Exposition of the Holy Quran – 26 Surah Ash-Shu’ara (G A Parwez)
Surah 26: Ash-Shu’ara
(1) Allah, the most powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing says:
(2) “These are the directives of the divine code which explains everything explicitly.
(3) “(O Rasool! ) It appears that, because these people do not believe this code, you will perhaps torment yourself to death with grief.”
(4) Such a desire is but natural for your compassionate heart, but our Law of Mashiyya requires that human beings should be left to decide of their own will whether to accept or deny it. Otherwise (if We had desired to make them momin by force) it was not difficult for Us to send down from the skies a clear sign, before which the elite would bow in humility. (But We do not want to impose this faith on people. Only the one, who after pondering the divine laws, embraces them with full conviction is a momin. To impress by switching off someone’s faculties of reason through sending miracles cannot bring true eiman.)
(5) (Since We do not deprive a human being of the faculties of choice and decision making, whenever a message, which is new to their belief, comes from Ar-Rahman they turn away from it – 21:2.)
(6) It is on this premise that they belie your message (because it is something new to them). (However there is nothing to worry about.) Whatever they are ridiculing will confront them one day (because according to Our Law of Mukafat, every deed has to produce results).
(7) Have they not seen how We grow various kinds of splendid and different things (from different seeds) on earth? (Likewise every deed of every human being is like a seed. It is bound to produce the fruit: wheat out of wheat; barley out of barley.)
(8) In this there is a clear sign (to appreciate that Our Law of Mukafat definitely produces results). But most people (simply do not care to ponder over this and therefore) do not believe in its truth.
(9) (This law does not get affected by their denial. It remains valid because) The divine law is constituted by Him who is Almighty. (The opponents may have considerable strength but they cannot outclass His law since) He provides nourishment for everything. (It is thus not possible that people who lay obstacles in the way of mankind’s development cannot be removed from there.)
(10) (The proof of this reality is the tale of the Bani-Israel, which is being repeated here briefly. It begins from the point when) We called Moses and asked him to go to the nation (of the Pharaoh) which had become very rebellious.
(11) “Go unto them and inquire whether they want to save themselves from the destructive results of their wrongdoings or not?”
(12) Humbly, Moses said, “O my Rabb, I fear that they will deny me.
(13) “(It may become impossible for me alone to stand against them.) Therefore send a message to Aaron (to accompany me).
(14) “(Moreover, I am accused by them of murder.) I fear they may arrest and kill me (28:15).”
(15) Allah said, “(Do not be afraid.) They dare not do this (but in view of the seriousness of the mission, it seems appropriate that Aaron should accompany you). Then both of you should go to them with Our laws. We shall be with you. We will continue to hear (and see) everything (20:46).
(16) “Both of you shall go to the Pharaoh and tell him, ‘We bring a message from the sustainer of all the worlds.
(17) And the message is: You should let the Bani-Israel go with us (whereby they will be able to live a free life according to the divine laws, away from your oppression – 20:47.)’”
(18) (Accordingly they went and delivered the message to the Pharaoh.) The Pharaoh said to Moses, “Is it not a fact that we brought you up since childhood and that you have lived a part of your life amongst us?
(19) “But you repaid our favours by committing the heinous crime of murdering one of our nationals. How very ungrateful you are!”
(20) Moses said, “I did not kill him intentionally. I only punched him and I never expected that he would die of a punch (28:15).
(21) “Thereafter I fled from here because of fear (I knew the deceased belonged to your community; and) that because of racial prejudice you may be unable to do justice, and charge me for the crime of murder.
“Then my Rabb bestowed nabuwwa on me and honoured me with the wisdom to judge (between right and wrong). I have thus been ranked amongst the messengers (and it is in this capacity that I have come to you now).
(22) “(As regards the favours that you have so tauntingly reminded me of – for rearing me since childhood in these luxurious palaces) Does that mean that by enslaving the entire nation of the Bani-Israel you want those favours to be repaid?” (You prefer to remind us of the favours which you conferred on one person; but why don’t you mention the oppression which you have inflicted on the whole of his community?)
(23) (Now feeling embarrassed and changing the discussion to another matter) The Pharaoh said, “You claim that you have been sent by Rabb-il-Alameen. Now tell me who that Rabb-il-Alameen, the sustainer of all the worlds, is (20:49).”
(24) Moses said, “The sustainer of all the world is He Who provides nourishment to each and everything in the universe. If you believe in this (you will also believe that He Who provides nourishment to everything in the universe also nourishes human beings and thus) your claim that you are the Rabb of your subjects is totally baseless (43:51, 79:24).”
(25) Thereafter the Pharaoh (casting a glance at his courtiers) said to them, “Are you not listening to what this person is saying?” (These words deserve serious attention, so listen very carefully.)
(26) (Paying no heed to what the Pharaoh said and continuing his arguments) Moses said, “That Rabb is not only the Sustainer of the outer universe, He is also your Rabb and the Rabb of your forefathers (the earlier Pharaohs of Egypt).”
(27) The Pharaoh addressed his courtiers and said, “Look (at this joker). The rasool who has been sent to you is indeed insane!”
(28) Moses (ignoring these frivolous remarks) said, “He is the Rabb of the east and the west and all that lies in between. He provides nourishment to each and every thing. You can understand this fact very easily if you think about it.”
(29) (Now the Pharaoh lost his temper and said) “If while living in my kingdom you accept the authority of someone other than me this would amount to open revolt, for which I will put you in prison.”
(30) Moses said, “What if in support of my claim I bring before you something which is very clear and convincing?” (Would you still imprison me? Do you want to settle matters by coercion, instead of rationale and reasoning? Is there no other law in the realm of the Pharaoh other than dictatorship?)
(31) (At this the Pharaoh became embarrassed and said) “If you are truthful in your claim, produce whatever new evidence you have.”
(32) In reply Moses produced the divine code and laws which were revealed to him and were firmly held by him. This divine code and the directives appeared like a python swallowing all evil beliefs. (These laws explained the destructive results of the Pharaoh’s system – 7:107-108, 20:17-25, 28:31-32.)
(33) Then Moses gave the most illuminating examples and arguments, which proved how bright and prosperous their future would be if they obeyed the divine laws. These arguments were so convincing that any man endowed with insight was bound to be impressed.
(34) Thereafter the Pharaoh said to his courtiers and national leaders, “Surely this man is an expert illusionist who is presenting falsehood as truth.
(35) “It appears that his plan is to drive you out of your land by taking people with him through deceitful means and establishing his own state. So tell me now what you counsel (7:110).”
(36-37) They said, “Let the matter of Moses and his brother be deferred for some time. Send summons to all the big cities of the state to bring to you expert illusionist priests from different temples.”
(38) This was done and on an appointed day all prominent illusionist priests gathered at a set time and place to confront Moses.
(39) And the ordinary citizens were also invited to the gathering;
(40) So that when the priests were victorious, a big procession would be taken out for them.
(41) When the priests arrived they inquired of the Pharaoh, “Would we be amply rewarded if we overpower Moses?”
(42) “Of course,” said the Pharaoh, “You will be duly rewarded and the biggest reward will be that you shall become nobles of the court (7:113).”
(43) (The great contest began and) Moses said, “Come out with whatever you have.”
(44) They presented very trivial and weak arguments in support of their religion, and swearing by the might of Pharaoh they declared that they would surely be victorious.
(45) Thereafter, Moses gave solid and convincing arguments in support of the divine order; and one by one his arguments defeated the deceitful claims offered by the priests.
(46) (The arguments were so solid, and convincing that the truth of the message of Moses became very clear to the priests.) They were left with no choice but to bow down to him (and accept his arguments);
(47) And pronounce that they believe in the God who is the sustainer of the entire universe,
(48) The Rabb of Moses and Aaron.
(49) (When the Pharaoh saw that the priests had openly accepted Moses’ God, he was livid with rage and thundered), “How dare you pronounce your acceptance of the God of Moses without my permission? It appears to me that he (Moses) was in fact your master, who gave you (this) knowledge of priesthood. (You are all together, so that you can jointly defeat me and establish your own state.) Very soon you will learn the punishment for this mischief. I will tie you up, put you in handcuffs and shackles and have your hands and feet cut off. All of you shall be crucified.”
(50) They (listened to this threat with complete composure and) said, “You may do whatever you like. It will make no difference (as now the complete perspective of life has changed for us). We now look towards our Rabb only. The correct destiny is now visible to us and all our efforts will be in that direction.
(51) “Since at the call of Moses and Aaron we are the first of the believers, we are fully confident that our Rabb’s law of Rabubiyya will protect us from the evil effects of our previous sins.”
(52) (Thereafter various other incidents occurred and eventually) We sent a revelation to Moses telling him to take Our subjects (the Bani-Israel) away during the night and to keep in mind that the Pharoah would certainly follow them.
(53) (The message of Moses as well as the organization of the Bani-Israel was having its impact throughout the country. In order to counter that) The Pharaoh sent messengers to all the cities.
(54-55) (They forewarned people) “A small section of wretched people (namely our enslaved nation of the Bani-Israel) is fuelling our rage by hatching mischievous conspiracies. (However, all of you should rest assured that they will not be able to do any harm because)
(56) “We have a huge and well equipped army (with which we can crush them).”
(57-58) On the one side the Pharaoh was announcing this and on the other the divine Law of Mukafat was proclaiming, “Let everyone take note that We have thrown out the Pharaoh and his chiefs and have deprived them of their gardens and springs, their treasures and all their symbols of status and positions.
(59) This has already happened and We have made the Bani-Israel inherit (own) these.”
(60) (In any case the Bani-Israel left Egypt during the night and) At dawn the Pharaoh’s army came out to chase them.
(61) As soon as the two groups came in sight of each other, the followers of Moses exclaimed, “Behold! We are indeed stuck (the water is in front of us and the Pharaoh’s army is at the back, and there seems to be no way out for our safety).”
(62) Moses said, “Do not panic. It shall never happen. The Almighty (Who ordered me to leave Egypt like this) is with me and He will surely guide me. (We will reach our destination without any fear or danger.)”
(63) So We sent a revelation to Moses, saying, “Take your people to the sea/river (from a particular direction) and then cross it at a point where it has become dry (20:77, 44:24).”
Then when it was dawn, the two groups stood across from each other like huge masses. (The Bani-Israel on one side of the sea:river and the army of Pharaoh on the other.)
(64) The Pharaoh’s army also moved forward, following the Bani-Israel (but in the meantime the level of water rose and all of them were drowned).
(65-66) In this manner We pulled Moses and his people safely out of Egypt and drowned the Pharaoh, along with his army.
(67) Indeed there are signs in this episode (for people having insight into the result of the struggle between good and evil). But in spite of this most people do not believe (in the truth of the divine law and say that such incidents sometimes occur by coincidence).
(68) The fact is that this happens according to the Law of Mukafat, which is so strong and mighty that it overpowers all opposing forces and provides nourishment to everyone who strives to establish the just system.
(69) Likewise (O Rasool!), relate to them the story of Abraham.
(70) When he asked his father and his nation, “What do you worship?”
(71) They replied, “We worship the idols and will continue to do so.”
(72-73) Abraham said, “Do they hear you when you call them? Are they capable of giving you any benefit or causing you any harm?”
(74) They said, “(Neither do we know all this nor do we want to indulge in such discussions.) We found our forefathers worshiping them (so we too are following this practice).”
(75-76) Abraham said, “Have you ever thought about the reality of these idols your forefathers worshipped and which you worship now?
(77) “(You may continue thinking of them as you please, but as far as I am concerned) I consider them as my worst enemy. My only friend is the Rabb of all the worlds;
(78) “Who created me and guides me to the righteous path;
(79) “The Almighty Who feeds me according to His law of Rabubiyya (not me alone, but all living beings);
(80) “And when I fall sick, I am cured according to His law of nature. (Thus your belief that some idols give you provisions while others provide you health is no more than your whim. Everything in the universe happens according to the laws made by God.)
(81) “Then according to His law, I will die one day, and He will bring me back to life again after death.
(82) “I ardently hope for the same God to protect me on the Day of Judgment, from the destructive effects of the mistakes that I might unknowingly make.
(83) “And I pray to Him to grant me insight and strength to adjudge (with all righteousness) on disputed affairs; and to make me amongst those whose abilities have been amply developed,
(84) “I do such noble service for the good and welfare of mankind, so that future generations may remember me as a truthful well-wisher;
(85) “And place me among the inheritors of the comforts, dignity and status of life (in this world as well as hereafter).
(86) “I also pray (to my God) that He makes it possible for my father who has gone astray, to adopt the right course and thus remain safe from the destructive effects of an erroneous way of life, which otherwise is bound to happen (9:114, 14:41,1 9:47, 60:4).
(87) “And when on the Day of Judgment people are raised to life, I should not be ashamed.
(88) “For on that day, neither wealth nor progeny will be of any help;
(89) “And only the one who appears before God with a clear and noble heart will receive the bounties.” (He will be the one who has kept his wishes, desires and discretion subordinate to the divine laws; and who has never rebelled against them – 37:85.)
(90) On that day, janna will be brought close to those who had remained conscious of the divine laws.
(91) And jahannam will be visible to those who defied the divine laws and followed the wrong path. (Even now jahannam is not far away from them. It is around them but at that time it will become visible – 29:54, 79:36, 82:16.)
(92) They will be asked at that time, “Where are your gods whom you worshipped instead of Allah?
(93) “Can they help you? Can they call anyone else to help them?”
(94) So on that day the people and all the leaders and priests who misled them will be thrown headlong into jahannam;
(95) (That is) The whole army of Iblees.
(96) There they (the chiefs and their followers) will quarrel with one another.
(97) (The followers will say to the chiefs), “By Allah, in following you it was us who were obviously on the erring path.
(98) “(What greater blunder could there be than that.) We considered you our god, the sustainer, and gave you the status of Rabb-il-Alameen (sustainer of all the worlds).
(99) “(By taking possession of the sources of nourishment and by restricting their ability to use their intellect, you forced people to follow you.) You were thus the real criminals who misled us.
(100) “(Now we have learnt how wrong we were to trust you and believe that you were our sympathizers; and that you would stand by us in every affliction.) Today there is nobody who can stand by us in this difficulty.
(101) “Nor do we have any friend who can share our grief.
(102) “Oh how we wish we had another opportunity to live that life! Then we could prove to be the true momineen (23:99-100, 39:58).”
(103) In this story (of Abraham and the foretold facts based on Allah’s Law of Mukafat) there is a noticeable sign (for those who want to ponder and reach the truth). In spite of this there are many who do not profess eiman (because they do not believe in these realities). (Instead they take a stand like that of Abraham’s nation, saying that they cannot give up the path followed by their forefathers.)
(104) (Allah’s law remains in operation regardless of their belief.) He is Almighty and after overpowering all opposing forces, He will continue to provide nourishment to all living beings.
(105) Likewise is the story of Noah’s nation which belied our rusul;
(106) Noah, who was from amongst their brethren, came as a rasool. He asked them a straight question, “Do you want to be safe from the destructive results of your misdeeds?”
(107) (If you want to remain safe then listen to me attentively.) “I have been sent to you by God as a rasool of peace.
(108) “If you want to protect yourself from destruction, you must be conscious of Allah’s laws. The practical way for this is for all of you to obey me (because these divine laws can only be followed collectively).
(109) “(Do not ever think that I have some personal gain to make. I am saying this only for your benefit.) I do not ask you for any compensation for this. My compensation rests with Allah Almighty, who is Rabb-il-Alameen and the sustainer of the worlds.
(110) “Just obey me in order to lead a life according to the divine laws.”
(111) They said, “Do you want us to accept you as our leader and thereby join your party which comprises people of the lowest level doing inferior and disgraceful work?”
(112) Noah said, “I am neither concerned about what their professions are nor do I care to find out what they have been doing in the past.”
(113) (With us the criterion is different. We judge them according to their capabilities and what actually they are contributing to the divine system. We value them and assign ranks accordingly.)
“My Rabb is keeping all the accounts. How I wish you would understand that the real status of a person is determined by the degree to which he submits to the divine laws and not by his profession (49:13).
(114) Just to please you I will not drive away these people who have become my companions by believing in the truth of the divine laws.” (These poor people who are carrying on with their ordinary professions are very dear to me and are more worthy of respect than the nation’s elite who oppose the divine laws.)
(115) “In any case, my duty was to warn you about the destructive consequences of your erroneous way of life, and I have done that in no uncertain terms. (Now it is up to you either to accept or to reject it.)”
(116) They said, “(You are creating chaos in society by giving equal rights to lower grades people.) If you do not stop, you shall certainly be stoned (to death).”
(117) Noah prayed, “O my Rabb! My own folk are denying what I tell them.
(118) “Therefore pronounce a conclusive decision between us and save from their cruelty, me and my folk who have embraced eiman in your laws.”
(119) So We made Noah and his companions embark on an already laden ship and took them away safely.
(120) And those who remained behind drowned (because of their stubbornness and pride).
(121) In this episode of Noah there is a clear sign for the wise (about the truth of our Law of Mukafat). In spite of this most people do not believe in this law.
(122) (However, there is nothing to be disheartened about.) The divine law is very powerful. It will ultimately prevail and continue to provide God’s universal sustenance.
(123) Similarly the nation of Aad also belied our rusul.
(124) (Finally) Hud, one of their own brethren, asked them, “Would you like to be safe from the destructive results of your misdeeds?
(125) “(If you are really serious then listen to me, for) I have been sent to you by God as a rasool of peace.
(126) “And if you want to live a life according to the divine laws, you should obey me.
(127) “Also note that I do not ask for any compensation from you. My compensation rests with Allah Almighty, the Rabb-il-Alameen.”
(128) “On top of the hills you construct huge monuments, which are of no practical use to anyone. (What benefit do they provide to humanity at large? If at all you want to construct something, build something that could be of use to the people.)
(129-130) “Furthermore, you make all sorts of equipment (including armament, not because you want to prevent aggression but) only to ensure that your hold on the oppressed remains firm; and that you can maintain your control, authority and terror for all times to come.
(131) “(As this surely is a wrong attitude, you should abandon it.) In order to remain in conformity with the divine laws, you should obey the system which I am striving to establish.
(132) “Stay in line with the laws of Allah Who, as you know, has abundantly provided you with the necessities of life.
(133-134) “He has also abundantly aided you with cattle; increased the population of your tribe and given you lush green gardens with springs to irrigate them. (All this is provided by the Almighty and none of this is of your creation. But you are utilizing the power of all this to carry out aggression on others – 26:130.)
(135) “Therefore I fear the retribution of the awful day which will befall you because of this way of life.”
(136) (They replied tauntingly, “Better keep all the sermons to yourself as we do not need all this.) As far as we are concerned your advice and sermons make no difference to us.
(137) “All these threats (of God, destruction and chastisement through Allah’s Law of Mukafat, which you threaten us with) are only fables of the old people (38:7).
(138) “We shall not be doomed.”
(139) They denied each and everything that Hud said and considered them to be lies. Consequently Our Law of Mukafat destroyed them.
In this story of the tribe of Aad there is a clear sign for the wise (and for the truth of our Law of Mukafat). In spite of this, the majority of them will not believe it.
(140) (It makes no difference to Allah’s law whether they embrace the faith or not, which will continue to function.) It is very powerful. It will remove all the obstacles that hinder the development of human beings.
(141) Likewise, the tribe of Thamud belied their messengers.
(142) (Eventually) Saleh, who was one of their brethren, came and asked them, “Would you like to be safe from the destructive results of your misdeeds?”
(143) (If you are serious, then listen to me carefully), “I have been sent to you by God, as a rasool of peace.
(144) “In order to be in conformity with the divine laws, you should obey the system which I am striving to establish.
(145) “Also note that I do not ask for any compensation from you. My compensation rests with none but Rabb-il-Alameen.
(146) (Just think! If you continue to tread the same erroneous path) “Do you believe that you will be left alone to peacefully and forever enjoy the facilities and comforts presently available to you?
(147) “Amidst the lush green gardens and springs,
(148) “And fertile fields, with heavy-sheathed palm trees laden with soft, tender layer upon layer of ripe spathes;
(149) “And castle-like palaces which with great skill you carve out of mountains. And then you strut around with confidence (thinking that nobody can harm you there).
(150) (These things are good, but since you use them to exploit others, they are bound to bring you destruction. However, if you want to be safe then) “Follow me to stay in conformity with the divine laws.
(151-152) “Do not follow your leaders who exceed the bounds of justice, spread corruption on earth and never bother to reform it.”
(153) (They answered contemptuously), “It seems that you are also one of the deluded ones (who think that God is in contact with them and that He has assigned them the duty to reform the world).
(154) “You are but a human being like us. In any case, if you are truthful about your claim that we are likely to be doomed, then show us some sign.”
(155) Thereupon Saleh said, “Behold! The present state of affairs is such that the big leaders possess all sources of nourishment. Poor people and their cattle are thus at their mercy. It is unto the leaders to give something to eat to the poor, who cannot demand anything as a right. This system is indicative of disorder and chaos. On the other hand the divine system enjoins that all sources of nourishment be kept open, so that everyone can take anything according to their need. Now, in order to ascertain whether you are ready to adopt this system, I shall give you a very simple test.
“Here is a she-camel. (It does not matter to whom it belongs; just take it as an animal which like others needs food and water.) Now let us fix and announce the turns when this she-camel will take water; first on its own and then on your turn.
(156) “If you can stop this camel from drinking water on its turn or do so without causing it any harm, this will show that you have no desire to abandon your existing lifestyle which is bound to bring you the retribution of an awful day.”
(157) They (accepted this suggestion, but did not honour it and) killed the she-camel. Subsequently, they became penitent (fearing what might happen if Saleh’s threat turned out to be true).
(158) Whatever Saleh had predicted turned out to be true and the retribution came on them.
Even in this episode there is a sign for those who want to reflect. In spite of this most of them did not want to believe in Allah’s Law of Mukafat.
(159) (But it does no harm to Him) The divine law is mighty and will ultimately prevail. After removing all obstacles it will continue to provide sustenance to everything in the universe.
(160) Likewise is the story of Lot’s nation, who too belied our rusul.
(161) When Lot, who was one of their brethren eventually came, he asked them, “Tell me, would you like to be safe from the destructive results of your erroneous ways of life?”
(162) “(If you are serious, then listen to me carefully for) I have been sent to you as a rasool of peace.
(163) “So follow these laws and the practical way is that you should obey me.
(164) “And I do not ask for any compensation from you. My compensation rests with none but Rabb-il-Alameen.
(165) “Such is your plight that for sexual satisfaction you have adopted a way different from the rest of the world.
(166) “And you leave your wives, whom your Rabb has created for a purpose (so that you can have progeny) and you go to men. Certainly you have crossed all limits.”
(167) (They gave no reply to Lot as they had nothing to say. On the contrary they rebuffed him saying that they were fed up with his sermons.) “If you do not desist from this and continue to admonish us, you will be expelled (from our town).”
(168) Lot said, “(You can do whatever you like, but I will not keep quiet as) This is an abominable act. And I utterly abhor such acts.” (It is impossible for me not to oppose such abominable acts. Hence I cannot stop myself from reprimanding you.)
(169) And Lot prayed, “O my Rabb! Keep my companions and me safe from (the destruction which is likely to come as a result of) their misdoings.”
(170) We thus safely took him out, along with all his companions, except Lot’s old wife (7:83).
(171) She was with the group of people destined to be destroyed.
(172) Then We destroyed all those who had remained behind.
(173) This destruction was caused by stones, showered by volcanic eruption. What an awful destruction it was, which befell these people who were amply warned that if they did not listen to Lot they would be destroyed.
(174) In this episode as well there is indeed a message and signs (for people of intellect). Yet most of them do not profess eiman on Allah’s Law of Mukafat.
(175) (But it does no harm to Him.) The divine law is very powerful and will ultimately prevail. After removing every obstacle it will continue to provide sustenance to everything in the universe.
(176) Likewise is the story of the dwellers of Midian, who denied their messengers.
(177) Eventually Shuaib came to them and asked them, “Would you not like to be safe from the destructive results of your misdeeds?”
(178) (If you are serious, then listen to me carefully for), “I have been sent to you as a rasool of peace.”
(179) “Follow these laws and the practical way is that you should obey me.
(180) “I do not ask for any compensation from you, as my compensation rests with the Rabb-il-Alameen, the Sustainer of the worlds.
(181) “Abandon your erroneous ways and always give full measure. Do not give less than that which is due.
(182) “(And in all dealings) Weigh with proper scales.
(183) “Do not deprive people of what is rightfully theirs. In short you should base your economic system on justice and thus eliminate the imbalances created as a result of your unjust system. (In human society economic imbalances always result in enormous destruction.)
(184) “The only way to be safe from destruction is to live a life in conformity with the laws of the God who has created you and the generations before you.” (The God who created human beings has also provided ample means for their nourishment. These means should be distributed in such a way that no one should remain without fulfillment of his basic needs.)
(185) They said, “It also appears that you are one of those deluded persons who are under the hallucination that the Almighty talks to them (and who then try to become reformers of the nation).
(186) “You are an ordinary human being like us. (How could you be a rasool of Allah?) We deem that your claim is a lie.
(187) “If you are truthful about your claim that some doom will befall us because of our erroneous way of life, then can you make a segment of the sky fall upon us (and thus bring about that unforeseeable destruction)?”
(188) Shuaib said, “(Why should I bring heavenly destruction?) My Rabb is fully aware of what you are doing and what kind of doom is likely to come to you because of these misdeeds.”
(189) But they continued to denying him, until the time was ripe for the outcome of their misdeeds to appear and cover them from all sides. It was indeed a chastisement of a most terrible day.
(190) In this episode too there is a message and sign (for people of intellect). Yet most of them do not profess eiman.
(191) (But it does no harm to Him.) The divine law is mighty and will ultimately prevail. After removing all obstacles it will continue to provide sustenance to everything in the universe.
(192) This is the chain of Our guidance which started from the very beginning. Its last link is being given to human beings in the form of the Qur’an. It is being revealed gradually, step by step, by the sustainer of the worlds. (The object of this revelation is to establish a system which develops the physical body as well as the personality of all human beings.)
(193-194) A divine energy has been instilled it into your heart (centre of consciousness); and that divine energy does not make any alteration in it. Whatever God sends, Gabriel instills it into the Nabi’s heart (2:97, 16:102). The objective or the mission is (the same as that of previous anbiya) that you should also warn people of the destructive results of their erroneous deeds.
(195) It is revealed in clear, candid and plain language (in which there is no ambiguity or confusion).
(196) And the essence of this revelation is the same as was in the scriptures of previous anbiya (which incidentally did not remain intact).
(197) (Perhaps these people of Quraish are not aware of the fact that the essential teachings of the Qur’an are basically the same as that of the scriptures of earlier anbiya, as no rasool has come to them since long – 36:6.) Is it not evident enough for them that so many learned men from the Bani-Israel know this fact well? (They can find this out from them if they like.)
(198) (As has been mentioned earlier, the Qur’an has been revealed in the language of the Quraish, which is explicit, meaningful and perspicuous. From this they can conclude whether such a book can be compiled or written by any human being; or whether it was revealed by God, Who is higher than human beings. This could not have happened if we had revealed it to a non-Arab.
(199) And if he had read it out to them, then their objection would have been understandable. But now their refusal was glaring evidence that they were not prepared to leave their old ways and adopt the right course.
(200) Such thoughts come to the minds of people who do not want to give up their criminal attitudes.
(201) It appears that they too will not believe the Qur’an until the time they are confronted with the grievous chastisement (about which they are being warned).
(202) When the time will be ripe for the results of their deeds to be manifested, the chastisement will appear before them so suddenly that they will not know where it has come from.
(203) Then they will say, “Can we be given some respite (so that we may mend our ways)?”
(204) Would they still wish that Our chastisement be hastened?
(205) As far as this reprieve which is being given to them at present is concerned, if it is extended by several more years they will continue to enjoy life in full (but will not change their evil ways).
(206-207) Thereafter, when the chastisement confronts them, all the wealth that they had collected during this period will neither be of any use to them nor will it be able to save them.
(208) It has been Our way that until a messenger is sent to a nation to warn them about their erroneous ways of life and give them the opportunity to correct themselves, We do not destroy that nation.
(209) (It would be sheer injustice to destroy a nation without giving them a warning and a chance to reform themselves.) This is unjust; and We are never unjust.
(210) (As has been mentioned before, the Qur’an has been revealed through Gabriel, Rooh-ul-Amin.) This is not similar to what is usually presented by astrologers or priests. (Those are tricks of the human brain, while wahi (revelation) is a totally different phenomenon.)
(211) (The stratagem of trickery can be acquired by any one through skill and practice but) wahi cannot be acquired like this. (It is bestowed by the Almighty upon one who is considered worthy of it.) The magicians, sorcerers or monks are not worthy of it.
(212) (Apart from receiving wahi or having it from the heavens) These people cannot even hear of the centre from where wahi originates (15:17-18, 37:8, 67:5).
(213) Therefore to consider that a human being can produce the like of wahi by his skill or hard work, amounts to equating man with Allah. (Wahi lies in the exclusive domain of Allah Almighty; neither has any human being any involvement in it, nor can anyone produce something similar.) People who think that both these things are alike are under great delusion and the outcome of such a consideration is nothing but destruction. Do you not understand this?
(214) (It is also worth noting that intention and inspiration are individual experiences. Their effect is limited to the person experiencing the phenomenon. Their purpose is neither to revolutionize the human world, nor to bring revolution in society. On the contrary, the purpose of wahi is to revolutionize human society. That is why the recipient of wahi comes back to the human world after he has received wahi from God.) O Rasool! This is your purpose as well. Therefore, first of all you should invite from amongst your society those who are close to you. (That is, to follow the example of Abraham who first started preaching to his own family.)
(215) Then you should give affectionate and loving protection to those who profess eiman and follow you. (This will form a group which will comprise the first claimants of this revolution – 15:88.)
(216) On the other hand tell those who revolt against your invitation, “(I have conveyed to you the message of the Almighty and) I will not be responsible for whatever you do after that.”
(217) (You should keep on conveying the message and) Put complete trust in the laws of the One who is all-powerful and capable of removing the obstacles in the way of every form of development of mankind.
(218) God is keeping an eye over your programme and the struggle you are undertaking. He sees even when you stand up.
(219) And He sees you even when you are moving around among members of your group who have bowed before His laws.
(220) Most certainly He hears everything and watches over every deed.
(221) (Moreover, sorcery or magic is something which can be acquired with practice. It is not even necessary that the person should have a good character.) Let me tell you about the people who acquire such skills.
(222) These people are also wicked liars. They live by deceitful means and their human abilities are severely debilitated (45:7).
(223) They listen from here and there (bits and pieces); some use their imagination and some resort to fraud. Most of them lie intentionally. (And some of them deceive themselves.)
(224) (Besides soothsayers and magicians, poets also claim that whatever they say is based on intuition(1) and that the source of wahi and poetry is the same, namely revelation. This notion is wrong as
there is a basic difference between the two. The groups that follow wahi have a definite objective before them, and every action of theirs produces concrete and positive results. On the other hand) Those who follow the poets deceive themselves. They are swayed by emotions and cannot face the facts. Like locust swarms they seem countless in numbers, but the outcome of their labour is disorder and chaos.
(225) As far as the poets are concerned (they think that they have knowledge of the unseen; yet actually) they are like camel who develop the strange sickness of fake and unquenchable thirst as they distractedly wander in every valley and desert. In other words, throughout their lives the poets are driven by emotions, and that too fake and unrealistic.
(226) And the biggest difference is that their own lives are not according to what they say. They themselves do not act upon their own words. (Therefore how can a messenger of Allah, who has been inspired by divine revolution, be like such poets? This certainly is not worthy of him – 36:69.)
(227) However, those who believe in wahi have a definite objective in life. Their programme is such that it develops their abilities and helps in solving problems of society. They are always conscious of divine laws and never let them go out of sight. Whenever they are oppressed and treated unjustly (they do not give vent to their feelings by writing satiric poetry), but take revenge to defend themselves. (Furthermore, they establish a system in which the oppressors and wrong-doers are not left unbridled to do whatever they like, without anyone to check them.) In this system people will clearly realize the destination they would be taken to after being diverted from the erroneous path and what their destined abode would be. (The momineen can thus collectively put an end to the evil regime of the zalimeen.)
(This is the difference between the status and function of a nabi and the so called claimants of sorcery and intuition.)
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