Exposition of the Holy Quran – 10 Surah Yunus (G A Parwez)
Surah 10: Yunus
(1) Allah, the Aleem and Raheem, says, “These are the verses of the book which is all wisdom.”
(2) Do these people wonder why We have charged one of them to warn human beings of the consequences of their wrong-doings and offer glad tidings to those who believe in His laws that they shall have a high rank with their Rabb? These people think that the Rasool should be superhuman. Hence, they demand miracles from him and when he does not perform any, they declare that he is a liar.
(3) Certainly, your Rabb is Allah, who has created the heavens and the earth in six aeons and wields supreme authority over it. (Everything in the universe functions strictly according to His laws in perfect harmony.) It is His law that one particular thing, in association with another, produces something new – if these things did not function together according to His laws, the desired result would not come out. Similarly, like-minded people associate with each other for the right cause and their efforts bring out constructive results. Such is Allah, your Rabb. So obey Him alone. Will you not reflect on this?
(4) All your actions will bring about results according to His Law of Mukafat – this is the certain truth. His law of creation is that He initiates a thing and, taking it through various stages of evolution, brings it to its destination. In like manner, the actions of human beings bring about the inevitable results – right actions produce constructive results and wrong actions destructive results – a painful chastisement, because of the persistent refusal to acknowledge the truth.
(5) He has designed the Sun as a shining glow and the Moon which (reflects light and) is bright, and has appointed stages for the moon so that you may reckon time and mark the number of years [Similarly, the Sun can also be used as a measure of time 6:97; 17:12; 55:5]. Allah has not created this otherwise than in accordance with truth (to fulfil a definite purpose according to His plans). He explains His laws clearly to a people of understanding.
(6) Surely, in the alternation of night and day and in all that Allah has created in the heavens and the earth, there are signs full of meaning for those who have insight.
(7-10) Human beings may be divided into three categories. The first are those who have no knowledge of the universality of the laws of Allah, and the second are those who acquire this knowledge and conquer the forces of nature but believe that life is only of this world and are content with this life. The ultimate destination of those who belong to these two categories is jahannam. The third category comprises people who believe in Allah and the life hereafter, conquer the forces of nature and utilize them for the benefit of mankind in accordance with eternal values prescribed by Allah. These people will lead the blissful life of janna wherein streams flow. Their lives will be a living testimony that Allah has not created the universe in vain or for destructive purposes (3:189-191). In their society each person will desire the welfare of all others. This is how they will proclaim the hamd of Allah – the nourisher of all humanity (1:1).
(11) Human beings make haste to grab what is to their advantage and if Allah were to make haste to seize them for their wrong-doings, no one would be spared. He has provided for respite in His Law of Mukafat. Thus He spares for a while those who do not believe in His Law of Mukafat and lets them eddy in their perfidy.
(12) When any affliction touches a person who has no trust in Allah’s laws, he cries out to Him lying on his side, sitting and standing, but when the affliction is removed, he passes on as if he had never invoked Allah’s help to save him from the misfortune that befell him. Such behaviour seems fair to the transgressors.
(13-14) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! How many people before you have perished since they perpetrated zulm! Allah’s rusul came to them with clear proof of the truth of their message but they did not believe (them). This is how wrong-doers are destroyed. Now, We have caused you to succeed them in the land to see how you will act.
(15) O Rasool! When Our verses are recited to these people, those who do not believe in the Law of Mukafat say, “Bring a Qur’an different from this or alter some of its provisions.” Say, “It is not for me to make any changes therein according to my wishes. I follow only that which is revealed to me. Indeed, I fear the chastisement of the day of reckoning if I go against my Rabb (11:113, 17:46, 74, 29:51, 68:9).”
(16) Say to them, “If this revelation had not been from Allah, I would have neither conveyed it to you, nor brought it to your knowledge. (And, in order to prove that I am not telling a lie and to show what kind of a person I am, I produce one more proof) I have dwelt amongst you all my life before this (revelation came to me). Can’t you understand this much?”
(17) Who could be more zalim than the one who concocts things on his own and then presents them as divine revelation; on the other hand equally zalim is the one who gives lies to His true revelation. (In fact both are equally guilty and the divine law is that) The wrong-doers would never prosper.
(18) These disbelievers have taken as objects of worship that which can neither help them nor harm them, and say, “These are our intercessors before God.” Say to them, “Do you think that Allah is unaware of what you desire to communicate through such objects as have no knowledge of anything in the heavens and the earth? Allah is far above those whom they set up as His peers.”
(19) O Rasool! The ultimate object of your mission is to eliminate the differences amongst human beings and make them one ummah (nation) as they were at the beginning of human history (2:213). They created differences and were split. Had We wanted We could have forced them to form one united ummah but this would have deprived them of the freedom of choice. We sent them Our guidance, by following which they could return to being a united ummah.
(20) They say, O Rasool, “Why does not Allah show us a miracle so that we may believe in what you say?” Tell them, “I am establishing a nizam (divine system) which will bring about blissful results (which are unseen at present) in due course. Those results will be the proof of the truth of what I say. So you should wait and so would I with you till then.”
(21) But they will not wait for so long. Man is so impatient that when any affliction touches him, he cries to Allah (10:12) but when the affliction is removed he devises various ways of going against Our laws and forgets that Allah’s Law of Mukafat is more swift than his devices; His messengers immediately take note of whatever Man does.
(22) If you want to see how impatient human beings are, see what happens when people travel on land and sea. When they board a ship and the winds are favourable, they rejoice, but whenever stormy winds overtake the ship and the waves sweep over it from all sides (at that time), they realize that they have been caught in it. Only then they cry to Allah from the depths of their heart, “If You rescue us from this, we shall surely be among the grateful ones!”
(23) But when they are rescued, they forget all their pledges and commit every kind of excess on the earth forgetting that these excesses will go against them. We will give them enjoyment of the world for a while but at the time of reckoning, the results of their wrong-doings will become clear to them.
(24) The parable of the life of the physical world is like the rain which comes from the clouds and by its mingling the earth produces food for human beings and cattle, and the earth is decorated with colourful raiment. Those who dwell on it, think that they have gained mastery over it, but suddenly there comes down upon it by Our law, by night or by day, a scorching wind which renders the crop into mere stubble as if no growth of crop had stood there till yesterday. By such examples We make Our laws clear to those who reflect.
(25-26) Allah provides guidance to mankind, which leads them to an abode where everything is safe and protected. Those who follow this way and do good, are recompensed equally or even more. They are never put to shame or disgrace. It is people such as these who shall be the inmates of janna where they will dwell.
(27) As for those who do wrong, their recompense will be equal to their deeds. There will be no one to protect them from Allah’s chastisement. They will be put to shame and disgrace and they will be enveloped by deep darkness like that of night. It is people such as these who shall be the inmates of jahannam wherein they shall dwell.
(28-29) The day that Allah will gather them together, He will say to those who had set up peers to Him, “You and all those whom you had set up as peers to Me remain where you are.” Thereafter they will be separated one from the other. Those whom they had set up as peers to Allah will say to those who had thus set them up, “It is wrong for you to say that we had asked you to worship us. Allah is sufficient as witness between us and you. In fact we were unaware of the worship you offered to us, much less asking you to offer it to us.”
(30) Thus everything that human beings have done will become manifest and they will be justly recompensed according to Allah’s Law of Mukafat and all the deities, which their imagination had raised up, shall disappear.
(31) O Rasool! Ask them, “Who nourishes you out of the bounties of the heaven and the earth? Who has bestowed upon you the faculties of hearing and sight? Who, in short, regulates the affairs of existence?” They will promptly say, “Allah.” Then say, “When you acknowledge that Allah’s laws control the physical world and life, why do you not adhere to His laws in the social life of humanity?”
(32) Such, then is your Allah (whose laws control the physical world and the life of human beings). His laws are based on truth. Reflect, then, what the result of discarding Allah’s laws would be except to go astray? So, judge for yourself which path you are following.
(33-34) (If these people do not have faith after such clear reasoning, then) The word of your Rabb is proved true that those who (leaving aside the straight path) transgress, in fact, do not believe in Allah’s laws. Ask them, O Rasool, “Is there anyone among those whom you set up as peers to Allah who can initiate the creation of a thing and then, passing it through various stages of evolution, bring it to its destination?” Say, “It is Allah and Allah alone who can do this. Why, then, do you turn away from Him?”
(35) Ask them, “Is there anyone amongst those whom you have set up as peers to Allah who can show the path of truth?” Say, “Allah alone can do this. Then, is not He, who guides to the right path, more worthy of being followed than one who cannot find guidance for himself and stands in need of it?” Ask them, “What is wrong with you that you take such a decision?”
(36) The fact is that most of them follow mere conjecture. But, surely, conjecture cannot be of avail against the truth.
(37) The Qur’an, on the other hand, is all truth. It cannot be a forgery. It validates the truths revealed in previous scriptures. It clearly elucidates its teachings. There is nothing doubtful in this book. It is a revelation from the Rabb of all mankind.
(38) Do they still say that the Qur’an is not from Allah but that the Rasool has fabricated it himself? Say to them, “If you think so, then bring forth even one surah like it associating with you whosoever you wish besides Allah to do so, if you are truthful (2:23; 11:13).”
(39-40) (In principle, the contents of the Qur’an may be understood by the following means:
- Through human knowledge reaching such a point of advancement that it can comprehend its contents;
- Through the results produced by a system based upon Qur’anic laws and values; and
- Through historical evidence showing what kind of results were produced by various systems in the past.)
These people do not resort to any of the above means but still go on discrediting the Qur’an. It is simply zulm. If they were to apply any of the above means, it is possible that at least some of them may come to believe. The rest will be those who are bent upon creating fasad.(1)
(41) If, despite everything, they still charge you with being an impostor, say to them, “Let me accomplish my programme without your interference and you can accomplish yours without mine. You are not accountable for what I am doing and I am not accountable for whatever you do.” (The results will show whose claim is based upon the truth.)
(42) There are some amongst them who seem to lend a ready ear to you but they are inattentive to what you say. You cannot make such deaf people hear. They do not want to understand (6:25).
(43) There are some amongst them who seem to look to you for guidance but their thoughts are elsewhere. You cannot make such blind people see when they do not want to reflect (7:198).
(44) Indeed, Allah does no zulm to anyone, it is people who do it to themselves.
(45) On the day of reckoning, when they are gathered together, it will seem to them that they had tarried in the world for but an hour of the day. They will recognize each other. Those who had discredited Allah’s Law of Mukafat will be greatly at a loss for not having followed the right path.
(46) O Rasool! You might wonder whether the end, of which your opponents are being warned, will come about in your lifetime or whether you will spend your whole life in these struggles. The end will come according to Our Law of Mukafat. Your responsibility is only to communicate the message with full confidence that they will be recompensed for their actions since it is Allah who keeps a watch over what they do (13:40, 23:95, 43:42).
(47) To every people We had sent Our rasool and when their rasool came to them, the issue between them was justly decided and they were not wronged.
(48) But they still persist in asking you about the time when what you warn them of will come to pass.
(49) O Rasool! Say to them, “It is not in my power to say when this will come to pass. I have no power to amass what is beneficial even to me or to avoid all that is harmful. All this is determined according to Allah’s Law of Mukafat. The same law determines the term of the life of nations. When that term has to expire, none can retard or advance it by (even) a moment (7:34).”
(50) O Rasool! Ask them to consider what they can do when Allah’s chastisement overtakes them suddenly by night or day. Why then are these guilty people so anxious to hasten the day?
(51-52) These people are waiting for that hour to arrive so that in case it arrives they may then believe. But believing at that time will be of no avail to them. Then, it will be said to these zalimeen, “Now you taste the abiding chastisement – what return could you expect other than what you had worked for?”
(53-54) They ask you again and again whether what you say will truly come to pass. Say, “Yes. My Rabb stands witness to it that it will and you will not escape it.” When that chastisement comes they will not be able to evade it even though they may offer all the earth’s treasures as ransom. At that time they will unsuccessfully try to suppress the full depth of their feeling of remorse. But judgment will be passed on them in all equity and they shall not be wronged.
(55-56) Remember, the supremacy of the entire universe belongs to Allah, so all His laws are inviolable. Yet, these people do not understand. (Terms and conditions of) Life and death of individuals and nations are determined according to His laws whereby everyone is recompensed for what he does.
(57) O humanity! The same law has now come to you from your Rabb. It is healing for the ailments of your hearts and guidance and rahma to those who believe in it.
(58) O Rasool! Tell them it is only through the rahma of your Rabb that you have received this. You should, therefore, rejoice over it. This is more precious to you than all the wealth that you may amass.
(59) Say to them, “Just reflect on what you are doing. Allah has given you means of nourishment and you, of your own accord, declare some of it to be lawful and some unlawful. Has Allah permitted you to make this distinction or, do you foist a lie upon Him?”
(60) Those who foist a lie upon Allah – what do they think about the day of reckoning? They are not seized immediately for their wrong-doings due to the law of respite, but they are not grateful for it.
(61) O Rasool! Allah’s law of Mukafat is such that, in whatever condition you may be and whatever you recite from the Qur’an, Allah watches over it. O people! However deeply engrossed you may be in any engagement, We keep Our watch over it. Remember, not even an atom in the earth or in the heavens escapes the notice of your Rabb and that there is nothing greater or smaller than it which is not recorded in the clear Book.
(62-64) Those people who adhere to the laws of Allah are His friends – they shall have no fear or grief. They are the ones who have believed in Allah and are muttaqeen. To them come glad tidings from their Rabb of a blissful life both in this world and in the hereafter – these are the promises of Allah which do not change. All these, in themselves, constitute a great achievement (3:138, 4:141, 16:89, 102, 24:55).
(65-66) O Rasool! The malicious words of your opponents should not grieve you. By such words they cannot subdue you since all power and authority belongs to Allah Who bestows power on those who adhere to His laws. He hears what they say and knows what their intentions are. Indeed, whatever is in the heavens or on the earth is engaged in fulfilling His plan. Just think: What do those who set up peers to Allah follow except their own conjectures? They only indulge in vain imagining.
(67) It is according to Allah’s plan that night has been made for rest and day to move about in light. Even in this there are signs for those who hearken.
(68-70) Amongst them are those who say that Allah has taken a son to Himself. No! He is much above such imagining. He is self-sufficient. Whatever is in the Universe, belongs to Him. Ask them, O Rasool, “Are you authorised by Allah to make such a statement? You attribute such things to Allah in sheer ignorance. Certainly, those who foist a lie on Allah cannot prosper. They may gain some immediate worldly advantages but, ultimately, they will get retribution for what they do when they suffer severe chastisement for their blasphemy.”
(71-72) (False beliefs lead to destructive results. To illustrate this O Rasool, relate to them the story of Noah.) Noah said to his people, “O my people! If my dwelling amongst you and my admonishing you in the light of divine guidance is displeasing to you I can only fall back upon my Allah. You may go on plotting against me in cooperation with your partners and make sure that your plots are without defect. Then take some definite decision against me and do not delay in carrying it out. If you desist from your opposition it will be to your benefit. I ask for no reward from you. My reward is with Allah alone. I am enjoined by Him to be amongst those who submit to His commandments.”
(73) But they still treated him as a liar. We rescued him and those who were with him in the ark and caused them to replace their opponents in authority. Their opponents, and those who had considered Our laws to be false, were drowned. See, what the end was of those who had been warned of the consequences of wrong-doing?
(74) Then after Noah, Allah raised other rusul amongst their people. They brought clear guidance from Allah but the people would not believe in it. They persisted in their initial reaction to the rusul which was to reject them. This is how the hearts of those who persist in error are sealed.
(75) After them We sent Moses and Aaron with clear instructions to the Pharaoh and his nobles but the latter behaved arrogantly towards them since they were given to wrong-doing.
(76-77) It was certainly the truth which was manifested before the Pharaoh and his nobles but they said that it was definitely a fabrication. Moses said, “Is this what you think of the truth which has come to you? You should know that those who fabricate lies cannot prosper.”
(78-79) They said, “Have you come to us to turn us away from the way of life of our forefathers, and to rule in this land? Rest assured that we will not believe in you.” The Pharaoh said, “Call together all the religious leaders and priests in my dominion (7:111-124).”
(80-82) When they arrived and the stage was set for their confrontation, Moses said to them, “Bring forth your arguments.” When they did so Moses said, “This is all a fabrication which the truth of Allah will bring to naught for Allah does not let the work of mufsideen (who promote disorder) prosper. You will see how Allah establishes the truth through His laws though this may not be liked by the wrong-doers (8:7-8).”
(83) Notwithstanding all this, no one, except the youth from amongst his own people, believed in Moses due to fear of persecution at the hands of the Pharaoh and his nobles. You can gather from this how powerful and oppressive the Pharaoh was (from amongst the people of the Pharaoh some priests had also declared belief in Our message through Moses – 7:121).
(84) Moses said to his people, “When you have believed in Allah, place all your trust in Him and do not fear the might of the Pharaoh. This will show that you are true Muslims.”
(85-86) They said, “In Allah do we place our trust. Our Rabb! Do not deliver us to the tyrants that they wreak their lust for vengeance upon us, and protect us from the persecution of the kafireen.”
(87) Allah said to Moses and his brother, “You have to stay in Egypt for a while. You should start the programme for training your people to establish the Nizam-us-Sala (the Quranic system). For this purpose, you should select some houses of those from amongst your people. Cheer them with glad tidings of the blissful life which they would have.”
(88) Moses said, “This we will certainly do. But there is a doubt in my people’s mind which needs to be removed. They say that the Pharaoh and his nobles perpetrate all kinds of tyranny and evil and cause people to go astray on the strength of their abundant means. They wonder why Allah does not deprive them of these means, and their faculty to contrive them. They say that the Pharaoh and his people will not come to the right path until they are chastised like this.” Moses added, “We too endorse what our people say.”
(89) Allah replied, “We find your prayer acceptable, but it can only be fulfilled through your own efforts. Be steadfast in your struggle and do not follow the path of those who are lacking in knowledge (20:36, 20:42).”
(90) Then, We caused the Bani-Israel to cross the sea. The Pharaoh and his hosts pursued them in order to seize and punish them. When the Pharaoh was on the point of drowning, he cried out, “I believe that there is no God but He – the God in whom the Bani-Israel believe, and I declare myself to be one of those who submit to Him.”
(91) Allah said to him through Moses, “Throughout your life you have been perpetrating fasad and oppressing poor people. Now that death confronts you, you are offering repentance.” (Such repentance is meaningless because repentance is for the sake of making amends for the wrongs done and is futile at the time of death since there is no time left for making amends – 4:17-18.)
(92) Allah added, “You will be drowned but your corpse will be saved to serve as a warning to those who come after you. Many people are unheeding of Allah’s warnings.”
(93) Thereafter, Allah let the Bani-Israel settle in a favourable place and gave them wholesome provisions. But, instead of remaining one united ummah, they created differences amongst themselves after the revelation was sent to them. On the day of reckoning, Allah will surely decide between them in respect of what they differed in.
(94-95) O people! If you have any doubt about what We have revealed regarding the end of earlier nations, ask the Ahl-ul-Kitab whether the stories We have narrated are true or not. Whatever has been narrated in the Qur’an is all true. So you should not be amongst those who have any doubt about this, nor should you be amongst those who treat the revelation as false. If you do this you will suffer loss.
(96-97) If these people do not believe in the truth when so many arguments have been offered in its support, they are not likely to believe even if they are supplemented by other arguments of a similar nature. They are simply waiting for the chastisement to come (10:74, 88,100).
(98) It is evident from history that people generally do not believe until some affliction overtakes them, and as already stated (10:91), believing at that time is of no avail. An exception is, however, the people of Jonah. Jonah left them, thinking that they were doomed. They however, professed belief before chastisement overtook them. They were thus saved from the disgrace which they would have received in this world and were provided the means for a comfortable living for a while (21:87, 37:147, 68:48).
(99-100) If human beings had not been endowed with freedom of choice all those who dwell on earth would have been made to believe. But this was not to be Allah’s way. Would you then, O Rasool, compel them to believe? Keep in mind that no one can have eiman except through the way prescribed by Allah, namely, through use of reason and reflection. The truth remains obscure to those who do not follow reason.
(101) The matter would become relatively clear to them even if they reflected only on the working of the laws of Allah in the universe (41:53). But no revelation or warning can however, be of any avail to those who disdain to reflect (2:6-7).
(102-103) What can be said about people who behave in such a way except that they are simply waiting for history to repeat itself and to suffer the same consequences of their wrong-doings as were meted out to earlier nations? Say to them, O Rasool, “You may continue to wait for the inevitable and I too will wait with you. I can only say that when chastisement came, Allah’s rusul and those who believed in them were saved. This, I am sure, will also happen now because Allah has taken upon Himself the responsibility of saving those who believe.”
(104-107) O Rasool! Say to these people, “If you are still in doubt about my deen, be it known to you that I am not going to obey those authorities whom you obey besides Allah. I shall obey that Allah who controls life and death and I am commanded by Him to be of those who believe in Him and to turn steadfastly towards the deen which is thoroughly straightforward and never to be of the mushrikeen. I also ask you never to obey anyone besides Allah for none except Him can either help or hurt you. If you obey anyone besides Allah, you will be reckoned amongst the zalimeen. Mind it! If any harm comes to you according to Allah’s Law of Mukafat, none can deliver you from it except Allah; likewise, if any good comes to you, none can revoke it. Everything happens in accordance with Allah’s laws. He is the protector and Raheem.”
(108) Say (O Rasool), “O mankind! The truth from your Rabb has certainly come to you. One who comes to be guided by it will be guided to his own advantage. But one who chooses to go astray will only harm his own self. I am in no way responsible to protect you from the consequences of your wrong-doings.”
(109) Proclaim this to mankind and then follow that which is revealed to you and wait steadfastly till the issue between you and your opponents is settled by Allah. He is the best of all the judges.
(1) According to the Law of Requital (or the Law of Returns), the time gap between an action and the manifestation of its result is a period of respite termed as Ajal by the Qur’an. See details in Glossary.
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