

too many sins would never have been purified. How tragic would that have been? What could be

a worse fate than being distant from Allah (swt)?

        Another benefit of hell is that it is the tool with which Allah (swt) does justice. How many

are the vile criminals who go unpunished in the life of this world? How many are the evil and

unspeakable crimes that they commit yet they do not get anywhere near the punishment that they

deserve? Where is the justice in that? Would a universe that has been established on justice fail

to have justice for such people? What about all of the people to whom they caused pain and

suffering to? Where is the justice in that? They may very well escape punishment in this world,

but we know what awaits them in the Hereafter. The hell that Allah (swt) created is the way in

which they will get what they deserve. As they burn in it, they will hear the words in this ayah.

This is the hell which they were promised. They knew very well about this place but they chose

not to care for it. What do they think about this place now?

        Of all the injustice and of all the evil that is done in the world, what is greater than the

injustice that is done to Allah (swt)? How evil are a people who would refuse to worship and serve

their Creator and Sustainer? How evil are a people who would turn away from Allah (swt)? When

Allah (swt) sends them a message, they choose not to respond to this Message. They seek to

destroy this Message and persecute its followers. They know well who Allah (swt) IS, they know

their responsibility to worship and serve Him (swt), yet still they turn away from Him (swt). How

evil are such people? Look at their insolence and rebellion against the Majestic and the True?

Only hell is a fitting recompense for such evil. Anything less would not be deserving of Allah (swt).




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        There are several meanings that are given by the Arabic word jahanam which Allah (swt)

uses here for “hell”. Not only does it mean the place of burning that we all know but it also means

the face of someone who is angry and wretched. A face with an expression of darkness and

despair. This is how these people’s faces will be in hell. Do you know how your face becomes

you are in extreme pain and misery? Imagine having this face all the time. That is how the faces

of these people will be. It will be that way for all eternity. Can you just imagine what it would be

like? Yet another meaning given by this word jahanam is darkest part of the night. The darkest

part of the night is the part in which there is no light. The light is hope. These people are in a

place in which there is no hope. They have no hope of leaving the Fire. They have no hope of

death. They do not even have hope of the punishment being lightened for even a moment. Yet

another meaning given by this word is a cloud with no water. The clouds that carry rain bring

mercy. But these people in hell will have no mercy. Nothing will quench their thirst, nothing will

satiate their hunger, and nothing will relieve their suffering. All of these meanings are given only

by this word. See then how much meaning even one word in the Quran has.

        This ayah is also a consolation for the Prophet (saw). Recall how we said that this Surah

was revealed during the later years of the Prophet (saw)’s dawah in Makkah when the opposition

had already become extremely fierce. How harshly did the pagans torture and persecute the

beloved of Allah (saw)? They used to choke him (saw) with his own garment. They used to put

the feces of camels on his back while he (saw) was praying. They used to insult him (saw) and

his family in the worst way possible. How much must what they did have hurt his (saw)’s heart?

So in this ayah Allah (swt) consoles the Prophet (saw). He (swt) lets him (saw) know that these

people will get their due punishment. Of all of His (swt)’s creation, the Prophet (saw) is the one

whom He (swt) loves the most. So how much would Allah (swt) have punished those whom hurt

him (saw)? As they burn in the Fire, Allah (swt) will remind them that this was the hell that they

were promised. This was the promise that the Prophet (saw) gave them. Now they will regret their

not having listened to him (saw). How painful would be this regret? Such is what they deserve for

their crimes against the best of creation.




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65. Burn in it on this Day, because you used to be doing kufr.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to tell us about the fate that the sinners and the

disbelievers will suffer on the Day of Judgment. There is so much meaning in this ayah alone. In

this beautiful ayah Allah (swt) tells us how they will suffer, He (swt) tells us when they will have

this terrible punishment, He (swt) tells us why they have such a terrible punishment, He (swt)

consoles the Prophet (saw) and the dawah carriers even further, and He (swt) gives a warning to

all mankind on how we all can save ourselves from sharing in their terrible fate. All of this

meaning is present only in this ayah. Even though this ayah is only five small words it still

contains such a depth of meaning. Furthermore what we are relating to you is only the surface of

the meaning in this ayah, only the tip of the iceberg, there is a far deeper meaning that we

ourselves cannot reach because we are confined to the English language.

        First in this ayah we see a command to the sinners and the disbelievers. Allah (swt) is

commanding them to do something. What are they being commanded to do? They are being

commanded to burn. To burn. Do you realize how terrifying this ayah is? Allah (swt) Himself is

speaking to such people, and He (swt) is telling them to burn. Do you know what it feels like to

burn? For those of us who have experienced it we know that there is no pain like the pain of

burning. It is far worse than any other pain that you could possibly experience. Fire is something

that totally consumes. It does not leave anything behind. You know how painful it is when only

one part of your body is touched by Fire. Now imagine how it will be if your entire body was

consumed by it. This is the fate that awaits these people. Not only would these people feel pain

because they are burning in the Fire, but when they hear these words from Allah (swt) it will

cause them even more pain. Now they finally have realized Allah (swt). Not they know Who they

had chosen to turn away from in this life of world. Now they will know that they have failed in their

duty. When they hear these words then they will realize that Allah (swt) is most displeased with




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them. Imagine then how much pain this must cause them. Just to know that the Real and the

True is displeased with them.

        The reason why they are being told to burn in the Fire is because they had done kufr in

the life of this world. The linguistic definition of the word kufr means to cover something. As it is

used here it has two meanings. One meaning is to reject the Truth of this Message even though

you are certain of it, and the other meaning is to be ungrateful to Allah (swt) for all that He (swt)

has given you. With the first meaning you are covering the Truth that you know in your heart, and

with the second you are covering the gratitude that is due to Allah (swt) for all that He (swt) has

given you. So these are the crimes that we must strive to save ourselves from because these are

the crimes for which the burning has been promised. Whenever we recognize something as the

Truth then we must follow. All praise is for Allah (swt), if we are Muslims today then we have

already recognized that Allah (swt) is our Creator and Sustainer and as result of this we realize

that He (swt) has to be our Lord and Master. We also recognize that the Prophet (saw) is indeed

the Messenger of Allah (swt). Insha Allah this is the Truth that we are certain of in our hearts. So

the first step in our efforts to save ourselves from this punishment is that we must strive to always

keep this belief in our hearts. We must never allow it to deviate and we must never allow

ourselves to be lead astray. Of course this is done by first and foremost praying to Allah (swt). We

will only be guided if He (swt) wills for us to be guided. Then we must strive to do the actions that

are pleasing to Him (swt), the actions which validate our belief. Then we must contemplate and

reflect on all of the Signs that Allah (swt) has placed all over the universe and in this Book which

show to the Truth of what we believe in. This Insha Allah is how we can keep our Iman strong,

and this is how we can save ourselves from kufr and the punishment that results from it. The

second form of kufr that we must be careful of is being ungrateful to Allah (swt) for what He (swt)

has given us. Just think about all that Allah (swt) has given you, then think about how grateful to

Him (swt) you must be for that. The gratitude that is due to Allah (swt) is in proportion to what He

(swt) has given you. Now think about what your Lord has given you and then realize to what

degree you must strive in being grateful to Him (swt). Now of course none of us can truly be as

grateful to Allah (swt) as He (swt) deserves, but we must still try. If you have in your heart the




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sincere realization of all that He (swt) has bestowed on you, and the sincere intention of wanting

to show gratitude and striving based on that intention, then perhaps He (swt) will accept it.

        This ayah is also a further consolation for the Prophet (saw) and those who carried the

dawah with him (saw) and after him (saw). Just think how painful it must have been for him (saw)

for the people to reject him (saw) in this way. He (saw) knew that what he (saw) brought to them

was the Truth. Yet still he (saw) would see them rejecting him (saw). How painful alsomust it have

been for him (saw) when they tortured him (saw), and abused him (saw), and his (saw)’s family

and companions. So Allah (swt) consoles him (saw) by telling him (saw) as to what is the fate that

awaits these people in the Hereafter. Now he (saw) does not need to despair because of what his

enemies are doing to him (saw). No matter what they may do to him (saw) in the temporary world,

he (saw) knows what awaits them in the eternal one.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) also tells all of us how we can save ourselves from this terrible

fate. Notice how these people are being told to burn because they have done kufr. In fact even

the word that Allah (swt) uses to describe their doing kufr is in the present tense and not the past

tense. That is why Allah (swt) says “Burn in it on this Day, because you used to be doing

kufr”. So Allah (swt) makes a direct connection between their horrible fate in the Hereafter and

their actions in this world. Allah (swt) is telling us that if we want to prevent ourselves from having

this future then we must look to our actions today. Are we in any way doing kufr today? Are we

turning away from what we know to be the Truth? Are we striving to always keep our Iman strong

by praying to Allah (swt) and by doing the deeds that are pleasing to Him (swt)? Are we being

grateful to Allah (swt) for all that He (swt) has given us? Do we consciously think about all of His

bounties and favors? If we can make sure that we are not in any way doing kufr today then Insha

Allah we can save ourselves from this fate tomorrow. Think about what it means to burn, then you

will realize how serious this matter is.

        In addition to giving the meaning of burning, the Arabic word that Allah (swt) uses here

also gives the meaning of “enduring”. So just as Allah (swt) is commanding them to burn in the

Fire, He (swt) is also commanding them to endure the Fire. Now of course this word is being used

sarcastically because there is no one who can have patience on the Fire and endure it. But the




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fact that Allah (swt) uses such sarcasm to address these people shows His (swt)’s hatred and

disdain for them. When we realize how displeased Allah (swt) is with these people, just from the

way that He (swt) would speak to them, that is when we have to double and redouble in our

efforts to prevent ourselves from becoming like them. May Allah (swt) give us the enabling grace!




66. This Day We shall put a seal on their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and

their feet will bear witness to what they used to be earning.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to describe the fate of the disbelievers and the criminals

on the Day of Judgment. It is very important that we always remind ourselves that this ayah is not

only speaking about those who reject this Message. These ayahs are also speaking about those

Muslims who commit sins and those who fail in their obligations to Allah (swt). To realize this we

only need to look at what Allah (swt) is saying in this ayah. In this ayah Allah (swt) is telling us

about the evil that these people have done with their hands and their feet. They are being

punished because of the evil that their hands and feet have done. So it is clear from this that

Allah (swt) is displeased not only with rejection of the Truth and disbelief, but He (swt) is also

displeased with the actions that people do. The actions that are done with their hand and feet.

That is why these ayahs should put a fear into us. The next time we think of using our hands and

feet for evil then we must think about this ayah. Insha Allah it should motivate us to stay away

from the actions that Allah (swt) is displeased with.

        Notice here how Allah (swt) does not tell us the order of events on the Day of Judgment

in a sequential manner. Because in the previous ayahs we saw how sinners and the disbelievers

were thrown into the Fire, and they were told to burn in the Fire. Now in this ayah Allah (swt) is

telling us about the time in which they are being judged. This is the time when they will have a

seal on their mouths, and when their hands and their feet will be made to bear witness and testify.



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So the ordering of the ayahs is not the same order as how the events will unfold on that Day. You

might think this to be a weakness of the Quran, but it is actually one of its strengths. It is part of

the beauty of its presentation. In this ayah Allah (swt) is telling us about the Judgment itself, and

in the previous ayahs He (swt) had already told us about the consequences of that Judgment. So

now you already know what is awaiting these people once the Judgment is over. This knowledge

makes the Judgment itself all the more terrifying. It draws your attention and increases your

interest in the Judgment, and hence in this ayah.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “This Day We shall put a seal on their mouths”.

As the sinners and the disbelievers are made to stand in front of Allah (swt) for the Judgment, the

first thing that He (swt) will do to them is that He (swt) will put a seal on their mouths. So they will

not be allowed to speak. They will not be allowed to say anything. They will not be allowed to

bring any excuses as to why they failed in their duty to worship and serve Allah (swt). They knew

the Truth. They knew what they were created for. They knew Allah (swt) and what they owed to

Him (swt). Yet still they turned away from Him (swt). They always thought that they were so

smart. They always thought so highly of themselves. So on this Day they will try to bring some

excuse. They will try to tell Allah (swt) something with which they hope they will be pardoned. But

they will not be able to. Their very mouths will be sealed. This same mouth that used to help them

in the life of this world. This same mouth which gave them their wealth and power in this world.

They will never be able to use it anymore. Allah (swt) Himself will seal it. Who then can open it

after that? Notice also how Allah (swt) does not say that He (swt) will close their mouths but

rather He (swt) says that He (swt) will seal their mouths. Once something is sealed it is not to be

opened again. So these people will never be able to speak again. They will not even be able to

say one word. Such is only the beginning of their punishment.

        There are some people in this world who are very eloquent speakers. They do much

wrong, and much injustice, and they think that they can get away with it through their mouths.

They always think that they can bring some excuse. They think that they can reason and debate.

They think that they can escape any situation that they find themselves only by their tongues. In

the life of this world these people may have been able to do this, but on that tremendous Day




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they will not be able to. They will not even be able to utter one word let alone bring any kind of

elaborate argument. On that Day they will not be able to escape justice. No matter how eloquent

a speaker they are, they will not be able to outsmart Allah (swt).Their mouths from which they

derived so much benefit in this world will be sealed forever on that Day. Just imagine how painful

this will be for them. But this is what they deserve for turning away from the Real and the True.

        One lesson that we can take from this part of the ayah is to remind ourselves that on that

Day we will not be able to offer any excuses ourselves. This is something that we have to always

bear in mind. Sometimes Shaitan comes to us and prompts us to sin, then he even gives us an

excuse for that sin. He tells us that we are in a very difficult situation. He tells us that Allah (swt)

would understand, that we can give this or that excuse to Him (swt) on the Day of Judgment. So

he tells us to go ahead and be with that woman or to go ahead and take interest from that loan. A

million and one excuses will he give us. A million and one reasons for following his path. But we

should always remember that on that tremendous Day we will not be able to offer any of these

excuses. We will not even be able to speak.

        Then Allah (swt) says “and their hands will speak to Us”. Allah (swt) does not need to

hear anything from these people. Instead He (swt) will make their own body parts to speak. Here

He (swt) tells us how their hands will speak. How many are the sins that are committed by the

hands? On that Day, the hands of all the sinners and the criminals will speak and they will declare

all of the sins that their masters committed with them. In the life of this world, their hands served

them without question. They did whatever was bidden of them to. But on that Day, these very

hands will be their enemies. They will testify before Allah (swt) as to all of the evil that was done

with them. There is nothing that will be left out. So the lesson that we can take from this is to

always look to what our hands are doing. Are our hands doing the actions that are pleasing to

Allah (swt)? Do we ever use our hands to do anything that is displeasing to Him (swt)? Before we

use our hands to do anything that might be forbidden, we must always remember this Day when

the hands will be made to speak. They will speak when we will not be able to.

        In the final part of this ayah Allah (swt) says “and their feet will bear witness to what

they used to be earning”. We see from this part of the ayah that even the feet shall speak on




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that Day. They shall bear witness and give testimony as to all that was done in their presence. To

all the sins that were earned using them. What sin can a person commit that he does not use his

feet for? Even to go from one place to another he needs to use his feet. On that Day, these very

feet will bear witness. They will speak the Truth and nothing but the Truth. They will give a

solemn testimony as to all of the evil that was committed with them. Nothing will be left out. No

detail will be spared.

        The lesson that we can take from this ayah is to realize the seriousness and gravity of

this Day. We should picture ourselves as that person whose mouth is sealed, and whose hands

speak, and whose feet bear witness. So every time we try to use our hands to do an action that

might be displeasing to Allah (swt). Every time we think of walking to a place that we know is

displeasing to Allah (swt). Then we must think of this Day. This Day when our own mouths will be

sealed so that we ourselves cannot give any excuses. This Day when our own hands and our

own feet will speak. How can we hope to defend ourselves in the court of Allah (swt) when it is

our own limbs who will be bearing witness against us?

        Without a doubt, our hands and our feet are among the greatest of gifts that our Lord has

given us. Just think how difficult your life would be if you were deprived of even one of these

limbs. Now of course the way that we show gratitude to Allah (swt) for these gifts is by using them

in a way that He (swt) is pleased with. So from this moment onwards, look to how you are using

your hands and your feet. Make sure that you do not even move them, except if it is for an action

that Allah (swt) would be pleased with. Try to make every action that you do with your hands and

your feet, an action that is pleasing to Allah (swt). You can do this by keeping your intention in

that action for Allah (swt) and by making certain that action is permissible in His (swt)’s Law. So

even when you use your hands for working, or cooking, or cleaning, it can be part of your worship

of Allah (swt). Even when you use your feet to walk to the market it can be part of your worship of

Allah (swt). If you can do this then Insha Allah on that Day these limbs will give a testimony that is

pleasing to Allah (swt). Insha Allah you can earn in this life what will save you on that Day and not

what will destroy you.




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67. And if We had willed, We would surely have wiped out their eyes, so that they would be

striving to find the Path, but how could they see?

        Recall from the previous ayah how we said that Allah (swt) does not relate to us the

events in a pure sequential order. Rather He (swt) relates to us the events in the order that has

the greatest impact on the listener. So in the previous ayah Allah (swt) had told us about the

moment of Judgment, the moment when the mouths of the criminals will be sealed, when their

hands will speak to Allah (swt), and when their feet will be made to bear witness. In the ayah

before that Allah (swt) had told us about the time in which they are actually made to burn in the

Fire. Now in this ayah Allah (swt) moves even further back in time. In this ayah He (swt) tells us

about the situation of these people in the life of this world. He (swt) tells us about their thinking

and their behavior. It is because of such that they found themselves with such a terrible fate.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us about a hypothetical scenario. He (swt) says “And if We

had willed, We would surely have wiped out their eyes”. Allah (swt) says here that if He (swt)

wanted to He (swt) could have wiped out their eyes. If Allah (swt) had done that then “they would

be striving to find the Path”. Now what does it mean to wipe out the eyes and what does it

mean to find the Path? The Path here refers to the Din of Islam. It is the Straight Path. The right

way. The Path that leads to the Pleasure of Allah (swt) and to salvation both in this life and the

next. In the life of this world, did these people have the capacity to find this Path? Of course they

did. Allah (swt) had given them all of the tools with which they could recognize this Message as

being true and to believe in it with utmost certainty. Allah (swt) had given them the eyes with

which to recognize the Truth of this Message. So the word “eyes” in this ayah is not limited only to

the physical eyes with which we see but it refers to the capacity within all of us to recognize the

Straight Path. This is something that we all have. We all have the ability to know that this

Message is true once it has been presented to us.



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        So Allah (swt) is telling us here that if He (swt) had willed, He (swt) could have removed

from these people this ability to recognize the Truth. He (swt) could have effaced their eyes which

they use to see the Path. Once Allah (swt) had done that then they would have been striving to

find the Path. In other words at that point the Truth would no longer have been clearly

recognizable. They would have to strive to find the Truth. They would strive to find it but they

would no longer be able to because Allah (swt) would have removed from the ability.

        But did Allah (swt) do this? Did Allah (swt) take away their ability to recognize the Truth of

this Message? No of course not. Allah (swt) gave them the ability to recognize the Path. They did

not need to strive to find it, but rather they could see it clearly. They could easily see that this

universe has only One Creator and Sustainer. They could see easily that the Prophet (saw) is the

Messenger of that Creator. So why then did not accept this Message? It was only because of

their arrogance and pride. It was only because they thought themselves to be something better

than an abject slave of Allah (swt). So who do they have to blame for their misguidance other

than their own selves? The Path was easy for them to find but they chose not to look for it.

        But if Allah (swt) were to have removed from these people their ability to perceive the

Truth of this Message then is there any chance of them seeing it? Would there have been any

possibility of them finding the Straight Path on their own? This is the question that Allah (swt)

wants us to think about again and again. When we think deeply about this then we realize that if

only Allah (swt) wanted to, He (swt) could have misguided these people. If Allah (swt) only

wanted to, then He (swt) could have completely destroyed their vision, and then they never would

have been able to find the Straight Path. Such is the complete Power and Control that Allah (swt)

had over them. When they were alive they easily saw the Straight Path. They easily recognized

that Islam was the Truth. If Allah (swt) would have effaced their vision such that this Truth was

blinded from them then they would have been striving to find it. Because they knew that it was the

Truth, and they knew that they had lost it, so they would seek after it most diligently. But no

matter how hard they searched they never would be able to find it. Now the point of the ayah is

that Allah (swt) did not do this. Allah (swt) did not take away their vision from them. The Straight

Path was clear for them to see. What then is their excuse for not following it?




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        One lesson for us to take from this ayah is to realize that Allah (swt) did not take away

our vision. Even though He (swt) easily could have He (swt) did not. We can easily see the

Straight Path. As long as we have Iman in our hearts then we have to believe that we still have

the eyes with which to see the Straight Path. What then is our excuse for not following it? What

then is our excuse for not having our beliefs be reflected in our actions? It is very easy to say that

we are convinced of the Truth of this Message, what is hard is to translate those words into

actions. What have we sacrificed of this world for the sake of Allah (swt)? When was the last time

that we strove to do an action only to please Allah (swt) with it?

        Another lesson that we can take from this ayah is to be afraid of the threat that it gives.

We know that there are some people who are blinded from the Truth in this world. There are

some people whose ability to perceive the Truth of this Message is removed. We also know that

Allah (swt) does not take away their eyes for no reason. In this ayah Allah (swt) speaks about

completely effacing their eyesight. This shows us that He (swt) must have been most displeased

with them. Now what would a people have done to make the Most Merciful and the Most

Forbearing displeased? What could a people have done to earn the Wrath of so Compassionate

and Kind a Being? They either persisted in denying this Message once they knew that it was the

Truth, or they persisted in being disobedient to His (swt)’s Law. So we as Muslims have to be

careful that we do not fall into either of these. Once we recognize that Islam is the Truth, then we

have to be steadfast on this Truth that we know. We must never allow doubts or reservations to

seep into our hearts. We must be as convinced of what is in this Book as we are convinced of

the image that we see before our eyes at this moment. Similarly once we know that something is

obligatory in the Law of Allah (swt), then we have to rush to perform it. We must never make any

excuses. Similarly once we know that a certain action is forbidden in the Law of Allah (swt), or

even if we think that Allah (swt) might be displeased with that action then we must stay away from

it. We must strive to stay away from it. Now of course we will all fall into sin every now and then.

Such is the nature of being human. But we must strive not to allow sin to become habitual for us.

That is how we can save ourselves from the threat that this ayah gives. May Allah (swt) save us!

May Allah (swt) always allow our eyes to always see the Straight Path!




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68. And if We had willed, We would surely have transformed them in their places, then they

would not be able go forward or return back.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to describe those whom He (swt) is displeased with.

Those whom we have to save ourselves from becoming. We have already seen the terrible

punishment that awaits them. We have already seen how even their hands and feet will bear

witness against them. Allah (swt) told us in the previous ayah that if only He (swt) wanted to He

(swt) could efface their eyes completely such that they would no longer be able to see the

Straight Path. Such that they would be struggling to see the Straight Path. In this ayah Allah (swt)

gives a similar threat. Only this one is even more frightening than the previous one.

        Allah (swt) says in this ayah “And if We had willed, We would surely have

transformed them in their places”. To understand the meaning of this ayah we have to realize

that life is nothing but a journey to Allah (swt). We were created and placed on this earth only to

journey to Allah (swt). The way that we come close to Allah (swt) is by performing the deeds that

are pleasing to Him (swt). So when we please Allah (swt) then we are close to Him (swt) and

when we displease Him (swt) then we are distant from Him (swt). Now there are some Muslims

who think that even if they continuously sin, even if they continue to do what is displeasing to

Allah (swt), they think that this will not harm them. They always have the hope that they can make

repentance in the future and come back to Allah (swt). They think that they can simply make Hajj

in the future or do some other act which they hope will wipe clean all of their sins. So today if they

are distant from Allah (swt) because of their sins, this does not bother them. They do not see it as

a problem. It is for such Muslims that this threat is intended. Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah that if

He (swt) so pleased then He (swt) could transform them in their places. He (swt) could change

their condition such that they will no longer be able to journey towards Him (swt).




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        So all of us are journeying towards Allah (swt). All of us are at a station on this journey.

Some of us are closer to Him (swt) than others. But all of us have the ability to come closer and

closer to Him (swt). All of us have the ability to perceive the Truth of this Message. All of us have

the ability to do the deeds that are pleasing to Him (swt). So no matter where we are in our

journey towards our Creator, we always have the ability to go forward. But would we always have

this ability? Even if we persist in sin and disobedience. Even if we become arrogant and proud.

Can we always hope to have this ability? Of course not. That is what Allah (swt) wants us to

realize in this ayah. If only He (swt) wanted, He (swt) could change us. He (swt) could transform

us from sincere believers into hypocrites. He (swt) could remove the Iman from our hearts and

make us love evil and hate good. He (swt) could make us into lifeless beings who only know the

life of this world. This is what Allah (swt) could do to us if He (swt) so pleased.

         So always think of your life as this journey towards Allah (swt). When you sin, you

become further away from Him (swt), when you are heedless of Him (swt), you become further

away from Him (swt). Once you are in this position where you are distant from Him (swt), then do

not think that you can easily come back to where you were before, do not think that you can

simply continue on your journey towards Him (swt). As Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah, He (swt)

can transform you in your place. He (swt) can transform you so that you are no longer able to

come towards Him (swt).

        To further emphasize what He (swt) can do Allah (swt) says “then they would not be

able go forward or return back”. Imagine yourself in the situation of these people. You were a

Muslim. You did the actions that were pleasing to Allah (swt). You believed in this Message that

had reached you from your Creator. But then one day you allowed yourself to fall into sin. You

allowed yourself to become heedless of Allah (swt). Now instead of making Tawbah and returning

to Allah (swt), you allowed yourself to continue in sin. The sin became beloved to you and you

soon cared more about it than about your Creator and Sustainer. Even though Allah (swt) is the

One Who brought you into existence and He (swt) is the One maintaining your existence at every

moment, you still chose to keep on doing what you knew was displeasing to Him (swt). You knew

that you would one day die and return to Him (swt). But you always thought that you could make




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Tawbah later. You thought that you were smarter than Him (swt). You thought that you can live in

this life in heedlessness to Him (swt) and in disobedience to His (swt)’s Law and then still have

Him (swt) give you the Garden in the Hereafter. But then without you even realizing it, Allah (swt)

changes your state. He (swt) transforms you into something else. Something other than the

believer that you used to be. Something much worse. Now you can never return to the state in

which you used to be. You soon stop doing any of the actions which are pleasing to Allah (swt).

You even start to neglect the Salah. You increase in the amount of sins that you do. You become

more and more heedless of your Lord. Soon you even begin to have doubts about the tenets of

this Aqeedah, such as the Existence of Allah (swt), the truthfulness of this Message, and the

Hereafter. You have been transformed right on the spot from being a sincere believer to being a

doubting hypocrite. This is what your Lord has done to you because you have angered Him (swt).

This is what you have gotten for yourself because of your arrogance and your pride. For thinking

that you can outsmart Him (swt). Now you cannot continue forward in your journey towards Him

(swt) nor can you return to where you used to be. May Allah (swt) save us from this fate!

        In order to save ourselves we have to strive to avoid angering our Lord. We should never

think that the only punishment which He (swt) can render upon us is in the Hereafter. He (swt)

may punish us in this world as well if He (swt) so pleases. If we sin in this world then He (swt)

may well punish us in this world. One of these punishments is this transformation that He (swt)

tells us about in this ayah. This transformation can come upon us all of a sudden and it can be a

complete transformation. In just one moment Allah (swt) can change us from the people who are

destined to the Garden to the people who are destined to the Fire. So we should never feel safe

from Allah (swt). We should never feel safe in our Iman. Rather we have to strive to increase in

the deeds that are pleasing to Him (swt) and we have to strive to stay away from what is

displeasing to Him (swt). We should avoid the major sins and the minor sins. We should even

strive to avoid allowing even a moment to pass us by while we are not doing some deed that is

pleasing to Him (swt). Every moment in this life is more precious than gold because every

moment in this life is an opportunity for us to come closer to Allah (swt). Once that moment

passes then it will never come again. So we should try to use every single moment that we have




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to please Allah (swt). We should not wait until tomorrow. We should not allow ourselves to fall into

sin and think that we can make repentance in the future. Rather we should live the morning as if

we will not see the evening and we should live the evening as if we will not see the morning. This

is how we can save ourselves from what Allah (swt) describes here. Especially in the day and

age in which we live. When the whole world around us seems heedless of Allah (swt). How much

do we have to strive to remember Him (swt)? How much do we have to strive to be obedient to

His (swt)’s Law? May Allah (swt) give us the enabling grace! So realize that life is nothing but a

journey. At every moment we can draw closer to Allah (swt) by thinking of Him (swt) and sincerely

trying to please Him (swt). Do not ever be content with your current station on this journey but

rather always convince yourself that you can do more and more. If you allow yourself to be

content with your current station without striving to improve yourself, or if you allow yourself to slip

back a little, then fear the threat that your Lord gives you here.




69. And for whoever We grant a long life to We decrease him in the creation, will they not

then think?

         In the previous ayahs Allah (swt) exhorted us to do the deeds that will help us to attain

salvation both in this life and the next. The deeds that are pleasing to Him (swt). He (swt) did this

by reminding us of those who displeased Him (swt). Those who angered Him (swt). They were

the ones who found themselves in the Fire being told to burn in it. They were the ones whose

eyes were blinded from perceiving the Truth in the life of this world. They were the ones who

were transformed in their place so that they could no longer journey to their Lord. After being

given such a warning and such an exhortation, why would anyone ever choose the life of this

world over Allah (swt)? If you are still among those who have doubts, if you are still among those

who think that there is something for you in this world, then in this ayah Allah (swt) reminds you of

the true reality of this world.




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        Allah (swt) says in this ayah “And for whoever We grant a long life to We decrease

him in the creation”. If you prefer the life of this world over Allah (swt) then you should realize

that this is what awaits you in this world. Once you have passed the prime of your youth, then the

longer that you are in this world, the weaker you will become. Allah (swt) will decrease you in the

creation. All that He (swt) gave you when He (swt) created you, He (swt) will take away. You will

lose your physical strength. You will lose your health. You will lose your vitality and vigor. You will

lose your senses and your reflexes. As time passes you will only lose more and more. You will no

longer have the body that you had in your youth. You will no longer be able to do all that you did

in your youth. You cannot enjoy all of the foods that you did in your youth. Even your physical

appearance will deteriorate. The bitterness of this world will become more and more salient. This

is what awaits you in the life of this world. Anyone who chooses the life of this world will have this

fate. As you can see from this ayah, Allah (swt) is the One Who will do this to you. He (swt) will

make the world a miserable place for you to be in because you chose it over Him (swt).

        Then Allah (swt) says “will you not then think?”. Allah (swt) has given us a mind. Here

He (swt) asks us why we do not use it. We know the two possibilities that we are confronted with.

We can either choose this world or we can choose Allah (swt). If we choose the former of these

then we know what is waiting for us. Old age and weakness. Weakness of mind and weakness of

body. You know the kind of life that awaits the elderly. In how many ways they are made to suffer.

First is the physical suffering that they go through as their body starts to deteriorate. They feel

pain as illness upon illness takes over their body. Even the simple activities become difficult for

them. Even walking and eating becomes a challenge for them. They soon reach a state when

they even need help using the restroom. This is only the physical difficulty that they are going

through. Then even worse than that is their mental anguish. They see what has become of their

life. They know that their youth is gone and that it is never coming back. They know that death will

be upon them very soon. Some of them really do not know what awaits them after death. Some of

them think that a state of non-existence or eternal sleep awaits them. However most of them

know the reality of what awaits them. They know that they were created to worship and serve

Allah (swt) and they know that they have failed in their duty. They know that they chose this world




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over Allah (swt) and now they know that this world is going to leave them. They also know what

awaits them when they return to Allah (swt). Think then about the anguish that they will feel.

Think about their fear and apprehension. They know what awaits them and they know that they

are drawing closer to it with every moment that passes. So far worse than any physical suffering

that they have to go through in this world is their mental suffering. The pain of it will only get

worse with each passing year. With each passing moment. This is what awaits those who choose

the life of this world over a life of worship and servitude to their Creator. Is this what you want for

yourself? Allah (swt) wants you to use the mind that He (swt) gave you and think. Think about

which of these paths is better for you to walk. If you choose Allah (swt) then time will no longer be

your enemy. You will be happy at every moment that passes you by because every moment only

brings you closer to the moment in which you will return to your reason for being. Your whole life

was a preparation for that moment. So which of these paths do you want? Think about it.




70. And We have not taught him poetry, nor is it fitting for him, it is nothing less than a

Reminder and a clear Reading.

        In the previous ayahs Allah (swt) terrified us. He (swt) showed us the fate that awaits us if

we should choose to turn away from Him (swt). First He (swt) showed us the very end which was

the Fire. This is the place of torment and suffering where He (swt) Himself would command the

souls to burn for all eternity in. Then Allah (swt) slowly brought us back in time to show us how

these souls ended up in that place. First there was the Day of Judgment where the mouths will be

sealed and the hands and the feet will speak and give witness. Before that there was the life of

this world where the eyes were covered from seeing the Straight Path, and the sinners and the

criminals were transformed in their places so that they could not go forward nor return back to

where they used to be. And for anyone who still preferred the life of this world, there was only old

age for them, a stage in which they would know nothing but anguish and suffering. Allah (swt) told




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us all of this because He (swt) loves us. He (swt) wants to save us from the consequences of

turning away from Him (swt). Now that we know the path on which we must walk, how do we

undertake our journey? What is the guide that will show us the way? Allah (swt) tells us here.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “And We have not taught him poetry”. In this

ayah Allah (swt) brings our attention to the Quran. This is the Book that can save us from that

horrible path that was described for us in the previous ayahs. This is what Allah (swt) gave to the

Prophet (saw) with which he (saw) may save his people. But what was the response of his people

to this Book? Did they treat it with the respect and regard that it deserves? Did they hearken to its

warnings? No rather they said that it was poetry. This was their reaction to this blessed Book that

had been sent to them by their Creator and Sustainer. They knew very well that the Quran was

not poetry. It did not resemble poetry in content or in structure. They were experts in poetry so

they realized this fact very well. But still they spoke what they knew was false and said that this

Quran was poetry. That is why Allah (swt) responds to such statements in this ayah. First of all

Allah (swt) reminds us that He (swt) is the One Who the Source of this Quran. This Quran is not

from the mind of any man, rather it is the Speech of the Creator and Sustainer of this universe.

Would the Lord and Master of the universe ever speak poetry? Poetry is from the yearnings of

man. From the yearnings of his soul. Man writes poetry about what he desires. About what he

believes is wrong with the world. About what he cannot have. Why would Allah (swt) ever speak

of such matters? He (swt) desires nothing that He (swt) cannot immediately get, and the world is

always exactly as how He (swt) wants it to be. So it does not behoove Allah (swt) to speak poetry

and that was why He (swt) did not teach it to the Prophet (saw).

        Just as poetry is not fitting for Allah (swt), it is also not fitting for the Prophet (saw). That

is why in the very next part of the ayah Allah (swt) says “nor is it fitting for him”. Now we know

that the Prophet (saw) never composed a single line of poetry for his (saw)’s entire life. But in this

part of the ayah Allah (swt) tells us that poetry is not even fitting for him (saw). Now why does

Allah (swt) say this? Why is poetry not fitting and not proper for the Prophet (saw)? It is because

of what we mentioned in the previous part of the ayah. Man writes poetry because of the

yearnings of his soul. The yearnings of his desires. Did the Prophet (saw) ever have such




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desires? Any unfulfilled yearnings that were so powerful that he (saw) needed to express them in

words? Of course not, because all that the Prophet (saw) ever desired was to please Allah (swt).

All that he (saw) ever desired was to be near Allah (swt). That was all that he (saw) ever longed

for. Just to be near the Real and True. And even this longing that he (saw) had was something

that he (saw) only complained to Allah (swt) of. He (saw) never complained to any of the creation

of this need of his to be near his Lord. That was why he (saw) never wrote poetry. That was why

it was never fitting for him (saw) to write poetry. Poetry was something below him (saw). The

Prophet (saw)’s soul was at a much higher level than that of those who write poetry. The ones

who write poetry are those who complain to the creation. They see the world to be in one way

and they would wish to be in a different way. So they write poetry about what they desire. The

Prophet (saw)’s soul was at a level where all that he (saw) desired was Allah (swt). This was why

poetry was not even fitting for him (saw). It was beneath him (saw).

        If the Quran is not poetry then what is it? Allah (swt) tells us in the next part of the ayah

when He (swt) says “it is nothing less than a Reminder and a clear Reading”. This is the

reality of this Book. It is a Reminder and a clear Reading. First of all it is a Reminder. What does it

remind us of? Of course it reminds us of Allah (swt). This is the main purpose of the Quran. It was

sent only to remind us of the purpose of our existence. To reminds us of Allah (swt). Every ayah

of the Quran in one way or another reminds us of our Creator. It either tells us about Him (swt) or

it tells us what pleases or displeases Him (swt). When you truly realize Allah (swt) then you will

understand how tremendous this is? Allah (swt) sent this Quran to all of the nations to remind

them of Him (swt). This Quran was sent to every human being to remind them of the Real and the

True. This whole world is only an illusion when compared to Allah (swt). This whole world does

not even exist when compared to Allah (swt). The Quran is the key with which you could realize

this. This blessed Book shows you the world as it truly is. So then how evil are those who would

say that this Quran is poetry? What an insult is it to this Quran to say that it is poetry? Poetry is

like the mud and filth of this earth while the Quran is like the open skies of the horizon. One is

worldly and the other is Divine. So you cannot even compare them.




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        Allah (swt) also describes this Quran as a clear Reading. This refers to the way in which

the Message of the Quran has been delivered to us. The Message of the Quran is a call for all

mankind to remember their Lord and to dedicate their lives to His (swt)’s worship and servitude.

Now is this Message in any way unclear? Is it possible for anyone to sincerely turn to the Quran

and not get this Message? Of course not. Because Allah (swt) describes it in this ayah as a clear

Reading. This means that the reading of it, the recitation of it, the conveyance of it, is absolutely

clear. In the clearest and the simplest and the plainest of terms Allah (swt) has conveyed His

Message to us in His Book. So there is no one who will turn to the Quran and not be guided by it.

If you sincerely turn to this Book, then it will lead you to your Lord, that is the purpose for which it

was given to you. So now you know what can save you from that horrible punishment that was

described to you in the previous ayahs. All you need is this Quran. Hold fast to it. Always recite it.

Spend your life learning its meanings and conveying to others what you know of it. There is no

greater purpose in life.




71. So that it may warn one who has been alive, and so that the Word of Punishment may

prove true against the ones who do kufr.

        In the previous ayah Allah (swt) told us about the Quran. Allah (swt) reminded us that it

was what He (swt) had taught the Prophet (saw). It is no poetry as the enemies of this Message

claim, rather it is a Reminder and a clear Reading. In this ayah He (swt) continues to describe this

blessed Book. Not only does Allah (swt) describe for us the Quran in this ayah, but He (swt) also

describes for us the people to whom it was sent. Although the Quran was sent for all mankind,

there are only a certain kind of people who will benefit from it. In this ayah, our Lord tells us who

such people are. He (swt) also tells us what this Quran will do to those who turn away from it. So

through this ayah you can know the conditions that you must fulfill in order to benefit from this

Book and you can also know the consequences that you have to suffer if you turn away from it.




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        Allah (swt) first says “So that it may warn one who has been alive”. This is the first

purpose of the Quran. It is to warn those people who have been alive. Now what exactly does

Allah (swt) mean here by the one who is alive? Is it simply the life that we know? Just to have

consciousness and be able to move about? Is this all that Allah (swt) means by life? If that were

the meaning then there would be no benefit or guidance from this ayah. We could simply say that

obviously the Quran came to warn those who are alive, it did not come to warn those who were

dead in their graves. So this cannot be the meaning of the word “alive” in this ayah. It must have

a deeper and more profound meaning. Since we have already established that Allah (swt) is the

Ultimate Reality, the Real and the True, then what can we say about those who are not even

aware of Him (swt)? What can we say about those who spend their entire lives in heedlessness

of Him (swt)? Are they anything but dead? What kind of a life is it when you are not even aware of

your Creator? You do not even think about Him (swt). What kind of a life is it? It is not a life, it is

death. So the ones whom Allah (swt) speaks of here as alive are those who know Him (swt). It is

those people who are aware that they have a Creator and that there is a Creator for this universe.

This knowledge of the Divine that they have is what makes them alive.

        Now a question that might asked is that if someone already knows Allah (swt) then why

do they need the Quran. To answer that question we have to say that what we mean here by

“knowing” Allah (swt) is not the true m’arifa of Allah (swt), rather what we mean is simply the

awareness that there is a Creator for this universe. It is simply the knowledge that there is a

Supreme Being Who created this universe. Any human being who contemplates on this universe

will arrive at this obvious conclusion. There are countless signs all over the universe pointing to

the fact that there is a Creator. Everything in the universe has attributes of the creation thus

revealing its Creator for those who contemplate on it. Not only must one believe in the existence

of a Creator but one must also believe that Creator to be transcendent beyond this universe.

Because if everything in this universe is a sign for the Creator, if everything in this universe is a

creation, then the Creator has to be beyond this universe. So this Supreme Being cannot be an

idol, or an animal or a human. He (swt) has to be beyond the universe that we know. Anyone who

contemplates on this universe, anyone who has not already been fed ideas of falsehood, anyone




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whose heart is pure of arrogance and desires, will come to this conclusion of the Existence and

Oneness of this Being if they would only ponder on the creation. These are the ones who are truly

alive. These are the ones whom the Quran came to warn.

        Also notice in this ayah how Allah (swt) does not simply say that such people are alive,

rather He (swt) that they have been alive. The Arabic word kana that Allah (swt) uses here means

something that is in a particular state over an extended period of time. So Allah (swt) is showing

us here that these people been alive for some time. It is not that they simply found out about their

Creator yesterday, but they have been aware of Him (swt) for a long time. For a long time they

knew that they had a Creator. For a long time they had a desire to know more about Him (swt)

and to know how to please Him (swt). But they were devoid of guidance so they did not know how

to worship Him (swt). They did not know anything about Him (swt) other than that He (swt) exists.

But they still had this longing to come closer to Him (swt). They still wanted to please Him (swt).

These are the people who are truly alive. These are the people who can benefit from the warning

that the Quran gives. The ones who have contemplated and reflected on the universe around

them. The ones who know that there is something beyond this world that we know.

        For such people who are alive, for such people who know their Creator, the Quran gives

them a warning. The Quran warns them as to the true reality of this existence. It lets them know

that they were not created and placed on this earth for no purpose. It warns them of the

responsibility that they have to worship and serve their Creator. It warns them of the Day in which

they will return to Him (swt) and He (swt) will judge them according to how well they lived up to

their responsibility. It warns them of the pain that they will have to endure and the pleasure that

they will miss if they become among the lazy and the negligent. Of course there is the warning of

the physical torment to the utmost degree and the warning of missing the physical pleasure to the

utmost degree, but what is even more tragic than this is to be distant from Allah (swt). This is a

punishment that is so terrible that one even feels the effects of it in this life. If the hearts find

tranquility and serenity in the remembrance of Allah (swt), then what can be said of the hearts

that do not remember Him (swt)? How wretched and corrupt must a heart be that allows moments

of its life to pass it by without remembering its Creator in them? So the Quran gives warning to




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such people who have recognized their Creator. It lets them know that their Creator has sent to

them this Message. It lets them know that they need to take this Message seriously. It lets them

know that they need to live their lives according to this Message. If they are considering not doing

this then they must think about the warning that it gives. The warning of the Fire. The warning of

missing the Garden. But most important of all, the warning of being distant from Allah (swt). May

Allah (swt) allow us to heed this warning!

        So one lesson that we as Muslims can take from this part of the ayah is to realize how

fortunate we are to be alive in the true sense of the word. We are alive in that we know Allah (swt)

as He (swt) truly IS. How many of the souls on the earth today are alive in this way? Look at all

the false religions and beliefs that there are in the world today. They teach their children that god

is a man or that god is a cow or that god is an idol. In our day and age, even atheism and

antagonism are becoming popular thoughts. People are actually being told that there is nothing

beyond this material world that we know. So when we know the Divine as He (swt) truly is, when

we are alive in the true sense of the word, then how fortunate and blessed are we? But this

knowledge also comes with a warning. We need to make ourselves worthy of this knowledge.

        This is because Allah (swt) also tells us in this ayah that there is another purpose for the

Quran. Allah (swt) says in the next part of the ayah “and so that the Word of Punishment may

prove true against the ones who do kufr”. There is a Word of Punishment. It is only against

those whom this Word is spoken that the punishment will be unleashed. Even though Allah (swt)

could speak this Word against each and every one of us, and such would not be injustice at all for

Him (swt) because we are His (swt)’s creation, Allah (swt) has chosen not do this. Allah (swt) has

chosen to only punish those who make themselves worthy of the punishment because of the

choices that they make. So in order for a people to be eligible for the punishment they must first

receive the Message. It is when they choose to reject this Message either by their statements or

by their actions that they make themselves deserving of this punishment. This then is another

reason why Allah (swt) taught the Quran to the Prophet (saw). So that he (saw) may deliver it to

the people. So that they are given the choice. So that the Word of Punishment may be proven

true against them.




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        Many of us would read this ayah and think that it is only speaking about the disbelievers.

That it is only speaking about those who would openly reject this Message after knowing that it is

the Truth. We think of the likes of Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab and the other Quraysh chiefs. If such

is our thinking, if we only restrict the meaning of this ayah to these people, then we have to

remind ourselves of the meaning of the word kufr. This word simply means to cover something.

So if you know Allah (swt), if you know of this Quran that He (swt) has sent to you, if you know

the responsibilities and the duties that this Quran demands of you, and then you still do not make

the effort, and you still choose to turn away, then how safe can you feel that this ayah is not

talking about you? Most of the people in the world today do not know what this Quran really is.

Even most Muslims are ignorant as to the true nature of this Book. They do not know of its

Miracle, its profound meanings, or even of what it demands of them. However you do. If you have

been reading our tafsir books then you do. So how can you feel safe that this ayah is not

speaking about you? The only way to save yourself is to dedicate yourself to this Book as it

demands of you. May Allah (swt) give us all the enabling grace!




72. Or have they not seen that We have created for them from what our Hands have

worked beneficial things, so that they are their masters.

        In the previous ayahs Allah (swt) reminded us of the greatest of gifts that He (swt) has

given us. This Quran. This Guidance to Him (swt). When you truly realize Allah (swt) then you

know that there is no greater gift than this. Just to be near Allah (swt), just to know how to please

Him (swt), such is better than all that this world has to offer. This is what this Quran offers. But is

the Quran the extent of Allah (swt)’s Bounty for us? Is that all that He (swt) has given us? If all

that Allah (swt) had ever given us was just the knowledge of Him (swt) and the knowledge of how

to worship Him (swt) then that would have been sufficient for us. Just like the angels we could

have spent our existence simply worshipping and glorifying Him (swt). This would have been




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enough for us when we consider how Glorious and Majestic He (swt) IS. However in this ayah

Allah (swt) shows us how He (swt) has given us much more than the Quran. He (swt) has given

us much more than the Din and the guidance to Him (swt). He (swt) shows us how He (swt) has

given us much more than what He (swt) has given to any other of His (swt)’s creation. Allah (swt)

has actually placed all the other of His (swt)’s creation on this earth underneath us. He (swt) has

subjugated them to us. This is what He (swt) reminds of us here.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) asks a question. He (swt) asks us if we have not seen all of the

beneficial things that He (swt) has created for us. The word anam in this ayah means anything

from which benefit can be derived. For example the cattle, the horses, the camels, the cars, the

houses, the clothes that we wear, the food that we eat, the tools and instruments that we use. All

of these are things from which human beings derive benefit. They make our lives in this world

easier. They make our lives comfortable and livable. Just imagine how our lives would we be if

we did not have these things. Would we be able to survive for even one day? Yet did we create

these things? Did we subjugate them for our selves? Of course not. How then can we be so

deluded and distant from the One Who did? This is why Allah (swt) put this ayah in the form of a

question. To make us as human being realize how foolish we are that we would enjoy all these

things and then not remember the One Who created them. The One Who subjected them to us.

So the key to understanding this ayah is the realization that all of these have been created by

Allah (swt) and He (swt) is the One has given us the dominion over all of them. So look at

everything on this earth that has been placed under the control of man. The list is endless. In fact

it is everything that is on this earth. He (swt) has subjugated this entire earth for us. He (swt)

made us as the masters of all of them. Although we also are only a creation of Allah (swt) just like

these things are, they still obey us and they still do our bidding.

         Allah (swt) tells us here that He (swt) created all of these with His (swt)’s Hands. Now of

course this does not mean that Allah (swt) has Hands, may Allah (swt) save us from such

blasphemy, rather it is an expression to mean that it was He (swt) and He (swt) Alone Who

created these things for us. No one else was involved in any way in the creation of these things. It

was only Allah (swt). Why then should we not strive to show gratitude to Him (swt)?




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73. And We have subjugated these things for them, so that some of these things they ride

and some of them they eat.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to tell us about the gifts and bounties that He (swt) has

bestowed upon us. Recall from a previous ayah how Allah (swt) had told us that one of the

purposes of the Quran was to remind us of Him (swt). One way in which the Quran does this is by

reminding us of all of the favors and bounties of this world that Allah (swt) has given us. It makes

us realize that we by ourselves would not have been able to create these things. We by ourselves

would not have been able subjugate these things into servitude for us. So the very fact that we

have these things and the very fact that we could do with them whatsoever we please should

remind us of the One Who created them for us and the One Who subjected them into our service.

It should make us realize that there is more to this universe than just randomness and chaos.

There is a purpose and a meaning for all creation. So by reminding us of these things that have

been given to us, the Quran fulfills its purpose. It reminds us of our Creator. It reminds us of our

Lord and Master. It reminds us of our obligation to live our lives in worship of Him (swt) to show

gratitude for what we have been given. You then should be grateful for these gifts and bounties

that Allah (swt) has given you and you should also be grateful for Him (swt) reminding you of

them in His (swt)’s Book.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “And We have subjugated these things for

them”. Here Allah (swt) reminds us once again how He (swt) has subjugated the things of this

world for us. These things include the cattle and it includes everything else of this world that man

has been given and takes benefit from. This English word subjugated does little to convey the full

meaning of the original Arabic word that Allah (swt) uses in this ayah. In the original Arabic this

word gives meanings of something that has been made low and submissive. Something that has

been beaten into submission. Something that has been reduced to such a state that it only does




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what it is commanded to do. Is this not what Allah (swt) has done for us when it comes to all the

things of this world that we have? Does not everything that we have been given always do exactly

what we want from it? Does not your car always go where you tell it to? Do not the lights always

turn on when you flip the switch? Does not the water always quench your thirst? Does not the

food always satiate your hunger? Does not the cow always go where you tell it to even if it is to

the slaughterhouse? All the things of this world are in a state of complete servitude to you. They

only do what you bid of them. Who is it that has made them this way? Who is it that has

subjugated them for you? Why then do you not give thanks?

        Then Allah (swt) says “so that some of them they ride and some of them they eat”.

Here Allah (swt) reminds us once again of some of the specific benefits that we derive from these

things that we have been given. First He (swt) mentions how we ride upon them. We spoke

previously about many of the things that Allah (swt) has given us for riding. From horses and

camels to planes and trains to cars and carriages. All of these have been subjugated into service

for us and all of these we use for our benefit. We ride upon these and they take us to whatever

destination that we want to go to. They make the earth smaller and more accessible for us. Now

do you think that Allah (swt) would be pleased with you riding these things to places that He (swt)

is displeased with? Do you even think that He (swt) would be pleased with you riding these things

only for your pleasure when you know that you were created only to seek His (swt)’s Pleasure?

This is what we should think about and reflect on when we use the things of this world that we

have been given. A similar reason can be used for the things that we eat and the things that we

consume in any way. Even the air that we consume has been created for us by Allah (swt) and

He (swt) has subjected it into our service. So we as consume it and as we consume all that we

have been given we have to strive to show our gratitude to Him (swt). The way to show gratitude

of course is by striving to please Him (swt). By doing all that He (swt) has commanded you to do

and to stay away from all that He (swt) has forbidden you from.




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74. And for them in these things are benefits and drinks, will they not then give thanks.

        This ayah continues on the theme of the previous ayahs. Allah (swt) tells us about even

more of the gifts and bounties that He (swt) has given us from the things of this world. This is

done in order that we may show gratitude. Gratitude is something basic and something that

should be known by all creatures. When someone does something for you, you should at the very

least acknowledge what they have done, and if you can you should also try to reciprocate what

they have done. This is especially true when you are the one in desperate need of them and they

are not in need of you. Now of course we can never even come close to repaying Allah (swt) for

all that He (swt) has done for us. But if we can at least realize just how much we are in debt to

Him (swt) then at the very least we would make a sincere effort to try and please Him (swt) in

order to show our gratitude. From this ayah we should at the very least come to this realization.

        Allah (swt) says in this ayah “And for them in these things are benefits and drinks”.

The word benefits in this ayah is general and it refers to all of the blessing and advantages that

we take from the things that Allah (swt) has given us. Look at all of the things of this world that

you use and look at all of the benefits that you take from them. Even at this very moment. From

the page or the screen on which you are reading this. To the chair on which you are sitting. To

the room which houses you. To the food and drink that is in your stomach right now to give you

the energy. To the air that you are breathing. To the safety and the security that you have at this

moment. Countless are the things of this world that we have been given and countless are the

different benefits that we take from them. T

        Allah (swt) also specifically mentions in this ayah how the things of this world provide us

with drink. From the rivers and lakes that provide us with water to the cows that provide us with

milk to the trees that provide us with juices and refreshments. All of these are from the gifts and

bounties that our Lord has given us. So the next time you feel a refreshing liquid swim down your

throat remember the One Who has given it to you. Imagine how ungrateful to Him (swt) you




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would be if you were to drink that and then sin. How can any but the worst of creatures take all of

these benefits and drink all of these drinks and then commit sins?

        That is why Allah (swt) asks us in the next part of the ayah “will they not then give

thanks”. The scholars of language tell us that there are several aspects to the Arabic word

shukur that Allah (swt) uses here. The first is that one acknowledges and recognizes what the

benefactor has done for one. Even if it is for the smallest of gifts or the most insignificant of

favors, one still makes the acknowledgment. So at the very least one should say “I recognize that

you have done this for me”. The next aspect of shukur is that one becomes humble and

submissive before one’s benefactor. So if someone gives you a gift then you do not become

arrogant or rebellious towards that person. You do not think that you are above that person and

above showing gratitude to that person. The next aspect of shukur is that you do not use what

you have been given in a way that is displeasing to the benefactor. When you see the gift that

you have been given, then you think about the person who gave it to you, and then you realize

that you must only use it in a way that person would be pleased with. The next aspect of shukur is

that you have love for the person who provided you with the gift. Your love for that person must

increase because of what they have given you. The greater or the more numerous the gifts that

you have been given, the greater must be your love. The next aspect of shukur is that you must

praise and eulogize the person who has given you that gift. Not only must you acknowledge the

generosity and kindness of this person for you, but you must declare it to the whole world and you

must praise that person because of it. All of these are different dimensions of the word shukur. So

here Allah (swt) asks us as to why we do not show shukur to Him (swt) for all that He (swt) has

given us? Most of us do not even acknowledge that it was Allah (swt) Who has given us all that

we have. We think that what we have is because of our own efforts or our own worth. Most of us

are not humble and submissive before Allah (swt). On the contrary for most us, the more that we

are given of this world, the more proud and arrogant we become. We think that we are the best

and that we are the greatest. Many of us even use what we have been given in ways that are

displeasing to Allah (swt). Even when we sin we are using countless of the gifts and bounties that

Allah (swt) has given us to commit that sin, to do that deed that is displeasing to Him (swt).




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Furthermore how many of us praise Allah (swt) for what He (swt) has given us? Do we even

praise Him (swt) after a meal or after drinking a cup of water? Finally how many of us use what

Allah (swt) has given us in a way that is pleasing to Him (swt)? These are the questions that we

have to always be asking ourselves. Insha Allah this is what will save us from becoming content

with ourselves. Insha Allah this is what will save us from becoming among the arrogant.




75. And they have taken from below Allah gods with the hope that they may be helped.

        In the previous ayahs Allah (swt) had reminded us of all that He (swt) had given us. The

greatest of these blessings is this very Quran. It is not poetry in any way, nor is it a story or a

fictional tale, nor is it even from the mind of a man. Rather it is from the Creator and Sustainer,

the Lord and Master of the entire universe. Every verse in it is reminds us of Him and of our duty

to Him in the clearest way. It shows us how to win His pleasure and how to be near Him. It warns

us of how to save ourselves from becoming like those who are distant from Him (swt). But the

bounties of Allah (swt) for us do not end with this Quran. He (swt) also reminded us of all of the

provisions and gifts of this world that He (swt) had given us. Everything in this world has been

subjugated for us to use in whatever manner we please. To eat from, to drink from, to ride on and

to benefit from in whatever way that we please as long as it is in conformity with the Divine Law.

This is what Allah (swt) has done for us. Now in this ayah Allah (swt) tells us what we have done

to Him (swt).

        Allah (swt) says “And they have taken from below Allah gods with the hope that they

may be helped”. When most of us read this ayah we immediately think that it is referring to the

polytheists at the time of the Prophet (saw). We think that the “gods” which this ayah speak of are

the idols that these pagans used to worshipped. Without a doubt it is referring to them, but there

is an even more comprehensive meaning for this ayah. The word illah that we have translated




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here as “gods” refers to anything that is adored or sanctified. Anything upon which great

importance is placed. So anything that one considers as the central goal in one’s life. Anything

that one always thinks about. Anything that one does one’s actions for is an illah. Now we know

that rightfully speaking the only illah for all the people should be Allah (swt). We were created

only for Him (swt). We were created to dedicate our lives to Him (swt). But here in this ayah Allah

(swt) describes a people who have taken other illahs from below Him (swt). They take these false

gods in the hope that these illahs will help them. Now do you think that this ayah is referring only

to the idol worshippers? Is there any way that we as Muslims could be guilty of this crime? How

many of us dedicate our lives to other than Allah (swt)? How many of us are more concerned with

our money or our children or our desires and our comfort than we are with our Creator and

Sustainer? Are all these not false gods that we have taken in place of Him (swt)? Not only do we

dedicate our lives to these false gods but we even think that they can help us. As Allah (swt) tells

us in this ayah, we dedicate our lives to these illahs in the hope that they can help us. We think

that when we are in trouble that it is our money or our children or our own selves that can help us.

We think that these will provide for us and take care of us. We think that these false gods can

provide us with our sustenance and that they can protect us from dangers. Despite all that Allah

(swt) has given us. Despite the fact that we have this Quran wherein is the clearest of guidance,

we still have the audacity to take these false gods from below Allah (swt). These false gods are

below Allah (swt) in every way. They are not Perfect and Pure like He (swt) IS. They are not All-

Knowing and All-Powerful like He (swt) IS. They are not the Creator but they are themselves

created, and they are not the Sustainer but they are themselves sustained. Allah (swt) created

them, He (swt) sustains them, and He (swt) can destroy them whenever He (swt) pleases. We as

Muslims know this fact without a doubt. Yet we still foolishly attach ourselves to these false gods.

We leave Allah (swt), we leave the Book that He (swt) sent us, and we dedicate the moments in

our lives to these false gods. We do this with the false hope that these can help us. With the false

hope that they can provide for us and keep us safe. With the false hope that they can assist us in

our affairs and give us victory. How utterly foolish is such thinking? Especially for a people who

have been given the Quran and who know Allah (swt) as He (swt) truly IS. How can we ever




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return to Him (swt) if we continue on this path? How can we face Him (swt) on the Last Day?

What excuse can we give? May Allah (swt) save us from ourselves! May Allah (swt) allow us to

release ourselves from all the false gods that occupy our hearts!




76. They will not be able to help them, but they are for them an army standing ever at their

side.

         In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us of the true reality of all the false gods that are worshipped

and served from below Him (swt). People turn to these false gods for help. They turn to these

false gods for sustenance. They turn to these false gods to save them both in this life and the

next. But here in this ayah Allah (swt) tells us of the true nature of all these false gods. These

people think that their false gods will somehow benefit them, but in reality these gods have taken

away the greatest gift that Allah (swt) has given them. They have taken away their freedom. That

is the reality of all that is worshipped and served from below Allah (swt). Allah (swt) explains how

this is so in this ayah.

         First however Allah (swt) says “They will not be able to help them”. These people

dedicated their lives to their idols or their masters or their children or their wealth or their own

selves in the hope that these will help them. The Arabic word nasr in this ayah which we have

translated as “help” has a very comprehensive meaning. It refers to all kinds of support and

assistance that one could seek. It refers to protecting one from danger, it refers to providing food

and sustenance, it refers to granting victory and fulfilling one’s desires. These are all different

kinds of help that one could seek and these people dedicated their lives to these false gods in the

hope that they could get such help. Allah (swt) tells us plainly and clearly in this ayah that they will

get no such help. They had such high hopes for these false gods and in all of these ways these

gods will disappoint them. They will not provide them with any help whatsoever. Even if they

wanted to they would not be able to help them. If Allah (swt) were to decree death for you then do

you think that your wealth or your children can save you? When you are standing naked before



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Allah (swt) on the Last Day then do you think that thing which occupies your heart today can save

you? Even if some terrible calamity were to befall you in this world like a crippling disease or a

terrible accident, who is there that will be able to help you from below Allah (swt)?

        Even though these false gods cannot help these people in any way, what is it that these

people have done for these gods? What is their relationship towards these gods? Allah (swt) tells

us “yet they are for them an army standing ever at their side”. These people are an army for

the false gods that they worship. They serve them in every way. They stand by them and protect

them from all harm. They dedicate their lives for them. This is the relationship that they have

chosen to have towards these false gods that cannot benefit them in any way. They have left

Allah (swt) to become a soldier for these false gods. Do you think that Allah (swt) would be

pleased with such a people especially when He (swt) created them to serve Him (swt) and to

dedicate their lives to Him (swt)?

        Many are the human souls who have been soldiers for other than Allah (swt). The pagans

at the time of the Prophet (saw) were soldiers for their idols. They fought for their idols and they

died for their idols. Similarly many men dedicated their lives to kings, and emperors and dictators.

They were willing to die for these fools who claimed that they had a right to rule in the land. Who

claimed that they were a sovereign besides Allah (swt). Sayyid Qutb tells us in his tafsir of this

ayah that in today’s day and age, even many Muslims have been guilty of this crime. How many

so called Muslims today, who prostrate themselves in prayer and fast and make pilgrimage, still

serve the governments of kufr. They are soldiers for the kings and the presidents who rule with

their desires instead of following the Law of Allah (swt). Do you think that Allah (swt) is pleased

with such behavior? There are also many so called Muslims who are soldiers for their wealth or

for their children or for their desires. They dedicate their lives to these false gods and they would

even give their lives for these false gods. Where is Allah (swt) for these people? How could they

forget the One Who brought them into existence, the One Who Sustains them for every moment,

and the One to Whom they will return? Why cannot they be a soldier for Him (swt)? Why cannot

they dedicate their lives for Him (swt)? Is He (swt) not the One Who deserves it? Why can they

not work in the effort to bring His (swt)’s Law in the land and carry His (swt)’s Message to the




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people? When you consider all that Allah (swt) has done for you and when you think about how

Majestic and Glorious He (swt) IS then how could you ever be a soldier for other than Him (swt)?




77. So do not be sad because of what they say, surely We know what they hide and what

they show.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) addresses the Prophet (saw). In the previous ayahs Allah (swt)

had reminded the Prophet (saw) about the nature of his enemies. They are the ones who had

taken false gods from below Allah (swt) in the hope that these false gods would help them. They

had even become soldiers for these gods despite the fact that these gods were not able to help

them in any way. They dedicated their lives to these gods and they were willing to die for these

gods. These gods could have been the stone statues that they worshipped or the human masters

whom they served. They turned away completely from Allah (swt) and became soldiers for these

gods. Now in this ayah Allah (swt) addresses the Prophet (saw) concerning what these people

were saying about him (saw). He (swt) shows him (saw) that if these are a people who are so evil

that they would turn away from their Creator so, then how could he (saw) be grieved about what

they say about him (saw)?

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “So do not be sad because of what they say”.

The Arabic word fa with which Allah (swt) begins this ayah connects the meaning of this ayah

with the previous ayah. Recall from the previous ayah how these people had become soldiers for

their false gods, dedicating their lives for them and willing to die for them. They did this despite

the fact that these false gods could not help them in any way and despite the fact that they knew

that Allah (swt) was their true Lord and Master. Such was the behavior of these people. Such was

how they turned away from the Real and the True. Such was how they turned away from the One

Whom they knew had created them and Whom they knew sustains them at every moment. So




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because this is their nature. Because they are so evil a people that they would turn away from

Allah (swt) to such an extent how then could the Prophet (saw) be grieved because of what they

say. Without a doubt these people spoke much evil about the Prophet (saw), about his family,

and about the believers in his movement. They said that he (saw) was a liar, a magician, a

soothsayer, and one who breaks families apart. How hurt must he (saw) had been at such

words? He (saw) who had done nothing but good for these people for his entire life? He (saw)

who was sacrificing his whole life and striving to his utmost only so that these people could be

guided to Allah (swt). So that they could be guided to their salvation both in this life and the next.

How much must their words have hurt him (saw)? We must also remember that honor and

reputation meant a great deal in their society. So for someone to insult someone else in this

manner was no small matter. Their evil words were an attack on the entire family of the Prophet

(saw) and his (saw)’s honor as well. However despite all of this, Allah (swt) tells the Prophet

(saw) here not to be sad at their words. The Prophet (saw) should not grieve or be disheartened

in any way because of what they say. Allah (swt) shows him (saw) that if these are a people who

are so evil that they would turn away from Him (swt) and dedicate themselves to false gods, then

how could he (saw) be surprised about what they say about him (saw)? Such was their evil and

corrupt nature. They were a people who were so distant from the Divine. Because of this they had

the most evil and vile of hearts. Hearts that can do anything or say anything and never feel the

pain or realize the wrong of it. Such is their nature. So the Prophet (saw) should not be grieved

because of them.

        One lesson that we can take from this part of the ayah is to see that evil is a direct result

of being distant from Allah (swt). These people spoke such great evil about the Prophet (saw),

who was the noblest and most compassionate of human beings to ever walk the face of the earth.

Such evil was a direct consequence of them being soldiers of their false gods, a direct

consequence of them being so distant from Allah (swt). So if we want to save ourselves from

such evil, if we want to save ourselves from such darkness and corruption, then we have to

attach our hearts to Allah (swt). We have to choose Him (swt) over ourselves. We have to do that

which pleases Him (swt) instead of that which pleases ourselves. When a heart becomes




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attached to Allah (swt), when a heart is in His (swt)’s Divine Presence, then that heart will never

become angry or upset. It will never hate anyone or anything. All that it would ever desire is to

please Allah (swt). Whereas the opposite of this is a heart that lives for itself. A heart that only

wants what it desires to be so. Such a heart can be full of rancor and hatred. Only such a heart

could ever speak against the beloved (saw). May Allah (swt) save us from such a heart!

        Yet another lesson that we can take from this ayah is to realize that we should never

become upset or hurt us in any way. We have to realize that such people do far more injustice to

Allah (swt) than they to do us. So rather than being angry for our own selves we should be angry

for Him (swt). When people speak evil about us, or when they do something to upset us, and they

were really in the wrong doing that, then they are committing a sin in front of their Creator. They

are doing injustice against Him (swt). Because He (swt) ha commanded all mankind to behave

with each other in the best way. This command has been even further emphasized for your

Muslim brothers. Even further emphasized for your family members. So why then should we be

concerned for whatever injustice they may have done to us? We have to realize that far worse is

the injustice that they have done against Him (swt). He (swt) has to have a far more important

place in our lives than even our own selves. Once we realize this fact then we have to leave them

to Allah (swt) to deal with as He (swt) pleases. We should strive to clean our hearts of all anger

towards our Muslim brothers and towards our family members.

        After Allah (swt) tells the Prophet (saw) not to grieve at their words, He (swt) then says

“surely We know what they hide and what they show”. Allah (swt) reminds the Prophet (saw)

here that these people are completely within His (swt)’s Knowledge. He (swt) Knows all that they

hide and all that they show. In other words all their evil is completely within His (swt)’s

Knowledge. There are levels upon levels to their evil. First were the words that they actually

spoke against the Prophet (saw), against the Muslims and against the Quran. When you are

certain that a man has been sent to you by Allah (swt). When you are certain that he bears you a

Message from your Creator and Sustainer. Then how evil is it to turn away from this man. How

evil is it to speak lies about him in the hope of misleading others from him as well. This is what

these Quraysh chiefs were guilty of. But this was only the first level to their evil. The evil that they




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hid in their hearts was far greater than the evil that they manifested on their tongues and showed

through their limbs. Deep in their hearts they knew that the Prophet (saw) was indeed the

Messenger from Allah (swt). Deep in their heart they were certain that this Quran was the Divine

Speech. But deep in their hearts they had a corruption and a vileness. They knew Allah (swt) but

they chose to turn away from Him (swt). They chose to turn away from the Divine. They chose

themselves over Him (swt). Can you even begin to fathom the magnitude of this evil. Think about

Allah (swt). Think about how Majestic and Sublime and Pure and Perfect a Being He (swt) IS.

There is nothing else in this entire universe that is anything like Him (swt). Everything else is an

illusion when compared to Him (swt). Now some people are truly ignorant of Him (swt) and

perhaps such people can be excused for not dedicating themselves to Him (swt). But when a

people know Allah (swt). When they know the right that He (swt) has to be worshipped and

served. When they recognize the Truth of the Message that He (swt) sends. Then how evil are

such people who would still choose to turn away from Him (swt). There are no words to describe

this evil. Such was the nature of these enemies of the Prophet (saw). That is why Allah (swt) tells

him (saw) not to be grieved on their account or because of what they say. Allah (swt) Knows well

the evil that they speak, the evil that they do, and the greatest of evil that they hide in their hearts.

Their hearts are like an open book for Allah (swt) to read. They have chosen to commit the

greatest of crimes but one Day soon they will return to their Creator. They will return to Allah (swt)

and they will be completely at His (swt)’s Mercy. What then will be their situation?




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78. Can not man realize that We created him from a drop, but then he is a clear disputant.

         In this ayah Allah (swt) gives us one of the most perfect descriptions of us and one of the

most perfect descriptions of Himself (swt). Allah (swt) tells us who we really are and He (swt)

shows us Who He truly (swt) IS. If you can realize the meaning of this ayah then you should

realize what should be your relationship with Him (swt). The enemies of this Message at the time

of the Prophet (saw) failed to come to this realization. That is why they had such evil hearts as we

had described in the previous ayah. So if you want to save yourself from having such a heart. If

you truly want to be close to Allah (swt), then contemplate deeply on the meaning of this ayah. If

you can comprehend it then you will know your Lord and you will know yourself.

         Allah (swt) begins this ayah by asking us a question “Can not man realize that We

created him from a drop”. He (swt) asks us to consider where we came from. Instead of just

telling us He (swt) puts it in the form of a question. This is done in order to make us think and

reflect. Such is part of the beauty of the Quran. It is not just a static book full of facts or full of

rules. Rather it engages its readers and its listeners. It makes them to think. To reflect deeply on

what it is talking about. Here Allah (swt) wants us to think deeply about where we came from. We

were once a drop. The sperm from our father met with the egg from our mother and came

together to form one drop. That drop was so small that even if you placed it on the tip of your

finger and brought it as close to your eyes as you could you would not still be able to see it. This

is what we once were. From that tiny and insignificant drop, Allah (swt) created the complete and

full human being that we are today. Now do you realize your Lord and do you realize yourself?

What kind of a Being can create from that insignificant liquid a complete human like you? What

can you say about the Power and the Knowledge and the Wisdom of such a Being? On the other

hand look at you. Look at what you used to be. What then is your worth? Where then do you have

any claim to be arrogant?




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        So one lesson that we can take from this part of the ayah is to realize our utter slavehood

before Allah (swt). The Sufis have said that the greatest of realizations that man can come to is to

realize his own slavehood before Allah (swt). Realize what you used to be before your Lord

brought you into being. Realize how utterly dependent you are on Him (swt). Even at this very

moment. Your dependence on Him (swt) will never cease. It was only because of Him (swt) that

you are what you are today. Were it not for Him (swt) then you would still be that drop in the

womb of your mother. Realize your own worth when you consider that drop. So the only way that

you have any value. The only way that you have any meaning is if you dedicate yourself to Him

(swt). If you become a complete and utter slave of His (swt). If you live only for Him (swt). So you

live every moment of your life only trying to please Him (swt). You are content with whatever

situation that He (swt) gives you in life. You do not care about anything in your life except

pleasing Him (swt). Except being close to Him (swt). This is what you were created to be. This is

where you will find the fulfillment of your existence.

        This is what Allah (swt) created us all to be. A complete and utter slave of His (swt). But

what does most of mankind do. Allah (swt) tells us in the next part of the ayah “but then he is a

clear disputant”. Man is one who is given to argumentation and disputation. He always wants to

quarrel. He always wants to find some excuse. Not only does he not come to the true realization

of his existence but he rebels against it. He finds some excuse to reject this Message that his

Creator has sent to him. He finds some excuse not to abide by the Law of his Creator. He always

chooses himself over his Creator. He constantly wants to argue and dispute. He always has to

have everything the way that he wants. Even if he knows that he is wrong he will still argue and

dispute. That is why Allah (swt) describes him in this ayah as “a clear disputant”. So the fact that

this is the nature of the human being is without a doubt. Man love to argue. He loves to make

excuses. He loves to reject the Truth. But does he have any right to do this? Look at where he

came from. That insignificant liquid. What right then does he have to be such a disputant? This is

what we have to always pray to Allah (swt) to save us from. This is what we have to strive not to

become. We should strive to avoid arguments and disputes, and even when we have to argue it

must only be please Allah (swt) and not for our own selves. The only time when we should argue




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is when we seek to establish the Truth for the sake of Allah (swt). And even then it should be

according to the way that Allah (swt) has taught us. Other than that we should strive to avoid all

arguments and disputes. Furthermore when someone brings to us the Truth then we must accept

it, even if that means admitting that we are wrong.




79. And he strikes for Us a likeness, and he forgets his own creation. He says “Who will

give life to the bones when they have rotted away and become dust”.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to describe for us the nature of the human being. The

nature of ourselves. The purpose of these ayahs is to make us realize how we are nothing and

how Allah (swt) is everything. Arrogance is the one original sin. It is the root of all other evil.

These ayahs are meant to remove such arrogance. It is to make us realize that in the end, all that

matters is that we please Allah (swt). Allah (swt) is the Majestic and the Glorious. He (swt)

brought us into existence and to Him (swt) is our return. So as long as He (swt) is glorified, as

long as He (swt) is the Greatest, which always will be, then nothing else matters. Nothing that

happens to us matters. We are but His (swt)’s slaves. We only exist to please Him (swt). If we

can save ourselves from becoming the person whom Allah (swt) describes in this ayah then

perhaps we can come to this realization.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “And he strikes for Us a likeness, and he

forgets his own creation”. In this ayah Allah (swt) describes the greatest of crimes that man has

ever committed. When is this? This is when he strikes a similitude of Allah (swt) and forgets his

own creation. What does Allah (swt) mean by this? It means that man forgets his place in the

creation. It means that he takes for himself the position that belongs to Allah (swt). He makes

himself into the Lord and he forgets that he is only a creation. He thinks that he can live on this

earth in any way that he pleases. He thinks that the only purpose in life is satisfying his own




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desires. He thinks that all of creation was created only to serve him and to please him. So he

takes upon himself the role of the Lord and Master. The role of the Legislator and Sovereign. This

is what Allah (swt) means by man striking a similarity of Him (swt). Because of his arrogance and

his refusal to submit, he thinks that he has taken the place of Allah (swt). By doing that he forgets

that he is only a creation. He forgets that he was created, that he is being sustained at every

moment, and that he will die.

        This is the similitude that the human being takes for himself. Notice how Allah (swt) says

that the human strikes for himself this similitude. Allah (swt) uses this word “strikes” to convey to

us how man took this role for himself by force. It is not that he did not know that what he was

doing was wrong. He knew very well. Countless are the signs in the heavens and the earth that

told him that he had a Creator. Even by looking at himself he could see that he was only a

creation. Someone who is born, someone who lives on this earth ever in a state of need, and

someone who will die. In addition to that Allah (swt) sent to him messengers to remind him who

he truly was. To remind him that he was only a slave and that he had a responsibility to worship

and serve his Master. These messengers reminded him again and again. The universe around

him reminded him again and again. Even his own self reminded him again and again every time

he became sick or tired or hungry or thirsty or whenever he made a mistake. In all of these ways

he was reminded that he was not the Creator. He was not the Lord. He was not the Perfect One.

He was not one to live this existence for himself instead of for Allah (swt). Yet he turned away

from all this. With force he took for himself this role. With force he struck for himself this example.

He thought himself to be the Lord when he was only a slave.

        In the next part of the ayah Allah (swt) brings our attention to one of the main reasons

why man has done this. He (swt) tells us how man says “Who will give life to the bones when

they have rotted away and become dust”. Man had doubts about the resurrection. He doubted

that he would return to Allah (swt). The messengers had warned him about the Day of Judgment.

The Day when he will be brought back to life and gathered onto his Lord. But he chose to

disbelieve in this Day. He chose only to ask the messengers this foolish question. He asked them

who will bring the bones back to life after they have withered away. This shows us how utterly




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heedless he was of Allah (swt). How distant he was from Him (swt). For this foolish human it was

completely unfathomable for bones that have been made into dust to be brought back to life once

again. For a full and complete body to be created from dust and withered bones was impossible

for him. This shows us how he only saw the life of this world. He did not realize the Power and the

Force that was controlling this world. The Power that was able to do all things. He was completely

heedless of this. Now of course deep down inside he knew that Allah (swt) was there. He even

knew that Allah (swt) was able to bring him back to life after he had become decomposed bones.

He knew that the One Who created him the first time was able to create him again. But he chose

not to believe because he knew the consequences of this belief. He knew that if he believed then

he would have to live a life of worship and servitude to this Creator. A life where he would have

to curb his desires and remove his arrogance. This he did not want to do. So he made the worst

of choices and put forward this foolish question to justify his rejection. He chose to blind himself

from the Real and the True. From the One Who is even able to give life to bones after they have

withered away and become dust. He became so distant from Allah (swt) and so heedless of His

(swt)’s Power that he chose to deny the resurrection itself. Only so that he could become a god

on earth. May Allah (swt) save us from ever becoming like that! May Allah (swt) help us to always

remember that we were created by Him (swt) and that we will one Day soon return to Him (swt)!




80. Say “The One Who brought them up in the first instance will give them life. And He is

with every single creation Knowing”.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) responds to the question that the disbelievers had asked in the

previous ayah. However in addition to being a response to their question there is also a deeper

and more comprehensive meaning for this ayah. In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to describe

Himself for us. He (swt) shows us His (swt)’s Power and Wisdom. His (swt)’s complete and full

Knowledge over all things. The more that we realize Allah (swt), the more that our slave hood of




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Him (swt) becomes apparent. The more that we realize His (swt)’s right to be worshipped and

served. This was the level that the Prophet (saw) and the greatest of the Sahabah (raa) were at.

They were in the Divine Presence. They could almost “feel” Allah (swt). They knew that nothing

else mattered except striving to please Him (swt) and to come even closer to Him (swt).

        In the previous ayah the disbelievers were questioning how they could be brought back to

life after they had become bones and dust. Here Allah (swt) tells the Prophet (saw) to say to them

“The One Who brought them up in the first instance will give them life”. These people were

the exact opposite of the Prophet (saw) and the Sahabah. Instead of being in the Divine

Presence they were as distant from Allah (swt) as one could possibly be. That was why they

could not fathom how bones that had become dust could be restored to life once again. They had

become so distant from Allah (swt) that they forgot about Him (swt) completely. So Allah (swt) in

His (swt)’s Mercy to them reminds them of Himself (swt). Notice how Allah (swt) does not simply

say that it is He (swt) Who will bring the bones back to life. Rather He (swt) describes Himself in

such a way to make them realize that He (swt) is indeed Able to do it. He (swt) describes Himself

as the One Who brought them up. By describing Himself in this way Allah (swt) makes them to

think. He (swt) makes them to realize that it was He (swt) Who created them in the first place.

Not only did He (swt) create them but He (swt) brought them up as well. For every moment in

their life, He (swt) was there for them. From the moment that they were that tiny drop in the womb

of their mother to the moment that they were being placed in their grave. He (swt) is the One Who

brought them up through all those stages. How then could they doubt His (swt)’s Power to bring

them back? The One Who brought them into existence and the One Who brought them through

every stage in life is certainly able to bring them back no matter what state they may be. Such is

Allah (swt). He (swt) is Able to bring them back no matter what state that they may be in. He (swt)

is the Reality that they were heedless of. Allah (swt) in His (swt)’s Mercy for them reminds them.

        Then Allah (swt) says “And He is with every single creation Knowing”. Every single

thing in this universe is a creation of Allah (swt) and He (swt) reminds us here that He (swt)

Knows them all well. These people were heedless of Allah (swt). They could not even believe that

they would be brought back to life for the resurrection. But Allah (swt) is not at all heedless of




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them. On the contrary He (swt) Knows them very well. There is not even a fleeting thought that

goes through their mind except that Allah (swt) Knows it. So all of the evil in their hearts, all of the

corruption that they have, Allah (swt) Knows it well. How then can they feel safe from Him (swt)?

How then can they continue to live in heedlessness of Him (swt)? So this is your Lord. The One

Who Knows you more than you know yourself. Once you realize Him (swt) how then can you turn

away from Him (swt)? Just think about His (swt)’s Perfect Knowledge of you, His (swt)’s Perfect

Knowledge of the entire creation. Does not such a Being deserve your worship and servitude?




81. The One Who has set fire for you from the green tree, so that with it you kindle.

        In this ayah Allah (swt) continues to describe Himself (swt) to us. He (swt) continues to

remove the veils between us and Him (swt). Through these ayahs Allah (swt) takes us away from

being those who are heedless of Him (swt) to be among those who know Him (swt). To be among

those who remember Him (swt), to be among those who constantly strive to please Him (swt) and

to be among those who are always in His (swt)’s Divine Presence. In the previous ayah He (swt)

did this by reminding us that He (swt) is the One Who created us and that He (swt) Who brought

us up thorough every stage in our lives. Now in this ayah He (swt) does this by reminding us of

one of the greatest of bounties that He (swt) has given in this world. This is a gift that you use and

you benefit from every day of your life.

        Of course this gift is fire. Notice in the ayah how Allah (swt) does not simply say that He

(swt) created fire but rather He (swt) says that He (swt) has set fire for us in the green trees. In

other words He (swt) has created fire and He (swt) has placed it inside the trees. Is this not the

nature of fire? Fire is not just a random creation that roams on the earth like humans and animals

do. Rather fire has been created and it has been placed inside of other objects. Most objects on

this earth have the ability to be ignited to produce fire. Allah (swt) has set this quality in the

objects of the earth that He (swt) has created for us. For most of our history, we as mankind,




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have derived this benefit from the wood that comes from trees. Wood is one of the easiest of

objects to make fire from. This wood comes from the green trees that Allah (swt) has created and

that is what He (swt) reminds us of here.

        How many are the benefits that we has human beings have derived from fire? Just think

where we as a civilization would be were it not for this gift that our Lord has given us? We use fire

for warmth, for light, for cooking food, and for the energy to power our machines. These are just a

few of the many uses that man has found for fire throughout the ages. How much gratitude then

do we owe to our Lord for giving us this bounty? Is it any but He (swt) who could have had the

Power to do this? Could such a wonderful creation have come about if this universe was created

only from chaos? As we mentioned fire is such that not only has it been made subservient to us

to use whenever and wherever we want, but it has also been placed inside other objects. This is

so that man can control the fire and harness it as he pleases. We also know of the destructive

power of fire. So how much of a Mercy is it that Allah (swt) has given us the ability to properly

control it? Is it any but He (swt) who could have done this? How then can we not remember and

thank Him (swt)? How then can we be so distant from Him (swt)?

        We can also note in the ayah how He (swt) has specifically mentioned how He (swt) has

placed the Fire within the green trees. This is to show us a marvel in His (swt)’s creation. Trees

are not objects that you would usually associate with fire. They are peaceful and gentle. They

provide shade and coolness. They even absorb and hold water. Yet from this very tree fire comes

out. Fire has been placed inside the tree. Inside this very object of peace there is another object

of great destruction. So look here at the Power of the creation of Allah (swt). How He (swt) can

mould the creation in any way that He (swt) pleases. How can you be heedless of such a Being?

        Also notice in this ayah how Allah (swt) says that the fire is what we kindle. This is to

remind us one again how the fire has been placed completely within our control. We are the ones

who kindle it. It comes when we call it and it leaves when we put it out. So even though this fire is

a creation of Allah (swt). Even though He (swt) is the One Who brings it into being and gives the

power to sustain it, it has been placed completely under our control. How then can ever we be

heedless of Him (swt)? How then can we ever live our lives and not remember Him (swt)? When




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you turn on the stove and you see the flame come out, when you flip the switch and the lights

come on, when you turn the keys and your car engine starts, do you think that this happens by

your own power? Do you think that it was you created this fire and that it is you who sustains it?

You only kindled it but it was Allah (swt) Who brought it into being and Who continues to maintain

it. How then can you forget about Him (swt)? How then can you not at least make the effort to

worship and serve Him (swt) in gratitude for what He (swt) has done for you?




82. Is it not the One Who created the heavens and the earth be Able to create the like of

them. Yes He is the Knowing Creator.

        Allah (swt) is in the unseen. In the life of this world we cannot sense Him (swt) directly. In

fact we cannot even comprehend the reality of His (swt)’s Essence. So how can we come close

to Him (swt)? How can we know Him (swt)? It is through His (swt)’s signs that are all around us

and also in our own selves. He (swt) has already told us in the previous ayahs about some of

these. Now in this ayah He (swt) tells us about the greatest of these signs. This is a sign that

encompasses all the other signs that He (swt) mentioned. Not only does this sign show us our

Lord but it also shows us His Power. It shows us that there is absolutely nothing that He (swt)

cannot do. He (swt) has the Power to do all things. Even to create us once again.

        The first part of this ayah is a question. Allah (swt) asks us if the One Who created the

heavens and the earth is not able to create the like of them. The pronoun “them” in this ayah

refers to all mankind, but it specifically refers to those disbelievers who were doubting the

resurrection. The ones who were doubting that they could be brought back to life for the

Judgment once they had become bones and dust. Allah (swt) is asking them to consider the

creation of the heavens and the earth. To consider the creation of this entire universe. Is not the

One Who created this entire universe Able to bring them back? Is it possible that the One Who



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has created this entire universe is not Able to resurrect these people? How could a Being Who

has such Power so as to create a universe like this not able to bring them back? This is what

Allah (swt) is bringing our attention to in this ayah. Allah (swt) is showing us this entire universe. If

He (swt) can create all this how then can we doubt His (swt)’s bringing us back. Do you think that

such a magnificent creation could have come about from anyone or anything less than a Perfect

Being? If this Being is Perfect then how could the resurrection be beyond Him (swt). How could

He (swt) have the Power to create all this and then not be Able to bring us back?

        So in this ayah Allah (swt) links belief in the unseen with the seen. If any of us should

ever have doubts in the resurrection then we should look to the world around us. We should ask

ourselves how the Creator Who created all of this is not Able to bring us back. There are many

people who have doubts in the resurrection. They find it hard to believe that we will be brought

back to life after we have become dust and bones. They would like to believe that this life is the

only life to live because then they can live in this world as they please. They would not have to

worry about having to answer for each and every one of our actions. They could be the lord

instead of the slave. However in this ayah Allah (swt) makes us to realize how foolish such

thinking is. If we just think about the creation of the universe for a moment then we would realize

how foolish it is to deny the resurrection. How is it possible that this universe could have come

into being without a Creator? How could a universe filled with limited things come into existence

on its own? If this universe did come into a being through a Creator then how could that Creator

be anything less than a Perfect Creator? And if the Creator is Perfect in every way, then how

could that Creator be unable to resurrect man? Furthermore if the Creator is Perfect then would

not His Justice be perfect as well? How is then that man can be given free will and then not be

held accountable for his actions? How could a world be created that has anything less than

perfect Justice for all of the creation? The Day of Judgment is that Day on which justice will be

done to all the creation and man will be paid back in full for all his actions. So this entire universe,

in addition to being the greatest of proofs for Allah (swt), is also the greatest of proofs for the

resurrection and the Day of Judgment. If ever we doubt our return to our Rabb we only have to

look at the world around us.




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        Then Allah (swt) says “Yes He is the Knowing Creator”. First Allah (swt) Himself

answers the question that He (swt) asked in the previous part of the ayah. He (swt) tells us that

He (swt) is indeed capable of creating the like of them. How could the Creator of the heavens and

the earth not be able to create them? What is their creation when compared to the creation of this

universe? Then Allah (swt) tells us why He (swt) is Able to create the like of them. It is because

He (swt) is the Knowing Creator. Look at the beautiful way in which our Lord describes Himself

here. There are levels upon levels to the meaning of this Name. We have translated the Arabic

word Khaliq as “Creator”, but really this Name has a far deeper meaning. Firstly not only does it

mean to create but it means to create from nothing. This is our Rabb, the One Who can create

from nothing. Who is there amongst mankind who can create something from nothing? To initiate

the creation. To bring creation into being from nothing. Who is capable of that? So look at

everything in the world around you right now. Realize that it is Allah (swt) Who created every

single thing that you see. Not only did He (swt) create all of things that you see but He (swt) even

created everything that these things are composed of. Even the cells, and the molecules, and the

atoms, and the electrons that these things are composed of were created by Him (swt). Every

single thing was brought into existence by Him (swt). There is nothing in this entire universe

except that He (swt) is its Creator. When you know that there is such a Being how then can you

continue to be heedless of Him (swt)? How can you allow the moments of your life to pass and

not try to become closer to Him (swt)? The universe is but a reflection of Him (swt) and everything

in it screams of Him (swt).

        The other meaning of this word Khaliq is the One Who measures and decrees. The One

Who proportions and crafts. So not only did Allah (swt) create every single thing in existence but

He (swt) also measured it and proportioned it so that it will be exactly as it should be. So look at

yourself. Look at the five fingers on your hand. Are any of those fingers deformed? Are any of

them much longer than the other? Or are they all the perfect size that they should be? Who is it

that made them this way? Look at anything in the universe around you. Do you see anything that

is in disproportion? Do you see anything that behaves chaotically or erratically? Or is everything

in this universe exactly as it should be? From the mighty sun in the sky to the smallest of ants on




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the earth, everything has been created according to a perfect measure. The sun always comes

exactly when it is supposed to. The water always quenches your thirst. The fire always burns

wood. Everything behaves according to a system. How could such perfection exist in the

universe were it not for Allah (swt)? We as human beings almost take it for granted. We see

perfection all over the universe and we simply assume that this is how it should be. Many of us do

not ask ourselves where such perfection came from. We just take it for granted that it is there. But

if this order was not there, if chaos ruled the universe, then we would not even be able to survive.

Now just think for a moment. If it were not for Allah (swt), do you think that such perfection would

exist in the universe? By the very fact that everything in the creation is perfect in terms of its

dimensions, and size, and proportions, and purpose, shows that everything was not brought into

being from chaos or at random. It shows us a Creator measuring and decreeing.

        This is why Allah (swt) is the Creator. But in this ayah not only does He (swt) tell us that

He (swt) is the Creator but He (swt) also tells us that He (swt) is the Knowing Creator. The

perfection that we see in the universe around us not only shows us Power of our Lord but it also

shows us His (swt)’s Knowledge. Because the Creator first needs to know what He (swt) is going

to create. He (swt) also needs to know the exact measurements and dimensions of what He (swt)

is going to create. Look then at this universe. Look at all that Allah (swt) created from His (swt)’s

Knowledge. Every single thing in the creation was completely within His (swt)’s Knowledge before

He (swt) brought it into being. From the tiniest of atoms to the grandest of stars, He (swt) Knew

exactly how to create it. He (swt) Knew its exact measurements and dimensions. To the utmost

precision. What kind of a knowledge then must He (swt) have? Even your actions does He (swt)

create. He (swt) measures them exactly and brings them into being. How can you continue to be

heedless of a Being of such Perfection and such Majesty? The Being Who Knows you so well,

even better than you know yourself.




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83. For any of His affairs, when He intends anything with it, He only says to it ‘Be’ and it is.

        The Quran is a Book about Allah (swt). It tells us that which is pleasing to Him (swt) and

that which is displeasing to Him (swt). But most importantly it tells us about Him (swt). And the

most precious of all ayahs in the Quran are such ayahs. The ayahs that tell us about Allah (swt).

This ayah is such an ayah. It describes to us our Creator and Sustainer. Our Lord and Master.

We should always realize that our purpose in life is to attain the true knowledge of the Divine or

the m’arifa of Allah (swt). Everything that we do is done towards this goal. So when we abide our

selves by His (swt)’s Law, we do so with the intention of pleasing Him (swt). We want to please

Him (swt) because He (swt) will reward us in the next world and also because He (swt) will reveal

Himself (swt) to us in this world. He (swt) will allow us to be in His (swt)’s Divine Presence. So to

know Allah (swt) and be close to Him (swt) is what we seek in this world. How precious then is

this ayah where He (swt) describes Himself in His (swt)’ very own words? What could be better

than knowing Him (swt), than coming closer to Him (swt) through this knowledge?

        Allah (swt) tells us in this ayah that for any of His (swt)’s affairs, when He (swt) intends

anything with it, He (swt) only says to it “Be” and it is. Insha Allah let us study this ayah carefully

to see what exactly our Lord is telling us here. First of all what exactly does Allah (swt) mean by

His (swt)’s affairs? What is an affair of Allah (swt)? Believe it or not everything is an affair of Allah

(swt). Every single thing in the universe is an affair of Allah (swt). There is nothing in all of

creation except that it is an affair of Allah (swt). This is because He (swt) is the Creator, and the

Sustainer, and the Sovereign over every single thing in all of creation. So everything is an affair of

His (swt).

        You yourself are an affair of His (swt). Your body is an affair of His (swt). Your

sustenance and your provision is an affair of His (swt). Your life is an affair of His (swt).

Everything else and everyone else in the world around you is an affair of His (swt). Everything is

His (swt) because He (swt) is the One Who brought everything into existence and He (swt) is the




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One Who continuously maintains everything. Were Allah (swt) to neglect even the tiniest of atoms

in this universe then it would be no more. Now do you realize the kind of Lord that you have. Do

you realize now what should be your relationship with Him (swt)?

        In this ayah Allah (swt) tells us that when He (swt) intends to do anything with any of His

affairs then He (swt) only has to say to it “Be” and it is. This means that when Allah (swt) intends

something for anyone or anything, whatever it is that He (swt) may intend, He (swt) only says to it

to “Be” and it is. In other words He (swt) can do whatsoever He (swt) pleases to anyone or

anything. The scholars tell us that this is not even an actual word that He (swt) needs to speak.

He (swt) only needs to have the intention for a thing and then it will happen. There is nothing that

is required on His (swt)’s part other than His (swt)’s desire for it to be so.

        The practical lesson that we can take from this is to realize that Allah (swt) can do

anything that He (swt) wants with us. There is nothing that He (swt) cannot do with us. This fact

should both make us fear and it should also give us hope. When we are tempted to do a sin, we

often tell ourselves that we can commit the sin now and ask forgiveness for it later on. We are so

certain that we will live to tomorrow or at least long enough to make repentance. How foolish is

such thinking? Anyone who thinks in such a way does not realize the meaning of this ayah. Right

here Allah (swt) is telling us that He (swt) can do anything with us. This means that He (swt) can

take our soul when we are sin. How then will it be if you were to return to Him (swt) while in a

state of sin? How will it be if the angel of death should catch up with you when you least expect

him to? Do you remember the Fire? At the same time this ayah should also give us hope. No

matter what situation that we may be in. No matter how difficult our life may be. No matter how

desperate our condition may become. We have to always believe that Allah (swt) can come to our

rescue. So we have to increase in our supplication to Him (swt). We have to strive to please Him.

He (swt) can change our situation for the better in only an instant if only He (swt) desires to.




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84. So glorified be the One in whose Hand is the dominion of every single thing and to Him

you will all return.

        This is the last ayah of this beautiful Surah. Allah (swt) began this Surah by calling out to

the Prophet (saw) and here He (swt) ends it by telling us about Himself (swt). So we realize once

again that the Prophet (saw) is our connection with Allah (swt). It is because of him (saw) that we

know our Lord. It is by following him (saw) that we can approach our Lord. Up to this point, in this

last section of the Surah, Allah (swt) has described Himself (swt) for us. He (swt) has told us so

much about Himself (swt). Through all of these ways in which He (swt) has described Himself, we

want to love Him (swt) more, we want to please Him (swt) more, and we want to come closer to

Him (swt) even more. However in this ayah Allah (swt) describes Himself (swt) to us any way that

is unlike any other. Here Allah (swt) tells us the most important of reasons as to why He (swt)

deserves that we dedicate ourselves to Him (swt) completely.

        Allah (swt) begins this ayah by saying “So glorified be the One”. First and foremost

notice the Arabic word fa which we have translated here as “so”. This word connects the meaning

of this ayah with the previous ayahs. So because of all that Allah (swt) has told us about in the

previous ayahs, that is why He (swt) deserves to be glorified. In the previous ayahs Allah (swt)

had told us that when He (swt) decrees a matter He (swt) only says to it “be” and it is. Because of

this He (swt) needs to be glorified. He (swt) also reminded us that He (swt) is the Creator of the

heavens and the earth. Because of this as well He (swt) deserves to be glorified. He (swt) told us

that He (swt) is the One Who creates fire for us out of the green trees. For this as well, He (swt)

needs to be glorified. He (swt) also reminded us how He (swt) created us from a drop of an

insignificant liquid. He (swt) needs to be glorified for this as well. Men are usually glorified

because of what they do or because of who they are. Now look at what Allah (swt) has done, and

consider Who He (swt) IS, how much then does He (swt) deserve to be glorified? Even if all of

creation were to sing His (swt)’s glory for all of time, they would not give Him (swt) His due.




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        Even the Arabic word subhan which we have translated here as “glorified” encompasses

a far deeper meaning that a single English word could ever convey. In addition to glorify it also

means to affirm every perfect attribute of Allah (swt) and also to remove from Him (swt) any

weakness or imperfection. How perfect is Allah (swt)? His (swt)’s perfection cannot be described

in words. In every single way He (swt) is Pure. In every single way He (swt) is Holy. In every

single way He (swt) is exalted above all creation. However in this ayah Allah (swt) tells us that not

only is He (swt) Perfect but His (swt)’s Perfection must be affirmed and declared by all creation.

So not only do we need to glorify Him (swt) because of all that He (swt) has told us in the

previous ayahs but we also need to glorify Him (swt) because of how Perfect and Pure a Being

He (swt) IS. Everything else in the creation is already declaring the Perfection of Allah (swt). He

(swt) is declaring His (swt)’s own Perfection. So too must we declare with every fiber of our being

how Perfect our Lord IS.

        So how do we declare the Perfection of our Lord? The word subhan is derived from a

root word that means “to float”. It gives the meaning of something that is high up never being

given the opportunity to come down. This is what we must do with our perception of Allah (swt).

We must always make Him (swt) supreme in our minds and we must never allow ourselves to

view Him (swt) as anything less than that. With our tongues, and our limbs, and most importantly

with our hearts, we must always be declaring and thinking about how Perfect Allah (swt) IS and

we must never allow any imperfection or weakness in our perception of Him (swt). We must

always think of Him (swt) as the highest and never as anything less than that.

        Now think about a Being Who is absolutely Perfect in every way. What should be your

relationship with such a Being? How could you allow the moments in your life to pass you by

while you remain heedless of Him (swt)? How could you know of a Being of such absolute

Perfection, such absolute Majesty, such absolute Beauty, such absolute Transcendence, and

then not want to come closer to Him (swt)? If you are reading this then you are no longer among

the ignorant, you are no longer among the heedless. Now you know Allah (swt). The veil has

been lifted. If you have even a drop of sincerity in your heart. If you can free yourself from your




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pride and your desires. Then you should want to come closer to Him (swt). You should want to

dedicate yourself to Him (swt). It is the only reaction that a slave could have to such Perfection.

        If you still have any reservations about becoming a complete slave of Allah (swt) then in

the next part of the ayah He (swt) describes Himself to you even further. He (swt) reminds us that

He (swt) is the “One in whose Hand is the dominion of every single thing”. By dominion what

is meant here is complete control and sovereignty. Every single thing is under the complete

control of Allah (swt) and He (swt) can do with all things whatsoever that He (swt) pleases. Think

about what this means. You yourself are under His (swt)’s complete control. It is as if you are in

His (swt)’s Hand. Now we affirm that He (swt) does not have a Hand but rather this is an

expression to describe His (swt)’s complete mastership over us. So it is as if we are in His Hand.

All of creation is in His (swt)’s Hand. For every moment of our existence. When we realize this

fact, how then can we ever turn away from Him (swt)? How can we continue to live in

heedlessness of Him (swt)? How can we ever disobey Him (swt)? Realize from here His (swt)’s

complete Power over you. His (swt)’s complete control of your future and your destiny. So if you

want good to befall you at every moment, who then should you be striving to please? If you are a

sincere servant of Allah (swt) then you have to believe that at every moment He (swt) will only

allow to happen to you that which is good for you. He (swt) controls every aspect of your fortune

at every moment. All that you have is the sincere intention to please Him (swt). If you can at least

have this then you can have hope because you are in His (swt)’s Hand and He (swt) will never

allow harm to come to you if He (swt) is pleased with you.

        Finally Allah (swt) says “and to Him you will all return”. If you still have doubts about

dedicating yourself to Allah (swt) then remember this fact. Allah (swt) did not place you in this

world to live as you should please. He (swt) placed you in this world to discover Him (swt) and to

dedicate yourself to Him (swt). If you choose to ignore this responsibility. If you choose yourself

over Him (swt). Then you must at least remember this fact. You will return to Him (swt). Every

single one of us will return to Him (swt). How will it be when you return to Him (swt)? Can you

imagine yourself now standing naked before Him (swt)? What are you going to do? What are you

going to say? You know that you came from Him (swt) and you knew that you were going to




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return to Him (swt). What excuse then can you give? Allah (swt) revealed Himself to you and you

chose to turn away from Him (swt). How then can you save yourself on that Day?

        So here Allah (swt) showed us two paths upon which we could walk. One path where we

dedicate ourselves to Him (swt) and one path where we turn away from Him (swt). One a path of

dawah and jihad and one a path of heedlessness and materialism. Allah (swt) has already given

us the examples that we must strive to emulate and the examples that we must strive to avoid.

He (swt) has also pointed out more than enough signs with which we could discover Him (swt).

He (swt) has described Himself in a way that should make us yearn to be close to Him (swt) by

striving to please Him (swt). He (swt) even reminded us how He (swt) completely controls our

fortunes and how we will return to Him (swt) very soon. After all this, how then could we turn

away from Him (swt)? How can we ever choose the later of these paths? Allah (swt) is the Perfect

and the Pure and He (swt) will always be. This Message is only a call for you to realize this fact

so that perhaps you can save yourself. So that perhaps you can wake up to the reality that you

have made yourselves blind to. Now consider this path. Consider this Din. Consider the choices

that you have to make over the course of your day. And in everything choose Allah (swt).



    All praise and thanks belongs to Allah (swt), our tafsir of Surah Ya Seen ends here.




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