Exposition of the Holy Quran – 89 Al-Fajr (G A Parwez)

Surah 89: Al-Fajr 

(The Dawn)

(1-4) (The great congregation of Hajj was proposed to discuss and sort out complicated issues affecting mankind. But just see what these pagan Arabs have turned this event into.) They have earmarked the first ten nights of this congregation for merrymaking, and indulging in every kind of lewdness. Gambling, played by throwing dice odd and even, takes place all around. During the last night the merrymaking reaches its climax, and when they wake up in the morning to celebrate the function of Hajj, that too is a passing manifestation of their lewdness. Wealthy traders of Quraish and the custodians of Ka’bah do all this, intoxicated by wealth and power. (They wastefully throw away their wealth, while the poor around them starve.)

(5) Anyone using intellect and reason, even casually, will easily conclude that the ultimate end of these people will be the same as that of earlier nations.

(6-7) (For instance) Consider the end of the people of Aad, who were from the progeny of Erm and who had abundant and reliable means of sustenance (26:132-134). They constructed huge buildings and great memorials for themselves (26:128).

(8) They occupied a unique position amongst their contemporary nations.

(9) And consider the end of the people of Thamud, who carved out strong forts on the mountainsides (7:74, 15:82);

(10) And the end of the Pharaoh, master of the most powerful forces, who was firmly established in the land.

(11-12) These rebellious people had transgressed all bounds, creating chaos and disorder.

(13) So what was their end result? The Law of Mukafat of your Rabb let loose on them the scourge of diverse chastisement (and all of them perished).

(14) The Law of Mukafat of your Rabb is ever alert and He watches everyone from His ambuscade. Nothing is hidden from His sight. (Thus, whatever happened to those tribes and people, will also happen to these Arab chiefs who have transgressed all bounds of wickedness.)

(15) (The fact is that when human beings turn away from the guidance of wahi and stop using their minds, the concept of law disappears from their sight. They forget that any good or bad that happens is the result of individual or collective deeds. The one who does not recognize this reality believes that all these things occur by chance. For instance) Owing to this erroneous thinking whenever life takes a favourable turn, a person does not try to find out which actions of his brought about such blessings in his life. Instead he says, “This is Allah’s blessing which He bestows on anyone He likes (meaning that there are no set laws or regulations in this regard).”

(16) However, when life takes an adverse turn and his sustenance becomes restricted, he does not bother to ponder on which action or attitude of his brought this about. He immediately cries out, “My Rabb has despised and humiliated me for no crime or reason.”

(17) Tell those who think this way that they are absolutely wrong. Allah does not despise or humiliate anybody without reason. The reason for your being disgraced is that you have established a society in which people, who are not considered worthy of respect, have been left alone. Only the one who has a strong party is considered worthy of respect.

(18) And in that society there is no arrangement that a person whose business is affected for any reason, should not be deprived of sustenance. The affluent neither help him, nor do they persuade others to do so.

(19) On the contrary, you greedily devoured all that which came into your possession by way of inheritance from your forefathers.

(20) At the same time, just as water flows down the valley towards the low-lying places, you planned that the wealth of other people should also be sucked towards yours.

(In the capitalistic system, small amounts of wealth continue to flow into the hands of the rich; and all wealth is thus collected in the hands of a few. Such an economic system cannot last for long. That was why you were so humiliated and disgraced. One doesn’t receive respect and honour from Us just by chance, nor can this be indiscriminately snatched away. Both are the results of man’s deeds.)

(21) (So, tell the chiefs of the Quraish that their system cannot last for ever. The era shall dawn when) The socio-economic inequalities in society will be replaced by economic justice;

(22) And the Rabubiyya order of your sustainer, along with all the heavenly forces, arrayed rank upon rank, will be established on earth. (In that system the gains made due to the forces of nature would be endowed and utilized for nourishing all humanity, instead of adding to the power and strength of a particular tribe or nation.)

(23) And jahannam, which is the natural consequence of their unjust socio-economic system and which has been kept hidden from people by their wickedness, will appear before them. (Presently people are burning in the fire ignited by them but they do not reveal as to who is responsible for it. At that time this deception shall be exposed.) Then the people who have been mentioned will try to escape the chastisement by changing their attitude. However, their desire to change will be of no avail when the results of their deeds become evident for then one cannot learn from mistakes.

(24) At that time man will cry out in utter despair, “Oh! How I wish I had also done something good. That would have given me real life today!”

(25) On that day he will receive severe punishment from the Almighty, such that no one has been given before;

(26) And His grip would be so severe, that it would have no parallel.

(27) On the contrary, the person who would have attained tranquility and peace of mind by following the divine laws (13:28), thus developing his personality properly and acquiring perfect balance in it (91:9), would be told,

(28) “Your life-style was in complete harmony with the divine laws. Therefore from your Rabb, you will have all the pleasures and comforts you desire.”

(29) (But O Rasool tell them, “You cannot attain this individually, but through collective living.” For this it is important that) You should join the group of people (the Jamat-ul-Momineen) who are obedient to Allah.

(30) And in this way you shall enter the blissful society of janna, which has been established according to the divine laws (9:119) – (a blissful life in this world as well as in the hereafter!)

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