Exposition of the Holy Quran – 15 Surah Al-Hijr (G A Parwez)

Surah 15: Al-Hijr
(Al-Hijr Valley)

(1) Says Allah, the Aleem and the Raheem that these are the verses of the book, the Qur’an which is clear in itself.
(2) That time is now approaching when those who opposed the Rasool will wish that they had accepted Islam.
(3) O Rasool! Leave them to themselves, to feast and enjoy and to beguile themselves, with vain hope. The time is not far off when they will realise how futile their hopes were (102:1).
(4-5) We have never destroyed any people except in accordance with the Law of Mukafat of which they were made aware beforehand. People are warned, given respite for a while, but when that term expires, none can hasten or forestall the inevitable (7:34, 13:38).
(6-7) They say O Rasool, “O You, to whom the message of warning has been revealed, are undoubtedly a mad man. If you really speak the truth why do you not bring angels with you?”
(8) They do not know that Allah does not send down angels except when the time comes for the manifestation of results of the actions of the wrong-doers and then no respite is given.
(9) There is no doubt that it is We, Ourselves, who have bestowed this Qur’an step by step and it is We who shall see that it always remains preserved.
(10-11) You are not the first rasool. Before you also We had sent rusul. They will not believe in the revelation; such was the habit of those unbelievers who went before them.
(12-13) The minds of the guilty, O Rasool, are working on the same lines. They will not believe in the revelation: such was the habit of those unbelievers who went before them.
(14-15) They ask that, if you speak the truth, why do you not bring angels with you (15:7)? The fact is even if We were to open a gate into heaven above them and they were to mount up to it, they will still not believe, and say, “Our sight is dazzled; nay, We have been mesmerised.”
(16) (As for their claim that some of the things mentioned in the Qur’an can also be told by sorcerers with the help of astrology, let them know that the position of stars is) that We have set them like great constellations up in the heavens – when they shine, they look beautiful to the beholders.
(17) And We have kept it safe from all destructive forces (that is why the entire system in the universe is running so smoothly with order and discipline: this is the position of the stars about which they say that their movements influence human destiny).
(18) (Further the position of such soothsayers is nothing more than) mere guesswork of theirs. (Such guesswork could perhaps have passed, when there was no light of knowledge – but after the divine revelation of the Qur’an this period is over.) Now after every soothsayer, or sorcery there are visible and illuminating verses of the Qur’an, which straightaway unveil the reality.
(19-20) The earth is also one of the planets which has been spread out and revolves nevertheless (31:10). Mountains are fixed therein and everything is caused to grow from it in a well-balanced manner and it provides sustenance for you and for those who do not depend on you for sustenance.
(21-22) Means of sustenance are abundantly stored in the earth but may be taken out only in due measure. For instance, We send moisture-laden winds and rain pours down from them. This provides water for you to drink. It was not possible for you to have stored all that in the earth (56:63- 74).
(23) And it is We alone Who give life and cause death and We alone are the owner of what exists in the universe.
(24) Means of sustenance have been provided for all creatures. But amongst you there are some who capture more than your requirements, pushing others behind.
(25) When Our Nizam-e-Rabubiyya is established, the gap between the classes will be eliminated and all will be gathered together. Allah is both wise and knowing.
(26-27) This truth has been narrated before through the story of Adam (2:30). Creation of man was initiated with a life-cell produced by the combination of water and clay moulded out of bleak loam. Before the earth was inhabited by human beings, there existed another creation called jinn (since extinct) which had the capacity to endure intense heat as it was created out of steam fire.
(28-35) Homo-sapiens are the successors to that creation. Having passed through various evolutionary stages, life manifested itself in the form of human beings(1), who were endowed with freedom of will (2:30). At that stage the malaika were asked to bow before man. They did so but Iblees did not and chose to be defiant. Iblees was asked why he did not bow. He said, “I am superior to him. You have created me from fire and him from mere clay.” Allah said, “This cannot be a valid proof of your superiority. You should not have been arrogant. By being so you have degraded yourself and deprived yourself of My blessings for ever.”
(36-38) Iblees said, “Grant me respite as

long as there are human beings on earth.” Allah said, “Your request is granted until the known time (that period when man would completely overpower evil – and that day will not be secret but become known to all).”
(39-40) Iblees said, “You have led me astray (7:23), You did this on account of Adam. I will make attractive to him things of physical life so that he is led astray from Your path. Only Your sincere devotees will not be beguiled by me.”
(41-44) Allah said, “The path followed by these will be the right one. You shall have power over none of My servants. You shall have power only over those who, having been beguiled, shall follow you. Jahannam shall be the promised abode for all of them. It will have seven gates each allotted to a section of them to enter through (the straight path is only one, whereas the wrong ones could be many).”
(45-48) On the other hand, the muttaqeen will dwell in gardens with fountains. They shall be greeted with, “Enter in peace and security.” We shall remove from their bosoms every rancour lurking therein. They will sit together on couches face to face as brothers to each other. No weariness shall come upon them and they shall never be ousted therefrom (7:43).
(49-51) O Rasool! Announce this glad tiding to My devotees that I am Ghafoor (forgiver) and I am Raheem, and for those who defy My laws there is severe chastisement – such as overtook the people of Lot(2), the story of which begins with the guests of Abraham (11:69).
(52) When the guests came to Abraham they greeted him, but he said to them that he was apprehensive of them.
(53) They said, “You should not be apprehensive. We have brought you glad

tidings of a son gifted with deep insight.”
(54) Abraham said, “Do you give me glad tidings of a son despite the fact that old age has overcome me – then what sort of tiding is this?”
(55) They said, “The tidings are bound to come true, so you should not be amongst the despairing ones.”
(56-57) He said, “Only those who have gone astray, get into a state of despair; how can I despair of Allah’s rahma? What I said was a normal human reaction to what you said, and not a denial of Allah’s rahma (2:260). Now, tell me what mission you have been sent on.”
(58-62) They said, “We have been sent to a people condemned for their wrong-doings. The people of Lot who believe in Allah shall be rescued. As for Lot’s wife, she will stay back and share the fate of the unbelievers.” When those messengers came to Lot, he said, “You are a people unknown here.”
(63-65) They said, “Yes, but we have brought for you the news of that catastrophe about which your opponents were doubtful. That will certainly happen and We speak the truth. Depart from here permanently in the dead of night. Send your people ahead and follow in the rear (11:81) and do not look back but just pass on and proceed to the place where you have been commanded.”
(66) They communicated this message to Lot and told him that by the morning the roots of the people who were left behind would be cut.
(67) Having heard of the arrival of the newcomers, Lot’s people came rejoicing towards him.
(68-69) Lot said to them, “These are my guests. You should not disgrace me. You should adhere to Allah’s laws and should not put me to shame.”
(70) They said to Lot, “Did we not warn you not to entertain anyone from outside?”
(71) He said, “O my people! Here are my daughters i.e., your wives. You should turn to them.”
(72-74) The messengers said to Lot, “By your life! What is the use of arguing with them? Don’t you see that they are overpowered by their lust and behave wildly?” In short, chastisement overtook them by break of day. Their dwellings were turned upside down and stones of baked clay rained on them.
(75) In this story there is material for reflection for those who are able to probe deep into reality.
(76) The ruined city of the people of Lot was situated on a frequented highway.
(77) Surely, in this lies a sign for those who believe.
(78) Similarly, the people living in the woods (Midian) were zalimeen (usurpers).
(79) We recompensed them for their wicked doings. Both these ruined cities may still be seen on the highway.
(80-82) The people of Thamud rejected their rusul in the same manner. We had given them clear directives but they turned away from them. They were a powerful nation and hewed out their homes in the mountains for their security.
(83-84) But they could not protect themselves from Allah’s chastisement which overtook them early in the morning. All that they had created was of no avail to them.
(85) It is obvious from the history of past nations that the universe has been created for a constructive purpose and every action which leads to destruction goes waste. O Rasool! The time of judgement of your opponents is sure to come. You have fulfilled your responsibility to communicate Allah’s directives to them. Part with them in the most befitting manner (73:10).
(86) This is being said by that Rabb of yours Who has created everything with knowledge.
(87) We have given to you directives in the magnificent Qur’an, and annals of history which repeats itself, in support thereof (39:23).
(88-89) Do not look wishfully at the various means of subsistence which We have given to your opponents, and do not grieve on their account. You proceed with your programme and keep the Jamat-ul-Momineen under your protection and train them. Continue telling your opponents that you have clearly warned them of the consequences of their wrong-doings.
(90-91) These are the people who used to swear that they were on your side while, in fact, they opposed you vehemently (5:53, 9:107, 14:44, 16:38, 68:10). They also divided the Quran arbitrarily into parts and belittled it, propagating that it was nothing but mere fabrication, sorcery or soothsaying.
(92-93) Your Rabb bears witness to it that they will all be called to account for what they were doing.
(94) So, O Rasool, Proclaim openly and part with them as ordered and keep aloof from the mushrikeen (polytheists).
(95-96) We will suffice you against those who scoff at you and set up peers to Allah. They will see the results of their doings before long.
(97-99) We know that your heart is distressed by what they say (6:33). You should, on your part, however, continue your efforts to make Allah’s programme worthy of hamd and along with your fellow beings obey the laws of your Rabb steadfastly so that the result of your efforts manifests itself completely.


  1. For the creation of man, reference may be had 4:1, 6:2, 6:98, 7:189, 22:5, 23:12-14, 32:7-9, 36:77, 37:11, 38:71, 40:67, 55:14 and 96:2.
  2. This story has been narrated in 7:80-84 and 11:69-82.


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