Exposition of the Holy Quran – 67 Al-Mulk (G A Parwez)

Surah 67: Al-Mulk
(Sovereignty)

(1) That Being has in His hands full control and authority over everything in the universe. He guarantees the development, nourishment and stability of everything and is the master of all pleasures and comforts. For this purpose, He has determined measures over which He has complete control. (The outstanding feature of the system that will be established in this world according to the divine law is that it would be for the good of all humanity.)
(2) For the evolutionary process, He has laid down the principle of struggle between opposing elements. This law also works in the human world. If the constructive elements within an individual or a nation dominate their respective lives, then they can continue to exist and go forward. Those who go against it lose their ability for progress and growth and ultimately die. The death of a human being also tests the capabilities of his self. (If that person’s self has developed, it would be capable of passing through further evolutionary stages. That is called the life of janna. If it has not developed it is unfit for further progress and hence this is the life of jahannam. Therefore for a momin, death is the gateway to higher levels of progress and development and not an impediment.) This is the Allah Who controls all His programmes and protects them from destructive forces (11:7, 18:7).
(3) (If you want to see how wonderfully this programme functions and how His sovereignty and protection work in absolute harmony, then take a look at the gigantic machinery of the universe.) He has made the various heavenly bodies in outer space in a way that they can maintain complete conformity (and not collide) with each other.
Take a good look all around you. You will not find any defect or disproportion in the creation of Ar-Rahman. Not once. But look again and again and reflect deeply over it. You will not see any flaws anywhere. Nothing will be out of sequence or incomplete.
(4) Turn your vision again towards the vastness of the universe. Do so yet again; and every time your gaze will fall back upon you, dazzled and tired. (This is the scenario of Our universe which is working according to Our laws. If the divine system is introduced in your own society, you too will find such harmony, instead of chaos and disorder.)
(5) And We adorned the visible sky with bright stars. Those who have no knowledge of Our laws and live a life of whims and ignorance, foretell the unknown from the position of these stars. Now, after the revelation of the Qur’an, the era of knowledge and research has been ushered in; and that of fortune-tellers and soothsayers will gradually end. They will not be able to fool others and their end shall be destruction (15:17, 37:6-9, 72:8).
(6) This is not confined to them alone. For all who deny the divine laws, in any walk of life, the end shall be doom and destruction. And what an awful end it shall be!
(7) When they are thrown into the doom of jahannam, very painful and disturbing cries shall be heard from within. It (jahannam) will be a raging storm;
(8) And this storm will be so violent that it will appear to be bursting in fury. Whenever a nation is thrown therein, the wardens of jahannam ask them, “Did no one come to warn you and caution you about the consequences of your erroneous deeds?”
(9) And they shall reply, “Such a person certainly came to warn us but (unfortunately we disbelieved him and) we told him that he was lying; that no such thing as Allah’s wahi has been revealed to him. (Instead, we blamed those who followed him, saying that) They were lost in great delusion (and that we were on the right path).
(10) “Truly we did not utilize our intellect and ability to think; and we opposed him out of sheer prejudice and stubbornness. Had we listened to him attentively and used our intellect, we would not be in this jahannam.” (Only those who do not use their intellect go to jahannam – 7:179.)
(11) Upon seeing the chastisement with their own eyes, they will confess their guilt. But alas! A person, who (after the period of respite is over) goes to hell because of his bad deeds, will be deprived of all joys and pleasures.
(12) On the contrary, there is protection and excellent reward for people who keep in mind the unseen results of their deeds (as per the Law of Mukafat); and are afraid of the consequences of their erroneous deeds.
(13) (However, this cannot be achieved by accepting these laws; and at the same time by secretly making plans against them. You cannot deceive Almighty Allah like this.) It does not make any difference to Him whether you keep your plans secret or make them public. He knows even the innermost secrets of your hearts.
(14) Just imagine, if the Almighty who created you is not aware of your hearts, then who else would be? His vision is all-penetrating; and He is aware of everything.
(15) The Almighty has arranged for your development by making the means of sustenance subservient to you. You should thus seek ways to acquire these means and bring out the nourishment that He has bestowed for your use.
But do not ever believe that you have become the sole owner of these sources of nourishment and that you can use them the way you like. These have been given to you in trust. Therefore, you should always remember that you have to account for them to the Almighty. (This attitude and vision will infuse new life into a decaying human society.)
(16) (When you become the sole masters of the sources of nourishment and forget the purpose for which He has created these means, then) Are you not becoming negligent of His Law of Mukafat? Just imagine. If He suspends these economic facilities; makes the land dusty and barren (67:21, 67:30, 80:25); or buries you in the ground with one earthquake, then what can you do?
(17) Or just imagine that, if one of the heavenly bodies starts showering stones due to some discord, then can you remain safe from this destruction?
You may be taking these things lightly but very soon you will realize what We meant by these warnings. (It is not only natural calamities that destroy nations; erroneous social systems also do the same.)
(18) Similarly, even people before you had not accepted Our warnings. You can go through the pages of history and see how awful and destructive the results of their denial were.
(19) (You do not have any idea about the mighty powers of the laws of nature. It needs vast knowledge and experience to comprehend them. But if you want to estimate it, just look at the birds flying in space. (Anything that heavy cannot be suspended in air. Yet birds fly swiftly through the air.) Can anything other than the law of Ar-Rahman keep them in this position? The fact is that His law of Rabubiyya takes note of the requirements and necessities of everything.
(20) Say! If as a result of your belief and opposition to the divine laws, destruction overcomes you, is there any force that can help you?
In fact the people who reject and violate the divine laws are lost in self-deception and delusion. They do not understand that no force can defeat the divine laws.
(21) Ask them, “If the Almighty withholds the earth’s ability to produce food, then who will provide you sustenance?” But people cannot comprehend such matters because they are swayed by their rebellious passions and animosity. (The basic requirement for understanding something is that one should not be swayed by passion.)
(22) Ask them whether a person, who does not use his mind and is guided by his passion and walks with his face cast down, can be equated with one who walks upright on the right path?
(23) Tell them that the Almighty did not create you like animals. He endowed you with the faculties of sight, hearing and reasoning, which you can utilize to live a life as human beings. Now just think of how you are using these faculties!
(24) Say, it is He who has dispersed you all over the earth (and provided you with abundant sources of nourishment). (This dispersal however, does not mean that you have gone out of the ambit of the divine laws. No, not at all!) You are being brought to His Law of Mukafat from everywhere (and every step of yours takes you in that direction – 23:79).
(25) (Whenever the Law of Mukafat is mentioned) They ask, “If what you say is really true, then tell us when the doom which you warn us about will occur.”
(26) Tell them, “Knowledge about when the doom will come rests with Allah alone. But I can tell you for certain that the outcome of your erroneous way of life shall be very destructive; and this doom is bound to come.”
(27) (They are presently clamouring for this doom, but) When they see it close at hand, their faces will darken with grief. At that time they will be told, “This is the doom that you were calling for.”
(28) You should tell them, “Leave aside what may happen to me and my companions – whether we are destroyed or whether Allah’s rahma and rabubiyya is bestowed on us. Tell me, who will save you when doom and destruction overcome you because of your denial and rebellious attitude?
(29) Tell them, “The Almighty we believe in is Ar-Rahman, the One who has the responsibility for the nourishment and development of the universe. We have full faith in His laws of growth and development (and therefore we will not be doomed). You will soon realize who is lost in error (and who is on the right path).
(30) (The discussion started from the point that you should not take as your personal property the sources of nourishment which have been provided for all mankind. In this regard it is worth repeating) Ask them once again about the divine laws according to which water gushes forth from the earth through springs. Suppose His law is reversed and instead of coming up the water vanishes underground. Then who can supply you with clear running water (56:63-74)?
(Only one thing is important to those who reflect on these matters. The means of sustenance are gifts from Allah; and their distribution should also be according to His laws.)

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