Exposition of the Holy Quran – 74 Al-Muddaththir (G A Parwez)
Surah 74: Al-Muddaththir
(The Entrusted One)
(1) O you who have been entrusted with the revolutionary responsibility of establishing a new world order, through organizing and refreshing the vigour in the lives of mankind, so that it may overcome every unjust and false system;
(2) Arise and warn the slumbering people of the outcome of their erroneous ways of life.
(3) And establish the order of Rabubiyya so that it manifests the sovereignty of your Rabb and shows that all greatness should only belong to Him. (You too will thus attain eminence in the world – 2:152.)
(4) To achieve this, it is very important that you purify your own conduct, character and personality; and that you keep this mission free from every kind of undesirable element. (This system cannot be operated mechanically by anyone. The mission should be clean and transparent; and the vision and character of all those who participate in it should be pure.)
(5) Take such companions with you (73:1) and give them the training that will inculcate strength in their personalities, with which they can undertake this great responsibility with ease. They should not tremble when they rise up burdened with this responsibility.
(6) You should also explain to your companions that the basic principle of this mission is to keep the fruits of your labour open and accessible for the nourishment and development of others. When you render help to the needy, do not consider it to be a favour to them and do not expect a bigger return (30:39, 76:9).
(7) This is the Nizam-e-Rabubiyya, for the establishment of which you always have to be active, steadfast and firm, so that you can proceed to your destination in peace and tranquility, without your sails becoming unbalanced along the way.
(8) (Also tell them that they will face stiff opposition from all around, so much so that) A time may come when your enemies will attack you from all around. The bugle will be sounded and you will have to come to the battlefield.
(9-10) Also, tell them that there will be many hardships in this clash. But the anguish of your opponents will be far greater (for they will be defeated and success will ultimately be yours).
(11) (During this period your opponents will do their best to involve you in irrelevant matters, so that your mission may not progress. But you should continue your march without caring about them.) Our Law of Mukafat will deal with them. When We created the leader of this selfish group, he was alone. At the time of his birth he had not brought with him any of the wealth or sources about which he is now boasting and being rebellious.
(12) Then We gave him plenty of wealth (73:11);
(13) And the progeny who are working hard in opposing Us.
(14) Nevertheless, for him We made life smooth and comfortable and provided him with all sorts of luxuries and ease.
(15) Despite this, his greed is not satisfied. He wants Us to give him more power and wealth (so that he can further strengthen his opposition).
(16) But this will not happen again, because he has rebelled against Our laws.
(17) (Now the time of the revolution is approaching when) He has to face acute hardships and climb the cliff of calamities.
(18) (When he came to you, you explained to him about the pleasant life which he could live by obeying the divine laws, and the miserable life that would result by going against them. Then) He seriously thought it over, compared both ways and made his assessment as to which was more profitable.
(19-20) May he be doomed! What a wrong assessment He made for himself! An utterly erroneous judgment which will bring him only doom and destruction!
(21) Then he had a second look at the message.
(22) He frowned and puckered his brow.
(23) Finally he turned away in utter arrogance and pride, saying:
(24) “All this (that these are the divine injunctions) is wrong. In fact, these are just ancient fables; the same old falsehood being handed down since centuries.
(25) “All this (advice) has been concocted by this man himself (which he presents as wahi from Allah).”
(26) (The leader of this group went away after making these statements. However the Law of Mukafat proclaimed) Very soon his wealth and fame shall disappear and he will be cast into the burning fire which will melt all his arrogance and stubbornness.
(27) And do you know what this burning fire is and what it does?
(28) It does not spare anything and turns everything into a heap of ashes.
(29) It disfigures to the extent that a person cannot be recognized any more.
(30) (This is just one destruction that has been explained) There are scores of others (this one and nineteen more).
(31) All this destruction is brought about by Our designated forces. As far as their number is concerned, this is mentioned just as a parable. People who do not believe the Qur’an take these parables as reality, attach literal meanings to the eschatological descriptions, raise objections and become confused. But those who comprehend the Qur’an in depth can understand the real intent of these parables and their conviction would be further strengthened (3:7). Even the members of the Jamat-ul-Momineen, whose knowledge is not so extensive, will consolidate their faith. The fact of the matter is that such parables do not create any doubt or anxiety in the minds of people who have a deeper knowledge of the Qur’an, or those who are still in the initial stages of eiman. However, those who are perplexed or openly claim that the Qur’an is not the divine writ, without hesitation raise objections about what Allah Almighty actually means by giving such parables (2:26).
Accordingly, a person who develops a distorted vision and with his deeds adopts the wrong course, then in conformance with the Law of Mukafat he will never see the right path. However, the one who wants to go on the right course will receive guidance for it. The fact is that only Allah has the knowledge of how the divine forces work in the universe and how these actively fulfill His destined programme. These matters have been explained allegorically so that people can ponder over them; and so that the divine laws do not go out of their sight.
(32) (These people believe that the Law of Mukafat is not real and that the warning being given about the revolution is only an empty threat. This is not so. The revolution is a reality which is bound to occur. Tell them to look at the discipline and order with which the entire system of the universe functions according to the divine law. Then reflect: Is it difficult for the Almighty, whose limitless forces are doing such a wondrous work, to bring about such a revolution?)
The moon (its appearance at the proper time and its passage through various stages);
(33) And the darkness of the night, when it turns into the gleam of dawn;
(34) And then the appearance of morning with full brilliance. All these changes are living proof of the working of the divine law of nature.
(35) (According to this law, the promised revolution will take place) The revolution will be one of the greatest events in human history. (It will rise gradually like the moon and all traces of the darkness of ignorance shall disappear by its light. And the truth shall dawn.)
(36) We hereby warn them that this is bound to happen. Let everyone be aware of it.
(37) Here all matters are decided according to the Law of Mukafat. The rise and fall of nations as well as the success and defeat of individuals are due to their own deeds. Whosoever amongst you chooses, can either move forward or lag behind. (The purpose behind the guidance and the struggle between right and wrong is that whosoever wants to move to the higher stages of evolution, can do so through his own effort. If one wishes to, he can stay behind.)
(38) Remember! Everyone is bound by his own deeds and the calamities that befall him are due to his own erroneous deeds. This is how wrong-doers suffer the consequences.
(39) But people who are on the right track will not be involved in calamities.
(40) Due to their noble deeds they shall abide among the pleasures of janna. They will ask
(41) The guilty ones,
(42) “What brought you to this jahannam? What were the crimes for which you are suffering?”
(43) They (the dwellers of jahannam) will say, “Our crime was that we did not join those who established the Nizam-us-Sala.
(44) “And we did not provide means of sustenance to those who were unable to earn.
(45) “(On the contrary) We were amongst those who talked vainly (and did nothing practically);
(46) “We thus belied the Law of Mukafat. We also considered the threat that one day our deeds would confront us in the form of destruction, to be a lie.
(47) “We maintained this attitude until the time that the destruction actually overtook us.”
(48) At that time intercession by any of their supporters would not be of any use to them.
(49) When all these facts have been explained to them, why is it that they turn away?
(50-51) Not only do they turn away, they also flee like frightened asses which have just seen a lion.
(52) (It is not that they do not understand what they are being told. They certainly do understand it. But the fact of the matter is that their selfish interests do not allow them to come this way. The divine order requires a collective life where everyone’s interests are common. However) Every one of them wants his business interests to be extended and to function independently. They desire that the socio-economic system should not be subjected to any common control; and that it should be left to one’s own likes and dislikes. And that instead of striving for collective good, everyone should pursue individual interests(1).
(53) Their eyes are therefore set only on immediate gains. They neither have faith in future life, nor are they are afraid of it (the accountability therein).
(54) (But now it will not be so.) The Qur’an is an open admonition and a historical reality.
(55) So whoever wants to can lead his life according to its directives.
(56) But only those who harmonize their objectives and designs with the divine laws will keep it in mind. These are the people who guard the divine laws; and they will be safe from calamities and destruction (76:30, 81:29).
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