Exposition of the Holy Quran – 54 Al-Qamar (G A Parwez)

Surah 54: Al-Qamar
(The Moon)

(1) The hour of the revolution (about which they have been warned for a long time) is just around. The power and might of these opposing Arabs will come to an end and their flag (carrying the insignia of the moon) will be torn to pieces.
(2) Many of the signs of the coming revolution have appeared before them, but because of their rebellious attitude they do not seriously ponder over them. Instead, they turn away saying, “These are the same old fables that we had been hearing for a long time (46:11).”
(3) They contradict everything concerning this revolution and continue to follow their own selfish interests. (And when this is emphasized to them, they ask you to bring forth the doom about which they have been threatened. Do they not know that) The consequences of deeds appear at their appropriate time.
(4-5) (During this period of respite there is only one way in which they can be convinced about the impending doom and that is to recall historical evidence. It is for this purpose that) Many episodes of earlier generations have been mentioned to them; and if they gave serious consideration to every episode, it would penetrate deep into their heart and prevent them from following the wrong path. However, these intellectual discussions were of no use to them. They did not take advantage of any warnings and their situation has now reached this stage.
(6) Hence forget them. Their judgment will be announced on the day when a loud voice will call them (as prisoners of war).
(7-8) Upon hearing this call, they will come out of their abodes like a swarm of locusts that was earlier scattered and left behind. They will hasten forward to the caller with their gazes cast down like criminals.
People who always refuse to recognize this eventuality will accept that day to be an awful calamitous day.
(9) However this is nothing. They are doing exactly the same as earlier generations have done. (For instance) When Noah warned his people about the destructive results of their erroneous deeds, they belied him and called him a liar and a madman. He was often thrown out of their gatherings with contempt.
(10) Whereupon he called to his Rabb and prayed “These people have overwhelmed me. So take revenge (for their unjust oppression).”
(11) So We opened up the floodgates of heavy rains from the skies.
(12) And the earth burst open with springs. The water from the earth and the sky collected together (and rose) to take the form of a flood, for a purpose destined according to Our Law of Mukafat.
(13) And We made Noah (and his companions) board a vessel made of broad planks and nails (and tied with ropes).
(14) And in this mighty flood it sailed under Our supervision (so they remained safe while their opponents drowned). This was the outcome of their refusal to accept Noah’s suggestion (when he warned them about the impending flood. People laughed at him while he was making a boat. People who do not take safety measures despite seeing the on-coming catastrophe are bound to get destroyed.)
(15-16) We have preserved this episode for those who want to learn a lesson. Is there anyone who will reflect on how the warnings given by Us come true; and how Our chastisement faces them as stark reality?
(17) For those who want to take advice, We have made the Qur’an easy to understand. Is there anyone who will reflect on it and take advice?
(18) Likewise the people of Aad belied Our Law of Mukafat, but soon realized how Our warnings come true and how suffering is inflicted.
(19) We let loose on them the suffering of a raging stormy wind. That was the day of a violent disaster; one that destroyed them forever (41:16).
(20) The storm swept the people off their feet and threw them far away, as if they were trunks of uprooted palm trees being thrown here and there (69:7).
(21) Therefore, consider the truth of Our warning and the severity of Our chastisement.
(22) (After keeping this historical evidence in mind, consider how) We have indeed made this Qur’an simple and easy to understand. Is there anyone who wants to reflect on it and take lessons from it?
(23) Similarly, the people of Thamud belied Our warnings,
(24) And said, “Should we follow a man who is alone (without any group behind him)? (If we left our clan to follow him, this would amount to calling for destruction.) The only person who would commit such an error is one who, finding no way of safety, falls into a ditch like a blind man or a mad man unable to realize what is right or wrong for him.
(25) “Think of how the Almighty, leaving aside so many mighty personalities, has selected him (Saleh) as the one to receive His wahi. To us he seems to be a small conceited person (who calls himself Allah’s rasool just to gain importance).”
(26) (We told Saleh not to be disheartened by their taunts.) They will very soon know who in fact is a liar or a conceited person.
(27) You should wait for some time and remain firm and steadfast. Their promise that they would allow the she-camel to graze and drink when she returns will be a test of their commitment. When they break their promise it will become the cause of their destruction.
(28) You should explicitly tell them that according to the agreement, all cattle can drink in their turn; and likewise this she-camel will in its turn come to the drinking place.
(29) They told the whole story to their companion (the chieftain). (He said angrily, “How can his she-camel be treated like our own animals?” With great arrogance) He stretched his hand and cruelly killed her.
(30) (This was the final sign showing that their rebellious attitude had crossed all limits. Thereafter, came the time for their destruction and they saw with their own eyes) How true Our warning is; and how severe Our chastisement!
(31) We sent chastisement in the form of a severe earthquake (7:78). They were completely crushed and reduced to crumbling twigs, like a decayed fence destroyed by the force of a severe wind.
(The fence safeguards crops but when it becomes too weak to withstand the wind how can it protect others? Nations that adopt a rebellious course may appear strong. However, they are all unstable on the inside and thus cannot withstand the jolt of even one unfavourable circumstance).
(32) By narrating this historical evidence We have made the Qur’an simple and easy to understand. Therefore, is there anyone who, after pondering over this, will not take advantage of it and direct his life on to the right course?
(33) Likewise, the people of Lot belied Our messengers who cautioned them about their erroneous way of life.
(34) We sent on them a violent storm of volcanic stones that left no one alive, except Lot and his companions whom We had rescued from there early in the morning (51:32-34).
(35) This was a favour from Us (to Lot and his companions). But the favour was not granted to them easily. It was the outcome of their accepting the truth and acknowledging Our guidance with gratitude. Whoever takes this course of action receives a similar reward and remains safe from calamities.
(36) Lot had warned his people time and again to remain conscious of the divine Law of Mukafat, but they ignored it as an empty threat. On the contrary, they argued with him.
(37) When Lot’s guests came to visit him, they (the people of Lot) approached the visitors with evil designs. They were in fact crazed by their lust (and were not ready to listen to anything that Lot said. Hence We told them) Now get ready to taste the results of your misdeeds and see for yourselves the doom which you were cautioned about and which you thought was a mere lie. How true it comes!
(38) Therefore, early in the morning an abiding calamity overtook them.
(39) (And they were told) “Now you can taste My punishment and see for yourselves how My warnings come true.”
(40) By narrating these episodes in the Qur’an, We have made it easy to understand. Is there anyone who is not willing to ponder over it and take some lessons?
(41) Likewise, We also sent Our messengers to the Pharaoh’s nation. The messengers cautioned them about the disastrous effects of their misdeeds.
(42) They rejected each one of Our commandments, whereupon the mighty grip of Our Law of Mukafat seized them with full force.
(43) (O Rasool! After narrating these stories of previous generations,) Ask your opponents and those who deny the truth, “Are you in any way better or more powerful in strength and authority than the nations mentioned earlier? Or has any immunity been granted to you in Our scriptures?”
(44) They are under the impression that all the tribes will unite and help each other in opposing you (and that in this way no one can harm them).
(45) Tell them that they can all form one group and come out on the field. Then you will see how they will be totally routed and turn their backs to run away.
(46) (According to Our Law of Mukafat) The time for the decisive revolution to manifest itself has been set. That moment will come suddenly and as a surprise; and it will be calamitous and bitter for them.
(47-48) These guilty ones would be in grave misery. And when they are dragged into the awful chastisement with their faces down, they will be told, “Have a taste of the fire of jahannam.”
(49) It has taken some time as We have pre-determined measures about everything. Therefore, it takes due time before the results of everything mature. This is the way Our Law of Mukafat works.
(50) Otherwise, once Our verdict is given its enforcement does not take more time than the twinkling of an eye.
(51) (According to this verdict) We have destroyed many like you who were mighty and powerful. So is there anyone who will not pay any heed, after pondering over these facts?
(52) So whatever they are doing is being recorded in the books (of the Law of Mukafat);
(53) Everything, whether big or small, is being recorded in these books.
(54) (All decisions will be taken accordingly. Those who take to the erroneous path will fall in the inferno of destruction and) The muttaqeen who follow the straight path will be amid the evergreen, ever-fresh, comfortable and pleasant jannah.
(55) This is the place where all comforts and pleasures are in abundance and the possibilities are limitless. This is so because it is from the Almighty who possesses all authority.

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