Exposition of the Holy Quran – 25 Surah Al-Furqaan (G A Parwez)
Surah 25: Al-Furqaan
(The Criteria of Right and Wrong)
(1) How great a bestower of bounties and immense blessing He is! He Who has revealed this book to His servant. It is the book which lays down permanent values and the criteria that enables you to distinguish right from wrong and truth from falsehood. This book has been revealed to caution humanity against the pitfalls and hurdles along the path of life and details ways to avoid them.
(2) This book has been revealed by the One in Whose domain everything lies. His law is in force everywhere in the universe. He needs neither any offspring for help, nor can anyone become a partner in His authority. He has created everything in a particular proportion and has determined the measures for its capabilities and potentialities. (These measures are called the taqdeer of these things, and taqdeer is the ultimate stage of everything.)
(3) (Such is the eminence of Allah; but behold the ignorance of these people!) They take deities, which themselves are created, and which have no power to create anything, as their gods. They are so helpless that, let alone rendering help to others, they have no power to avert harm or bring any benefit to themselves (against the divine law). They also do not have any control over life or death or resurrection. (Whether it is individuals or nations, life for everyone is established and proceeds in accordance with divine laws, in this world as well as in the hereafter.)
(4) People who deny the truth of the Qur’an say that (the claim of wahi is just a fake story and) the Rasool himself fabricates the Qur’an and then attributes it to Allah. (In fact they say that this is not done by him alone.) There is some other party which helps him (and they all work together to create it). Just imagine what great deception and falsehood they have put forward!
(5) They say, “What is this Qur’an, except fables of ancient times (which people come and narrate to him and) which he writes down. (All this is done in secrecy and then) The same are dictated to the scribes in the morning and evening. (This is what he calls wahi.)
(6) Tell them that the Qur’an has been revealed by the One Who knows the secrets and mysteries of the universe. (If the Qur’an was the creation of human beings, how could they know the secrets and unveiled mysteries of the universe? It is the result of His limitless knowledge that He has made arrangements by which) Things in the universe remain safe from destructive elements and continue to receive suitable means of development (25:59).
(7) (After levelling charges against the Qur’an they raise objections against the Rasool and say), “What kind of a Rasool is he, who eats, drinks and moves around in the streets (like other human beings)?” (They think a Rasool should be a supernatural being and that) An angel should have been sent down with him to warn people that if they did not listen to him they would be destroyed.
(8) Or he should have had a treasure with him or (at least) a large garden from which he could get things to eat. These wicked people do not stop there. They instigate others, telling them that they are following a bewitched man who is a mental case.
(9) O Rasool! Just keep on listening to the similitude they coin for you (as this do not cause you any harm). They themselves have gone astray and are now unable to find the way back to their destination.
(10) (Who should tell them that) How great a bestower of bounties and blessings He is. (That if the Nizam-e-Rabubiyya which you are trying to establish comes in force), He will bestow on you things which are far better than what they aspire. Let alone one, He will bless you with numerous gardens which will remain lush and green forever; as well as with (luxurious and blissful) palaces.
(11) And they say the impending revolution is just an empty threat. (They do not know that) We have prepared a blazing punishment for people who belie it (and it will reduce everything they possess to ashes).
(12) The devastation caused by the coming revolution will be very severe. It will start roaring at the very sight of these people from afar and they will also hear its angry roar and raging hiss (from which they will realize the intensity of this encounter).
(13) (And later) When after defeat in the war they become prisoners and are cast away into narrow and dingy cells, bound together, they will (realize that death is far better than this life and) cry out for it to end.
(14) They will be told, “Do not pray today for just one end. It is better to pray for a multitude of ends.”
(15) (After narrating all this) Ask them if this life of agony and utter disgrace is better than the one with everlasting bounties that has been promised to those who are conscious of His laws. A happy and blissful society is what they can achieve as a result of their own righteous deeds. Therein, they will get every kind of nourishment for the development of their self, which is the ultimate objective and end result of human efforts. (This will happen in this world as well as in the world hereafter.)
(16) There, everything will happen according to their wishes. This is the outcome of righteous human deeds which everyone should desire; and this is a promise from your Rabb, which will certainly be fulfilled.
(17) When, on the Day of Judgment, He gathers them along with those to whom they had ascribed a share with Allah, they will be questioned, “Did you lure away these creatures of Mine or did they stray from the right path on their own?”
(18) They will say, “You are a being far above (the assumption is that nothing can escape your knowledge). (But since we have been asked, we submit, just for the sake of argument, that) It was inconceivable for us to take any other master except You (let alone the proposition of becoming the masters of these people). What actually happened was that they, along with their forefathers, acquired so much wealth and comfort in life that (having become intoxicated with luxuries) they forgot all about Your law. In this way they brought about their own destruction.”
(19) (Upon this) We will tell their followers, “Have you heard their version? You said that you were misled by these big people whom you obeyed, but they have repudiated all your assertions right in front of you. (Now you have to taste the punishment.) You can neither avert the penalty nor get any succour whatsoever. Whoever amongst you rebelled against Our laws will have to taste the grievous chastisement. This is the decree of Our Law of Mukafat.
(20) (As regards their objection, O Rasool, that you eat and drink like ordinary people and also move around in the streets) All rusul We sent before you also ate and drank and moved about in the streets like you.
(They are not raising such objections in order to clear any doubts; they are doing so just because of their stubbornness and opposition. They will never listen to reason and will continue to oppose you till the time this opposition brings you to a clash.) At that time each other’s strength will be put to test. You should therefore be steadfast in your programme for your Rabb is overseeing everything (as to what they are up to and what your people are doing).
(Moreover, if the rusul had been a separate form of creation, distinct from human beings, the very purpose for which choice and discretion had been given to man would have been defeated. In that case, people would have professed eiman out of fear induced by the astonishing nature of the creation of rusul. The opportunity to exercise choice and discretion arises only when man understands something by employing his intellect and reasoning, free from any kind of supernatural influence. Thus when he finds something based on truth and righteousness he will accept it willingly. The fact that the rusul were ordinary people provides a test for human choice and discretion.)
(21) The people who believe that they will never be faced with Our Law of Mukafat, do not take deen seriously. They say, “If malaika are sent down to this Rasool, then why are they not being sent to us? And why can’t we see our Rabb with our own eyes?” These people talk like this because they think very highly of themselves; and that is why they are so rebellious and arrogant.
(22) (They do not realize that) The day, when the guilty start seeing the malaika, will not bring any good tidings for them. In fact, they will cry out and exclaim, “Can there not be a forbidding barrier between us and the malaika (so that they cannot reach us)?”
(23) Before Us, on the one side will be their outcry and on the other their own deeds which will be (so weightless that they can be) scattered away in the atmosphere like motes. (No useful result will emerge from them, and this will always be the outcome of such destructive deeds.)
(24) During that period, those living the life of janna will be graced with the best of abodes and the fairest of places. Even the places for their short stay will be elegant.
(25) It is during this period that God’s physical laws, supported by enormous means of nourishment, will be discovered. The heavenly forces will continuously descend to enforce God’s programme.
(26) During that period, total sovereignty will belong to Ar-Rahman Who, after developing everything in the universe, is taking it to its destiny. (Just as His law is in force in the outer universe, it will also be enforced in the human world.)
And for those who reject the divine law to go their own way, it will be a day of distress (as their aggressive designs and selfish activities will at that time come to an end).
(27) On that day the zalim will gnaw at his hands in despair and rage, exclaiming in sheer helplessness, “Oh! How I wish I had chosen the path that was suggested by the Rasool who stabilized the system. Then I could have joined the caravan and reached the destination.
(28) “Alas! And how I wish I had not taken such a one for a friend!
(29) “It is he who led me astray, although the straight path had become so visibly clear to me.” The fact is that Satan (like all those who maintain their relationships for selfish ends) goes along with you like a very sincere friend, but when misfortune comes he deserts his companion, leaving him like a lamb separated from the herd.
(30) And the Rasool will say, “O my Rabb! This is the very nation (ummah) of mine which had bound the Qur’an in the shackles of self conceived ideas, whereby it could not move even a few steps freely.” (Instead of being guided by the Qur’an, they made it subservient to their own beliefs and customs.)
(31) (However, this was not the case with any particular nabi.) Whenever and wherever a nabi conveyed the divine message, those committing crimes against humanity always opposed him. (Therefore, O Rasool! You should not be disheartened about it.) Your Rabb alone is enough to keep you on the right path, leading to success and helping you at every difficult juncture.
(32) One of the objections of those who oppose this code of life is to question why the entire Qur’an was not revealed to the Rasool at one time (so that once and for all we would have known what to accept)?
O Rasool! This Qur’an is being revealed gradually (in planned stages) so that it can be enforced and implemented as it is being revealed to you; and its positive and pleasant results become a source of strength for you. All its teachings are closely knit and its contents progress in stages in an organized manner. Such a programme should come in a continuous sequence (73:4).
(33) (Rest assured that) The true reply to whatever objection they raise will come before you with clarity; and it will be explicit and comprehensive (so that there will be no need to say anything more).
(34) (But it will only benefit people who utilize their intellect and wisdom.) Those who firmly deny the truth due to obstinacy and prejudice will be driven to jahannam, with their faces turned. Such people have gone too far astray from the right path. And the path they have adopted shall take them to the worst place.
(35) (The struggle between right and wrong is not a new phenomenon; and it has existed since times immemorial. For instance) We had given Moses a code of life (and since his mission was very tough) We made his brother Aaron accompany him, so that they could share the burden.
(36) And We directed the brothers to go to the nation which had (openly and with utter defiance) belied Our laws. (Accordingly, they went to them and a serious struggle ensued. The result was that) We completely destroyed their opponents, and We did so in the same way as We are used to destroying similar criminal nations.
(37) And likewise (before them) is the episode of Noah’s nation. They too belied the messengers We had sent to them. There also (after a similar struggle), We drowned them and made them a portent (of the functioning of Our Law of Mukafat for all mankind), so that people would remember that those who commit zulm on others will themselves ultimately receive grievous chastisement.
(38) Also remember the punishment inflicted on the tribes of Aad and Thamud and the people of Ar-Rass, as well as on the many other generations in between.
(39) We warned them by historical examples (about the outcome of those who disobey Our laws), but they did not take heed and were determined to go their wrong ways. As a result and according to Our Law of Mukafat, they were completely ruined.
(40) (The stories regarding the destruction of various nations were somewhat remotely connected with these Arabs who are being addressed, but) They frequently pass by the ruins of Lot’s people, who were completely destroyed when volcanic stones rained upon them. Do they not see with their own eyes what happened to that nation? (They do see, but because they do not believe in the Law of Mukafat and the continuity of life after death, they console themselves by saying that it was just a rare catastrophe, and that it could not happen to them.)
(41) That is why when these folk see you, they treat you as a jester and (in a mocking and vilifying manner) say, “Oh! So this is the person whom Allah has sent as a Rasool ?
(42) “Had we not remained steadfast, he would certainly have led us astray from our deities.” But in due time they will know who it was that went astray and left the right path.
(43) (The fact is that they only obey their own desires and emotions. As such) Who can bring a person who is a slave and admirer of his own desires to the right path? “O Rasool! Is it possible for you to guard this person in a way that he does not fall into jahannam? You certainly cannot take responsibility for him.”
(44) Do you expect such people to listen to reason and logic, and then utilize their own intellect and powers of reasoning? (No, certainly not! Anyone who follows his emotions can never think dispassionately.) Truly these people (have not reached the human level of life and) are just living like cattle. In fact it is worse than that! (At least animals follow their instincts and never go astray from their path; but a human being who follows his passions continuously keeps changing his course – 7:179, 67:10.)
(45) (Leaving animals aside, even inanimate objects follow just one and the same path.) Have you not observed how the divine law of the universe causes a shadow to lengthen (in the afternoon). If We had so desired We could have made the law whereby the shadow would stay the same. (But We have co-related the sun and the earth in such a way that) The shadow of each object continues to increase and decrease in relation to its position with respect to the sun. (Thus the sun becomes its point of reference, and accordingly we can approximate the shadow after considering the position of the sun.)
(46) Then as the sun passes the meridian the shadows start to increase. Thereafter We gradually draw them towards Us (and with the setting of the sun the shadows disappear).
(47) (Similarly the rotation of day and night also occurs according to the divine law.) He made the night like a cover-sheet for you (whereby you cover yourself in its darkness); and made your sleep a repose (at which time your consciousness is temporarily suspended and your nervous system is at peace and rest. Thereafter another day appears; you get up and become busy in your work.)
(48) (The system of growing produce on land is also based on this divine law.) He sends forth the winds heralding the glad tidings of rainfall, which produces means of nourishment for every living being. From the clouds He pours down water which is free of impurities, and which in turn removes other impurities.
(49) (The objective of rain is not only for people to wash themselves with.) With the rain We give new life to dead land (greenery comes out of barren lands); and it is used for drinking by many of Our creations, including cattle and human beings.
(50) This is Our law (for the universe) which We have repeatedly presented in different ways, so that people may understand (the fact that when everything in the universe obeys His laws and produces constructive results, then if human beings also do so, they too would achieve similar results). However, in spite of this, most people think nothing of divine laws and are rebellious.
(51) (Therein lies the reply to their objection about why a separate rasool was not sent to every tribe.) If We had willed We could have continued to send a different rasool to every nation. (However, according to Our planned programme, the time has now come when the risala (prophethood) will not be confined to a nation, but will be universal; just like the laws of nature and the universally spread sources of nourishment. Accordingly) We made the Qur’an a complete code of life for the whole of humanity (25:1).
(52) Therefore, O Rasool! You should not take any notice of those who deny the truth (and claim that there should be a different rasool for each tribe). You should not accept their point of view. On the contrary, strongly strive against their opposition, for only serious efforts will ultimately overpower them.
(53) (Do not worry about why all people do not become one ummah by accepting this deen. In fact people of different beliefs, those who accept the truth and those who deny it, do live together in this world.) This is similar to how in some places, waters with different tastes flow alongside each other (according to the physical laws of God); one sweet and the other bitter and saline (35:12). In spite of this closeness, there exists a barrier (invisible) and a forbidding ban which does not allow them to mix. (Similarly, people living together may physically look alike, but they could greatly differ in their behaviour and attitude. Even their social intermingling cannot eliminate these differences.)
(54) (Now consider the question of the rusul being from the same tribe or nation. This also is meaningless.) It is He who created man from a drop of water, according to His law of creation. (Therefore by virtue of birth there is no difference between one human being and another. Besides according to social needs) Every person has different relationships by blood or by marriage. (How can such relationships affect the concept of the equality in mankind? Superiority on the basis of family or tribal background is thus irrelevant – 49:13. Allah’s universal Rabubiyya should be freely available according to the standards set by Him, not as set by human beings.)
(55) On the contrary, these people leave God’s universal code of guidance, and worship their tribal deities, and obey their chieftains who can neither benefit nor hurt them.
(But the most interesting thing is that they lay considerable emphasis on tribal prejudices and even clash on minor issues. However) When the question of opposing Allah arises, all these tribes help each other.
(56) (In any event if this is what they want, let these people be victims of tribal prejudices. Your duty is to) Give them the glad tidings of the very beneficial and pleasant results of following the divine law, and warn them about the destructive outcome of defying it.
(57) Also tell them, “I have a personal need to guide you to the right course; and I do not want any compensation. My only desire is that whosoever amongst you so wishes can choose the path leading to God. This is the very reward of my risala (prophethood) (34:47, 42:13).”
(58) Thereafter, you should have complete trust in (the unalterable results of the unchangeable laws of) Allah who is ever-living. (With this firm conviction keep yourself busy establishing this system, so that after seeing the results with their own eyes, everyone will invariably say, “Allah, whose system produces such tremendous results, does certainly deserve all hamd – 1:1.”)
And from now on do not even worry about the slander and accusations against you. Allah knows what His subjects are doing, and what accusations are being framed against them. (Allah will protect you from the detrimental effects of their accusations – 48:2.)
(59) In six aeons Allah created the heavens and the earth and all that is in between them. (Thereafter, the earth became suitable for life to evolve on it and) Then He kept the control of the whole universe in His own hands, so that everything in it would continue to develop fully.
(What do they know about these facts?) O you people! If you are really interested to know about the Nizam-e-Rabubiyya of Ar-Rahman, then go and ask someone who (in the light of Allah’s wahi) utilizes his wisdom and is knowledgeable (about the innermost secrets of the universe – 3:188-90, 35:28). Furthermore, go and ask Ar-Rahman for all your needs. He knows what everything requires for its nourishment and development (55:29). (All your requirements will be fulfilled by the divine system.)
(60) (Such is the plight of the ignorant that) When they are asked to respect the laws of Ar-Rahman, they reply, “Who is that Ar-Rahman (we do not know him)? Do you want us to bow before someone who we do not know, just because you want us to do so? Why should we obey you?” This increases their hatred.
(61) (Now who should tell them that) The God who, in order to provide you natural light, has in some parts of the sky placed constellations of heavenly bodies which look like chandeliers of shining stars; and at another place has put a candle in the shape of the sun; and the light-reflecting moon at yet another, is the same God who has provided wahi for the guidance of human intellect and wisdom.
(62) And that God has made arrangements in the outer universe that night and day succeed each other, and that light continues to follow darkness. (Similarly, in the human world, He has made arrangements that no nation would remain in darkness forever and that the light of wahi would reach everyone.) Whoever wants to follow the right path in the light of wahi should be able to do so and thus receive full reward for his efforts and deeds.
(63) When those who accede to obeying Ar-Rahman are empowered on this earth, their state does not become a symbol of oppression and exploitation. They even walk gently and live in harmony and peace. And they also provide peace and tranquility to other people (3:138, 31:17-18, 22:41). They do so to the extent that even when they come across people who personify the characteristics of jahlia (pre-Islamic era) such as ignorance, bigotry, enmity, fierceness, wickedness and excitability, in return they show them true Islamic qualities (of peace, open heartedness, tolerance and generosity).
(64) These are the people who after a long day at work and in the late hours of the night, ponder in solitude about where they should bow in submission and when to partake in the establishment of the divine order (3:19, 73:24-26).
(65) Their only wish in this entire struggle is that they should be safe from the chastisement which, in an unjust system, follows every human being who has gone astray.
(66) As an abode and station, whether someone stays there for a short while or permanently, it is a wretched place; (for a short while in this world and forever in the world hereafter).
(67) These are people who keep any part of their wealth which is in excess of their needs, open for the development of human beings (2:129). Moreover, their spending is disciplined, in that their wealth is neither spent unnecessarily nor withheld from the needy. They follow a path of moderation which is far from exaggeration or deficiency.
(68) These are the people who do not accept any authority other than that of the divine law, and they do not obey anyone else. They never destroy human life which Allah has declared sacred, except when they have to do so to uphold justice and truth. Furthermore, they do not commit zina (fornication); and the functional capabilities of a community which fails to protect chastity become retarded. Such nations are left behind in their struggle for progress (the same applies to individuals).
(69) Such is their plight in this world; but in the world hereafter their suffering shall increase further and they shall live a life of extreme ignominy.
(70) On the other hand, for the community or person who abandons this lifestyle (and takes to protecting chastity) and works to develop his capabilities, Allah’s Law of Mukafat brings positive changes to follow the turmoil of his erstwhile deeds. The divine law has provisions to give protection to such people from the deficiencies created by erroneous deeds. Furthermore, it provides means for their development.
(71) Therefore, every step of whosoever abandons the wrong path and works constructively brings them nearer the divine law (and brings excellent results in accordance with the divine law).
(72) These people never go to gatherings where deceitful or crafty matters are being discussed (and they do not stand witness to what is false). If they happen to come upon places where frivolous matters are being discussed, they quietly pass by in a dignified manner without getting involved (28:55).
(73) These people are not swayed by emotions and they take every step after a lot of deliberation (34:76), so much so that even when the divine laws are presented to them, they do not submit to these by ignoring their intellect, wisdom, rationale and reason. Also, they do not respond to them as if they were deaf and blind. They adopt the divine laws only after careful consideration.
(74) They always pray to their Rabb that their domestic life should be full of happiness and joy; and that their spouses, offspring and companions should be a source of solace to them. They pray that their position in society should be such that they can play a key role and be taken as leaders amongst those who want to lead a life free from the negative effects of going astray.
(75) These people are earnestly and resolutely busy establishing the divine order and upholding its stability. Accordingly, in their life they speedily and gracefully progress to still higher levels; they reach levels at which all pleasures of life are always available in abundance. Their flourishing and blissful life continuously progresses and peace and tranquility greet them from all directions.
(76) This is the society in which one always benefits from its pleasures, regardless of whether one abides in it for a short while, or permanently (29:58, 34:37, 39:21). Such shall be the lifestyle of people living there.
(77) (O Rasool!) Tell these opponents, “This is my call. If you do not want to join me in this mission, then don’t. My Rabb does not care at all about your opposition, which has no weight on His scales. Your denial of His message does not bring any harm to Him. Instead you yourself will be ruined; and remember that doom will surely confront you.”
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