Tag Archives: 19 Surah Maryam

Exposition of the Holy Quran – 20 Surah Taa-Haa (G A Parwez)

Surah 20: Taa-Haa
(Ta Ha)

(1) O Rasool!
(2) We have not revealed the Qur’an to make your life cumbersome or to deprive you of the pleasant things in life. (This code will bestow a pleasant and successful life on you – 20:118, 123:124.) The initial stages of this revolutionary program shall certainly be difficult, but ultimately it is only you who shall be successful (94:1-6).
(3) The purpose of its revelation is for it to be a source of prosperity and accomplishment for the one who fears that he may be deprived of the bounties of life.
(4) This revelation is from the One, Ar-Rahman, Who has created the earth and the high skies (wherein His laws are in operation with complete command).
(5) This is Ar-Rahman, who is in full command and control of the universe.
(6) The entire awe-inspiring universe, from the highest point to the lowest depths, is busy fulfilling His destined program. (The objective of this control is that everything in the universe should continue receiving nourishment (1:2) and every action should produce the correct and appropriate result (45:22).
(7) (Given this state of affairs, that everything in the universe is actively fulfilling Allah’s program according to His Law of Mukafat, it makes no difference to Him whether you say something aloud or softly.) He is aware of every secret of yours, and all (your thoughts and intentions) still hidden within you.
(8) In fact, absolute authority in the entire universe belongs to Allah. All His attributes (as mentioned in the Qur’an) are the reflections of His extremely balanced facets.
(9) (In order to understand how one, after passing through initial turmoil, reaches the ultimate goals by following the divine laws) You have to keep in mind the story of Moses.
(10) (We start this story from the incident when) He saw some fire and said to his companions, “You should wait here; I have seen fire far away. Perhaps I will bring you a burning brand from there, or find someone near the fire who may guide us in the right direction (in the darkness of night). (Human intellect, when it is devoid of guidance from wahi (revelation), tries to find its path by such guesswork.)
(11) When Moses came close to the fire, a voice called out, “O Moses!
(12) It is Me, your Rabb. (You have now reached the stage where the long and arduous methods of quest through trial, error and intellectual guesswork are over. Henceforth starts the role of wahi, whereby the absolute truth unveils on its own. You can now be content and leave aside this long quest; that phase is over – 79:16.)
(13) “I have chosen you (for an important purpose). Therefore, listen very carefully to what is being revealed to you (20:40-41).
(14) “The very first message of this wahi is that I alone am God. No one except Me holds any authority in the universe. Therefore, you should obey only Me and set up the system of sala in order to establish the superiority of the divine order.
(15) “(Keep in mind that through you) A great revolution is about to occur. Our program is that the Qur’anic social order which till now was obscure (to the non-observant) should now manifest itself. This order will come so that everyone receives full reward for what they strive for (and the unjust system of exploitation and plundering in the society established by the Pharoah, Qaroon (Korah) and Haman (the high priest of Pharoah), is finally overthrown. Moreover, in that society the rewards of one’s labour are taken away by others. This Quranic order will be brought about only by the enforcement of Nizam-us-Sala (20:112).
(16) “Keep one thing firmly in mind. (Do not keep with you the) people who do not believe in the impending order and continue to follow their own selfish desires. (Because) They will become a hindrance and also a reason for your destruction.” (This social order will only be brought about by people who are convinced about it and do not have selfish desires.)
(17) (After this, Moses was given instructions regarding the revolutionary program. These included the art of reasoning and rationale, together with solid arguments to convince opponents and how, at the time of confrontation, to skillfully deal with them firmly. Thereafter, a voice came from the unseen), “O Moses! With deep insight, ponder over these commandments and the instructions; and with the sources of strength given to you consider how you will find them.”
(18) Moses replied, “O my Lord! These laws and instructions are an immense source of strength for me for carrying out my forthcoming mission. Now I will proceed with their assistance and firmly hold on to them at every moment of difficulty, so that I do not falter anywhere. With their help I will drive my herd (of the children of Israel to whom You are sending me as their shepherd). I will change their inactivity and lethargy into action and movement. Besides this, whenever I confront a problem, I will take vision and guidance from these instructions(1).”

(19) “You have understood it correctly,” was the reply. “Now you should present it before the people.”
(20) From then onwards, Moses thought about his mission seriously and took stock of the whole situation. He realized that the task of presenting these laws before the people was not easy. He felt as if this gigantic task was like a fast moving python (26:32-33, 7:107-108, 28:32).
(21) God reassured Moses and told him not to worry, “Hold on to these laws and instructions firmly. Keep in mind what you had said earlier (that you will also utilize them for beneficial purposes). We will make them a source of strength for you and your nation.
(22) “Do not be distressed. On the contrary, be completely calm and tranquil, and with total commitment present your manifesto clearly and rationally. You will surely be safe and successful. This will be the second sign of your success. (The first sign would be the destruction of your enemy. The second shall be the rehabilitation of the supremacy and sovereignty of your own people.)
(23) “All these commandments are being given to you, so that We can show you how great a change can occur through their enforcement (79:20).
(24) “Now, go to Pharaoh, for he has certainly transgressed all bounds.”
(25) (When Moses realized the enormity of the task he had been chosen for, and the powerful forces he had to clash with) He prayed, “O my Rabb! (Since this mission is extremely difficult) Strengthen and broaden my resolve (so that I am able to face all situations with confidence.)
(26) “And ease all the hurdles that come in my way (94:5).
(27) “And make my speech fluent and forceful,
(28) “So that they fully understand what I say.
(29-32) “Out of my kinsfolk appoint my brother Aaron for me, so that he may help me by sharing my task; provide me strength and remain by my side.
(33) “So that together we can vigorously involve ourselves in accomplishing the assigned task;
(34) “And take one step after the other, so that your divine law and the system become supreme.
(35-36) “You are surely fully aware of our capabilities, O Moses! We have granted all that you have asked for.” (Now stand steadfast and do not let anyone divert your attention -10:89.)
(37) (On hearing this) Moses bowed in deep gratitude and said, “This certainly is a great favour.” Thereupon He replied, “O Moses! This is not the first time that We have bestowed Our favour upon you; this process (of divine favours) started long ago;
(38) “When (at the time of your birth) We sent a message to your mother (through one of Our messengers);
(39) “That she should put the child in a chest and put it in the river. The waves of the river will then cast him ashore, and the one who is his enemy as well as that of Our divine laws, will take him away (for adoption). (It was in this way that you reached the palace of the Pharaoh and) There Our blessings made you lovable to everybody. All this was so arranged because We wanted you to grow up (in the palace) under Our guidance (and be familiar with palace etiquette, politics and statecraft, which you were to challenge one day).”
(40) (And when you arrived at the palace) The members of the Pharoah’s household were concerned about nursing you. At that moment, your sister was passing close by and said (to the Pharaoh’s household), “Shall I guide you to a woman who can take full responsibility of looking after him?” (This woman was your own mother.) In this way, We brought you back to your mother’s lap, so that her eyes would remain appeased and she would not grieve (about having been separated from her son). Thereafter, when you came of age, you killed a man, but We kept you safe from any grievous consequences. Then (after taking you away from the palace), We put you through the turmoil of a rough and tough life so that you become a real stalwart. You also stayed for several years amongst the people of Midian, as a shepherd. (Think about the stages through which you have passed; for) It was then that you, O Moses, came up to Our standard.
(41) And thus We prepared you for a very special task of Ours. (It was not by a simple coincidence that while grazing cattle you went to a place to fetch a burning brand. There, We crowned you with nabuwwa.)
(42) You and your brother should now go forth to the Pharaoh with My message. And remember, do not show any slackness in following the directives given by Me.
(43) (So Moses left for the mission and when his brother Aaron joined him, these divine instructions were repeated. They were told) “Go forth to the Pharaoh, both of you, because now he has transgressed all limits.
(44) (When you meet him) Converse with him in a gentle manner. It is quite possible that he may take heed, or he may become frightened (of the consequences of his transgression).”
(45) They replied, “O our Rabb! We are very apprehensive lest he behave insolently with us (takes an offensive position) and become violent.”
(46) God replied, “Do not be afraid, I shall also be with both of you. I am all-hearing, all-seeing (and he will not be able to harm you).
(47) Now both of you should go to him without any fear and proclaim, ‘We are the messengers of your Rabb. (He decrees you to) Let the children of Israel go with us and not to oppress them (anymore). If you follow the path decreed by your sustainer, it will bring complete peace. In fact peace prevails upon everyone who follows His guidance.
(48) And it has been revealed to us that severe punishment will befall whoever belies the divine message and turns away. (Now you can decide for yourself which course you want to adopt.)’”
(49) (So, when the two brothers conveyed the divine message to the Pharaoh, he said) “O Moses! (First of all) Tell me who that Rabb of yours is (whose message you are giving to me. You know every tribe or community has its own separate God. Which one is yours)?”
(50) Moses replied, “Our Rabb does not belong to any particular community or group. Our Rabb has created everything, and after giving to it instinctive nature and form, guides it towards the path (leading to its destination). As far as human beings are concerned, they are given guidance through wahi, which we are conveying to you.”
(51) (Then the Pharaoh realized that he had not been able to corner Moses with his line of questioning. And because he was sitting amongst his courtiers who were polytheists like their ancestors, and who according to the divine law explained by Moses were all destined to be in jahannam, he changed his line of argument. He asked Moses) “What then, in your opinion, is the state of previous generations?”
(52) (The Pharaoh had raised this query with a mischievous design, knowing that if Moses said that all of them were in jahannam, the nobility would rise against him and the issue of the freedom of the Bani-Israel would be sidetracked. But the Pharaoh did not know with whom he was dealing.) Moses said, “I do not know what condition those people are in. This knowledge rests with my Rabb alone, and it is recorded in His decree (according to which their cases will be decided). (Rest assured) Neither does He err, nor does He forget. (Their cases will be decided according to their deeds. Now once again, listen to the answer to your earlier question about what type of Rabb He is Who has sent us to you.)
(53) “He is the One Who has stored means of nourishment for all of you everywhere on this spacious earth; made and traced out ways for your movements; and Who sends down water from the sky with which He grows various vegetation and plants;
(54) “So that you yourself may eat and also pasture your cattle. In this divine system there are signs, for those who are endowed with reason, that absolute authority and control over the entire universe rests with Him. (Therefore the Pharaoh’s claim that he alone was the great rabb – 79:29; that the entire country was his property – 43:51; and that therefore you all were under his subjugation, was totally baseless.)
(55) It is He Who created all of you from this earth (inorganic matter) and He shall revert your lifeless physical body back to it; and raise you forth once again from it. (Therefore, amongst human beings there is no distinction between ruler and ruled, master or slave. He is the real master; all human beings are equal and are His servants.) You have now understood what kind of Rabb He is, Whose message we have brought to you.”
(56) (Now the Pharaoh understood the message Moses had brought and the kind of revolution he intended to bring about.) Thus (through Moses) We explained in no uncertain terms Our laws to the Pharaoh and also showed him how rightfully they were based on truth and equity. But the Pharaoh refused to accept them and belied them.
(57) He said, “Have you come to us, O Moses, to drive us out of our land by giving us illusive reasons and a false religion?
(58) “In that case we shall certainly meet you with the like (and the reply will be given by our religious priests). So arrange a debate between us and yourself at a place where both stand an equal chance. We shall not fail to attend, nor should you.”
(59) Announced Moses, “Your debate shall be on the day of the festival and let the people assemble when the sun has risen high.”
(60) Then the Pharaoh withdrew, collected his stratagem and returned for the debate at the appointed time.
(61) Moses addressed (all the priests who had gathered for the confrontation with him) and cautioned them, “Beware! Do not fabricate lies against Allah, lest you are struck by some punishment. (You invent your own religious fables and then attribute them to Allah.) Beware! The divine law stipulates that whoever does so is doomed to failure. He pulls them out from their very roots.”
(62) (The impact of this warning was that) They started altercating amongst themselves in whispers and secrecy. (This too had an adverse effect on the masses who had gathered there.)
(63) (When) The nobles of the Pharaoh (saw the reaction of the crowd they became very upset and) told the people, “Do you know what these two brothers (Moses and Aaron) really want(2)? Their real intention is to establish themselves in this land by deceitful means; drive you out from the country; and destroy your religion and cult which is so high and superior. In this way, they shall also take away the grandeur, status and authority of the state and the monarchy.”
(64) (They addressed the priests and said) “Now forget your differences, concentrate on your strategy and plans and come forward in unison for the encounter. It is certain that whoever succeeds here shall carry the day (7:111-113, 107:79).”
(65) They asked Moses, “Will you start (the debate) first or should we explain whatever we want to say?”
(66) Moses said, “(It is better that) You start first (and say) whatever you want to say in support of your claim.” So they presented their own religion as being against Allah’s deen, and gave arguments in support of their claims and against those of Moses. (Their presentation was so impressive that Moses was apprehensive that they might succeed by their sheer rhetoric and eloquence.)
(67) And in his heart Moses became somewhat apprehensive (7:116).
(68) We (assured him and) said, “There is nothing to worry about; surely it is you who will be victorious.
(69) “Whatever arguments they have given are deceitful and illusive. Such arguments (of a hallucinatory nature) can never succeed, no matter which quarter they come from. You should therefore present
with perspicuous eloquence and clarity, the
divine laws which you have already found to be a tremendous source of solace and strength to you (20:17).”
(70) (So when Moses presented his case with convincing reasoning, exactly that which Allah had foretold happened. All) The clergy of the Pharaoh openly accepted their weakness and exclaimed, “Surely we proclaim our eiman on the Rabb of Moses and Aaron.”
(71) Upon hearing this, the Pharaoh said, “How is it that you have proclaimed your eiman on the Rabb of Moses and Aaron before I have permitted you to do so! It appears as if Moses is in fact your master, and has taught you all these illusive tricks. Just see what sort of torturous punishment I will give you all. I shall have your hands and feet cut off on alternate sides (or put you in handcuffs and shackles) and crucify all of you on trunks of palm trees. You will see for yourself which one of us can inflict a more severe and lasting punishment.”
(72) (They heard the threats with complete tranquility and said) “The truth and the evidence that has been unfolded before us is so convincing that we can neither give preference to your fallacious reasoning, nor can we turn away from the One Who has brought us into being, to obey you instead. So go ahead and do whatever you want. Furthermore, your decree is confined to life in this world alone (and we do not care much for this life because it does not end here. Life goes beyond to a point on which you have no access or control).
(73) Now that we have expressed eiman in our sustainer, we pray to Him to keep us safe from the adverse affects of our previous faults and excesses, in particular the trickery and deceitful devices which you forced us to perform. (We have now seen that only the divine law is the best)
(74) (We do not care much if you still consider us guilty. What matters is who is considered or found guilty before the Rabb.) And, for whoever appears guilty before Him, there is the grievous castigation of jahannam where he shall remain suspended between life and death. (14:17, 87:13).”
(75) (In contrast) The people who shall have elevated positions are those who appear before Him as momineen (those who express eiman) and with a valuable treasure of righteous deeds.
(76) For them there shall be gardens of perpetual bliss, through which will be flowing running water. This is the recompense for those who nourish and develop their self.”
(77) (Thereafter Moses continued training and educating the Bani-Israel and, at an appropriate time,) We said to Moses, “Now leave Egypt together with Our devotees. Do so during the night and take them across that part of the sea where the water has receded(3). You should not be afraid of being overtaken or drowning (24:29, 26:63).”
(78) (When Moses left Egypt with his people) the Pharaoh chased them with his forces, but the waves of the sea submerged them and they drowned.
(79) In this manner, the Pharaoh led his people astray and destroyed them for he had not guided them correctly (Although Moses had clearly presented the divine guidance to him).
(80) O Children of Israel! We thus delivered you from your enemy; and then on the right slope of Mount Sinai (through the revelation to Moses) we made a covenant with you (for a bright future). And we also provided to you manna and salwa (2:75).
(81) Now partake of all the pleasant things We have provided for you, but do not transgress the bounds of equity. If you do that, a dire punishment will fall on you according to the divine Law of Mukafat. And remember that people upon whom such chastisement is unleashed fall into an abyss.
(82) The only way to come out of the abyss is to return to the righteous path as ordained. Leave the erroneous path and do virtuous deeds which would not only help them, but would also help mankind put its affairs in order. Thereafter, they should remain steadfast on that right path. Only then will the results of their previous misdeeds be erased.
(83) (Also recall that particular part of the story when Moses came to the Mount of Sinai and We asked him), “O Moses, what caused you to leave your people behind in such haste?” (You should have given more time to their training and education.)
(84) He said, “They are closely following my footsteps (and my temporary absence will not upset anything). I have come hurriedly to You for some more guidance, by following which I can complete this mission (as quickly as possible).”
(85) The Almighty replied, “In your absence your people are at a turning point and are caught in a turmoil, as Samiri (Samri) has led them astray.”
(86) (When he heard this) Moses returned to his people full of wrath and sorrow and exclaimed, “O my people! Did your Sustainer not give promises of (so many) enjoyable things of life? Did (the fulfillment of) these promises seem to you too long in coming (that you became disappointed with your Rabb and instead created your own god)? Are you perchance so determined to see your Sustainer’s condemnation fall upon you, that you broke the promise you had made to me?”
(87) They answered, “We did not break our promises to you of our own free will. (This is what actually happened. Taking a cue from the Egyptian people) We cast off all the ornaments which we were wearing. These (were suited to urban life, but in the desert) they had become a burden for us. This suggestion was put in our mind by Samiri.”
(88) (Out of the molten ornaments) Samiri produced for them the effigy of a calf, which made a lowing sound. Therefore the people said, “This is our deity and also that of Moses.” (But Samiri forgot how Moses would react to this upon his return.)
(89) (However, all their explanations were useless, because even if Samiri had made them an effigy of a calf) Could they not see for themselves that neither was it capable of giving them any answer, nor did it have power to do them any harm or bring any good?
(90) Moreover Aaron had warned them earlier, “O my people. This person is leading you astray. Only your Rabb (not the calf) is Ar-Rahman. Therefore do not listen to him but follow me and obey my command.”
(91) But they totally refused and answered, “Until Moses comes back to us we are not going to stop worshipping it (for we shall see what he says).”
(92) Moses (turned to Aaron and) said “O Aaron! What prevented you (from stopping them) when you saw that they had gone astray?
(93) “Why did you not take an action which I would have taken under such circumstances? What was it that prevented you from taking such action; or have you also (deliberately) disobeyed my instructions?”
(94) Aaron answered, “O son of my mother! Do not reproach me so harshly (7:150). I did not stop them so sternly because I feared that on your return you might accuse me of causing a split amongst the Children of Israel; and that I did not care for your word. (I tolerated their temporary ignorance, but in fact have saved them from sectarianism.) After hearing this explanation Moses was satisfied about Aaron’s behaviour.
(95) Then he turned to Samiri (Samri) and said, “What made you do all this?”
(96) He said, “(Since I came across your people) I have gained a lot of insight in matters which these people could never have perceived. I had not accepted your commandments in totality, but only a part of them (and had joined your followers for the fulfillment of my own designs). This whole scenario was conceived by me and it appeared to be very attractive. So I abandoned your message which I had accepted only partly (and was able to bring your nation back to idolatry).”
(97) Moses told him, “Now go away and get lost. A lifelong chastisement for you will be your complete social boycott. (By chance) If someone unknowingly comes to you, you should warn him not to even touch you (because you are the debarred Samiri). This is the decree from which you will be unable to escape. Now look at what happens to the god which you had made and worshipped so steadfastly. We will crush it into dust, burn it and then scatter it (far and wide) across the sea (so that these people can see with their own eyes the helplessness of their idol).”
(98) (Then turning towards the Bani-Israel Moses said), “Your Ilah is Allah alone, and only He has to be obeyed. No one else wields authority in the universe. His knowledge extends over everything (and nothing is beyond His control).”
(99) (O Rasool!) Thus We relate to you some of the stories about what happened in the past. (In addition to these stories) We have also given you a code of divine laws (which explains the principles of the rise and fall of nations).
(100) Whoever turns away from this code will bear the consequences on the day of judgment (and no one else shall bear this burden).
(101) He will abide in this state. And on that day, how very grievous the weight of this burden will be!
(102) (The results of one’s deeds also start showing in this life; and this will happen to the people who oppose the truth.) And when the trumpets(4) of war are sounded, the guilty will be avenged in such a manner that they will become bleary-eyed with terror (20:124).
(103) They will murmur amongst themselves (and tell each other) that our luxurious life (which we thought would last forever) turned out to be so short-lived and transitory, as if it was only there for a week or so. (The duration of immediate gain is always short, as compared to eternal life which prevails beyond the count of time.)
(104) We understand very well what they will say (in this state of panic); and the more perceptive of them will question the talk for about a week or so. In fact you will have lived there for not more than a day, as compared to the eternal life.
(105) (Hearing the news of this great revolution) They ask you (awestruck) about the fate of the exalted people who are standing firm like mountains. (Will they also perish?) Tell them, “My Rabb shall uproot them from the base and scatter them like dust. (18:47, 56:5, 77:10, 78:20, 81:3).

(106-107) And they will become so smooth and flat that you shall see no curve, unevenness or ruggedness in them (7:86). (All their cunning and craftiness will be smothered.)
(108) On that day everyone will follow the one who has today invited them towards the divine call; and in whose invitation there is no complexity (18:1). All opposing voices will be silenced in the presence of Ar-Rahman and nothing shall be heard except the trampling of their marching feet.
(109) On that day, any intercession will be of no avail, except only from those who offer acceptable words according to the law of Ar-Rahman.
(110) (All this will take place exactly in this fashion because) Allah’s Law of Mukafat knows what they have done before and the consequences (that will follow and come to the surface at the proper time). (How this will occur) They cannot perceive this (now).
(111) In this system, provided by the ever-living and self-subsisting Allah, everyone’s latent potentialities shall be actualized. They will all voluntarily stand up for strengthening this system and from the depths of their hearts obey all the divine laws. In contrast, the one who is out to transgress shall end up in despair.
(112) And whoever does righteous deeds, after accepting the truth of the divine system, will have no fear of being wronged by a tyrant or being deprived by an exploiter (of whatever is his due).
(113) This is the sublime objective for which We have eloquently and explicitly revealed the Qur’an and in different ways explained the outcome of an erroneous lifestyle, so that people may remain conscious and steer away from that path. The various historical stories (which have been narrated here) have been given so that they raise awareness and attain eminence and distinction.
(114) Likewise, these people should observe with reason and conviction that, in reality, supremacy is achieved by being firmly attached to divine laws. This is because these laws are given by the ultimate sovereign and master. And while implementing the Qur’anic system, O Rasool, do not be in haste, and wait until the full text of wahi in respect of that matter is revealed to you. Wait until your knowledge is further increased (and only then you should take the next step – 75:16).
(115) (It is dangerous to follow one’s instincts without receiving guidance from wahi or to ignore it after it has been acquired. This has been earlier explained in the Qur’an in an allegorical manner, while narrating the story of Adam. As has been explained there, the story of Adam is not that of an individual. It is in fact the story of mankind (2:30-38, 7:11-25.) Earlier, We had commanded Adam (mankind) not to lose sight of the guidance revealed in wahi, but he disregarded it. In fact, we did not find him resolute. (That he generally lacks firmness in his resolutions is the fundamental weak point in a human being. And this weakness can be overcome by believing in the divine laws.)
(116) (This allegorical story pertains to the period when) We commanded all malaika (the heavenly forces) to bow before Adam; and they all did so except Iblees. He refused to bow before him. (In other words, except for his own rebellious desires, the heavenly forces can be conquered by a human being. This however, can only be done if he makes his desires subservient to divine guidance.)
(117) And We told Adam, “This is your enemy as well as that of your spouse, lest it drive both of you out of this blissful life of janna. (The result will be that you will be deprived of all life’s necessities, which presently are easily and abundantly available to you; and to attain them again) You will have to labour hard and strenuously.
(118) At present (with the kind of life you are leading) you do not have to worry about your food or clothing.
(119) You suffer neither from thirst, nor from the heat of the sun. (You get all the food to eat; water to drink; clothes to wear; and houses to live in. All this is available without struggle. This was the society in which mankind was living in the early stages of human life.)”
(120) (Later, personal and selfish interests started arousing fears and apprehensions in his mind. The most alarming was the fear of death. Man did not want to die. Satan took advantage of this weakness and exploited it.) Satan said to him, “Should I lead you to a tree, the fruit of which will give you eternal life and a kingdom which will never decay?” (Satan said that man can have eternal life through his offspring. Therein lies his continued existence. His progeny will keep his name alive. Therefore, he should forget the good of humanity and keep in view only the interests of his own children.)
(121) (Man fell into this trap and instead of promoting universal brotherhood, got involved in racial complications. This can be allegorically explained like this.) Then both Adam and his wife ate the fruit of this tree. Thereafter, they became conscious of their private parts; following which they started covering themselves with leaves from the garden. In this way man disobeyed his Rabb, as a result of which his livelihood and means of nourishment became disorderly. He started treading the wrong path and went astray.
(122-123) (But this does not mean that man will remain deprived forever. The chances still remain for him to reclaim the pleasant things by coming back on the right track. Accordingly, Adam was told that social life would come down to a lower level where selfish ambitions would make people enemies of one another.) “Nevertheless, guidance from Us would continue coming to you. Whoever follows this guidance will neither go astray, nor be deprived of the pleasures of life, nor be involved in the rigours of life (as stated in 20:17 above).” In this way Allah guided him towards the path leading to all kinds of exhilaration. Mankind was thus saved from eternal ruination.
(124) At the same time it was also explained to him that means (of subsistence) would be restricted, for whoever turns away from divine laws. Furthermore, on the Day of Judgment, We shall raise him as if he was blind. (All the bright and shining avenues of life shall darken for him and) This result will occur in this life as well as in the hereafter (17:72, 20:102).
(125) And, he shall ask, “O my Rabb! Why have you raised me blind whereas I had been endowed with perfect sight (22:46)?”
(126) Allah will reply, “You remained oblivious and disregarded Our laws when they were conveyed to you. In the same manner you have been disregarded and deprived (of the light of life), and have been left alone.”
(127) Whoever rejects the truth of the laws of his Rabb and is defiant and insolent, will be recompensed according to Our Law of Mukafat in the same measure. (That is in this world their economy will be restricted and destroyed; and) In the life hereafter their suffering will be very severe and persistent.
(128) “O Rasool! Can they (those who reject the truth) not learn any lesson by recalling the earlier nations (which went against Our laws and) which We destroyed according to this very law; and in whose dwellings they are walking around. (In historical evidence) There are indeed ample indications for those who ponder and think.
(129) (The fact of the matter is) If according to your Rabb’s Law of Respite the hour of manifestation was not already established then the decreed punishment of doom would have ensued a long time ago.
(130) Therefore, patiently bear whatever they say. (Do not lose heart. Instead remain steadfast in your mission, from morning to evening and even in the late hours of night. At all times become completely involved in your mission, to establish the divine system, so that for the world it becomes the true evidence of His glory. This is the manner in which all your wishes will come true.)
(131) Do not even look at the splendour of worldly things which We have allowed to various classes of people (15:88). (And do not let it bother you that people who are on the erroneous path are so prosperous, while those on the right course are undergoing hardships.) (Actually) This pomp and glitter is a sort of crucible into which We have thrown them. (These people will burn in their own fire -104:6-7.) (And eventually you will see that) Real and everlasting happiness lies in whatever you get according to the divine Nizam-e-Rabubiyya (13:17).
(132) “You should therefore insist upon your people to always remain active and busy in fulfilling the divine mission. You should remain steadfast and firm. You should also inform them that the divine system does not ask you to provide any sustenance. (Although presently it appears that it is taking everything away from you; in fact it undertakes the full responsibility for your sustenance.) And those who (at present) are taking care of this will ultimately receive all kinds of bounties.”
(133) The opponents are now asking why this Rasool is not bringing a visible sign from his Rabb (so that after seeing it everyone would express their eiman). Tell them, “Truth is not made supreme by exhibiting such signs. It is made so on the basis of reason and logic.” (Just ask them) “Is there any line of logic or reasoning in the scriptures of earlier anbiya that you do not find in the Qur’an (5:48)?”
(134) And if We had destroyed them by punishment before (the Qur’an was revealed), they would (indeed) be justified in saying, “O our Rabb! If only You had sent a rasool to us, we would have followed Your message rather than being humiliated and disgraced (5:19).”
(135) (In any case you can tell them) “There is no use in wasting time in discussing unnecessary things. You should continue following your own way, and I will follow mine. And then I will wait for the results of my program, while you wait for yours. Soon you will come to know who has followed the even and straight path and has reached the desired destination (6:136).”

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  1.  In translating verses 17 to 22, the allegorical import of certain words has been chosen. Readers may, if they so prefer, consult other translations for the literal meanings.
  2.  They are the priests of a false religion. Allegorical meanings of these words have been adopted. Readers may consult another translation for the literal meanings.
  3.  In the English translation of the Torah, published recently by Jews, it is affirmed that according to the latest research, the Bani-Israel did not go through the Red Sea. Instead Moses took them across via a portion of the river which was marshy and where weeds had grown. Because of the growth there, this part was named the Sea of Reed. It is situated near the present Suez Canal. (This announcement was made by Mr. Lisserz Ussman, Executive Director of the Jewish Publication Society of America; Daily Telegraph,  September 1962.)
  4. The import of this and later verses may also refer to life in the hereafter.

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Exposition of the Holy Quran – 19 Surah Maryam (G A Parwez)

Surah 19: Maryam
(Mary)

(1) Allah Who is generous, ever-guiding, ever-living, all-knowing,
all-seeing has said:
(2) This is a narration of the bounties which your Rabb had bestowed on His devotee Zachariah.
(3) It so happened that Zachariah addressed his Rabb in a low submissive tone (3:37),
(4) And said, I am growing weak on account of old age and my head glistens with grey hair. Until now it has never happened that I have asked you for something my Rabb, and it has not been granted. (Therefore I earnestly hope that my prayer will be granted this time as well.)
(5-6) (As I am old and) My wife is barren (and there is no chance of my getting any offspring). There is no one amongst my kinsfolk who is capable of carrying on the House of Jacob. So, O my Rabb, out of Your grace, grant me an heir who will be capable, worthy and deserving in all respects; so that I may entrust this heritage to his care.
(7) (We heard his prayer and said) “O Zachariah! We give you the good news of a son. When he is born, he should be named Yahya (John). This boy will be outstanding; and there has been none like him before (19:65).
(8) Zachariah (was extremely happy on receiving the good news, but for reassurance(1) he sought clarification and) said, “O my Rabb! How can I have a child when my wife is barren and I have become utterly infirm through old age?” (Will that child be born to my own family or will I adopt someone else’s son, as in the case of
Mary who is being brought up by
Me – 3:39).
(9) (His Rabb answered) “The child will be born as your own son; just as children are born (to other people). Reviving the potential of having children naturally, even in old age, is quite easy according to My laws. I brought you into existence, although previously there was no trace of you.”
(10) Zachariah said, “O my Rabb! Let me know if there is any particular directive in this regard.” Allah instructed him that he would fast continuously for three (days and) nights (3:40), and he would not converse with people (19:26).
(11) Thereafter, he came out of the mehrab(2) and signalled to his people (who had gathered in the temple awaiting his instructions) not to wait, but to continue performing their normal duties, day and night.
(12) (So, according to the glad tidings) John was born and, when he was still a boy, We graced him with wisdom so that he could capably decide on matters.
(13) And We also gifted him with a compassionate heart. (When he grew up) We told him to hold fast to the divine laws. He was always conscious of these laws and lived a pure and promising life (and accordingly his human potentialities continued to develop).
(14) And his heart was magnanimous towards his (old) parents. He was never overbearing or rebellious.
(15) (Such were the qualities of this child that) His birth was free from defects (despite being born to aged parents). And the day of his death will be as peaceful as the day he will be raised again to life.
(16) (O Rasool!) Now relate from this book (Qur’an) the story of Mary, (starting

from the time) when after abandoning her cloistered life she moved towards the east (to her village.)
(17) (The cloistered life and the unpleasant events occurring there had such an adverse effect on her mind that) There also she lived in seclusion, apart from others. In order to remove these effects, We introduced positive thoughts in her mind and pleasant aspects of life appeared to her (in a dream) as a person.
(18) (Mary was frightened at this sight and exclaimed) “I seek the protection of Ar-Rahman from you.”
(19) He answered, “(There is no cause for alarm because) I have only brought a message from your Rabb (3:44). He is going to bestow you with a healthy son.”
(20) She said, “How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?” (When I was in the temple, I lived a virtuous life; and since I came out, I have not got married as this is against the laws of the cloister – 3:46; 19:28.)
(21) He said, “Whatever I have told you will happen according to Allah’s law of creation (3:46). This is easy for Him (to remove all the hindrances which are in your mind and which perturb you – 19:9). Allah has also said that this child will not be like other children. He will be from our side an embodiment of rahma for the people, and a testimonial for truth and falsehood. (Whoever brings eiman on his nabuwwa will be on the right path, while the one who rejects it, will be wrong.) And this is already decreed by Us (3:47).
(22) (And gradually all impediments were removed and the fear of religious taboos vanished from Mary’s mind. At the same time, in spite of warnings and intimidation from the priests, one person agreed to marry Mary.) In time Mary conceived the child and consequently they (both of them) considered it appropriate to move to a far off place (so that the child would be born in a place where no one knew them; and where they would be safe from the wrath and accusations of the priests).
(23) And when the time of delivery came, the throes of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date palm. She exclaimed, “O how I wish I had died before all this and had become quite forgotten!”
(24) (While she was in anguish she heard a voice saying) “O Mary! Grieve not. There is a rivulet running below.
(25) Shake the branch of the date palm towards you and fresh ripe dates will drop near you.
(26) Eat and drink and then let your eyes rejoice (at the sight of your baby). (As for your concern about accusations or queries, you should keep a fast and) if anyone asks, you should inform only by gesturing, that you have vowed to fast in the name of Ar-Rahman and will therefore not speak to any person for the day.”
(27) (This is how Jesus was born. The parents took the child to a far off place. He grew up there and was bestowed with nabuwwa.) His mother then brought him back to her own people on a mount. (Firstly, her act of leaving the temple and living a married life was against the discipline of the clergy. Moreover, Mary returned with Jesus, who started to criticize the conduct, character and self-made laws of the clerical order.) So the people said, “O Mary! You have come here with something very strange.”
(28) They said, “O sister of Aaron! Neither was your father a wicked man, nor had your mother revolted against clerical discipline.”
(29) In reply to their questions she (would not say anything herself but) would direct them towards Jesus (to get their answers from him). (The elderly priests who were extremely proud of their priesthood arrogantly asked) “Should we talk to one who till recently was a little boy in the cradle?”
(30) In reply Jesus said, “I am a servant of Allah. He has given me the book and bestowed nabuwwa (prophethood) upon me and made me a nabi.
(31) He has blessed me in every walk of life and has enjoined upon me to establish, as long as I live, the correct system of sala and zaka.
(32) (My mother’s conduct was according to the true Shariah of Allah, therefore) I shall always be dutiful and respectful to my mother; and He has not made me a cruel and callous person.
(33) (You regard my birth as objectionable. However, according to Allah, whose message I have brought) My birth is for peace; my life will be for peace. Peace will be upon me till the day I die; and I will be in peace in the life after death.”
(34) This is the true story of Jesus about whom people disagree so deeply. (One group, namely the Jews, degrade him and regard his birth as objectionable. On the other hand, the Christians aggrandize him as the son of God.)
(35) It is not necessary for Allah to take for himself a son. He is far above such a requirement. Such is the might of His powers, that whenever He decrees a matter, He only has to say “Be”, and it becomes (according to His plan).
(36) (As regards the Christian belief that Jesus was God himself, there cannot be a better argument than Jesus’ own proclamation that) “Verily Allah is my Sustainer and yours as well. All of us should obey Him, for this is most certainly the straight and balanced path (3:50).”
(37) (However, later on,) Some of the factions (amongst his followers) started dissenting amongst themselves. Regretfully for all those who deny the truth, when the day of judgment comes, it will be a difficult time for them.
(38) (By calling a rasool God, or son of God) They are perpetrating zulm and are committing an error. But they will not be able to do this on the day (of judgment). On that day, how clearly will their ears hear and their eyes see (50:22)!
(39) Therefore, O Rasool! You should warn them of the coming of the day of regrets, when all matters shall be settled. So far, they are heedless because they do not believe this.
(40) (They are not aware that in actual fact) We alone shall remain master over the earth and everything on it. Everything revolves around Our Law of Mukafat; nothing remains beyond it. (Even power and authority are bestowed and taken away according to this law – 21:105.)
(41) (O Rasool!) Now in this book (Qur’an) is narrated the story of Abraham, who was indeed a nabi and an embodiment of truth.
(42) He said to his father, “O father! Why do you worship something which can neither hear nor see, and can be of no use to you whatsoever?”
(43) He said, “O my father! Indeed a ray of knowledge has come to me, that which never came to you. Therefore you should follow me. I shall lead you to the path which will take you directly to the destination.
(44) “O my father! Why do you obey the satanic forces which are rebellious to Ar-Rahman?
(45) “O my father! I fear lest chastisement from Ar-Rahman befall you; and you also become a comrade of Satan.”
(46) Abraham’s father answered, “O Abraham! Have you become averse to my gods? If you do not desist from your views I shall reprove you. So if you want my grace, stay away from me (till you mend your ways).”
(47) Abraham said, “May Allah guide you to the correct path. I will continue to pray that He protects you from kufr. He has always been very gracious in bestowing His endless blessings upon me (9:114).
(48) I withdraw from you all and from whoever you invoke other than Allah. I will only invoke my Rabb. I am sure that by invoking Him I will not be deprived of life’s bounties. (Thus I do not attach any importance to your threats that I will be deprived of the wealth and status which I am likely to inherit otherwise – 60:4.)
(49) So he departed from them and from everything they were worshipping (and settled in Syria). There We bestowed on him (a son) Isaac and (thereafter a grandson) Jacob. We honoured both of them with nabuwwa.
(50) And We bestowed upon them manifold bounties and granted them the power to convey the truth
(51) (Likewise) O Rasool! Narrated in this book is the story of Moses, who was a very sincere person; and he was Our rasool and nabi.
(52) We called him from the right side of the Mount (of Sinai) and drew him close to Us.
(53) And also out of Our grace, we made his brother Aaron a nabi.
(54) Similarly, narrated in this book is the story of Ishmael (who besides being from the line of the Bani-Israel, was also the progenitor of the other branch of Abraham’s descendants). He was always true to his promise; and was indeed a nabi sent by Us.
(55) He always enjoined upon his people the enforcement of sala and zaka. He was in complete harmony with the laws of his sustainer.
(56) Also mentioned in this book is the story of Idrees (Enoch). He too was a very truthful person and a nabi.
(57) And We had exalted him to a high position (4:158).
(58) All of them fall in the category of anbiya, upon whom Allah had bestowed His bounties. They were from the progeny of Adam and from those whom We bore on the ark with Noah; and the offspring of Abraham and Israel (Jacob). We had bestowed guidance on all of them; and they were specially chosen. Such was the state of their mind that whenever they encountered the divine laws, they would bow down before them in firm conviction and adoration (25:73).
(59) (However) Their successors were unworthy people who neglected the system of sala and (instead of following the divine laws) pursued their own gains and desires. They will find themselves facing utter destruction;
(60) except those who leave the wrong path. They shall then live a blissful life in this world as well as in the life hereafter. And they will be fully recompensed without any shortfall.
(61) (In the initial stages) The blissful life in this world remains obscure (2:3); and as far as life in the hereafter is concerned, it cannot be perceived now. However, the promise that Ar-Rahman (Beneficent Allah) has made will surely be fulfilled.
(62) Such a society will be devoid of everything indecent and there will be no purposeless noise or clamouring.
(63) This is the janna which is inherited by Our devotees who are conscious of Our laws, and who are thereby saving themselves from the destructive aspects of life.
(64) (The malaika descend upon such people and bring them glad tidings (41:31) and tell them) “We descend according to the command of your Rabb. Everything that is before us; all that is behind us; and everything that is between these two is entirely preserved (in the divine record) and there is no possibility whatsoever of any omission or forgetfulness.”
(65) (O Rasool!) The Law of Mukafat is from your Rabb Who is the sustainer of everything in the universe. So you should obey Him and remain steadfast in this obedience. Is anyone besides him worthy of this stature?
(66) A person (who negates the Law of Mukafat) says, “What? Once I am dead, shall I be raised to life again? How is it possible?”
(67) But does he not remember that We had previously created him when he was nothing. (God, Who can create a human being out of nothingness, can bring him back to life after death.)
(68) O Rasool! Tell them that besides punishment in the life after death, in this very world, too, they will see how firm the grip of Allah’s Law of Mukafat is. We have decreed that We will round them up along with their rebellious leaders (in the battlefield) and then assemble them on their knees in jahannam (45:28).
(69) Thereafter, from every group We shall segregate the ones who have been determined in their disdainful rebellion against the system ordained by Ar-Rahman.
(70) For certainly We know best who amongst them are most deserving of the agony of jahannam.
(71) (O Rasool! You can tell them) “None of you will escape the ignominious punishment in it (19:86, 21:99.).” This decree has been ordained by your Rabb according to His Law of Mukafat.
(72) We will, however, save the muttaqeen (who shall be so far away that they will not even hear it (21:101). And those who rebel against Allah’s laws will live a life of degradation (in this life as well as in the hereafter).
(73) Whenever Our clear laws are presented to them, those who are bent upon denying the truth say to the momineen, “Tell us, which of the two groups amongst us enjoys a better position and who has more grandeur and prestige?”
(74) (In the early stages of the establishment of the Qur’anic social order, the position of the momineen was somewhat weaker than their opponents, but they should know that) Before them, we have destroyed many generations which had surpassed them in material assets and outward opulence.
(75) Tell them that (at the moment, they have more wealth and power, but according to the laws of Ar-Rahman, those who choose the wrong path are not apprehended immediately) sometimes they are spared so that they see with their own eyes the destruction of which they were forewarned. In the beginning, this is a light punishment (so that they can revert from their erroneous path; but even after that if they do not desist and make amends), but then comes the ultimate doom. So (according to this divine law) these people will soon understand whose position is worse and who is really weak.
(76) For people who adopt the right way of life, the divine law of guidance opens up further avenues (for their success and nourishment). Keep in mind the absolute reality that the only ever-enduring and inexhaustible means of nurture are those through which human abilities are developed according to the divine Law of Rabubiyya. This is the best reward for whatever is spent in establishing and strengthening this system; and this ultimately yields superior returns. Therefore, one must keep in view the ultimate gain and not the immediate short-term benefits.
(77) He who denies the truth (when he receives immediate and temporary gains) will always be under the impression that he will continue to have sources of wealth and increased progeny.
(78) (Just ask him) Has he perchance attained access to the realm of the unseen; or has he concluded a covenant with Ar-Rahman?
(79) Whatever he says or thinks is incorrect. We are recording everything he says and are lengthening his period of respite.
(80) (When this respite is over, he will see with his own eyes that all the wealth and progeny, about which he was so boastful, has been taken away from him and only) We will inherit all that he talks about; and he will appear before Us all alone. (Everything that belongs to him will remain behind and only what he himself is will go to the next life – 6:95, 19:95.)
(81) And they have acknowledged other authorities besides Allah so that these would be a source of strength for them.
(82) Tell them that they are living under a fallacy. When the time comes, these deities will disown their obedience and will turn against them.
(83) In actual fact their own selfish ambitions and their rebellious leaders have overpowered their rational faculties and are continuously instigating them to rise against the order of truth and justice.
(84) The delay (in inflicting doom on them) occurs because We are counting their days (according to Our law of respite); so do not be in haste.
(85) (The day is fast approaching when) We shall assemble the muttaqeen before us with respect and dignity, in order to bestow Our bounties and honour upon them.
(86) Likewise, We shall drive the guilty ones towards jahannam, just as thirsty cattle are driven to water.
(87) (On that day) No one will have intercession from anyone else; except only those who have conformed with the laws of Ar-Rahman.
(88) Amongst them are also the people who say that Ar-Rahman has a son (Jesus, son of Mary) who will atone for their sins.
(89) (Tell them that) Undeniably, by this assertion, you have concocted something very serious.
(90) (This is such a terrible thing that) It will split apart the skies, tear asunder the earth, and mountains will crumble in utter ruin (42:5).
(91) (Just think what they are actually saying.) They say that Ar-Rahman has a son.
(92) That He should take a son for Himself is certainly not worthy of the Almighty.
(93) (He does not need a son. His sovereignty is such that) There is nothing in the universe that does not bow before Ar-Rahman in complete obedience.
(94) His sovereignty is all-encompassing. His law of Mukafat has taken into account every one of them. (Nothing escapes His authority.)
(95) (As has been narrated in verse 19:80) On the day of judgment, everyone will appear before Him alone. (Individuality of self necessitates that no one will be able to seek any intercession by anyone else; everyone will be responsible for his own actions – 6:95.)
(96) (O Rasool!) For all those who profess eiman on the truth of Allah’s laws and accordingly do righteous deeds (although now the entire world opposes them), that day is not far when in the hearts of people, Ar-Rahman will instill love and affection towards them. (Then people will follow them in large numbers – 110:2.)
(97) This will happen by implementing (the injunctions of) the Qur’an which We have made easy to understand in your own language, so that you can convey to the momineen the glad tidings of the pleasant results of their righteous deeds. And convey warnings to those who are obstinate and given to futile contentions.
(98) (And tell them that) According to Our law of Mukafat, We have destroyed many generations before their time. Can you see any trace of them now or hear any whisper about them? (Thus if you also do not accept the Qur’anic system and persist in your erroneous behavior, then your outcome will be similar to theirs.)

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(1) This is just like Abraham, who despite his firm conviction, had raised such a question for his own satisfaction.

(2) A place where animals were sacrificed in a Jewish temple; niche in the wall of a temple or shrine.

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