Exposition of the Holy Quran – 06 Surah Al-An’aam (G A Parwez)
Surah 6: Al-An’aam
(1) Absolute hamd (spontaneous praise) is for Allah alone (1:1) who created the universe and devised darkness and light. Those who reject the divine laws, set up peers to Allah.
(2) It is He who initiated your creation from inanimate matter and prescribed laws to determine the term of your physical life, and the life hereafter, which He alone knows of. Yet you doubt His existence.
(3) Allah’s sovereignty is not confined to the physical universe, it also encompasses the world of human beings (21:21-23; 43:84). Allah knows the apparent as well as the hidden. He is aware of all your activities.
(4) Allah gives such clear guidance; despite it, those who reject His laws turn away from it.
(5) Similarly, O Rasool, the people to whom you deliver this guidance are rejecting and ridiculing it but soon they will face the consequences of their mockery.
(6) Have they not seen how many generations before them were destroyed? These people were established more firmly in the land than they, and Allah sent down copious rains upon them causing rivers to flow. Not withstanding all this, they were destroyed for their offences and then other people were raised in their place.
(7) Time and again they demand miracles from you and we tell them that eiman comes from reflection upon Allah’s teachings and not from witnessing miracles. Hypothetically speaking, if He had sent down a ready-made book which they could touch with their hands, those people who had decided not to believe, would still not have believed, and would have said, “This is nothing but obvious fraud.”
(8) These people also ask, “Why an angel (malak), whom we could see, was not sent down to this Rasool?” If Allah had sent such a malak, their fate would have been doomed and they would have had no respite.
(9) If a malak had been sent down as a rasool, he would have obviously come in human form. This would have aroused doubts similar to those which they now have.
(10) O Rasool! The fact is that they are not taking the matter seriously. Rusul before you were similarly laughed at but, what they had laughed at backfired against them.
(11) O Rasool! Say to them, “Travel through the earth and see what has been the end of those who said that Allah’s rusul were telling a lie.”
(12) O Rasool! Ask them, “Who wields power in the universe?” and tell them, “It is Allah.”
They ask, “If Allah is so powerful why does He not seize us immediately for our offences?” Tell them, “He has provided respite in the law of Mukafat and this is His rahma towards mankind which He has made incumbent upon Himself (6:54). The results of the actions of wrong-doers will become manifest on the Day of Reckoning which will certainly come. Only those people who are out to ruin themselves will not profess eiman.”
(13) Whether it is day or night, it is all the same to Allah who hears and knows all.
(14-15) Ask them, “Do you want that I should take as protector and helper anyone other than Allah – Allah who has brought the entire universe into being from nothingness; who provides nourishment to all, but Himself needs none?” Say, “I have been commanded to be the first of those who surrender before Allah’s laws and not to be one of the mushrikeen. Tell them, “If I revolted against Allah’s laws, I too would be fearful of chastisement on the day of reckoning (10:15, 39:13).”
(16-18) On that day, whosoever is saved from chastisement, has invited Allah’s rahma upon himself, and this is a manifest achievement. This is so because if any affliction or any good comes to anyone according to Allah’s law of Mukafat, cannot be averted. For all this, Allah has appointed measures. He has supreme authority over human beings and He exercises it with wisdom and full knowledge of their condition.
(19) Ask them, “Whose testimony is the strongest to validate what I say?” Tell them, “Allah’s testimony is the best to decide between you and me. This testimony has been revealed to me and is now included in the Qur’an so that through it I should forewarn you as well as those whom it may reach after you.” Ask them, “Do you still affirm that there are deities other than Allah? If you affirm this I certainly cannot endorse this. I affirm that Allah alone is the sovereign and I abhor what you associate with Him.”
(20) Those to whom We had given the Book before you recognize the truth as they recognize their own children. But they still do not believe and thereby bring about their own ruin.
(21) Just reflect: Who can be more zalim than one who foists a lie on Allah and one who considers as a lie the truth which has been revealed by Him. Certainly, they both are zalim and will not prosper.
(22) They will be assembled together on the day of reckoning and the mushrikeen will be asked, “Where are those whom you assumed to be the associates of Allah?”
(23-24) At that time, they will be able to employ no subterfuge and perforce will have to say, “We swear by Allah that He is our Rabb and we never associated any authority with Him.” Behold how these people will lie against themselves, and those whom they have associated with Allah will desert them.
(25) Some amongst them come into your assembly and pretend to listen to you, but they have closed their hearts completely and made themselves hard of hearing lest they should understand what you say. They have become so hardened in their obstinacy that, despite so many proofs, they do not believe the truth. They simply come to quarrel and have an argument with you. They claim that what you say is nothing but ancient tales which have been repeated numerous times before.
(26) These people turn away from your teachings and also keep others away from them. They harm none except themselves but they do not realize how much loss they thus sustain.
(27) If you were to see them set before jahannam, you will hear them say, “Only if we could go back! Then we would not treat Allah’s laws as false, and would be amongst the momineen.”
(28) Their regret would not be genuine because they do not want, in earnest, to change their ways. They express regret only because what they used to hide from others would be laid bare. The fact is that if they were to be sent back they would revert to what was forbidden to them. They are certainly liars.
(29) They say, “There is no life other than this and for us there is no life hereafter.”
(30) If you were to see them being set before their Rabb, and asked by Him, “Is this life not a reality?” You could hear them say, “Yes! By our Rabb, it is so.” Thereupon, Allah will say, “Taste then the consequences of your wrong-doings which you used to deny.”
(31) Those who say that the idea of confrontation with Allah’s law of Mukafat is baseless, are indeed losers. When the event comes upon them suddenly, they will say regretfully: “How neglectful were we in this matter,” while they bear the burden of their wrong-doings on their backs. How unbearable and torturous is their burden!
(32) This is because they thought that life was confined only to this world. The fact is that, as compared to the life hereafter, physical life is nothing but play and a pastime. For those mindful of Allah’s laws, the life hereafter is far better and full of bounties. Can they not understand even this much?
(33) We are well aware that what they say grieves you. But you should know that it is not you whom they charge with falsehood; it is Allah’s laws which they treat as false.
(34) This, too, is nothing new. Rusul before you were similarly charged with falsehood. They bore the accusation, as well as the harm done to them, with patience. The rusul were, however, victorious in the end. This is the law ordained by Allah, which no one can alter.
We narrate the accounts of past rusul to you, O Rasool, so that you do likewise.
(35) If their rejection grieves you so deeply, remember that their condition for accepting you is that you should show them some miracles. If, hypothetically speaking, you seek out an opening into the earth, or a ladder to the sky and bring them concrete evidence, they will still not believe. If Allah had wished that all human beings should compulsorily follow the right path, it would not have been difficult for Him to create them without freedom of will. So, you should not be amongst those who do not understand the plans of Allah.
(36) We have made the right and wrong paths distinct (18:29). Only those who listen to the message of Allah attentively and reflect on it will be able to adopt the right path. Those who have lost the capacity to understand and are like dead will have to confront Allah’s law of Mukafat.
(37) Again, those who reject the truth ask, “Why has Allah not sent down a miracle to the Rasool?” Tell them, “Allah has assuredly the power to do this but, as already stated, it is not His plan to do so. The difficulty is that most of them do not take the trouble to reflect upon these matters.”
(38) The law that all creatures should compulsorily follow the path determined for them operates in the outer universe. Allah’s law of creation applies to all living beings which live on earth, including human beings as well as birds flying in the air. The difference between human beings and other creatures is that, while the latter are compelled to follow Allah’s law instinctively, the former choose their path themselves, exercising freedom of choice. A natural corollary of their freedom is that they are held accountable for their actions. Nothing has been missed in Our scheme.
(39) And they who consider Our laws false are like those who are deaf and dumb and thus grope in the dark (2:8 and 2:171); they go astray. On the other hand, those who adhere to Our laws, follow the straight path.
(40-41) O Rasool! Ask those who set up peers to Allah, “If any natural calamity befalls you, or any other sudden change occurs, why do you not ask those whom you associate with Allah to help you if you believe that you are truthful? Even if you call upon them for help, they will not be able to help you. Calamities can only be averted by following Allah’s laws. However, when the calamities are over, you again forget divine law and start following ungodly forces.”
(42) O Rasool! We sent rusul to other communities before you. As a result of their wrong-doings, these communities were subjected to poverty and distress. They were shaken so that they might realize what could be the consequences of being neglectful of Allah’s laws.
(43) If only they had been humble when our suffering came to them! Their hearts are hardened, however, and they did not surrender to Allah’s laws. Satan made their course of conduct seem attractive to them.
(44) When they had thus forgotten that of which they were warned, they should have been subjected to chastisement at once. This was not done due to Our Law of Respite. On the contrary, the gates of abundance were opened to them. While they were rejoicing at what they had received, Our Law of Mukafat suddenly took hold of them. They became utterly despondent about their future.
(45) Thus the communities, which committed zulm (wrongdoing), were uprooted. This was rahma (blessing, grace) for those whom they had oppressed, and cause for hamd of Allah who is the sustainer of all humanity.
(46) Say to them, “If your faculties of sight, hearing and understanding are paralyzed as a result of going against Allah’s laws, is there anyone besides Allah who can restore them?” Reflect upon how We repeat Our basic teaching to impress its truth upon them, but they turn away from it.
(47) Say to the Jamat-ul-Momineen, “Do not be apprehensive of Allah’s chastisement which comes about as a result of wrong-doings. This chastisement, whether it comes suddenly or after due warning, destroys none but the zalimeen.”
(48) Our way is that We send Our rusul as bearers of glad tidings and warnings. So, whoever believes in them and acts according to their teachings, will face neither fear nor grief.
(49) And those who treat Our laws as false will receive chastisement for their transgression.
(50) O Rasool! Say to them, “I do not assert that I possess the treasures of Allah or have knowledge of the unseen. Neither do I assert that I am a malak (angel). I only say that I receive Allah’s revelation which I follow myself.” Ask them, “Is one who is blind at par with one who can see? Do you not reflect upon this?”
(51) Leaving aside those who are incorrigible, O Rasool, warn those who believe in the law of Mukafat. Tell them that there will be no protectors or intercessors to shield them from Allah’s law. They should, therefore, be mindful of His laws.
(52) At the time of the advent of Islam, Arabian society was divided into various tribes, some of which considered themselves to be superior to the others and treated them with contempt. The central theme of the teachings of the Qur’an was the equality of all human beings, and the Rasool was building a community comprising persons belonging to various tribes and even slaves where everyone was treated with equal respect regardless of origin or status. The tribes which considered themselves to be superior to the others could not tolerate this. One of their conditions for making a compromise with the Rasool was that persons whom they considered to be inferior should be expelled from the community. The Qur’an, however, rejected this condition since it violated its fundamental teachings (10:15, 11:113, 17:74, 68:9).
Allah said to the Rasool, “Do not drive away those who are poor or of low origin but who strive continuously for the cause of Allah. Their origin or previous status or poverty should have no bearing on their present position. If you still drive them away you will be from amongst the zalimeen (11:27-30, 18:28, 26:111-114, 80:1-11).”
(53) Those who make such a demand betray a sense of their own inferiority. They say tauntingly, “Look! These are the people from amongst us whom Allah has chosen for His blessings.” Tell them, O Rasool, “Allah knows better than you who is worthy of respect and dignity.”
(54) When members of the Jamat-ul-Momineen come to you, O Rasool, greet them by saying, “May peace be upon you and also Allah’s rahma which He has made incumbent on Himself. If any one of you commits any wrong unknowingly and later repents and makes amends for it, you will surely find that Allah is the protector and sustainer.”
(55) We set forth Our laws clearly so that the path of the wrong-doers becomes distinguishable from that of the righteous ones (18:29).
(56) Say to those who deny the truth, “I am forbidden to obey those whom you call upon besides Allah. I shall not yield to your base desires for if I do, I shall have gone astray and will not be counted amongst those who are rightly guided.” Say, “I take my stand upon the clear evidence furnished by Allah which you treat as false.”
(57) Say O Rasool! “I take my stand upon the clear evidence furnished by my Rabb, which you treat as false.” Time and again they ask you to urgently bring about the chastisement about which you warned them. Tell them, “It is not in my power to hasten what you ask for. These matters are decided by Allah’s law of Mukafat. He declares the truth and is the best judge.”
(58) Tell them, O Rasool, “Had it been in my power to hasten what you ask for, the matter would have been decided a long time ago. As already stated, this is decided by Allah’s law of Mukafat which knows who the wrong-doers are.”
(59) With Allah are the keys of the unseen and none knows the unseen but He. He knows whatever is on land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but He knows it. There is neither a grain below the soil nor anything fresh or dry which has not been taken note of in the lucid book containing the laws of nature.
(60) He (Allah) knows whatever you do during the day time. Then He lays you to rest at night, and wakes you again in the day. The cycle of day and night gradually completes the term of your life. Thereafter, there will be the day of reckoning when whatever you have done will be made manifest to you.
(61-62) Allah’s law of Mukafat prevails over all human beings. He has appointed guardians over them to see that none of their actions go undetected. When death approaches someone, malaika – Our messengers – cause him to die; they have no power to make any change in the term of life. Thereafter, everyone will confront Allah’s law of Mukafat, Who has complete control over them, Whose word is final, and Who is swift in reckoning.
(63-64) When a calamity befalls those who reject Allah’s laws, they invoke Allah in their hearts and say that if they are saved from the calamity, they will be ever-grateful to Him. Say to them, “One is protected or rescued from calamities in accordance with Allah’s laws. But, you associate other authorities with Him.”
(65) Calamities occur in societies which are not based upon Allah’s laws. Sometimes, they take the form of higher classes oppressing the lower classes; at times, of the lower classes rising against the higher classes leading to anarchy; and at others, of the two uniting and then splitting into different parties which fight each other.
Reflect on how in different ways and in diverse forms We explain Our teachings so that they may understand.
(66-67) Despite this, your people, O Rasool, treat the revelation as false even though it is certain truth. Tell them, “I have not been appointed as a guardian over you. Manifestation of the consequences of your wrong-doing takes place at a time prescribed by Allah’s laws and by and by, you will know it (7:182-83).”
(68) When you see those who are making a jest of Our revelation, stay away from them until they change the topic of conversation. If you are so absorbed that you forget that you should leave such company, do so the moment you become aware of it. You should not stay thereafter with these people who are zalimeen (4:140, 5:57).
(69) Those who adhere to Allah’s laws are not responsible for the way in which these people treat the revelation. They need only admonish them so that they may abstain from what they do.
(70) Stay away not only from those who make a jest of your deen (way of life) but also from those who treat their own religion as play and pastime (7:51). Such people are deluded by worldly attractions. Leave them alone but continue to convey to them the teachings of the Qur’an so that none is destroyed through not receiving Allah’s guidance. They cannot be protected from ruin by any friend or intercessor even if every ransom is offered because it comes through their own wrong-doings. They shall have a draught of burning despair and a painful chastisement because of their persistent refusal to acknowledge the truth.
(71-72) Ask these people, O Rasool, “Do you wish that we should deify aught besides Allah – which can neither help nor hurt us – and turn on our heels after Allah has shown us the right path? If we do this, we will be like the one who is lost in the wilderness and cannot hear his companions calling out to him.” Tell them, “The way prescribed by Allah is the only right way and We have been commanded to submit to the laws of Allah Who is the sustainer of all the worlds. He has also asked us to establish the system of sala and adhere to all His laws. We will be accountable for all our actions.”
(73) It is Allah who has created the universe most appropriately. He initiates creation according to His amr (as explained in 2:117); every word of His is the truth. He has complete control over His creation. He infuses life into inanimate forms. He has knowledge of both the seen and the unseen and He is the wise, the cognisant.
(74) The struggle between right and wrong is not a new phenomenon. All anbiya have been confronted with it. For instance, in the case of Abraham it originated within his own family. Abraham said to his father Azar (Terah), “You carve an idol out of stone and then make it into a god. I see that you and your people are in manifest error.”
(75-79) Abraham’s people used to worship heavenly bodies and invited him to associate with them. This induced him to reflect upon the working of these bodies to become certain of his own beliefs which differed from those of his people. When night spread its darkness over him, he beheld a star. He asked his people, “Is this the one you want me to accept as my Rabb.” When the star set, he said to them, “I cannot accept as god anything which changes.” When he beheld the Moon shining, he asked the same question, and when it set he said, “I cannot accept the one which changes, as my Rabb. If my Rabb had not guided me I would have been one of those who had gone astray.” Then, when he beheld the Sun shining, he asked his people, “Do you ask me to worship the Sun because it is the greatest?” But when the Sun also set, he said, “O my people! I dissociate myself from you in taking such objects as my god. With single-mindedness, I turn my face towards Allah who brought the universe into existence out of nothingness, and I am not from amongst the mushrikeen.”
(80-82) His people still disputed with him. Abraham asked them, “Do you dispute with me in respect of Allah who has guided me to the right path?” His people asked him to be fearful of their gods whom he repudiated lest they harm him. He answered, “I am not afraid of your gods whose power to hurt me has not been warranted by Allah. Allah’s knowledge encompasses all things. Will you then not reflect? You are the ones who should be fearful because, without any authority, you set up peers to Allah. Which of our ways, then, leads to peace? If you only knew! Those who believe in Allah, do not mix their eiman with zulm. For them is peace and they are on the right path.”
(83) These were the arguments which We had given to Abraham to use against his people. This is how We raised the ranks of people according to Our measures. Surely your Rabb is both wise and knowing.
(84-86) We gave Isaac and Jacob to Abraham. Each of them We guided as We had guided Noah and his descendants. Similarly, We guided David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses and Aaron. Nabuwwa was bestowed upon them by Allah and they were compensated for the good lives they led. Nabuwwa was also bestowed upon Zachariah, John, Jesus, Elijah. They were all saliheen; Ishmael, Elisha, Jonah and Lot We favoured above the rest of mankind.
(87) And We also guided aright some of their fathers, offspring and brethren. We favoured them and guided them to the straight path.
(88) This is the right path prescribed by Allah which any human being may follow. But if they join other paths with this one, then all their actions will be rendered waste.
(89) The anbiya mentioned earlier are those to whom Allah had given the code of laws, the authority to enforce these laws and nabuwwa (3:78). The Qur’an contains all the original teachings of the previous scriptures. If the Ahl-ul-Kitab reject the Qur’an, it will not harm the Qur’an in any way. We have entrusted it to a people who do not reject it (35:32).
(90) The anbiya mentioned earlier are those whom Allah had guided. The same guidance has now been bestowed on you, O Rasool, which you should follow yourself and also invite others to do so. Tell those whom you invite to follow this path that you ask no recompense for it. This guidance is open to all mankind and is not anyone’s preserve.
(91) Those who reject revelation on the ground that it has been sent down to a human being like themselves do not form an accurate or fair estimation of Allah – as is His due (39:67). Ask them, “Who revealed the book which Moses presented to them (and Moses was also a human being!)? That book contained light and guidance for humanity. You transferred it upon various parchments revealing some parts of it but concealing the rest although the entire book contained those truths which neither you nor your fathers knew.”
O Rasool! Tell them that this book has been revealed by Allah as the book given to Moses was revealed by Him. Tell them this and then leave them to their vain quibbling or word-play.
(92) This is the most blessed book which We have now sent to you which validates those truths that were contained in previous scriptures. To start with, through this book, you may warn those who dwell in or around Makkah. Those who believe in the life hereafter will believe in it truly. They will safeguard the Nizam-us-Sala.
(93) Who can be more zalim than the one who invents a lie against Allah, or one who claims that he has received revelation from Allah whereas he has received none; or one who says that he can produce the like of what Allah has revealed (8:31)?
Just imagine what the situation would be when the zalimeen are in the throes of death and the malaika stretch forth their hands saying, “Yield up your life (nafs). This day you will be recompensed with a humiliating chastisement for imputing to Allah what was false and for rejecting Allah’s laws arrogantly.”
(94) And Allah will say, “You have left behind all that was yours e.g., all that you possessed and your intercessors whom you assumed would help you in your affairs. Indeed, all your ties have been severed and you have come to us all alone with your individuality with which you were created and all your fancies would have forsaken you.”
(95) As regards life after death, it may be explained through an example. A seed-grain or a date-stone appears to be lifeless but it contains a life-germ which, given appropriate conditions, bursts forth into a living plant. The plant, in turn, bears ears of corn. Each grain of corn is again a source of life. This is how Allah brings forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living.
This is your Allah. Whither do you then seek other deities?
(96) He causes the dawn to burst forth to enter in the day and has devised the night for rest and the Sun and the Moon for computing time. These are the measures ordained by Allah who is mighty and knowing.
(97) It is He who has designed the stars in such a way that you may be guided by them in the darkness of land and the sea. Thus We have made Our laws clear to those who understand.
(98) It is He who has created you out of a single life-cell (4:1). In the process of evolution, life pauses for a while until it acquires the capacity to reach a higher plane to which it is entrusted for further development. Thus We have made Our plans clear to those who are thoughtful.
(99) It is He who sends down rain through which He brings forth buds of all plants, green foliage, packed ears of corn, palm-trees with branches overhanging with dates and gardens of grapes, olives, pomegranates – alike and unlike. Reflect on how these fruits grow and ripen. In this plan of Ours are signs for those who believe in divine laws.
(100) Yet these people believe that Allah alone is incapable of administering the order of the universe and associate other unseen forces which He has created, with Him. Out of ignorance they also falsely ascribe sons and daughters to Him. He is far above all that they attribute to Him.
(101) There are those who believe that Allah has a son. Reflect deeply over this. Allah brought the entire universe into existence from nothingness. This was obviously not subject to the law of causation. Once the universe had been created, however, this law came into operation. The law relating to procreation requires the cohabitation of male and female. How could Allah have a son when He has no wife? This is being said by Allah who has created everything and knows everything.
(102) This is Allah – your Rabb – other than whom there is no authority, creator of all things. Therefore, you should obey His and only His laws and remember that He is the protector of all.
(103) He cannot be comprehended by vision but He comprehends everything. He is the all-subtle and the all-aware.
(104) Your Rabb has revealed the truth clearly. Whoever reflects on it, will do so to his own advantage. On the other hand, those who choose to remain blind to it, will do so to their own disadvantage. Remember, I am not your keeper to force you to reflect.
(105) We have made the truth so clear in diverse ways that those who reflect on it, exclaim, “You have (O Rasool) indeed separated the grain from the chaff.” In this way, we have made it manifest to a people who are disposed to understand.
(106) O Rasool! You should follow that which has been revealed to you from Allah, other than whom there is no authority, and remain aloof from the mushrikeen.
(107) If it had been a part of Allah’s plan that none should be a mushrik, He would not have endowed human beings with free will. This is why we have not appointed you a guardian over them or responsible for their conduct.
(108) The deities whom these people associate with Allah are no doubt false ones. This does not mean, however, that you may revile Allah in retaliation. They adhere to their beliefs because they seem fair to them. The nature of their deeds will become clear to them on the Day of Reckoning.
(109) The mushrikeen swear by Allah as solemnly as they can that if a miracle is shown to them they would certainly believe in its import. Tell them, “It is not beyond Allah’s power to show miracles but it is not His plan to do so.” The fact is that they will not believe even if a miracle is shown to them.
(110) When this truth was revealed to them earlier, instead of reflecting upon it, they had rejected it outright due to their prejudice, so this time too, they will not believe it and Our law is that We keep their hearts and their eyes turned (away from the truth) and let them loose in their overweening arrogance, blindly stumbling to-and-fro (2:15).
(111) (Hypothetically speaking) even if We were to send down angels to them, or if the dead were to speak to them, or if We were to bring together everything face to face with them, they would not believe. Reflection upon Allah’s laws is a prerequisite to belief and these people will not do this as most of them are uncouth.
(112) O Rasool! This is nothing new. Whenever a rasool came to them, enemies from amongst the jinn and the ins stood up against them and conferred with each other to frame gilded lies so as to delude people from the right path. As already stated (6:108) it was not a part of Allah’s plan to compel people to follow the right path. So you should leave them to their own devices.
(113) Their purpose in fabricating lies is not to reform the people but to incline the hearts of those who do not believe in the hereafter towards them so that the latter would agree with what the former say and do. They also let them earn in whatever manner they like, so that they do not question or check the ways of the former.
(114) O Rasool! Ask them, “Do you want that I should seek an authority other than Allah when He has sent down for you the book which states everything clearly? Those who have accepted this book have understood clearly that it has been revealed by Allah and is based upon the truth. There is no need to dispute with them.”
(115) Allah’s laws based on truth and justice have been set forth in this book in a complete form. None has the authority to make any change in these laws (18:27). This is because this book has been sent down by Allah who hears and knows everything.
(116) O Rasool! If you were to follow the majority in the land, they would lead you astray from the path of Allah. They simply follow their own surmises and indulge in conjectures.
(117) Your Rabb certainly knows best who has strayed from the right path and those who are rightly guided.
(118-119) Reverting to the subject of haram and halal, you should eat only that meat on which Allah’s name has been pronounced at the time of the animal’s slaughter, if you are true believers in His laws. When Allah has made the halal and haram clear to you (5:3) except when you are driven by starvation (5:3, 6:146), who can declare to be haram that which Allah has made halal and over which His name has been pronounced? Many a people who follow their own baser desires will try to mislead you through lack of knowledge. Allah knows well who wilfully transgresses His laws.
(120) Allah’s laws which relate to concrete matters must be obeyed in accordance with the formal requirements prescribed by the Qur’an. But that is not all. The purpose underlying those laws must not be overlooked. Thus the outward and the inward aspects of obedience to Allah’s laws must be harmonised. Those who do not do so will reap the consequences of their doings.
(121) Do not eat the meat of those animals who have been slaughtered without the name of Allah being pronounced over them; this is against Allah’s laws. The leaders of the opposition are ever instigating their companions to wrangle with you. If you yield to them you will be reckoned amongst the mushrikeen.
(122) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! Compare your position with that of your opponents by means of an example. On the one hand, there is a dead person whom Allah has brought back to life and given light so that he can follow the right path himself and also show this light to others to enable them to follow the right path. On the other hand, there is a person steeped in darkness, who does not care to come out of it. Can the two persons be alike? But thus it is! The deeds of those who deny the truth seem attractive to them.
(123) Thus, amongst every people there are ringleaders who scheme against those who ask them to follow the right path but their schemes invariably recoil upon them. They are, however, not aware of this.
(124) Whenever, a revelation is presented to them, they say “We will not believe until the revelation is sent to us directly as it is sent to the Rasool.” Allah knows best to whom the revelation is to be sent. At first, they will be confronted with calamities of lesser magnitude as a result of their wrong doings. If they do not change their course of action, they will then face greater chastisement for the schemes they were planning.
(125) (Such types of parties have existed since olden times, i.e., those who accept the truth and those who oppose it – and all this happens according to the divine law.) The law is that whoever, leaving aside bias and prejudice, becomes broadminded, his heart opens to the truth of Islam and the straight path becomes clear to him. And he, who keeps his mind closed, his bosom becomes tight and constricted. To him accepting the truth becomes as difficult as if he was climbing up to the skies gasping.
Those who do not reflect upon the truth remain confused and thus cannot believe.
(126-127) O Rasool this is the straight path ordained by your Rabb. Surely, We have made Our revelation clear for people who are heedful. For them there shall be an abode of peace with their Rabb, Who shall be near to them because of what they had been doing.
(128) On the Day of Reckoning Allah shall gather all the jinn and ins together. He will say to the jinns, “You have exploited the ins a good deal.” And those among the ins who were their votaries will say, “O our Rabb! We had indeed used each other in our opposition to the truth until We reached the end of our term which you had devised according to your laws.” Allah will reply, “Your abode is Jahannam in which you will have to dwell, unless Allah wills it otherwise. And He does not change His laws(1). All this is in accordance with Allah’s Law of Mukafat and He is the Wise, the Knowing.”
(129) This is how different parties of zalimeen cooperate with each other in their opposition to the truth and eventually face the same dire consequences.
(130) (On that day, Allah will also ask them) “O group of jinn and ins! Did the rusul not arise from amongst you announcing My laws and warning you of the consequences of violating them?” They will answer, “We bear witness against our own selves.”
Indeed, the false attraction of worldly gains deluded them. So they will bear witness against themselves that they had been denying the truth.
(131) O Rasool! We have narrated all this to you to show you that it is not Allah’s way to destroy people arbitrarily before they are duly warned.
(132) Allah’s law is that everyone is assigned a position according to his deeds of which Allah is not unaware.
(133-134) Allah is not dependent upon any particular people for the establishment of His nizam (divine laws). It is His rahma (grace, blessing) to provide opportunities of development to all people. In this way, He has given you an opportunity for development. If you do not avail of it, He will put you away and cause another people to take your place as He raised you from the progeny of others.
This is Allah’s law of succession and substitution of nations (5:54, 9:38, 21:11-15, 47:38 and 70:40-41). What We say is not an idle threat. It will certainly happen and you cannot thwart Him.
(135) O Rasool! Tell your people, “You may do whatever you choose; I will not interfere. On the other hand, do not interfere in My programme. The results will soon show to whom success will eventually belong. Allah’s law is that zalimeen can never prosper.”
(136) How can those people succeed against you who are grossly superstitious? They assign to Allah from the tilth and cattle that He has produced a portion and say, “This is for Allah – so deem they – and the other portion is for those whom we associate with Him.” That which they assign to Allah’s associates is taken away by them so it does not reach Him. And that which is assigned to Allah is also taken away by them on the assurance that they will have it sent to Allah. In this way the portion assigned to Allah as well as the other, are both taken away by the priest (and nothing reaches the deserving people). Look! How clever is their settlement.
(137) Their settlement is not confined to tilth and cattle. They believe that if they sacrifice their children it, will please those whom they associate with Allah. Obviously, this is a most barbarous act. Still it seems fair to them.
As already stated, if it were Allah’s plan not to bestow upon mankind the freedom of will and choice, these people would not have indulged in such superstitions. Allah will not compel them to adopt the right course. Therefore, leave them to their own ways. They will not listen to your advice.
(138) The matter does not end here. They set aside a part from amongst their cattle and tilth and say, “None shall partake of it except those to whom we may offer it according to our belief.” They also say, “Such and such are the cattle which are not to be used for load-bearing and such and such are the cattle on which the name of Allah is not to be pronounced at the time of their slaughter.”
These are mere fabrications against Allah. Soon, they will confront the consequences of such fabrications.
(139) And they further say, “Whatever is in the womb of our cattle, if born alive will be reserved for our men and forbidden to our women. But if it is stillborn, all may partake of it.”
Allah will recompense them for their fabrications.
Certainly, He is wise and knowing.
(140) Those who kill their children foolishly in ignorance and declare to be haram what Allah has made halal and thus invent a lie against Him, will be the losers. Certainly, they have gone astray and are not following the right path.
(141) Allah has produced means of subsistence for His creation. He has produced gardens with and without trellises, palm trees, corn of different kinds, olives and pomegranates – fruits that are similar yet different. O mankind! Partake of them when they ripen. On the day, that the harvest is gathered meet your requirements and give the rest to the Nizam-e-Rabubiyya for meeting the needs of others (2:129). Do not keep more than that for yourselves. Allah does not like those who do so.
(142) Allah has created cattle for your use. Some of them are meant for carrying a burden while some are for food. Eat of what Allah has provided for you for food and do not follow in the footsteps of Satan (Shaitan, Devil) as he is your open enemy.
(143) (For food you usually have) eight animals; two of sheep (male and female) and two of goats (male and female) [the other four are mentioned below]. Ask the mushrikeen, “Has Allah forbidden to you the two males or the two females of the two pairs? Or has He forbidden to you that which the two females carry in their wombs?” Ask them as to what is the authority for their belief if they speak the truth.
(144) Then there are two pairs (male and female) each of camels and oxen [this makes a total of EIGHT]. Ask these mushrikeen, “Has Allah forbidden to you the two males or the two females of the two pairs? Or has He forbidden to you that which the two females carry in their wombs. Were you present when Allah gave this commandment?” Who is a greater zalim than one who invents such a lie about Allah to lead people astray without knowledge. Remember, Allah’s law is that zalimeen cannot follow the right path.
(145) Tell them, “I do not find in that what has been revealed to me anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wants to eat it – except (1) carrion, (2) flowing blood, (3) the flesh of swine surely, that is an abomination, and (4) that (even if otherwise halal) which has been dedicated to someone other than Allah. Eating of such things stops the growth of the self and leads one to wrongful ways.”
“However, if one is faced with a situation when he can find nothing else to eat except the above and his life is threatened then he can partake of what has been declared to be haram provided he is driven to it by starvation and not out of greed or the desire to violate divine laws (5:3, 2:173).” One who adheres to Allah’s laws will find Him to be both protector and nourisher.
(146) We had forbidden to the Jews every beast with claws and the fat of the ox and the sheep except the fat which is on their backs or their entrails or that which sticks to their bones. This was a punishment for their rebellion against the divine laws (although these things in themselves were not unlawful as a food). What Allah says is certainly the truth (4:160).
(147) Allah’s book (Qur’an) has declared these forbidden things to be lawful. If the Jews do not accept this it means that they do not want that their punishment should cease and deny themselves Allah’s rahma. Who can help those who wish to remain guilt-ridden?
(148) The mushrikeen say, “If Allah had so desired, neither we nor our ancestors would have committed shirk or regarded anything as haram of our own accord.” This is nothing new. The people before them also declared Allah’s revelation to be false until they tasted the fruits of their deeds. O Rasool, say, “Have you any authority against us? If you have, produce it. You follow your own conjectures and do nothing but only indulge in speculations.”
(149) Say, “To Allah belongs the argument which is self-evident and, therefore, conclusive. Had it been Allah’s plan that all mankind should follow the right path, He would have created them without freedom of will and choice.”
(150) Say to them, “Bring those witnesses from amongst you who can testify to your assertion that Allah had forbidden these things to you.” If the witnesses come forth, ask them to produce Allah’s authority for what they say. If they do not produce such authority, you should not accept their evidence. You should not follow the base desire of those people who declare Our laws to be false, and do not believe in the hereafter. They, in fact, set up peers to Allah.
(151-152) Say, “Come, I will tell you what your Rabb has made binding on you:
- You should not associate anyone with Him;
- Be kind to your parents [owing to old age and infirmity, they need your attention and care; look after them to meet their needs]
- You should not deny your children the opportunity for development out of fear of want. Our Nizam-e-Rabubiyya is responsible for providing for you as well as for your children;
- You should not get anywhere close to indecency – either in thought or in action, be it open or secret;
- Do not take any human being’s life – the life which Allah has sanctified otherwise – in pursuit of justice. Allah has enjoined this upon you so that you may learn to use your reason.
Allah further says:
- You should not touch the property of those left unprotected e.g., orphans, except when you are required to expend something for their betterment, until they are of age;
- You should, when required to say something in a disputed manner, speak justly even if your own relatives are involved in the matter; you should fulfil your commitments and promises, since they are not made with one another but are in fact, made with Allah; you must also be fair in your financial/commercial affairs.
Allah has enjoined all these upon you so that you may always keep them in mind.
You should not regard these laws as undue restrictions imposed on you; in fact, by obeying these laws the human personality is broadened and strengthened (2:286 with footnote).
(153) This is the straight path devised by Allah. You should follow it and never think of following other paths. If you do the latter it will divert you from Allah’s path. He has enjoined these laws upon you so that you may become muttaqi.
(154) Before this, We had also given Moses a book in fulfilment of Our promise to those who wanted to lead a righteous life; it contained clear instructions. This book was a guidance and rahma so that they may become certain of the Law of Mukafat.
(155) And now We have sent down this blessed book. So follow it and be heedful of Allah’s laws so that you may become worthy of Allah’s rahma.
(156-157) [O People of Arabia!] This book has been sent down to you so that you may not say, “Earlier books had been sent down to the two groups [Jews and Christians] which we were unable to understand;” or say, “Had a book been sent down to us we would have followed its guidance better than them.”
Now, a clear exposition (which is guidance and rahma) has come down to you from your Rabb. Who can be more zalim than he who treats such a book as a lie and turns away from it? Remember, those who turn away from Allah’s laws will soon face severe chastisement for their turning away.
(158) Ask them as to what they are waiting for. They are perhaps waiting for malaika to come down to them, or for Allah Himself, or for miracles. Professing eiman after witnessing the above will be of no avail to those who have neither believed in Allah before that, nor have done any good deeds in pursuance of their beliefs.
O Rasool! Tell them, “You wait and along with you we will also wait to see what happens to you.”
(159) Deen is one way to be followed by a united ummah. O Rasool! You should have nothing to do with those who create differences in the deen and divide themselves into sects. Their affairs will be decided according to the laws of Allah Who will make them realise what they had been doing.
(160) Whoever does a good deed, will be recompensed for it ten-fold; on the other hand, whoever does anything wrong, will be requited exactly according to the nature of the wrong committed by him and thus no zulm is done to him (16:126, 42:40).
(161) Say, “Allah has guided me to the straight and balanced path through an ever true deen which was also followed by Abraham who turned away from all that was false and he was certainly not of the mushrikeen.”
(162-163) Say, “My sala and the means which I adopt to establish its system; in short – my living and dying – are all for the cause of Allah, the Rabb of the entire universe, who has no partner. Thus have I been commanded and I am the first to submit to the commandment.”
(164) Say, “Do you wish that I should seek a Rabb other than Allah who is the Rabb of all and everything? His Law of Mukafat is that no one else shall be responsible for what he does except his own self and no one shall be made to bear another’s burden. Everyone will have to fulfil his own responsibility and all affairs will be judged according to the law of Allah who will make clear to them wherein they differed.”
(165) You have attained power in the land according to the Law of Succession of Nations. Now, it will be seen as to how you exercise this power (10:14). This will determine your place in the history of nations. Allah is swift in reckoning but is also protector and nourisher.
(1) The Qur’anic style is that wherever Insha-Allah comes after Illa it means that nothing contrary would happen to whatever has been said before. See Lughat-al-Qur’an Vol. IV page 1,618 under noon-seen-ye.
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