Exposition of the Holy Quran – 91 Ash-Shams (G A Parwez)

Surah 91: Ash-Shams

(The Sun)

(1) Consider the Sun and its radiant brilliance;

(2) The moon and its pursuit of the sun to receive its light;

(3) The day as it uncovers the splendid landscape of the world;

(4) The night and its darkness which covers everything;

(5) The heights and expanse of space and the wondrous nature of heavenly bodies within it;

(6) The earth and the way it spreads out (in spite of being spherical);

(7) And (away from the external world) the human self and how it is formed and fashioned;

(8) And the way it is endowed with the capability to self-disintegrate by following an erroneous path; or with choice to save itself from disintegration and become firmer and stronger every day.

(9) (The total programme functioning in the cosmic world and the human self stand testimony to the fact that) Whosoever nurtured and developed his self, did indeed attain success;

(10) But the life of one who suppresses his self (nafs) under the burden of selfish gains and does not let it develop, becomes ruined. All his latent abilities remain undeveloped.

(11) (Even historical episodes stand as testimony to this fact. For example) The tribe of Thamud denied the divine law, by its rebellious attitude.

(12) And the one with the most disintegrated personality became their leader.

(13) Their rasool had asked them to keep open for all the sources of nourishment granted to them by Almighty Allah. (The proof of their abiding by this agreement would be) “This is a she-camel belonging to no one. Let us call her Allah’s she-camel (on Allah’s land). Let her drink water on her turn (7:73, 26:155).”

(14) They promised and made a commitment. But later they retracted from it and hamstrung the she-camel (and thus openly showed that they would not stop opposing the divine law of Rabubiyya). As a result of their attitude, and His Law of Mukafat, their Rabb sent down upon them a crushing destruction which obliterated them and leveled their dwellings to the ground.

(15) And while doing so He was not perturbed about the consequences since this action was not based on injustice, but was a natural consequence of their deeds. (The divine law is therefore not disturbed by such situations. Justice is above all such emotions.)


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