Exposition of the Holy Quran – 36 Yaa-Seen (G A Parwez)
Surah 36: Yaa-Seen
(1) O that person (towards whom this wahi is being sent, meaning: O Rasool
(2-3) (These people are demanding proof of your being a Rasool. Tell them that), “The Qur’an, which is full of wisdom, is a testimony to the fact that I am from amongst the rusul of the Almighty. If you reflect over it, the reality will become clear to you (that)
(4) “I am on that correct, straight and well-balanced path, which will take mankind to its destination”.
(5) (O Rasool! As soon as they reflect on the Qur’an, it will become clear to them that it is neither composed by you nor by any other human being. They will realize that) The Qur’an has been revealed from the Almighty, the One who is responsible for the nourishment of all human beings and whatever there is in the universe.
(6) This has been revealed to you so that you should (initially) warn those people who are unaware of the right course of life because their ancestors had not been warned about the destructive results of their erroneous ways (28:46, 32:3). (Thereafter gradually extend the sphere of your preaching to other people and nations, because you have been sent as a messenger to all mankind – 7:158.)
(7) But (instead of reflecting over the Qur’an and then trying to understand it) they rejected it simply because it invited them towards a path which was different from the one followed by their ancestors. (It is an accepted fact that people who adopt such an attitude generally do not accept the truth and this principle is also applicable here.)
(8) (Those who blindly follow a path) They are like people around whose necks yokes have been put which reach up to their chins, thus forcing their heads up and because of this they cannot see the straight path ahead of them.
(9) (Such people neither listen to reason, nor do they have a correct appreciation of their surroundings. Thus, they can neither take to the right path, nor can they take into consideration the historical evidence around them, from which they could draw some lessons from past episodes.) A barrier (of ignorance) is raised in front of them, as well as behind them; and their vision is shrouded in veils. Therefore, they cannot see.
(10) As such it is all the same to them whether you warn them about their erroneous ways or not. They will never accept the truth (2:6).
(11) The only person who can benefit from the warnings regarding the awful consequences of his erroneous path is the one who utilizes his intellect and ponders; and then follows the directions given by the divine law. He is afraid of going against Ar-Rahman, and of the destructive results of doing so confront him as a stark reality. O Rasool! Then give him the glad tidings of the wholesome results of following the right course. Also tell him that he would be protected from all dangers and get excellent and generous rewards for his labour.
(12) Thus, We alone give new life to dead nations and thereafter, Our Law of Mukafat records whatever they do for their future, preserving it for the coming generations, along with the traces they leave behind. In this way each and every action of theirs is preserved in this book, which lays down a standard to test the good or bad deeds. In other words it continues to sort out the good or bad deeds, all the way.
(13) Explain to them this reality by way of a parable. There was a habitation where We sent Our rusul.
(14) In the beginning We sent unto them two (rusul). The people belied them both. Then We sent the third one to strengthen the previous ones. All rusul reiterated that they were sent by the Almighty.
(15) But the people retorted, “You are a human being like us (so how can you be the messenger of the Almighty). Ar-Rahman has revealed nothing unto you and therefore whatever you say is a lie.”
(16) They replied, “Our Rabb is a witness that We have been sent by Him towards you as His messengers.
(17) “And it is our duty to convey to you His message in clear terms (and we have nothing more to tell you).”
(18) The people told the messengers, “You are an extremely unlucky omen for us (as all the time you are talking of a coming doom). Remember, if you do not desist, we will throw you out (or stone you to death). In any case we will certainly give you a grievous punishment.”
(19) The messengers replied, “The omen which you call unlucky is but due to your own misdeeds. As for your warning that you will give us severe punishment, is it because we advise you to save yourselves from the coming doom? In reality you are a people who have transgressed all limits.”
(20) (The people paid no heed to them, but) someone from the outskirts of the city (where some wealthy respectable people lived) came running (to stop the people from harming the messengers) and said, “O people! You should follow and obey these messengers.
(21) These rusul, who are your well-wishers, do not ask for any reward from you in return. They clearly seem to be on the right path and are asking you to follow the same.”
(22) “As far as I am concerned, particularly after receiving such clear directives, I have no excuse for not accepting the sovereignty of He Who has created me and towards Whose Law of Mukafat you are approaching. You cannot go out of its control. All of you are being drawn towards it and there is no escape from that.
(23) “Should I abandon such a God and instead accept these other beings as my masters? The helplessness of these entities is such that if I am being punished by the Law of Mukafat of Ar-Rahman, for any of my faults, the support of these deities cannot bring me any good. They shall never be able to save me.
(24) “Just think, even if after knowing all this I take them as my gods, then who else would be in more manifest error than I?
(25) “I believe in the Almighty, Who provides development to you all. Therefore listen to me and accept only Him as your Almighty.”
(26) He pronounced eiman in such a courageous and fearless tone that almost immediately the Law of Mukafat announced that all the doors of janna were open for him. But despite this his nation did not listen to him, although in utter despair he was saying, “I wish my people had listened to me.”
(27) “As a result of my following a righteous course, the Almighty has saved me from destruction and included me amongst the most honorable people.”
(28) After he had exhausted all the means, that nation finally faced the hour of doom. We did not have to send down any army of angels from the heavens to cause this destruction. In fact We never send such forces from the heavens. Their own misdeeds are enough to cause their destruction.
(29) There was just one single blast which caused complete chaos. And lo, nothing was left behind but a still and silent heap of ashes.
(30) Alas! How miserable and terrible is the plight of the man who ridicules the one who brings a message that is full of life!
(31) These are the historical episodes which We narrate before them as examples. (O Rasool!) Don’t they ever ponder over the fact that We destroyed many generations before them, because whenever someone came to call them towards divine guidance, they did not pay any heed and instead ridiculed him?
(32) If they do not consider these facts worthy of attention, that does not mean that they will escape the grip of Our Law of Mukafat. Like their predecessors, they too will be punished for their misdeeds. The time is not far off when all of them will be arraigned. Then, with their own eyes and according to Our Law of Mukafat, they will see the results of their misdeeds.
(33) They make fun of such warnings and cannot comprehend how a tiny and weak group of people can one day, attain such great strength that people would stand before them in sheer helplessness. But if they had the vision, they would see for themselves how our law of nature instills vitality in lifeless things. For example, with a sprinkle of rain, We could bring back to life a piece of barren land which has no sign of life whatsoever. It then produces crops of grain that become means of sustenance for them.
(34) And gardens of date palms and grapes would appear and springs of running water would gush forth from within it.
(35) The fruits of the trees provide nutrition and all this is not the product of their hands only, but is brought about as per Our laws.
(Accordingly, this small group of people which at present has no strength and power, would be so enriched by life and the fruits of obeying our laws, that not only would it become self sufficient, but even others would share their bounty.)
Ask them if they really want their efforts to also bear fruit? (If they do, then they should follow Our laws according to which We grant new life to nations.)
(36) (Be firm in the conviction that if you follow His laws such results are bound to accrue. Do not ever think that things will not happen the way God says they will.) He is far above that. Do you not see how different kinds of vegetations grow from the earth as per His laws of nature? If you work according to the laws and methods established by Him, the same results are always achieved. Your own procreation occurs according to His laws of nature and so does the creation of other things about which you have no knowledge at present.
(37) And consider the outer world and see (for instance) how We strip the blanket of bright daylight from the darkness of the night, after which darkness prevails all over.
(38) Also ponder how the sun is moving unhampered in its course. All this is happening according to measures determined and set by the One Who is Almighty and All-knowing. All His laws are based on knowledge.
(39) And see the moon for which We have determined various stages. (It appears like a beautiful crescent and then gradually becomes the full moon, after which it starts waning till it becomes like an old date stalk, dried up and curved.)
(40) All these huge heavenly bodies are not static in space, but are in continuous motion. However, all their movements are according to a discipline based on set measures and calculations. It can never happen that the sun, by speeding up, can overtake the moon; or that the night lingers on beyond the point where the day had to start (meaning that the sun rises after the appointed time). No, this never happens. Each and every one of them keeps moving through space, in its own orbit, according to the speed and course set for it (21:33).
(41) The skies, after all, are too far away. See with what confidence you load your families, young and old, onto boats, and how these boats sail through the seas and rivers burdened with all this weight.
(42) And like these boats, We have also created other things for them to ride in on their travels.
(43) If Our Law of Mukafat was not in operation all the time, the boats would float sometimes and sink on other occasions, even under similar circumstances. In such a situation no one would be able to help the people on the boats, nor would they reach the shore safely.
(44) But since We want to maintain this system of the universe for a determined period, whatever law We have prescribed (for a particular thing) keeps on working accordingly. Our law never changes. (This is that very firm foundation on the basis of which you live a peaceful life with so much confidence.)
(45) (Just as there are unchangeable laws for things in the universe, laws are also fixed for mankind. But contrary to other things in the universe, man has been given the freedom of choice. He could, out of his free will, either obey or go against them.)
Keeping this discretion in mind, they are advised to lead their lives according to the divine laws, so that their present life becomes better; and also to adopt the same attitude for the future. In this way both your physical life as well as your own self would develop properly. This is what is meant by the bounties of the present and the future.
(46) Their attitude is such that whenever divine guidance is presented to them, they turn away from it.
(47) They also raise strange objections. (For instance) They object when they are told to keep open and accessible for the needy, the means of nourishment that the Almighty has provided to them. Those who deny the divine directives of rabubiyya tell those who have faith in them, that if Allah had willed that wealth should be distributed in a way that no one remained hungry in the world, then why did He not arrange it so by Himself? Why is He asking human beings to establish a system in which everyone gets adequate necessities of life?
Who should tell them that by saying so they are committing a big mistake? (God establishes His system in human society through human beings only. The purpose is that human beings should use their ability to choose properly, so that their personalities also develop. Otherwise, it was not at all difficult for Him to have made mankind devoid of free will, just like the other things in the universe which are bound to exist according to the laws of God. By saying that had God wanted so He should have done this Himself, man is denying himself the dignity of freedom of choice and is trying to run away from his responsibility. This is his gross error of judgment (6:149, 16:35, 43:20).
(48) And when they are told that if they do not leave the erroneous path the result would be destruction, they say, “If what you say is true, when will that doom come?”
(49) (According to Our Law of Mukafat there is a time lag between the action and the result to be manifested in visible from. It is due to this gap that people raise such objections but when this intermission is over and the result emerges in the form of a single blast, there is a hue and cry all around.)
They are only waiting for that blast, which will seize them so abruptly, that they will still be busy arguing with each other.
(50) So sudden their end will be that they will not even have time to make a will or go back to their families.
(51) This state will not remain confined to this world, but will continue in the hereafter. Then, when the trumpet is sounded for the new life, life will be given a new form and all of them would come out of their abodes, running towards the court of their Rabb.
(52) They shall say in utter surprise, “Woe unto us! We have been roused from our sleep!” Whereupon, they will be told, “This is the appointed hour for the disclosure of results which Ar-Rahman had promised and whose truth His messengers used to affirm.”
(53) It will be just one single blast creating a huge commotion and all of them will be arraigned before Our Law of Mukafat.
(54) They shall be assured, “Today no human being shall be wronged in the least. Only the results of your own deeds will confront you.”
(55) Surely, those who are destined for janna as a reward for their deeds would be immensely busy in making arrangements for the new life, and all that they do would be a source of great joy for them.
(56) Along with their companions they will be reclining on couches in a state of sheer happiness.
(57) They will get ample fruit as a reward for their deeds, and they will be provided whatever they ask for.
(58) All this is planned to ensure that the development of their personalities and completion of their abilities are not deficient, and that there is no danger of them ever losing these traits. All this would happen as per Allah’s law of Rabubiyya, which has made sufficient provisions for the development and completion of human abilities.
(59) At that stage society will no longer remain intermingled. The guilty will be separated from the noble. No one will be able to cheat others in the guise of being a gentleman; and the guilty ones will not be able to enjoy the fruits of janna.
(60) The criminals will be questioned, “Did I not send you directives not to follow rebellious powers and selfish instincts, as these are your open enemies which can estrange one brother from the other?
(61) “You should follow Our law, as that is the only balanced and straight path that will take you to your destination.
(62) “You were also warned that your selfish instincts and rebellious leaders would mislead many of your groups and that as such the majority amongst you would go astray. We had told you these things very clearly but you did not use your intellect and wisdom.
(63) “The result is this jahannam about which you were repeatedly warned.
(64) “Now enter and endure it; and hear once again that this is the outcome of your persistent denial of following the right course.”
(65) On that day it will not be necessary to record their confession. Their own hands will speak to Us and their feet will bear witness to whatever crimes they had committed. Their deeds will become open proof against them. Man will stand witness against his own self (17:13-14, 75:14-15).
(66) (This is Our Law of Mukafat according to which decisions regarding the rise and fall of nations in this world as well as in the hereafter, are taken.) O Rasool! The end result of your enemies will also be their destruction as per this law. If Our Law of Mashiyya had not allowed everyone to follow the path they liked, it would not have been difficult for Us to deprive them (the opponents of the divine order) of their vision so that they would have strayed forever in search of the right path. And they would not have found anything.
(67) In spite of all their faculties, We could also have weakened and transmuted them to the extent that they would have been unable to move forward or turn back. (And in this way We could have blunted their opposition. But We did not want to do it.)
(68) We do not deprive people of their powers in this manner. Actually what happens to nations is similar to the process of ageing. In old age, one grows weak and one’s faculties become weaker under the physical laws. Instead of growing stronger, the physical faculties are reversed. The same is the case with nations. When they leave the right path their faculties become exhausted and they start regressing. Why don’t they ponder on these facts?
(69) When We explain things in similes or parables, it does not mean that We are not serious and are speaking casually in a poetic manner. We neither taught such poetry to Our Rasool, nor is it worthy of a person who has been assigned to deliver such a revolutionary and vital message. This is certainly not poetry (26:224). These are but historical facts and a code of life which are vivid and illuminating.
(70) And O Rasool! This code of life has been given to you so that you may warn the nation which still exhibits signs of life and wants to survive. If they still refuse to adopt the right path, they will themselves see that whatever We had said was the truth and not poetry.
(71) (Contrary to the condition of existing nations, the state of dead nations is like that of cattle; an animal which has no objective in life. It lives its life for the sake of its master and dies in his service.)
Don’t they ever ponder over the fact that they have complete mastery and command over the animals which We have created for them?
(72) We made these animals subservient to them. Some of them they use for riding; and others they slaughter.
(73) And they derive other benefits from them, like drinking their milk. Even after knowing so much, why do they not take to the right course of life?
(74) Also they leave Allah aside and consider other deities to be sovereign, reverting to them for succour and believing them to have the power and authority to help them.
(75) Tell them that these deities have no power to help in any way. Not only can they not help them, they are incapable of even protecting themselves. In fact to protect these deities, a host of followers and priests have to remain alert and vigilant all the time. At the time of clashes, these very protectors themselves get arrested by their opponents.
(76) So, O Rasool! Do not be grieved about what they say. We are certainly aware of what they are saying openly and what they are hiding in their hearts.
(77) (Man’s condition is such that he can forget his own reality, become rebellious and follow his emotions. He does not reflect over the fact that We created him out of a mere drop of semen. And then he openly opposes Us!
(78) He starts asking questions about Us and becomes oblivious to how he himself was created. He even denies the Almighty’s statement that you would be brought to life once again. He also questions who could give life to bones that have crumbled to dust (37:16, 73:3).
(79) Tell them that the Almighty Who created them for the first time will bring them back to life. He is fully aware and has full knowledge regarding all His creations (as regards the manner and stages through which His creations have to pass).
(80) It is God’s Law of Mashiyya which keeps moisture and heat combined in the green branches of trees. When the branch is ignited you can see this fire with your own eyes. (Can He not preserve the energy of life in a similar manner?)
(81) How can the Almighty, Who created the heavens and the earth (when nothing existed before), not be able to recreate them (after death)? Why not! It is within His absolute power to create anything (He likes); and He has knowledge of everything.
(82) He does not have to bring any raw material from anywhere for the purpose of creation. His law of creation is that whenever He wills something, the process of its creation is initiated right away.
(83) Therefore the Almighty, Who has absolute command and control over everything, is far above the notion that He is incapable of bringing the dead to life once again.
Remember! Just as the supremacy and sovereignty of God encompasses the whole universe, His Law of Mukafat also encompasses human deeds. Every step of yours leads towards it, in this life as well as in the hereafter. No action of yours will remain without results, whether the results come before your eyes in this life or later in the hereafter. This in fact is the basis of deen.
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