QXPvi (The Qur’an as it Explains Itself, 6th edition) July 2014

By: Dr. Shabbir Ahmed, Florida

Table of Contents

Title Page Table of Contents Preface Introduction Chapters Surah 1. Al-Fatihah – The Opening Surah 2. Al-Baqarah - The Cow Surah 3. Aal-e-‘Imran – The Family of Imran Surah 4. An-Nisaa – The Women Surah 5. Al Maaedah – The Heavenly System of Sustenance Surah 6. Al-An’aam – The Cattle Surah 7. Al-A’raaf – The Heights of Discernment Surah 8. Al-Anfal – The Spoils of War Surah 9. At-Taubah – The Repentance Surah 10. Yunus – Jonah Surah 11. Hud – Hud Surah 12. Yusuf – Joseph Surah 13. Ar-Ra’d – The Thunder Surah 14. Ibrahim – Abraham Surah 15. Al-Hijr – The Valley of Rocks Surah 16. An-Nahl – The Bee Surah 17. Al-Asra – The Night Journey Surah 18. Al-Kahf – The Cave Surah 19. Maryam – Mary Surah 20. Ta-Ha – The Ideal Prophet Surah 21. Al-Anbiya – The Prophets Surah 22. Al-Hajj – The Annual Convention (Pilgrimage) Surah 23. Al-Mu’minoon – The Believers Surah 24. An-Noor – The Light Surah 25. Al-Furqan – The Criterion Surah 26. Ash-Shu’ara – The Poets Surah 27. An-Naml – The Valley of An-Naml Surah 28. Al-Qasas – The Histories/Stories Surah 29. Al-‘Ankaboot – The Spider Surah 30. Ar-Room – The Romans Surah 31. Luqman – Locomon Surah 32. As-Sajdah – Adoration Surah 33. Al-Ahzab – The Confederates Surah 34. Saba – Sheba Surah 35. Al-Faatir – The Originator Surah 36. Ya-Seen - O Human being! Surah 37. As-Saffaat – Soldiers in Ranks Surah 38. Saad – Full of truth Surah 39. Az-Zumar – The Communities Surah 40. Al-Mu’min – The Believer Surah 41. Fussilat – A Book Clearly Spelled Out Surah 42. Ash-Shura – Mutual Consultation Surah 43. Az-Zukhruf – Ornaments of Gold Surah 44. Ad-Dukhaan – The Smoke Surah 45. Al-Jaathia – Kneeling down Surah 46. Al-Ahqaaf – The Sand-dunes Surah 47. Muhammad – Muhammad Surah 48. Al-Fath – Victory Surah 49. Al-Hujurat – The Private Apartments Surah 50. Qaaf – Qaaf Surah 51. Az-Zaariyat – Those Who Spread the Divine Word Surah 52. At-Toor – Mount Sinai Surah 53. An-Najm – The Star Surah 54. Al-Qamar – The Full Moon Surah 55. Ar-Rahman – The Beneficent Surah 56. Al-Waaqi’ah – The Inevitable Episode Surah 57. Al-Hadeed – Iron Surah 58. Al-Mujadilah – The Pleading Surah 59. Al-Hashr – The Gathering Surah 60. Al-Mumtahinah – The Lady Under Oath Surah 61. As-Saff – The Rank Surah 62. Al-Jumu'ah – The Congregation Surah 63. Al-Munaafiqoon – The Hypocrites Surah 64. At-Taghaabun – The Ultimate Loss and Gain Surah 65. At-Talaq – Divorce Surah 66. At-Tahreem – Prohibition Surah 67. Al-Mulk – The Supreme Kingdom Surah 68. Al-Qalam – The Pen Surah 69. Al-Haaqqah – The Inevitable Reality Surah 70. Al-Ma’aarij – The Stairways of Ascent Surah 71. Nooh – Noah Surah 72. Al-Jinn – The Unseen Beings Surah 73. Al-Muzzammil – The Great Caravan Leader Surah 74. Al-Muddaththir – Founder of the Benevolent Order Surah 75. Al-Qiyamah – The Resurrection Surah 76. Ad-Dahr – The Time Surah 77. Al-Mursalaat – The Messages Sent Forth Surah 78. An-Naba – The News Surah 79. An-Nazi’aat – Those Who Dive Surah 80. 'Abasa – Someone Frowned Surah 81. At-Takweer – The Folding Up Surah 82. Al-Infitaar – The Shattering Surah 83. At-Tatfeef – Dealing in Fraud Surah 84. Al-Inshiqaaq – The Sundering Surah 85. Al-Burooj – The Great Constellations Surah 86. At-Taariq – The Brightest Star Surah 87. Al-A’la – The Most High Surah 88. Al-Ghaashiyah – The Great Covering Surah 89. Al-Fajr – The Daybreak Surah 90. Al-Balad – The Town Surah 91. Ash-Shams – The Sun Surah 92. Al-Lail – The Night Surah 93. Ad-Duha – The Daylight Surah 94. Ash-Sharh – The Expansion Surah 95. 95. At-Teen – The Fig Surah 96. Al-‘Alaq – The Zygote Surah 97. Al-Qadr – The Majesty Surah 98. Al-Bayyinah – The Clear Evidence Surah 99. Az-Zilzal – The Quake Surah 100. Al-‘Aadiyat – The Gallopers Surah 101. Al-Qaari’ah – The Catastrophe Surah 102. At-Takaathur – The Relentless Greed Surah 103. Al-‘Asr – Time That Flies Surah 104. Al-Humazah – The Slanderer, Fault-finder Surah 105. Al-Feel – The Elephant Surah 106. Quraish – The Tribe of Quraish Surah 107. Al-Maa’oon – The Spring of Sustenance Surah 108. Al-Kauthar – The Abundant Good Surah 109. Al-Kaafiroon – Those Who Deny the Truth Surah 110. An-Nasr – The Help Surah 111. Al-Lahab – The Flame Surah 112. Al-Ikhlas – The Pure Monotheism Surah 113. Al-Falaq – The Rising Dawn Surah 114. An-Naas – Mankind Conclusion Epilogue

Preface

The author of the Qur’an is none but Almighty God. Before the reader is an English rendition of the Glorious Book by Shabbir Ahmed, M.D.

The work, although close to translation, is more of an understanding from within the Qur’an itself. The Divine Writ calls itself An-Noor (the Light) and light needs no extrinsic sources to show itself. Therefore, I have based my presentation on two principles:

1. Focusing on the language in which the Qur’an was revealed.

2. Making use of Tasreef, that is, how the Qur’an repeats its verses in a variety of ways to clearly explain itself.

A diligent study of the Book using Tasreeflets us look at the Qur’an in its Big Picture and it helps us follow the meanings accurately.

I have rendered the terms and linguistics of the Qur’an using the Quraish (Quresh) dialect of Makkah since it is the Arabic dialect in which the Qur’an was revealed to the exalted Muhammad bin Abdullah, the Final Prophet, Messenger and Apostle of God. [570-632 CE]

19:97 And only to this end We have made this (Qur’an) easy to understand in your own tongue (O Prophet) - That you might convey thereby glad news to the righteous and warn people given to futile disputation.

Being a young member of the Saudi royal medical staff, I had the good fortune of learning the Quraish dialect in the 1970s under the auspices of King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz and King Khalid bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia. I was blessed with the opportunity to learn Islamic theology in the University of Madinah after having learnt the subject under the guidance of the celebrated names of Qari Viqaullah and ‘Maulana’ Ehtishamul Haq Thanwi in Karachi during my college days in the 1960s.

In addition, the opportunity to socialize with the Bedouins was certainly a great advantage since even today they frequently speak the Quraish dialect. Learning the dialect by no means amounts to absorbing the Saudi theology.

Some well-known western scholars who learned Arabic by socializing with the Bedouins:

The first ever commentaries of the Qur’an were written in the third and fourth centuries after the exalted Messenger during the Abbasid Dynasty when Zoroastrian influence held sway in Islamic politics, society and even in the Arabic literature. The commentators of the Qur’an, historians, Muhadditheen (the Hadith/Tradition collectors) and Fuqaha(‘Islamic’ Jurists) overwhelmingly originated from among the non-Arab Persians.

The late Allama Ahmad Amin Al-Masri sums up the resulting chaos in his excellent work Fajril Islam:

“Very certainly, the reader will agree with me that the Persian literature gave an entirely alien complexion to the Arabic linguistics.”

Many celebrated thinkers and authors in the Islamic world strongly agree with the Egyptian scholar on this score. We need not go into details since the point will become sufficiently clear soon, when we cite some examples.

How was mankind robbed of God’s Final revelation? He Himself extolls this revelation, “And this grace of your Lord is better than all the treasures that they may amass.” [10:57-58, 16:53, 16:71, 43:32]

By robbing I mean giving alien, erroneous and misleading meanings and concepts to the original matchless, powerful and glorious Qur’anic terms. Here is how it happened:

The First Dilemma: While the language of the Qur’an remained untouched, its words and terms were made to lose the splendor they so beautifully conveyed in the original, revealed Arabic Mubeen. So much so, that the Qur’anic terms were dressed up with the erroneous philosophies prevalent in the once Zoroastrian culture of Persia, and they became widely accepted even among the Arabs!

This staggering tragedy explains why, how and where, even the Arabic speaking people lose their touch with the Qur’an! The Book describes this staggering tragedy very clearly:

25:30 And the Messenger will say, “O My Lord! These are my people who had abandoned this Qur’an as something to be discarded."

This ill treatment of the Divine message and the subsequent filling of the void with conjecture is THE cause of the Muslim downfall on a Global scale.

Any nation that holds on to this Divine Writ in letter and spirit can build a Paradise on earth. The early Islamic history is a great testimonial to this claim, but we will explore this point a little further.

How, then, do the others continue to make progress?

Naturally, a very important question arises here. In the last several centuries, the West and many other non-Muslim countries have been making spellbinding advances in education, science and technology and in their governmental systems without the Qur’an! The short answer is that they have been using well their faculties of reason and intellectual inquiry.

Another very significant factor has been quietly playing its role in this regard. The Qur’an has been, perceptibly and imperceptibly, making a universal impact on human civilization during the last fourteen centuries. The celebrated French surgeon, thinker and historian, Robert Briffault (1876-1978) has very convincingly elaborated this fact in his remarkable work, "The Making of Humanity."

But Muslims, after disabling the Divine revelation, have also allowed their intellect to paralyze. They have fallen easy prey to the utterly senseless dogmas fabricated centuries after the exalted Prophet and his noble companions.

However, the rule stands for all that the Last revelation of God economizes human effort (Sir Allama Iqbal). It can give them eminence they have never imagined before, scientific and moral achievements side by side, in a short span of time without having to go through the prolonged ordeal of learning through trial and error. And thus, they can adopt a progressive system of life that embraces all that is good, promoting the well-being of humanity, while avoiding all that is evil and harmful. Furthermore, this Revealed System of Life is fully sustainable and durable.

How Does The Current Arabic Rob The Qur’an?

44:58 Certainly, (O Prophet) We have made this Qur’an easy in your tongue, in order that they may take it to heart.

69:40 This is the revealed Word in the dialect of a noble Messenger.

81:19 This is the revealed Word in the dialect of a noble Messenger. [44:58, 69:40]

It is of paramount importance to know that the mentioned dialect is not extinct. It is very much alive and well in the Pre-Islamic and ‘Para-Islamic’ poetry and well preserved in some good dictionaries such as Tajil ‘Uroos, Lisanil ‘Arab, Qamoos, Lane’s Lexicon, Imam Raghib Ispahani’s Al-Mufridaat Fi Ghareebil Qur’an and Lughaatil Qur’an. The first of these practically embraces the next two and the last one is from Arabic to Urdu. Edward Lane’s Lexicon is primarily based on Tajil ‘Uroos. The role of the desert nomads, especially in the Empty Quarter, has already been mentioned.

I will keep this discourse brief since nothing is more convincing than citing relevant examples. Plenty of such examples are given throughout the rendition for the reader to see for himself how the Ajami (Non-Arab, and more specifically, non-Qur’anic) concepts rob the Qur’anic terms of their clarity, power and grandeur.

Herein are given only a few of those examples:

- Taqwa is usually translated as: Righteousness, goodness, avoiding evil, God-consciousness, warding off evil, piety, fearing God, doing good etc.

Now a non-Muslim, or even a bright Muslim youngster may ask, “Well, the Qur’an in the very beginning claims that it is a guidance for the righteous, the God-conscious, he who wards off evil, the pious, he who fears God, one who does good works. But, why should such people need any guidance?”

The answer lies in the Quraishdialect that describes Taqwa as walking in security, like someone who strolls through a garden but watches his garment against getting entangled in bushes and thorns. All of a sudden the verse now makes beautiful sense, that the Qur’an is a Guide to those who wish to journey through life in honor and security.

- Manyyasha is almost invariably translated as ‘whatever God wills.’ Since this term appears in the Qur’an very frequently, its wrong translation lays down the foundation of ‘Fatalism’ in Islam. Such erroneous translations can only convey abject messages and results like this: ‘God honors whomever He wills and humiliates whomever He wills.’ Or, ‘God sends astray whomever He wills and guides whomever He wills.’ An intelligent reader has every right to ask, "Why then did God reveal His message in the first place?"

The original Qur’anic meaning of Manyyasha is, ‘according to His laws’. God has appointed laws for success vs failure, and for guidance vs straying. [And these laws are given in the Qur’an. See 4:88]

- Such terms as Sayyeh, Ithm, Zanb, Fisq, ‘Udwaan and the like are all blanketed together as the vague term ‘SIN’. I have let the Qur’an explain the true meanings of each term repeatedly in the text, at times in parentheses.

- Zulm has almost always been given a very vague meaning, ‘wrongdoing’. But the Qur’anic concept of Zulm is extremely clear and appealing: To displace something from its rightful place – to harm one’s own self – violation of human rights – oppression – relegating the truth – to hurt anyone. These meanings become crystal clear in their context in every single related verse.

- Hasanah, Khair, Saalehat, ‘Amal-e-Saaleh, Birr etc are all blanketed together as the vague 'good deeds'. The correct Qur’anic meanings I have incorporated in the text at the relevant places.

- In addition, the true Qur’anic understanding of terms such as Adam, Angels, Satan, Jinn, Salaat, Zakaat, Saum, Hajj, The Unseen, The Occult Phenomena, Belief, Kufr, Resurrection, The Law of Requital, Duniya, The Hereafter, Haraam, Halaal, Jihad, Islam, Iman, and many more will repeatedly be found in the text just as the Qur’an explains them.

A brief Glossary has been included in the Introduction of QXPvi as well.

The Second Dilemma: It occurred when the commentators of the Qur’an, centuries after its revelation, tried to connect every verse with a certain historical event, calling the process Shaan-e-Nuzool (Circumstances of a revelation.) Here the words and terms of the Qur’an were given tailor-made meanings to fit the supposed story, with total disregard to their original vibrant meanings, concepts and messages.

This deplorable practice only serves to bind the verses of the Timeless Qur’an to some supposed incidents and chain the Word of God in another set of shackles!

A very significant Islamic jurist, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (d. 241 AH) in those early times saw the chaos and raised a very strong voice against this awful practice, "Three kinds of books are absolutely unfounded, Maghaazi, Malaahem and Tafseer” - (The exalted Prophet's battles, his dreams, and expositions of the Qur’an done by ancient scholars). [Ref: Tazkarah-til-Maudhua’at by Ash-Shaikh Muhammad Tahir Al-Makki and Maudhu’aat-e-KabeerbyMulla Ali Qari]

Worst of all, and inevitably so, this conjecture of Shaan-e-Nuzool was attributed to the exalted Prophet and his noble companions. This led people into believing that this was how they (the Prophet and his companions) used to understand the Qur’an! So, the foundation of an Islamic decline was laid down and mankind was robbed of the Supreme Gift of guidance bestowed upon them by the Creator!

Now The Third Dilemma: The later generations of translators and commentators have uncritically followed the men of old and this tendency has been consistently taking its noxious toll. They have been thinking of the Ajami Arabic as the known Language of the Qur’an. By Ajami Arabic I mean applying the Zoro-Persian or any alien concepts to the Arabic words and terms of the Qur’an.

Please recall that this deplorable practice of “Shaan-e-Nuzool” was given legitimacy during the Abbasid Dynasty to the extent that the alien, empty and erroneous concepts given to the Qur’anic terms became widely known and well accepted. The Mighty Word of God, the great Equalizer of humanity, threatened the personal interests of the elite, whereas a ‘disabled’ Qur’an very well suited the ulterior motives of the Royalty, the Elite and the Islamic priesthood. A formidable coalition of this ‘eternally’ sinister TRIO thus made inroads into Islam and supported each other toward a common goal, that is, exploitation and enrichment at the expense of the masses who, in turn, violated one another’s, and particularly women’s rights.

The later commentators whether Arabs or non-Arabs, have since looked at the Qur’an with the tinted glasses of the earlier Mufassireen (commentators or exponents.) This dilemma has only helped perpetuate the pathetic state of mental slavery of the “Islamic” world to this day.

The Bewilderment: Muslims, then, keep wondering: What went wrong? What has happened to us? How can we stand up? Which way should we go? What brought upon us the current, in fact, the last many centuries of global humiliation? Is a Renaissance possible? If yes, how is it possible?

The answer is one word, Al-Qur’an, in its true meanings as the companions of the Prophet understood and strove to apply it and, thereupon, success embraced their feet at every step and in every walk of life.

Respected reader! Right before you is my sincere effort to break free of those "time-honored" shackles of mental slavery, and to breathe in some fresh air – (QXP) The Qur’an As It Explains Itself.

A Project Done In Full Public View:

The first edition of QXP - “The Qur’an As It Explains Itself” was completed in April 2003. It is the first ever rendition of the Qur’an into any language that has been done in full public view. From the very first letter in 2001, it had been made available on the Internet. This proved to be a great blessing. Some great scholars of the Qur’an and of the Arabic linguistics around the world helped me make the rendition as accurate, nice and clear as possible. QXP is an ongoing project with continued improvement of English words and sentences.

Respectfully, here is the fifth edition, and God willing, I hope to continue working for another improved edition.

Thanks! Shabbir Ahmed, M.D .

Florida, Jan 2001 to Dec 2012

Introduction

QXP is a Tasreef-based understanding of the Qur’an presented in contemporary English that is easy enough even for teen-agers. It is not a literal translation.

Tasreef is the Qur’anic process where verses in one part of the Qur’an explain or provide deeper understanding of the verses in other parts of the Book. Concisely, it means looking at the Qur’an in its Big Picture. The Qur’an, thus, lets us look at its terms and concepts from very diverse vantage points. This is how special care has been taken to explain every verse from within the Qur’an itself.

The respected reader should expect to find “The Qur’an As It Explains Itself” different from the prevalent translations and explanations because of the use of Tasreef and the Quraish dialect, and for rejecting extrinsic sources.

I have purposely refrained from explaining the Qur’an through extrinsic sources such as Hadith and a very questionable History. Hadithmeans the supposed sayings of the exalted Prophet collected through hearsay centuries after him. Using these two ‘sources’ for translating or explaining the Qur’an in the distant and recent past has only served to confound the Word of God with manmade traditions and it takes away the profound glory of the Divine message.

In QXP, relevant historical accounts have been given only sparingly for the interested reader and they have no bearing on the Pristine Divine message.

The following three principles applied in this rendition are derived from the Qur’an itself:

One: The Qur’an explains itself. [6:115, 10:37, 75:17-19]

Two: It repeats its verses from diverse angles for clear understanding. [17:41, 17:89, 18:54, and quite a few other verses] Three: It has been revealed in the Plain Arabic of its times. [12:2, 19:97, 20:113, 39:28, 44:58]

The Prophet (S), who was born and raised in Makkah(Mecca), belonged to the prominent Quraish tribe. Since the Makkans were the first audience, the Qur’an was revealed in their dialect.

19:97 And only to this end We have made this (Qur’an) easy to understand in your own tongue (O Prophet) - That you might convey thereby glad news to the righteous and warn people given to futile disputation.

44:58 Certainly, (O Prophet) We have made this Qur’an easy in your tongue, in order that they may take it to heart. [69:40]

Surah means a fence and thus it implies a Chapter that encircles some ayahs (verses). There are 114 Chapters (Surahs) in the Qur’an with just over 6,200 verses in all. By volume, the Qur’an is a much smaller Book than the Bible.

Notes: The reader should not expect the Qur’an to follow a historical time-line as the Bible does. It presents its guidance in an apparently random manner, but a close examination reveals a definite arrangement of the messages as we go along. As usual, the Surah and verse numbers in this rendition are kept simple. 2:101 will mean Surah 2 verse 101 and so on.

About the use of parentheses ( ) and brackets [ ] … Whenever the reader finds a sentence that is not seen in the original Arabic verse, it will be representing another verse found elsewhere in the Qur’an and, where appropriate, the proper reference will be given right there. In this effort, no meanings will be imported from outside of the Qur’an.

A conscious effort will be made to keep the brackets after the verses whenever possible. Historical notes, author’s comments and linguistic explanations too will be given in brackets or parentheses.

The use of (S) after the name of Prophet Muhammad should be read as ‘Our salutes to him’.

Some publishers of the Qur’an count BISMILLAH before every Surah as verse number 1. Therefore, the verse numbering in different copies of the Qur’an may vary by one. For example, 6:142 may be 6:143 and vice versa in different publications. Rarely, the reader may have to check one verse before and one after the given reference, which in itself is a good practice to get the context. Leading publishers of the Qur’an must unify the numbering of the verses.

Please note that the Qur’an confirms only the Divine origination of the Bible (Old & New Testaments, the Torah & Injeel). It repeatedly asserts that the Bible has been grossly corrupted by their clergy. See verses 2:75, 2:78-79, 2:101, 3:70-71, 3:78, 3:186-187, 5:13, 5:41, 6:91, 9:31.

Glossary - Some Terminology: It will help the reader to become familiar with some important terminology frequently used in the Qur’an, right in the beginning.

Prophets named in the Qur’an:

[Adam indicates early humans. Many scholars consider Adam the first Prophet as well.] Nooh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismail (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), Ya’qoob (Jacob), Yusuf (Joseph), Musa (Moses), Haroon (Aaron), Daud (David), Sulaiman (Solomon), Zakariya (Zacharias), Yahya (John the Baptist), ‘Isa (Jesus), Elias (Elijah), Yunus (Jonah), Lut (Lot), Ayub (Job), Al-Yasa’ (Elisha), Zal-Kifl (Ezekiel), Idrees (Enoch), Sho’aib (Jethro), Hud (Eber), Saleh, Muhammad.

The last two are not named in the current Bible. Prophet Zechariah of the Old Testament belonged to previous generations, and he was, thus, a different person from Prophet Zakariya of the Qur’an (Zacharias of the New Testament). He was the father of John the Baptist (Yahya). 18 Prophets are named in succession from 6:84 onward]

Let us begin with the Name of God.

Surah 1. Al-Fatihah – The Opening

The first Surah of the Qur’an is a petition the Almighty has taught us. It teaches us to seek His guidance and support as we pledge to live by His laws. It has been termed, "The Key” to the Book, and in fact, the title “Al-Fatihah” carries that meaning. God, in His Infinite mercy, instantly responds in the next Surah, “Here is the Book of guidance” (you asked for).

A'UZUBILLAHI-MIN-ASH-SHAYITAAN-IR-RAJEEM I most humbly seek shelter with God against the promptings of all evil sources including my own ego.

[Shayitaan = Satan = The straying Ego = Selfish desires = Desire that rebels against the higher controls of sound judgment = Emotions that overpower Permanent Moral Values = Intrinsic or extrinsic evil prompting = Negative peer pressure = Violent emotions = Self-glorification = Anything distant from goodness and progress = False pride = A rumor monger = Fiery temperament = Slanderer = A hinderer of good = He who spreads corruption and disorder on earth = Anyone who impels others into violating Divine Commands = A hinderer of good = Bad companionship = One who deceives or charms people into violating Divine laws = Any being or influence that alienates humans from the Creator = One who distances itself from Divine grace. 2:14, 4:38, 4:60, 4:83, 4:119, 5:90-91, 6:43, 6:143, 7:200, 17:26-27, 22:3-4, 25:28-29, 31:21, 67:5. In Hebrew, Satan = Adversary = One who plots against another]

BISMILLAH-IR-RAHMAN-IR-RAHEEM

With the Glorious Name of God, the Ultimate Source of Instant Beneficence and Eternal Mercy Who encompasses the entire Universe, nourishing and taking care of all things for becoming what they are meant to be; just as a mother's womb nourishes the embryo to completion without any returns.

[Rahm in Rahman and Raheem encompasses all the meanings rendered. Before the next Surahs, BISMILLAH will be given a brief translation: With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness]

1:1All praise is due to God, the Lord/Cherisher/Sustainer of the Universe and everything therein.

[The marvels and the profound harmony in the Universe is a living witness that its Lord is truly Worthy of all praise. All praiseworthy beings and wonderful things derive their magnificence from Him. Being awe-struck by any of His creation to the exclusion of His realization is nothing but shortsightedness. All human achievements find their ultimate Source in Him since He is the exclusive Provider of all mental and physical resources. 3:189-190, 9:112, 35:27-28]

1:2The Source of Instant Beneficence and Eternal mercy Who encompasses the entire Universe, nourishing and taking care of all things for what they are meant to be, just as a mother's womb nourishes the embryo to completion without any returns.

1:3(He is) the Absolute Owner of the Day when all creation shall have completed their journey of existence, action and evolution to the Ultimate Just outcome.

[And He is the Supreme Appointer of the System of Life that mankind may live by in order to attain success in both lives. All decisions in this System will be made according to Divine Commands given in this Book. And this System will most certainly prevail over all manmade systems in this world. The Divine law of Just Recompense is gradually taking mankind to the Day of Final Judgment in His Court to account for all they did with their gift of life. This is a Day the advent of which is beyond any doubt. 3:189-190, 9:32-33, 17:111, 43:84, 82:18-19. Deen = The Divinely Prescribed System of Life. Yaum-id-Deen = The Day of Judgment = The Time of Ultimate Just Outcome = The Day of Resurrection = When the Divine System rules the earth as it rules the Universe]

1:4(Realizing these facts), we obey You alone and we ask You alone to help us (as we obey You).

[Such will be the ones to establish the Divinely Prescribed System of Life on earth. Iyyak = You alone. ‘Abd and Ibadah, roots for Na’bud = Obedience = Service = Serving God by serving his creation. Usually, but erroneously translated exclusively as worship. 3:78, 5:44-48, 12:40]

1:5(So,) Guide us to the straight path (that leads us to real success by providing us with faculties that listen and not just hear, observe and not just see, analyze and not just follow blindly). [17:36]

1:6The path of those upon whom You have bestowed blessings (as a natural consequence of obeying the commands. 2:47, 31:20).

1:7They were not of those who earned the bitter consequences of their misdeeds according to Your laws, nor of those who lost their direction.

[2:61, 7:152, 29:69, 37:69-71, 45:23, 61:5. Ghadhab of Maghdhoob = Wrath = Anger = Being seized by Divine laws due to misdeeds. The term can be taken only figuratively when used in relation to God since He, unlike human tyrants, is not an emotional King and His Rule is the Rule of law. 3:6, 8:53, 13:11]

Surah 2. Al-Baqarah - The Cow

This is the 2nd Surah of the Qur’an. It has 286 verses. The cow is merely one of the many quadrupeds made useful and subservient to mankind. The title of a Chapter or Surah of the Qur’an is important mainly for reference purposes. Therefore, we find most Surahs dealing with very diverse concepts completely unrelated to their titles. One major exception is Surah 12 Yousuf that describes the inspiring story of Prophet Yousuf (Joseph son of Jacob). But even that continues to give us very diverse concepts and guiding principles to reflect upon. Also, in the last several short Surahs of the Qur’an the title usually becomes the main center of discussion.

Proper understanding of this most detailed Surah Al-Baqarah will enable the reader to become familiar with the basic concepts and the true meanings of the Qur’anic terminology according to the Quraish dialect. The semantics and nuances of the language of revelation are not only interesting but mandatory for accurate understanding. Like the QXP in its entirety, my humble rendition of this Surah is not a literal translation, but an understanding from the Big Picture of the Qur’an without compromising the literary meanings.

BISMILLAHIRRAHMANIRRAHEEM

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

2:1A.L.M. Alif-Laam-Meem. (Allah, Lateef the Unfathomable, Majeed the Magnificent, knows and understands your needs.)

2:2(Here is the guidance you asked for.) This is a Book whereof there is absolutely no doubt concerning its authority and authenticity. And it leaves no doubts lingering in a seeking mind. It is a Guide for those who wish to journey through life in honor and security.

[Rayib includes the meanings given in the first three lines. This Divine Writ, Al-Qur’an, is a Monograph that, when studied with an open mind, humility and sincerity, finds its own way from the mind to the heart. You will soon notice, as you proceed, that this scripture leaves no lingering doubts in a sincere, seeking mind. If you remember that this is a Book of guidance and treat it as such, the glittering reality will dawn upon you that this is a beacon of light! It is a Guide for all those who wish to journey through life in honor and security - Recorded on parchment ‘Raqq’ by honorable scribes appointed by the Messenger. 52:2-3, 80:11-16. The Almighty Himself guarantees the truth of this revelation, its explanation and its preservation. It is absolutely free of contradictions. Al-Qur’an = The Lecture or Monograph that finds its own way to sincere hearts, becoming Az-Zikr = The Reminder. 4:82, 10:37, 15:9, 29:48-49, 32:2, 52:2-3, 75:17-19, 80:11-16]

2:3Those who (wish to journey through life in honor and security), believe in the Unseen, and establish the System of Salaat in which the following of Divine commands is facilitated, and keep open for others the resources that We have granted them.

[Establishing Salaat = The System in which Permanent Moral Values rule the hearts and minds of men and women. There are neither masters nor subjects in such a system, since therein prevails the Rule of Law. 2:177, 22:41, 94:7-8. Al-Ghayeb = The Unseen: The likeness of a seed that is beneath the soil hidden from a farmer’s view. Yet the farmer believes that given proper environment and care the seed will sprout. 9:119, 57:20, 89:27-30. Salaat = To follow closely, like a runner-up Musalli follows the winning horse Saabiq =Follow God’s commands closely. Aqimussallat = Establish the System that facilitates the following of Divine Commands. Zakaat = The Just Economic Order where everyone works according to one’s capacity and is compensated according to the needs. People spend on others or give to the Central Authority Islamic government whatever is surplus 2:219. And they do so whenever they earn any income 6:141. The System of Zakaat is managed by the Central Authority that ensures the development of the individuals and the society. The 2.5 percent annual mandatory charity is a non-Qur’anic concept that trivializes the comprehensive Qur’anic System of Zakaat. Also, the problems of Fiqh minor but confusing and contradictory jurisprudential details about what and who are exempt and what and who are not exempt etc, make the manmade Zakaat an absolute impossibility. For example, a man with an ounce of gold should not pay Zakaat, but a poor man with 52.5 ounces of silver, the value of which is less than 10% of the former instance, must pay! No wonder, God warns us not make His verses a laughing stock. The Central Authority can vary this percentage according to the changing times and needs of the society. Charity or Sadaqaat are meant only for the interim period whenever the Divinely Prescribed System of Life is not yet in place. For Central Authority, the Qur’an uses the terms Allah and Rasool 3:32. After the exalted Rasool Messenger, it is obligatory upon the believers to elect their leadership through a consultative process in a manner suitable for the times. The basic difference between the western democracy and the Islamic government: Any legislation can pass with the majority approval in the manmade constitutional democracy. But no law can pass contradicting the Qur’an in a truly Islamic State. That is one reason why the Qur’an generally gives us the basic Rules with details to be decided by people with mutual consultation according to changing times. 42:38. For God’s Right = Divinely ordained right of the poor, see 6:141, 11:64, 55:10]

2:4And those who choose to believe in what has been revealed to you (O Messenger) and in the (truth in) what was revealed before your times. And they have conviction in the Law of Requital, and, therefore, in the life Hereafter.

[Similar were the blessed people who believed in and followed the previous scriptures. Men and women of understanding use their faculty of reasoning and understand that human intellect is not boundless. It can tell people what is, but it cannot tell what ought to be. The human intellect is also affected by emotional, cultural and environmental conditions. Furthermore, direct revelation from the Creator economizes human effort and saves them time on trial and error. They also realize that life is no vain sport. It has a sublime purpose and keeps evolving like everything else in the Cosmos. So, the death of the human body is only a transition to a higher form of life for the human ‘self’. Thus, they have conviction in the Hereafter. This can be likened to the birth of a baby who leaves the mother’s womb and moves on to a new and higher level of existence. Anyone failing to understand the Eternity of the Nafs ‘Self’ -commonly termed as 'Soul', bars himself from seeing life in its totality and, therefore, toils through this life without a higher objective. 2:185, 6:73, 7:52-53, 7:157-158, 10:4, 21:10, 21:24, 40:11, 45:4-5, 67:2. “Confirming the truth in what they have” points to human touch in the Bible even before Prophet Muhammad’s times. See verses 2:75-79, 2:101, 3:70-71, 3:78, 3:186-187, 5:13, 5:41, 6:91, 9:31, 61:7]

2:5They are the ones who walk on a path lighted by their Lord, and they are the ones whose crops of effort will flourish and they will truly prosper.

[Muflihoon from Fallaah = Farmer who ploughs the earth for seeding and gets an abundant crop in return. Huda minr-Rabb = The Lord’s light = This Qur’an to which one must turn with an open mind. Those who approach it without clearing their minds of pre-conceived notions will fail to “touch” this Book. For, that frame of mind defies reason and logic. 4:88, 5:15, 23:1-11, 24:35, 31:2-5, 42:5, 56:79]

2:6Remember that those who have chosen denial in advance, it is all the same to them whether you apprise them (of the consequences of their actions) or apprise them not. They will refuse to acknowledge the truth. [2:89-109, 6:26, 27:14, 35:42-43, 36:70, 41:26, 47:32]

2:7God (His Law of Cause and Effect) has sealed their hearts and their hearing, and on their sight there is a veil. And theirs will be a tremendous suffering.

[KhatmorTaba’ from God, seal on the hearts, is a natural consequence of one’s deeds. Blind following, adamancy, being unjust due to selfish interests and arrogance render the human perception and reasoning unreceptive to Divine revelation. Thus, one loses sensitivity and the ability to perceive reality. It is easy to see how damaging this fall from the high stature of humanity can be, a tremendous suffering that is built-in as the logical consequence of such attitude. 4:88, 17:46, 18:57, 40:35, 45:23, 83:14]

2:8And of mankind there are those who claim, “We believe in God and the Last Day", while they are not believers.

[Their actions that speak louder than words, contradict their claim. 4:136, 49:15]

2:9They wish to deceive God and those who have attained belief. But they deceive none but themselves and realize it not.

[Since reason is a faculty that has to be exercised and they have forsaken it, they are little aware of what opportunity of personal development they are missing. They live in a state of denial]

2:10(This negative attitude) is a disease in their hearts, and God (His law) increases their disease. And for them is painful suffering, for, they lie to themselves.

[Their attitude reinforces itself according to the Law of Cause and Effect. The conflict between one’s word and action amounts to self-deception that has its own dire consequences]

2:11When it is said to them, “Do not cause disruption in the land”, they assert, “We are but reformers, setting things right.”

2:12Nay, it is they who are the disrupters. But they fail to use reason.

[They bring forth a common argument that they are acting in good faith and in accordance with their ‘conscience’. But conscience is only the "internalized society", a mental reflection of the values prevalent in a given environment. Therefore, it can never be a substitute for Divine revelation Wahi.3:20, 5:79, 9:67, 24:21]

2:13And when it is said to them, “Acknowledge the truth as people have acknowledged”, they retort, "Shall we accept what the foolish accept?" Nay, it is they who are foolish. But they do not know.

[Imaan = Belief = Conviction = Acceptance = Acknowledgement = Embracing the truth]

2:14And when they meet those who have chosen to believe, they say, “We have attained belief.” But when they go away to their shayaateen (devilish comrades), they say, "We are with you. We were only mocking.”

2:15God will return their mockery to them, and leave them to wander in their arrogance, blindly stumbling to and fro.

2:16They have bought straying at the expense of guidance. But their trade will go bankrupt because they have not set their caravan in the right direction.

[Muhtadi = Guided = He who journeys in the right direction]

2:17Their example is that of a person who lights up a fire without adequate fuel. As soon as brightness surrounds them, the fuel is consumed and God (His law) takes away their light leaving them in the dark where they cannot see.

[The pursuit of instant gains only grants them a fleeting sense of satisfaction since they have forfeited the long-term goal]

2:18Deaf, dumb and blind of reason! They will not return to journey in the right direction (unless they use their perceptual and conceptual faculties. 8:22, 16:76, 17:36).

2:19Another example is that of a rainstorm from the sky with darkness, thunder and lightning. They plug their ears with their fingers for fear of death. And God encompasses the deniers.

[Plugging the ears will not make the storm disappear since denial is no solution to any problem. His changeless laws are implemented in the Universe without any exceptions and none can escape them. 7:183, 14:8, 29:54, 30:24]

2:20The lightning almost snatches away their sight and vision. They walk a few steps, in a stop and go fashion. When the light helps them, they walk therein. And when darkness prevails on them, they stand still. And if God willed, He could take away their faculties of hearing and seeing. For, God is Able to do all things.

[Absaarahum = Their sight = Their vision = Their sight and insight. Those who defy reason, eventually lose their perceptual and conceptual faculties. God is the Powerful Designer of His laws and He has supreme control over all things. He has prescribed laws for every thing and event in the Universe. And He does not infringe upon these laws even though He is Able to do so. 2:201, 6:96, 7:182, 10:5, 11:15, 13:8, 14:16-18, 17:18-21, 25:2, 29:54, 30:24, 36:38, 42:20, 54:49, 65:3, 79:36, 87:3. Those who reject the Divine messages and rely solely on their intellect do not realize that revelation is to the human intellect what sunlight is to the human eye. It takes them out of darkness into light. 2:257]

2:21O Mankind! Serve your Lord (by serving His creation). He is the One Who has created you and those before your times, so that you may journey through life secure against error. [7:172]

2:22He Who has made the earth habitable for you, and the sky over it like a canopy, and brought down rain from therein so that fruits of His bounty may spring forth for you as abundant provision. When you understand this simple fact, (do not insult your intelligence and) do not equate others with God.

[The high atmosphere serves as a protecting canopy against meteorites and keeps balance in the gases and temperature. 2:164]

2:23(For the real skeptic, here is a reason-friendly offer.) If you are still in doubt concerning what We have revealed to Our servant (Muhammad), call and set up (a committee, commission, organization, association of the highest order) all your helpers besides God, and then produce just one Surah like this, if you are truthful.

[Bring some chapters of comparable merit that even come close to it in magnificence, eloquence, grandeur and wisdom 10:38, 11:13, 17:88. The use of ‘We’ and ‘I’ … God uses for Himself the first person singular ‘I’ as well as the plural ‘We’. The Qur’an being the most eloquent Book on earth has its own unique charisma and style. Slight reflection even on a translation strikes us with the beauty and variety of its usage of semantics. ‘We’ in relation to God indicates His Supreme Royalty, whereas ‘I’ gives us some idea of how close the King of kings is to us. King Cyrus of Persia calls himself ‘We’ in 18:87 and that is just one example. But about God, "There is none like unto Him." 112:4. Likewise, the use of the masculine gender for God in all scriptures is meant to be in conformity with our social fabric and ease of expression. For third person singular, almost all languages in the world use the male gender except when referring to a specific female]

2:24And if you fail to do it - and fail you will - yet remain haughty and scornful, then guard yourselves against the fire that has been readied for those who oppose the truth, and its fuel is the masses and their stonehearted leaders alike.

[This fire is generated in and engulfs the hearts 2:74, 9:110, 66:6, 104:6-7. Hajar = Stone = Rock = A stone-hearted person = Elite leadership = An apparently tough, prominent man = The hard or high segment of a hill]

2:25Convey the happy news to those who have chosen to be graced with belief, and have done acts of service to humanity. For them will be a most pleasant reward, Paradise in both lives. (Try to understand it in the current human vocabulary.) - Plush Gardens with streams flowing underneath! When they are provided with the delicious fruit of their deeds, they will say, “This is what we were provided before.” They had tasted some of the reward in this world. They will be given sustenance that will recall their past. These men and women will have pure companions therein, an everlasting happy family life.

[This Paradise is not given away as charity. It has to be built in this life and then inherited. It has been described in the Qur’an allegorically and it is not confined to one particular place. It encompasses the entire Universe and is a logical consequence of living upright and contributing to the well-being of humanity. 3:133, 13:35, 14:24, 24:55, 32:17, 39:74, 47:15, 57:21, 76:5-6, 76:17]

2:26God does not shy away from citing any kind of allegory, even of a mosquito or beyond. Those who attain belief by way of reason appreciate the allegories and know that it is the Truth from their Lord. But those who have chosen to disbelieve, try to ridicule, saying, "What could God mean to teach by this similitude?" Thus He (His law of guidance) lets go astray many and shows the lighted road to many. But He never lets go astray any but those who drift away from reason.

[Men and women of reason know that abstract phenomena are frequently best understood in the form of examples, metaphors and allegories. Faasiqoon singular, Faasiq = Those who drift away = Who slip out of discipline = Those who cross the bounds of what is right = Fruit whose seed slips out = Egg yolk that drops out of its shell = One who transgresses Divine laws and thus becomes vulnerable to desires and extrinsic challenge. 3:81-82, 5:3, 5:47, 5:108, 6:121, 7:102, 9:24, 9:80, 24:4, 24:55, 59:19]

2:27(Just as there is One Creator, likewise mankind is but one Community.) Those who break this ratified Bond of God and cut asunder the unity of mankind that God has commanded them to uphold, and thus lay the foundation of chaos on earth, those will be the losers in the long run. [9:33-34, 9:111, 10:19, 13:20-24, 31:28, 83:6, 114:1]

2:28Think! How can you disbelieve in God knowing that He is the One Who gave you life when you were lifeless? Then He will cause you to die and bring you back to life again. And then, all of you will return to Him.

[Two lives and deaths 37:58, 40:11, 44:56, 76:1]

2:29He is the One Who has created for you whatever is on earth – all of it. And He has applied His Design to the sky and fashioned it in several ascending heights. He is the Supreme Knower of what all things are destined to be.

[The subject of seven ascending heights is still under scientific investigation, but many astrophysicists already believe in it. 11:7, 53:31, 57:1-2. Saba' indicates seven or several. Thinking of the earth’s atmosphere, it contains seven layers: The Troposphere, Stratosphere, Ozone Layer, Mesosphere, Thermosphere, Ionosphere and the Exosphere. This has been only discovered in the last century. The Qur’an repeatedly emphasizes the importance of scientific observation and intellectual inquiry. 3:191, 7:185, 17:36, 88:17-21]

2:30(Now is related to you the creation of Adam or mankind, in allegorical terms; when God decided to create humans who would be given free will, and supremacy on earth.) Your Lord announced His Plan to the angels, “I am about to place on earth a new creation that will have supremacy over it.” They exclaimed, “Will you place on it such creation as will cause disorder therein and shed blood! - Whereas we strive to manifest Your glory (in the Universe)!” He answered, “I know what you do not know.”

[God had programmed the angels God’s forces in nature with specific tasks that express the Divine will. He created humans through the process of evolution and granted them the ability to make free choices. They may choose to follow Divine Guidance or deviate from it 33:72. The "angels" were not even remotely aware of any will other than God’s. The Qur’an metaphorically portrays the immense responsibility given to humans in the story of Adam. Free will may be likened to the breathing into humans from the Divine Energy. The angels wondered if a clash of wills would not result in chaos and bloody disorder on earth, while the angelic role had always been that of striving to manifest the Impeccable glory of their Lord and absolute submission to His commands. 15:28-29, 16:49-50. TasbeehfromSabah = Swim with long strides = Strive hard = Apply oneself to a mission. Moses and Aaron Haroon did Tasbeeh -strove hard against Pharaoh 20:33. Human Evolution … 6:2, 7:189, 15:26-27, 22:5, 23:12-13, 25:54, 32:7-9, 35:11, 37:11, 71:17]

2:31And God endowed mankind with the capacity to attain knowledge. Then He showed the angels certain things and said to them, “Tell me if you have the capacity of learning about these, if you are truthful (and better qualified to have supremacy on the planet earth).”

[‘Allam-al-Aadam-al-Asma = He endowed humankind with the capacity to attain knowledge]

2:32They humbly said, “Glorified are You, High above all! We only know what You have taught us (the tasks assigned to us). Most certainly, You are all Knower, all Wise.”

2:33Then He said, “O Adam! Show them some of your capacity to attain knowledge.” And when Adam informed them of his ability to learn, He said to the angels, “Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of the highs and the lows? And I know what is manifested by your efforts and the potentials that lie dormant within you.”

2:34And when We said to the angels, “Humble yourselves and be subservient to Adam-mankind, they instantly complied humbling themselves. But Iblees (Satan) refused through self-glorification, and so became a rejecter of the Divine Command.

[Thus, God endowed mankind with the ability to harness the forces in Nature through science. There is, however, an internal domain He has designed within humans, the Nafsor ‘Self’. Call it ‘I’, ‘Self’, ‘Ego’, ‘Personality’, ‘Iamness’, ‘Me’. This has been placed for the humans to exercise free will and achieve personal growth or self-actualization. But this ’self’ is vulnerable to the evil prompting of its own intrinsic selfish desire or that of extrinsic sources. In that situation the ’self’ rebels against the higher controls of human judgment, and more importantly, against the revealed Moral Values. This rebellious state of the ’self’ has the ability to rationalize its desire and emotions through the intellect. And this rebellious state of the ‘Ego’ is Satan or Iblees. It was this Iblees that refused to humble itself to the higher human controls of judgment and Divine Commands. Incidentally, the Qur’an nowhere mentions a human ’soul’, ’spirit’ or ’spirituality’. Iblees = Deprivation = Hopelessness = Frustration = Desperation and regret = Rebellious state of the human ’self’ that drifts away from the Divine Commands, but wishes to escape personal responsibility by blaming God for its own misdeeds. See 7:16. Sajdah = Prostration = Complete submission = Willful obedience = Utter humility = Adoration = Utmost commitment to Divine Cause = Humbling one’s own self]

2:35We told the early humans, Adam and his wife (men and women), “O Mankind! Reside in this land which is Paradise and partake the fruit thereof as you please. But do not go near this branching Tree (of Selfishness). Or, you will become of the wrongdoers.”

[If you branch off into casts, sects, and rivalry, you shall replace your Paradise with Hell. 2:213, 4:65 10:19, 20:117-118. Zulm = To displace something from its rightful place = Replace good with evil = Relegate the truth = Transgression = Oppression = Violation of human rights = Wrongdoing]

2:36But Satan caused them both (men as well as women) to stumble therein and got them out of the happy state they were in. And so We said, “Degraded you have become with wedges of discord among yourselves! There shall be for you habitation and livelihood on earth for a while.”

[Their straying egos and selfish desires had clashed and led them into dividing among themselves for the pursuit of self-interest. Humanity fell from the height of felicity into contention and rivalry. The plentiful provision of the land that used to be open for all became a matter of private ownership and hoarding. They have since been living in a state of continuous toil, turmoil and strife]

2:37(The solution to this catastrophe was beyond human redress.) Then Adam received Words of guidance from his Lord and He accepted his repentance. Certainly, He is the Acceptor of repentance, the Most Merciful.

[Adam = Aadam = Man. His wife = Woman. Udma = Ability to live together as a community. Aadam from Udma thus, indicates humankind. The word “Eve” or Hawwa is not mentioned in the Qur’an. She is described with dignity as Mer’a-til-Aadam = Adam’s Zaujah = Wife, Consort, Mate of Adam = Mrs. Adam. The Qur’an adopts the beautiful method of either gently correcting or ignoring the errors in other scriptures. It does not repeat the Biblical fallacy of ‘Eve’ having been created from Adam’s rib. She also repented and God treated both of them equally. 7:23-24. Again, Adam and his wife mean humankind, male and female. Taubah = Repentance = Returning to the right path = Realizing one's fault and taking corrective action. 4:17, 4:18, 5:39, 3:89, 6:54, 16:119, 24:5, 27:71]

2:38We said, “For now, all of you are degraded to a lower level of existence, out of this state of felicity (Paradise). But, when guidance comes to you from Me, those who will follow My guidance, on them shall be no fear from without, nor shall they have any grief from within.”

[Note here the multiple plural ‘all of you’ confirming that Adam and his wife are allegorical terms for the humankind. Incidentally, the word ‘Eve’ is nowhere mentioned in the Qur’an, once again Adam denoting humankind. Khauf = Fear from without. Huzn = Intrinsic depression or grief = Unhappiness = Regret]

2:39But those who reject Our messages or deny them in practice, such will be the rightful dwellers of the fire. They will abide therein.

2:40(One example is that of the Israelites.) O Children of Israel! Remember My blessings that I bestowed upon you (when you were following My commandments). Fulfill your promise to Me and I will fulfill My promise to you. And fear none but Me.

[Fear the consequences of violating Divine Commands. 2:47, 2:83-85, 2:122, 3:61, 5:12-13, 5:70, 9:111, 45:16]

2:41And grace yourselves with belief in what I have revealed now confirming (the truth) in what you already have. Be not the first among those who will conceal the truth therein, and trade not My revelations for petty gains. Rather, be mindful of Me.

[‘Confirming the truth in’ 2:101. Petty gains = The false dogma of being the ‘chosen ones’ which is consistently rejected by the Qur’an. The only criterion of honor in the Sight of God is character 2:80-81, 10:69-70, 29:23, 49:13. Kufr = Opposing the truth = Denying the truth = Concealing the truth = Ingratitude = Rejection of truth = Choosing to live in darkness = Hiding or covering something = Closing eyes to light. Kaafir = One given to Kufr =One who adamantly denies thetruth = One who opposes the truth = Commonly translated as ‘infidel’ = Derivatively and positively, a farmer who hides the seed under the soil 57:20. Therefore, Kufr or Kafir does not apply to the unaware, anyone to whom the message has not been conveyed or reached yet. Taqwa = Seeking to journey through life in security = Protect oneself from disintegration of the personality = Journeying in security = Being careful and observant = Getting empowered against evil = Avoid overstepping the laws = Exercising caution = Preserving oneself against deterioration = Good conduct = Building character = Live upright = Fear the consequences of violating Divine Commands = Being mindful of the Creator = Remaining conscious of the Divinely ordained Values = Taking precaution = Being watchful against error]

2:42Do not confound the truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth while you are well aware of it. [2:159, 3:71]

2:43Strive to establish the System of Salaat, and to set up the Just Economic Order in the society. And bow with others who bow to these commands.

[System of Salaat = The System in which following the Divine commands is facilitated in the society]

2:44Do you exhort people to make room for everyone's welfare and progress in the society, while you disregard practicing what you preach? And all the while you study the scripture! Will you not, then, use your sense?

[Using sense will tell that failing to practice what one preaches is but lying to one’s ‘self’ 2:10. Birr= Making room for everyone's welfare and progress in the society = Exponential growth of the ‘self’. 2:177]

2:45If you wish to strengthen your own ‘self’ and promote the well-being of the society, then be patient and resolute in establishing the Divinely ordained System of Life. It is hard except for those who are humbly committed to a noble cause,

[2:153, 70:17-27, 90:10-18. You have become used to thriving on the fruit of others’ toil, such as devouring usury, and, therefore, economic equity and social equality strike at your selfish interests. 2:275. Khushoo’ = Being humbly compliant = Sincerely committed = Being devoted to a noble cause. Sabr = Patience = Facing adversity with courage = Steadfastness = Resolve = Determination in the face of affluence or adversity]

2:46Those who realize that they are to meet their Lord and that they are to return to Him.

[Meeting the Lord also indicates facing His Law of Requital. Returning to Him signifies being subject to His law. It also denotes following His commands, and of course, it alludes to the life Hereafter]

2:47(Once again) O Children of Israel! Remember the blessings I bestowed upon you and how I gave you distinction among the nations

[of the times when you were faithful to commands. 2:122]

2:48And beware of the Day (when all actions will encounter absolute justice, and contrary to your thinking), no person will avail another in the least. And neither intercession will be accepted, nor shall compensation be taken from anyone. And they will not be helped. (6:164)

[Shafa'ah = Stand up as witness to the Truth = Intercession = Clearing a falsehood assigned to someone. 2:123, 6:50-51, 6:70, 32:4, 39:44, 40:17-18, 10:3, 19:87. Not even the Messengers of God are exempt from the Divine Law of Recompense. 6:15, 10:15, 39:13, 72:20-21]

2:49Also remember when We saved you from Pharaoh’s people. They used to persecute you by selecting (the strong ones) for a dreadful torment. They slaughtered your sons and let your women live. That emancipation was a great turn of events from your Lord Supreme.

[In addition to killing the newborn boys, as a matter of state policy, Pharaoh humiliated the strong and left the vulnerable for slavery and shameful acts. Abna = Sons = Strong ones. Nisaa = Females = Women = Weak ones. Yastahyoon carries the connotation of ‘letting live’ as well as ‘in shame’. Yasoomoon = Selecting, choosing. This is what a tyrannical system does. 7:141, 27:34, 28:4-5, 40:25. Exodus 1:15-22. Balaaun: Turn of events. Wa fi zalikum points to saving mentioned early in the verse]

2:50And recall when We parted the sea and rescued you and drowned the people of Pharaoh right before your eyes.

[When you faithfully followed Moses, We rescued you through a safe passage in the Red Sea. You crossed over through the Sea of Reeds at low tide, as if it were parted. This Exodus brought you to the safety of Sinai from the persecution in Egypt. 7:138, 10:90, 20:77, 26:63, 44:24]

2:51(Instead of being grateful, you did something bizarre.) While We summoned Moses for forty nights to reveal Our commandments, you took to worshiping the (golden) calf in his absence. You became once again those who hurt themselves.

[7:142. Zulm = Displace something from its rightful place = Relegating the truth = Hurting someone or one’s own self = Violation of human rights = Live in darkness = Oppression = Diminishing the due measure = Replace good with evil = Relegate the truth = Transgression = Oppression = Violation of human rights = Wrongdoing. See 2:35. Was not the calf an object of worship of the Egyptians, your recent masters? You demonstrated that physical emancipation did not equate psychological emancipation]

2:52Then, even after that, We pardoned you and gave you another chance to show gratitude. (2:56)

[Shukr = Thankfulness = Gratitude in word and action = Bring Divine bounties to the most fruitful use = Sharing one's wealth and resources with fellow humans = Opposite of Kufr when the context demands it, ingratitude]

2:53And We gave Moses the scripture and (thus) the Criterion (between right and wrong) so that you might be guided right.

[Hudan = Hidayah = Guidance = Right guidance = A lighted road = Journey with prominent landmarks = A sincere gift = A high rock of identification in the sea = Lighthouse = A fixed sign in the desert]

2:54When Moses returned, he said to his people, “O my people! You have hurt your own ‘self’ by worshiping the calf. So, turn in repentance to your Maker and kill your ego (rebellious mentality). This will be best for you in the Sight of your Maker.” Thereupon He turned toward you accepting your repentance. He is the Acceptor of repentance, the Merciful.

[7:148-156, 12:53. Baari = The Maker = Initiator = Originator = The Original Designer. Unfortunately, blindly following the account of Exodus to say in all humility, correctly described in QXP 32:26-28, most ancient and modern commentators of the Qur’an, including Maududi of the 20th century, stumble on this verse as well. They maintain that the Israelites in a matter of hours killed one another randomly up to 70,000 men! Others claim that only the culprits were killed! All this confusion arises for giving literal meaning to Qatl and for blindly following some Biblical accounts and fabricated Hadith. This is all the more amazing since the same verse is showing Pardon from God to the Israelites for their worshiping of the calf. Qatl = Subdue = Bring low = Humiliate = Make humble = Killing the inflated or rebellious Ego = Qatl also means murder, slaying, fighting, but in different contexts]

2:55And recall when you said, “O Moses! We will not believe in you unless we see God face to face!” Thereupon thunder struck you as you were looking on.

[Your minds were still programmed with the primitive ways of the "Age of Worship" when humans could only appreciate the tangible. At that level of intellect, humans come to fear natural phenomena. Thus, when you saw the lightning thunder you almost fell dead in fright. 7:155]

2:56Then We revived you, and raised you from a dead to a living nation so that you might show gratitude (by following the Divine Commands.)

2:57And We shaded you with Our grace and We bestowed upon you Our bounties in abundance, saying, “Partake of the decent things We have provided you.” And they did not harm Us; but they had certainly harmed their own ‘self’.

[Zall = Shade. Ghamam = Clouds. Being shaded with clouds in the desert is a blessing, hence my rendition as grace. Manna-wus-Salwa = God’s sustenance that reaches all members of the community equitably. Literally, it also means delicious fruit Manna and fowl or quail meat Salwa. Tayyab = Decent and clean = Of one's liking = Not forbidden in the Qur’an = Good for mind and body = Pleasant]

2:58Then We commanded you, “Enter this town and enjoy the provisions therein, partake as you desire. But enter the gate with heart-felt humility, saying, “Hittatun.”(O Our Lord! Pardon our misdeeds as we mend our ways). And We shall forgive you your faults and amply reward the doers of good.”

[‘This town’ = Can’aan = The land of Palestine. See 5:21, 7:161]

2:59But, the transgressors altered the meaning of the word they had been given, and changed their attitude of humility and perseverance. So, We brought down upon the transgressors consequences from the sky for, they repeatedly drifted away from the commandments.

[Rijz = Weak, shaky legs = Loss of determination and resolve = Losing individual and collective strength = Becoming lazy = Replacing action with word. 7:134-135, 7:162, 29:34. Fisq= Drifting away from the commands or from discipline = ‘Sin’ = Disregarding moral values. Divinely determined consequences = Divine Law of Requital. You became shaky in your resolve losing discipline and courage, therefore, the Promised Land became forbidden to you for forty years. 2:61, 3:21, 5:22-26]

2:60(Remember the times when you were in the Sinai desert) and Moses asked for water for his people. We said, “Strike the rock with your staff.” And there gushed out twelve springs so that each tribe found its respective source of fresh cool water. Moses said, “Enjoy God’s provision, but desist from becoming mischievous.”

[Mischief = Creating disruption and chaos in the land for selfish gains. ‘Asa = Staff = Force = Conviction = Support = A united community holding on to a mission as the five fingers hold on to a cane. Moses was guided to rocks under which were hidden twelve springs of water ready to gush forth. With the strength of his conviction and with the help of his companions, Moses unclogged those springs. 7:160]

2:61(At one stage you demanded Moses to provide you with a great variety of edibles, although you were living in the Sinai desert.) You said, “O Moses! We are weary of the same kind of food, so ask your Lord on our behalf to bring forth for us plant food such as herbs, cucumbers, garlic, lentils and onions.” He said, “Would you exchange something superior for something inferior? (Return to slavery for petty desires instead of achieving higher goals?) Go back in shame to Egypt and you will get what you demand.” So, humiliation and misery were stamped upon them and they had to face God’s requital. That was because they kept rejecting God's messages. And they persisted in opposing and even killing some Prophets against all right. They did all this, because they chose to rebel and went on transgressing.

2:62(That was a glimpse of the past.) Those who believe (in the Qur’an and call themselves Muslims), and those who are Jews, and Christians and the Sabians; whoever truly believes in God and the Last Day and does works that benefit humanity, their reward is with their Lord. For them shall be no fear from without, nor shall grief touch them from within.

[Note: The author of this rendition is not aware of any instance in the Qur’an where the use of Tasreef, that is, looking at the related verses, is more crucial than in the understanding of this verse. Some great commentators have misinterpreted this verse for missing related verses such as these:

Those who attain belief and call themselves Muslims and those who are Jews, and the Sabians, and Christians - whoever believes in God and the Last Day, and does works that benefit humanity, for them shall be no fear from without, nor shall grief touch them from within. 5:69

It is inconceivable that the opponents of the truth, whether they are the People of the Book, or the idolaters, could get out of error until the clear proof, Al-Qur’an, comes to them. 98:1-3

The non-Israelite Prophet liberates the People of the Book from the shackles of their manmade dogmas and brings them from darkness to light. 7:157

They say, “Be Jews or Christians, then you will be rightly guided.” Say, “Nay, we follow the way of Abraham Ibrahim, the upright. He associated no partner with the One True God.” 2:135

O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Say, “We believe in God and the revelation that has been conveyed to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael Ismail, Isaac Ishaq, Jacob Ya’qoob, as well as the tribal Israelite Prophets - and in what was given to Moses Musa and Jesus ‘Isa and to other Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among them since all of them were one in purpose and they got their guidance from the One True God. And for Him, we are Muslims.” 2:136

Thus, if they come to believe as you believe, then they are rightly guided. But if they turn away, they will be falling into opposition and God will be Sufficient for you against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower. 2:137

O You who have chosen to be graced with belief = O You who acknowledge the Qur’an. Reflecting on the above verses makes it clear that the belief in God and the Last Day must be in accordance with the Qur’an. Verses 2:62 and 5:69 emphasize that mere giving of a name to one’s religion or creed carries no importance. Sabians = Once a small Monotheistic community that started merging with their environment. In the Judeo-Christian milieu they preferred to announce themselves as ‘Followers of John the Baptist’. They sometimes claimed to follow a way between Judaism and Christianity. In Persia, they subscribed to many views of Zoroastrianism. In Arabia, they joined hands with the ‘nature-worshipers’ or ‘Star-worshipers’. Mostly living in Arabia, Mesopotamia Iraq and Persia, they modified their beliefs most suited to their environment. In some ways, their attitude resembled the modern Agnostics]

2:63(O Children of Israel) We accepted your solemn pledge, letting Mount Sinai tower above you as witness, and saying, “Hold fast unto what We have given you, and take to heart what is therein, so that you may live upright.”

2:64Then, even after that, you turned away. And were it not for the bounty of God upon you and His grace, you would have been undone.

2:65You are well aware of those among you who broke the Sabbath, whereupon We said to them, “Be you held in contempt like apes!”

[For social and ecological reasons and to inculcate the sanctity of the law in your hearts, We had commanded you to desist from fishing or working on Saturdays and to strengthen your social ties rather than going after business on that day 4:154, 7:163-167, 16:124. Persistent indiscipline is more befitting of an apish, rather than human mentality. 4:47, 4:154, 5:60. Note: Strangely enough, some ancient, and even modern commentators like Maududi, maintain that they were physically transformed into apes!]

2:66We made this degradation a lesson for them in their times, and for the future generations, We made it a source of enlightenment that should soften the hearts of those who seek to live upright.

[Wa’z = Admonition that softens the hearts]

2:67And remember, Moses said to his people, “God commands you to sacrifice a cow.” They said, “Do you mock us?” He replied, “I seek shelter with God from being among the ignorant who mock people.”

[Slaughter a cow to get rid of the Pharaoh’s pagan inclinations you carry in your hearts. That is what prompted you to worship the golden calf. 2:54, 7:152]

2:68(Now, they started making excuses.) They said, "Ask your Lord on our behalf to enlighten us as to what kind of a cow she is." He answered, “Indeed, He says that she is a cow neither too old nor too young. She is between the two conditions. Do, then, as commanded.”

2:69(Then) they said, “Ask for us your Lord that He enlighten us as to what color she is.” He answered, “He says that she is a yellow cow. Bright is her color, pleasing to beholders.”

2:70(Again) they said, “Call upon your Lord that He make it clear to us what exactly she is. To us all cows are much alike. If God so wills, we shall be rightly guided.”

2:71He answered, “Indeed, He says it is to be a cow that has not toiled in tilling the land nor in watering the crops and it is whole and healthy, unblemished.” They said, “Finally, you bring out a concrete description!” So they sacrificed her, although they would rather not have done it.

[They still adored cow-worship and the golden calf. 2:93, 5:101]

2:72Recall! A person was slain and you were casting blame on each other. So God brought forth what you were hiding.

2:73We said, “Connect the pieces of evidence that each one of you has (and the case will be resolved). This is how God gives life to the dead. And He expounds His messages for you to use your common sense.

[There is life for you in the law of Just Recompense. A law that deters murder and, thus, saves lives, in fact, gives you life 2:179. Another explanation: The Mosaic law, according to the Bible, ordains the sacrifice of a cow in cases of unsolved murder. The elders of the town wash their hands and say: “Our hands have not shed this blood, nor have our eyes seen it.” The community is then absolved of the collective responsibility Deuteronomy 21:1-9. In this particular instance the mystery was solved and the murderer was identified]

2:74Then, even after that, you persisted in defiance so much so that your hearts became hardened as rocks, impermeable to reason or even worse. For, there are rocks out of which streams gush forth, and there are rocks that split asunder so that streams flow from them. And yet there are rocks that become soft in awe of God. God is not unaware of what you do.

[Rocks may become soft according to Divine laws in nature. They are more compliant than the hearts that defy reason]

2:75Do you still hope that they will join your ranks in faith? A party among them used to listen to the Word of God in the Torah, then, distorted its words and true meanings, after they had understood it. And they knew full well what they were doing!

2:76And when they meet with those who have attained belief, they say, “We have attained belief.” But when they meet each other in private, they say, “Would you inform them (the Muslims) of what God has disclosed to you? Therewith they may engage you in argument before your Lord. Will you not, then, use your sense?”

[‘What God has disclosed to you’ = "The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your brethren – him you shall heed --- I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him." Deuteronomy 18:15-18]

2:77Do they not realize that God knows what they conceal and what they reveal?

2:78Among them are unlettered people who do not know the scripture, but learn their wishful beliefs through hearsay. They depend on nothing but conjecture.

2:79Then, lost are those (their scholars) who write the scripture with their own hands and then claim, “This is from God.” They traffic it for petty gains. And loss is to them for what they write, and for the illicit profits they make thereby.”

2:80Yet they say, “The fire will not touch us but for a few numbered days.” Say, “Have you received a promise from God? – For, God never breaks His promise. Or is it that you say things about God that you have no knowledge of?”

2:81Nay, but those who disrupt the lives of others, and their crimes surround them, are the rightful dwellers of the fire. Therein they will abide.

2:82And those who choose to be graced with belief, and do acts of benevolence; those are the rightful dwellers of Paradise. Therein they will abide.

2:83(God never promised unconditional favors to any nation, the Children of Israel being no exception.) And remember when We took a Covenant from the Children of Israel,

Then, after that, you slid back, except a few of you. And you turn away from these commandments even now.

[Salaat = To follow closely, like a runner-up Musalli follows the winning horse Saabiq =Follow God’s commands closely. Aqimussallat = Establish the System that facilitates the following of Divine Commands. 2:3.Zakaat= Divinely ordained Economic Order in which people work according to their capacity and get compensated according to their needs. It is the System in which all members of the society flourish and, with their basic needs having been met, they are able to rise up on the ladder of self-actualization. The cornerstone of this Economic Order: The God-given natural resources and wealth are the common property of all, and every individual willfully leaves for the welfare of others whatever is over and above his needs. The Central Authority will be responsible for administering and maintaining the Order of Zakaat.2:219, 22:41, 27:12, 53:39

Unfortunately, under the influence of fabricated Hadith, most commentators of the Qur’an confuse Zakaat with Sadaqaat. The latter means voluntary charity. See verse 9:60. It describes eight categories of the recipients of charity and not of Zakaat. With the solitary exception of Allama G.A. Parwez, to my knowledge, all commentators fail to notice the word Sadaqaat and somehow ‘misread’ the word Zakaat which is not there in that verse. So powerful is the influence of blind following! The current 2.5% giving of one's wealth and the complex and contradictory details of Fiqhassociated with it find no authority in the Qur’an. One example is the flagrant disparity between the compulsory 'charity or poor-due' to be paid by a rich man who possesses gold versus a poor man who possesses some silver. The poor will pay charity on less than one tenth of what the wealthy has! Ihsan= An act of balance = Restoring symmetry and beauty = Social and individual equity = Selfless service = An act of equity. Yateem = Orphan = Who is left alone in the society = Lonely = Without immediate family = Helpless = Derivatively, a widow. Miskeen = The needy poor = One with no means to earn livelihood = The disabled = One whose life has stalled for any reason = Jobless = Truly bankrupt of finances = One whose running business has stalled. 17:23, 29:8, 46:15, 4:36, 6:151, 2:177, 2:215, 17:26]

2:84And watch out! We accepted your solemn pledge that you would desist from mutual bloodshed, and from evicting your own people from your townships. This is what you agreed to and you were witnesses to it.

2:85Yet it is you who subdue and slay your own people, and evict a weak faction among you from their homes. And you support one another in hurting the community and sowing the seeds of discord. And when these homeless people get enslaved by others and are brought to you, you ransom them, whereas it was unlawful for you to evict them in the first place. What! Do you wish to accept one part of the scripture and reject the other? Think then, what the reward of such wrongdoing must be - nothing but disgrace in the life of this world, and on the Day of Resurrection the most grievous chastisement. God is not unaware of what you do.

[The verse is referring to the Jewish community of MadinahMedina, but as is always the case in the Qur’an, the commands have a wide historical applicability; in this case, to oppressive societies anywhere anytime. Ithm = Any action that depletes individual or communal energy. ‘Udwaan and its derivatives = Wedge = Creating distance between hearts = Discord = Crossing the bounds of law = Committing excesses = Deeds beyond decency = Transgressing moral values]

2:86These are the ones who buy instant gratification in exchange for Eternity. The logical consequence of this trade is relentless suffering in a state of utter helplessness.

[Numerous verses underscore the point that the Law of Cause and Effect has no room for making amends in the Hereafter, therefore, the helplessness. Duniya = This world = Immediate gains = Short term benefits = Short-sightedness = Disregarding the Law of Cause and Effect = Forsaking the Future. Aakhirah = Hereafter = Life to come = Eternity = Long term = Far-sightedness = Future = Logical outcome = Tomorrow as built on today]

2:87We gave the scripture to Moses, and after him We sent a succession of Messengers. And We gave Jesus, son of Mary (Mariam), clear evidence of the truth and We strengthened him with Ruh-il-Qudus. Yet, is it not the case that whenever a Messenger came to you with messages that did not conform to your desires, you resorted to self-glorification? And some of them you called impostors, and others you killed or tried to subdue.

[Also, you attempted to strike a deal with the Messengers to alter the revelations. 10:15, 11:113, 17:74, 68:9. Ruh-il-Qudus = Ruh-ul-Qudus = Ruh-il-Amin = Gabriel 2:87, 2:97, 2:253, 5:110, 16:2, 16:102, 26:193, 42:52]

2:88And they say, “Our hearts are bags of knowledge.” Nay, but God has deprived them of His grace for their persistent rejection of the truth. Therefore, only a few of them will choose to believe.

[2:6. La’nah = Curse = Deprivation of God’s grace = God’s rejection = Condemnation = Losing citizenship of the Islamic State = To be downgraded = Abasement = Lasting humiliation]

2:89Whenever revelation from God is delivered to them, confirming (the truth in) what they have, they flatly deny it! Yet, before that, they had been praying for winning the hearts of those who denied all Divine revelation. And now that a message has come to them that they very well recognize, they deny it and conceal (what they know). God’s condemnation is the due of all those who turn ungrateful.

[Kufr = Rejecting, denying, opposing, or concealing the truth = Ingratitude. 2:101, 2:41, 7:157]

2:90Awful is the price for which they sell their own ‘self’. They reject what God has revealed, complaining grudgingly as to why God should bestow His bounty of revelation to whomever He may elect among His servants! Thus, (for their bias) they have experienced bitter consequences of their misdeeds again and again. And for all those who oppose the truth, the logical consequence is a humiliating suffering.

[Ghadhab= Opposite of blessing = Bitter consequences = Logical results of defying Divine laws = Physical and mental destitution for defying God = Suffering loss = Incorrectly translated as anger or wrath in relation to God. See 1:7, 2:61. Grudgingly: They cannot get over the fact that God has elected a non-Israelite Prophet. 2:97, 2:100-101, 2:142, 5:18, 7:157]

2:91When it is said to them, “Believe in what God has revealed”, they say, “We only accept what has been sent to us.” And they reject all besides that, even though it is the truth confirming what they possess. Say, “(If you claim to believe in the scripture that you have), then why did you oppose and even slay the Prophets of God before, if you were believers?”

[2:101. For Qatl, see 2:54]

2:92Moses came to you with all evidence of the truth, yet you worshiped the golden calf in his absence! You did, thus, exchange the Right with the Wrong and hurt yourselves.

2:93Recall again that We accepted your solemn pledge, with Mount Sinai towering above you, as witness, “Hold fast to what We have given you, and listen with your hearts!” They (your elite) said, “We hear and we disobey.” (The desire to worship a tangible deity was so intense in them that) their hearts were infused with the love of the golden calf. This led them to persistently refuse to acknowledge the truth. Say, “Evil is what your faith enjoins on you if you have any faith at all.”

[It teaches you to go back to the primitive ways of worshiping tangible objects!]

2:94Say, “If the Eternal Abode with God is especially reserved for you to the exclusion of the rest of mankind, then show your readiness for death, if you are truthful.”

[2:80, 2:211-112, 5:18, 11:7, 67:2. Live an open life in the society instead of your secluded enclaves. 33:26, 59:2. A nation that knows not how to die, knows not how to live]

2:95But they will never show their readiness for it due to the deeds their hands have sent forth. God is well Aware of the wrongdoers.

[See Zulm in 2:35 and in Preface]

2:96Of all mankind, you will find them the most ardently desirous of a long life; even more than the idolaters. Every one of them would love to live a thousand years. Yet, the grant of longevity will not save him from the dire consequences of his transgressions. God is Seer of all that they do.

2:97(They are displeased with Gabriel for bringing revelation to a gentile Prophet. 2:90.) Say, “Why should anyone bear a grudge against Gabriel? He has only revealed the Qur’an upon your heart by God’s leave confirming what was revealed before it. And it is a beacon of light and glad tiding for all those who accept it. [2:101]

2:98Whoever bears a grudge against God, His angels, His Messengers, and Gabriel and Michael, must know that God opposes the deniers of truth.

[2:87, 2:2:98, 2:253, 5:110, 16:102, 26:193. The Divine law intervenes between obstinate rejection and true Success. ‘Adu and its derivatives = Enemy = Wedge = Opponent = Divider = Bearer of grudge. It must be noted that the Qur’anic terminology carries various shades of meanings according to the context, and whether the terms are referring to humans or to the Creator]

2:99We have revealed to you clear verses, and none will deny them but those who drift away from reason.

2:100(This reflects in their daily lives.) Is it not so that whenever they make a pledge with others, a party among them breaks it (and others feel liberated from their collective responsibility)? Nay, most of them choose to disbelieve.

2:101And now that a Messenger has come to them from God confirming the truth in what they have, a party among those who were given the scripture before, cast the Book of God (the Bible) behind their backs as though they are unaware of what it says (concerning the advent of Prophet Muhammad).

[Note ‘the truth in’. Musaddiq = That which confirms the truth. 7:157, 61:6. A glimpse of what the Bible says about the advent of Prophet Muhammad S:

Deuteronomy

18:15 The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me Moses; unto him ye shall hearken;

18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

Gospel of John

14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

Farqleet Arabic = Paracletos Greek = The Comforter = Periclytos Greek = The praised One = Mawhamana Aramaic = The praised One = Muhammad Arabic]

2:102(Their clergy have been distorting the Scripture in the past as well.) They propagated a rumor that satanic people preached in the kingdom of Solomon. Solomon never disbelieved but the satanic people did. They taught people “magic” while nothing was revealed through the two angels “Haaroot and Maaroot” in Babylon. (The rumor further stated that) they used to warn people, “Both of us are only a temptation, therefore do not reject God.” And that the people learned from both of them how to create discord between a man and his wife. They could harm none against the Divine laws. And what people learned from them only harmed them instead of benefiting them. People must know that whoever indulges in this trade (the so-called occult sciences) will have no share in the Hereafter. Miserable indeed is what they sell their ‘self’ for. They would know only if they used their intellect.

[The entire story of Haaroot Maaroot was a fabrication. Magic, amulets, ghoul, demon-possession, exorcism, witchcraft, evil eye, fortune telling, astrology, palm reading, clairvoyance, knowledge of the future, Voodoo, are nothing but conjecture. These things can neither harm nor benefit anyone since nothing happens in the Universe contrary to the immutable Divine laws in nature. However, superstitions can harm people by becoming self-fulfilling prophecies. 3:123-127, JIBT 4:51, 6:73, 7:54, 45:22]

2:103If they had believed (in the immutability of the Divine laws) and remained mindful (of this fact), the reward for their actions would have been far better from God’s Presence. This is so because they would have, then, used this knowledge.

[Divine laws never change 33:62, 35:43, 48:23, and you will never find even a slight turn in them 17:77]

2:104O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Never say to the Prophet, "Raa’ina - listen to us.” Instead, say, "Unzurna!” (Grant us attention). And then listen intently. There is a painful consequence for the rejecters of Divine Commands.

[Ya ayyuhallazeena aamanu is generally, but inaccurately, translated as “O You who believe!”, “O Believers!”, “O You of faith! O Faithful!” etc. - Firstly, aamanuis a verb. Secondly, attaining to belief must be an act consciously undertaken after due reflection and with free will. ‘Passive’ faith such as claiming to be a ‘believer by birth’ has no merit in the Sight of God. See 4:136, 12:108. Also, choosing to believe in truth is a great blessing of God. Hence, my rendition: O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Ra’inawith a slight twist of the tongue and in very similar Hebrew words has derogatory meanings to it, e.g. “Be our shepherd”, “O Our proud one!”, “May deafness befall you.” Some Jews resorted to these kinds of insults to the Prophet 4:46. The Lesson is this: Be not ambiguous and speak words straight to the point. 33:70]

2:105Neither the deniers from among the People of the Book nor the idolaters love that any good thing should be bestowed upon you from your Lord. But God chooses for His grace (of revelation) whom He wills. God is the (non-discriminating) Lord of Infinite bounty. [3:70-71, 16:30]

2:106Any message that We revoke or cause to be lost to history, We replace it with a better or similar one. Do you not know that God is the Supreme Controller of all things and events?

[Some of the People of the Book question why a new revelation was necessary. The evolution of human civilization has now come to a point where the Final Message for all mankind can be given, widely distributed, implemented and preserved forever. So, the Qur’an is now the perfected Message for all mankind at all times; its exact preservation being guaranteed by none but the Almighty Himself. 5:48, 6:115-116, 15:9, 16:101, 22:52]

2:107Do you not know that to God belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and earth? And (if you defy His commands you will find that) you have no patron or helper besides God.

[He is fully Cognizant of your needs, and knows the messages and timings of His revelations]

2:108Would you demand of your Messenger what was demanded of Moses in the past? But whoever chooses the darkness of Ignorance instead of the light of faith has already strayed from the right way.

[2:67-71. Instead of reflecting on the evidence of the truth, the people of Moses demanded him to bring God face to face! 4:153. And they kept asking him vain questions 5:101, and kept making excuses. 5:24]

2:109Out of envy, many among the People of the Book wish to make you revert back to denying the truth after you have attained belief; even though the truth has become clear to them. Pardon them, bear with them, and leave them with their ways until God issues His decision. God has power over all things, and all events take place within the framework of His laws.

[Qadeer = Appointer of laws = Supreme Controller = Able to do all things = Powerful = Almighty. 5:13, 15:85, 73:10, 74:11. Shayi = Thing = Derived meaning, event. Ethnic and nationalistic prejudices give rise to envy. 2:111, 5:18]

2:110So, establish the Divine System, and set up the Economic Order of Zakaat in the society. Whatever good you send forth for yourselves you will find it with God. Remember, God is Seer of all that you do.

[2:3. Inn = Surely, Indeed, Note, Remember, Certainly, Recall, Verily, Ponder]

2:111And they claim, “None will enter Paradise unless he is a Jew or a Christian.” This is nothing but their wishful thinking. Say, “Bring your proof if you are truthful.”

[2:135. Burhan = Clear proof = Firm evidence = Indomitable argument = Strong logic]

2:112Nay, whoever submits his whole being to God, and he is a doer of good to humanity, his reward is with his Lord. Then, no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve.

[2:62, 7:180-181, 41:40. They have fulfilled the purpose of life that is, to serve the Creator by serving His creation, thereby developing their personalities in this life, and thus, attaining true immortality with further progress in the life to come]

2:113Also, the Jews assert that the Christians have no basis, and the Christians assert that the Jews have no basis. Yet, both groups read the scripture! Such is the behavior of those who have no knowledge (or scripture). God will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that wherein they differ.

[Qaul = Utterance = Thought = Assertion = Tenet = Attitude = Expression. Mankind holding divergent views will acknowledge the Divine truth in this world as well. 9:33-34, 11:118-119, 41:53, 48:28, 61:9]

2:114Who could be a greater transgressor than those who bar the celebrating of God’s Name from His houses of submission and strive for ruining the System? They have no right to be part thereof except in awe and humility. (Otherwise) theirs is humiliation in this world and for them is a tremendous suffering in the Hereafter.

[9:17-19, 9:107, 72:18. Masajid = Mosques = Administration centers of the Divine System = Collective submission and consultation on how best to follow the Divine Commands = Centers that the Islamic government will establish to implement the Qur’anic Order in the society and manage social welfare. These are Centers where people have open access to their office bearers, where government decrees are announced and every member of the society can voice one’s opinion without fear. Masjid = Singular, Mosque = Sincere collective submission = Centers of Divine System. 7:29]

2:115Unto God belongs the East and the West. Wherever you go, whichever way you turn, there is God’s Countenance (Presence, and you remain in His Dominion). God is Infinite, Knowing.

[3:95. The benevolent Divinely Prescribed System of Life should be followed everywhere on earth. In the interim, any community may follow it]

2:116But they say, “God has begotten a son!” Glorified is He! Never! Unto Him belongs all that is in the heavens and earth. All things and beings in the Universe are subservient to Him.

[He needs no helpers, associates or offspring to manifest His Magnificence, and there is none like unto Him. 112: 1-4]

2:117The Originator of the heavens and earth: when He wills a thing to be, He but says to it “Be” – and it is.

[Qaul = Saying = Thought. Badee’= Initiator = Originator = One Who creates from nothing = The Impeccable Creator]

2:118Only those who fail to explore the realm of knowledge say, “Why does God not speak to us directly, nor is a miracle shown to us?” Even thus, as they now speak, spoke those who lived before their times. Their ways of thinking, their hearts and minds are all alike (untouched by the passage of time). We have made clear all the Signs for those who wish to attain conviction

[by exploring the internal evidence in these revelations and in the Universe. 2:108, 2:256, 18:29, 42:51, 76:3]

2:119We have sent you (O Prophet) with the Decisive Truth, as a bearer of glad tidings and as a warner. But you will not be questioned about the companions of the blazing fire.

[13:40. Jaheem = Blazing fire = Insurmountable Barrier to the development of the human ‘self’ = Figuratively, Hell. The human ‘self’ can make progress only by believing in the Divine System and accordingly helping God’s creations. Please see the author's note at the end of this rendition for an understanding of Self-actualization, Afterlife, Paradise and Hellfire]

2:120Yet, never will the Jews be pleased with you, nor will the Christians, unless you follow their form of religion. Say, “God’s Guidance is the only true guidance.” And if you follow their wishes and errant views after all the knowledge that has come to you, then you will find no ally or helper from God.

[7:3, 10:109, 13:37. It is not a matter of my religion or your religion. Al-Qur’an is the updated, unadulterated message from the same Creator Who revealed the previous scriptures]

2:121Those to whom We have given the Book, they do full justice to its reading. They fulfill the right of studying it as it should be studied. They are the ones who truly believe in it. As for those who disbelieve, it is those who are the losers (of a great treasure. 10:58).

[What a great laurel on the first recipients of the Book, the Sahaba Kiraam! Tilawah = Studying and following]

2:122(The Israelites can easily relate to what has just been said. 62:5.) O Children of Israel! Remember My blessings I graced you with and how I gave you distinction over all others (of the times when you followed the commandments).

2:123Remain conscious of a Day when no human being will avail another, no ransom will be taken from any of them, nor will intercession profit anyone, and none will be helped.

[Absolute justice is about to prevail in the State of Madinah, then in this world, and ultimately in the Hereafter. 2:48, 6:164-165]

2:124And remember when his Lord had Abraham go through trying circumstances with His commands, and he fulfilled them. Then He said, “I have appointed you an exemplary leader for all mankind.” He asked, “And of my offspring (will there be exemplary leaders as well)?” He replied, “My Covenant does not include the wrongdoers.”

[Being the offspring of a great man avails none. Trying circumstances: Abraham stood up to the formidable challenge of a mighty priesthood, rampant idolatry and the tyrannical autocracy of King Nimrod Shaddad in Ur, Mesopotamia. Imam = Plumb line that ensures that the wall is vertical = An outstanding leader]

2:125Remember, We appointed the House (Ka’bah) a means to achieve unity among all mankind, and thus, a source of peace and security. So, attain the stature of Abraham recalling his firm stand (for Monotheism) and closely follow the Divine Commands. We did take a Covenant from Abraham and Ishmael, “Keep My House clean of all falsehood for those who rally around it and those who strive hard for the noble objectives, and for those who submit in humility to the Divine Commands."

[Al-Bait = The House = Ka’bah = The Symbolic House of God in Makkah= The meeting point for all mankind = The Source of peace, security and unity for all humanity. 2:142-143, 3:96, 5:97, 14:35, 22:25. Musalla = The ways to obey God. Maqam-e-Ibrahim = The stature of Abraham = The stand he took. Taifa = Those who might be diverse in color and geography but united in Ideology. Taaif = Watchman = Custodian = One who stands guard. Taifeen = Caretakers of humanity = Guardians of human rights. ‘Akafa = To prevent schism and discord = Set things right. 'Aakifeen = Those who strive for a noble objective = Those who prevent divisions = Who set things right. Ishmael resided permanently in Makkah, while his father kept traveling between Hagar Haajirah in Makkah and Sarah in Can’aan Syria-Palestine. Ishmael married a woman from the Qahtani Tribe of Jurham and became the ancestor of Musta Ribah. Musta Ribah wandered the Arabian Peninsula, and the Arabs descended from them, multiplying and becoming a distinct community a few centuries later. So the Arabs are, interestingly, the descendants of Prophet Ishmael and a Qahtani Jurham mother from the Arabian Peninsula. They had twelve sons in their long and happy married life. The Qahtanis are still abundantly found in Arabia. Some nomadic tribes more ancient than Abraham and Ishmael had settled in Makkah, a small but busy trade center in the peninsula. The “Wilderness of Beer-Sheba” of Genesis 21:14, embraces the Southern Palestine, and Hijaz the mid-western Arabia. Therefore, the Bible and the Qur’an are in agreement concerning where Ishmael and his mother Hagar had settled after moving from Can’aan.

Here is a glimpse of history about Hagar and Ishmael as found in the Bible.

Genesis 17:20 - As for Ishmael, I have heard you O Abraham; behold, I will bless him and make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly; he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.

Genesis 21:17 - And God heard the voice of the lad Ishmael; and the angel of God called to Hagar from the Heights, and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not; for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him fast with your hand; for I will make him a great nation.

Genesis 21:20 - And God was with the lad, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran Faran, Makkah.

This history also explains why the Qur’an repeatedly asserts that the Arabs had not received any scripture before the Qur’an 28:46, 33:1 on, 39:41 on. The Arabs, being the descendants of Ishmael, could only become a community long after Ishmael had passed on and when his progeny had multiplied with time. Note: The Valley was a barren land, but Abraham settled his family in the town of Makkah, near the soon to be built Ka’bah.So, contrary to popular legends, Abraham never left his family in the isolation of a desert]

2:126And Abraham prayed, “My Lord! Make this land a haven of peace and security, and provide its residents with plentiful sustenance; those who believe in God and the Last Day.” He answered, “I will also provide for those who disbelieve and let them enjoy for a short while, then I will commit them to the suffering of the fire, a miserable destiny!” [14:37, 17:18-20, 22:25, 95:3]

2:127As Abraham raised the foundations of the House together with Ishmael, they prayed earnestly, “Our Lord! Accept this (service) from us. You are the Hearer, Knower.”

2:128“Our Lord! Make both of us submissive to You and of our descendants, let there be a community submissive to You. Show us the best ways to serve You and enable us to make amends. You are the Absolver of imperfections, the Merciful.

[2:186, 2:286. ‘Manasik’ = Ways of service and devotion to God especially during Hajj with camel sacrifice by some as needed for the congregation to be self-sufficient in food resource. = Being of service to God by achieving human unity, and thus being of service to all mankind. Ref: Mufridaat e Raghib]

2:129“Our Lord! Raise from among them a Messenger who will convey Your messages to them and instruct them in the scripture (by personal example) and the wisdom (behind each command). And also teach them how to grow in goodness. You are Almighty, the Wise.”

[Tazkiah from Zaku = Development of the ‘self’ = Personal development = Self-actualization. This teaching will not be mere lecturing, but it will entail the establishment of the Deen the Divinely Prescribed System of Life in the individuals and the society. A benevolent society helps the individuals to grow in goodness and attain self-actualization. 2:231, 17:39, 33:34, 57:25]

2:130Who would abandon the Creed of Abraham except the one who ridicules his own ‘self’ with folly? We elected him in this world for (his outstanding qualities stated in this Book). And in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have actualized their ‘self’.

[As-Saaliheen = The righteous ones = Those who have attained self-actualization = Perfected their personalities = Maximized their human potential = Who set things right = Help others = Create balance in the society = Fulfill others’ needs = Raise the community. 16:120-122]

2:131When his Lord said to him, “Submit (your will) to Me!” - He said, “I submit to the Lord of the Worlds.”

2:132This very legacy Abraham left to his children, and so did Jacob, saying, “O My children! Indeed, God has chosen for you the Way of Life. Therefore, let not death overtake you except that you are Muslimoon” (Muslims = Submitters to God alone, guardians of peace. 2:236, 22:78).

[Deen = The Divinely Prescribed System of Life = Al-Islam. It has more to do with the collective life of humans and the science of sociology. It concerns itself with people living in this world collectively in peace according to a Code of permanent values that ensures success in both lives. Religion Mazhab is more of a generic term signifying a creed involving certain rites and rituals and seeking individual salvation. Islam being a Collective System of Life is, in fact, a challenge to religion]

2:133Were you present when death approached Jacob; and he asked his children, “Whom will you serve after me?” They answered, “We will serve your God, the God of your forefathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac - the One God. And to Him we surrender ourselves.”

2:134That was a community that has passed on. Theirs is what they earned, and yours is what you earn. And you will not be asked about what they did.

[The dogmas of the “Chosen People”, “Original Sin” and “Blood Atonement” were invented by the followers of these Prophets. But the Divine law stresses individual responsibility. Every person is accountable only for one’s own actions. 6:164, 39:7, 53:38- 39]

2:135They say, “Be Jews or Christians, then you will be guided.” Say, “Nay! Ours is the Creed of Abraham the upright. He turned away from all that is false, and he was not an idolater in any sense.”

[And he was neither a Jew nor a Christian 3:67. Mushrik = Idolater = Pagan = Anyone who ascribes divinity to other than the One True God = Who associates partners with Him = Who prefers manmade tenets = Who worships idols in any form such as statues, own desires, forces in Nature, any of God’s creation = One who uncritically follows what others do = A blind follower = One who considers men as authorities instead of the Divine revelation = Anyone who makes lists of Halaal permissible and Haraamforbidden from outside the Qur’an = One who believes in clergy against the Divine revelation = Who adores saints, political or religious leaders = Who bows or prostrates physically or mentally before a creation = Who promotes books, dogmas and tenets contrary to the Qur’an. Shirk = The act of being a Mushrik]

2:136(O You who have chosen to believe) Say, “We believe in God, and the revelation that has been given to us, and (the surviving truth) in what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, as well as the Tribal Israelite Prophets and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to all Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among them (since all of them were one in purpose and they got their guidance from the One True God). And for Him, we are Muslimoon” (Muslims, submitters to God alone, guardians of peace. 2:132, 22:78).

[About my interpolation ‘the surviving truth’, see 2:79, 2:101, 3:78, 3:187, 5:48. Asbaat = The Prophets raised among the twelve Israelite Tribes, frequently called the Patriarchs. ‘No distinction’ = All of them were commissioned by God and they were one in purpose, although their times and places varied. They were given the message emphasizing the social needs of their respective nations. Humanity is now able to receive the Final revelation that embraces all truth and sorts out the human touch in the previous scriptures. See 2:75, 2:78-79, 2:101, 3:70-71, 3:78, 3:186-187, 5:13, 5:41, 6:91, 9:31. 'No distinction' also indicates that we do not deny some and accept some of the Prophets named in the Qur’an. A misconception recently trying to hold grounds should probably be addressed here: It is God alone Who is Impeccable and there is none like unto Him. And no two human beings are identical in every respect. The Apostles of God were made to excel one another concerning their specific duties relevant to the times and places of their advent. "We have caused some of them to excel others." 2:253. "But, We caused some Prophets to excel the others." 17:55. However, they were all one in purpose, so we make no distinction among them on that account, and we do not accept some and deny some of them]

2:137So if they come to believe as you believe, then they will be rightly guided. But if they turn away, then they are in opposition (to the message of the aforementioned Prophets). However, God will suffice you, for, He is Hearer, Knower.

2:138Hue of God! And who can give a better hue (to life) than God? And it is He alone Whom we serve.

[Hue of God = We take our hue from God. Nearest to God are those who have adopted His Sibghah = Hue or Color = His attributes in the human capacity. 2:138, 83:28. That means adopting the Divine Attributes in our limited human capacity such as: kindness – empathy - creativity – mercy - forgiveness – turning to people in love and affection – attaining wisdom - kindness - effort - concealment of sins - justice - bounteousness - generosity - greatness - love - glory - dignity - insight - and all other goodness and beauty are attributes of God. Knowledge learning – compassion – clemency – taking care - peacefulness – remaining aware – sense of duty - determination – honesty – protecting others – generosity – unity - self-control – leniency - approachability - appreciation – moral strength – patience - showing light – guiding - independence – truthfulness – maintenance of people and things – keeping pledges – resolve – benefiting others – beautiful designing – providing – listening – observing – being worthy of trust – nobility of character – giving – and sense of responsibility. Interestingly, people can make a self-assessment by this spectrum as to where they stand on the ascending ladder of Tazkiah self-actualization or personal development]

2:139Say (to the People of the Book), “Do you argue with us concerning God? But He is our Lord as well as your Lord. We are responsible for our deeds and you are responsible for your deeds. And to Him alone we are devoted.”

[The criterion of honor in the Sight of God is character, and not race, color, nationality, religion or genealogy. Some people think that God is only interested in the Children of Israel when He is the Lord of all humanity. And some think that God begot a son and sacrificed him to forgive their sins. But it is the Law of Requital that is operative in the entire Universe. So, there is no such thing as “Original Sin”. Every human being is born with a clean slate and is accountable only for one’s own doings. 1:1, 2:111, 2:123, 2:135, 2:211, 17:70, 49:13, 53:38-39, 114:1]

2:140And you claim that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribal Israelite Prophets were ‘Jews’ or ‘Christians’! Say, “Do you know better than God?” Ah, who could be more unjust than those who conceal the testimony they have from God? But God is not unaware of what you do.

[Amazingly, the Qur’an is alluding to a historical fact that was unanimously accepted from research done centuries later! Scholars of the Bible know that the concept of ‘Jewry’ came into being long after the Patriarchs and after Moses. Likewise, the term and the doctrine of ‘Christianity’ were unknown during the life of Jesus]

2:141They were a community that has passed on. Theirs is what they earned, and yours is what you earn. And you will not be asked about what they did.

2:142Those of little understanding among people say, “What has turned them from the Qiblah they (the Jews) used to follow? Say, “To God belongs East and West. He guides to the straight path whoever wills (to be guided).”

[‘They’ = Jews. Qiblah = Center of devotion = Symbol of uniform Ideology = Center for the unity of mankind = Deen = System of Life. The Children of Israel have considered Jerusalem as their Center of devotion but the Jews always believed in a tribal god and, hence, a tribal center. But God is the Lord of all humanity. He makes no distinction between Jews and Gentiles. And the Qur’an invites all mankind to become one community. His Final Message is not confined to a particular tribe, nation or group of people. Ka’bah, the first House of Monotheism, was erected by Abraham. It has always been the Qiblahfor all humanity. 2:213, 3:96, 4:170, 6:91-92, 7:158, 10:19, 12:104, 21:107, 22:49, 34:28, 38:87, 57:25, 114:1]

2:143Thus We have made you a balanced middle community that you might bear witness to the truth and justice before all mankind just as the Messenger is an exemplary witness to you. We have appointed the Direction that you have always adopted (O Messenger) in order to distinguish him who follows the Messenger, from him who turns about on his heels. In fact, this adoption of Ka’bah as the Qiblah has been difficult except for those who follow God’s Guidance. It is never God’s purpose to let your faith go to waste. God is Compassionate and Merciful to all people.

[Ummah = Community = A Community based on Divine Ideology. ‘Middle Community’ = Equidistant to all nations. ‘Turns about on his heels’ = Goes back to his old ways = Succumbs to traditional beliefs. 2:142, 4:88, 29:25]

2:144We have seen your eagerness (O Messenger), therefore, We will certainly make you control and administer the Qiblah that is dear to you (for its Sublime objective). Keep your purpose focused on the Masjid of Security, and all of you believers, wherever you are, keep your purpose focused toward it. Those who have been given the scripture before know that this (revelation) is the truth from their Lord. God is not unaware of what they do.

[The verse is not commanding people to turn their faces, as usually misunderstood. See 2:177. Wajh = Face = Countenance = Whole being = Purpose. Qiblah = Direction = Center of devotion = Masjid of Security = Source of peace and security for all humanity = The Symbol of a uniform Ideology = Symbol of pure Monotheism = Source of the unity of mankind. Ka’bah has been the Center of devotion for all humanity ever since it was erected by Prophets Abraham and Ishmael. 2:142, 2:213, 3:96, 4:170, 6:91-92, 7:158, 10:19, 12:104, 21:107, 22:49, 34:28, 38:87, 57:25, 114:1]

2:145Even if you were to place all evidence (in these verses) together before the People of the Book, they would not follow your Qiblah, and neither may you follow their Qiblah,nor will they even follow each other’s Qiblah. If you followed their errant views after the knowledge has come to you, you will be among the misdirected.

[Qiblah = Direction = Focal Point = It is the tangible but symbolic structure for unity of mankind. People honor the temples of their choice. They will recognize the Ka’bahas their own Qiblah when evolution of human civilization brings them to the right conclusion. 2:158, 3:97, 4:170, 6:84-91, 22:23-28. Zaalimeen = Oppressors = Those who hurt themselves or others = Those who choose to do wrong = Who displace something from its rightful place = Who relegate the truth = Violators of human rights = Misdirected = Those who prefer to live in the darkness of ignorance = Commonly translated as wrongdoers]

2:146Those to whom We gave the scripture before, recognize this (revelation) as they recognize their own children but, most certainly, some of them (their scholars) conceal the truth which they themselves know.

[The advent of Prophet Muhammad from the Ishmaelite descendants of Abraham has been foretold in the Bible. Genesis 21:13-18. Gospel of John 14:16, 15:26, 16:7. See QXP 2:125. Historically, the Gospel of Saint Barnabas, which was accepted and widely read in churches, had ‘Muhammad’ in the exact Arabic form. But Pope Gelasius banned that Gospel in 496 CE for finding the Arabic name distasteful. It was only in the 16th century when the Italian translation of Barnabas was discovered in Vienna, Austria]

2:147This (Qur’an) is the truth from your Lord, so never be of those who waver.

2:148(Mere rituals carry no importance.) Each one has a goal toward which he turns. Then strive together toward all that is good. Wherever you may be and whatever stand you take, God will bring you all together. Indeed, God is Able to do all things.

[Innallaha ‘ala kulli shayin Qadeer = God is Able to do all things = He is the All Powerful Appointer of His laws = He has assigned due proportion for all things and events. 2:177, 57:20, 83:19-28, 102:1-2. Shayi = Thing = Derived meaning, event. The real objective for you is to compete with one another in human welfare and develop your innate capacities. God will bring you together under the banner of One Ideology, and ultimately gather all of you on the Day of Resurrection]

2:149From wherever you start forth (whichever way you proceed, and whatever you are preoccupied with), keep yourself focused on the Masjid-il-Haraam (the Sacred Masjid, the Ultimate Center for the unity of all mankind.) This is the truth from your Lord. God is not unaware of what you do (with your life).

2:150Again, regardless of wherever you are and whichever way you are proceeding, you must keep yourself focused on the Masjid-il-Haraam (the Center for all humanity). If you abide by (this command) it will leave no grounds for people to dispute against you except the unjust fault-finders among them. Do not be intimidated by them, but stand in awe of Me so that I may perfect My grace upon you, and that you may be rightly guided.

[2:6, 5:2-3. The blessed results of Unity in diversity will become a living witness to their objections]

2:151To this end, We have sent among you a Messenger of your own, conveying to you Our revelations and helping you grow in goodness. And he empowers you with the knowledge of the Book and wisdom, and thus, he teaches you what you knew not.

2:152Therefore, raise My Name and I shall raise your name giving you eminence! Be grateful to Me, and deny Me not!

[2:177, 2:186, 2:220, 15:49, 21:10, 21:23-24, 23:70, 38:24, 43:44. Azkurni = Remember Me = Raise My Name. Azkurkum = I will remember you = I will give you eminence. Shukr = Being grateful in word and action = Sharing Divine bounties with others = Opposite of Kufr whenever Kufr denotes concealing = Returning more than receiving = Holding a benefactor in high esteem. Note that lack of Shukr or gratitude in the Qur’anic sense is Kufr, denying the Giver! Tazkiah = Growth of the ‘self’ = Self-actualization]

2:153O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Seek help by patiently following the Divine Commands. Certainly, God is with the steadfast.

[Salaat = Following God’s commands closely 2:3. Wa in the middle of this verse merges with Salaat as indicated by ‘God being with the steadfast’, without mentioning Salaat in the end]

2:154(True believers are steadfast in self-defense. 2:190.) Do not say of those who are slain in God’s cause, “They are dead!” Nay, they are living, but you do not perceive.

[Death is like a prolonged state of sleep until the Resurrection Day 36:52. However, those who lay their lives in the cause of God, themselves, undergo an emergent evolution, and instantly find themselves in a state of bliss of the Next Life. And they get honorable provision from their Lord. 3:169]

2:155(Adversity is a great barometer of the strength of personality.) We will cause you to go through such tribulations as fear, hunger, and loss of wealth, person, and fruit of your labor, so that you may test your mettle. Therefore, give glad tidings to those who remain unwavering in their resolve.

2:156When a calamity befalls them, they do not waver. Rather, they say in word and attitude, "To God we belong, dedicated to His cause, and every step of ours will advance in the direction shown by Him." [9:59]

2:157Such are they on whom are their Lord’s blessings and grace. And it is those who have been rightly guided. [33:43, 33:56]

2:158Indeed, (Mount) As-Safa and (Mount) Al-Marwah are among the Symbols of God. So, there is no blame on a pilgrim or a visitor to go around them. If anyone volunteers to do acts of welfare, then most certainly, God is Appreciative, Knower.

[Abraham and Ishmael worked in the region of Mount Safa and Mount Marwah in Makkah, building the Ka’bah. There is nothing wrong in honoring such historical relics 2:177, 22:28. God has appointed the Ka’bahas the focal point for all humanity. And that is the real purpose behind the annual Hajjconvention and, when announced by the Islamic Central Authority, the ‘Umrah conferences. 2:148, 2:196, 3:96, 22:27-28. Khair = Good things = Acts of benevolence = Community welfare = Peace and security = Betterment in both lives = Selfless service]

2:159Indeed, those who conceal anything of the evidence and the guidance that We have revealed after We have made it clear to mankind through this Book; such are the ones whom God will condemn and whom all who have discernment will condemn.

[God has defined the objectives of the Hajj in this Book 22:28. Those who conceal the sublime purpose of these assemblies by making them senseless rituals, deprive humanity of a phenomenal blessing. La’nah = Condemnation = Rejection = Curse = Deprivation from grace. Laa’inoon = Those endowed with the sense of distinguishing right from wrong, and thus able to condemn. Related non-Qur’anic word, 'Al-la'een' = Scare-crow repelling the birds]

2:160Except those who repent and reform and openly proclaim (the truth that they were hiding). To them I turn - for, I am the Acceptor of repentance, Most Merciful.

[Taubah = Repentance = Turning to God = Returning to the right path. Salah = Corrective action = Reform = Making amends]

2:161But, those who reject faith and die as rejecters, upon them is God’s condemnation, and of the angels, and of all mankind.

[Condemnation of God = Deprivation of His grace. Condemnation of angels = Harm incurred for violating universal laws. Condemnation of mankind = Suffering at the hands of other nations]

2:162In this state shall they abide. Their penalty will not be lightened for them, nor will they be given a break.

2:163Remember, your God is One God. There is no god but He, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

[It is only His laws that are operative in the entire Universe, and any nations falling in conflict with His laws will suffer ultimate self-destruction. 1:1-2, 6:45. Al-Ilah = God = The Sovereign = The One Worthy of service, obedience and worship = The Supreme Master. Ilah = Refers to the One True God = It also indicates a false god, depending upon the context]

2:164(God never ordains blind faith.) Indeed, there are ample signs in the creation of the heavens and earth, the alternation of the night and the day, the ships that roam the ocean for the benefit of mankind, the water that God sends down from the heights, thereby giving life to the land after it had been lifeless, in dispersing a great variety of creatures therein, in the currents of winds and the clouds made subservient between the high atmosphere and the earth. All these are clear signs for those who use their intellect.

[Einstein correctly pointed out, “The Universe is too organized to be the result of an accident.” See 6:73. Sama = Sky = Heaven = Atmosphere = Canopy = Height. 35:27-28]

2:165Yet, among mankind there are those who choose others as equals to God. They love them as they should love God. But the believers are staunch in their love for God. Oh, if the transgressors could see themselves when they face the doom - They would then realize that all power belongs to God alone and that God is Stern in punishment.

[3:30-31, 7:3. In the Qur’an, reverence or love of God invariably denotes obeying His commands. Hubb = Love = Adoring by obeying = To revere by following commands. Nidd =False god = One who tries to play god. Example: Pharaoh tried to equal God 43:51. Andaad =Those who play god = Political tyrants = Religious leaders who issue edicts contrary to the Divine revelation. God being stern in punishment means His Law of Requital favoring none]

2:166Then those who were followed (the political and religious leaders) will renounce their followers, as soon as they see the impending doom, and all their mutual bonds will be rent asunder.

2:167The followers will say, “If a return were possible for us, we would renounce them as they have renounced us.” Thus will God let them experience their own deeds as anguish; but they will not emerge from the fire of Regret.

2:168(Declaring things permissible or forbidden is trying to ‘rival’ God.) O Mankind! Partake and enjoy the lawful and decent (Halalan Tayyeba) things of the earth, and do not follow the footsteps of the Satan. Indeed, he is an open enemy to you.

[Satan, the rebellious desires, and satanic people lead people into transgressing. Mubeen = Open = Obvious = Known = Sure 7:22]

2:169He teaches you to create inequities in the society, lewdness and stinginess amounting to shame, and that you should say about God what you do not know.

[Fahasha = Lewdness = Stinginess to the point of shame = Indecent acts. The satans in the society set up rules contrary to the Divine revelation. They make their own lists of permissible and forbidden and teach people that accumulation of wealth is perfectly alright. Nay, spend on God’s servants all that is beyond your needs. 2:21-22, 2:219, 41:10]

2:170When it is said to them, "Follow what God has revealed", they say, "Nay! We will follow the ways of our ancestors.” What! Even though their ancestors (and the ancient Imams) were lacking in understanding and were not rightly guided?

[5:104, 10:78, 11:62, 11:87, 21:53, 34:43, 38:7, 43:23. Hudan and derivatives = Prominent = Bright = Lighted = Clearly visible = Leading = Guidance = Lighthouse = A well-lit road = A landmark of identification in the desert or sea]

2:171The likeness of such blind followers is that (of a herd of sheep) which hear the shepherd’s call, but hear in it nothing more than a sound and a shout. Deaf, dumb, blind, for they do not use their reason.

[This is subhuman level of existence 7:179. ‘Unq = Shepherd’s call. Shepherd here pertains to religious leaders who have learned some meaningless words or tenets, and a herd of sheep is the masses that blindly follow them. Kufr embraces blind following in addition to denying, opposing, or concealing the truth. Perceptual senses alone cannot distinguish human beings from the rest of the animal kingdom. It is the intellectual analysis that sets them apart]

2:172O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Enjoy the clean, decent and aesthetically pleasing things that We have provided for all of you. And render thanks to God if it is Him that you serve. [2:168]

2:173He has forbidden you: dead meat (carrion), blood, swine-flesh, and anything (not just meat) that has been dedicated to other than God (be it a person, an idol or a tomb 5:3). But if one is forced by necessity, neither intending disobedience, nor exceeding, it will not be a violation that hurts his own ‘self’. Indeed, God is Forgiving, Merciful.

[6:121, 6:145. Ithm = A violation that drags down the ‘self’ = An act that hurts the human ‘self’ = Anything that makes it difficult to rise up = An impediment to activity = Any action that depletes individual or communal energy. Ghafarah = Helmet. Forgiveness involves protection from the detrimental effects of faults]

2:174Those who conceal the Book of God, and barter it away for a trifling gain, they eat into their bellies nothing but fire. God will not even address them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He make their own ‘self’ grow. Theirs will be an awful suffering.

[Those who conceal the Book = The ones who start making their own lists of the lawful and unlawful, and thus, usurp the Divine Right of law-making. Also note that this verse clearly mentions the ongoing growth and evolution of the ‘self’ in the Hereafter. Tazkiah from Zaku= Growth = Purity from vice = Development of the ‘self’ = Self-actualization]

2:175It is those who take error in exchange for guidance, and torment in exchange for the protection of forgiveness. How steadfast are they in their pursuit of the fire!

2:176This is so, because God has revealed the Book in absolute truth. And those who seek disputes in the Book, are in open schism and vehemently oppose each other.

[4:82, 25:30. Shaqq and derivatives = To split = Fall apart = Schism = Fall into disputes = Opposition = Oppose one another = Splitting of personality = Break apart the unity = Enmity]

2:177(One consequence of this schism is their pre-occupation with rituals, with each sect leaving the revelation aside and taking delight in its own set of dogmas they call religion. 30:32) Righteousness and exponential development of the ‘self’ (‘al-Birr’) depends not on whether you turn your faces to East or West. But righteousness is that: (1) One has conviction in God, and (2) the Last Day, and (3) the Angels, and (4) the Book, and (5) the Prophets. And that one gives of his cherished wealth to: Family and relatives, orphans, widows, those left helpless in the society, and those whose hard-earned income fails to meet their basic needs, those whose running businesses have stalled, the ones who have lost their jobs, whose life has stalled for any reason, the disabled, the needy wayfarer, son of the street, the homeless, the one who travels for assistance, those who ask for help, and those whose necks are burdened with any kind of bondage, oppression, crushing debts and extreme hardship of labor. (And righteous are) those who strive to establish the institution of Salaat,(2:3, 2:153) And help set up the Economic System of Zakaat. They are true to their pledge whenever they make one. And they remain steadfast in physical or emotional distress and in times of peril. It is those who have proven themselves to be true, and it is those who live upright.

[Belief in Books 4:136, 2:4, 3:91-92. Yateem, Miskeen, Ibn-is-Sabeel, Fir-Riqaab, carry all the meanings rendered above. Please note that this verse gives us the well-known Five Articles of Faith. But belief in Taqdeer = Predetermined destiny, has been interjected in the fabricated Ajami Ahadith as the sixth article of faith by ‘Imams’, making Muslims fatalistic in their thought and behavior. The Qur’an nowhere mentions Taqdeer or the predestined fates of individuals. Qadar or Taqdeer always denote the law, the due measure of all things appointed by God. And man determines his own destiny by following or defying those laws]

2:178(Security of life is the cornerstone of a civilized society.) O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! The law of Just Recompense (Qisaas) has been prescribed for you in dealing with murder. If a free person has committed murder, that free person will face the law. If a servant has committed murder, that servant will face the law. And if a woman has committed murder, that woman will face the law. If the victim’s kin pardons the guilty, the murderer must be appreciative and pay an equitable compensation to the kin in handsome gratitude. This pardon is a concession and mercy from your Lord. Whoever, after this, trespasses this law will have an awful doom in the Court of God.

[Equitable compensation takes into account the financial situation of the accused. For unintentional murder and other details, see 4:92-93, 5:32, 17:33, 42:40. Color, creed, race, status or gender of the victim or the offender will have no bearing before the Justice System]

2:179There is life for you in the law of Just Recompense, O You who use your intellect! This is so that you may live in security.

[So, Qisaas is a deterrent and not revenge]

2:180Regarding proper dispensation of property, it is prescribed for you, before death approaches any of you, and he is leaving behind much wealth, that he set up a will for parents and family in a decent, equitable manner. This is a binding duty on the upright.

[Any oversight or leftover from the will shall be distributed according to portions Divinely assigned in 4:11-12. Please remember that most Muslims forget this point, and some ‘authorities’ even revoke 2:180! How can a father will to impart equal portions to two of his sons when one of them might be righteous and needy, and the other one wicked and prodigal? ‘When death approaches any of you’ carries the reminder that it is always close and unpredictable. At the same time, it takes into account the final assets of a person]

2:181If anyone tampers with a will after hearing it, the guilt befalls those responsible for altering it. Certainly, God is Hearer, Knower.

[A will shall be attested by two trustworthy witnesses. 5:106]

2:182(The one who makes a will, the testator, is likely to make errors.) So, if anyone, who has heard the will, fears some bias or diminishing of a due right, and then makes a mutually acceptable correction between the concerned parties, he will not be harming himself. Indeed, God is Absolver of imperfections, Source of all beneficence.

[Ithm = A violation that drags down human potential or harms the ‘self’]

2:183(Creating an ideal society requires discipline and self-restraint among the individuals.) O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! A collective exercise of ‘Saum’ or self-control is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you become empowered against evil.

[I have translated ‘Saum’ as self-control instead of the common ‘fasting’ since it involves more than fasting, such as abstaining from intimate husband-wife relationship. Saum = Self control = Abstinence = Collective Exercise of Self-restraint by the Society = A conscious collective effort to desist from common vices such as impatience, anger, unfair criticism, envy, impolite conversation or conduct, etc. Taqwa = Journeying in security = Being careful = Becoming empowered against evil = To avoid overstepping the Laws = Exercising caution = Strengthening one’s ’self’ = Preserving the ’self’ against deterioration = Good conduct]

2:184Just for a fixed number of days. But if any of you is sick or is on a journey, he may make up the same number of days later. For those who can go through ‘Saum’ only with hardship, there is an alternative: the feeding of an indigent. But the one who gives more on his own volition, it will be good for him. However, going through the training program of ‘Saum’ is good for you if you knew better.

2:185The month of Ramadhanhas been chosen for this collective training since this is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed, a Guidance for mankind, clearly explaining the ‘why’ of every Rule. And it is the Criterion of right and wrong. Hence, whoever witnesses this month (while he is well and at home) should participate in the program of ‘Saum’. But if any of you is sick or on a journey, let him practice ‘Saum’ for the same number of days later. God desires for you ease and He desires for you no hardship. The postponement is to enable you to complete the period. The objective of this training is to establish the supremacy of God (on earth) for, He has shown you a well-lighted road for you to show gratitude.

[The entire Qur’an was revealed upon the Prophet’s heart ‘down-loaded’ in Ramadhan of 610 CE in the order as we see today. Thereafter, it was conveyed to people in stages. The concepts therein are not defunct theories and empty hypotheses. It has a Permanent Universal Code of Values and Laws. The yearly training of ‘Saum’ Abstinence in this month connects the Message with intensive reflection and study. Note: The Qur’an does not forbid menstruating women from praying or participating in the program of Abstinence. However, a menstruating woman may be considered unwell. The only thing forbidden by the Qur’an during menstruation is intimate husband-wife relationship. In addition, a pregnant woman may be exempted from fasting to avoid dehydration of the fetus. Shukrdoes not mean just verbal thanks. It involves showing gratitude in practice by sharing the God-given bounties with others. It also denotes fulfillment of one’s noble efforts. 2:87-97, 2:183, 2:222, 2:233, 7:189, 9:32-33, 14:1, 16:2, 17:85-86, 26:193, 31:14, 42:52, 44:1-4, 46:15, 53:13, 70:4, 81:17-19, 97:1, ‘Saum’ 2:183. It is interesting to recall the Lord’s Prayer in the Bible about Supremacy of God on earth. Luke 11:2 … Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth]

2:186(This training program has nothing to do with asceticism. The mystics think that self-denial will bring them close to God.) So, when My servants ask you about Me, surely, I am Near. I respond to the prayer of the suppliant when he calls unto Me. Let them also listen to My call, and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.

[God’s response: A sincere caller will be shown the right direction. The caller may experience a change, feeling comforted and motivated. Du’a, as a Cause, may interact with countless Divine laws in nature to produce the Effect. And the Qur’an has answers to all their questions. 3:193-195, 7:56, 8:24, 32:15-16, 40:60, 42:25-26, 45:22, 47:7]

2:187(‘Saum’ is only for the daytime.) It is lawful for you to go to your wives on the night of the ‘Saum’. They are your garments and you are their garments - close to each other, source of mutual comfort, complementing each other, trustworthy and keepers of privacy, reason for décor, and redressers of faults. God knows that you would have deprived yourselves like ascetics, feeling guilty, and so He turns to you and pardons you (for your ascetic thoughts). So, you may have intimate relations with them. Seek all good that God has ordained for you. Eat and drink until you can discern the white streak of dawn against the black streak of night. Then complete the ‘Saum’ till the night appears. Do not have intimate relations with them while on special assignments in the Centers of the Divine System. These are the bounds set by God - so come not near violating them. Thus God explains His commands to mankind clearly, so that they understand and remain observant.

[I’tikaaf = Special task = To be deputed = Extra duty = Unique assignment. ‘Aakifoon = Those on I’tikaaf. Unfortunately, under the Ajami alien influences, the concept given to I’tikaaf has reduced this Sublime Ordinance to ten days of ascetic and ritualistic isolation in a mosque in the third part of Ramadhan. Obviously, this invented practice violates the Qur’anic injunctions against monasticism and human rights. 57:27. Libaas= Garment = Raiment embraces all the meanings rendered. ‘Saum’ or Abstinence 2:183]

2:188(When you abstain from the permissible during the annual training period, you empower yourselves to easily refrain from the forbidden.) So, knowingly, do not devour the wealth and property of one another in a wrongful manner, nor bribe the officials or the judges to deprive others of their rightful belongings. This kind of behavior drags down your own humanity and harms the collective welfare of the society.

[Ithm carries all the meanings given in the last sentence]

2:189(Self-control is a life-long commitment extending beyond the month of Ramadhan.) They ask you (O Messenger) about the phases of the Moon. Say, “They are to help mankind determine certain seasons such as Hajj.” But know that righteousness can never be achieved by entering the System through the back door of ritualism. Only he who lives an upright life attains it. Enter the Divinely ordained Way of Life straightforward as you must enter houses through their gates. Live an upright life being mindful of God so that you may reap a rich harvest.

[2:138, 2:177, 2:208. There is no such thing as a part-time Muslim]

2:190(All mankind should agree upon and mark their calendars for four months of peacetime, the 12th lunar month of Pilgrimage to the third month. However, following of the Divine System of Life will meet with harsh opposition.) So, fight in the cause of God those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression. God does not love aggressors.

[2:194, 2:217, 4:91, 9:5, 9:36, 22:39, 60:8. Four months 2:194 of no wars in the world will train people toward achieving restraint and permanent peace for all. Mu’tadeen = Transgressors = Aggressors = Those who cross limits]

2:191Subdue them regardless of their tribal affiliations, and drive them out of where they drove you out. For, persecution, (terror, torture, oppression) is a crime more grievous than killing. Do not fight against them near the Masjidof Security (a haven of amnesty) unless they attack you therein. But if they attack you there, then you shall fight against them. Such is the recompense for those who reject (the Standard of Peace).

[Haith = Wherever = Whenever. Thaqif = Find out = Come to know. So, fight them regardless of your knowledge of their socio-geographic origins. The Masjid of Security in Makkah must be a safe Sanctuary, a model of amnesty, and a Meeting point for all mankind. 2:125, 2:144-148, 3:96, 5:2, 5:97, 9:18, 22:25-28, 48:25. Qatl = Kill = Bring low = Subdue = Fight = Attack = Slay = Strike = Defend]

2:192And if they desist, then, remember that God is Forgiving, Eternal Source of mercy.

[People should take their ‘hue’ from God, and thus, they must be forgiving and compassionate. 2:138]

2:193So, fight them only until there is no more harassment, and Religion may be adopted for the sake of God alone. And if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against those who replace peace with aggression.

[No compulsion or coercion in religion 2:256. Lillah = For the sake of God alone. Zulm = Displace something from its rightful place = Replace good with evil = Oppression = Relegation of the truth = Exploitation = Violation of human rights = Doing wrong to oneself or others = Choosing to do wrong]

2:194You may fight during the Months of Peace and Security if you are attacked, for, a violation of sanctity will activate the law of Just retribution. So, the one who attacks you should expect retaliation in a like manner. Be mindful of God, and know that God is with those who live upright.

[Temporary cessation of hostilities provides a cooling off period and it can avert war. History and Tafseersexpositions of the Qur’an report the four Months of Peacetime as the first, the seventh, the eleventh and the twelfth month of the Lunar Calendar. However, the Qur’an being the Ultimate authority specifies them differently. The four Months of Security begin with the Month of Pilgrimage, Zil-Hajjah, the 12th Lunar Month. 9:5, 9:36]

2:195(Defense of the Divine Order calls for sacrifice of wealth and person.) So, keep open your resources in the cause of God, and let not your own hands throw you into destruction. Be beneficent! Indeed, God loves the doers of good.

[You might throw yourselves into destruction by withholding contributions to this noble cause]

2:196(Peace cannot defend itself. Mankind has to guard it.) Therefore, join the Hajj and ‘Umrah Convention for God. If you are stranded, send in gifts that the congregation would utilize. Do not consider that by doing so you have relieved yourself of duty. Be with them at heart until the gifts have reached their destination. If someone is sick or has other compelling burdens preventing him from sending any contribution, then observe ‘Saum’ for a few days at convenience, or an act of charity or fulfilling someone’s need shall be in order. If a person is present at the Convention but cannot afford to contribute, he should observe ‘Saum’ (Abstinence) for a total number of ten days, three days there and seven days after coming home. This is for him whose people do not live in the vicinity of the Convention. Be mindful of God, remembering the noble objective. And know that God (His law) is Strict in grasping. (‘Saum’ 2:183)

[Hajj is the annual Convention in a specified time while ‘Umrah is a visit to the Masjid of Makkah any time during the year. Both have a sublime objective as the Qur’an explains, although Muslims have reduced them into mere rituals similar to the Days of Ignorance. There is no mention of kissing the black-stone in Ka’bah, any "holiness" about the Zam Zam water, or that of throwing rocks at the three pillars signifying Satan. See footnote to Surah 105. The Noble Objective of the Pilgrimage is to arrange regular and intermittent international conferences in Makkah. Delegates from all over the world would get together there and devise ways to make the world a better place to live.‘Halqirras’ = Relief of burden = Idiom for relief - ‘Imams’ Jurjani, Hasan Basari, Shehristani]

2:197The Convention shall take place in the months appointed for it and made well known to all. Whoever participates in the Convention shall refrain from indecency, slipping out of discipline and argumentation throughout Hajj. And whatever you accomplish for the good of mankind, God will acknowledge it. So make ample provision, yet the best provision is your good conduct. Be mindful of Me, O Men and women of understanding!

[Sexual intimacy, breach of discipline and argumentation would hamper mutual consultation in a focused, amicable environment. Ample provision is not meant only to avoid asking for help, but rather being able to help others. The Central Authority, any time in the Divinely ordained four Months of Peacetime should decide upon and announce the exact dates of Hajj. The current practice of “performing” the ritualistic pilgrimage only in Zilhajjah, the 12th lunar month, finds no authority in the Qur’an. 2:194, 9:1-6. Ulil albaab =Those who possess understanding, is obviously a common gender]

2:198(The Hajj Convention is not an assembly of monks.) There is no blame on you if you seek the bounty of your Lord by trading. Returning in groups from where you got introduced to one another (Arafat), let your experience be a conscious and ever-lasting monument to peace in your lives. Take God’s messages to heart, and remember Him in the way He has directed you. Before this you were wandering to and fro.

2:199(When the Convention is over) let the Congregation return to their hometowns without much delay. (Implement what you have learned and) seek from God security and protection for mankind through this Program. Indeed, God is the Provider of protection, Absolver of imperfections, ever Merciful.

2:200When you have completed your duties, then, remain conscious of God with a stronger commitment than you used to display for your ancestors and their ways. Among the people is he who says, “Our Lord! Give to us in this world.” But he, who looks only for instant gains disregarding the long term, has no portion in the Hereafter.

2:201And of them is he who says, “Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter. And save us from the torment of fire.”

[He does not forsake the Hereafter for this world, and this world for the Hereafter. 28:77]

2:202It is they for whom is a decent portion: what they have themselves earned. God is Swift in reckoning.

[Actions get their imprints stamped upon the human ‘self’ in this very life]

2:203Constantly remember God in the counted number of days (of the Convention). Then if someone’s departure were hastened by a couple of days, there would be nothing detrimental. And if someone’s departure were delayed by a couple of days, there would be no detriment either. This is for him who wishes to live upright. Be mindful of God, and know that all of you together are stepping toward the ultimate destination with God.

2:204(About delegating political authority, remember that) among mankind there is he whose chatter on worldly affairs dazzles you, and he keeps swearing by God about what is in his heart. And he is exceedingly skillful in contending for his viewpoint. [2:8-12]

2:205But as soon as he attains political power he goes all out spreading corruption on earth. His authority results in destruction of creation, the produce of land, and labor, and the damage he does affects generations, whereas God does not love corruption and disorder.

2:206When it is said to him, “Be mindful of God”, his false pride plunges him further down in inhumanity. Well, sufficient will be Hell for him; what a cradle of despondence!

2:207And of mankind is he who dedicates himself to achieve the goals ordained by God. God is Compassionate to His servants (showing them the right path). [3:4, 39:23, 91:8]

2:208O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Enter all of you collectively into the Prescribed System of Life that guarantees peace and security. And do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is an open enemy to you.

[Satan, the selfish desires, alienates man from the Creator and divides humanity. Mubeen = Open = Clear]

2:209And if you backslide after all evidence of the truth has come to you, then know that God is Almighty, Wise.

[He uses His Might with wisdom and His laws remain undefeated]

2:210Are they waiting for God to come to them in canopies of clouds with the angels; and then make Judgment? But all affairs are directed to God for judgment according to His law.

[They even have distorted belief about God moving up and down and of Divine Judgment. His Rule is the Rule of law]

2:211Ask the Children of Israel how many a clear message We gave them! They flourished as long as they valued this blessing - but if any nation alters this blessing of God after it has reached them. Remember, God is Strict in retribution.

2:212Alluring is the life of this world to those who reject the truth, and they mock those who believe (in Permanent Moral Values.) But those who live upright will be above them in ranks on the Day of Resurrection. Nevertheless, God grants sustenance without stint according to His laws.

[He is the Lord of all mankind 114:1]

2:213Mankind were one single community (but selfishness divided them). So, God sent Prophets as bearers of good news and warnings. He sent down with them the scripture in absolute truth that it might judge between people wherein they differed. But again, out of mutual rivalry, they divided themselves after all evidence of the Right had come to them! So, God shows the lighted road to those who would acknowledge the truth and thus resolve their disputes. And God guides to the straight road him who wills to be guided.

[Satan, the selfish desires, had rent asunder the unity of mankind. 2:36, 10:19. Using the perceptual and conceptual faculties in all humility help people achieve guidance, while selfishness, arrogance and blind following lead them astray. 2:170, 4:88, 6:56, 7:173, 7:179, 17:36, 27:80-81, 30:22, 37:113, 40:34-35, 41:17, 56:79]

2:214Or, do you expect to enter the Garden (or regain your lost Paradise) without facing challenges as came to those who passed before you? Hardship and adversity befell them, and so shaken were they that the Messenger and the believers with him, cried, “When will the help of God come?” But, (once the revolution gets going) God’s help is near.

[3:141, 9:16, 29:2, 33:10. Unity of mankind will not be easy to attain. The differences and prejudices of race, ethnicity, color, creed, wealth and nationalism will always be the barriers to surmount]

2:215(A crucial step toward the establishment of this Zakaat Order will be the equitable distribution of wealth.) They ask you, (O Messenger) what they should give. Say, “What you give shall go to parents, relatives, orphans, widows, and those who are left helpless or feel left out in the society, the poor, those whose hard earned income is insufficient to meet their basic needs, those whose lives have stalled for any reason, and the disabled, the needy wayfarer, and the homeless son of the street.” And whatever good you do, most certainly, God is well Aware of it.

2:216Fighting in self-defense is ordained for you, even though it is hateful to you. But it may happen that you hate a thing that is good for you, and it may happen that you love a thing that is bad for you. God knows and you know not. [2:190-193, 22:39]

2:217They ask you about fighting in any Month of Security. Say, “Fighting in the prescribed Months of Security is a great transgression. (2:194). However, repelling men from the way of God, and rejecting His command of peace in those Months and turning people away from the Masjid of Security and the Prescribed Way of Life, and evicting its people from there, are greater offenses in the Sight of God. Persecution is a crime far greater than killing.” They will not cease from fighting against you until they make you revert from your Way of Life, if they can. He among you who goes back from his Deen and dies in disbelief these are the ones whose works are rendered vain in this world and the Hereafter. These are the companions of fire, to abide therein.

[Human personality is not static. It either progresses or retrogresses. Hell and Paradise are the logical consequences of the degree of development of the ‘self’. 5:54, 91:8]

2:218Indeed, those who attain belief and those who forsake the domain of evil and strive in the cause of God – they are the ones who can rightfully hope for the grace of God. God is Absolver of imperfections, Merciful. [2:132, 53:32, 53:39-40]

2:219(Certain things that hinder humans from attaining the aforementioned noble objective are now mentioned.) They ask you (O Messenger) concerning alcohol, intoxicants, games of chance, gambling and money earned without labor. Say, “There is great detriment in these things as well as some profits for mankind. But the detriment of them is much greater than the profit of them. They drag down the individual and collective social potential.” And they ask you what they should spend on others. Say, "All that is beyond your essential needs." Thus God makes His messages plain for you, that you may reflect,

2:220In this world and the Hereafter. And they ask you about the orphaned children. Say, “A progressive upbringing is best for them, that they get educated and learn skills, finally becoming independent members of the society. If you mix your belongings and property with theirs, or if they live with you, treat them well as family members.” God knows well the wrongdoer from the righteous. Had God so willed, He might not have granted such benevolent guidance, but then you would have carried the burdens of ignorance. Indeed, God is Mighty, Wise, and He uses His authority in His Infinite wisdom.

[5:91, 33:5. ‘Islah’ from its root SLH carries all the meanings rendered above as a part of ‘long term betterment’]

2:221(Establishment of an ideal social system begins with the family. For a successful family life, uniformity of purpose is crucial. Therefore, O believing men!) Do not wed Mushrikas till they acknowledge the truth. A believing maid of God is better than a Mushrikah even though she may seem attractive to you. And do not establish marital bonds with Mushriks till they acknowledge the truth. A believing servant of God is better than a Mushrik even though he may enchant you. They invite to the fire, while God invites to Paradise and a well-preserved life by His Leave. He expounds His messages for mankind to ponder and take them to heart.

[Mushrik = Idol worshiper or idolater = One who ascribes partners to God = Who ascribes divinity besides Him = Who associates others with Him = Who invents or acknowledges authorities parallel to Him = Sets up idols in any form = Who side-lines Divine revelation in favor of manmade books or themes = Who worships his desires = Hero worshiper = A sectarian = Whoever hopes for any dead humans or saints to help him = Ancestor worshiper = Who ascribes children to God = A believer in intercession by angels or humans = Who seeks Divine Guidance outside the Final revelation = A subscriber or claimant to mysticism or clairvoyance = Who believes in created beings having Divine Powers = Accepts ultimate law-givers other than God = Prostrates before tyrants or “holy” men. Mushrikah = A Mushrik woman. Shirk17:111, 25:2, 18:26, 40:12, 18:38, 18:42, 18:110, 24:55, 10:18, 30:31-32, 10:66, 6:14, 6:40-41, 9:31]

2:222They ask you about menstruation. Say, “It is an inconvenience. So keep away from intimacy with women during menstruation and approach them not until they are rid of it. Once they are rid of it, you may approach them (your wives) for intimate relations in the manner designed for you by God. Indeed, God loves those who turn to Him for guidance and He loves those who stay clear of false dogmas.”

[See 2:223. Mutatahhireen= Mutahharoon =Those who are clean = Clean of mind56:79. ‘manner designed by God’ = Ways of God in Nature 2:282, 5:4, 96:5]

2:223Remember that women in the society are the guardians of your future generations, just as a garden keeps the seeds and turns them into flowering plants. So, whenever you meet with women socially, treat them with respect, keeping the aforementioned principle in mind. This conduct will go a long way to insure the betterment of the future generations. Send forth good today for the sake of tomorrow. Be mindful of God and know that you will, one day, face Him. O Messenger! Give good news to the believers.

[Nisaa = Women, not wives]

2:224Let not your senseless oaths in the name of God deter you from doing good to others, from being mindful of the Divine laws, and from making peace between people. God is Hearer, Knower.

2:225God will not take you to task for your senseless swearing. He holds you responsible for your intentional doings. God is Forgiving, Clement.

[Therefore, a marriage will not be dissolved for senseless utterances of the husband or the wife]

2:226Men who take an oath that they will not approach their wives shall have four months of grace. And if they go back on their oath during these four months, God is Forgiving, Merciful.

[They must rethink their decision during this grace period and circumstances might change. Similar rules apply for women, since they have equal rights and obligations, and since no man is permitted to forcibly keep his wife in wedlock against her will as stated later in the Book. 2:228, 4:19, 4:21, 4:34, 7:189]

2:227If they decide upon divorce let them remember that God is Hearer, Knower.

[They must bear in mind that since marriage is a Solemn Covenant 4:21, divorce can take place only in accordance with this Book of law]

2:228After divorce, women shall wait three menstruations before remarriage. They shall not conceal pregnancy if they believe in God and in the Last Day. In case of pregnancy, their waiting period shall be until delivery (65:4.). And during this period their husbands would do better to take them back if both of them desire reconciliation. The husband and the wife have the right to reconcile during this waiting period of the wife. Women, in all equity, have rights similar to men. But men have one advantage over them (men have no waiting period for remarriage). God is Almighty, Wise.

[There is no waiting period for a woman who is divorced before intimate relations with her husband 33:49. And it is three months if they do not habitually menstruate 65:4. Men do not have a waiting period for remarriage for obvious physiological reasons. And this is where men have an advantage over women. 2:228-234, 4:3, 4:19, 4:35, 4:128, 33:49, 58:1, 65:1-4]

2:229(The whole period of divorce i.e. three menstruations, three months, or until delivery can be taken back twice.) In a given couple's lifetime, a divorce is permissible twice. Then the divorced woman must be retained in honor or released in kindness. She shall be allowed to live in the same home amicably, or leave it amicably. At or after divorce, it is not lawful for you to take back anything of what you have ever given to her. However, if both of you fear that you might (in waves of emotion) transgress the bounds set by God, there shall be no blame on either of you for what the wife willingly gives back, whatever she chooses. These are the limits set by God; transgress them not. Whoever transgresses the bounds set by God, such are the wrongdoers.

2:230If a man divorces his wife irrevocably, it will be unlawful for him to remarry her. However, if the woman marries another man and he divorces her, in that case there is no blame on either of them to re-unite provided they think that they can observe the limits set by God. These limits have been made clear for people who use this knowledge.

[Irrevocably = Divorce on a third different time during their entire marital life. Note: “either of them to reunite” can only refer to the original couple. There is no room in the Qur’an for the so-called ‘Halaalah’, a shameful, manmade custom where a divorced woman is made to spend an intimate night with another man under wedlock with a preplanned divorce in the morning! It should better be called ‘Haraamah’]

2:231When you have divorced women, and they have completed their waiting period, then retain them in kindness or release them in kindness. (You shall allow them to live in the same home amicably, or let them leave amicably.) Do not force them to stay against their will, as revenge. Anyone who does this wrongs his own ‘self’. Do not make the revelations of God a laughing stock. Remember God’s blessings upon you and the Book and wisdom He has sent down to you in order to enlighten you. Be mindful of God’s commands and know that God is Knower of all things.

2:232And when you have divorced women, and they are approaching their waiting period, people in the society shall not place difficulties if they wish to remarry their former husbands in a decent manner (not secretly). And do not place difficulties if the woman decides to marry a different husband upon mutual agreement. This instruction is for all among you who believe in God and the Last Day. Following the commands helps you develop your own ‘self’ and stay clear of vice. God knows, you know not.

[Fabalghna ajalahunna= The divorced women are about to complete their term of waiting period - according to the context and Tasreef]

2:233If the (divorced) mothers wish to nurse their infants, the father shall provide for the mother’s sustenance and clothing equitably up to two years of nursing. Do not burden any person with more than what he or she is able to bear. No mother shall be made to suffer because of her child, nor shall a father be made to suffer because of his child. If the father dies, his heir shall assume these responsibilities. If both parents decide with mutual consent, there shall be nothing wrong in entrusting your children to foster-mothers. There shall be nothing wrong if you ensure, in a fair manner, the safety of the child you are handing over. Be mindful of God and know that God is Seer of all that you do.

2:234Those among you who die and leave wives behind, they shall wait four months and ten days before they remarry. Once they fulfill their interim, the society commits nothing wrong by letting them make their own decisions about their future including remarriage. God is Aware of what you do.

2:235You do nothing wrong in announcing your engagement to (widowed or divorced) women or keeping it to yourselves. God knows that the community will think about them. But, never make a secret pledge or contract with them. Speak with them honorably and in recognized words. Do not tie the wedding knot nor sign the marital contract until the waiting period has ended. Know that God understands human psyche, and what is in your hearts. Take heed of Him and know that God is Forgiving, Clement.

2:236There is no blame on you if you nullify the marriage before you have intimately touched the women with whom you have signed the marital contract, and before you have fixed the marital gift. This would be an unexpected situation involving emotional trauma. Therefore, show compassion by giving her as generous a gift as you can afford. This would be an act of equity and it is a binding duty on all those who wish to be counted among the benefactors of humanity.

2:237And if unexpected circumstances lead you to divorce women before you have intimately touched them, but after the marital gift has been fixed, give them half the amount unless they volunteer to forgo it. If the move for divorce originates purely from you, let her have the whole portion. If you men forgo it, it is closer to righteousness. O People! Never forget kindness among yourselves. This command is from God Whose Law of Requital ever monitors your actions and the motives behind them.

2:238Guard your duties pertaining to the family life (221-237) and the central duty of remaining vigilant in obeying Divine commands.

[‘Salaat-il-wusta’ is not ‘Asr]

2:239Whether fear threatens you from without, or you are strolling, riding, relaxing in peace, remember God as He has taught you (the right and wrong) what you did not know. [3:3, 3:190-191, 4:103]

2:240Men must testify in a written, legal will that, after their death, their widows will receive one year’s maintenance without their being obliged to leave the house. But, if they leave on their own accord, there is nothing wrong in letting them do whatever they wish to do with their own lives in a lawful manner. God is Almighty, the Wise (and He grants this permission).

2:241The widowed and divorced women must be provided for in kindness and equity. This is a duty for those who seek to live upright. [65:6-7]

2:242Thus, God makes His revelations clear for you so that you think and reflect.

2:243(The Ideal Society that you must strive to establish shall have sound socio-economic fabric and Rule of law. That would enable you to thwart aggression from any quarters.) You would not then, behave cowardly like those who were thousands in numbers, but when challenged by the enemy, they ran in droves leaving their homes behind. They feared death. Then they realized that the Divine law of mortality is inescapable, hence the fear of death is vain. Soon, they stood up on their feet and defeated the enemy. They lived again. God’s Guidance is a bounty to mankind but most people do not appreciate this fact.

2:244Fight in the cause of God, and know that God is Hearer, Knower.

[Fight only in self-defense, and against oppression since God does not love aggressors. 2:190-194]

2:245Who shall come forward and give a beautiful loan to God that He shall multiply manifolds? The Divine Order in the society will pay you handsome dividends. Add to this, the tremendous reward in the Hereafter. The wealth of nations and individuals is not exempt from the laws of God. Every step of the way you are returning to Him.

2:246(Sustained commitment to the Divine Order with wealth and person is not an easy undertaking.) After the times of Moses, some leaders of the Israelites promised their Prophet (Samuel), “If you appoint a king for us, we will fight in the cause of God.” The Prophet said, “Is it your intention to refrain from fighting if it was decreed to you?” They said, “Why should we not fight in the cause of God when we have been driven out of our homes with our children?” Yet when fighting was ordained for them, they turned away all but a few. God is Aware of the wrongdoers.

2:247Their Prophet (Samuel) said, “God has appointed Taloot (Saul) as your king.” They objected, “How can he have kingship over us when we are more worthy of kingship than he; he is not even rich?” The Prophet said, “God has chosen him over you, and has blessed him with wisdom and stature. God bestows His kingship according to His laws. He is Infinite, Knower.”

2:248Their Prophet said, “The sign of his kingdom is that he will restore the Ark of the Covenant and inner peace endowed by your Lord - And also the relics preserved by natural laws as a heritage left by the House of Moses and the House of Aaron. This will be a convincing sign for the believers among you.”

[Saul would regain their glory lost after the times of Moses and Aaron]

2:249(The commander) Saul then marched along with his soldiers to face the armies of Jaloot (Goliath) and said, “Watch out! God will let you test yourselves by a stream.” In order to create discipline among his soldiers and to test their resolve, Saul commanded them, “He who will drink of it will not be of me, while he who will refrain from drinking it, except a sip out of a hand, will be of me. But except a few of them, they all drank of it. When he and the believers with him crossed the stream, the others complained, "This day we cannot cope with Goliath and his armies." But those who were convinced that they have to meet God (those who were marching forward in the cause of God) said, “How often, by God’s leave, has a small force overwhelmed a big army! God is with the steadfast.”

2:250When they advanced to meet Goliath and his forces, they said, “Our Lord! Bestow on us steadfastness, make our steps firm and help us against people who oppose the truth.”

2:251Then they routed them by God’s leave, as David (Daud, who was an officer of Saul) slew Goliath. And God gave him the kingdom and sound judgment and taught him what He willed. If God had not repelled some people by means of others, the earth would have been filled with inequity and bloody crimes. But God is the Lord of kindness to the worlds. [12:22, 22:39, 28:14]

2:252These are God’s revelations that We recite to you in absolute truth. And you (O Muhammad) are certainly one of the Messengers.

2:253(All Messengers were one in purpose. They were assigned different strategies suitable to their times, locations and people.) We caused some of those Messengers to excel others. God spoke to some of them. Others He raised in degrees of high honor. Jesus son of Mary was one of those Messengers whom We gave clear signs of truth and helped him with Ruh-il Qudus. If God had so willed, the later generations would not have fought among themselves after clear evidence of the truth had come to them. But they chose to differ, some believed and others disbelieved. Yet, if God had so willed, they would not have fought each other. But God does everything according to His laws.

[All Messengers were one in purpose 2:136, 2:285. God did not create human beings like programmed robots. He endowed men and women with free will, and never ordained compulsion in religion 2:256. God makes His laws in the World of Command as He wills, and implements them in the World of Creation 7:54. And He never changes His laws. 6:15, 6:34, 7:54, 10:64, 17:77, 30:30, 33:62, 35:43, 48:23. Ruh-il Qudus = Ruh-ul Qudus = The Noble Revelation = Gabriel 2:87, 5:110, 16:102]

2:254O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Use Our Provision to satisfy the needs of fellow human beings and for the betterment of the society. Do that before the day comes when no bargaining, friendship or intercession shall be of any avail. Those who reject such sensible admonition, do grave injustice to themselves.

2:255(These directions, tidings and warnings come from God) the One True God, there is no god but He, the Living, the Originator of life, the Self-Subsisting Lord of all creation. Neither slumber, nor sleep overtakes Him. All that exists in the highs and the lows, in the heavens and earth, belongs to Him alone. Who can intercede in His Court except by His Leave, and then, only in accordance with His laws? He knows what lies open before humans and what is hidden from them. His knowledge transcends time and space. No one can encompass a trace of His knowledge but through His laws. The Throne of His Supreme Control extends over the highs and the lows. No fatigue touches Him as He benevolently guards His Dominion and creation. He is the Glorious, the Supreme.

[Verse 2:255, commonly known as Ayat-al-Kursi Verse of the Throne, is greatly revered by many Muslims for its grandeur, eloquence and blessing. Shafa’ah = Commonly translated as Intercession = To stand up as witness = Give evidence = Vindicate the truth. 2:48, 2:123, 4:85, 6:51, 6:70, 10:3, 19:87, 20:109, 21:28, 32:4, 34:23, 39:44, 43:86, 74:48]

2:256(Although this message has been sent down by the Almighty) there is absolutely no compulsion or coercion in Religion. The right direction has been made distinct from error. So, whoever rejects false gods (such as the clergy, human ‘authorities’) and attains conviction in God, has grasped the Unbreakable Support. God is Hearer, Knower.

[No compulsion in matters of religion - This Rule shall have no exceptions since Right has been distinguished from Wrong. 2:148, 2:193, 2:256, 4:88, 5:48, 6:104, 6:107-108, 7:177-178, 10:99, 12:108, 18:29, 22:39-40, 27:80-81, 39:41, 56:79, 73:19. At-Taaghoot = Those who, in rebellion to the One True God, claim to have Divine powers or try to portray themselves as His representatives = Sufis, mystics, priesthood, clergy, tyrants. Tagha = Rebellion. Idols of stones cannot rebel and therefore, they cannot be At-Taaghoot]

2:257God is the Protecting Friend of those who choose to have conviction in Him and His laws. He brings them out of darkness into Light (through the Qur’an). And those who reject the truth, their patrons are false authorities (idols, religious leaders and satanic humans). They bring them from light to darkness. As a consequence, they have chosen fire to be their companion. They will abide therein.

2:258Think of the one who adamantly argued with Abraham about his Lord because God had given him power. Abraham said to him, “My Lord is He Who gives life and causes death." He answered, “I give life and cause death.” Abraham said, “God makes the sun rise from the East; make it rise from the West.” Thereupon the rejecter remained dumbfounded. God does not guide people who choose to do wrong.

[Nimrod Shaddad, King of Babylon, Abraham’s contemporary and staunch enemy, used to proclaim divinity. Being a tyrant he could impose or revoke death penalty.]

2:259(Later on, came another king in the dynasty of Nimrods, his name, Nebuchadnezzar, 630-562 BC. He invaded Jerusalem, oppressed Israelites and enslaved them. One hundred years of tribulation passed before King Cyrus of Persia liberated them and reinstated them back in Jerusalem. This history bears a lesson for posterity.)

The similitude of this history is that someone passes by the ruins of a town and wonders if that town could ever come back to life again, and God causes him to die for a hundred years and then revives him. He thinks it was only a matter of a day or a part of it. He even finds his food, drink, and donkey standing beside him. God creates you in the wombs of your mothers, in bone and flesh. And when the matter became clear to him, he said, “I know now that God is Able to do all things. God is the all Powerful Designer of His laws and He does all things in the Universe in duly appointed measure.” [13:18, 25:2, 65:3, 54:49]

2:260(Abraham wanted to understand the law of revival of nations.) “O My Lord! Show me how You revive dead nations.” God said, “Do you believe not?” Abraham said, “Surely, I do but only to satisfy my heart (how I will revive my living dead people). God said, “Take four birds and train them with affection to you, and then leave them apart on separate hilltops.” Then call them; they will come in quickly. Then know that God is Almighty, Wise.

[At one call of Abraham the birds came flying back to him. This is how mankind can be brought to the Truth with decent admonition and training, giving them a new life]

2:261(In training their people, all Messengers of God advised that) spending wealth in the cause of God is like sowing a seed that brings seven (numerous) shoots, each shoot with a hundred grains. This is how God increases the reward according to His Law of Recompense. God is Infinite, Knower.

2:262Those who spend their wealth in the cause of God and afterward do not follow their giving with reminders of their generosity or injure the feelings of the recipients; their reward is with their Lord. No fear shall be on them, nor shall they grieve.

[17:26, 30:38. The society will return their generosity in this life as well]

2:263Kind words and respecting people’s honor is better than charity after which their dignity is injured. God, the Rich, the Clement, provides everyone without return or obligation.

2:264O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not cancel your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injuring the self-respect of the recipients; like those who spend their wealth for show-off. This kind of behavior contradicts the true belief in God and His Law of Recompense. Charity has been ordained to help individuals and not to hurt them and God has promised you manifold reward (93:10). But, a seed would not grow on a dusty rock, upon which rain falls and washes it clean. Such will not receive any reward for their doings. God does not guide those who deny such realities.

2:265The likeness of those who spend their wealth sincerely seeking God's approval and to strengthen their own ‘self’, is the likeness of a lofty garden with springs. When rain strikes it, it doubles its yield, and if there is no rainfall, the sprinkles are sufficient. God is ever Watcher of what you do.

[They have achieved self-actualization and made themselves truly worthy of immortality 20:76. A ‘self’ that has not been developed by giving to community in wealth or labor, merely survives. Immortality is not a spontaneous gift from God; men and women are candidates for it 91:9-10. When people create their own Paradise it is ever-blooming, rain or shine. 13:33, 14:17, 43:77, 69:27]

2:266. Would any of you wish that he had a nice, bountiful garden of dates and vineyards with streams flowing underneath it, but while age catches up with him and he has feeble offspring; a fiery tornado suddenly strikes and consumes it? This is how God makes plain His revelations to you so that you may reflect.

[Your contribution to the society ensures you the Garden which neither a tornado, nor a hurricane can take away from you. 15:48]

2:267O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Spend on others the good things you have honorably earned with hard work, whether it is from the product of industry or from the produce of the earth. Do not give away something that you would not like to receive except with closed eyes. Know that God, the Rich, Owner of praise, provides you indiscriminately and without return.

2:268Satan, your selfish desires, scares you with poverty; that if you spend on others, you might become destitute. It teaches you stinginess to the extent of shame. God, the All-Embracing, Knower promises you the protection of Forgiveness from Himself, and abundant bounty.

[And, In the Divine Order, the society would return to more than one spends on it]

2:269He bestows wisdom to whoever wills to attain wisdom (according to His laws). And whoever is granted wisdom has truly been granted a great wealth. And only those who use their intellect remain mindful of what they learn.

[Making good use of their faculties helps people attain wisdom. 12:22, 17:36, 28:14]

2:270Whatever you spend on others or whatever pledge to spend you make, God knows it. Those who violate human rights by withholding charity shall have none to help them.

[Chaos in the society hurts all]

2:271If you disclose your charities, it is well, but if you give in secret to the needy, it will be better for you. This kind of giving has the power of erasing the imprints of your ill deeds on your own ‘self’. This law has been decreed by God Who knows the effects of your actions on your own ‘self’.

2:272Your responsibility (O Messenger) is only to show them the right way (and not to make them walk it). He has established Rules for attaining guidance. (O People) Whatever good you give benefits your own ‘self’ when you spend for the sake of God. Any charity you give will be repaid to you, without the least injustice.

[God’s laws for guidance: 2:2, 2:26, 4:88, 5:46, 7:52, 13:27, 14:27, 20:123, 27:2, 28:50, 31:3, 39:3, 40:34, 40:74]

2:273And give to the needy who are suffering in the cause of God and cannot emigrate and to those who are unable to go about the earth in search of livelihood. One, who is unaware of their condition, might think they are free from want, because they abstain from begging. But you can recognize them by certain signs though they do not beg insistently. Whatever good thing you spend on them, God is Aware of it.

2:274Those who spend their wealth on the needy, by night and by day, secretly or publicly, have their reward with their Lord. They shall have nothing to fear or regret.

2:275On the contrary, those who eat Riba (usury), in greed of money, run around like someone who has been bitten by a snake. They claim that trade is like usury. But God has permitted trade and forbidden usury. One to whom the clear Admonition has come from his Lord, must abstain from taking usury forthwith. What he has taken in the past, he may keep and his judgment rests with God. As for him who returns to usury, such are the dwellers of the fire wherein they shall abide.

[Ash-shayitaanu-min-al-muss = Satan by his touch = Snake by its bite. Satan has been described as serpent in many texts. One who has taken usury in the past, it is better for him to return the interest he has earned, but the law shall not force him to do so. Trade is the return on labor that is permissible, while usury is the return on money and therefore, forbidden. 30:39, 53:39]

2:276God blights usury and blesses charitable deeds with prosperity. God does not love those who defy His laws and drag down the potential of the human society.

[Mankind will eventually realize that the interest based economic system will have to be replaced with an equitable System. God’s laws of Economics will erase usury and nurture welfare. When numerous people in a society thrive on RIBA income, the society will automatically become fragile because the RIBA takers are not working or contributing to the society while the exploited masses are becoming poorer and poorer]

2:277Those who believe in God’s laws, do works beneficial to the society and strive to establish the Divine System and the Economic Order of Zakaat, have their reward with their Lord. They will have nothing to fear and no reason to be despondent.

[The government is responsible for setting up the Economic Order of Zakaat]

2:278O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Be mindful of the Divine laws and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if you are really believers.

2:279And if you do not, then be warned of war with God and His Messenger. But, if you mend your ways, simply take back your capital without interest. Inflict not injustice and you will not incur injustice.

2:280If a debtor is in difficult circumstances, let there be postponement to a time of ease. And if you give up the loan entirely as charity, it is better for you if you only knew.

2:281And be mindful of the Day when you will be returned to God and every ‘self’ will be paid what it has earned, and they will not be wronged.

2:282O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! When you transact a loan for any period, you shall write it down. An impartial scribe shall do the writing. No scribe shall decline to perform this duty, and write as God has taught him. The debtor, or in case he or she is incompetent, his representative shall dictate the document honestly and be mindful of his Lord, and diminish not the amount. There shall be two witnesses to the transaction from among your men. If two men are not available, then let there be one man and two women, all of them you satisfactorily consider competent as witnesses - so that even if the witnessing woman gets distracted (for example, by her baby), the accompanying woman may support and remind her. All witnesses should be such that their testimony is acceptable to all. It is the obligation of the witnesses to testify when called upon to do so. Do not tire of writing the details, no matter how long, including the time of repayment. This is equitable in the Sight of God, assures better witnessing, and eliminates any doubts you may have. When it is actual merchandise that you transfer among yourselves from hand to hand, there is nothing wrong for you if you write it not, but have it witnessed. The scribe and the witnesses must be held harmless for their services. If you harm them, it would be wickedness on your part. If you follow God's commands He will increase you in knowledge. These are the Injunctions of God Who is the Knower of all things; intentions, events and actions.

[The second woman will not be a witness in the court of law. She is there only to support the first woman if she gets distracted, for example, by her baby. Tardhaun from Radha= Those you are satisfied with = Of your just choice = In the context: You shall choose competent men and women as witnesses. Dhall = To get distracted = Losing focus = Attention getting diverted = Mind getting preoccupied with other thoughts = Losing direction = Straying. Zakkar from Zikr = Advise = Support = Remind = Confirm = Strengthen = Remember]

2:283If you are traveling and a scribe is not available, a collateral of some value may serve the purpose, or a bond shall be posted to guarantee repayment. If one is trusted in this manner, he shall return the collateral or the bond when due, and be mindful of God, his Lord. Do not withhold any testimony by concealing what you have witnessed. Anyone who withholds a testimony will be harming his own ‘self’, loading his heart with a dragging violation. God is Aware of all you do.

2:284To God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. Whether you reveal what is in your mind or conceal it, God will bring you to account for it. He forgives and punishes according to his laws. God has Power over all things and events and He has appointed due measure for everything.

[He has appointed laws of forgiveness and retribution. 3:31, 8:29, 33:70-71, 57:28, 61:11-12, 64:17, 71:3. Wallahu ‘ala kulli shaiyin Qadeer = God has Power over all things and events = God has appointed due measure for everything = God is Able to do all things. Shayi = Thing = Derived meaning, event]

2:285The Messenger has full conviction in what is revealed to him from his Lord and so do the believers. Each one of them believes in God, His angels, His Books and His Messengers. (They say), “We make no distinction between any of His Messengers.” And they say, “We hear and we obey, so grant us the protection of forgiveness, our Lord. The final destination of all journeys is unto You.”

[No distinction since all of them were sent by the same Creator and they were one in purpose. 2:253, 17:55]

2:286God does not burden any person but to afford him an opportunity to develop his potentials. For every person is the good that he earns and against him is only what he deserves. (Pray), “Our Lord! Take us not to task if we forget or miss the mark. Our Lord! Do not place on us a burden like what You placed on those before us. Our Lord! Do not place a burden on us that is beyond our strength to bear. Blot out our misdeeds, grant us the protection of forgiveness, and bestow grace upon us. You are our Lord Supreme, so help us against people who oppose the truth.”

[9:51, 10:30. Calling religious leaders as ‘Maulana’ Our Master or Lord Supreme is a very common but deplorable form of Shirk,associating others with God]

Surah 3. Aal-e-‘Imran – The Family of Imran

The honored Messengers of God, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad were descendants of the Patriarch, Abraham. Prophet Jacob, the grandson of Abraham was also called Israel. Jews are known as Israelites in reference to Jacob. ‘Imran (Amram) is the name of the father of Moses and Aaron, and also of a branch among Israelites. Mary, the mother of Jesus, belonged to the progeny of ‘Imran. She was a descendant of Prophet Aaron. The Qur'an confirms only the Divine origination of the Bible, but it strongly points to the extensive human touch in the Old & New Testaments. Check the following verses: (2:75, 2:78-79, 2:101, 3:70-71, 3:78, 3:186-187, 5:13, 5:41, 6:91, 9:31).

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

3:1A.L.M. Alif-Laam-Meem. (Allah, Lateef the Unfathomable, Majeed the Magnificent, states that),

3:2God, there is no god but He, the Living, the Self-Subsistent Lord of the Universe proclaims that:

3:3He is the One Who has sent down this Book to you (O Messenger) in absolute truth, confirming the authentic in what He has revealed before. He is the One Who revealed the Torah and the Gospel.

[The Qur'an confirms only the Divine origination of the Bible, but it strongly points to the extensive human touch in the Old & New Testaments. Check the following verses: 2:75, 2:78-79, 2:101, 3:70-71, 3:78, 3:186-187, 5:13, 5:41, 6:91, 9:31]

3:4He has bestowed guidance upon mankind before, and now He has sent the Final Criterion between right and wrong. Those who reject the revelations of God, theirs will be a strict retribution. God Almighty’s Law of Cause and Effect carries all things and actions to their logical outcome.

3:5Nothing on earth and nothing in the Sky is hidden from God.

3:6He is the One Who shapes you in the wombs according to His laws. There is no god but He. He is the Almighty, the Wise.

[He uses His Might with wisdom, and His Rule is the Rule of law]

3:7(The Book He has sent down, bears an important Principle.) He is the One Who has revealed to you (O Prophet) the scripture. In it some verses are literal, while some verses are allegorical. The verses that pertain to Permanent Values have been presented literally. These verses, Muhkamat, are the essence of the Divine law. But abstract phenomena, some historical events, and the World of the Unseen are described in similes, metaphors and allegories (Mutashaabihaat) for your understanding. But those who are given to crookedness in their hearts pursue the allegories and try to give them literal meanings, thus creating dissension of thought. None encompasses their final meaning (of such as the Essence of God, His Throne, His Hand, His Book of Decrees, the exact mode of revelation on the heart of the Messengers, the Eternity) but God. Those who are well founded in knowledge understand why the allegories have been used and they keep learning from them. They proclaim the belief that the entire Book is from their Lord. As the human knowledge evolves, more and more allegories will unfold their literal meaning. But only the men and women of understanding will bear this fact in mind.

[Every verse of the Qur’an is absolute truth. The context enables us to understand which ones are to be taken literally and which ones are to be taken allegorically. Each verse in the Book complements another. Many of today’s allegorical verses will become literal as the human knowledge evolves. 11:1, 39:23, 41:53, 47:20, 74:31]

3:8They say, “Our Lord! Let not our hearts waver, now that You have guided us, and bestow upon us grace from Your Presence. You are the Grantor of decent things.”

3:9“Our Lord! You will gather all mankind together on a Day about the advent of which there is no doubt. God never fails in His promise.”

3:10Those who reject the truth, neither their wealth nor their children will avail them against God (and His laws). They will be fuel for the fire.

3:11Like Pharaoh’s people and the ones before them, these people reject Our revelations, and so God will seize them for their trailing behind in humanity. God’s Law of Requital is strong in pursuing and grasping.

3:12(O Messenger) say to the deniers, “Soon you will be overwhelmed and then you will be gathered together to Hell, a miserable bed to lie on.”

3:13(Only recently at Badr) there was a sign for you in the two armies that met in combat. One was fighting in the cause of God, the other denying Him. With their own eyes the two armies saw each other as twice their number. But God strengthens people with His support according to His laws. This must be a lesson for people of vision for all times.

[The believers in their motivation saw the manifold enemy just twice their own numbers, while the deniers saw the smaller opponents twice the size they actually were. God helps those who help themselves]

3:14Beautiful seem to people the joys that come from women and children, heaps of gold and silver, branded horses, cattle and well-tilled land. These are comforts of the life of the world. But with God is a more excellent abode.

[Believers in the Divine laws see this comfort as the means to a higher Goal --- Service --- Self-actualization --- Paradise]

3:15Say (O Messenger), “Shall I inform you of something better than these, with which the upright will be rewarded by their Lord? - Gardens with flowing streams beneath, where they will live forever with spouses of spotless character and the blissful approval of God. God is Seer of His servants.”

3:16Those who say, “Our Lord! We have chosen to be graced with belief. So, protect us from trailing behind in doing good and save us from the agony of the fire of regret.”

3:17They are proactively steadfast, truthful in word and action, ever submitting to the commandments, keeping their wealth open for the society, and guarding themselves early against any forthcoming challenge.

3:18God Himself witnesses that there is no god but He and so do the angels, men and women of science, and those who uphold equity. There is no god but He, the Almighty, the Wise.

[21:22. ‘Ilm = Knowledge = Science. Qaaim-am-bil-qist = Those who take the right stand = Those who uphold justice and equity]

3:19Remember that the System of Life approved by God is only Islam (Submission). Those who were given the scripture dissented from it through mutual rivalry and envy, after knowledge had come to them. If anyone rejects God's revelations, then God is Swift in reckoning.

[‘Ind-Allah = In the Sight of God = Approved by God = Before God. Deen = The System of Life = The Divinely Prescribed Way of Life = In a loose sense, ‘religion’, a ritualistic Way of Life = ‘Religion’ even with a capital R may scarcely come close in meaning to the term Deen. Al-Islam = Submission to God = Submission to Divine will = Universal Peace achieved by submission to the One True God. 6:87]

3:20If they argue with you (O Messenger), tell them, “I have submitted to God; I and those who follow me.” Say to the People of the Scripture, and to those who have no Scripture, “Would you submit (to God)?” If they submit, then they have been guided but if they turn away, then your duty is only to convey the message. God is Seer of His servants.

3:21Those who reject the messages of God, and wrongfully kill (degrade) the Prophets or their Mission by mixing truth with falsehood, and kill or harm the advocates of justice in the society; promise them grievous retribution.

3:22They are the people whose (good) deeds shall be nullified in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers at all.

3:23Have you noted those who were given a share of the scripture? When they are invited to the Book of God to judge among them, a party of them turns away in displeasure.

3:24This is because they say that the fire will not touch them but only for a few days. What they used to invent has deceived them in their own religion.

3:25How will they feel on the Day when We will gather them, the Day about the advent of which there is no doubt? Then, every person will be paid in full for what he or she has earned. No injustice will be done to anyone.

3:26Say, “O God! Owner of all Dominion! You give power to nations according to Your laws and You strip off power from nations according to Your laws. You have established laws for attaining honor and facing humiliation. All good emanates from Your Hand. Certainly, You have Power over all things.”

[God has appointed due measure for all things in the Universe, and therefore, His Rule is the Rule of law]

3:27(We witness Your laws in action throughout the Universe) “You merge the night into the day and merge the day into the night. You bring forth the living from the dead and bring forth the dead from the living, and through Your laws, You provide all according to Your laws and beyond measure.”

3:28The believers do not take non-believers for their allies in preference to fellow believers. If anyone does that, he will have nothing to do with God - except that one of you is forced to do so to avoid persecution. But God cautions you to fear Himself alone. To God is the ultimate destination.

[Al-Maseer = Ultimate destination = Journey’s end]

3:29Say, “Whether you hide your strategy or reveal it, God is fully Aware thereof.” And He knows all things and events in the heavens and all things and events on earth. God is all-Powerful and He has endowed everything with the potential to become what it is meant to be.

3:30On the Day of Reckoning every ‘self’ will confront all its doings, good and evil. Every ‘self’ would wish there may be a gulf of distance between it and that evil. God cautions you in advance, for He is Compassionate to His servants.

3:31Say, (O Messenger) “If you love God, follow me. Then God will love you and protect you from trailing behind in humanity. God is Forgiving, Merciful."

[Hubb = Love = Full support = Having a common objective. Loving God = Following His commands = Serving His creation = Benefiting others. God’s love = His blessings in both lives. Zanb = Tail = Trailing behind. Ghafarah = Helmet = Protection against deterioration = Forgiveness]

3:32Say, (O Messenger) “Obey God and the Messenger. But if they turn away, then, God does not love the deniers.”

[Obeying the Messenger = Obeying God’s revelations to him = Obeying the Islamic Central Authority. 4:59]

3:33(The Qur’an is the Final Perfected guidance for all humanity. But God has elected Messengers before to convey His messages.) Indeed, God did choose Adam and Noah (Nooh), and the family of Abraham and the family of Imran above all people of their times.

[Adam = Aadam = The human ancestor = The first Homo sapiens = Allegorically, Adami, the first humans = Mankind = Possibly a prominent early human = Perhaps a Prophet, but the chain of Prophets begins with Noah. See 4:163, 6:80-85]

3:34In one lineage. God is the Hearer, Knower of all things and events.

[Muhammad belongs to the same progeny of Abraham through Ishmael, and Jesus belongs to it through the family of ‘Imran. Now is related the truth about Jesus son of Mary. History has made fiction of these two great servants of God]

3:35The wife of ‘Imran prayed, “My Lord! I have dedicated the baby in my belly to You entirely (for the service of the temple). So accept from me. You are the Hearer, Knower.”

3:36When she delivered she said, “My Lord! I have delivered a female.” God knew best what she delivered; the male is not the same as the female. “I have named her Mary. I request Your protection for her and for her descendants from the rejected Satan.”

[The male she had prayed for could have not been like the outstanding daughter she was granted. This female would have a role that no male could have, in breaking the shackles of asceticism. As a ‘holy’ custom, a nun would either remain single, or rarely, would be allowed to marry one of the monks]

3:37Her Lord accepted her graciously. (Mary was dedicated to the temple) and He made her grow in purity and elegance, a gracious upbringing, under the guardianship of Zakariya (Zacharias). Whenever he entered the chamber of Mary, he found that she had food. (Knowingly) he asked, “O Mary! Where does this food come from?” She said, “It is from God.” God provides according to His laws, beyond reckoning.

[Zakariya was a Prophet of God and a distant uncle of Mary. ‘It is from God’… Visitors to the sanctuary serve the saints. Many of them bring gifts to get their vows fulfilled. Yasha in reference to God = Through His laws = Common mistranslation, ‘as He pleases’. Bighayiri hisaab = Beyond reckoning = Without account = Humans cannot reckon God’s Power of sustaining and providing the entire Universe. The last sentence of the verse cannot be a quote from Mary, as generally suggested, since she would not lecture a Prophet of God]

3:38This was when Zakariya prayed to his Lord, “My Lord! Bestow upon me from Your Presence the gift of goodly offspring. You are the Hearer of prayer.”

3:39While he was still praying in the chamber, angels announced to him, “God gives you the good news of a son, Yahya (John the Baptist) who would reiterate the Word of God, be a disciplined leader and a Prophet among those who set things right.”

3:40Zakariya prayed to God, but then wondered, “My Lord! How could I have a son when old age has overtaken me already and my wife is barren?” He said, “So it will be, God does everything according to His laws.”

[The infertility in his wife was cured. 21:90]

3:41Thankful, Zakariya asked, “My Lord! Give a message to me.” He said, “The message to you is that you shall not speak to people for three days (and nights), except by signs. Remember your Lord much and keep striving in His cause night and day.”

[19:10. Abstaining from speech would save the elderly couple from the embarrassing curiosity of people]

3:42(Mary kept a spotless character as she grew up.) Angels told her, “God has chosen you, given you a spotless character and given you distinction among the women of your times.”

[She guarded her chastity and built a strong moral character in very adverse circumstances. Many monks and devotees of temples used to harbor evil intentions against nuns. She was the first revolutionary feminine voice against the manmade institution of monasticism. 57:27]

3:43(Angels said to her), “Gather courage (quit monasticism), submit to the commands of your Lord and bow with those who bow to commands (Join your family for leading a normal life bowing to the design that God has ordained for mankind.)

3:44(O Messenger) We are revealing to you these events of the unseen history (so that you may dispel conjecture). You were not present with them when they threw their pens (casting lots) which of them should take charge of Mary (after Zakariya). And you were not present with them when they quarreled about it.

3:45Angels said, “O Mary! God gives you the good news through a word from Him. His name would be Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, held in honor in this world and among the ones close (to Me) in the Hereafter.

3:46He will speak to people while very young and after attaining full maturity with his faculties well intact.”

[‘Kahlan’ = After attaining full maturity = After age 40. See 46:15. Saalih= Doer of good, healthy]

3:47Mary exclaimed! “O My Lord, How shall I have a son when no man has (intimately) touched me?” He said, “Just as God creates everyone according to His laws (3:40). When God decrees a matter, it starts happening.”

[In the repressive society Mary had to keep her wedding confidential in the family]

3:48“And God will teach him the scripture and the wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel.”

3:49And He will be a Messenger to the Children of Israel. He will say to them, “I come to you with revelation from your Lord. If you follow me, I will raise you from dust to the heights of glory by the command of God (7:176). The blind among you will begin to see the truth. Those of you who are spotted with sin, I will heal them, and I shall grant real life to those who are just dragging on without purpose; all by God’s leave, according to His laws. I am here to establish justice and equity. I shall see to it how much you hoard in your houses and how much you spend on the community. My teachings are sufficient signs for you to believe.”

3:50“I confirm the truth in the Torah before me, and make permissible to you some of what was forbidden. I have come with your Lord’s revelation. Be mindful of His commands and heed me.”

[The Qur’an describes denial as a ‘disease’, calls the deniers ‘deaf, dumb and blind’ in 2:18, ‘diseased of the heart’ in 2:10 and ‘dead’ in 27:80. That is why the revelation, which is the truth, is called a ‘healing’ in 41:44. Tayir = Omen = Destiny = Registration of deeds = Fleet-footed horse = Bird. 2:260, 5:110, 6:38, 7:131, 17:13, 27:16, 24:41, 27:47]

3:51“God is my Lord and your Lord, so obey Him. That is the straight path.”

3:52(This is what the angels had told Mary. Then Jesus was commissioned as a Prophet.) As he sensed their rejection, he called out, “Who are my supporters towards God?” The disciples said, “We are God’s supporters, we believe in God, so bear witness that we are submitters (Muslimoon).”

3:53They said, “Our Lord! We believe in what You have revealed and we follow the Messenger. So make us live as the living witnesses to the truth.”

3:54They (the opponents) made some plans, but so did God. God is the most Virtuous of planners.

[They schemed to arrest and crucify Jesus but God assured him]

3:55God said, “O Jesus! I will cause you to die of natural causes, will exalt you in My Sight and will clear you of the slander of the disbelievers. And I will cause those who truly follow you to dominate those who are rejecting you, until the Day of Resurrection. Eventually, all of you will return to Me. Then I will judge among you about that wherein you used to differ.”

[Wafaat = Dying of natural causes. Rafa’ = Exalt = Raising in honor. Ilayya = To Me = Allegorically, in My Sight. God being Omnipresent is not confined to the heavens]

3:56Those who disregard faith (in God’s laws of nature), I shall cause them to suffer in this world and in the Hereafter. Nor will they have any helpers.

3:57And those who choose to believe and work for the betterment of the society, He will pay their wages in full. But God does not love the violators of human rights.

[Zaalim = Oppressor = Violator of human rights = Wrongdoer = One who relegates the truth = One who displaces something from its rightful place = Unjust = One who chooses to do wrong]

3:58(O Messenger) these are the messages We convey to you, as the Reminder full of wisdom.

[Az-Zikr = The Reminder = The Book that can give you eminence = The Message worth taking to hearts]

3:59With God, the example of Jesus is that of Adam (other humans) who were initially created from dust and then evolved through different stages of life (22:5, 30:20). He created him (the human) beginning from inorganic matter, then He said to him, “Be! And he is.”

[The process of procreation goes on - “IS”. Kun fayakoon = The moment God decrees a thing, it starts happening]

3:60(O Messenger) this is the truth from your Lord, so do not be of those who argue in this matter.

3:61If anyone argues with you concerning him, after the knowledge has come to you, then say, “Come! Let us call upon our children, and your children, and our women and your women, and our people and your people to leave one another alone, knowing that God's condemnation is upon the liars.”

[Bahl = To leave alone = Let someone hold on to his views = Let others do as they will. Erroneously, but commonly, Mubahila = A contest of mutual cursing! This verse has been subjected to much conjecture through ‘Shan-e-Nuzool’the circumstances of a revelation.Some exponents assert that the exalted Prophet is being told here to run a cursing contest with some Christians from Najran in Southern Arabia!]

3:62This is the true account (of Jesus). There is no god but God. And God is Almighty, the Wise.

3:63But if they turn away (from the truth), then God is Aware of the corrupters.

3:64Say, “O People of the Book! Let us come to common terms as between us and you that we shall serve none but God. That neither shall we ascribe divinity to anyone beside Him, nor shall we take others for our lords besides God.” And if they turn away, then say, “Bear witness that it is we who have surrendered ourselves to Him.”

3:65O People of the Book! Why do you argue about Abraham, when the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Do you not use your intelligence?

3:66You argued (with Moses and Jesus) in matters of which you had knowledge. Why do you dispute in matters that you know nothing about? Indeed, God knows and you know not.

3:67Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was an upright man who had surrendered to God. He never ascribed divinity to anyone beside the One True God.

3:68People most worthy of Abraham are those who followed him, and this Prophet and those who believe with him. God is the Protecting Friend of the true believers.

3:69A party among the People of the Book wish to lead you astray. But, by doing so, they shall only lead themselves astray without knowing it.

3:70O People of the Book! Why do you deny the truth of God’s messages to which you yourselves bear witness?

[Was not the scripture revealed to you foretelling the advent of this Prophet?]

3:71O People of the Book! Why do you cloak the truth with falsehood, and conceal the truth that you are so well aware of?

3:72A party among the People of the Book say to one another, “Declare belief in what has been revealed to the believers in the early hours of the day, and go back to your word of disbelief in the later hours so that they (the believers) might waver to return (to their old ways).”

3:73“And do not trust anyone except he who follows your own religion.” Say, (O Messenger) “The true guidance is God’s guidance. They (People of the Book) tell each other not to accept that revelation could be sent to anyone else, like what had been sent to you. Or, do they wish to argue with you (believers) in the presence of your Lord? Say, “All grace is in God’s Hand. He bestows it to anyone according to His laws. God is Infinite, all Knowing.”

[He has now chosen a non-Israelite Prophet for His grace of revelation. 7:157. Manyyasha = In accordance with His laws = Per His due measure. Erroneously translated as ‘Whom He wills’. An error like this turns the dynamic Islam into a fatalistic religion. 3:26, 4:88, 10:25, 74:31]

3:74He elects for His grace whom He wills according to His laws. God is the Lord of Infinite bounty (and He knows the proper time, place and person for His revelation.)

3:75Among the People of the Scripture, there is one you can trust with a heap of gold, and he will readily return it to you. And among them there is one who, if you trust him with a single gold coin, he will not repay you unless you keep after him. This is because they (believe and) say, “We owe no way (of honesty) to the Gentiles.” Thus they speak lies about God, and they very well know it.

3:76Indeed, those who fulfill their obligations, and seek to live upright, God loves such righteous.

3:77Those who trade away the Divine value of keeping pledge and their oaths for petty gains, will have no portion in the Hereafter. God shall neither speak to them nor look at them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He make their own ‘self’ grow. So, for them is a torment of suffering. (Mere survival without progress is a torment in itself.)

3:78Among them is a group who distort the scripture, to make you think that what they relate is a part of the scripture, when it is not from the scripture. And they assert that it is from God, when it is not from God. Thus, they tell lies concerning God, and they are well aware of it. [2:101]

3:79Never would a human being whom God has blessed with the scripture, wisdom and even prophetic office, thereafter say to people, “Be servants of me instead of God.” Rather, he would say, “Become true devotees of the Lord according to the scripture you teach and explain.”

3:80Nor would he instruct you to take angels and the Prophets for lords and patrons. What! Would he ever enjoin upon you unbelief after you have surrendered to God?

3:81Remember! God took a solemn promise from all Prophets (and through them with their respective nations that they would welcome each of the next Messengers in the process of Divine revelations and support him.) God said to the Prophets, “Now! I give you the Book and wisdom. Afterward there shall come a Messenger confirming (the truth in) what you have. You must, then, acknowledge him and help him. Do you accept and agree to hold on to this pledge of Mine?” They said, “We do agree.” He said, “Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.”

[This was the promise with their nations. The personal covenant made with each Messenger is mentioned in 33:7. See 2:101 & 3:78 for ‘the truth in’]

3:82(People of the Book must uphold this pledge while the Prophet is in their midst.) Whoever, after this, turns away, it is those who have drifted away from the right path.

3:83What! Do they seek other than the Prescribed way (Deen) of God, when to Him submit all beings in the heavens and earth, either by free will or by their innate nature and programming, and to Him they will be returned - and to Him they go back as their Originating Source.

[All things in the Universe surrender to God, either by free will as the believers do, or through their innate nature such as animals, trees, stars, seasons etc. Even the deniers of the truth live by Divine laws in their physical lives]

3:84Declare, “We believe in God and what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and their descendant Prophets, and what was given from their Lord to Moses, Jesus and the other Prophets. We make no distinction among any of them. And we submit to Him alone.”

[All Prophets were one in purpose. 2:253, 17:55]

3:85Whoever seeks as a Way of Life other than Islam (Submission) to God, it will never be accepted from him, and in the life Hereafter, he will be among those who have completely lost their investments.

[This is because the Deen Religion of the entire Universe is Submission]

3:86How else would God guide a people who go back to their old ways of disbelief after experiencing the blessings of faith, and after witnessing that the Messenger was indeed truthful as he has produced the clear evidence of reality (in the form of the State of Madinah). God does not show the lighted road to those who choose to do wrong, and thus, hurt their own ‘self’.

[Zaalimeen = Oppressors = Those who hurt themselves or others = Who displace something from its rightful place = Who relegate the truth = Those who choose to do wrong = Violators of human rights = Misdirected = Those who prefer to live in the darkness of ignorance = Commonly translated as wrongdoers. This verse 3:86 very much applies to today’s Muslims. The Prophet S did establish the Divine System in the State of Madinah as a living witness to the Qur’anic truth]

3:87They are the ones whose logical recompense is God's rejection, and that of the angels, and of humanity at large.

[Rejecters of the Divine laws trail behind in the community of nations. Angels = Laws or forces in Nature]

3:88They will abide in this state. Their torment will neither be diminished, nor will they be given further respite.

3:89Except those who practically repent by ceasing their transgressions, start journeying in the right direction and, thus, take corrective action. God is Absolver of faults, Nourisher of the Universe.

[The terms Taubah, Ghafoor and Raheem have been translated according to the Quraish lexicon]

3:90As for those who reject faith after choosing to believe, and then, go on adding to their defiance of faith, their repentance will not be accepted. For, it is those who have chosen the wrong direction. [4:18]

3:91Those who reject the truth and prefer to journey through life in the darkness of ignorance, and die as deniers, thereafter, not even the entire gold of the earth could ever be their ransom. It is they for whom is reserved a grievous torment and for them will be no helpers.

[We have already seen that 'Azaab = Torment = Chastisement = Punishment = Suffering, is a natural consequence of transgressions according to the Law of Cause and Effect. God does not punish people out of rage like human tyrants and kings. Reward and punishment are built-in results of one's own deeds. So, no helpers either]

3:92You will never attain exponential growth of the ‘self’ unless you open up for others the possessions you cherish. And whatever you spend, God is well Aware of it.

[God, the Knower of your own ‘self’, reminds that Paradise is for those who attain self-actualization by giving. 92:18]

3:93All means of physical sustenance were abundantly available to the Children of Israel, except what Israel as a community had deprived themselves (due to their transgressions) – before the Torah was revealed. Say, "Bring the Torah and study it if you are truthful.”

[Hillan = Halaal = Permissible = Abundantly available. Israel = A title of Jacob = Figuratively here, the Israelites]

3:94Then, whoever invents a lie concerning God, after this (clear evidence), it is those who will be unjust.

3:95Say, “God has declared the truth. Follow, then, the Creed of Abraham, the upright who shunned all falsehood. He was not of those who choose authorities besides God.”

3:96He erected the First House (Sanctuary) appointed for all mankind, at the blessed Bakkah. It is to serve as a beacon of light for all humanity (in order to regain their lost unity).

[2:125. Bakkahcame to be known as Makkah later. In the ancient Arabic dialect b was interchangeable with m]

3:97Therein are clear messages (to achieve that coveted goal and recall) how Abraham once took his stand (against all divisions of humanity and was granted the leadership of all mankind 2:124-125). Those who enter the System symbolized thereby shall find inner peace and external security. Pilgrimage to this House is a duty all mankind owe to God, those who have the circumstantial means to undertake the visit. One who denies this command should know that God is Absolutely Independent of all His creation.

[Pilgrimage = Joining the Hajj Convention. Mankind can realize the blessings of unity by rallying around this Divinely appointed Center of Ideology. 22:25-28. The idolaters are forbidden only to ‘ya’mur’ or administer the Masjid for obvious ideological reasons. 9:17-18]

3:98Say, “O People of the Book! Why do you reject God's messages when God Himself is Witness to all that you do?”

3:99Say, “O People of the Book! Why do you bar from the path of God, him who chooses to believe? – Seeking to make it crooked, even though you are witnesses (to the truth).” But God is not unaware of whatever you do.

3:100O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! If you were to heed a group of those who have been given the scripture before, they might turn you back to the darkness of ignorance after you have chosen to acknowledge the truth.

[The very act of heeding or obeying others against the messages of God is an indication that such people have not understood the beauty in these messages]

3:101How could you choose the darkness of ignorance when God's messages are being conveyed to you and His Messenger is in your midst (implementing these messages in the society)? Whoever holds fast to God (dismissing all other 'authorities'), is already guided onto a straight path. [3:144]

3:102O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Live a life upright being mindful of God in a manner befitting to Him. Let not death overtake you but that you are Muslims.

3:103You must hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of God (stretched out for you) and be not divided among yourselves. Remember God’s favor upon you when you were enemies and He brought mutual affection in your hearts. Thus, you became brothers and sisters by His grace. You were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it. This is how God makes His messages clear for you that you may be guided.

[The Rope of God is the Qur’an which is an Unbreakable Support 2:256. 6:165, 30:31-32. Huda= Guidance = Walk the right path = Travel on a lighted road]

3:104Let there be a community among you that invites to all that is good, advocating virtue and deterring vice. They are the truly successful.

[Verses 2:143, 3:110 and 22:78 assign this duty to the entire Muslim community. Ma'roof = Virtue = Kindness = All that is good = Declared Ma’roof by the Qur’an. Munkar = Vice = Evil = All that is wrong = Declared Munkar by the Qur’an. 2:143, 3:109, 23:1, 61:2-3]

3:105Do not be like those who became divided and disputed after all evidence of the truth had come to them. For, they have incurred a tremendous suffering.

[‘Bayyinaat’ = Clear evidences. Sectarianism, geographic and political schism, and ethnic divisions stand in the way of unity of all mankind. 6:159-160, 30:32, 42:13]

3:106The Day (will come) when some faces will shine with joy and some faces will be portraits of gloom. (The former are those who hold on to the Bond of God, and the latter are those who get lost in sectarianism.) Those who will be portraits of gloom, will be told, "Ah, did you, (by falling to sectarianism) elect disbelief after attaining faith? Taste then, the punishment for your disbelief.

3:107And those whose faces shine, in the grace of God, they shall abide forever. [11:118-119]

3:108(The Rules given in these revelations determine the Rise and Fall of nations.) These are God's messages. We convey them to you in absolute truth, for, God wills no injustice to any of the creation.

3:109(His Rules are operative in the entire Universe.) Unto God belongs all that is in the Highs and all that is in the Lows, and all things are constantly working to fulfill the Divine Plan, moving and evolving toward what they are meant to be. All affairs turn to God (in order that the incredible discipline in the Universe be maintained.)

[Lillah= For God = For the sake of God = In the cause of God = Belonging to God = Being subservient to Him = Working to fulfill the Divine Plan]

3:110(Since you have been empowered by the Qur’an), you are the best suited Community that has been raised up for the good of mankind. You shall enjoin the Right and discourage the Wrong, since you have conviction in God. Now if the People of the Scripture had attained this kind of belief, it would have been for their own good. Some of them do embrace belief while most of them continue to drift away.

[The believers accept the Qur’an as the Criterion of right and wrong 3:4. It educates people on the Permanent Moral Value System and distinguishes clearly what the otherwise vague terms of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, and ‘good’ and ‘evil’ would mean]

3:111But they will do you no harm except for a trifling inconvenience. And if they fight against you, they will turn their backs to you and then, they will find no helpers.

3:112Humiliation will be branded on them wherever they might be, unless they grasp a bond with God and a bond with humanity. They have earned God's condemnation, and are committed to an abject state of misery. This is because they have been rejecting God's messages and have been opposing the Prophets, even slaying some of them against all right. All this, because they disobeyed, rebelled, and exceeded the bounds of what is right.

3:113They are not all alike. Among the People of the Scripture there are those who take a firm stand for the right cause, reflect on the revelations of God all night long and submit in adoration.

3:114They have conviction in God and the Last Day. They advocate virtue by example, and forbid all vice by example. They race with one another in acts of collective good. It is they who enrich the society, increase human potential and these are among the righteous.

[Saaliheenembraces all three meanings given in the last sentence]

3:115Of the good they do, nothing will be rejected from them. God is Aware of those who live a life upright.

[Muttaqeen = Those who walk on a secure path = Those who seek to journey through life in security = The observant = Those who live upright. See Taqwa2:41]

3:116Indeed, those who reject the truth and thus choose to live in the darkness of ignorance, neither their wealth nor their children will avail them in the least against (the inevitable consequences of violating the laws of) God. They are the dwellers of the fire, abiding therein.

[Reward and punishment are built-in as the logical consequence of actions e.g. disuse of muscles causes them to atrophy. God does not punish people like human tyrants, out of rage or vengeance 3:182, 4:111, 20:15, 7:147, 27:90]

3:117The example of what they spend on the life of this world is that of an icy wind which destroys the harvest of people who have wronged themselves. God is not unjust to them, but it is they who wrong their own ‘self’.

3:118(Qur’anic Ideology will always be the basis of an Islamic state.) O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not take as confidant intimates any but your own people. They will leave no stone unturned in order to disrupt the harmony in your social fabric, and love to see you in distress. Their malice has already become manifest by their utterances, and what their hearts conceal is far greater. We have made plain the revelations for you so that you may use your intellect.

3:119Ah! You are those who love them, but they do not love you, although you acknowledge all the revelation (including the Bible). When they meet you they say, “We believe (as you believe)." But in their privacy, they bite their fingers in rage against you. Say, “Perish in your rage. God is fully Aware of what is hidden in the hearts."

3:120If you are blessed with good fortune, it grieves them, and if a calamity befalls you, they rejoice in it. But if you persevere and be on guard, their plotting cannot harm you at all. For, God encompasses whatever they may contrive.

[Taqwa = Living upright = Being observant = Seeking to journey through life in security = Be on guard. 2:41]

3:121(And recall O Prophet, the day of the UhudBattle), when you left your household early in the morning to deploy the believers in battle positions. God is Hearer, Knower.

[Knowing this, you remembered to use your faculties of listening and observing]

3:122When two of your units were about to lose heart, God was Patron of them both. God it is, then, in Whom the believers must put their trust. [3:151-152]

3:123God had granted you help and the victory at Badr, although you were utterly disadvantaged (few and ill-equipped 8:9). Therefore, guard yourselves according to God’s laws so that your efforts bring results, such that you have cause to be grateful in word and action.

3:124Remember when you said to the believers, “Is it not sufficient for you that your Lord should help you with three thousand angels, sent down to your hearts?”

[Fearlessness, determination, inner calm, and courage are the angels God sends down upon those who strive in His cause. 8:9-12, 41:30. Taking such verses literally, leads us to wrongly conclude the utter feebleness of 'angels' - the Battle of Badrwas fought between 313 Muslims and about 1,000 opponents]

3:125If you take a firm stand and be on guard, and the enemy launches on you a sudden attack, your Lord will aid you with five thousand angels, specialized.

[Musawwimeen= Clearly marked = Those given a clear assignment = Branded horses = Destined to succeed = Special forces = Specialized. Once again, the term refers to invincible determination]

3:126God made this but an allegory to give you glad tiding, and to comfort your hearts, since there is no victory contrary to the laws of God, the Almighty, the Wise.

3:127This is how He cuts off a flank of the rejecters, and abases them so that they turn back utterly dejected.

[Yaqta' = He cut off = Sets apart = Sets aside. 'Aw' in this case more appropriately indicates 'and']

3:128It is not your personal concern (O Messenger) whether He accepts their repentance or punishes them because they have been unjust aggressors.

[The matter will be decided according to law. Zaalimoon = Oppressors = Violators of human rights = Those who commit unjust aggression = Who displace right with wrong = Those who relegate the truth = Those who choose to do wrong]

3:129(Their case will be decided by Divine law, since) all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth belongs to God and working His Plan. He (His law) forgives him that deserves to be forgiven, and chastises him that deserves to be chastised. God is Absolver of faults, Merciful.

[8:42. Individuals and nations get to choose which law applies to them. Yasha carries the connotations of 'will', ‘deserve’, ‘choose’, 'due measure' and 'law']

3:130(The battle was about repelling aggression. The prime duty is to maintain a benevolent, equitable society to which usury is a big detriment. Usury is the return on money while trade is the return on labor. Usury or interest appears ever-increasing, but God blights usury and nourishes the acts of caring 2:275-279) O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Devour not usury which is compounded over and over again. Live upright as ordained by God in order to build a truly prosperous society.

3:131So, (by avoiding the interest-based economy in your society), guard yourselves against the fire that has been readied for the rejecters (who run systems contrary to Divine laws).

[Kaafireenrejecters in this context reveals another shade of meaning that is clearly defined in 5:44, “Whoever does not judge and rule according to what God has revealed, such are the disbelievers.”]

3:132And obey God and the Messenger (the Central Authority). That is how you will achieve the development of your own ‘self’. A benevolent society helps you grow like a mother's womb nourishes the embryo.

[Turhamoon from Rahmor womb = 'You may find mercy', carries the meanings rendered in the last two sentences]

3:133Move forward eagerly to the tranquil security that comes from your Lord, and to the Paradise that transcends spatial boundaries, encompassing the heavens and earth. It has already been prepared for those who live upright.

[Paradise is not confined to the skies. Like Hell, it begins right here in this world]

3:134And for those who, in ease and in adversity, keep their resources open for others. They divert and sublimate their anger and potentially virulent emotions to creative energy, becoming a source of tranquility and comfort to others. They pardon people gracefully. God loves the benefactors of humanity.

3:135Such men and women quickly correct any wrong or indecency that has occurred from them, by remembering the commands of God, and thus, protect themselves from trailing behind in humanity. And who can absolve imperfections but God? And they know well enough to refrain from persisting in whatever (wrong or indecency) had occurred from them.

3:136These are the ones whose reward from their Lord is their protection against the detrimental effects of their errors, and magnificent Gardens with streams flowing beneath, therein to abide. How excellent a reward for the sincere workers!

3:137Many ways of life have passed away before your time. Travel, then, in the land and see the end of nations that denied the truth.

[Mukazzibeen= Those who deny the truth in practice but not verbally = Those who deny the truth = Who live by conjecture instead of the unalterable Divine laws]

3:138This Qur’an is a declaration for the entire mankind, and a beacon of light and a beautiful instruction for those who seek to journey through life in honor and security.

3:139Do not ever, then, lose heart, and do not grieve, for you are bound to prevail if you are truly believers. [4:141]

3:140If a wound afflicts you, a similar wound has afflicted the other community. Such are the days of fluctuating fortunes that We rotate among mankind. God thus makes known (and distinguishes through perseverance) the believers, and takes among you witnesses (as truth personified). God does not love the oppressors.

[Shuhada = Witnesses = Those who uphold the truth = Those who uphold the truth even with their lives]

3:141This is how God enables the true believers to emerge stronger after every challenge and causes the rejecters of Divine laws to wither away.

3:142Do you think that you would enter Paradise without God distinguishing those among you who strive, and without distinguishing the steadfast? [2:214]

3:143You longed for death (in the cause of God) before you faced it. And now you have seen it with your own eyes.

[A life of honor in this world belongs to those who have conquered the fear of death, and death is the gateway to eternal life. 2:94, 2:243]

3:144Muhammad is only a Messenger. The Messengers before him have passed on. So, if he died or were slain, would you turn about on your heels? But anyone who turns about his heels, would not, in the least, harm God. And God will soon reward those who remain appreciative (for the guidance).

[The System the Prophet has established is to become a beacon of light for all humanity. The believers will reap the fruit of the Benevolent System here and, then, get rewarded in the Hereafter. 3:101, 3:185, 35:10]

3:145No one dies except by God’s leave, at a term appointed by His laws. Whoever seeks the rewards of this world, We give him thereof, and whoever seeks the returns of the Hereafter, We shall grant him thereof. We will soon reward those who are appreciative (for serving Him).

[Being appreciative Shaakir is not confined to verbal proclamations. It involves sharing Divine bounties with the society and individuals. The Qur’an shows humans the way to success in both worlds. 3:148, 17:18-20, 24:55, 28:77]

3:146Many a Prophet fought, - and with them numerous devotees of their Lord, without wavering under adversity, in the cause of God, nor did they hesitate or become discouraged. Know that God loves those who are determined to achieve a noble objective.

[Wa= And = Since = Witness = Or = For = Then = As a continuum, it may be understood as 'know', 'remember'. Saabir = Steadfast = Persevering = Determined = Patient in ease and adversity]

3:147Their resolve was their utterance, "Our Lord! Protect us from trailing behind in our mission and from wasting our efforts. Make us firm in our stand, and help us against people who oppose the truth."

3:148So, God gave them excellent returns in this world; and better are the returns of the Hereafter. Remember that God loves the benefactors of humanity.

3:149O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! If you heed the rejecters of the Divine System, they will make you turn back on your heels, and you will turn back to your own loss.

3:150Remember, only God is your Maula (Master), and He is the Best of helpers.

3:151(True belief removes fear and grief 2:38.) We shall cause dread in the hearts of those who defy the Divine laws since they choose masters besides God. For this, He has revealed no authority, and granted power to none contrary to His laws. Fire is their resting place, and miserable is the ultimate home of those who hurt their own ‘self’ by relegating the truth.

[The last line defines Zaalimeenin the context]

3:152Indeed, God fulfilled His promise to you when you routed them by following His law - until you wavered and disputed among yourselves about the situation, and disobeyed after He had shown you what you so much loved. (You were winning the battle of Uhud,) but then some of you (were distracted by the spoils of war and) desired the world, while others rightly kept in focus the lasting success in the Hereafter. He then disengaged you from defeating them to let you go through trying circumstances. But He absolved your imperfections (as you realized your fault and stood firm again). God is full of bounty for the true believers.

3:153Recall when you rushed after the spoils, caring for none, and the Messenger, in your rear, was calling out to you. So He caused you to suffer grief upon grief to teach you a lesson. Grieve not over whatever has left you, nor over a calamity that befalls you. God is well Aware of all you do.

3:154After the setback, He sent down upon you calm that pacified some of you - Whereas another group was unduly anxious within themselves, holding wrong assumptions about God, the assumptions of ignorance. (They were hypocrites worried for their lives.) They said, “Do we have any control?” Tell them, “All control belongs to, and derives from, God.” You can control events only within the framework of His laws. These (hypocrites) concealed within themselves what they did not reveal to you. They said, “If we had nothing to do with this battle we would not have been harmed.” Say, “Had you stayed in your homes, those destined to be killed would have crawled themselves to the circumstance of death.” God thus lets you test your real convictions so that you emerge stronger after every challenge deep down in your hearts. God is Aware of your psyche and what is deep down in the hearts.

[Destined to be killed = Following demise according to Divine laws]

3:155Those of you, who turned back on that day when the two armies clashed, it was their selfish desires that caused them to backslide. This happened because of some errors they had done. Now God has pardoned them (since their good outweighed their shortcomings). Indeed, God is Absolver of imperfections, Most Clement.

3:156O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not be like disbelievers who (regretfully) say of their brethren who went forth or fought in the battle, "If they had stayed (home) with us, they would not have died nor been killed.” God creates anguish in the hearts for this kind of attitude. For, it is God Who gives life and causes death, and God is Seer of what you do.

[Fear of death takes away "life" out of life]

3:157And if you are slain, or die in the way of God, then God’s protective forgiveness His grace are better than whatever they amass.

[Maghfirah= Usually translated as forgiveness = Protection against deterioration. Notice the third person used in the end, pointing to all treasures that any humans, believers or unbelievers, may amass]

3:158For, whether you die or are slain, life goes on to its destination. To God you will be gathered, and every step of yours is heading toward Him.

3:159It is God's mercy that you (O Messenger) are lenient and compassionate with people. For, if you were harsh and stern of heart, they would have broken away from you. So, pardon them, arrange for their security, and consult with them in matters of public interest. Then, once you have taken a decision, put your trust in God. God loves those who do their best and then put their trust in Him.

3:160Remember, when God helps you, none can overcome you. But if He forsakes you (for your forsaking Him), who is there to help you thereafter? In God, then, let the believers put their trust.

[He is Trustworthy since He never changes His laws]

3:161It is inconceivable that a Prophet could ever act dishonestly. Anyone who acts dishonestly will have to account for it on the Day of Resurrection. Then every ‘self’ will be paid in full for what it has earned, and no injustice will be done to them.

3:162Is one who seeks the approval of God the same as one who earned God’s disapproval, and whose resting place is Hell? What a miserable destination?

3:163They have different ranks in the Sight of God, for, God is Seer of what they do.

[Conduct is the sole determining factor for ranks with God. 6:132, 49:13, 84:19]

3:164God has done a great favor to the believers that He has sent a Messenger from among themselves, who conveys to them His messages (and establishes the System) enabling them to grow in humanity, and imparts to them the law and the wisdom behind it. Before, they were in manifest error.

3:165What! When a single calamity inflicts you, (that you have suffered a setback at Uhud), although you inflicted twice as much on the enemy (at Badr), you say, “How did this happen?” Say (O Messenger), “This is from yourselves.” God has appointed due measure for all things and events. [3:152]

3:166That which befell you when the two armies clashed, was according to God’s laws that He might let the believers know their strength and weakness,

3:167And that He might mark out those afflicted with hypocrisy. They had been told, “Come! Fight in the cause of God, or at least defend (the city).” They answered, “If we knew that confrontation was forthcoming, we would have joined you.” On that day they were closer to disbelief than belief, uttering with their mouths that was not in their hearts. But God was best Aware of what they were trying to conceal.

3:168Those who sat at home said of their brethren, “If they had listened to us they would not have been slain.” Say (O Messenger), “Then avert death from yourselves if you are truthful.”

3:169Think not of those, who are slain in the cause of God, as dead. Nay, they are living! And by their Lord they are well provided for. [2:154]

3:170They are happy in the bounty that God has given them - and pleased for those left behind, who have not yet joined them - that upon them shall be no fear, nor anything to regret.

3:171They rejoice because of the favor from God and the bounty. For, God never fails to reward those who have conviction in His laws.

3:172For those who respond to God and the Messenger even after harm has struck them - and continue to work for the betterment of humanity and live upright, is a tremendous reward. [8:24]

3:173When people warn them, “Indeed, a host has assembled against you - so fear them!” But this only strengthens their faith. And they say, “God suffices for us and how Excellent a Guardian He is!”

3:174So, they return with God's blessings and bounty, and no harm touches them in either case. They seek God's approval, and God is the Lord of Great bounty.

3:175It is only Satan, that would instill into you fear of his allies. So, do not fear them, but fear Me, if you are indeed believers!

[Satan's allies = Selfish desires in different guises = Satanic people]

3:176And do not be saddened by those who rush to rejection. For, they cannot harm God at all. God wishes for them no share in the Hereafter. And for them is an awful doom.

3:177Those who purchase disbelief at the price of faith, not the least harm will they do to God. But for them is a painful doom.

3:178Let not the unbelievers think that the respite We give them is good for them. We give them time so that they increasingly exhaust their energies in iniquity. Ultimately, for them is a humiliating suffering.

[People and nations that mend their ways in the period of respite, avert the pitiable consequences]

3:179God will not leave the believers as you are, until He distinguishes what is evil from what is good. But God will not let you know the secrets of the Unseen. God chooses His Messengers to receive knowledge of the Unseen as He wills. So, believe in God and His Messengers. If you believe and do right, yours will be a great reward.

[The believers will stand out not only in their convictions but also in their decent manners of life and the hypocrites will no longer remain hidden. 47:29-30, 72:26-27]

3:180Let not those, who withhold the gifts that God has bestowed upon them of His bounty think that this is good for them. Nay, it is bad for them. It will be tied to their necks as shackles on the Day of Resurrection. To God belongs the heritage of the heavens and earth. God is Aware of all you do.

[He bestows His provision to humanity for equitable distribution to all. 55:10]

3:181God has heard the utterance of those who said, "God is poor whereas we are rich." We will record what they say, just as their slaying of the Prophets against all right. And We shall say, "Taste the torment of burning.”

[Most of the first followers of all Messengers have been the poor. 11:27]

3:182This is for what your own hands have sent forth. God is never a tyrant over His servants. [8:51]

3:183It is they (the Children of Israel) who assert, “God has taken a promise from us that we should not believe in any Messenger unless he shows us an offering consumed by fire.” Say, “Messengers before me came to you with self-evident truth, and what you describe (as a burnt offering). Why, then, did you slay them, if you are truthful?”

[I Thessalonians ii, 15 / Mathew xxiii, 37. Burnt offering = Animal sacrifice that a fire from the sky would consume]

3:184If they deny you (O Messenger), so were denied Messengers before you when they came with clear evidence of the truth, and with books of Divine wisdom, and the light giving revelation.

3:185(You may get some passing delight in denial, but) every living being is bound to taste death. And you will receive your recompense in full on the Day of Resurrection. Then whoever is drawn away from the fire, and gets admitted to the Garden, will have gained supreme triumph. (He who considers it the end in itself should know that for him) the life of this world is nothing but an enjoyment of self-deception.

[The real success entails striving for both worlds. 2:201, 10:63-64, 14:27, 28:77]

3:186You will certainly go through changes of fortune in your wealth and persons. And you will hear much that is hurtful from those who were given the scripture before you, and from the idolaters and those who wish to impose manmade systems. But if you remain steadfast and continue to live upright, this will strengthen your resolve. [2:155]

3:187God accepted a solemn pledge from those who had received the scripture, “Make it clearly known to people, and never conceal it!” But they flung it behind their backs, and traded it away for a little gain. How evil was the bargain they made! [2:16]

3:188Do not think that those who exult in their works, and love to be praised for what they have not done – No! Never think that they can escape punishment. For them is a painful suffering.

3:189Unto God belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and earth. And God, having Power over all things and events, has appointed laws in due measure. [10:4, 34:3-4, 53:31]

3:190Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are signs for men and women who use their intellect.

3:191(Such men and women of understanding keep reflecting upon how God’s laws operate in the Universe) Standing, sitting, and reclining, they reflect upon the wonders of creation in the skies and earth, saying, "Our Lord! You have not created all this without purpose. Glory to You! Save us, then, from (being negligent in attaining knowledge and thus from) the doom of the fire.”

[When humans harness the forces in Nature and use them for the common good of all, they move away from Hell, rightfully hoping to achieve Paradise in both lives. 13:17, 45:13-14]

3:192(Reflecting on the Universe and upon their own role on the Planet, such people work for the betterment of humanity 13:17. They say), “Our Lord! Any individuals and nations whom You admit into the fire, You have brought them low (for failing to harness the forces in Nature)." There are no helpers for those who choose to do wrong, and thus, hurt themselves.

[Zaalimeen translated according to the context]

3:193"Our Lord! We have heard the call of one calling to faith, “Believe in your Lord!” So we have chosen to believe. Our Lord! Protect us from trailing behind in humanity, blot out from us our faults, and let our end be in the company of those who have helped others to make progress in the society."

[2:186. Abraar= Those who create opportunities for others to make progress]

3:194“And our Lord! Grant us what You have promised to us through Your Messengers. And save us from humiliation on the Day of Resurrection. You never break the promise.” [24:55]

3:195Thus their Lord accepts and answers their prayer, “Indeed, I never let the work of any worker, male or female, go to waste. You are members of one another. So, those who emigrate, and are driven from their homelands, and suffer harm in My cause, and fight, and are slain, I shall certainly blot out their faults, erasing the imprints of their misdeeds on their ‘self’. I will admit them into Gardens with streams flowing beneath - a handsome return from God's Presence. For, with God is the fairest return of actions. [2:186]

3:196Let not the thump and thud, and decorum of the opponents of the Divine System, in townships, impress you.

3:197It is but a brief enjoyment. Eventually, Hell is their resting place, and how uncomfortable a bed it is to lie on!

[Wrong systems take away inner peace, and collapse to a life of Hell in both worlds]

3:198But those who remain mindful of their Lord, for them are Gardens with streams flowing beneath, therein to abide - a Gift of Welcome from their Lord. For, with God is the best reward for those who have grown in humanity and eased the way for others.

3:199Among the People of the Book are some who believe in God, and in what is revealed to you, and in what was revealed to them. They humble themselves before God, and do not trade away God’s revelations for a trifling gain. Their reward is with their Lord. God is Swift in taking account. [3:113-114]

3:200O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Persevere in patience and constancy, outdo others in steadfastness, and remain united, strengthening each other. And be mindful of God, so that you may prosper.

Surah 4. An-Nisaa – The Women

This is the 4th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 176 verses. In general, Nisaa means women in the society unless the description involves husbands, when it would mean wives. Azwaaj means spouses, Zaujah is wife and Zaujmeans husband. Zaujalso refers to either of the spouses - a companion for life. The context will define the exact connotation of these terms on each occasion.

The Qur’an is the foremost guardian of women's rights. Sir Iqbal once commented that if he were an atheist, he would have thought that the Qur’an was the authorship of a group of intelligent women!

Respected readers of QXP (The Qur’an As It Explains Itself) might have already noticed that any discussion whether a particular Surah was revealed in Makkah or in Madinah is completely unnecessary and irrelevant to the Message of the Qur’an. The same observation applies to the conjecture of Shaan-e-Nuzool (the circumstances of any particular revelation). These futile exercises cause disputes among commentators, confuse the reader, and take up everyone's time in a “vain sport”. More noxiously, this deplorable practice tends to bind the verses of the Glorious and Timeless Book to events that are supposed to have happened.

While confirming the ongoing evolution in the entire Universe, the Qur’an does not support every facet of Darwin's Theory.

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

4:1(The development of human personality can be easier achieved in a benevolent society (9:111, 16:71, 43:32, 59:9). In that situation, the individual and the society complement each other (14:34). At the outset, it is imperative to know that all people have a common origin, therefore, you must consider all mankind as one community. 10:19, 57:25)

O Mankind! Be mindful of your Lord Who began your creation from the creation of life at the unicellular level. There was one life cell and He created its mate, dividing the cell into two, male and female (6:99).

[Evolution took place, as has been alluded to in this Book 16:8, 20:50, 21:30, 22:45, 30:20, 31:28, 51:49 Eventually, numerous men and women came into existence on the earth. Be careful of your duty to God in Whose Name you expect rights from one another, and you must strengthen your blood relations. God ever watches over you.]

4:2Orphans in the community are like your family members (33:5). Be vigilant in guarding their rights (4:127). Protect their property honestly, and give it to them when they have come of age. Do not exchange their valuables with your worthless items, nor consume their property by combining it with yours; doing such would be a grave offense.

4:3If you fear that you (the society) shall not be able to do justice with the orphans, (as may happen in times of war and political turbulence, the government shall announce a state of Emergency), then, in order to accommodate widows and orphans, men of sound finances and character shall be encouraged to marry among these widows with mutual choice; two, three, and four (4:127). But, if you fear that you will not be able to deal justly, then, you must not take additional wives, and may continue with what you already have (4:129). This will be more suitable to prevent you from doing injustice and face financial hardship.

[Second marriage during peace time is a frank violation of the Qur’an – note ‘If you fear’ in the beginning]

4:4Upon marriage, give women their marital gifts, a generous portion of your property, unless they forgo it voluntarily. In that case you are welcome to accept it as rightfully yours.

4:5Do not let the immature manage their property that God has entrusted with you as guardians, until they are able to make sound financial decisions. Feed and clothe them decently, take care of all their needs, interact with them kindly and speak to them in a decent, recognized manner.

4:6Train and educate the orphans well. When they reach the age of marriage, and attain sound judgment, release their property to them. The marriageable age shall mean attainment of physical and mental maturity when one can express free consent and make a solemn, legal contract (4:21). Do not consume their property, nor hastily spend it fearing that they will come of age. If the guardian is well off, let him claim no compensation for the management of the property. But, if he is poor he may have a just and reasonable compensation. When you are releasing the property to the orphans be sure to take witnesses. Remember that God is Competent in taking account.

4:7Men get a share of what the parents and near relatives leave behind. Women get a share of what the parents and near relatives leave behind. Whether the inheritance is small or large, these shares have been ordained as a duty. [4:12]

4:8If at the time of distribution of the inheritance, relatives, orphans, and the needy are present, give them from it and treat them kindly.

4:9(The distribution of inheritance must be done responsibly. Treat others, as you would like to be treated.) The disposers of inheritance must fear as they would fear injustice done to their own children if left behind. So, be mindful of God and speak clearly and straight to the point. [33:70]

4:10Those who unjustly consume the wealth of orphans, are filling their bellies with fire and will be exposed to burning Flame.

4:11Preparing a will is a duty ordained (2:180-183). God decrees a will for the benefit of your children. (Since the sons have the responsibility of taking care of the family, and daughters will be cared for by their husbands, or if unmarried, by other males in the family), sons get twice the share of daughters.

[The stipulated shares will be counted first before proceeding with rest of the distribution - the ‘wa’ here indicates ‘but’ as at many other places

- If two or more daughters are the only inheritors, they get two-thirds.

- If only one daughter is left, she gets one-half.

- If the deceased has left any children, then parents get one-sixth each first before further distribution.

- If there are no children, and parents are the only heirs, each of them gets a third first before further distribution.

- If the deceased has left brothers or sisters, the mother gets one-sixth and the father gets one third.

Remember, this distribution shall take place after fulfilling the will of the deceased and after paying off all debts. As for your parents and your children, you know not which of them is more deserving of benefit from you. Such is the ordinance from God. God is Knower, Wise.]

4:12(Additionally)

- If a couple had no children, the husband gets half of what the wife leaves behind.

- If they had children, the husband gets one-fourth.

- If they had no children, then the wives get one-fourth of what the husband leaves behind.

- If they had children then the wife gets one-eighth.

- If a man or a woman, whose inheritance is in question, was a loner, in the sense of leaving behind no ascendants or descendants, but leaves behind a sister and a brother, each of them gets one-sixth of the inheritance. If there are more than two siblings, they equally share one-third of the inheritance.

The above applies after fully satisfying the will, and after paying off all debts, so that no one's rights are infringed upon. This is the will decreed by God Who is Knower, Clement.

[Please see 2:219, 2:180, 2:240, 4:8. For a deceased who has no ascendants or descendants, see further 4:176]

4:13These are limits set by Allah. Those who obey God and His Messenger, He will admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath (all the aesthetic elegance that the human mind could ever imagine). That is the Supreme Success.

4:14But those who disobey God and His Messenger and trespass His limits, He will admit them to Fire to abide therein, and for them is a humiliating punishment.

4:15(Protection of honor and chastity for men and women, both, is the cornerstone of a virtuous society. 17:32, 4:24.) If any woman or a group of women spread sexual immorality or lewdness in the society, it is required that the appropriate court take four reliable witnesses. If their testimony corroborates with other evidence (12:26), confine them to their houses (since immorality is as contagious as good conduct). This confinement would be for an indefinite period, unless such women seek the way of God (such as repentance and reform or that the singles among them get honorably married).

[Maut,literally death,has been translated as indefinite period in agreement with Jurjani and Raghib. Protection of life, honor and property is the springboard of a vibrant social order. It is the pre-requisite for freedom, equality and character building to the point of self-actualization 4:24, 5:32, 13:24, 17:32, 38:52, 69:21, 89:27]

4:16If the two of you men spread such immorality or lewdness in the society, punish both of them (as determined by the appropriate court of law). But if they repent and mend their ways, leave them alone. God is the Acceptor of repentance, Merciful.

4:17God graciously accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance, and then return quickly to the right conduct. God blesses them with mercy. He is the Knower, the Wise.

4:18The forgiveness is not for those who commit transgressions until death comes to one of them, and then he says, “I repent now.” (They have no time to make amends.) Nor is the forgiveness for those who die as rejecters of truth. We have prepared an awful suffering for them.

4:19O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! It is not lawful for you to force women into marrying or holding on to them in marriage against their will. Pressuring women to remain in wedlock by threatening to take away the marital gift is forbidden. A wife could forfeit the right to the marital gift only if she has indulged in clear lewdness. You shall treat your wives nicely. Even if you dislike them, it may happen that God has placed much good in what you have failed to realize.

4:20If you wish to marry another wife in place of your present wife, and you have given her a great deal, you shall not take back anything. Would you take it back by way of slander, a transgression that will drag down your own ‘self’?

4:21And how could you take the marital gift back from her after you have lived intimately with each other and after she has taken from you a very solemn pledge of the marital contract?

4:22Do not marry women whom your fathers ever married except what has already happened. Doing such was certainly a shameful and abominable custom.

4:23The following women are prohibited for you in marriage: Your mothers, daughters, sisters, father's sisters, mother's sisters, brother's daughters, sister's daughters, foster-mothers who have ever nursed you, foster-sisters, your wives' mothers, your step-daughters, unless you have divorced their mother without being intimate with her. Also forbidden are women who have ever been the wives of your sons. You are not allowed to keep two sisters in wedlock at one time except what has already happened in the past. God is Forgiving, Merciful.

4:24Also forbidden to you are women who are already married, except those women who have sought asylum with you against their disbelieving husbands at war with you (60:10). This is God’s ordinance binding upon you. All other categories are permitted for you in marriage, with mutual consent, as confirmed by giving her a generous marital gift or dowry. You shall seek them in honest wedlock and let marriage be a fortress of chastity for the husband and wife. You shall maintain morality and go not near adultery (17:32). You like to marry women for a better quality of life, so give them their portions as a duty. And there is nothing wrong in adjusting the sum with mutual agreement after the duty has been done. These laws are given to you by God, the Knower, the Wise.

4:25(As the Qur’an is being revealed to you O Messenger, the emancipation of the slaves, male and female, is steadily taking place.) A man among you who cannot find a free believing woman willing to marry him, should have no hesitation in asking the hand of a believing maiden from her guardian. God knows your beliefs and reiterates that all human beings are equal in the Sight of God (17:70). Pay them a generous marital gift in kindness. They shall maintain moral behavior, by not committing adultery, or having secret relations. Since their upbringing has been deficient in the environment of slavery, their punishment will be half that of the free women, if they commit indecency after marriage. The permission to marry a bonded woman is for him who fears he might commit sin. The better recourse is freeing her first from bondage. Men and women must be patient and exercise self-control while waiting to get married. God is Forgiving, Merciful.

4:26God will explain to you and guide you by the examples of those who were before you, and turn to you (in mercy). God is Knower, Wise.

4:27God turns to you in kindness, while those who follow their desires want that you drift far astray.

4:28God wishes to lighten your burdens (with His guidance). For, the (unguided) human being has been created weak. [7:17, 25:28-29]

4:29O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not consume one another’s wealth wrongfully, not even by way of trade based on mutual agreement. Do not destroy one another, and thus do not destroy your own ‘self’. Certainly, God has been Merciful to you.”

[So you must be merciful to others. 2:275, 53:39. Illa in this verse means ‘not even’ and not ‘except’. 2:188, 26:181]

4:30Whoever does that through aggression and injustice, We shall soon cast him into the fire. And that is easy for God.

4:31If you refrain from the great transgressions that you have been forbidden to do, We shall remit your misdeeds and admit you through a gate of honor (in this world and in the Hereafter).

4:32Do not covet the bounties (and qualities) that God has bestowed more abundantly on some of you than on others. Men shall have a portion from what they earn, and women shall have a portion from what they earn. Therefore, seek out of God’s bounty (to the best of your abilities). God is Witness to everything. [4:34, 28:77]

4:33For each of you, We have designated shares in the property left by the parents and the relatives. And be sure to assign a share to those who are yours, or related to you by marriage. God is Witness over all things and events. [4:11-12-176]

4:34Men are the protectors and supporters of women. They shall take full care of women with what they spend of their wealth. God has made men to excel in some areas and women to excel in some areas. Men should ensure that women are able to stand at their feet in the society. So, righteous women are obedient to God’s ordinances and guard the moral values even in privacy, the values that God has commanded to be guarded. If you experience ill-treatment from them, apprise them of possible consequences. Next, leave them in their resting places, and refer them for arbitration. If they pay heed to you, do not seek a way against them. God is Most High, Most Great.

[Qawwam= Protector = Maintainer = One who helps others to stand at their feet. Nushooz = Ill-treatment = Rebellion = To stand up against 2:259, 58:11 = To stand up against virtue = Mental abuse = Domestic violence = To rebel against the permanent moral values. Wa’az = Admonishment = To apprise of consequences 2:231, 3:66. ‘Dharb’ = Example 13:17, 16:74, 36:13 = To stop or prevent 8:11, 43:5 = Travel = Referring to arbiters = To give examples 4:34, 13:17, 16:74, 36:13, 43:58 = To withdraw 43:5]

4:35(Families and communities must adopt a proactive approach regarding a husband and a wife in discord.) If you fear a breach between the two of them (husband and wife), appoint two arbiters, one from his family and one from her family. If they decide to reconcile, God will help them get together. Surely, God is Knower, Aware. [2:228-234, 4:3, 4:19, 4:35, 4:128, 33:49, 58:1 65:1-4]

4:36Obey God and associate no partner with Him. Treat kindly your parents, relatives, the orphans and those who have been left alone in the society. Take care of the needy, the disabled, those whose hard earned income is insufficient to meet their needs, those whose businesses have stalled, and those who have lost their jobs. You shall treat kindly your related neighbors, and unrelated neighbors, companions by your side in public gatherings, or public transportation. Be generous to the needy wayfarer, the homeless son of the street, and the one who reaches you in a destitute condition. Be nice to people who work under your supervision. God does not love those who are proud, the boastful.

4:37Those who are stingy and advise others to be stingy, and hide what God has given them of His bounty, for such ungrateful disbelievers We have prepared a humiliating punishment.

4:38They give wealth to charity only to show off, and do not believe in God and the Last Day. Such people have taken Satan, their selfish desires, as their intimate companion. What a terrible companion it is!

4:39What do they have to fear if they believe in God and the Last Day and spend of what God has given them? God is ever Aware of them.

4:40God wrongs not anyone even the weight of an atom; and He multiplies a good deed, and from His Own Presence grants a great reward.

4:41How will it be with them when (on the Resurrection Day) We bring from every community a witness (their Prophet 10:47), and We bring you (O Messenger), a witness among these people (your contemporaries)? [2:143]

4:42On that Day, those who denied the truth and paid no heed to the Messenger will wish that they were level with the ground. But not a single utterance or event could they hide from God.

4:43(Those who attain belief shall promptly establish the Divine System in the community, and the Masjid would assume the role of the community center. The believers will assemble in theMasjid for prayer, and to address social welfare and community action). O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not approach the Salaat congregation if your mind is beclouded for any reason, until you can understand what you say – Nor in a state of ceremonial impurity (post-coital state) without bathing. If you are ill or traveling, or coming from the privy, or had intimate relations with your wives, and cannot find water, take a little clean sand or earth and lightly rub your faces and hands. (This will help you prepare psychologically for the assembly 5:6). God pardons and absolves your imperfections.

4:44Have you noted those who were given a portion of the scripture but they purchased error for petty gains. (They fell for manmade books). They desire that you do the same and thus stray from the right path.

4:45God knows your enemies. (He shows you the way to protect and help yourselves.) As such, God is Sufficient as a Protecting Friend and God is Sufficient as a Helper.

4:46Some of those who are Jews, distort words to give a different meaning. They say, "We hear and we disobey,” and "Your words are falling on deaf ears,” and "Be our shepherd," and they twist their tongues to mock the Deen. It would have been better and more upright for them to say, “We hear and we obey,” and “We hear you,” and “Please watch over us and guide us.” Instead, they have incurred deprivation from the grace of God due to their denial of the truth. Few of them will embrace belief.

4:47O You to whom the scripture was given! Believe in what We have now revealed, that confirms the truth in what you already have, before We efface the whole beings such that they turn back in utter confusion. Thus had We rejected the Sabbath breakers. The commandment of God is always executed.

4:48God does not forgive that divinity be ascribed to other than Him. But He may forgive anything else, to whom He wills. Whoever associates partners with God, has thus, devised a tremendous drag on his own person.

[Ithm= A dragging violation. Shirk = Ascribing divinity to other than God, associating partners to Him. Included in this category of committing Shirk are those who worship their own desires 45:23, those who indulge in human worship and in sectarianism 30:31, 42:21, those who follow manmade books in lieu of the Book of God 6:122, 6:137, and those who claim or believe in revelation after the Qur’an, in any form, including claims of attaining Divine knowledge through mystical experience 6:62, 7:173, 7:191. And those who uphold Trinity 4:171, 5:72-73, those who claim that God has a son, and those who follow their religious leaders 9:31. Such people fall from the high station of humanity. Worshiping any entity other than God, sinks the human ‘self’ down to subhuman levels 22:31. But even most of those who claim belief and call themselves Muslims, indulge in Shirk. 12:106]

4:49Have you not seen those who claim that they have purified their souls? Purification or development of the ‘self’ can only be achieved according to the laws of God, by service of humanity and not through rituals or mysticism. In the Court of God, men and women will find full recompense for their doings without the least injustice. [2:177, 13:17]

4:50See, how the claimants to spiritual purity deceive people by inventing lies against God. That is sufficient to flagrantly drag them down in humanity.

4:51Are you not aware of those who, after receiving their share of the Book, believe in JIBT and Taaghoot? And they say that the 'kafirs' are better guided than the believers (in God's messages).

[JIBT = False doctrines = ‘Occult’ sciences, baseless mysteries, magic, future-telling, astrology, clairvoyance, evil eye, good and bad omens, amulets, dream interpretation, and prophecies, palm-reading, soothsaying, superstitions of all kind, jinn, ghosts or demon-possession of people, exorcism, blowing verses and senseless words on people or in food and drink, counting names on rosaries. TAAGHOOT = Any forces claiming or believed to have Divine powers = Evil humans who try to play god with their tyranny = Satan = Those who exploit people as religious leaders = Priests and Monks = Mullahs and Sufisof any religion]

4:52It is those whom God has rejected, and he whom God rejects, will find none to help him.

4:53Do the people who make claims of divination and clairvoyance have a share in the Divine Kingdom? But if they did, they would not give humanity as much as a grain. [4:124, 35:13]

4:54Or do they envy other people whom God has given of His bounty? (But, God does not favor any nation arbitrarily. He is the Lord of all humanity. 114:1). We gave the Children of Abraham the scripture, the law and wisdom, and We gave them a great kingdom.

4:55Some of the Children of Abraham have attained belief in the Prophet while others turn away from him. And enough is Hell for a burning fire.

4:56Those who are rejecting Our revelations and opposing the establishment of the Divine System, will soon burn in the agony of defeat. If they come with renewed preparation they will taste further chastisement. God is Almighty Wise.

4:57Those who attain belief and translate their belief into action by helping people, thus creating balance in the society, We shall soon admit them into the Gardens underneath which rivers flow. They will dwell therein forever. For them are virtuous companions, and We shall make them enter the pleasing shadows of Our grace.

4:58God commands you to entrust your offices to those who are capable, competent and sincere. They shall rule and judge equitably. Give your trusts to whom they really belong, the capable ones. The Enlightenment from God is a blessing for you. He is Hearer, Seer of all that transpires in the Universe and in your society.

4:59O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Obey God and obey the Messenger, the Central Authority of the Divine System, and those in charge among you (whom the System has appointed as office-bearers). If you have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to the Central Authority. If you truly believe in God and the Last Day, this is the best approach for you, and more seemly in the end.

4:60Have you thought of those who claim that they believe in what has been revealed to you (O Prophet), as well as in what was revealed before you? Yet, they resort to Taaghoot (priests and monks of any religion) for judgment in their differences. They had been commanded to reject them but their rebellious desires mislead them far astray.

4:61When they are told, “Come to what God has revealed and come to the Messenger”, you see the hypocrites shunning you completely.

4:62They feel ashamed when wrong decisions and judgments hurt them for their own doings. Then they come to you (O Messenger), swearing that they went to others with good and noble intentions.

4:63God knows what is in their hearts. Ignore their attitude, enlighten them and speak to them in plain terms with full understanding of their viewpoints.

4:64We have sent no Messenger but that he should be obeyed in accordance with God’s will. If they come to you (O Messenger) when they have wronged themselves, and ask God for the protection of forgiveness and the Messenger prays for their forgiveness, they will find God Acceptor of repentance, Merciful.

[The Messengers were not sent with empty hypotheses, but to show people how to establish an equitable society in which people flourish individually and collectively. They attain personal development and become worthy of immortal life in the Paradise 89:29. If anyone transgresses His laws, he or she must come to the Central Authority of the Divine System to make amends by restoring human rights. Sitting back at home and praying in hiding would not help 9:102-105, 20:82, 5:10. The Messenger had inculcated such moral order in the hearts and in the society where one became the watcher over one's own ‘self’ 8:74-75, 9:100, 48:29, 58:4, 59:8-9. There is plenty of room for making amends, and for mercy in the Divine System]

4:65By your Lord, they do not really believe unless they make you (O Messenger) a judge in all their disagreements, then find no hesitation in their hearts in accepting your judgment, and submit with full submission.

4:66And if We had ordered them, “Offer your lives or leave your homelands”, a few of them would have done it - although, if they did as they were told, it would have been for their own good and further strengthened them in faith.

4:67And then, We would give them from Our Presence an immense reward.

4:68And would direct them straight to the path of Paradise.

4:69Whoever obeys God and the Messenger, belongs with those blessed by God: the Prophets, the first supporters of the truth, the martyrs, and those who helped humanity. Ah! How beautiful is their company!

4:70Such is the bounty from God. And sufficient it is that God knows all.

4:71O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Be fully prepared against danger. You shall remain alert to meet aggression. Take your precautions then mobilize in groups or all together as determined by your commander.

4:72Among you there is he who would rather lag behind. If a setback occurs he would say, "Thank God! I was not present among them.”

4:73But if you attain the blessing of victory from God, he says, as if the love between you and him was beyond question, "Oh! I wish I had been with them and could be a part of such a great victory.”

4:74Let them fight in God’s cause, all those who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoever fights in God’s cause, be he slain or be he victorious, We shall soon give him an immense reward.

4:75What has happened to you that you do not fight in the cause of God? Defenseless men, women, and children are being oppressed and crying, "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors, and raise for us protectors and helpers."

[God does not fight in person, nor does He send His armies or angels in physical form. 22:39]

4:76Those who believe fight in the cause of God (against persecution or in self-defense … benign aggression). But the unbelievers fight in the cause of Taaghoot(tyrannical, aggressive forces … malignant aggression). So fight against those friends of the devil. The devil’s strategy is ever weak.

[Taaghoot = False gods = Tyrants = Oppressors = Deceptive clergy = Oppressive systems = Those who play god]

4:77Have you seen those who had been told, “Hold back your hands from warfare, establish the Divine System and set up the Just Economic Order?” But as soon as the command came to fight, some of them feared men as they should have feared God, or even more. They say, "Our Lord! Why have You ordained fighting for us? If only You had granted us a delay for a little while!" Say, “Brief is the enjoyment of this world, whereas the life to come is the best for the righteous. None of you shall be wronged even by as much as a date-thread.”

4:78Wherever you may be, death will find you, even if you live in fortified castles. When something good happens to them, they say, “It is from God.” And when affliction befalls them they say to each other, “This is from you O fellow-man!” Tell them, “All things happen according to God’s laws.” What is amiss with these people, they do not understand a thing?

4:79God never creates evil. Things and events have good and evil aspects. When you act according to the law of God the results are pleasant, and when you act against the law the results are unpleasant (42:30). So whatever good happens to you is from God, and whatever evil happens to you is from yourself. We have sent you as a Messenger to mankind and God is Sufficient as Witness.

4:80Whoever obeys the Messenger, obeys God. But if any turn away, We have not sent you as a watcher over them. [5:44]

4:81They express verbal allegiance, “Obedience!” But when they go away from you a party of them spends the night in planning other than what you tell them. God records what they plan by night. But, ignore them and put your trust in God. For God is enough as Trustee. [6:106]

4:82Will they not then, try to understand this Qur’an? If it were from other than God they would have found in it much contradiction and inconsistencies.

4:83The Book of God provides easy and practical social guidance. There are people who spread rumors pertaining to safety or fear. Those who hear rumors shall refer the matter concerning public safety and threat, to the Messenger and the government officials. Those who endeavor to gain intelligence will know what to do with it. Had it not been for the bounty of God and His mercy, most of you would still be following the satanic elements.

4:84(O Messenger) fight in the way of God. You are responsible only for yourself. Inspire the believers (to conquer all fear). God may well curb the might of the unbelievers (who are bent upon destroying the System). For God is the Strongest in Might, and Strongest in the ability to deter. [2:151]

4:85Whoever rallies to a cause that benefits people shall have a share in its blessings, and whoever rallies to a cause that creates injustice, shall be answerable for his part in it. God is Watcher over everything.

4:86When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in a better manner or return with similar regards. God reckons all things.

[Anyone who does good, do better for him. 2:177]

4:87God! There is no god but He. He will summon all of you on the Day of Resurrection about the advent of which there is no doubt. Who can tell you a more reliable Hadith (saying) than God?

4:88Then, how could you be of two minds about the hypocrites, seeing that God has disowned them because of their own guilt? Can you guide anyone against God’s law? Do you seek to find a way of enlightenment for those who violate God’s laws of guidance?

[The law: Using the faculties of perception and reasoning, keeping an open mind - and freedom from prejudice, arrogance, and blind following will help people to recognize the truth. Freedom of religion: 2:148, 2:193, 2:256, 4:88, 5:48, 6:104, 6:107-108, 7:177-178, 10:99, 12:108, 18:29, 22:39-40, 27:80-81, 39:41, 56:79, 73:19]

4:89They (these hypocrites) wish that you reject faith as they have rejected it, and thus become same as them. So, do not consider them friends unless they practically demonstrate that they have changed, and move along with you in the way of God. But if they turn back, resuming their behavior of being with you in word, and against you in action, (they are more dangerous than your open enemies). Then subdue them regardless of which group they belong to, and choose no friend or helper from among them.

4:90Do not fight the hypocrites who join a people with whom you have signed a peace treaty. And do not fight those who come to you wishing not to fight you or their believing relatives. Had God willed they could have fought you. Therefore, if they leave you alone, and offer you peace, God has opened no way for you but the way of peace.

[Your prime duty remains the establishment and defense of the Divine Order in which there is no room for revenge. 24:22]

4:91You will find others who desire peace for their people and make peace with you. But at the slightest opportune moment they come to fight against you. If they neither leave you alone, nor offer peace, nor hold their hands, subdue them regardless of which group they belong to. In their case, God has given you a clear authority to fight.

4:92It is not conceivable that a believer will slay another believer unless it be by mistake. If one kills a believer by mistake, there is the duty of freeing a believing person from bondage; may it be slavery, extreme poverty, crushing debt or oppression. And pay compensation to the victim's family unless they forgo it by way of charity. In case the victim was a believer, and belonged to a tribe who are at war with you, free a believing person from bondage. If the victim was a believer, and belonged to a tribe with whom you have a peace treaty, you should pay the compensation to his family in addition to freeing a believing person from bondage. For those who find this settlement beyond their means, two consecutive months of ‘Saum’ are ordained by way of repentance from God. God is the Knower, the Wise.

[‘Saum’ 2:183. The State will help if the violator is old, sick or poor. 4:64]

4:93Whoever slays a believer intentionally, his or her maximum punishment, considering the circumstances, is up to capital punishment (2:178, 5:32-33). His requital shall be Hell, therein to abide, and God will condemn him/her, and reject him and prepare for him awful suffering.

[Unjust killing of any human being, regardless of color, creed, religion or sex is a grievous offense that is tantamount to slaying the entire humankind 5:32. So, the offender shall be punished accordingly. Intentional murder of any human being is also a crime against the State, therefore, the State would be responsible for tracing, and bringing the offender to justice. Qisaas = The duty of tracing an offender for just recompense]

4:94O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! When you go forth in the cause of God (to meet the armed challenge), use your discernment. And do not say, out of a desire for the fleeting gains of this worldly life, to anyone who offers you the greeting of peace, “You are not a believer.” For with God are abundant gains. Remember, once you were ignorant, and you were weak like the disbelievers are now. God has been Gracious to you, so be gracious to His servants (9:128, 90:17). Use your discernment. God is always Aware of what you do.

4:95Those believers who sit back, except for a disability, are not equal in ranks to those who strive with their wealth and persons in the cause of God. God has granted a grade higher to those who strive with their wealth and persons than that granted those who remain passive. Although God has promised the ultimate good to all believers, yet God has exalted with immense reward those who strive, above the ones who sit back at home.

4:96The higher ranks come from Him, as well as forgiveness and grace. God is ever Forgiving, Merciful.

4:97As for those who wrong their own ‘self’ by not striving until the angels (the laws of death) approach them, they are asked, “What kept you occupied?” They say, “We were weak and oppressed in the land.” The angels say, “Was not the earth of God spacious enough for you to migrate?” As for such, their habitation will be Hell, a miserable destination.

4:98Exempted are the feeble, whether men or women, and children who are unable to devise a plan and to find a way out.

4:99God may forgive them (for their limitations). For, God pardons and forgives again and again.

4:100Anyone who emigrates in the cause of God, will find that God has placed refuge and abundance on earth. Whoever forsakes his home, as an immigrant to God and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward is then incumbent upon God. God is ever Forgiving, Merciful (the Protector and Provider of guidance).

4:101When you go forth on an expedition or travel, there is no blame on you in shortening your Salaat congregations if you fear that the disbelievers may attack you. The disbelievers are your ardent enemies. [2:3]

4:102When you (O Messenger) are with them (on an expedition or travel), and stand to lead them in Salaat congregation, let some of them stand up with you taking their arms with them. After they have concluded their Salaat, let them fall to the rear and let another party come forth and keep their arms in all precaution while taking instructions. The disbelievers want you to neglect your arms and belongings so that they may attack you once and for all. There is no blame on you in laying aside your arms if rain impedes you or if you are ill. But take all possible precaution for yourselves. God has readied a humiliating punishment for the disbelievers.

4:103After you are done with the congregation, remain mindful of God - standing, sitting or lying down. When you feel secure once again, establish Salaat as usual. Salaat at the times appointed by the Central Authority is mandatory unto believers.

[3:191, ‘Mauqoota’ = Times appointed by the Central Authority]

4:104Do not show weakness in pursuing the enemy. If you suffer hardship they too suffer hardship. But you have hope to receive God’s reward that they cannot rightfully hope. God is the Knower, the Wise.

4:105We have revealed the Book to you in absolute truth that you might judge between people according to what God has shown you (in this revelation). So, do not be an advocate for the treacherous.

4:106And seek forgiveness of God. (Pray to God that the betraying traitors mend their ways and thus become worthy of forgiveness.) For God is Forgiving, Merciful. [4:81]

4:107(You may pray for their guidance but) do not plead on behalf of the people who have betrayed their own ‘self’. God loves not one who drags down his own humanity by betraying his pledges, duties and trusts.

4:108They seek to hide from people and do not seek to hide from God! He is with them when they discuss and plot by night what He dislikes. And God encompasses with His knowledge all they do.

4:109You contend on their behalf in this world. But who will contend with God for them on the Resurrection Day? Or who will be their defender?

4:110Anyone who transgresses against his or her own ‘self’, then seeks God’s forgiveness, will find God Forgiving, Merciful.

[The way to achieve God’s forgiveness protection from the detriment of violations is repentance returning to the right path, taking corrective action Islaah,and restoring human rights. 4:17, 11:114]

4:111Whoever earns a violation against the Permanent Values, earns it against his own ‘self’. God is the Knower, Wise.

[He grants you knowledge and wisdom]

4:112And whoever commits a fault or such violation, but throws the blame on the innocent, burdens himself with slander and a clear violation that drags down the ‘self’.

4:113But for the grace of God upon you (O Prophet), a party among them were bent upon diverting you, but they only misled themselves. They cannot hurt you at all. He has given you the Book and wisdom. He teaches you what you did not know. (Contrary to blind faith, the use of Reason empowers you with Conviction.) God’s grace upon you is Infinite. [12:108]

4:114There is no good in most of their secret meetings except if such meetings are intended towards acts of charity, virtue, and reconciliation between people. Whoever does this seeking God’s approval, We shall soon bestow a great reward on him.

4:115One who opposes the Messenger, dissents and goes contrary to the way of the believers, after the guidance has been made plain to him, We shall let him continue in his chosen direction, and expose him to Hell, a miserable destination.

4:116God will not forgive Shirk (choosing ‘authorities’ besides Him), though He may forgive other transgressions according to His law of forgiveness. Whoever commits Shirk, has strayed far, far away.

[4:48. Associating idols or human ‘authorities with God in matters of obedience, subservience, worship and law-giving, is choosing parallel authorities 114:2-3. This is a folly that downgrades human ‘self’ to the extent that it bars it from rising to the higher levels of self-actualization 9:113. And the ‘self’ then faces an Insurmountable Barrier to evolution in both lives. 22:51, 79:39]

4:117(Think how this attitude downgrades the human ‘self’.) They even worship female gods besides Him. In fact, they call upon Satan, their selfish desires, that rebel against Permanent Values.

4:118God did reject him. But he said, “Of your servants I will take my due share.”

[A great many people follow their own satans 45:23, and the clergy eats a portion from their wealth in the name of idols. That is Satan’s share. 9:31, 9:34, 45:23]

4:119(Satan, in allegorical terms, had said,) “I will mislead them and entice them.” I will order them to slit the ears of cattle and disfigure the creation of God.” Whoever forsakes God and takes Satan for a friend, has suffered a manifest loss.

[According to Satan’s promise, his representatives draw people away from the Qur’an and confound them with ritualism and superstitions such as magic, dreams, astrology, amulets, numerology, ghoul, exorcism, and vain beliefs. Marking cattle's ears, choosing red cows or black goats for specific sacrifices, are superstitions that the clergy propagates. They try to present the laws of God operative in the World of Creation in a distorted fashion. They assign miracles to living or dead "saints" ignoring the Law of Cause and Effect. 2:34-36, 4:51, 4:60, 7:11, 15:30-32, 17:62, 18:50, 20:116, 38:74]

4:120He makes them promises, and creates in them false hopes. But Satan’s promises to them are nothing but deception.

[Associating partners with God 4:51, 4:60, and ignoring the Qur’an in favor of human dogmas, drag the ‘self’ down to subhuman levels. Satan’s deception: The agents of Satan create false hopes, dispensing Paradise and Hell, and vain desires such as the ‘seventy two’ heavenly beauties, dispensing Paradise and Hell etc]

4:121These custodians of manmade dogmas and their followers will have their dwelling in Hell, and from it they will find no way to escape.

4:122And We shall soon admit those who attain belief, and work to improve the lot of humanity, to the Gardens beneath which rivers flow. They will abide therein forever. This is the unwavering promise of God; and who can be truer in word than God?

4:123(The clergy have borrowed many of their dogmas from the previous nations.) But neither your wishful thinking, nor the wishful thinking of the People of the Book shall be of any avail. Whoever works disruption in the society, will have a befitting return. And he will find no protector or helper besides God.

['Amal Su = Any action that disrupts the lives of others]

4:124And whoever fulfills the needs of people, whether male or female, and is a believer, will enter Paradise. And not the least injustice will be done to them (not amounting to the ‘speck on a date-stone’ 4:53, 35:13.)

4:125Who has a better Deen (System of Life) than the one who submits completely to God, and thus becomes a benefactor of humanity? Such a person is following the way of Abraham the Upright whom God chose for friend.

4:126Unto God belongs all that is in the Highs and all that is in the Lows, and God encompasses all things.

4:127(It is imperative to realize that women are no less a part of the society. Moreover, they are the custodians of the future generations like a garden that bears flowery plants 2:223.) They ask you to enlighten them further about the laws concerning women (O Prophet). Say, “God Himself enlightens you about the laws concerning them, and the Book which has been recited to you conveys the decree. You shall restore the rights of the orphaned women to whom you do not give what is ordained (as their due marital gifts) when you wish to marry them. And God decrees about helpless children, and your duty to treat orphans in a most kind manner. And whatever good you may do, God is ever Aware.”

[You shall be especially kind to women who are widowed, orphaned, or left helpless for any reason. 2:83, 2:215, 2:240, 4:3, 8:41]

4:128If a woman experiences ill-treatment from her husband or fears that he might turn away from her, there should be no hesitation in taking corrective action and resolving the matter between them amicably. Conciliation is best. Selfishness is ever present in human psyche. And if you take care to benefit each other and be mindful of God, certainly God is ever Aware of all you do.

[God, the Cognizant shows you the best way. 2:228-234, 4:3, 4:19, 4:35, 4:128, 33:49, 58:1 65:1-4]

4:129(Men who have been permitted a second wife for post-war exigencies (4:3) must understand that) You will not be able to deal equally between your wives however much you wish. But do not turn altogether away from one, leaving her as if in suspense between having and not having a husband. Fulfill the rights of each one of them and be mindful of God. Surely, God is ever Forgiving, Merciful.

[Your effort is seen 53:40, and He is the Absolver of your imperfections]

4:130If the couple separate, God will provide for each one of them from His Abundance. God is Infinite, Wise.

[The Divinely ordained System is versatile enough to accommodate all circumstances]

4:131Unto God belongs all that is in the Highs and all that is in the Lows. We directed those who received the scripture before you, and We direct you to be mindful of God (so that your society operates as smoothly as the Universe is operating). And if you reject the truth, know that all things in the heavens and all things on earth belong to God. God is Absolutely Independent, Owner of praise.

4:132Unto God belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. God is Sufficient as Guardian (to carry through all affairs of the Universe).

4:133If He wills, He can cause you, O mankind, to disappear, and bring forth other beings (in your stead). For, God has the power to do this.

4:134Whoever desires the reward of the world, let him know that with God is the reward of the world and the Hereafter. God is ever Hearer, Seer.

[Obedience to His commands ensures success in both worlds]

4:135O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Stand up firmly for justice, witnesses for God, even if it is against yourselves, your parents and your relatives, and whether the case is of a rich person or a poor person. God is nearer to them than you are. Do not follow your emotions lest you fall short of justice. If you distort your testimony or turn away (from this command, know that) God is Aware of all your actions.

4:136O You who believe (and call yourselves Muslims!) Believe in God and His Messenger, and the Book He has revealed to His Messenger, and in (the existing truth in) the previous scripture. One who denies God, and His Angels, and His Books, and His Messengers, and the Last Day, has gone far astray.

[Note the believers being called to belief! 2:8, 2:177, 49:15. The wishful thinking of being Muslims or believers ‘by birth’ carries no weight in the Sight of God, 2:62. See 2:101 and 3:78 for ‘the previous scripture’. Belief to the point of Conviction can only be attained through reason and not as a birth right. 3:78, 5:48, 12:108. Angels = God’s forces in nature. 2:30]

4:137Those who believe, then disbelieve and again believe, then disbelieve, and thus grow stubborn in denial of the truth, God will not forgive them, nor will He walk them on to the way.

[Forgiveness = Protection = Shielding against the ill effects of misdeeds. Note that God has prescribed no worldly punishment for ‘apostasy’ since there is no compulsion in religion. 2:256]

4:138Give the tiding to such hypocrites that grievous suffering awaits them.

4:139Those who ally themselves with the rejecters rather than the believers: Do they seek dignity among them? Nay, all dignity is with God.

[Honor and dignity can be attained only through Divine laws. 3:25, 35:10, 63:8]

4:140He has already revealed to you in the Book that, when you hear the revelations of God being rejected and ridiculed, sit not with them unless they engage in some other conversation. Otherwise you will bear similar guilt as they bear. God will gather hypocrites and rejecters together, all of them, into Hell. [4:63, 6:68]

4:141(The hypocrites adopt the opportunistic attitude.) They watch you and wait. If victory comes to you from God, they say, “Were we not with you?” And if the rejecters get a portion of success, they say, “Did we not side with you and protect you from the believers?” God will judge between you all on the Day of Resurrection. God will not give the rejecters (of the Qur’an) any way of success against the true believers.

4:142The hypocrites seek to deceive God, but it is God’s law that such people deceive themselves. When they stand up for prayers, they do so reluctantly and only to be seen by people, and rarely do they think of God. [2:69]

4:143They waver in between, belonging neither to this group, nor to that group. Anyone whom God lets go astray, you will not find a way to guide him.

[Laws of guidance 4:88]

4:144O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not take the rejecters for your allies instead of the believers. Do you wish to provide a clear proof to God against yourselves?

4:145The hypocrites will abide in the lowest pit of the fire and you will find no helper for them,

4:146Except those who return to the right path, make amends, hold fast to God and devote their religion to God alone. These are with the believers, and God will soon bestow on the believers an immense reward.

4:147Why should God cause you to suffer if you are grateful and attain belief? Nay, God is Responsive to gratitude, Knower.

4:148God does not like any evil to be mentioned openly, unless it is by him who has been wronged. God is certainly all Hearer, all Knower.

4:149If you contribute to the society, whether openly or secretly, and pardon someone’s fault, know that God is Pardoner, Powerful. He absolves your individual and societal imperfections, and He has appointed due measure for all things.

4:150Those who deny God and His Messengers, and seek to make distinction between God and His Messengers, and say, “We believe in some and reject some.” And they wish to follow a path in between.

[The first part of the verse refers to those who believe in God as the Creator, but not as the Law-Giver 29:61-63]

4:151Such are the real disbelievers. And for deniers of the truth We have readied a humiliating retribution.

4:152And those who believe in God and His Messengers, in word and action, and understand that all Messengers were one in purpose, We shall soon give them their rewards. God is ever Forgiving, Merciful.

4:153(O Prophet) People of the Scripture ask you to bring a published book from the heaven. They made a greater demand to Moses when they said, "Show us God face to face." And their psyche was such that when a bolt of lightning struck around them, they fell in fear. They had chosen to do wrong. After that, they chose the calf for worship although they had seen the Manifest truth. Yet, We pardoned them and gave Moses evident authority (for their guidance). [2:55]

4:154Then We made a Covenant with them at the raised Mount Sinai as a witness. We said to them, “Enter the gate of the town humbly (2:63).” And We said to them, “Do not violate the Sabbath.” Indeed We had made with them a Solemn Covenant.

4:155They incurred condemnation for breaking their Covenant, rejecting God’s revelations, and killing the Prophets wrongfully. And for saying, “Our hearts are wrapped up; we have made up our minds.” Nay, God’s law sets the seal on their hearts because of their persistent denial. They lost their faculties of reasoning. So they do not acknowledge the truth, except a few.

4:156And for their disbelief to the extent that they brought a terrible charge against Mary.

4:157And for claiming, “We killed the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, God’s Messenger.” They never killed him and never crucified him. But it appeared so to them and the matter remained dubious to them. Those who hold conflicting views on this issue are but confused. They have no real knowledge and they are following mere conjecture. Most certainly, they never killed him.

4:158Nay, God exalted him in His Sight. (They had plotted thinking that crucifixion was a death of curse. But God raised him in honor. See 3:55). God is Almighty, Wise.

4:159Before their demise, everyone among the People of the Book must believe (in the truth stated above in 4:157-158). Jesus will be a witness against them on the Day of Resurrection.

[5:116-117. Neither was he crucified nor raised to the heavens. God is Omnipresent]

4:160Because of relegating the truth We forbade the Jews certain good things that were lawful for them before, and also because they hindered many from the way of God.

[4:161. Zulm = Violation of human rights = Relegating the truth = Oppression = Wrongdoing]

4:161Their clergy made usury permissible although it was forbidden, and they devoured the wealth of people with falsification. We have readied for the rejecters grievous suffering.

4:162Among them (the Jews) there are those who are well founded in knowledge, and the believers have attained conviction in what has been revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you. They are supporters of the Divine System and of the Just Economic Order, believers in God and in the Last Day. We shall soon give them an immense reward.

[Islam is for all humanity. Any prior affiliations are irrelevant. 2:62, 3:19, 4:125]

4:163We have sent you the revelation as We sent it to Noah and the Prophets after him. We sent revelations to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and his progeny (the Tribes), Jesus, Job (Ayub), Jonah (Yunus), Aaron, and Solomon; and to David We gave Zaboor.

[Zaboor = The Psalms = A book of Divine wisdom]

4:164(We sent Our Messengers to all nations with a uniform Message) We have told you the stories of some in the Qur’an, of the others We have not. (However, all of them were assigned a Common Mission.) And God spoke directly to Moses.

4:165All Messengers gave good news, as well as warning, so that humans would not have an argument against God, after the Messengers conveyed to them the guidance. God is Almighty, Wise.

4:166God bears witness concerning what He has revealed to you. With His Own knowledge He has revealed it. (If you reflect on the Order in the Universe, you shall find that) the angels, the universal laws, also bear witness. Yet, God is Sufficient Witness.

4:167Those who deny (such obvious truth) and hinder others from the way of God, they have certainly wandered far astray.

4:168Those who oppose the truth and violate human rights, God will never forgive them. And He will never show them a road,

4:169Except the road of Hell, wherein they abide for ever. And that is ever easy for God.

[Hindering people from truth is one of the worst violations of human rights]

4:170O People! The Messenger has come to you with truth from your Lord. So if you believe, it is best for you. But if you disbelieve, still to God belongs whatever is in the heavens and earth. God is Knower, Wise.

[Following His commands brings you in harmony with the Universe]

4:171O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion. Say nothing about God except the truth. The Messiah Jesus son of Mary was a Messenger of God, the fulfillment of His Word to Mary, created according to the laws of creation and given free will from the Divine Energy (like all human beings 15:29, 32:7-9, 38:72). Believe in God and His Messengers, and say not: “Three". Cease! It is for your own good. God is but One God. Far removed it is from His Supreme Majesty that He should have a son. Everything in the Highs and everything in the Lows belongs to Him. God is enough as a Trustee (of the Universe). [2:255]

4:172Never was the Messiah too proud to serve God, nor the angels nearest to Him shy from obeying Him. Whoever shuns His service and is proud, He will assemble all to Him.

4:173God will give rewards and add of His bounty on those who attain belief and contribute to the society. But His Law of Requital will dispense an awful doom to those who were scornful and proud. And they will find no one besides God to protect or help them.

4:174O Mankind! There has come to you a Convincing proof from your Lord, and We have sent to you a profound beacon of light.

4:175God will admit into His grace those who believe in Him and hold fast to His commands, and facilitate for them the straight road to Him.

4:176They ask you about the inheritance of a person who is survived by neither ascendants nor descendants. If one dies and leaves no children, and he had a sister, she gets half the inheritance. If she dies first, he inherits from her if she left no children. If there were two sisters they get two-thirds of the inheritance, if there are sisters and brothers, the brother would get twice the share of the sister for reasons already explained (2:80, 4:11). God clarifies the laws so that you may not go astray. God is the Knower of all things.

Surah 5. Al Maaedah – The Heavenly System of Sustenance

This is the fifth Surah of the Qur’an and it has 120 verses. Establishment of the Divine System ensures Divine bounties on everyone’s table spread. Important dietary laws are given in this Surah. All herbivorous quadrupeds are permissible for human consumption with the exceptions noted in 5:3 and 2:173. Intoxicants are strictly forbidden although the word Haraam has not been used for them since they do not belong to the category of food. Unjust killing of a single human being is like killing all mankind and saving one life is like saving all humanity. The Surah includes commands about gambling, games of chance, marriage, theft, ablution, hunting, making a will, and other diverse subjects. Prophet Abraham is the Patriarch of faith for Jews, Christians and Muslims. It states that God has perfected His System of Life and that the Qur’an is the comprehensive guide for all humanity.

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

5:1O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Fulfill your pledges and obligations. Permitted for you for food are all plant-eating livestock with the exceptions named (5:3). God has ordained that all hunting is prohibited during Hajj. God ordains as He deems fit.

[Baheema-tul-An’aam = The herbivorous cattle = Plant-eating quadrupeds = Livestock]

5:2O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not violate the symbols set up by God, nor the Sacred Months (2:194), neither the gifts nor the camels for use as transport or slaughter, nor the garlands marking them, nor the people who proceed to the Sacred Sanctuary, Ka'bah, seeking God's blessings and approval. When you have completed the Hajj, you are free to hunt. Let not the hatred of a people lead you to transgression, because they prevented you from going to the Sacred Masjid (48:25). Help one another in acts of collective benefit and righteousness, and do not help one another in deeds that hurt humanity and in creating a wedge between people. Be mindful of God. His Law of Requital is strong in grasping.

5:3Forbidden to you (for food) are: Carrion, blood, the flesh of swine, anything (not just meat) that has been dedicated to any other than God (such as an idol, grave or saint), any animal that has been strangled to death, or beaten to death, or killed by fall, or gored to death, or eaten by a wild animal unless you are able to slaughter it while it is still alive, and (also forbidden is) what is slaughtered on idolatrous altars (devotional stones or blocks in shrines considered sacred). And (you are forbidden) from dividing one another’s portions through raffling, for these are deviations. This Day, the rejecters have lost all hope of (making bargains in) your System of Life. Do not fear them, but fear Me. This Day, I have perfected your Deen (Law) for you, completed My favor upon you, and chosen for you Al-Islam as the System of Life. If anyone is forced by dire necessity (to consume the forbidden), with no intention of transgression, (should remember that) God is Forgiving, Merciful.

[Mayitah = Carrion = Dead meat = An animal that dies of itself. Azlaam = Dividing eating portions by picking or shooting arrows = In other contexts Azlaam also includes the conjecture of foretelling the future = Raffle = Lottery = Divining arrows = Clairvoyance = Dividing things or time for one another through randomly picking up slips of paper. Deen = System of Life = The Law. 2:173, 2:185, 2:219, 5:90]

5:4They ask you (O Prophet) what foods are permissible. Tell them all good things of life are lawful to you. As for the hunting animals, the catch of your trained dogs and falcons, as God has taught you, is permissible. Mention God's name thereupon and be mindful of God. Indeed, God is swift to take account.

5:5This Day, all good things of your choice are made lawful for you. The food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And so are the virtuous, chaste women of the believers and the virtuous, chaste women of those who were given the Scripture before you (provided they do not associate anyone with God 2:221). But you must give them their marriage portions of wealth and property, and live with them in honor, not in fornication, nor as secret lovers. (It must be an honest wedlock 4:24.) Anyone who rejects belief, his work is vain and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter.

[In between the lines, Muslim women are allowed to marry Muslim men only]

5:6O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! When you congregate for Salaat, wash your faces and your forearms, hands to the elbows. Lightly rub your heads and your feet to the ankles. If you are in the post-coital state with your spouses, bathe your whole body. But, if you are ill or traveling, or coming from the privy, or are in the post-coital state and find no water, then observe dry ablution by touching clean dry soil (or a clean, soft substance) and lightly rub your faces and hands. God does not wish to place any difficulty upon you, but to make you (psychologically) clean and to perfect His blessings upon you, that you may be grateful.

[4:43. Wudhu = Ablution will help prepare mentally for congregational prayer. Tayammum= Dry ablution]

5:7Remember God's blessing (guidance) upon you and His Covenant binding upon you when you said, “We hear and we obey.” Be mindful of God. God is fully Aware of what is in the hearts. [1:4-5]

5:8O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Be upholders of justice for the sake of God as witnesses to the truth. Let not the hatred of any people move you away from justice. Deal justly. That is closer to being upright. Be mindful of your duty to God. God is fully Aware of what you do.

5:9God promises the protection of forgiveness and a great reward to those who attain belief and do good works (that increase the human potential).

5:10Yet, there are those who oppose Our revelations openly, or deny them in practice. They are the companions of the Insurmountable Barrier.

[‘Selves’ that fail to develop, are unfit to move up to the higher levels of existence, so they merely survive instead of achieving true immortality. 69:27]

5:11O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Remember the blessing of God. There were people who had aggressive designs against you but He withheld their hands from you. (Due preparation against danger is a strong deterrent 4:71, 8:60). Remain mindful of God and in God let believers put their trust.

5:12Indeed God made a Covenant with the Children of Israel. We appointed twelve leaders among them. God said to them, "I am with you so long as you follow the Divine Commands, spend your wealth for the community, believe in My Messengers, assist them, and give a beautiful loan to God (that is paid back to you manifold in both lives 2:261). I will absolve your imperfections, help you create balance in the society and admit you to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath. But, whoever among you disbelieves after this, will go astray from the right path."

5:13When they broke their promise, We rejected them and Our law caused their hearts to harden. So, now they change words from their context and ignore a good part of the message, forgetting what they were told to bear in mind. (O Prophet) you will not cease to discover betrayal from all but a few of them. Pardon them and forbear. Indeed, God loves those who serve humanity.

5:14We also made a Covenant with those who say, “We are Christians.” But they ignored a good part of the message that was sent to them and forgot what they were told to bear in mind. As a result, Our law has caused enmity and hatred among them till the Resurrection Day, when God will inform them of what they contrived, (Rivalry based upon Sectarianism and Nationalism, a natural consequence of deviating from the True Message, whether people call themselves Jews, Christians or Muslims.)

5:15O People of the Book! Now has come to you Our Messenger, to make clear to you much of what you have been concealing of the Bible (even from yourselves). He ignores much of the irrelevant accounts and pardons much of your misdeeds. Now has come to you from God a beacon of light and a clear Book.

5:16Through this Book God guides to the path of Peace, those who seek His approval. He brings them out of darkness into the light of His grace, and guides them to the straight path.

5:17They have certainly denied the truth who say, “God is the Messiah, son of Mary.” Say, "Who could oppose God if He willed to annihilate the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth, all of them?" God’s is the Dominion of the heavens and earth and all that is between them. He creates all things according to His laws. And God has Power over all things and events.

5:18Jews and Christians say, "We are God's children and his loved ones". Ask them "Why does He, then, take you to task for your transgressions?" Nay, you are but human beings of His creating. He forgives and punishes according to His laws. The Dominion of the heavens and earth and all that is in between them, belongs to God. To Him is the Final destination of all.

5:19O People of the Scripture! Our Messenger has come to you, to make the truth clear, after an interval without Messengers. Lest you say, “No Messengers came to us to give good news and to warn.” Now has come to you the giver of glad tiding and warning. God has Power over all things and events.

5:20Moses told his people, “Remember God's blessings that He raised Prophets among you and made you your own masters. And He gave you what He had not given to any other people.

5:21O My people! Enter the Sacred Land that God has decreed for you, as long as you hold fast to His laws. But, if you turn back in flight, you will be overthrown to your own ruin.”

[Sacred Land = Can’aan = Syria-Palestine, 2:125, 6:137, 12:58, 12:94, 21:71, 23:50, 26:59, 29:26, 30:3, 44:3, Introduction to Surahs: 12, 14, 19]

5:22They said to Moses, "In this land there are ferocious people. Never shall we enter it until they leave. If they leave, then we will enter.”

5:23Then two men who feared violating God’s command, and whom God had blessed, said, “Enter the gate daringly, and you will be in command of the situation and will be victorious. Put your trust in God if you are believers.”

[The two men were Joshua and Caleb. Bible; Numbers 14: 6-30]

5:24They said, "O Moses! We shall never enter the land while they are in it. You and your Lord should go and fight, while we sit here.”

5:25Moses said, "My Lord! I have power only over myself and my brother, allow us to part ways from those who keep drifting away from the commands.”

5:26Their Lord said, “This land will be forbidden for them for forty years. They will wander on earth, bewildered. So grieve not over these people who keep drifting away from the right path.”

[Among mankind there always have been those who submit, and those who transgress. The Children of Israel enjoyed great Divine blessings, but for their repeated transgressions they were chastised 2:259, 17:5-6, and God’s bounty of Prophethood, in His Infinite wisdom, moved away from the Children of Israel to the Children of Ishmael, among whom was raised Muhammad, the Final Prophet/Messenger of God. The dire opposition of Jews and Christians to the Final Messenger is alluded to in the following verses, in reference to the famous story of the two brothers, Abel Haabeel and Cain Qaabeel]

5:27(O Messenger) tell them the true story of the two descendants of Adam. Each of them made an offering. (And they thought that) it was accepted from one of them, but not from the other. The latter said, "Be sure, I will kill you.” The former said, “God accepts the sacrifice of the righteous.”

[Every action of the righteous is readily accepted]

5:28“If you extend your hand to kill me, it is not for me to extend my hand to kill you. I do fear God, the Lord of the Worlds.”

5:29“I would rather have you carry two violations, mine as well as yours. For, you will be among the dwellers of the fire. That is the reward for the wrongdoers.”

[Two violations or sins: First, of slaying me, and second, of slaying the person in you. 5:30]

5:30His ego led him into killing his brother. He killed him and became a loser.

5:31God then sent a raven scratching up the soil, to show him that he might have concealed and ignored the imperfections of his brother. He said, “Oh, I failed even to be like this raven to conceal my brother’s imperfections, (and hide his naked body)!” Then he became full of regrets.

[Sauaat = Imperfections, faults. Uwaari sauaat = Conceal others' faults = Cover a naked body. 7:20-22]

5:32On that account, We decreed to the Children of Israel (the Eternal Moral Ordinance for all humanity 2:178) that whoever kills a human being, unless it be for murder or bloody crimes on the earth, it would be as if he killed all mankind. And whoever saves the life of one human being it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. Our Messengers came to them with evident truth, yet, even after this, many of them continue to commit excesses in the land.

[Only a court of law will make decisions. No one would take the law in own hand]

5:33The just punishment for those who wage war against God and His Messenger and endeavor to commit bloody crimes on earth, is that they be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet severed on alternate sides, or to be banished from the land. Such is their disgrace in this world, and an awful suffering awaits them in the Hereafter.

[Fasaad = Bloody crimes = Spreading corruption in the land = Creating disorder. ‘God and His Messenger’ … None can physically fight against God, and the Messenger was a mortal man. So, God and the Messenger denote the Central Authority of the Islamic State. Waging war against God and the Messenger would mean rebellion against the Islamic State. ‘Severing the hands and feet’ may also be understood as cutting of their ability to create Fasaad. See 5:38 & 12:31. ‘Banishing from the land’ may indicate exile or imprisonment for life. If they present to the authorities before getting arrested, they could be pardoned. 4:64]

5:34Unless the corruptors repent before you empower them. Know that God is Forgiving, Merciful.

[Peace will prevail when the righteous become more powerful than the guilty]

5:35O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Be mindful of God and seek earnestly to come closer to Him by obeying His commands, and strive hard in His cause so that you may truly prosper.

[Waseelah = Seeking earnestly = Applying the mind and heart to reach a noble goal. Verses 2:186 and 17:57 are many of the verses that negate the erroneous concept of "Waseelah" denoting some saints, sages or even Prophets interceding on behalf of people]

5:36(Those who reject this Revelation, exclude themselves from taking part in the establishment of the Ideal Society.) If the rejecters possessed everything on earth and twice as much, and offered it as ransom to spare them from the retribution on the Day of Resurrection, it would not be accepted from them. For them is a painful doom.

5:37They will wish to come out of the fire, but they will not be able to come out of it. Theirs will be a lasting punishment.

5:38(Theft is a crime that steals away the sense of security from a society.) A habitual thief, male or female both, must have their ability (to steal) cut off. This is the reward for their doings, and a deterrent from God. God is Mighty, Wise.

[As-Saariq = Habitual thief. Nakala = Deterrent. For Qat’a yadd, the so-called cutting of hand, please see 12:31 about Egyptian women ‘cutting their hands’. Yadd = Hand = Ability = Power. ‘God’s hand’ at many places in the Qur’an, of course, denotes His Power and authority. So, consider all circumstances with wisdom, and take measures to prevent this crime in the society. See 5:39 for repentance and making amends. If the hand is cut off, where is the room for mercy? Qur’anic laws are much more rational than Biblical injunctions. Here is the reference from Mathew Chapter 18, verses 8-9, The New King James Version. “And if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.” Can anyone pluck out his own eye? It appears that Muslim translators of the Qur’an rendered Qat'a literally under Biblical influence]

5:39Whoever repents after the crime and makes amends, God grants him pardon. God is Forgiving, Merciful.

[If the hand is cut off, what about making amends, pardon and mercy?]

5:40Do you not know that God’s is the Dominion of the heavens and earth? He is the law-giving authority. He punishes and forgives according to His Law of Requital. God has Control over all things and He has appointed due measure for all things.

5:41O Messenger! Let not those grieve you who run to disbelief, saying, “We believe,” with their mouths, while their hearts have no faith. And grieve not about those Jews who listen for the sake of fabricating lies. They listen and go to their people who have never met with you. Then they distort the words out of context and tell others to accept only a part and reject a part. If God intends trial for anyone, you have no authority in the least for him against God. God does not purify the hearts of such people. For them there is disgrace in this world and an awful punishment in the Hereafter.

5:42They are upholders of falsehood and they make wealth by unfair means. They are bribed into spying. If they come to you asking to judge among them, the choice to accept or reject their request is yours. You have the right to disclaim jurisdiction since they have not yet accepted the Qur’an and they have the Torah. If you disclaim jurisdiction they cannot harm you at all. However, if you decide to judge among them, do so equitably. God loves the equitable.

5:43Why do they ask you to act as a judge among them when they have the Torah, containing God’s law and they disregard it? They are not believers.

5:44We did send down the Torah containing guidance and a light. By it the Prophets who always sincerely submitted to God, judged the Jews. And the rabbis and the priests judged according to God’s scripture as they were commanded to observe. To them was entrusted the protection of God’s Book, and they were witnesses to it. So, fear not people, but fear Me and do not trade away My revelations for petty gains. And whoever fails to judge or rule by what God has revealed, such are the disbelievers (‘Kafiroon’).

5:45For them (Jews), We had decreed in the Torah: Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and equal injury for injury. But if one forgoes retaliation by way of charity, it will absolve his imperfections. And whoever fails to judge or rule by what God has revealed, such are wrongdoers (‘Zalimoon’).

[Exodus 21:23. That was a Mosaic law specific to the Israelites. The Final revelation of God, the Qur’an has updated laws for all humanity for all times. Incidentally, Exodus in the Bible as seen today leaves no room for forgiveness of the mentioned offenses]

5:46And after them We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming (the remaining truth in) what was revealed before him. We gave him the Gospel in which there was guidance and a light, and it confirmed the (truth in) what was revealed before it in the Torah, a guidance and admonition to those who wished to live upright. [2:101, 3:78]

5:47Let the People of the Gospel judge by what God has revealed therein. And whoever fails to judge or rule by what God has revealed, are drifters from the right path (‘Faasiqoon’).

5:48(O Messenger) We have sent to you this Divine Writ, setting forth the truth. It confirms the remaining truth in the earlier scriptures since it is a Watcher over them. So, judge between them by what God has revealed, and do not follow their desires diverging from the truth that has come to you. For each community among you We have appointed certain evolving trends and a traced-out way. If God had willed, He could have made you all one single community. But He decided to let you test yourselves by what (potentials) He has granted you. So, outdo one another in doing good to the society. To God you will all return, and He will then make you understand wherein you differed.

[2:101, 2:148, 3:78, 21:92-93, 23:52. Muhaimin = Watcher. Shari’ah = Evolving trends of a community = Rites. Minhaaj = A traced-out way = A set of laws. ‘min-al-kitab’ = From or remaining from the scripture]

5:49So judge between them by what God has revealed. And do not follow their vain desires. Beware of them, lest they divert you from some of what God has revealed to you. If they turn away from the truth, be assured that God has decided to chastise them for some of their crimes. A great many people drift away from the right path.

5:50Do they seek judgment of the Days of Ignorance? But who can give better judgment than God, for a people who have attained conviction in the truth?

5:51O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! (Since they deny the Final Revelation that is the Constitution of your state,) do not take the Jews and Christians as your allies. They are allies of one another. He among you who takes them for allies is one of them. God does not guide those who choose to do wrong.

[This verse points to taking allies on a national scale, and not to individual friendship. See 60:7-9]

5:52You will see those who harbor doubt in their hearts running to them saying, “We fear that a change of fortune may befall us.” But, God will bring you victory, or His command will come to pass and they will regret what they harbored in their hearts.

5:53The believers will then wonder: "Are these the same people who swore by God that they were with the believers?" Eventually, all their deeds will go to waste and they will be great losers.

5:54O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! If you revert from your Religion*, God will soon bring forth people whom He will love and they will love Him. They will be kind to the believers and stern towards the rejecters. They will strive in the cause of God without fear of any blame of a fault-finder. Such is the bounty of God that He bestows according to His laws. God is All Encompassing, All Knowing.

[Lit. *Whoever among you reverts from his faith]

5:55Your real friends and protectors are God, His Messenger and those believers who establish the Divine System, set up the equitable Economic Order and humble themselves before God's commands.

5:56Those who ally themselves with God and His Messenger and the believers, belong in the party of God. Absolutely, they are the victorious.

5:57O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not take for allies, some of the people who were given the scripture before you, and the rejecters who mock and ridicule your Religion. Be mindful of God if you are true believers.

5:58When you call to Salaat congregations, they mock it and make a jest of it, simply because they are a people who do not use reason.

[They do not know that the call with its clearest Mission Statement is unique in the world and speaks volumes of the conviction behind it]

5:59Say, "O People of the Scripture! Do you not blame us just because we believe in God, and what is revealed to us and what was revealed before? And because most of you are drifting away from the Right Direction?”

5:60Say, “Shall I point out to you something much worse for retribution with God? Worse is the case of those whom God has rejected, and His requital hits them. And remember those whom God’s law relegated from the honorable stature of humanity and they started behaving like apes and swine. And they fell into becoming the slaves of Taaghoot (tyrants and the priesthood of any religion). Such are in worse plight, and farther astray than the mockers.” [2:65, 4:51]

5:61When they come to you O believers, they say, "We believe". In fact they come in disbelief and depart in disbelief. God knows best what they conceal.

5:62You will see many of them race towards actions that drag down the human potential, create division in the society and they earn wealth through illicit means. Indeed condemnable is what they do.

5:63Why do not the rabbis and the priests forbid them from their down-grading assertions and illicit earnings? Indeed condemnable is what they manufacture. (A great many religious leaders, rabbis, priests, monks, Mullahs, yogis, and mystics devour the wealth of people deceptively, and hinder them from the way of God 9:34).

5:64(The Divine System wants people to contribute to the society.) The Jews say, "God's hand is tied down." It is their hands that are tied down and they are condemned for saying so. Nay, His hands are wide open and He showers His bounties according to His laws. What your Lord reveals to you (O Prophet) is certain to increase many of them in transgression and rejection of the truth. Consequently, We have placed enmity and malice among them until the Day of Resurrection. God has already put down the flames of war that they repeatedly ignited. But they strive to create corruption and disorder in the land, although God does not love those who create corruption and disorder.

[22:40. The Qur’an increases many people in their opposition since it is a great equalizer of humanity]

5:65If the People of the Scripture would believe in the Qur’an and be mindful of the Divine laws, We would remit their sins from them and admit them into the Gardens of bliss.

5:66If they had upheld the Torah and the Gospel, and all that was sent down upon them by their Lord, they would have received the blessings of the heavens and earth. Among them there are people who are moderate, but a great many of them follow a course that is evil.

[Literally, min fauqihim wa min tahti arjulihim = From above them and from underneath their feet’. Akl = Food = Eating = Partaking = Blessings]

5:67O Messenger! Convey all that your Lord has revealed to you. Unless you do it, you will not have conveyed His messages at all. God will protect you from the people. God does not guide those in stubborn denial.

5:68Say, "O People of the Scripture! You have no valid ground for your beliefs unless you uphold the Torah and the Gospel and all that has been revealed to you from your Lord." (The truth in them has been incorporated into the Final revelation). Yet all that has been revealed to you (O Prophet), by your Lord is bound to make many of them more stubborn in their arrogance and denial. But grieve not for the disbelieving folk.

5:69Those who attain belief (and call themselves Muslims) and those who are Jews, and the Agnostics, and Christians; whoever believes in God and the Last Day, and does acts of welfare, for them shall be no fear from without, nor shall grief touch them from within.

[Those who attain belief and call themselves Muslims, and those who are Jews, and Christians and the agnostics, whoever believes in God and the Last Day and helps people, shall have their reward with their Lord. For them there shall be no fear from without, nor shall grief touch them from within. 2:62. Note: Dear reader, I am not aware of any instance in the Qur’an where the use of Tasreef, the Big Picture could be more crucial than in the understanding of these verses, 2:62, 5:69. Respectfully speaking, some great commentators have misinterpreted this verse for not looking at other related verses. Please read on the Tasreef.

It is inconceivable that those who oppose the truth, whether they are the People of the Book or the idolaters, could get out of error until the clear proof Al-Qur’an comes to them. 98:1-3

---- The non-Israelite Prophet liberates the People of the Book from the shackles of their manmade dogmas and brings them from darkness to light ------. 7:157

They say, “Be Jews or Christians, then you will be rightly guided.” Say, “Nay, we follow the religion of Abraham, the upright. He associated no one with the One True God.” And Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian. 2:135

O you who believe, say, “We believe in God and the revelation that has been conveyed to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob as well as the tribal Israelite Prophets; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to other Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among them since all of them were one in purpose and they got their guidance from the One True God. And for Him, we are Muslims.” 2:136

So, if they come to believe in the way you believe, they will be rightly guided. But if they turn away, they will be falling into opposition and God will be Sufficient for you against them. He is the Hearer, Knower of all things and events. 2:137]

5:70We took a Covenant with the Children of Israel (to follow the commandments) and sent Messengers to them. Whenever We sent a Messenger to them with what they disliked, some of these they rejected, and some they killed.

5:71They thought there would be no trial, so they became blind and deaf (to reason). Yet God turned to them, but again many of them (faltered and) became blind and deaf. But God is Seer of all they did.

5:72Rejecters of the truth certainly are those who proclaim that God is Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah himself taught them, "O Children of Israel! You shall worship God, my Lord and your Lord." Whoever associates deities with God, for such God has forbidden Paradise and their abode is the fire. For those who choose to do wrong, there will be no helpers.

5:73And certainly they disbelieve who say that God is one of three (in a Trinity) when there is no god whatsoever but the One God. Unless they desist from saying what they say, grievous suffering is bound to befall such of them who oppose the truth.

5:74Will they not rather turn to God and seek His forgiveness? For God is Forgiving, Merciful.

5:75The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a Messenger, like other Messengers before him who passed on. And his mother was a woman of truth. Both of them were human beings who had to eat food (like all other mortals). See how clearly We explain Our verses for them, and note how they still deviate!

5:76Say, “Would you worship in place of God what possesses no power of harm or benefit to you?” God is the One Who is the Hearer, the Knower.

5:77Say, “O People of the Book! Do not overstep the bounds of truth in your religious beliefs. And do not follow the errant views of people who have gone astray long before, and led a great many others astray, and those who are still straying from the even way.

5:78Those Children of Israel who were bent upon opposing the truth have already been condemned by the tongue of David and of Jesus, son of Mary. This is so because they rebelled and persisted in overstepping the bounds of what is right.

5:79They did not restrain one another from violating the Permanent Values. Evil was what they used to do.

5:80Even now you see many of them allying themselves with the rejecters. Evil indeed is what they send forth for their own ‘self’. God is displeased with them, and they will abide in the doom.

5:81If they had believed in God and the Prophet, and what is revealed to him, they (the People of the Scripture) would not ally themselves with the rejecters. But a great many of them are drifting away from the truth.

5:82(O Prophet) you will find the most vehement of mankind in hostility to the believers to be the Jews and the idolaters. Closer in affection to the believers you will find those who say, "We are Christians." That is because among them there are priests and monks and because they are not given to arrogance.

5:83When they hear and understand what has been revealed to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflow with tears because they recognize the truth in it. They say, "Our Lord! We choose to believe, so write us down with those who bear witness to the truth.”

[Sama’ = Hear = Hear and understand]

5:84"How could we not believe in God and the truth that has come to us? We so fervently desire for our Lord to admit us to the company of the righteous?"

5:85For their saying this, God rewarded them with Gardens, with rivers flowing underneath, to abide therein. Such is the recompense of the doers of good.

[Muhsineen = Doers of good = Benefactors of humanity = Those who create balance in the society]

5:86Whereas those who oppose the truth and deny Our revelations, are companions of the Insurmountable Barrier.

[Their own ‘self’ face Jaheem, a great hindrance to self-actualization = Blazing fire]

5:87O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not deprive yourselves of the good things of life that God has made lawful to you. But commit no excesses. God does not love those who exceed the limits.

[Self-mortification by ascetics, monks and mystics is not the way to ‘purify’ the ‘soul’]

5:88Thus, partake of the lawful, good things that God grants you as sustenance. And be conscious of God, in Whom you are believers.

5:89God will not call you to account for vain utterances of your oaths. He will hold you accountable for your deliberate and intentional oaths. If you violate such oaths, that would be a transgression against your own ‘self’. If you do violate an oath, the expiation for that is: Feeding ten needy persons of what is standard for your own family, or clothing them - Or, freeing one human being from bondage, whether it is slavery, extreme poverty, heavy debt, or oppression. If you do not have the means to do so, then observe ‘Saum’ for three days. This is the expiation of your (breaking of) intentional oaths. But be mindful of your oaths. God explains His messages, so that you may have reason to be grateful.

[‘Saum’, Abstinence 2:183]

5:90O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Intoxicants and gambling and games of chance, sacrificing animals on stones (altars of idols) and forecasting the future by such means as arrows, raffles and omens (all) is an immoral handiwork of Satan. Refrain from it that you may prosper.

[Handiwork of Satan, since these things are based on vain emotions at the cost of human intellect]

5:91By means of intoxicants and games of chance Satan (your rebellious and selfish desire) incites you to enmity and hatred among you and hinders you from being conscious of God and following the Divine System. Will you not then abstain? [2:219]

5:92You shall obey God and obey the Messenger, the Divine System that the Messenger has established, and be careful in this regard. If you turn away, it will be to your own detriment. Know that the duty of Our Messenger is just to convey the Message clearly.

5:93Those who have chosen to believe and do works beneficial to the society, bear no guilt for whatever they partake (of the lawful), as long as they live upright and continue to believe, and grow ever in righteousness, and continue with their good works benefiting others. Remember that God loves the benefactors of humanity.

[Ta’m, beyond eating and drinking, includes enjoying God’s bounties in all forms]

5:94O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! During Hajj, God may let you test your belief in privacy with some game or someone else’s wandering livestock within easy reach of your hands and your arrows. Refrain from hunting it. Whoever crosses the limits after this, will face an awful requital.

5:95O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not kill animals of game while you are in the state of Pilgrimage. Whoever kills it intentionally must send a permissible domestic animal to the Ka’bah, as a gift for the needy. Two equitable persons will decide what domestic animal is equivalent to the game animal that was killed. They must ensure that the gift reaches the Ka’bah (for use by the needy pilgrims 22:28). Or for expiation, feed some poor at a cost equal to the cost of the animal. If someone has no means to do that, then observe ‘Saum’ for three days. God has pardoned past violations. An appropriate court shall punish those who persist in violating this law. God is Almighty, Able to requite.

5:96Lawful to you is all water-game. This is decent provision for you and for those who are traveling by sea. Do not pursue land-game during Pilgrimage. Be mindful of God to Whom you will be summoned.

[Bahr = Sea = River = Any body of water]

5:97God has appointed the Ka’bah, the Sacred House, a Standard for mankind to unite and stand at their feet, as also the Sacred Months, the gifts for pilgrims, and their identification marks, such as garlands. Remind yourselves that God knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth, and that God is Aware of all things and events. [2:194]

5:98Beware that God’s Law of Requital is ever vigilant. God is Forgiving, Merciful.

[So, He has shown you how to become worthy of His grace]

5:99The Messenger's duty is but to convey the Message, and God knows what you declare and what you hide.

5:100Say, “The bad and the good are not same. Let not the abundance of evil dazzle you. O People of understanding! Be mindful of God if you wish to reap a rich harvest.

[The bad or evil is what harms the collective good of humanity and drags the ‘self’ down 14:24-27. The right is right, and the wrong is wrong regardless of what the majority think. 2:243, 6:116-119, 11:17]

5:101O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not ask unnecessary details of things (as the Israelites asked of Moses about the cow 2:68.) This attitude may bring unpleasant consequences for you. But if you ask them as the Qur’an is being revealed, the minor details of Ordinances might be given which will be hard for you to follow. God pardons you in this respect. For, God is Forgiving, Clement.

[The general rule has been given that all pure and good things are permissible to you. Your questions are very clearly answered in the Qur’an 5:15, 15:1, 22:40. The Qur’an is for all times, and while the basic Laws and Principles remain immutable, minor details are intended to be flexible according to temporal and spatial requirements 11:1. This Day I have perfected your religious law for you, completed My favor upon you, and chosen for you Al-Islam as the Way of Life. 5:3]

5:102Some people before you asked such questions and then rejected the instructions. [2:68]

5:103God did not ordain that certain kinds of cattle and other livestock be marked out, assigned names, and set aside from human use or consumption. Disbelievers invented such superstitions and attributed them to God. Most of them do not use their intellect.

5:104When it is said to them, “Come to what God has revealed and to His Messenger, they say, "Enough for us is what we found our parents doing." What! Even though their parents had no knowledge whatsoever and no guidance?

5:105O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! You are responsible for yourselves. He who goes astray cannot harm you if you are rightly guided. All of you will return to God; and He will make you understand all that you were doing in life.

5:106(Where necessary, even minor details of law have been given in the Qur’an) O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! When death approaches you, two equitable persons among you should witness your will. If the pangs of death come upon you when you are traveling far from home, then two of others (equitable persons other than your own people, non-Muslims) may do the witnessing. After you have prayed, let the witnesses swear by God, “We shall not sell our word for any price, even if the beneficiary is our near relative, and we will not conceal what we have witnessed before God, or we will be among the violators of law.”

5:107If it is ascertained that these two have been guilty of bias, then let two others take their place - nearest in kin from among those who claim a lawful right - and let them swear by God, "We affirm that our testimony is truer than the testimony of these two, and we have not trespassed beyond truth. If we did, we would be among the wrongdoers."

5:108This procedure will encourage an honest testimony to begin with. The first witnesses will be more likely to bear true witness fearing that after their oath, the oath of others might be taken. Be mindful of God and listen: God does not guide people who drift away from the truth.

5:109On the Day when God will assemble all Messengers and ask them, “What was the long term response to your teachings?” They will say, “We have no knowledge. You are the Knower of the Unseen.”

5:110Then God will say, “O Jesus, son of Mary! Recall My blessings upon you and your mother. I strengthened you with Ruh-ul-Qudus, enabled you to speak eloquently to the people in childhood, and also at the advanced age. I gave you revelation and wisdom including the Torah and the Gospel. Recall that you told them that you would raise them from dust up into the heights of glory, by My leave. You made people see the truth otherwise given to blind following, by My leave. You healed the wounds of inequity on people, by My leave, and you gave a new meaning to life to those who were otherwise no better than dead, by My leave. Recall, how I prevented the Children of Israel from harming you when you came to them with all evidence of the truth. And those who were bent upon denying the truth said, “This is nothing but clear deception.”

[3:45-48, 3:111, 4:157, 6:123. 7:176. Ruh-ul-Qudus = Ruh-il-Qudus = Ruh-il-Amin = Gabriel 2:87, 2:97, 2:253, 5:110, 16:2, 16:102, 26:193, 42:52]

5:111Recall, I told the disciples in the Gospel, “Believe in Me and in My Messenger. They said, "We believe, and be Witness that we are submitters."

5:112When the disciples said, “O Jesus, son of Mary! Is your Lord Able to send down for us a Table Spread with Divine sustenance? Jesus said, “Be mindful of God if you are believers.”

[Establish the Divine Order on earth and that will ensure Divine provision in abundance and equity. 7:96]

5:113They said, "This is exactly what we want. So that we live with a contented heart and know that your system is truly workable and that we may be witnesses for the future generations.”

5:114Jesus son of Mary said, “O God, our Lord! Give us the strength to establish the Divine System that ensures abundance of provision for all of us. Let there be a happy feast for the founders and the followers among us. And let this be a sign from You (that the Divine System guarantees prosperity for all). Provide sustenance for us, for You are the Best of providers.” [3:7]

5:115God said, “I will make abundance for you as long as you remain loyal to the System. But, for those who disbelieve afterward, I will punish them as I have never punished anyone else.”

5:116On the Resurrection Day, God will say: O Jesus, son of Mary! Did you say to mankind, “Worship me and my mother as gods besides God?" He will respond, "Be You Glorified! I could never say that was not my right. If I said such a thing, You would certainly know it. You know what is in my mind, and I do not know what is in Your mind. You are the Knower of what is beyond human perception.”

5:117"Never did I say to them except what You commanded me to say, 'Be subservient to God my Lord and your Lord.' I was a witness to them as long as I lived among them. After You caused me to die, You were the Watcher over them and You are Witness over all things and events."

5:118“If You punish them, they are Your servants, and if You forgive them, You alone are Almighty, Wise.”

5:119God will say, "This is a Day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness. For them are Gardens with rivers flowing beneath, wherein they will be immortal. God is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. This is the Greatest Triumph.”

5:120To God belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and earth and everything therein. He has Power over all things and events, and He has appointed due measure for all things.

Surah 6. Al-An’aam – The Cattle

This is the 6th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 165 verses. The main distinction between humans and other creations on earth is that of intellect and, with it, the free will.

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

6:1All praise in word and action belongs to God, Who created the heavens and earth, and appointed darkness and light. (All things in the Universe are witness to, and manifest His glory.) Yet those who reject the truth hold others as equal with their Lord.

6:2He is the One Who created you from inorganic matter, and decreed a term for you, a term known to Him. It is determined according to His laws, for individuals (3:144, 56:60) and nations (7:34, 10:49, 13:38). Yet you keep doubting and arguing about Him.

6:3He is God in the heavens as well as on earth. He knows all that you keep secret as well as all that you do openly and He knows what you earn (by your deeds).

6:4Yet whenever a message from the revelations of their Lord came to them, they turned away from it.

6:5And so they are denying this truth as it has come to them. However, soon they will come to understand what they used to ridicule.

6:6Do they not see how many a generation We (Our law) annihilated before them? We had established them on earth better than We have established you, and We shed on them abundant showers from the sky, and made the rivers flow beneath them. But, when they trailed behind in humanity, We (Our law) annihilated them and raised after them another generation.

6:7Even if We had sent down to you (O Prophet) a pre-printed book written on parchment, so that they could feel it with their hands, the rejecters would have said, "This is nothing but obvious magic!"

6:8They ask, "Why is not an angel sent down to him (for them to see)?” Well, if We did send down an angel, the matter would be judged at once. And no further time would be granted them after that.

[Angels to be seen are sent only when the period of respite is over. 16:33, 25:22]

6:9And even if We sent an angel, We would certainly have made him in the form of a man. And We (per our law) would have kept them just as confused as they are confused now.

[It would not fulfill their demand of seeing an angel as a Messenger]

6:10Messengers before you have been mocked. But the very thing they used to mock surrounded them in the end, for their ridiculing.

6:11Say, “Travel through the earth and notice the end of those who denied these laws.”

[Taking lessons from history as we travel in order to comprehend the laws of the Rise and Fall of nations]

6:12(From history, let them turn their attention to the Universe.) Say, “To whom belongs all that is in the heavens and earth?” Say, “To God. He has prescribed for Himself mercy.” (He nourishes the entire Universe as a mother’s womb nourishes the fetus with no returns, while meeting its needs at all stages of development. He does not task individuals and nations to doom, without giving them a period of respite to mend their behavior.) He will assemble all individuals and nations on the Day when humanity stands on its feet, and ultimately on the Day of Resurrection about which there is no doubt. Only those who have lost their own ‘self’ will keep denying the truth.

6:13To Him belongs all that dwells in the night and the day. He is the Knower, the Hearer.

6:14Say, “Shall I take for my master anyone but God, the Originator of the heavens and earth? He it is Who provides nourishment to all and Himself needs none.” Say, “I have been commanded to be the foremost among those who submit to God, and not to be of the idolaters.”

6:15Say, "I fear, if I disobey my Lord, the retribution of an awesome Day."

6:16Whoever is saved from retribution on that Day, has attained God’s mercy, and that is the signal triumph.

6:17Whatever adversity touches you for violating God’s laws, the only way to redress it is to turn to His laws. And you attain all blessings by following His laws, for He is Able to do all things. He has appointed due measure for all things including harm and benefit.

6:18He is Supreme over His servants, and He is the Wise, the Aware.

[He uses his authority with wisdom and knowledge]

6:19Say (O Messenger), "What could be the greatest witness?” Say, “God is Witness between me and you. This Qur’an has been revealed to me so that I may warn you as well as whomever it reaches. Do you bear witness that there are other deities besides God?” Say, “I bear no such witness.” Say, “He is the One God. I disown what you associate with Him.”

6:20Those who have been given the scripture, recognize this (Message) as they recognize their sons. Yet those who have squandered their own ‘self’ fail to accept such undeniable truth.

6:21Who can be a greater transgressor than the one who invents a lie against God and denies His revelations? Those who choose to do wrong, will not succeed.

6:22On the Day We assemble them, We will ask the idolaters, “Where are now those partners of God that you conceived?”

6:23They will hardly have a response, but they will swear," By God, our Lord, we were never idolaters.”

6:24Imagine how they lie against themselves, and how their fabricated gods abandon them.

6:25Some of them pretend to listen to you, but We (Our laws) have already veiled their hearts from understanding and caused deafness in their ears. Blind followers fail to believe even when they see all kinds of proofs. When they come to argue with you, they say about the Qur’an, "These are stories of the bygones."

6:26They repel others from the Qur’an and deprive themselves of it. They hurt their own ‘self’ without even knowing it.

6:27If only you could see them when they face the fire! They would say then, “Woe to us. Oh, we wish we could go back. We would never then reject our Lord's revelations, and would join the believers.”

6:28Nay, it has now become clear to them what they used to conceal. And even if they were sent back, they would revert to doing what they were forbidden. Surely, they are liars.

6:29There are people who think that the only life is the life of this world and that they will not be raised again.

6:30But if only you could see when they stand before their Lord! He will ask, “Is not this real?” They will say “Yes, by our Lord!” God will then say, “Taste the requital for your rejection of the truth.”

6:31Losers are those who deny meeting with God, until the Hour suddenly comes upon them. Then they will say, “We deeply regret wasting our lives in this world!” They will bear their burdens on their backs. Evil are the burdens that they bear.

6:32The life of this world is a play and a passing delight (in comparison to the Eternal Life). The abode of the Hereafter is far better for those who live according to the Divine laws. Will you not use reason?

6:33We know well how their talk grieves you (O Messenger). In truth they do not deny you. It is the revelations of God that the wicked deny.

6:34Messengers before you were denied and opposed. They steadfastly faced persecution until Our help reached them. There is none to alter the decisions, laws and Words of God. Some history of the Messengers has already come to you and sets examples for you. [6:116, 10:64, 17:77, 18:27, 33:38, 33:62, 40:85, 48:23]

6:35If their rejection is hard on you, (remember they would still not believe) even if you were able to seek a tunnel in the ground or a ladder to the sky and bring them a miracle. If it were God’s will, He could assemble them together to true guidance. So, do not be among those who are swayed by ignorance (about free will given to humans).

[God wants His servants to reflect and make free choices. 2:256, 10:98-99, 12:108]

6:36Only those can accept the truth who hear and listen (with an open mind). As for the dead, God will raise them up, then they will be returned to Him (and He will make all of them understand).

[2:260, 10:100. The living dead will only hear when they use their faculties]

6:37They say, “If only a miracle could come down to him from his Lord!” Say, “God has the Power to send down a miracle, but most of them do not use their knowledge.”

[He does not wish to stun the human intellect with supernatural phenomena. He wants people to reflect and use reason. 12:108]

6:38(There are signs in the Universe to behold.) There is not an animal on the earth, nor a flying creature flying on two wings, but they are communities like you. We have omitted nothing in the Book (that was essential to be given through revelation.) Then to their Lord they will be gathered.

6:39Those who deny Our signs are deaf and dumb, groping in total darkness. God lets go astray those who will. And He takes to the straight path who will.

6:40Say, “Can you see yourselves calling upon other than God, if the Divine retribution comes upon you or the Hour? Would you then call upon other than God? (Answer that) if you are truthful.”

6:41Nay, you would call on Him alone, and He would remove the distress that caused you to call on Him, if He wills. And you would forget all that you associate with Him.

6:42We sent Messengers to nations before you. (They compassionately advised their people that the Supreme law is operative on the earth, as it is in the Universe that is in the heavens and all that is on earth.) When those nations violated Our laws in their societies, they had to face the consequences. They should have become humble and taken corrective action right away.

6:43But, instead of being humble when Our requital touched them, their selfish desires led their minds into rationalizing their actions. This is because their hearts had been hardened with arrogance and repeated rejection of the truth. [2:74, 5:13]

6:44When they forgot the reminder given to them, We opened for them the gates of all (good) things until just as they were enjoying Our gifts, suddenly We called them to account. Then, they were plunged in despair. [16:112]

6:45When nations violated human rights with their unjust systems they were uprooted (6:6, 7:129). God replaced them with people who were not like them (10:14, 11:57). You can understand that all praise in word and action belongs to the Lord of the Worlds.

[His Rule is the Rule of law 8:53, 13:11]

6:46(The exploiters of the masses think that they are smarter, and therefore, they deserve to take advantage of people 28:76-82.) Say, “Will you think? If God took away your hearing and your sight and sealed up your hearts, which god other than God could restore them to you? Note how We explain the verses by various facets, and note how they still turn away.

6:47Tell them that the punishment according to the Law of Requital, sneaks up or suddenly hits nations that are transgressors. Would any people perish unless they are oppressors of the masses? (Nations are not annihilated unless they violate human rights. [11:104, 11:117]

6:48We have sent the Messengers only to give good news and to warn. Those who attain belief, mend their ways and work for social equity fulfilling the needs of others, will have nothing to fear nor will they have any regrets.

6:49But those who deny Our revelations, retribution will afflict them, for they keep drifting from the secure path. (Retribution is a logical and built-in consequence of their wrongdoing. [7:147, 91:9-10]

6:50Say, (O Messenger), “I do not claim that I have the treasures of God, nor do I have the knowledge of the Unseen, nor do I tell you that I am an angel. I follow what is revealed to me. (You blindly follow your ancestors.) Say, “Is the blind of the heart the same as the seer who uses reason? Would you not reflect?”

6:51Give this warning to those who fear that they will be brought to judgment before their Lord. Except for Him, they will have no protector and no intercessor. (Counsel them) so that they may live upright.

6:52Do not send away those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Countenance (devoting themselves to Him alone). You are, by no means, accountable for them, and they are not accountable for you. (In spite of the demands of the rich and powerful leaders, you shall not turn away the sincere servants of God.) If you send them away, then you will be among the unjust.

6:53Thus did We test some of them by means of others, so that they said, “Is it these that God has favored from among us?” But, does not God know best those who are appreciative?

6:54When those who believe in Our revelations come to you, say, Salamun Alaikum (Peace be upon you! = Salutes to you!) Your Lord has decreed mercy upon Himself. Thus anyone among you who commits a bad deed out of ignorance, and then repents and makes amends should know that He is Forgiving, Merciful.

6:55We explain Our laws to distinguish (between minor, unintended violations and) the way of the criminals who steal the fruit of others’ labor.

6:56Say, “I am forbidden to worship and obey whom you call upon other than God.” Say, “I will not follow your vain desires. Otherwise, I will go astray and I will not be of the rightly guided.”

6:57Say, “I have a manifest proof from my Lord that you deny. I do not control the retribution you challenge me to bring. Judgment belongs to none but God. And no one has the Ultimate Rule. He declares the truth and He is the Best of deciders.”

6:58Say, “If the ultimate decision you are hastening for was up to me, the case would have been already decided. God is best Aware of the wrongdoers.”

6:59With Him are the keys of the Unseen. (None but He knows the subtle processes and their stages where actions culminate into their logical outcome.) He knows everything in the land and in the sea. Not even a leaf falls without His knowledge. Neither is there a grain in the dark depths of the soil, nor anything fresh or withered, that He knows not. But all is written in the Open Book of the Universe around you.

6:60He suspends your consciousness during sleep at night, and knows what you do by day, when awake. He resurrects you every morning until your life span is completed. Death is, likewise, a temporary suspension of consciousness and afterward to Him is your return (39:42). Then, He will inform you of what you really accomplished.

6:61He is Supreme over His servants. His laws guard your life until the inescapable law of death approaches you. When death comes to one of you, Our couriers receive him without delay.

6:62Then they are returned to God, their Rightful Master. His is the command and His is the judgment. And He is the Swiftest of those who take account.

6:63Say, “Who saves you, in the darkness of the land and the sea, when you call upon Him humbly and quietly saying, “If He saves us this time, we will always be thankful?”

6:64Say, “It is God (Whose laws you trust never to change), Who protects you from different afflictions. Even then you attribute partners to Him!”

6:65Say, “He is Able to send punishment upon you from above you or from beneath your feet, or to bewilder you with dissension and make you taste the tyranny of one another. (Violation of His laws can inflict you from the top in the form of tyrannical rule, or from the bottom in the form of popular rebellion. You could then divide into hateful parties, and taste smite of one another.) Note how We use Tasreef, explaining Our verses from various vantage points, that men and women may understand. [27:82]

6:66Even then, (O Messenger) your people deny the truth. Tell them, “I have not been appointed a guardian over you.”

6:67Every tiding given in the Qur’an shall come to pass and you (mankind) will find out.

6:68When you see them engaged in vain discourse about Our verses, turn away from them unless they engage in a different subject. If Satan ever makes you forget (your mind gets engrossed in their discourse,) then as soon as you recollect, no longer sit in the company of the people who confound the truth with falsehood.

[Zaalimeen = Those who relegate the truth from its rightful place = Those who choose to do wrong = In this verse, trying to displace or confound the truth with falsehood]

6:69Those who live upright bear no responsibility for them, except to remind them, that they may protect themselves against personal detriment.

[See Taqwa,2:41]

6:70Leave to themselves those who take their religion as nothing but pastime, amusement, games of ritual, and social partying; their life revolving around quick gains of the worldly life. But follow up with reminders with the Qur’an on appropriate occasions. Remind people lest a ‘self’ be ruined for its own actions. No ‘self’ has a protecting friend, master or intercessor against the law of God even if it offered any conceivable ransom. Such is the end of those who land themselves into ruin with their own actions. For them is a drink of burning despair and a painful doom. They had kept denying the truth.

6:71Say, “Should we call unto those who can neither benefit nor harm us, and turn back on our heels after God has guided us right? In that situation we would be like one whom satans (his satanic comrades) have enticed and he is wandering bewildered on earth. His companions invite him to show him the way, but in vain. Say, “The Guidance of God is the true guidance, and we are commanded to submit to the Lord of the Worlds.”

6:72“And to establish the Divine System and live upright. He is the One to Whom you will be summoned."

6:73And He is the One Who has created the heavens and earth with a definite purpose. Whenever He says “Be!” it is. His Word is the truth. And His will be the Dominion on the Day the Trumpet (of Resurrection) is blown. Knower of the Invisible and the Visible, for, He is the Wise, the Aware. [3:191, 38:27]

6:74Remember when Abraham said to his father Azar (Terah), “How could you worship idols as gods? I see you and your people are in obvious error.”

[Azaris calledTerahin the Bible andZarahinTalmud]

6:75And to this end, We gave Abraham insight into the Mighty Dominion of the Universe so that he might attain firm conviction.

6:76(Some of his people were idolaters and others were nature-worshipers.) One night when it grew dark upon him he saw a planet (Venus). He said, “This is my Lord.” But when it set, he said, “I do not love things that fade away.”

6:77(Another night) when he saw the moon rising in splendor, he said, “This is my Lord." But when it set, he said, “Unless my Lord guides me, I will be of those who go astray.”

6:78(In the morning) when he saw the sun rising in splendor, he said, “This is my Lord. This is greater!” But when it set, he said, “O My people! I am free of all your idolatry.”

[Of course, Abraham knew that the celestial bodies were not gods. He is only preaching to his people by example]

6:79“I have focused firmly on Him Who initiated the heavens and earth. As an upright man turning away from all that is false, I will never be an idolater.”

6:80His people argued with him, but Abraham said, “Do you dispute with me about God when He has guided me? I do not fear those you associate with Him. Nothing can happen to me contrary to the laws of God. My Lord encompasses all things in His knowledge. Will you not then, reflect and use your intellect?”

[Abraham taught his people to reflect and be rational]

6:81He said, “Why should I fear what you set up besides Him, when you do not fear to set up besides God, deities for which He has sent no authority and are utterly powerless. Think, which of the two sides among us deserves peace and security? Answer me if you have the answer.” [3:150-151, 29:41, 33:39]

6:82Those who attain belief and do not confound their belief with falsehood, for them is inner peace and security. They are rightly guided.

[Zulm =Wrong,in this verse, conveys falsehood and Shirk]

6:83This is the logic (examples of the star, the moon and the sun) that We taught Abraham against his people. We exalt people in ranks when they follow Our laws. Your Lord is Wise, All Knower.

6:84We gave him Isaac the son, and Jacob the grandson, and We guided them. Before Abraham, We guided Noah and from his descendants, We guided David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron. We thus reward the benefactors of humanity.

6:85And Zacharias, John the Baptist, Jesus and Elijah (Elias); all in the ranks of the righteous who fulfilled the needs of mankind.

6:86And Ishmael, Elisha (Al-Yasa’), Jonah (Yunus), and Lot (Lut). To all of them We gave distinction over people of their times.

6:87And We gave distinction to some of their ancestors, children and siblings and guided them to the straight path. (This verse also negates the myth of Virgin Birth, as Jesus is included among Prophets whose fathers were blessed.

[Aaba = Fathers = Forefathers = Ancestors]

6:88This is the Guidance of God. He guides His servants according to His laws (4:88). If they had associated others with God, their actions would have been vain.

6:89They were the ones to whom We gave the scripture, Sound Judgment and Prophethood. Now, if these people reject these truths, We have entrusted these truths to people who will not refuse to acknowledge them.

6:90Those were the ones guided by God, so follow their guidance. Say, (O Messenger), “I ask of you no wage for this. This (guidance in the Qur’an) is but a Reminder to all nations.”

6:91People do not value God as He must be valued when they say, "God has not revealed His Message to any human being." Ask them, “Who then revealed the scripture that Moses brought, a light and guidance for people? Although you put it down on parchment which you show, but you conceal a lot. You were taught what neither you, nor your ancestors knew before.” Say, “God (revealed it).” Then leave them to enjoy their vain talk.

6:92And this (Qur’an) is a blessed Book that We have sent down, confirming the (revelations) that came before it, that you (O Prophet) may warn the Central Town (Makkah) and all around it. Those who believe in the Hereafter, believe in this (Book). And they ensure following of the Divine Commands.

[From Makkah, the Message will fan out in all directions 6:90, 12:104, 2:101. Wa hum ‘ala salaatihim yuhaafizoon= They guard their prime commitment = They protect the Divine System that they have established. The common translation, “They guard their prayers,” makes no sense here]

6:93Who can be a greater wrongdoer than the one who fabricates a lie and attributes it to God, or claims receiving revelation while he has received none? Or someone who says, “I, too, can write the same as what God has revealed.” If only you could see such transgressors at the time of death! The angels extend their power to them saying, “Bring out your egos. This day you will be awarded a punishment of disgrace for speaking lies concerning God, and for being too arrogant to accept His revelations.”

[Angels = God’s forces in nature. Yadd = Hand = Powers = Abilities. 5:38]

6:94Now you have come to Us, alone just as We created you individuals, the first time. You have left behind all your possessions. We do not see with you the intercessors you idolized. Now all ties among you have been cut off and your assumptions have failed you.

6:95God is the One Who causes the grains and the seeds to split and germinate. He produces the living from the dead, and the dead from the living. Such is God. Where are you headed in bewilderment?

[Similar are the laws that apply to individuals and nations. They must develop their inherent potentials in order to prosper]

6:96He is the Cleaver of the daybreak. He has appointed the night for stillness, (rest and tranquility) and the sun and the moon to run their well-calculated courses. They become means of calculating time for you (10:5). Such is the Design of the All-Powerful, the Knower.

6:97He is the One Who has made the stars to guide you through the darkness of the land and the sea. (And they never fail to guide you 21:33, 36:40.) We have scattered Our signs throughout the Universe for people who use their knowledge.

6:98And He is the One Who initiated you from a single life cell. Then in the process of evolution He appointed stages, from one station to the next destination. (Thus goes on the journey of life.) We explain Our messages for people who use their insight. [11:6]

6:99(He took care of your provision even before you were created.) He is the One Who sends down water from the heights. With it We produce vegetation of all kind; green multitudes, complex grains, palm trees, from their pollens spring pendant clusters, and gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranate; fruits that are similar and diverse. Look upon the fruit thereof and look upon its ripening. These are signs for those who reach conviction through reason.

6:100Yet, there are those who believe in the existence of invisible beings with Divine powers although He is the One Who created them. They even assign to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He Glorified! He is Exalted far above all that they attribute to Him.

[Jinn = Nomads = The mythical invisible creatures with occult powers. For details, see introduction to Surah 72, Al-Jinn]

6:101Wonderful Originator of the heavens and earth; how can He have a son when He never chose for Himself a (Sahebah) mate? He creates all things (and does not procreate 112:3.) and He is the Profound Knower of all things and events.

[So, how could Mary have a son without a mate? God never changes His laws operative in the Universe. Amazingly, three of the four gospels mention Joseph the Carpenter as the father of Jesus]

6:102Such is God, your Lord. There is no god but He. No one is worthy of worship and obedience but He, the Creator of all things. So, obey Him! He is the Guardian of all and takes care of every thing.

6:103No vision can grasp Him while He grasps all vision. He is Unfathomable, Aware.

6:104(You are not expected to know His Essence.) Say (O Prophet), “The manifest Enlightenment has come to you from your Lord. Whoever sees the truth, does so for his own good. And whoever turns blind, hurts himself. I am not your keeper or guardian.”

6:105Thus We give many facets to Our verses so that they may admit that you (O Prophet) have taken all this to heart in the most excellent manner. And (through this method ofTasreef) We make it clear to people who use what they learn.

6:106Follow what is revealed to you from your Lord. There is no god but He. And disregard those who associate others with Him. [21:20-22, 29:61-63]

6:107We could have created all people without free will and they would then not associate any partners with Him. (But guidance has been distinguished from straying 2:256.) And We have not appointed you as their guardian, nor are you responsible for them.

6:108(O Believers) Do not insult the idols they set up besides God. They might insult God in their ignorance and hurt themselves. To every community We have made their deeds seem fair. Then to their Lord is their return and He will explain to them exactly what they used to do.

6:109They swear by God that if a miracle comes to them, they would believe in it (the Book). Say, “All miracles are with God (if you reflect on the Universe). What can make you understand that even if a physical miracle came to them, they would find other excuses and still not believe?

6:110Our law keeps their hearts and their eyes turned away from the truth. Since they have preemptively rejected it (the Qur’an), We let them wander blindly in their rebellious attitude.

6:111Even if We caused the angels to descend to them, and the dead to speak to them, and lined up all the miracles before them, they would not believe. People can be guided only according to God’s laws, but most of them choose the way of ignorance.

6:112Remember, We have appointed to every Prophet enemies. The rebellious among the urban and the rural populations rose in opposition (since the Message struck at their personal interests.) They plotted and inspired each other with fancy words. If your Lord willed, they would not do that. Disregard them and whatever they fabricate.

6:113Those who love quick gains and neglect the long-term benefits and the Hereafter, are parties to such fabrications. Let them delight in it and let them earn from it what they may.

6:114Say, “Shall I seek for Judge and Ruler someone other than God? He is the One Who has revealed this Book, well expounded in detail for you.” Those whom We have given the Book know that this is revealed in truth from your Lord. Be not among those who argue for the sake of argument.

6:115Perfected is the Word of your Lord in truth and justice. None can change His Words. He is the Profound Hearer, the Knower. [6:34, 6:115, 10:64, 17:77, 18:27, 33:38, 33:62, 40:85, 48:23]

6:116(People will confront you with what the majority is doing.) Now if you pay heed to, or get intimidated by majority of those who live on earth, they will lead you astray from God’s way. Most of the people follow nothing but conjecture and they only live by guesswork.

6:117Only your Lord (shows the right path and) knows best those who stray and those who are rightly guided.

6:118So eat of what has been dedicated to the Name of God (remember to pronounce His name before eating anything), if you are believers in His revelations.

[People wonder why different things have been made lawful or unlawful in the Qur’an. But what the majority thinks, shall never be the criterion 3:93]

6:119Why would you refuse to eat on which God’s Name has been pronounced (i.e. it has been dedicated to Him alone)? He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden along with certain exceptions, when in dire need. Numerous of the clergy mislead people in this matter without knowledge, and with their personal opinions. Surely, your Lord, He is best Aware of those who transgress and go beyond limits. [5:3]

6:120Do not commit, openly or secretly, any deed that hurts the development of your ‘self’. Those who hurt their own ‘self’ will get due recompense for what they have earned.

[Benefiting people is the way to self-actualization and hurting others harms one’s own ‘self’. The latter will live a subhuman existence and meet a befitting consequence. 13:17]

6:121Do not eat anything (not just meat) on which God’s name has not been mentioned, for that will be drifting away from what is right. Satanic people inspire their friends to dispute with you. If you were to obey them, you would be idolaters.

[2:173, 5:3, 6:145. Fisq =Drifting away=Disobedience. Mentioning the name of God draws our attention to Him as the Almighty Provider and Lord.Mushrikoon = Idolaters = Pagans = Those who ascribe divinity besides God = Those who prefer human ‘authorities’ or clergy over revelation = Who ‘worship’ their own desires]

6:122(God’s light revives the living dead and makes them walk honorably among mankind.) Is one who was living dead and We gave him life, and a light whereby he sees his way (honorably) among people, - Is he like one who is lost in total darkness out of which he cannot emerge? Thus it is: Goodly seems their own deeds to the deniers.

[When people have their belief systems jumbled up, they lose the power to distinguish between the right and wrong]

6:123This is how We allow the greatest ones in every community to become its greatest criminals, to weave their schemes. Yet it is only against themselves that they scheme without even knowing it.

6:124When a revelation reaches them, they say, "We will not believe until we directly receive (a revelation) like those received by God’s Messengers.” But, God knows best with whom to place His Message. Such guilty will suffer humiliation before God, and a strict retribution for their evil scheming.

6:125Whoever follows God’s law of guidance, He expands his chest wide open to Submission. And whoever violates God’s law of guidance, feels his chest tight and narrowed as if he were climbing to the sky. God appoints disgrace for those who continue to reject the truth.

6:126And this (Qur’an) is the path of your Lord, a straight path. We have detailed Our revelations for those who pay attention and take them to heart!

6:127For them is the wonderful Abode of Peace with their Lord. He will be their Protecting Friend because of what they used to do.

6:128The day will come when He gathers all of them and says, “O You nomads! You have seduced many of the urban.” Their urbanite friends will say, “Our Lord! We enjoyed each other’s company (and both used each other opportunistically as happens in a chaotic society) until we wasted a life span You had given us." He will say, “Fire is your home. Abide therein forever according to God's Design." (O Messenger) your Lord is Wise, Knower.

[He has designed His laws in all wisdom and knowledge. God’s Design = The Hell might have an end]

6:129Thus We make the wrongdoers turn to, and befriend, each other because of what they earn.

[The criminals of the same kind tend to hang around together]

6:130O You, assembly of the nomads and the urbanites! Did not Messengers come to you from among yourselves, conveyed to you My messages and warned you of the meeting of this your Day? They will say, "We testify against ourselves.” Pursuit of only the worldly life preoccupied their hearts and minds. They will bear witness against themselves that they disregarded the truth.

6:131And so it is that your Lord never destroys communities while their people are unaware of their wrongdoings.

6:132The ranks of all individuals and nations are determined solely by their deeds, and your Lord is not unaware of what they do.

[Calling yourselves ‘believers’ will not help. 2:8]

6:133Your Lord is Absolutely Independent, Full of mercy. If it were His will, He could destroy you and replace you with whomever He wills, just as He produced you from the posterity of other creation.

[Please see ‘evolution’ 22:5]

6:134That which you are promised will definitely come to pass, and you can never evade the Divine laws.

6:135Say, "O My people! Do your utmost and so will I. Soon, you will know to whom belongs the ultimate (success). Most certainly, the unjust will not prosper."

[‘Uqba = End = The final outcome = The ultimate destination = Life Hereafter. The last is probably not applicable here because of the context]

6:136(How can they succeed when their beliefs and actions are wrong?) They set aside a portion of God's provision of crops and cattle and claim, "This is for God, and this is for our idols.” But the share of their idols never reaches God, and the share of God does reach their idols. What an unjust decision they make!

[Their priesthood devours both portions of their making, and the poor remain wanting. To God reaches what is spent on the needy. 6:141]

6:137And to many idolaters, their ‘partners of God’ make pleasing even the slaying of their children. In fact, their belief in idols confuse them to total ruin. If God so willed they would not be doing all this. Leave them alone with their false imagery (until the Truth reaches their hearts).

[At the prompting of the clergy, mystics and monks, and in the name of their temples, idols, sanctuaries, and the dead "holy" men and women, the idolaters inflict great pain upon themselves and their families in the name of religion and to achieve ‘salvation’]

6:138And they say, “Such and such cattle and crop are forbidden. No one shall eat of them except whom we permit.” They also prohibit the riding of some animals. And there are cattle over which they do not pronounce the Name of God (but of someone else, to please people). Such are their fabrications in His Name. Soon He will reward them for their false imagery.

[They claim that it has been dedicated to some saint. Are not such VIP favors very much alive in the modern dayJahilyah?]

6:139(They display their bias toward women in weird ways.) They say, “What is in the bellies of these cattle is reserved for the males among us, and forbidden to our wives.” But if it is a stillbirth, they permit their wives to share it. He, the Wise, the Knower, will repay them for their innovations.

6:140Lost are those who kill their children foolishly, and forbid what God has provided them as sustenance. And they attribute their innovations to God! Their straying is far from the way of the rightly guided.

[They deprive their children to the point of starvation and death in the name of religious service, when under the instructions of the priesthood they abandon their families]

6:141He is the One Who creates bounties for you, such as gardens that are cultivated, greens that are wild, palm trees of various kinds, crops in diversity, olives and pomegranates, fruits that are similar and diverse. Enjoy them, but give Him His Right on the Day of the Harvest. And waste not the bounty of God. He does not love the wasteful.

[‘give Him His Right’ = Give God His Right = Render to the poor what is their Divinely ordained right. Time to reflect onZakaatandSadaqaat:See 2:3, 2:219, 9:60, 11:64, 55:10]

6:142Among the quadrupeds some are for work and transportation and others for consumption, and their skins for bedding materials. Enjoy what God has provided you. And do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Satan (your selfish desires) is your open enemy.

6:143Take the example of eight quadrupeds: Two sheep, one male and one female, two goats, one male and one female. Say, “Is it the two males that He has forbidden, or the two females, or the calves in the wombs of the females? Tell me if you have true knowledge.

6:144Then two camels, one male and one female, two cows, one male and one female. Say, “Is it the two males that He has forbidden, or the two females, or the calves in the wombs of the two females? Were you witnesses when God made such prohibitions? Who can be a greater transgressor than the one who invents a lie and attributes it to God? They mislead people without knowledge. God does not guide those who choose to do wrong.”

6:145Say, "I do not find in the revelation given to me, any food that is prohibited for one who wishes to eat, except: Carrion (dead meat), or running blood, or the flesh of swine – for it is a barrier to moral development. Or, anything (not just meat) that, in defiance to commands, has been dedicated to other than God.” If one is forced by dire need without being deliberate and without transgressing, your Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.

[2:173, 5:3. Rijs = Unclean = Disapproved = Contaminated = Foul = A barrier to moral development. Science still needs to learn how pork can be a barrier to morality. Fisq = Deviation = Abomination = In defiance of Divine Commands = Disobedience of God = Drifting away from reason]

6:146For those who are Jewish, We had prohibited some edibles, such as animals with undivided hoof, the fat of the cow and the sheep, except what is attached to their backs or their intestines, or what is mixed-up in the bone. But that was only a temporary retribution for their disobedience (4:160). We are absolutely True to Our Word.

6:147If they accuse you of falsehood (O Prophet), tell them, “Your Lord is the Lord of Infinite mercy, but His requital will not be averted from the guilty.”

6:148Those who associate others with God say, “Had God willed, we would not have practiced idolatry, nor would our ancestors, nor would we have prohibited anything.” So did their ancestors argue falsely until they tasted Our requital. Say, “Do you have any evidence of knowledge (that the human being is created without free will 18:29, 76:3, 90:10)? If so, produce it before us. Nay, you follow nothing but conjecture and you only run after guess-work.”

6:149Say, "The most powerful reasoning, the final evidence, is with God. If He willed, He could have made all of you innately guided” (like rest of the creation that spontaneously follows Divine laws). [16:49, 41:11]

6:150Say, “Come, bring forward your witnesses who can bear witness that God forbade all this. And if they bear witness falsely, do not bear witness with them. You shall not follow the opinions of those who deny Our revelations, nor of those who do not believe in the life to come, and consider others equal with their Lord.

[Nine Commandments … Graven images of the Bible not mentioned]

6:151Say, "Come, let me convey to you what your Lord has enjoined upon you as a sacred duty: i. Associate none with Him. ii. Honor your parents, treat them kindly and fulfill their needs. iii. Neither kill your children for fear of poverty nor deprive them of proper training and education. We provide for you and for them. (The Divine System will take care of your needs and their needs.) iv. Do not come near immodesty or indecent deeds, whether openly or secretly. v. Do not slay a life - life that God has made sacred - except in the course of justice. All this He has commanded you so that you may use your intelligence and reflect on it with wisdom.” [17:31]

6:152God commands you further: vi. Do not approach the wealth of the orphan except to improve it until they come of age with full maturity of body and mind. vii. Give full weight and full measure in all your dealings. Uphold justice in all aspects of your life. Our commands are meant to widen your human potential. We do not assign any ‘self’ responsibility beyond its means. viii. And when you voice an opinion, be just, even if it is against a relative. ix. Fulfill your Covenant with God, the unwavering allegiance to the Divine System. This He commands for you to bear in mind. [1:4-5, 9:111]

6:153And surely, this is My straight way that leads straight unto Me. Follow it, then, and follow not other ways that divert you from the Divine way. These are the Divine commandments ordained for you, so that you may live upright.

6:154Likewise, We had given Moses the scripture complete for him who would do good to others. We gave him the scripture in detail as guidance and a mercy that they might believe in the meeting of their Lord (and in that all actions are duly recompensed.)

6:155And now this Qur’an is the Blessed Book that We have revealed. So follow it and live upright so that you attain mercy (and your human potential is guaranteed development, like the fetus grows in the mother’s womb.)

6:156(Now the Qur’an has been given to you) lest you say, “The scripture was sent down to two groups (Jews and Christians) before our time, and we remained unaware of what they originally read.” [2:79, 2:101, 3:78, 5:48]

6:157Or lest you say, “If a Divine scripture had come to us, we would have been better guided than they. Now has come to you a clear evidence of truth from your Lord. It is a beacon and mercy. Who can be a greater transgressor than the one who denies the revelations of God and turns away from them in disregard? Our Law of Requital will award those who turn away from Our revelations, an awful suffering for their disregard.

6:158Are they waiting for angels, your Lord, or some physical miracles to come to them from your Lord? On the Day one of such signs comes, no person will benefit from declaring belief if he did not believe before. Or who, while believing, did not do good works. (Belief has to be based on Reason and it must lead you to a productive life 12:108, 13:17.) Say, "Keep on waiting (for miracles or the doom), we too are waiting (for the results of our efforts.”)

6:159O Messenger! Those who break the unity of their Deenand become sects, you have nothing to do with them whatsoever. Their case will go to God and He will then tell them what they had done.

6:160Whoever brings a good deed will receive a tenfold reward. And whoever brings an ill deed will be requited for one. And they will not be wronged.

6:161Say, "As for me, my Lord has guided me to a straight path, the perfect Deen (way) of Abraham, the upright, who was no idolater in any sense.”

6:162Say, "All my duties to the Divine System, the ways to discharge them, my living and my dying are for God alone, the Lord of the Worlds.

6:163He has no partner. This is what I have been commanded and I am the foremost of those who surrender to Him.”

6:164Say, "Shall I seek anyone other than God as a lord when He is the Lord of all things? No ‘self’ benefits but from its own works, and none bears the load of another. Then to your Lord is your return and He will make you understand wherein you differed. [39:7, 53:38-39, 65:7]

6:165He is the One Who has made you the inheritors of the earth after other nations. He determines your ranks, some above others (according to His laws). He tries you in what He has given you, for your Lord is Swift in grasping. Yet, He is Forgiving, Merciful.

[10:14, 13:11. Nations determine their own condition and destiny according to the laws of Rise and Fall of Nations given in the Qur’an]

Surah 7. Al-A’raaf – The Heights of Discernment

This is the 7th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 206 verses. People with outstanding faculties of reasoning (Ma’rifah) are stationed at the heights of human dignity and achievement. The term A’raaf appears in this Surah in verses 46 and 48. ‘Urf = The most elevated part of anything = Easily discernible. A’raaf = Plural, Heights. Derived meaning of A’raaf = The heights of intellect = Stature of those endowed with faculty of discernment = The high degrees of those who are better able to distinguish between right and wrong.

Very commonly, A’raaf is thought of as a waiting room high up in the Heights where some people hope to be admitted into Paradise. Some exponents see it as ‘Purgatory’ where humans are washed of their ‘sins’. Another view is that A’raaf denotes the high points of a wall between Hell and Paradise.

Unfortunately, the orthodox Muslim scholars have had a tendency to apply most of the Qur’anic verses to non-Muslims and to the Hereafter whenever possible. This attitude seems to stem from their erroneous belief that Muslims will easily enter Paradise just because they recite the Kalemah (There is no god but the One True God and Muhammad is His Messenger). A seeking mind can understand that the Qur’an is a Guide explaining how to best live in this world. That is the only way to success in the life Hereafter. Ritualistic utterances carry no weight before God. The people of discernment are a blessing to humanity right here in this world, and, therefore, this Surah applies to this life.

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

7:1A.L.M.S. Alif-Laam-Meem-Saad. (Allah, Lateef the Unfathomable, Majeed the Magnificent, Saadiq the True, states that),

7:2This Book has been revealed to you (O Messenger), so you shall harbor no doubt about it in your heart – in order that with it you may warn (the erring). And it is a Reminder for the believers.

[Sadr = Chest = Breast = Heart. Haraj = Difficulty = Burden = Doubt = Hardship = Loss = Tightness in chest]

7:3You shall all follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord and follow no masters other than Him. How seldom do you keep this in mind!

[Awliya = Protecting friends = Allies = Masters]

7:4(You will find ample documentation in history that when communities ignored Our Permanent Value System they met with destruction.) How many a community We (Our laws) have annihilated! Our requital visited them by night, or while they slept for their afternoon rest.

7:5They had no plea when Our requital came to them, but they said, “We were unjust, and used to oppress the vulnerable.”

7:6We will certainly question those to whom Our Messengers were sent, and certainly We will question the Messengers.

7:7We will recount the whole story for them, for We were never absent in Time and Place. (9:105)

7:8The scales on that Day will be truly equitable. Those whose constructive deeds are heavy, will prosper.

7:9And those whose scales are light, will be the ones who have put their own ‘self’ in loss. This is because they used to replace Our revelations with manmade dogmas.

7:10(Take heed before the final scales are set.) We have placed you on earth and given you means for a fulfilling life. How seldom are you grateful!

[Being grateful is not only verbal thanks. It involves sharing God’s bounties with fellow humans and other creation. 16:114, 31:12]

7:11We created you, then shaped you, then told the angels, "Be of service to Adam! And they agreed to be of service, all but Iblees (Satan). He was not of the subservient.

[Let us take a panoramic view of our common origin. Life began as a single life cell from hydrated inorganic matter 23:13. God made us ‘Adam’ Homo sapiens, male and female. And He made the angels the universal forces subservient to mankind. Satan or Iblees, our own rebellious desires, refused to submit to the higher controls of judgment]

7:12God said, “What stopped you from being subservient when I ordered you?” Iblees responded, "I am better than he. You created me from fire, and created him from clay.”

[Emotions are fiery in relation to sound judgment. The criterion of honor is not lineage, color, caste or nation. It is nothing but good conduct. 49:13]

7:13(Recall that many of the verses of the Qur’an are allegorical.) God said, “You are dismissed and degraded hence. It is not for you to be arrogant here. Go forth, then! You shall be among the humiliated.”

7:14He (Iblees) said, "Give me respite till the Day they are raised up.”

7:15(The request was granted.) God said, "Be among those who are given respite.”

7:16Iblees said, "Since You have willed that I go astray, I will lurk in ambush for them in Your straight path.”

7:17“Then I will assault them openly and secretly, through their strengths and through their weaknesses. And You will not find most of them grateful (for the guidance).”

7:18He said, “Go forth from here, degraded and banished. Whoever follows you among them, I will fill Hell with you all.”

[Jahannam = Hell = Fire = Hebrew Gehenna = Destruction of the ‘self’ in this life and the Hereafter for succumbing to Satan, the selfish desires]

7:19“O Adam! Dwell, you and your wife, in the Garden and eat from whatever you may wish; but do not approach this one tree, lest you become wrongdoers.”

[Contrary to the popular beliefs that the forbidden Tree was the tree of knowledge, fruit of this plant and that plant, or of sexual charms, it refers to humanity dividing itself like the branches of a tree. 2:35-36, 2:213, 20:120]

7:20Then Satan deceived them in order to reveal their imperfections and fallibility to them. He said, "Your Lord forbade this tree lest you become angels or become immortals.”

[The selfish desires of humans prompted them to think about their own children rather than the collective good. That would, in a way, give them power and immortality]

7:21And Satan swore to both, man and woman, “I am a sincere advisor to you.”

7:22So by deceit Satan brought about their downfall. They tasted of the tree of discord and started to divide into branches. Soon their imperfections became obvious to them and they tried to conceal them with courteous behavior. Then came a reminder from their Lord, "Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you that Satan is your open enemy?"

[Personal interests dominated their minds rather than the collective good of all. Humanity began to fall into mutual contention. Leaf of Paradise = Righteous behavior]

7:23They said, "Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. Unless You forgive us and have mercy on us, we will certainly be lost.”

[Men and women accepted responsibility acknowledging that they had free will, while Satan blamed God and ascribed his disobedience to the will of God. 7:16]

7:24God said, “Be degraded with wedges of discord between one another. There will be for you an abode and sustenance for a while on earth.”

[Self interests of people had given rise to unjust marking of land and individual hoarding. Suppression of the weak had begun. God told them that they had fallen down from the high station of humanity. They had ignored the law that "Mankind is one community". From then on, they would live as tribes and nations, enemies to one another. 10:19, 49:13]

7:25He said, "You shall live on earth and die there and be resurrected from there.”

[In the meantime they could regain their lost Paradise if they followed the Divine Commands. 2:213]

7:26O Children of Adam! We have provided you with garments to cover your bodies as well as to adorn you. The best garment for you to wear, in addition, is good conduct. (Your character decorates you inside out.) These are the verses of God that they must take to heart.

7:27O Children of Adam! Let not your selfish desires deceive you as it deceived your ancestors, caused them to lose their Paradise, and exposed their imperfections. A host of selfish and rebellious desires lurk within you. You can't even see them but these Satans see you and befriend those who do not believe.

7:28(As an example,) when people commit an indecency they say, "We found our forefathers doing it and God has enjoined it upon us" (made it natural for us). Say (O Prophet), "God never enjoins indecency. Do you attribute to God that of which you have no knowledge?"

7:29Say (O Messenger), "My Lord enjoins justice and to stand devoted to Him alone in complete submission at all time and place. Call unto Him, sincere in your faith in Him alone. As He brought you into being in the first place, so shall you return to Him.”

7:30Some He has guided, others have deserved straying. They take satanic people as allies instead of God, and think that they are rightly guided.

[7:3, 22:13. The straying ones take their religious leadership as their masters instead of God]

7:31O Children of Adam! Adorn yourselves with nice attire remaining subservient to Divine Commands at every occasion of subservience. Enjoy God’s bounties, but do not commit excesses. God does not love the wasters.

[Masjid = All occasions of subservience to God. This encompasses the entire life of a Muslim]

7:32Say, "Who is there to forbid the beauty and aesthetic niceties that God has brought forth for His servants, and the good things of sustenance?” Say, “On the Day of Resurrection, these things will be only for those who chose to believe in Divine laws during the life of this world.” Thus do We detail Our messages for people who make use of what they learn. [17:18-20, 20:117-123]

7:33Say, "My Lord forbids only: Indecent shameful deeds, open or secret, actions that hurt the ‘self’ and drag down the individual and collective human potential, unjust aggression, associating others with God (Shirk), for which He has sent down no authority, and that you say things about God that you do not know.”

7:34All nations and communities determine the terms of their Rise and Fall in accordance with these Divine laws. And these laws work with meticulous timing, without delay and without hastening.

7:35O Children of Adam! (I had revealed in the early stages of human civilization that I will keep sending My guidance to you 2:213.) When Messengers of your own come to you narrating My messages, those who will live upright and mend their ways, will have nothing to fear or grieve.

7:36But those who reject Our revelations and scorn them, will dwell in the Hellfire to live therein, forever.

7:37Who can do a greater wrong than the one who invents lies about God, or belies His revelations? They get their due share according to the Law of Respite till Our couriers of death come to them saying, “Where are those on whom you called besides God?” They will respond, “They have left us hanging.” Then they will testify against themselves that they had been disbelievers.

7:38God will command them to join the previous uncivilized and civilized communities into the fire. Every later group will blame the earlier one, "Our Lord! These are the ones who misled us; double their punishment.” He will say, “Doubled for all”: but this you do not know.

[The first group violated the laws and misled others, and the second group was guilty of blind following and misleading their successors]

7:39The first nation will say to the last, “You are not the least bit better than us. So taste the doom for what you earned.”

7:40Those who deny Our messages, and scorn them, the gates of heaven will not be opened for them, and they will not enter the Garden until the camel goes through the eye of a needle. This is how We recompense the guilty.

[Likewise nations that ignore the Divine laws in nature will utterly fail to establish a Paradise on earth. The parable of the camel and the needle conveys a perception, the impossibility of attaining success in defiance of these laws]

7:41Hell is their bed and their covering as well. This is how We recompense the guilty, those who steal the fruit of others’ labor and thus violate human rights.

[Nations that fail to build their own Paradise on earth only lurk on hellish ground. They have a ceiling of chaos above, keeping them from rising in the community of nations]

7:42But those who attain conviction in Divine laws and work to augment the individual and collective potential of humanity, will succeed in attaining Paradise of their own making (3:136). We never assign goals to people that are beyond their capacity.

[The Paradise of people’s own making will never be lost. It will be their heritage in the life to come. 2:25, 3:133, 55: 45-47]

7:43(In earthly life, human beings conceal many negative feelings they might have toward others even though, apparently their mutual relations are cordial) We will remove all negative emotions from their hearts. There will be no such feelings amongst the dwellers of earthly and heavenly Paradise wherein streams will flow. (The blessings of such a Social Order will be everlasting!) They will say, “All praise is due to God Who has guided us to such a beautiful destination. Without God’s Guidance we would never have reached this state of felicity. God’s Messengers brought to us this truth.” It will be proclaimed, “This is the Paradise you have inherited” (as a result of your own effort, therefore, you will not be expelled from it.)

[These verses are as much applicable to this world as to the Hereafter. In this Ideal Society, justice, and therefore, mutual trust will prevail. Rivers of aesthetic beauties will flow and provision will be abundant. When the basic needs of individuals are secure, they will have the chance to move toward the higher levels of self-actualization. So, negative emotions and behavior such as jealousy, selfishness, contempt, rancor, revenge and deceit shall vanish from their hearts. They will praise God in word and action for His guidance, without which the bliss would not be possible. They will acknowledge that the Messengers of their Lord came with the absolute truth. They will hear echoes of welcome: This is your Paradise. You have built it and you shall inherit it never to be lost again]

7:44The dwellers of the Garden will call out to the dwellers of the fire, “We have found that what our Lord promised us has come true. Have you too, found that what your Lord promised you has come true?” They will answer, “Yes!” Then from their midst a voice will proclaim, “God rejects the oppressors who wrongfully violated human rights.”

7:45They hindered men and women from the path of God and tried to make it crooked, thus practically denying the Law of Requital and the life Hereafter.

7:46Between the people of Paradise and Hell there will be a veil. On the Heights there will be people with insight who will recognize others by their looks. They will greet those who are hoping to enter the Garden but have not yet entered it, with “Peace!” [2:143, 4:41, 56:10-11]

7:47When their eyes turn toward the dwellers of the hellish societies, they will say, “Our Lord! Do not place us with unjust people.”

7:48The people on the Heights will recognize another group by their appearance and say to them, “How did your multitude, the wealth you amassed and the things you took pride in, help you?”

[In my opinion, the people of Heights will advise corrective action to be taken against the hoarding of wealth, population explosion, and self-glorification of nations. Jam’ukum = Your great numbers = Your multitude = Your hoardings = What you have amassed]

7:49And pointing to the dwellers of the Garden, they will say, “Are these not the people about whom you used to swear that God will never bestow His grace upon them? They are entering the Garden where there will be no fear or grief.”

[They will make it clear that the Divine law favors no particular people. Obeying His laws brings His grace and bounties]

7:50The dwellers of Hell will say to the dwellers of Paradise, “Give us something of the life-giving resources and the provisions bestowed on you by God.” They will reply, “God has made these things forbidden to the rejecters of His laws."

[The hellish societies will expect God’s provisions to be granted to them as free-bees. They will be told that God’s bounties can only be achieved by establishing the Right System]

7:51Those who took their religion as mere amusement and ritual partying, were deceived by immediate gains of the worldly life (6:70). We will forget them as they forgot the meeting of this Day, and rejected Our revelations.

7:52We have given them a Book of knowledge that explains the guidance in full detail. It is a mercy for those who accept it. (It has the Power to change hellish societies into Paradise on earth.)

7:53Are they waiting until the consequences stare them in the eyes? The Day the consequences appear, those who disregarded it will say, “The Messengers of our Lord did bring the truth. Are there any intercessors to intercede on our behalf? Or can we be returned so that we behave differently from our past?” They have put their own ‘self’ in loss and their own forgery fails them.

[They will seek mediation for their mutual conflicts and long for starting from scratch. Since they have hurt their own ‘self’, they have lost the power of judgment and they would need help. They have been dragging unworkable systems]

7:54Your Lord is God Who created the heavens and earth in six stages, and then established Himself on the Throne of His Almightiness. He draws the night over the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession. The sun, the moon and the stars are committed to serve by His command. Remember! Behold! To Him belong the World of Creation and the World of Command. Exalted is God, Lord of the Worlds.

[10:3, 13:2. Six Stages or Eras: 7:54, 10:3, 11:7, 25:59, 50:38, 57:4, See 41:10]

7:55(He has the power to revive dead nations.) Call on your Lord in humility and in private. He does not love those who forsake moderation.

7:56So, do not spread corruption on earth after it has been set in order. Call upon Him in fear and hope. God’s mercy is close to the benefactors of humanity.

[Fear the consequences of violating His commands and hope for His grace since His promise is always true]

7:57He is the One who sends pleasant winds bearing good news of the forthcoming rain of His blessings. When the winds carry the heavy clouds, We drive them to a land that is dead. The water then causes all kinds of fruit and vegetation to sprout. This is how We can revive dead people and nations. Herein is a sign for those who pay heed.

7:58The land that has been well prepared springs up rich produce by the Leave of its Lord. The land that has not been well prepared only yields scant vegetation. (Similar is the situation of nations that wish to come back to life. They need reform at the grassroots level.) This is how We explain Our verses from various vantage points for those who are grateful to receive such clear guidance.

7:59(Now follows a brief resume of the previous Prophets and their nations for you to draw lessons) We sent Noah to his people. He said, “O My people! Serve God (by serving His creation). You have no other god besides Him. (If you do not reform) I fear for you the retribution of an awesome day.”

[The Qur’an gives a hint that Noah’s people had received other Messengers as well. 26:105 The people of Noah too denied the Messengers.]

7:60The chiefs of his people said, "We see you in manifest error.”

7:61Noah said, "O My people! There is no error in me. I am a Messenger from the Lord of the Worlds.

7:62I only convey to you the messages of my Lord. My advice to you is sincere and I know from God what you do not know.

7:63Why do you wonder that there has come to you a Reminder from your Lord through a man from amongst you - to warn you, and to show you the secure path so that you may flourish in grace?”

7:64But they denied him. So, We saved him and those with him in the ship, and drowned those who denied Our revelations. They were a people blind in arrogance.

[A great flood was about to come as revealed to Noah. He and his followers built an Ark. They were with him in belief and in the ship, so they were saved]

7:65To the people of ‘Aad, We sent their brother, Hud. He said, “O My people! Serve God by serving His creation. You have no god besides Him. Do you not seek to live upright?”

7:66The elite among his people who were disbelieving said, "Ah! We see that you are in folly, and we think that you are a liar.”

7:67He said, "O My people! There is no folly in me. I am a Messenger from the Lord of the Worlds.

7:68I convey to you the messages of my Lord, and I am a sincere and trustworthy adviser to you.

7:69Why do you wonder that there has come to you a Reminder from your Lord through a man from amongst you, to warn you? Recall that He made you successors to Noah’s people and gave you abundant power. Keep in mind God’s authority and blessings that you may continue to prosper.”

7:70They said, "Have you come to us that we serve God alone and give up what our forefathers worshiped? Bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you are truthful.”

7:71(‘Aad were a powerful community that had gone unjust. Since there is a Law of Respite for nations, they flourished and were unable to see the wrong thus far.) Hud said, "Your Lord’s Requital is already hovering over you. Do you argue with me about certain names that you and your forefathers have fabricated, whereas God never authorized them? Then wait for the consequences, and I am also waiting.” [53:23]

7:72(The People of ‘Aad ruled a big empire in Arabia. However, they failed to heed the Prophet’s warning. Then hurricane winds annihilated them 41:16) We saved him and those with him by mercy from Us, and cut the root of those who denied Our messages and would not believe.

7:73The people of Thamud were successors to ‘Aad. To them We sent their brother, Saleh. He said, “O My people! Serve God. You have no other god but He. The clear truth has come to you from your Lord. This is the she-camel of God, a token for your obedience. So let her feed in God’s earth and harm her not lest painful torment seize you.”

[The feudal lords controlled land, crop, oases and water resources, and the weak were suffering. It appears that Prophet Saleh reached an agreement with them and assigned a she-camel as a symbol of their compliance]

7:74Saleh said, “Remember how He made you inherit the land after ‘Aad and established you therein. You build castles in the valleys and carve out homes in the mountains. So, remember God’s bounties and do not spread corruption in the land.”

7:75Their leaders said to the believers, "How do you know that Saleh is sent from his Lord?" They responded, "We believe in the message he has brought.”

[The bearer of such a sublime message cannot be a liar]

7:76(The arrogant leaders and the feudal lords could see their personal interests getting hit, so they decided to reject the message.) The arrogant ones said to the believers, “We reject what you believe in.”

7:77They killed the she-camel, rebelled against their Lord’s command and challenged, “O Saleh! Bring the doom you threaten us with, if you are truly a Messenger.”

7:78(In their life of luxury, like other strong nations, they felt invincible.) The destruction came from under their feet. A powerful earthquake annihilated them, leaving them lifeless in their homes.

7:79Saleh was grieved that his people disregarded the message of his Lord. He moved away from the township saying to himself, “O My people! I gave my Lord’s message to you, and advised you sincerely, but you never liked good advisers.”

7:80Lot told them, “You commit such an abomination that no one in the worlds has (openly) done before you.”

[Hud, Saleh, Lot and their respective followers, escaped destruction because they believed in the revelation and took appropriate precautions. The people of Prophet Lot lived by the Dead Sea in Sodom. Also see 26:165 Of all the creatures in the worlds, you approach males. The people of Lot were probably the first to ‘normalize’ homosexuality. ‘Of all creatures’, contrary to universal laws]

7:81You approach men with lust in preference to women. Nay, but you are a people crossing all bounds."

7:82They said, "Drive them out of your town! These people want to be models of purity.”

7:83We saved him and his followers. But his wife who lagged behind in belief stayed with the crowd, and was destroyed.

7:84And We rained a rain upon them (a huge shower of stones). See now how grievous was the end of the guilty.

[A huge volcano was about to erupt. The Prophet of God had advance knowledge and he moved out at the right time, along with his followers]

7:85To Midyan, We sent Sho’aib (Jethro), their brother, to them (around 1400 BC). He said, “O My people! Obey God. There is none else worthy of obedience and law-giving. Now has come to you the clear evidence of truth from your Lord. Give just measure and weight and do not withhold from people the things that are rightfully theirs. And do no corruption (and crimes) in the land after it has been set in order. This will be best for you if you are believers.

[The Nation of Midyan lived between Madinahand Damascus since around 2000 BC. They were the descendants of Prophet Abraham's son Midyan from his third wife Qatoora. Most of them were traders but they squandered justice and equity in business]

7:86Lurk not on every road threatening travelers and hinder not from the path of God those who believe in Him, nor seek to make it crooked. Remember, when you were few and weak and how He multiplied and strengthened you. And see how (miserable) was the end of the corrupters.

7:87A group among you has believed in what I have been sent with and the other group has not believed. Then have patience (let the believers work their program of reform), until God judges between us. He is the Best of deciders."

7:88The arrogant leaders of his community said, "O Sho’aib! We will certainly drive you and those who believe with you out of our town unless you return to our ways.” Sho’aib said, "Why, even though we detest your ways?”

7:89“We will be inventing a lie against God if we reverted to your religion after God has saved us from it. It is not for us to return to it against the will of God, our Lord. Our Lord comprehends all things in knowledge. In God do we put our trust. Our Lord! Decide with truth between us and our people. You are the Best of deciders.”

7:90But the disbelieving chiefs of his nation said, "O People! If you follow Sho’aib, then be sure, you will be ruined” (as you lose the big profits in trade).

7:91A tremendous earthquake seized them and the morning found them dead in their homes, on the ground.

7:92Those who denied Sho’aib became as though they had never lived there. Those who denied Sho’aib were the losers.

7:93(The Prophet of God had been forewarned of the oncoming catastrophe and he moved out into the valley along with his followers.) As he was leaving, he said, "O My people! I delivered my Lord’s messages to you and gave you sincere advice. How could I mourn for people who rejected the truth?”

7:94We sent no Prophet to a community without Our Law of Requital trying them with adversity and tribulation for their wrongdoings that they become humble.

7:95Then We changed their plight for better until they became affluent. Then they said, “Even our forefathers were touched by suffering and affluence.” We seized them all of a sudden when they least expected it.

[They thought that hardships and prosperity were just a matter of chance. To them the requital appeared sudden, but unjust systems insidiously move toward disaster]

7:96If the people of the townships had believed in Divine laws and run their system right, We would have opened for them (the gates of) blessings from the heavens and earth. But they denied and Our law seized them for what they had earned with their deeds.

7:97Can the people of any community ever feel secure that Our requital will not come upon them at night, while they are asleep?

7:98Or do the people of townships feel secure from the coming of Our requital upon them in the daytime while they play?

7:99Do they feel secure from the subtle progression of the Divine laws? Do they think that the Divine law grants them unconditional security? Only the losers feel secure from the subtle progression of God’s Law of Requital.

7:100Is it not a lesson for those who inherit the earth from previous generations that they could suffer similar consequences? Trailing behind in the community of nations is a tribulation in itself. And Our law can cause their intellectual and perceptual faculties to be sealed and blunted for their failings.

7:101Such were the communities whose historical accounts We relate to you (O Prophet). Their Messengers came to them with clear evidence of truth. But they rejected it, and then stuck to rejection. Or they denied the truth in blind following since their ancestors had denied it. This is how the rejecters cause God’s law to seal their hearts to reason.

7:102And in most of them We found no bond with their honored stature of humanity (17:70). And We found that most of them slipped away from the Permanent Values.

7:103(Here is another historical account. Moses was the next generation to Sho’aib, after the Midyans had risen and declined in the previous millennium) We sent Moses to Pharaoh and his chiefs with Our revelations and they degraded them. Now see the consequence for the corrupters.

7:104Moses said, "O Pharaoh! I am a Messenger from the Lord of the Worlds.

7:105It is incumbent upon me that I say about God nothing but the truth. I come to you with clear evidence of the truth from your Lord. So let the Children of Israel go with me.”

7:106Pharaoh said, “If you have come with clear evidence, produce it if you are of the truthful.”

7:107Moses presented his argument that he held fast, with vibrant confidence and logic.

7:108The strength of his conviction shone bright to those present. [20:17-21]

7:109The chiefs of Pharaoh's nation said, "This is some knowing wizard!

7:110It appears to us that Moses, after gaining some following, plans to throw you out of your land.” Said Pharaoh, “Now, what do you advise?”

7:111(After consulting) they said, "Put him and his brother off for a while and send to the cities men to summon.

7:112To bring all debaters to your court.”

[Saahir from Sihr = Magician, liar, stunningly eloquent, smart poet, deceitful, trickster, cheater, defrauder, dodger, hoaxer, swindler]

7:113The debaters came to Pharaoh. They said, “Will there be reward for us if we are victors?”

7:114He answered, “Yes, and you will be among those who are close to me.”

7:115The debaters said, “O Moses! Either you begin or let us be the first to present our case.”

7:116Moses asked them to begin. When they began they cast a spell on the people’s eyes, and struck them with awe, and stunned the assembly with their spellbinding eloquence.

7:117So, We inspired Moses, “Respond with conviction. And then see how it swallows their deceptive rhetoric.”

[‘Asaa = Staff = Cane = Strength = Conviction = Authority = Power = Strong logic = Convincing argument]

7:118The truth prevailed and their arguments were manifestly proven false.

7:119Thus, they were defeated right there and humiliated.

7:120The debaters fell down prostrate.

7:121They were convinced and said, "We believe in the Lord of the Worlds.

7:122The Lord of Moses and Aaron.”

7:123Pharaoh got annoyed, "You believe in Him before I give you permission! This is a conspiracy you all have planned in the city to drive out its people (in rebellion). But soon you will know (the consequences).

7:124I will immobilize you in handcuffs and fetters. Then I will crucify every one of you."

[Cutting off the hands and feet on the alternate side refers to immobilizing a person, otherwise crucifixion would not be necessary. 20:71, 26:49, 38:12]

7:125They responded, "We are determined to turn to our Lord.

7:126Do you take vengeance on us simply because we believed in the revelations of our Lord when they came to us? Our Lord! Bestow on us steadfastness and let us die as submitters.” [2:250]

7:127The chiefs among Pharaoh's people said, "Will you allow Moses and his people to create disorder in the land, and forsake your rule and your gods?” He said, "We will slay their sons and spare their women. We are in power over them.”

7:128Moses assured his people, “Seek help in God and patiently persevere. Remember that the earth belongs to God. He grants it as a heritage to His servants according to His laws. And the ultimate end belongs to the upright.” [21:105]

7:129Fearing persecution they said, "We suffered before you came to us and after you have come to us.” Moses said, “Your Lord will annihilate your enemy, and you will inherit the earth. Then He will see what kind of works you do.”

7:130The unjust system of Pharaoh and his people began to waver (7:94). When Our requital struck them with famine, and scanty crop (they found themselves ill prepared for the relief efforts). They should have stopped to think.

7:131(Instead of reflecting and taking corrective action, they sought the easy way out.) All good that came along, they said, “It is from us.” and if an affliction struck them, they blamed it on the bad omen of Moses and his companions. All omens (good or bad consequences of actions) follow Divine laws but most of them know not.

7:132They kept telling Moses, “Whatever the verses might say, whatever bad omens you could bring, or bewitch us with your logic, we will not believe in you.” (And will not consider reformation).

7:133Their System was too inefficient to fight off natural calamities, such as, floods, swarms of locusts, and diseases of crops, livestock and humans. These were open signs for them to wake up to reform, but Pharaoh and his chiefs were too arrogant to accept responsibility, and too involved in luxury to take action. They were guilty of misrule.

7:134(The irrational Egyptians continued to remain sunken in superstition.) Whenever hardship struck, they turned to Moses for prayer stating that God had a pledge with him, and promising that they would believe and let the Children of Israel go with him.

[They did not understand that the pledge of God with His Messengers was only that of obeying His commands and His blessings in return. It did not involve any supernatural phenomena such as miracles]

7:135When the hardship ran its course according to Our laws, they would break their promise with Moses.

7:136So, We sent Our requital on them and drowned them in the sea, for they had been denying Our messages and remained heedless.

7:137We made the oppressed people inherit the east and the west of the land that We had blessed with abundant provision. The commands of your Lord were fulfilled for the Children of Israel to reward them for their steadfastness. Pharaoh and his people eventually met destruction for violating Our laws. And We leveled to the ground (the great works and fine buildings, temples, palaces, tombs, statues and stately) structures of all kinds that Pharaoh and his people had built with so much skill and pride.

[The Children of Israel later inherited a sizeable and highly prosperous kingdom including Syria and Palestine under David and Solomon]

7:138After they crossed the sea (into Sinai 2:50-51), the Children of Israel passed by some people who were worshiping statues. They said, ‘O Moses! Make a god for us, like the gods they have.” Moses said, "You are a people who wish to lurk in darkness.

7:139What these idol worshipers are doing is senseless and vain.

7:140Shall I seek a god for you other than God, when He has blessed you more than the other existing nations?"

7:141Also remember when We saved you from Pharaoh’s people. They used to persecute you by selecting (the strong ones) for a dreadful torment. They slaughtered your sons and let your women live. That emancipation was a great turn of events from your Lord Supreme.

[In addition to killing the newborn boys, as a matter of state policy, Pharaoh humiliated the strong and left the vulnerable for slavery and shameful acts. Abna = Sons = Strong ones. Nisaa = Females = Women = Weak ones. Yastahyoon carries the connotation of ‘letting live’ as well as ‘in shame’. Yasoomoon = Selecting, choosing. This is what a tyrannical system does. 2:49, 27:34, 28:4-5, 40:25. Exodus 1:15-22. Balaaun: Turn of events. Wa fi zalikum points to saving mentioned early in the verse]

7:142We summoned Moses for thirty nights and completed them by adding ten. Thus We completed the term with His Lord, forty nights. Before leaving for Mount Sinai, Moses assigned his brother Aaron, as his deputy and told him to keep social order after him and not to be intimidated by trouble makers. [2:51]

7:143When Moses arrived at the appointed time, and his Lord spoke to him, Moses said, "My Lord! Give me the power to better perceive You." His Lord said, "You will not perceive Me unless you look pensively at the mountain. If it remains firm in its place, then shall you perceive Me." (You will realize that even a single mountain is made of countless particles that were scattered as dust and it is your Lord Who has made it stand firm.) Thus did his Lord choose for the mountain to be a manifestation of His glory. Moses pictured the mountain as dust and was stunned! When he recovered his senses, he said, "Infinite are You in Your glory! I turn to you repentant and I am among the foremost believers.”

[Moses had only perceived that the mountain had crumbled to dust. The 7,359 feet high Mount Sinai is standing to this day and houses the ancient and famous St. Catherine’s Monastery. Therefore, contrary to popular literal translation of this verse, its understanding in allegorical terms is preferred. Also, a Prophet of God is least likely to make a demand to see God in physical form. See 2:55, 2:118, 7:155. Now let us suppose that it was some other mountain that had crumbled to dust. In that case, the place would most certainly have become the greatest historical relic of all times. As I have stated in preface to QXPi, the earliest Tafseers of the Qur’an were written centuries after the exalted Prophet. By then the Ajami Zoroastrian-Persian, alien politics and culture dominated the Islamic Empire centered in Baghdad. It is a hard fact of the historical dynamics that the rulers' political supremacy profoundly affects the culture and language of the entire nation. Just as an example, Khalifa Haroon Rasheed's mother Khaizran was a Zoroastrian Parsi or Maggian, and so were his wives. Khaizran’s son, the succeeding Khalifa Mamoon's wives were also Ajami. Even the Baramakah, the viziers of the Empire were Ajamis. So, the Zoroa-Persian concepts left a very heavy impact on the Arabic language, giving Ajami alien concepts even to the Qur’anic themes and terminology - So much so that they became Ma’roof generally recognized and well-accepted. Let us see how our clergy handled this verse. They had the unchangeable Qur’an before them, but the concepts they adopted were foreign and pliable like wax. A Hadith was concocted in the name of the exalted Messenger. Here it is as related by a recent Mullah: "The Prophet, after reciting this verse 7:143, placed his thumb on the little finger and said that only this much of the light of God had touched the mountain. Therefore, only that much portion the size of a little finger of the mountain was affected."

- Ma'arifil Qur’an, Mufti Aazam the Chief Mufti of Pakistan, ‘Maulana’ Mufti Muhammad Shafi; tafseer of 7:143 vol 4 - quoting Anas bin Malik from the ancient Tirmizi, Hanbal and Hakam. Whoever made up this Hadith forgot that the wrong Ajami translations talk of the whole mountain crumbling to dust!

- Tafheem by Maududi: It is even more surprising to see Mullah Maududi's TAFHEEM drawing a beautiful map of the mountain that he must have seen as I did housing the ancient monastery and yet, writing that the mountain was reduced to dust – ‘raiza raiza ho gaya’]

7:144God said, “O Moses! I have chosen you, out of all people, with My messages and by speaking to you. Therefore, take what I have given you and be among the grateful.”

7:145We ordained for him, in the Tablets of law, Enlightenment and clearly spelled out guidance. And told him, “Uphold these teachings strongly, and tell your people to uphold them. These are excellent teachings. I will soon let you and your people see (how blessed the end of compliance will be and) to which abode the drifters will be headed.” [39:18]

7:146Even if they went through the entire script, and saw clear evidence of the truth, their arrogance will keep them from believing. When they see the right guidance, they do not accept it, but they readily accept straying. This is because they choose to deny Our revelations and remain unaware of the wisdom in them.

[The law stands that those who are arrogant without justification will turn away from Divine revelations. Takabbur bil-Haqq rightful pride with gratitude to God is different from Takabbur bighairil-Haqq Pride against all right. God ascribes to Himself, the consequences according to His Law of Requital, such as, “God did it.”]

7:147Those who deny Our messages and the meeting of the Hereafter, their works are fruitless. Are they rewarded anything but what they deserved for their decisions?

[Human beings should remember that every action has a consequence and it gets imprinted on the ‘self’. While every tomorrow is the Aakhirah after of today, the final Judgment and Recompense for us rests with the life to come]

7:148The people of Moses made up a calf out of their ornaments while Moses was at the Mount Sinai. They made it such that blowing into it produced a lowing sound. They did not even see that it could not talk to them or show them any path. Still they chose it as a god, and thus wronged their own ‘self’.

7:149When they regretted their action and realized that they had gone astray, they said, “Unless our Lord have mercy on us and forgive us, we will be lost.”

7:150Moses returned to his people and was upset and grieved. He said, “You have chosen a terrible thing after me. Do you wish your Lord’s requital to smite you soon? He put down the tablets of the commands among them and questioned his brother, Aaron, very strictly. Aaron explained, "O Son of my mother! These people treated me harshly and took my patience as weakness, and almost killed me. Let not my opponents rejoice, and do not count me among the wrongdoers."

[20:86. Seizing the beard and head is indicative of interrogating harshly. Aaron had been extra patient with their idolatry to avoid division among them 20:94. Aaron, the Prophet of God, preferred Shirkover Sectarianism. This is how reprehensible sectarianism and division in religion is]

7:151Moses said, “My Lord! Forgive me and my brother and admit us in Your grace. Of all the merciful ones, You are the Most Merciful.”

7:152Those who chose the calf for worship, were seized by their Lord’s Law of Requital, and faced humiliation in the life of this world. Thus do We recompense those who invent lies.

7:153Those who have done ill deeds, but then repent and attain belief, for them, afterward, God is Forgiving, Merciful.

7:154When Moses calmed down, he picked up the tablets, on which was inscribed merciful guidance for those who fear violating the law of their Lord.

7:155Then, Moses selected seventy of his people for Our place of meeting. When they were seized with violent quaking, he said, “My Lord! You could have destroyed them and me long before, if You so willed. Would You destroy us for the actions of the foolish ones among us? This must be Your trial. By such trials, You let go astray those who will to go astray, and You guide those who will to be guided. You are our Protector. So, forgive us and grant us mercy. You are the Best of forgivers. [2:55]

7:156Appoint for us the good in this world and in the Hereafter. We turn to You for guidance.” (He answered), “My punishment is but through My law. But My mercy embraces all things. Yet, I (especially) appoint it for those who live upright and keep their wealth open for others and those who truly believe in Our messages.”

[Sha = Due measure = Divine law = Will. Taqwa = To live upright = Being mindful of God = Being observant = Being God-conscious = Seeking to journey through life in security. Nafaq = An open-ended tunnel = Shun hoarding = Leaving wealth open for others = Spend on others]

7:157(Now the law has been revealed to Prophet Muhammad.) Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, will find him well described* in the Torah and the Gospel with them. He enjoins upon them the Right, and forbids them the Wrong. He declares lawful all good things, and declares unlawful only the unclean things. He relieves people from the burdens of false dogmas they carried. He breaks the shackles of mental and physical slavery that they used to carry, and brings them out from darkness into Light. Those who believe in him, honor and support him, and follow the Light that has been sent forth with him, are the eternally successful.

[5:15, 65:11, 76:4. He learned to read and write after the revelation 29:48. *Deuteronomy: 18:15-18. Gospel of John: 14:16, 15:26, 16:7 Paracletos = Comforter, from original Greek Periclytos = The praised one. In Aramaic, Mawhamana = The praised one. Please note 'Zulumaat' used in plural and 'Light' in singular indicating that the darkness of ignorance comes in many forms whereas the Light of truth is only one]

7:158Say, "O Mankind! I am God’s Messenger to all of you (beyond temporal and geographical bounds.) The Messenger of Him to Whom belongs the Dominion of the heavens and earth. There is no god but He. He has absolute control over the fountain spring of life and over the laws of transition to death. So, believe in God and His Messenger, the Prophet to whose people no scripture was given before, and who believes in God and in His Words. Follow him so that you may be rightly guided.”

7:159The people of Moses were given similar guidance and a section among them was guided and did justice in truth.

7:160We set up twelve tribal communities among the Israelites (for effective administration). When his people asked for water, We revealed to Moses, “Strike the rock with your staff!” And twelve springs gushed forth from there. Each group knew its own place of water. We gave them the shade of clouds, and manna and quails, saying, “Eat of the good things We have provided you.” (After a time, the corrupters in that wonderful society started dissenting.) They did not harm Us, but they did harm their own ‘self’.

[2:60, 3:7. Remember the times when they were in the Sinai desert and there was shortage of water. Moses asked for water for his people and God guided him to a rock under which were hidden twelve springs of water ready to gush forth. Moses, with the strength of his conviction and with the help of his companions, unclogged those springs and each of the twelve tribes found their respective source of fresh cool water. Moses had established the Divine System of life. God will open the blessings of the heavens and earth for any nation that accepts His laws and works for the collective good of humanity. Such abundance with equity is no less than a heavenly "Table spread" that ensures freedom from want for all, in the shadow of Divine grace. They enjoyed delicious bird meat and vegetation they had grown in the oasis of their own making. ForManna and Salwa, see Glossary in Introduction to QXP]

7:161And remember it was said to them, “Dwell in this town (Palestine 5:21) and enjoy the provisions as you wish. Enter the gate humbly and say, ‘Hittatun’, ‘Our Lord! Absolve our misdeeds as we mend our ways.’ Then do what you say and We shall forgive you your misdeeds. We increase the reward for the doers of good.” [2:58]

7:162But, some of the wrongdoers began changing the Word of God that was taught to them, and displaced it with their own fabrications. (They became disobedient). So, We (Our law) caused them to weaken and waver, for they violated the commands.

[Rijz = Weakness = Disease = Plague = Beri beri, a neurological weakness in the camel and in humans caused by Vit B1 deficiency erroneously described under Ithm in QXPi. Rijam-min-Assama = Heavenly punishment resulting in moral and physical weakness. 2:59-61, 5:22-24, 7:134, 8:11, 29:34, 34:5]

7:163Ask the Israelites about the township (Elat) that was located by the sea, and they had violated the Sabbath. The big fish used to come on the surface in abundance on their day of Sabbath, feeling secure, and did not come up on other days. (But the community failed to persevere, and broke the Sabbath to get a good catch.) Thus We tested them to see for themselves how they drift away from discipline.

7:164The kind-hearted among them kept reminding the violators. And others said, “Why do you preach a people whom God’s requital is going to destroy or punish them with a severe torment?” The counselors said, “In order to be free of guilt before your Lord that we failed to advise - And in the hope that they live upright.”

7:165When they disregarded the reminders, We saved the ones who admonished them, and punished those who transgressed and drifted away from the command.

7:166As they persisted with their rebellious behavior, Our law caused their disposition take a downward turn and they developed apish mentality. We told them, “Be the living symbols of humiliation.”

7:167And remember, your Lord proclaimed that He would raise against them until the Day of Resurrection, people who will persecute them. Your Lord is Swift in retribution, yet any people who mend their ways, will find Him Forgiving, Merciful.

7:168And We scattered them into different communities throughout the earth. Among them some are righteous, and some are opposite. Through the turns of history We have caused them to experience easy and difficult times, in order that they might return to Our laws.

7:169But, the succeeding generations that inherited the scripture, did no better. They became more materialistic, falling for instant gains. Yet, they insist, "We will be forgiven, and would not have to account for it." And they keep longing for material gains. Didn’t they promise to uphold the scripture, and not to say about God but the truth? And they have studied the commands in it! The long-term benefit and the abode of the Hereafter are better for those who deal justly with people and live upright. Will you not use sense?

7:170Those who hold fast to the Book of God, and establish the Divine System, We never squander the reward of those committed to social welfare.

7:171They must recall that the Mount Sinai stands over them as a telling witness. The mountain could shake with a quake and fall to be level with them but the Divine Guidance is the unwavering truth (13:31). We said, “Hold firmly what We have given you and remember its teachings so that you live upright.”

7:172When your Lord brought forth generations in succession from the Children of Adam, and made them bear witness, “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we bear witness.” Thus you cannot say on the Resurrection Day, “We were not aware of this.”

[Min Zuhoorihim = From their posterity = In succession = Their seed = One generation following another. The uninterrupted survival of mankind is a telling witness for them that there is an Almighty Lord Who nourishes the universe]

7:173Nor will any excuse avail them such as, “It was our forefathers who took false gods and we inherited their belief system. Will you punish us for what falsehood others practiced?”

[You will not be questioned what others used to do. No one will bear the load of another. 2:134, 39:7]

7:174Thus We explain Our verses in all clarity so that people return (to the Book).

7:175And tell them what happened to him whom Our messages were conveyed but he cast them off. Thus Satan (his selfish desires) overpowered him until he became of those who lost their way.

7:176He could have raised himself in honor according to Our laws, but he clung to the earth and followed his own desires. Therefore his likeness is as the likeness of a dog. If you scold him, he pants, or if you leave him alone, he still pants. Such is the example of the nation that belies Our revelations. So, relate this narration that they may reflect.

[If it had been Our will = If he chose Our laws of humiliation. God’s revelation lightens your burdens while manmade dogmas place burdens on you. 7:157]

7:177Evil as an example are the people who reject Our verses, since they hurt their own ‘self’.

7:178Whoever attains God’s Guidance according to His laws is led right. And goes astray he who violates God’s law of guidance. [4:88]

7:179We have committed to Hell numerous people, rural and urban (they are living a life of hell). They have hearts that they use not to understand. They have eyes with which they see not, and they have ears with which they hear not. They are like cattle. Nay, they are further astray. They, they are the ones who let the life pass by unaware of its potentials.

[Cattle are at least guided by their natural instincts. 'Ghaafiloon' = Those who let the life pass by unaware of its potentials = Neglectful = Unaware = Careless. 67:10]

7:180All Names of God are the fairest names. You can invoke Him by any of them. Be mindful not to over-emphasize a single attribute of His (that is called ‘ilhaad’’). Leave the company of those who take one of His Attributes and run aside to dwell upon it. They will soon be awarded for their misdoings.

[Contrary to the Christian dogma, the Merciful God is also a Just God. 4:171, 17:110, 41:40]

7:181Among the communities We have created, there have been those who guide others with truth, and establish justice.

7:182And those who deny Our revelations, We lead them step by step to ruin from directions they have not even thought of.

7:183I give them respite but My Law of Requital is designed to be strong.

7:184Has it never occurred to them that there is no madness whatsoever in their fellow-man? He is only a plain warner.

[10:16. He has lived a whole life among you and you have always called him Ameen Trustworthy and Sadiq Truthful]

7:185Can they not see (and correlate what he tells them with) the Dominion of the heavens and earth and what God has created? Does it ever occur to them that the end of their own life may be near (hence the time to make the right decisions is not unlimited)? In what Hadith after this (Qur’an) are they going to believe then?

7:186There is no guide for him who misleads himself by violating God’s law of guidance. When he leaves the law, the law leaves him wandering in the wilderness of arrogant trespassing. [2:15]

7:187(They even venture into predicting the end of the world.) They ask you (O Messenger), about the Hour, when the end of the world will come to pass. Say, "That knowledge is only with my Lord. He alone will manifest it at the appropriate time. Heavy it is in the heavens and earth. It will come upon you suddenly." They ask you as if you could gain insight into this mystery with persistent inquiry. Say, “The knowledge thereof is with God only. But most people do not know” (that even Messengers were not given the knowledge of the Unseen except when God willed).

7:188Say, "I do not even have the power to benefit myself or to avert harm from myself, contrary to the laws of God. If I had the knowledge of the Unseen, I would have amassed abundant fortune, and no adversity would have touched me. I am but a warner and a bearer of good news for those who have faith."

7:189(The message encompasses life in its totality.) Recall that God created life from a single life cell, then made male and female cells, and then shaped you into human beings, males and females. He designed it such that man might incline with love towards the woman. When he gets intimate with her, she carries a light load that she can hardly notice. As she grows heavy with the child, they both implore God, their Lord, “If you grant us a healthy baby, we shall certainly be among the grateful.”

7:190But as soon as He grants them a healthy baby, they begin to ascribe to others a share in the gift He has given them. Exalted is He, High above all that they associate with Him.

7:191Do they ascribe to Him as partners things that can create nothing, but are themselves created?

7:192And they cannot help them, nor can they help themselves.

7:193When you invite them to the guidance, they do not follow you. Thus, it is the same for them whether you invite them, or remain silent.

7:194Those whom you call upon besides God, such as the mystics and saints, are people like you. Go ahead and call upon them, let them respond by helping you if you are true in your belief.

7:195Do the idols have feet to walk, hands to hold, eyes to see and ears to hear? Tell the opponents of the message, "Call upon your idols and your so-called partners of God, contrive what you can, and give me no respite.

[These human demigods have no foundation of truth to stand on, nor the power to avert requital, nor the faculties to confront Reason]

7:196My Protecting Friend is God Who has revealed this Book, and He befriends the righteous.”

7:197Whomever you call instead of Him, has no power to help you, nor can they help themselves.

7:198When you invite them to the guidance, they do not hear. And you see them looking at you, but they do not see.

7:199Resort to pardon, go ahead with your program of enjoining virtue and disregard those who choose to remain ignorant.

7:200Seek refuge in God’s laws by staying alert to any covert actions of the satanic opponents. He is Hearer, Knower.

7:201Those who are mindful of God, stay alert to the covert actions of the hinderers and see them with an observant mind.

7:202The hinderers and their comrades plunge one another deeper into error, and cease not.

7:203When you do not produce a miracle that they demand, they say, “Why not ask God for it?” Say, "I simply follow and convey what is revealed to me from my Lord." These verses are the enlightening miracle from your Lord, the guidance and grace for those who accept them.

7:204When the Qur’an is read, listen to it with full attention, and listen to it silently, that you may receive mercy.

7:205Remember your Lord within yourself humbly and in reverence, and without raising your voice, morning and evening. Be not among the negligent.

7:206Those who are with your Lord (the truly devoted), are never too proud to serve Him. They strive to establish His glory on earth by adoring Him and submitting to His commands.

Surah 8. Al-Anfal – The Spoils of War

This is the 8th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 75 verses. One of the great Revolutions that the exalted Messenger brought about, along with the Qur’an, was to ban all raids and ambushes. The negative incentive of tribal battles used to be the achievement of spoils of war. The Divine decree forbade it and allowed to pick up arms only for self-defense and to remove tyranny. The spoils of war can only be legitimate when believers have engaged in the defense of the Divine Order.

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

8:1They ask you (O Messenger) about the spoils of war. Say, “The spoils of war belong to God and the Messenger. Be mindful of God’s commands and maintain the bonds of brotherhood among you. Obey God and the Messenger if you are believers.

[God and the Messenger = The Central Authority. After the exalted Messenger, the Central Authority of the truly Islamic State will equitably allocate all funds at their disposal]

8:2The true believers are those who feel a tremor in their hearts when God is mentioned. (They beat synchronously with the commands of God.) And when His revelations are conveyed to them, they find their faith strengthened. They do their best and then put their trust in their Lord.

8:3They help establish the Divine System and keep the provision that We have given them, open for the good of humanity.

8:4Such are the true believers. They have high ranks with their Lord and for them is the protection (against the detriment of their faults) and honorable provision.

[Ghafarah = Helmet = Protection = Shielding = Forgiveness = Cover]

8:5(When the time came to defend the Ideological State of Madinah), your Lord commanded you (O Prophet) to go forth from your home with the conviction that the truth was on your side. And some of the believers were reluctant.

8:6(They argued whether to meet the aggressor outside Madinah at Badr, or wait.) And they disputed with you about it after the decision had been made manifest in mutual consultations, as if they were being driven to obvious death.

8:7God promised you engagement and victory against one of the two groups. You preferred to face the unarmed group, but God willed the truth to prevail according to His Words and soundly defeat the aggressive disbelievers.

[Unarmed = An unarmed caravan of the Quraish]

8:8(That was the first armed confrontation with the opponents; the believers were greatly outnumbered and ill equipped.) He has decreed that the truth shall triumph, and the falsehood shall vanish, even as the guilty detest it.

8:9You sought help from your Lord and He assured you, “I will help you with a thousand of the angels, rank upon rank.”

8:10God made this as good news and contentment to your hearts. And there is no help except from God. Certainly, God is Mighty, Wise.

[These Divine Attributes should draw attention to organized force and sound planning]

8:11Remember He caused calmness to overtake you to give you inner peace from Himself. And He sent down from the sky water upon you, that He might refresh you, and remove from you the fear of Satan - And that He might, thus, strengthen your hearts and make firm your foothold.

[Fear of Satan: Concern about the satanic act of the enemy as they had confiscated the water wells]

8:12Recall that your Lord inspired the angels, “I am with you. So make the believers stand firm. I will instill awe in the hearts of the unbelievers.” Then (O believers) launch a swift strike to disillusion their command and scatter their soldiers.

[Fawq al-a’naaq and Kulla banan are exactly similar allegories as we find in 47:4. No commander, during active combat with swords and arrows, would order his soldiers to aim only for ‘above the necks’ and ‘at every one of their finger tips’. Would not that be a sure way to lose the battle?]

8:13That is because they opposed God and His Messenger. Whoever opposes God and His Messenger, then, God is Strict in grasping.

8:14That is the punishment, so taste it. And there is the torment of fire for the rejecters.

8:15O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Never turn your backs when you meet the rejecters in battle.

8:16Anyone who turns back on that day, unless strategically or to join his own troops, incurs God’s disapproval. His abode shall be Hell, a miserable destination.

8:17You did not subdue them, God did. You did not throw the arrows, God did. But He let the believers test themselves in a blessing from Him in disguise. God is Hearer, Knower.

[‘God did’ = Being the Supreme Controller, God assigns to Himself all that happens in the Universe. Balaa-an-Hasana = Tribulation ending graciously = Blessing in disguise]

8:18That was the case with you. And know that God is the One Who nullifies the artful schemes of the rejecters.

8:19You sought victory and judgment (O Disbelievers)! Now victory and judgment have come to you. (If you reflect, the triumph of the truth is the victory for all, including yourselves.) If you refrain from aggression, it will be better for you. But, if you return, so shall We. Your armies will not avail you, no matter how numerous. God is with the believers.

8:20O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Obey God and His Messenger. Listen to him when he speaks, without getting distracted.

8:21Do not be like those who say that they hear, while they do not hear.

8:22The worst of created beings in the Sight of God are the deaf and the dumb, those who do not use their intellect. [2:18, 16:76]

8:23If God had seen any good in them, He would have made them hear. But, even if He made them hear, they would have turned away.

[The perceptual and conceptual faculties, both must be used for understanding and attaining guidance. 17:36]

8:24O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Respond to God and the Messenger. He calls you to what gives you life. Know that God intervenes between man and his heart, and that to Him you will be gathered.

[53:24. “Intervene” = His guidance can prevent people from acting on their evil desires and lead them to the right path]

8:25Beware of a tribulation that may not be limited to the wrongdoers among you! Know that God is Strict in retribution. (There is a strong link between individual and collective good.)

8:26Recall when you were few and oppressed in the land (Makkah) and fearful that people may do away with you. He gave you shelter (in Madinah), strengthened you with His help and gave you decent provision. Be grateful in word and action.

8:27O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Never betray God and His Messenger (the Central Authority), nor betray people who trust you, nor be lax in your duties knowingly.

8:28Know that your wealth and your children are a test for you, and that with God is immense reward.

[Spend your wealth on fellow humans and provide good education and training to your children]

8:29O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! If you remain mindful of God, He will give you distinction among the community of nations and grant you clear discernment between right and wrong. He will absolve your imperfections and grant you the protection of forgiveness. God is of Infinite bounty.

8:30Recall (O Messenger), when the rejecters were making schemes to restrain you (from conveying the Message), slay you, or expel you. That was their plan, but God’s Law of Requital is designed to work in a way unfailing. God is the Best of planners.

8:31When Our messages are conveyed to them, they say, “We have heard. If we wish, we can speak like it. This is nothing but fables of the ancient.”

8:32They further said, “O God! If this is the truth from You, then shower upon us rocks from the sky or bring on us a painful suffering.”

8:33But, God did not intend to punish them while you (O Messenger), were in their midst (in Makkah, still conveying the message). And He would not punish them while they might seek forgiveness.

8:34(Now, this is a new situation.) Have they not deserved God’s requital when they are hindering His servants from the Sacred Masjid of Makkah, even though they are not its guardians? Its guardians can only be those who are mindful of God. Most of them do not even know how awesome this responsibility is.

8:35What is their worship at the House (of God) but whistling and clapping? Therefore, it is said to them, “Taste of the retribution for your rejection of the truth.”

[House 2:125. Those who plunge in ritualistic worship, trail behind in action and invite suffering]

8:36Those who oppose the truth, spend their riches to hinder people from the path of God. They will spend it, then it will become anguish for them, and they will be overcome. And the rejecters of the truth will be gathered to Hell.

8:37God will distinguish the bad from the good, then pile the bad on top of one another and cast them together in the Hellfire. They are truly the losers.

[The clans of rejecters will join hands to fight the believers, but the battleground will become Hell for them]

8:38(O Prophet) tell the disbelievers that if they cease hostilities, all their past will be forgiven. But if they return, they will meet the example of the old nations.

8:39Fight those who persist in aggression until persecution is no more, and all Religion can be freely adopted only for God. Then if they cease, God is the Seer of what they do. (2:193, 12:108).

8:40(Be magnanimous in treating them) knowing that if they returned to their previous ways, God is your Lord Supreme. And how excellent is this Lord Supreme, and how excellent is this Giver of help!

8:41(You ask about the distribution of the spoils of war when you fight aggression and attain victory.) Whatever you take as spoils of war, a fifth of that is for God and the Messenger (the State). (And the rest) is for the families (of the fallen soldiers), those left alone in the society, the widows, the ones whose income has stalled for any reason, and the needy wayfarer, the homeless son of the street. This (you will do) if you believe in God and in what We have revealed to Our servant when the two armies met (at Badr) on the Day of Distinction. God has appointed due measure for all things and events.

[Families of the slain soldiers are included in context]

8:42Remember you were on this, (the Madinah)side of the Valley (of Badr), and they were on the farther (Makkah) side of the Valley. And the caravan of the Makkans was on lower ground than you (proceeding south along the low western coast, from Syria to Makkah). Had you attacked the caravan, it would not have accomplished God’s will on a matter already decided, that those who died may die after a clear sign, and those who lived may live after a clear sign. He wanted you to have a decisive victory over the hostile army. God has decreed that the truth shall live and falsehood shall vanish. God is Hearer, Knower.

[My interpolation of the locations can easily be discerned on a good map]

8:43God made them few in your vision. Had He made them appear more numerous (and you got intimidated by their great numbers), you would have been discouraged. And you would have disputed among yourselves (whether fighting them at Badr was a good idea). But God saved you from faltering. He is fully Aware of what is in the hearts.

8:44When the two armies faced each other, He made them appear few in your eyes, and made you appear weak in their eyes (3:12). God willed that to be the Day of Distinction. All matters go back to God’s laws as their source.

8:45O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Whenever you meet an army, be firm and remember God much, that you may be successful. [8:10]

8:46Obey God and His Messenger (the Central Authority) and do not fall into disputation, lest you falter and lose your strength. Be steadfast, for certainly, God is with the steadfast.

8:47Do not be like the disbelievers who come out of their homes boastfully and to show off, although they come forth to hinder people from the path of God. And God encompasses all their doings.

8:48There was a group of Satanic conspirators, the hypocrites, who praised the disbelievers’ actions, “You cannot be overcome by any people today, and we will be fighting along with you as allies.” But as soon as the two armies came face to face, they turned back on their heels and fled, saying, “We disown you, we see what you do not. We are afraid of God Who has instilled faith in the hearts of the believers. God is Strict in grasping.”

8:49The hypocrites, and those who harbor doubts in their hearts, taunted the believers, “Their religion has deluded them." But, whoever puts his trust in God, will find that God is Exalted in Might, Wise.

8:50Only if you could perceive how the rejecters leave this world, as the angels put them to death. It is as if they were smiting their faces and backs, “Taste the doom of burning.”

8:51“It is the result of your deeds that you sent forth with your own hands. God is never a tyrant over His servants.” [3:182]

8:52(They were made aware of history but) they ended up like Pharaoh's people, and those before them. They rejected God's messages, and God (through His laws) seized them for trailing behind in humanity. God is Strong, Strict in grasping.

[Zanb = Tail = Trailing behind = Sticking a slander behind someone’s back]

8:53Thus it is. God never changes a blessing that He has bestowed upon a nation until they first change themselves. God is the One Who is Hearer, Knower. [13:11]

8:54Pharaoh’s people and those before them are examples. They denied the messages of their Lord. They trailed behind in humanity and We (Our law) annihilated them. Pharaoh’s people were drowned. They had chosen to do wrong and used to violate human rights.

8:55The worst among creatures in God's Sight are those who oppose the truth. They show ingratitude by not using their God-given faculties and thus fail to believe.

[Not using our God-given faculties and potentials is extreme ingratitude]

8:56Those with whom you have made a peace treaty, and then at every opportunity they break their treaty, certainly violate the Divine laws.

8:57When you encounter them in war, deal with them to set an example for those who come after them, that they may remember.

8:58If you anticipate treachery and breach of treaty, then fairly return the treaty back to them. God does not love the treacherous.

8:59Let not the rejecters think that they can get away with their violations. They cannot escape the Law of Requital.

8:60Make ready for them all the power you can muster, and all the equipment you can mobilize so that you may deter the enemies of God, and your enemies. And others beside them whom you know not, but God knows them. Whatever wealth and effort you spend on your defenses, will be your expenditure in the cause of God, and it will be repaid to you generously. And you shall not be wronged at all.

8:61When they incline to peace, you shall incline to it, and trust in God. He is the Hearer, the Knower.

8:62And if they intend to deceive you, God will be Sufficient for you. He will strengthen you (O Messenger) with His support, and with the believers.

[An offer of peace should not be rejected for undue suspicion]

8:63God has brought together the hearts of the believers. If you (O Messenger) had spent all that is on earth, you could not have produced that affection, but God has done it. (The Divine Ideology has unified the believers.) He is Almighty, Wise.

8:64O Prophet! God is Sufficient for you and the believers who follow you.

8:65O Prophet! Inspire the believers (to conquer all fear of death) in times of war. If there be twenty of you who are patient in adversity, they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be one hundred of you, they shall overcome one thousand of the opponents of the truth. This is because the rejecters of the truth are people who cannot understand (the Eternal rewards that motivate the believers).

8:66For the time being, however, God has lightened your burden, for He knows that you are weak. And so, if there be one hundred of you who are steadfast in adversity, they should be able to overcome two hundred; and if there be one thousand of you, they should be able to overcome two thousand by God’s leave. God is with those who are steadfast in adversity.

8:67It is beyond the dignity of a Prophet to hold any captives except during warfare in the region. You may desire the fleeting gains of this world, but God advocates the Hereafter. God is Almighty, Wise. (He knows your true welfare.)

[The captives must be freed at the conclusion of hostilities by way of kindness, for ransom, or by exchange of prisoners of war. There is no other option. 47:4, 90:13]

8:68If God had not decreed upon Himself mercy, those of you who fell for temptation (of booty), would have faced a great retribution.

8:69(We have seen that you developed your character and established the Divine Order in the society. Then you had to fight off aggression) Now enjoy what you have won as lawful and good. Be mindful of God (His laws). Surely, God is Absolver of imperfections, Merciful.

8:70O Prophet! Tell the captives of war who are in your hand, “If God sees any good in your hearts He will give you better than what has been taken from you, and He will forgive you. God is Forgiving, Merciful.

8:71If they have treacherous designs against you, well, they have already betrayed God before this, and so, He has given you power over them. God is Knower, Wise.

8:72Those who believed, emigrated, and strove with their possessions and lives in the cause of God, as well as those who hosted them and supported them (in Madinah), are close protecting friends of one another. For those who believed but stayed back (in Makkah), you do not owe them support until they migrate. But if they seek your help as sisters and brothers in Divine Ideology, then it is your duty to help them except against a people with whom you have a treaty. God is Seer of all you do.

8:73Those who reject the Divine message are protectors of one another. Unless you do this (help the immigrants and protect each other), there will be chaos in the land and great disorder.

8:74Those who believed and emigrated, and strove in the cause of God, and those who hosted them and supported them, are True believers. For them is protection of forgiveness and honorable provision.

8:75And those who followed them in belief, and left their homes, and strove along with you, they are of you. Remember that blood relatives have certain special rights and obligations over each other according to God's Ordinance. They should be the first ones to help each other. God is Knower of all things.

Surah 9. At-Taubah – The Repentance

This is the 9th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 129 verses. Humanity must abstain from associating others with God -- the One True God. This injunction applies to matters of worship, obedience and law-giving. Ascribing partners to God does not upset Him. He is too High and Glorious to feel offended. Idolatry in any form only harms us by dragging down the honor granted to humans by the Sublime Creator. And it divides mankind into castes and sects. The idolaters, and others who associate gods besides the One True God, are the believers’ brothers and sisters once they embrace the truth. And eventually humankind will become one community.

It is customary to omit Bismillah before this Surah as it is considered to be a continuation of the last Surah, Al-Anfal. However, the matter is absolutely insignificant and proper references are imperative to ‘The Qur’an As It Explains Itself’. Al-Anfal is the 8th and this is the 9th Chapter of the Qur’an.

(With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness)

9:1Freedom from obligation is proclaimed from God and His Messenger towards those of the Pagans with whom you had made a treaty.

[The treaties that the believers had signed with the idolaters of the Arabian Peninsula, no longer remain valid, since they have repeatedly violated them. 9:4]

9:2(O Idolaters, who have repeatedly violated the peace treaties!) Travel freely in the land for four months, and know that you cannot escape God, and that God will bring disgrace to the rejecters of the truth.

[Four months of peacetime, see 9:36. The Central Authority will subdue the aggressors]

9:3And a proclamation from God and His Messenger is herewith made to all mankind on this day of the Greatest Pilgrimage (9th day of the 12th lunar month, Zil-Hajjah). God disowns the idolaters, and so does His Messenger. So, if you repent, it will be better for you. But if you turn away from repentance, then know that you cannot escape God. (O Messenger) give tiding of an awful retribution to those who are bent upon opposing the truth,

9:4Except those idolaters with whom you have a treaty and they have not subsequently failed you, nor have they helped others against you. You shall fulfill your treaty with them until their term. God loves those who are mindful of His laws.

9:5When the four Sacred Months are over, subdue them wherever they come from. Take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them ambush. But if they repent from aggression, and help in the consolidation of the Divine System and in setting up the Economic Order of Zakaat, then leave their way free. Surely, God is Forgiving Merciful (so shall you be).

[This verse applies to idolaters who were committing aggression instead of becoming law abiding citizens or emigrating. The four Sacred Months forbidden for any warfare: From the 12th month, Zil-Hajjahup to the 3rd month,Rabi'ul Awwal2:193-195, 9:36. Some critics of Islam call this verse as the “Verse of Sword” presenting it out of context. Also, they present it as applicable for all times while it refers only to the aggressors against the Prophet and his companions in Makkah. See 9:1-6]

9:6If anyone of the idolaters seeks your protection or a safe passage, grant him state protection. Convey to him the Word of God, and then escort him to his destiny where he feels safe and secure. This kindness on your part is mandatory since they are a people unaware (of the beauty of Islam).

9:7How can there be a treaty with God and His Messenger for the idolaters (when they have repeatedly violated it)? Exempted are those with whom you make a treaty at the Sacred Masjid. If they honor and uphold such a treaty, so shall you. God loves those who live upright.

9:8How can there be a treaty seeing that if they get the upper hand against you, they would respect no ties and no pacts with you? They pleased you with their speech but their hearts opposed you. Most of them defy their pledges.

[Faasiqeen = Those who drift away]

9:9They trade away God’s revelations for petty gains and hinder people from His path. Their deeds spread inequity and confusion in the society.

[This trade, frequently mentioned in the Qur’an, indicates: Fulfilling selfish desires for instant gains at the cost of disregarding Permanent Moral Values]

9:10They respect no tie and no pact regarding a believer. They are the ones given to excesses.

9:11If they mend their ways, (and as law-abiding citizens), help consolidate the Divine System, and the Economic Order of Zakaat, then they are your brothers in the System of Life. We explain Our messages for those who wish to learn.

[The usual translation of this verse conveys the meaning that if they start praying five times a day and give 2.5% poor-due per year, then they are your brothers in religion. This interpretation goes directly against the all-encompassing Ordinance of God that there is no compulsion or coercion in Deen Islam. 2:256]

9:12If they keep breaking their pledges after their treaty, and assail your System, then fight the chiefs of the disbelievers. They have no respect for their binding oaths. This action will help restrain them from aggression.

9:13Will you not fight a people who keep breaking their solemn pledges and did everything to drive out the Messenger, and did attack you first? What! Do you fear them? Nay, it is God alone Whom you should more justly fear, if you are truly believers.

9:14Fight them! God will punish them at your hands, and He will humiliate them, and give you victory over them, and He will soothe the bosoms of those who believe. (Soothe from the persecution they have undergone).

9:15He will remove the rage from their hearts. (The invitation is always open.) God accepts corrective action according to His law. For God is All Knower, All Wise.

9:16Do you think that you will be left alone without God distinguishing those among you who strive in His cause, and take none for ally except God, His Messenger, and the believers? And God is Aware of what you do.

9:17Those who associate others with God, (whether idols, dead saints, religious or temporal leaders), shall not administer God’s Masjids, the Centers of the Divine System – while they witness against their own ‘self’ - denial of truth. All their works are in vain and they will abide in the fire.

[9:107, 30:31, 72:18. Pilgrimage of the House is a duty unto all mankind, not Muslims alone. 3:97]

9:18Only those people are fit to administer or maintain the Masjids (the Centers of the Divine Order), who have unwavering belief in God and the Last Day. They strive to establish the Divine System, and to set up the Just Economic Order of Zakaatand stand in awe of none but God. They are the ones who are rightly guided.

[Ya’mur = Maintains or administers. Yousuf Ali, Pickthall and Muhammad Asad correctly translate the word as maintaining or tending]

9:19Do you consider providing water to pilgrims and caring for the Sacred Masjid (inMakkah) equal to the work of him who has conviction in God and the Last Day and then strives in the cause of God? They are not equal in the Sight of God. God does not guide those who displace action with ritual.

[Zaalim = One who displaces something from its rightful place = Choosing to do wrong]

9:20Those who attained belief, and left the domain of evil, and strove in the cause of God with their wealth and their lives, have a much greater rank with God. They are the ones who are truly triumphant.

9:21Their Lord gives them good news of His grace, His approval, and the Gardens with lasting delight and bliss.

9:22They will live there forever. Surely, with God is immense reward.

9:23O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Even if your parents and siblings take pleasure in disbelief rather than faith, do not take them as allies. For, those of you who ally themselves with them, it is those who are wrongdoers. (The Divine Ideology shall take precedence over all other bonds.)

9:24Say, “If your parents, your children, and your siblings, and your spouses, and your tribe, and the wealth you have acquired, and the business in which you fear a decline, and the houses you love, are dearer to you than God and His Messenger and striving in His cause, then wait until God brings His command to pass.” (Systems based on other than the Supreme Divine Ideology are destined to collapse.) God does not guide those who drift away from Divine laws.

[Faasiq = One who drifts away]

9:25God has granted you victory in many battle-fields. And on the Day of Hunain, when you marveled at your great numbers, they did not avail you in the least. The earth, despite all its vastness, became constrained for you and you turned back, retreating.

9:26Then God sent His reassuring peace upon His Messenger and upon the believers, and sent down armies you could not see, and punished the rejecters. Such is the reward of the deniers of the truth.

[The Messenger led them from chaos back to discipline, and boosted their morale. That was the army unseen. 3:125, 8:10, 9:40, 41:30, 48:4]

9:27God will shower mercy on the worthy according to His laws. God is Forgiving, Merciful.

9:28 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! The idolaters are polluted (with false beliefs) and so they shall not approach the Sacred Masjid from this year onward. If you fear poverty, then in time God will enrich you with His bounty according to His laws. Certainly, God is Knower, Wise.

[See 9:18 for administration of the Masjid. Also, note that God invites all mankind, not Muslims alone, to the Pilgrimage of the Sacred House. 3:97, 22:27]

9:29Fight back against those (who keep violating peace treaties and commit aggression 9:1-10) and do not believe in God, nor in the Last Day, nor do they accept what God and His Messenger have made mandatory (being law abiding citizens), nor do they acknowledge the True Religion - among those who were given the scripture, until they pay war reparations in humility.

[‘Fight back’ See 9:1-4 Tasreef. Jizyah = War Reparations, Damages to be paid by the aggressors, and not any kind of ‘tribute or tax’ as generally but erroneously translated. 'Mufridaat-e-Raaghib'. The Arabic word for tribute is “Kharaj”. See 18:94 ‘Kharjan’]

9:30The Jews say, “Uzayr (Osiris) is God’s son,” while the Christians say, “The Messiah is God’s son.” They only utter baseless themes with their mouths, following the assertions made in earlier times by people who denied the truth. God condemns them. They are deluded.

[Many Jews in the Arabian Peninsula used to believe that Osiris, the Egyptian idol, was God’s Son while others thought of Ezra, who restored the Torah after it had been lost in the Babylonian Exile, as God’s Son. Uzayr applies to Ezra as well as Osiris. See 20:88]

9:31They take their rabbis, priests and monks to be their Lords* besides God. And they take as their Lord, the Messiah son of Mary. Yet they were commanded to worship but One God. There is no god but He. Glorified is He from all that they ascribe to Him as partners.

[*Talmud shows the Jewish superstition of ascribing divinity to Ezra, rabbis, saints, doctors of law and learned men. And the doctrine of Papal infallibility, divinity of saints and praying to them are common in the Roman Catholic Church]

9:32They seek to extinguish God’s light (the Qur’an) by their utterances. But God will not allow this to pass, for He has willed to spread His light in all its fullness even though the deniers may detest it.

9:33He is the One Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the True Religion (The Divinely Prescribed System of Life), that He may cause it to prevail over all religions and systems of life, even though the idolaters may detest it.

[5:3, 9:31-33, 13:31, 14:48, 18:48, 41:53, 48:28, 51:20-21, 61:8-9. The Qur’anic Deen will prevail over all religions. This refers to Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism and all other forms of ‘Isms’ and religion, including the sects that are now present in the name of Islam. Please remember that no sect can be considered Islamic. DEEN in the Sight of God is nothing but Al-Islam 5:3. But next to religions, the Qur’anic System of Life will also dominate and prevail over all manmade political and social systems such as Communism, Atheism, Secularism, Secular Democracy, Despotism, Theocracy, Monarchy, all “isms” such as “Humanism” Socialism, Idol worship in any form, Sufism and Capitalism. This will happen as humanity, after the centuries old, protracted toil of trial and error will come to intellectually realize, and accept the Supremacy of the Final Testament, Al-Qur’an]

9:34O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! A great many religious leaders, rabbis, priests, monks, mullahs, yogis, and sufis devour the wealth of people in falsehood, and bar them from the path of God. All those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in the cause of God, give them tidings of a painful doom.

[Ahbaar = Clergy of any religion. Ruhbaan = Monks, Yogis and Sufis]

9:35On the Day when it will all be heated in the fire of Hell and their foreheads, flanks and backs will be branded with it. “Here is what you hoarded for yourselves, now taste what you had hoarded.”

9:36God has ordained twelve months in one year. This has been God’s Ordinance since the day He created the heavens and earth. Four of these Months are Sacred, forbidden for all warfare. This is the Firm Religion, the right way. So, do not wrong yourselves by fighting during the Sacred Months. However, you may fight the idolaters in any or all these months if they fight against you in any or all of them (2:193-195). And know that God is with those who restrain themselves.

[Mankind, through international treaties, must agree to shun all kind of warfare during these four months. This will give them a cooling off period that sense may prevail over emotions. Four Sacred Months for peacetime: 2:194, 9:1-5. From the 12th lunar month of Pilgrimage to the third month]

9:37Altering the Sacred Months is only an addition to disbelief. It increases the straying of the disbelievers. They keep the total count of the Sacred Months as four, but keep shifting them within the same year or from year to year. Thus they allow what God has forbidden. Their evil actions seem pleasing to them. God does not guide those who choose to reject the truth.

9:38O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! What is amiss with you that, when called upon, “Go forth in the cause of God,” you cling heavily to the ground? Do you choose pleasure in the life of this world rather than in the life to come? The enjoyment of this life is but a paltry thing compared to the Hereafter.

9:39If you did not go forth in God’s cause, He (His law) will afflict you with a painful doom. He will replace you with another nation. You cannot harm Him in the least. All things transpire according to the laws appointed by God.

[Only the competent nations live honorably on earth. 21:105, 24:55]

9:40If you do not help the Messenger, God will help him, as always. When the disbelievers drove him out of his home, they were just two men. They had to seek refuge in a cave. The Messenger said to his companion, “Grieve not. God is with us.” Then God sent His reassuring peace upon him, and supported him with invisible forces of faith and courage (9:26). He made the word of the disbelievers utterly low. God’s Word remains Supreme. God is Mighty, Wise.

9:41Go forth lightly armed, or heavily armed and strive with your wealth and persons in the cause of God. This is best for you if you but knew.

9:42There are people among you that if it were a quick material gain and a short easy journey, they would follow you. But the strife and the distance seem heavy and long to them. They will swear by God, “If we could, we would have gone along with you.” They destroy their own ‘self’. God knows that they are liars.

9:43God pardons you (O Messenger) that you gave them permission to stay behind, before you could distinguish the truthful from the liars.

[The permission gave the hypocrites an excuse to stay back]

9:44Those who have conviction in God and the Last Day, do not ask you for exemption from striving with their wealth and persons. God is Aware of those who live upright.

9:45Only those ask your leave (O Prophet) who do not truly believe in God and the Last Day. Their hearts feel doubt, and in their doubt they waver.

9:46If they wanted to go forth, they would have made necessary preparation. God disliked their participation for their reluctance, and held them back. (The Prophet had) said to them, “Stay behind with those who are sitting back.”

9:47Even if they had gone forth they would have only caused trouble and run to and fro seeking sedition among you. In your ranks some are apt to listen to them and in your ranks are spies of the enemy. God knows the wrongdoers.

9:48They sought to create dissension among you before, and raised difficulties for you (O Prophet). They did that until the truth came and the decree of God prevailed, though they detested it.

9:49Of them is he who says, “Grant me leave, and do not draw me into trial.” Have they not fallen into trial already? In fact, Hell is all around the disbelievers.

9:50If some good comes to you (O Prophet) it grieves them. And if calamity befalls you, they say, “We took our precautions beforehand.” And they turn away rejoicing.

9:51Say, “No calamity befalls us except within the bounds of God’s laws. Only He is our Lord Supreme (Maulana).” In God let the believers put their trust!

[Calling religious men asMaulana is a very common but dangerous practice involving Shirk]

9:52Say, "Can you expect for us other than one of two things" - (victory or martyrdom)? We expect for you that God will send His retribution from Himself, or by our hands. Wait then expectant, and we shall hopefully wait with you.”

9:53(Some hypocrites want to make financial contributions.) Tell them, "Your contribution is not accepted whether you pay willingly or unwillingly. You are a people who drift away from the System at the first opportune time."

9:54What prevents their contributions from being accepted is this: They do not truly believe in God and His Messenger. They only claim to believe. They join you in Salaat congregations only half-heartedly and just to be seen of men. And they contribute only with great reluctance in their hearts. [2:8, 4:142, 107:5, 2:256]

9:55Let not their riches or their children and party astonish you (O Prophet). God causes them to suffer retribution through these in the life of this world and they depart in sorrow while they are in denial (9:85).

[The ‘dazzle’ of the world holds them back from striving. But people must strive and build Paradise with their own hands. 3:135, 16:32, 46:14-16]

9:56And they swear by God that they are of you. In fact, they are not of you, they are people ridden with fear.

9:57If they could find a refuge or a cave or a hiding place, they would rush to it like runaway horses.

9:58Some of them try to find fault with you (O Prophet) in the distribution of charity. If they are given plenty, they are pleased, but if they receive little share, they get enraged.

9:59It would have been enormously good for them if they were content with what God and His Messenger had given them. And if they had said, "God suffices us. God will give us of His bounty, and the Messenger will distribute in kindness and equity. We turn to God with all our hopes.”

[59:7. The Central Authority will be just to all]

9:60(The funds that the Central Authority receives as) Alms and Charity (Sadaqaat) belong to the following eight categories: 1- The poor, those who are not able to earn sufficient living to meet their essential needs. 2- Those whose running businesses have stalled or the ones who have lost their jobs or those who have become needy for any reason. 3- Officials who have been appointed by the government to collect alms and charity. 4- Those who deserve financial help to heal any sufferings. 5- For those in bondage of any kind: physical slavery, unjust captivity, and oppression. 6- Those in heavy debt. 7- Defense of the Ideological State, in the cause of God. 8- The wayfarer who becomes needy, or travels to the believers in destitute condition, and the homeless son of the street. This is a Duty from God. For, God is Knower, Wise (and His commands are based on knowledge and wisdom).

[It is important to bear in mind an almost universal misconception among Muslim scholars and the masses about Sadaqaat alms and charity. They think that the above eight categories are Zakaat. But Zakaat indicates the Just Economic Order where everyone in the society receives a decent provision. The cornerstone of Zakaat is spending whatever is surplus 2:219, 6:141. In other words, it means turning the extra income voluntarily to the Central Authority who, in turn, will establish a Welfare State where everyone works according to his capacity and is paid according to his needs. The Central Authority can set up a mandatory percentage of income as taxes on its citizens. The taxes will vary according to the needs of the time, be it 2.5%, 5% or more or less. Verse 9:60 is talking about Sadaqaat alms and charity and not Zakaat. Sadaqaat are meant to be only an interim arrangement applicable at any time until the Divinely Ordained System is established and the Just Economic Order is set up in the society]

9:61And among those (enemies of the truth) are some who hurt the Prophet and say, “He is only a hearer.” Say, “A listener, that is good for you.” He believes in God, has faith in the believers, and is a mercy to those of you who believe.” Those who vex and hurt the Messenger of God, for them is an awful punishment.

[The Messenger is not an emperor or a king who keep guards around them. He is accessible to all at all time and it is good for you that he pays attention to everyone]

9:62(O You who believe) People swear by God to you in order to please you (and improve personal relations). But it is more fitting that they should please God and His Messenger, if they really believe (in the Divine Ideology).

9:63Do they not know that one who opposes God and His Messenger, for him is Hellfire, to abide therein? That is the supreme disgrace.

9:64The hypocrites fear that a Surah might be revealed concerning them, exposing what is in their hearts. Say, “Go on mocking! God will bring to light exactly what you are dreading.”

[It was indeed revealed. 47:30. The exalted Prophet came to know the hypocrites of his times]

9:65If you ask them (O Messenger), they will say, “We only talk in jest.” Say, “Do you realize that you are mocking God, His revelations and His Messenger?”

9:66“Make no excuses. You have disbelieved after your confession of belief.” If We forgive a group of you, there is another group whom We shall punish since they have violated human rights by stealing the fruit of others’ labor.” (Unless they restore their rights 4:17, 9:102, 25:70, 27:11).

9:67The hypocrites, both men and women, are all of a kind. They enjoin the doing of what is wrong and forbid the doing of what is right, and withhold their hands from doing good. They have forgotten God, and so He deprives them of His grace. The hypocrites drift away from humanity.

[‘God forgetting them’ denotes that He is depriving them of His grace. God forgets nothing in the customary sense. Whoever forgets God, forgets himself and his honored stature of being a servant of the Supreme Lord. 59:19]

9:68God promises the hypocrite men and women, and the rejecters, the fire of Hell for their abode. It suffices them. They deprive themselves of the grace of God, and theirs is the lasting torment.

9:69There have been people like you before who were mightier than you in strength, more affluent than you in wealth and children and party. They enjoyed their share of this worldly life. And you have been enjoying your share, just as they did, and you indulge in idle talk as they did. Such are the people whose works have perished in the world and in the life to come. And it is they who are the losers.

9:70Has not the history reached them of those before them? Of the People of Noah, ‘Aad, Thamud, Abraham’s people, the dwellers of Midyan, and the disasters that befell them. Their Messengers had come to them with clear evidence of the truth. God never did injustice to them. But they used to wrong their own people and thus wronged their own ‘self’.

9:71Believing men and believing women are colleagues of one another. They enjoin virtue and forbid vice. Together, they help establish the Divinely prescribed Way of Life, and set up the Economic Order of Zakaat. This is how they obey God and His Messenger. These are the ones on whom God showers His grace of success. Certainly, God is Exalted in Power, Wise.

[The believing men and women, working together, do not deliver empty lectures. They enjoin virtue and forbid vice by personal example, knowing that the Qur’an is the Eternal Criterion of right and wrong. 2:185. ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’, ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’ are not vague entities. The Qur’an clearly defines them in 2:177 and many other verses. In short, good is all that helps people and evil is all that hurts them]

9:72God promises to the believers, both men and women, Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will live forever, and magnificent dwellings in the Gardens of Eden. And God’s approval is the greatest of all blessings. That is the Supreme Triumph.

9:73(Establishment of the Divine System will build a paradise on earth. But you will meet staunch opposition) O Prophet! Strive hard against the rejecters and the hypocrites! And be tough with them without the least inclination towards compromise. Their ultimate abode is Hell, a miserable destination.

9:74They (the hypocrites) swear by God about what innocuous words they have been saying. Yet they keep uttering falsehood and concealing the truth after professing Islam. They were aiming at something beyond their reach (attaining inner peace without sincerity to the Divine Guidance). And they could find no fault in the Divine System except that God and His Messenger have enriched them out of His bounty. So, it will be good for them if they repent and reform. If they still turn away, God will cause them to suffer a painful retribution in this world and in the life to come. And they will have no protector or helper on earth.

9:75And among them are those who promise God, “If He gives us of His bounty we will certainly spend in charity and will certainly become of the righteous, the ones who help others.”

9:76Yet, when He gave them of His bounty they hoarded it and turned away from their promise.

9:77God’s law instilled hypocrisy in their hearts till the Day they meet Him (until their demise). This is because they broke their word to God that they promised Him, and because they lied again and again.

9:78Are they not aware that God knows their thoughts and secret consultations and that God is the Great Knower of all that is Hidden?

9:79It is these (hypocrites) who find fault with such of the believers who give generously, and they find fault with such believers who have nothing to give but their toil and labor. They ridicule them all. God’s Law of Requital will cause their ridicule to rebound on themselves, and grievous suffering awaits them.

9:80(O Prophet! You very compassionately ask forgiveness for them.) It does not matter if you ask forgiveness for them, or not, God will not forgive them even if you ask seventy times for their forgiveness. They have rejected God and His Messenger. God does not guide people that choose to drift away from the right path.

9:81Those (hypocrites) who were left behind, rejoiced in their sitting back behind the Messenger of God, and disliked to strive with their wealth and persons in God’s cause. They said, “Let us not go forth in heat.” Say, “The fire of Hell is more intense”, if they but understood.

[And the advancing aggressors could soon bring the heat of the conflict to their homes]

9:82Then let them laugh a little, they will weep much, as the reward of what they have earned.

9:83If God returns you to a situation where they ask your permission to go forth, say, “You shall never again come out with me, nor fight an enemy with me. You were well pleased sitting back the first time. Then, stay back with those who stay behind (women, children, elderly men, the sick and the disabled).

9:84Neither shall you (O Prophet) follow the funeral of any of them that dies, nor stand at his grave. They rejected God and His Messenger, and drifted away from the Commands until they died.

9:85Let not their wealth or their children or party impress you! God causes these things to be a suffering for them in this world, and their ‘self’ departs while they are disbelievers (9:55).

[Hoarding of wealth and taking pride in children, party and possessions cause people to ignore Divine laws in their daily lives, and thus, they become a tribulation for them. 2:195, 8:28, 18:32, 63:9, 68:14, 57:20]

9:86When a Surah is revealed saying, “Attain belief in God, and strive along with His Messenger”, the able-bodied men of wealth ask your leave and say, “Allow us to stay behind with those who remain at home.”

9:87They are well pleased to be with the disabled, the elderly, the women and children, and the ill. This attitude puts a seal on their hearts. They seldom understand (that fear can only be overcome with action 2:277, 6:48, 6:81).

9:88But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive with their wealth and persons. For them are all the good things and high ranks, and they are the ones who are truly prosperous.

9:89God has made ready for them Gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide. That is the signal victory.

9:90And of the desert Arabs also, there were some who made excuses and came to claim exemption. And those who were false to God and His Messenger, merely sat behind. Grievous suffering is bound to befall the unbelievers among them.

9:91Not to be blamed are the physically weak, the elderly, the sick, and the ones who have no means to offer, so long as they are sincere to God and His Messenger (48:17). They should do what they can to support the cause. There is no way of blame against the doers of such good. God is Forgiving, Merciful.

9:92Nor is there any blame on those who came to you (O Messenger) requesting that you provide them with mounts (horses and camels). You told them, “I cannot find a ride to mount you on.” They returned with eyes flowing with tears out of sorrow that they had no means to spend for equipment.

9:93The way of blame is only against those who ask for your leave when they are rich and able-bodied. They are well pleased to be with those who are obliged to stay behind. They have caused God’s Law of Requital to seal their hearts without knowing it.

9:94They will make excuse to you when you believers return. Say, “Make no excuse, for we shall not believe you. God has informed us about you. God and His Messenger, the Central Authority, will keep you under probation. And then you will be brought back to Him, the Knower of the Invisible and the Visible, and He will tell you what you had been doing.”

9:95They will swear by God, when you return to them, so that you may leave them alone. So leave them alone (9:125). They have hurt their humanity and earned the abode of Hell with their actions.

9:96They swear that you believers may be pleased with them. Even if you accept them, God does not accept those who drift away from His commands [9:23-24]

9:97The desert Arabs are more tenacious in disbelief and hypocrisy, and more likely to disregard the limits that God has revealed to His Messenger. God is Knower, Wise.

9:98Among these Bedouin Arabs is he who looks upon his spending as a penalty, and awaits a disaster to hit you. (They hope for the Divine Order to collapse.) It is those who invite disaster upon themselves. God is Hearer, Knower.

9:99And among the Bedouins are those who believe in God and the Last Day and consider their spending as a means towards God and a means of supporting the Messenger. This will raise their ranks with God. God will embrace them with His mercy. God is Forgiving, Merciful.

9:100The foremost among the emigrants and the helpers, as well as those who followed them in noble deeds: God’s will is in harmony with them and their will in harmony with Him. He has made ready for them the evergreen Gardens, wherein they will abide eternally. This is the Supreme Triumph.

[Muhaajireen = Emigrants from Makkah. Ansaar = Those who hosted them in Madinah. Radhi-Allahu ’anhum wa radhu ‘Anh also translates as, “God is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him.”]

9:101Some of the Bedouins who dwell around your town are hypocrites, and some of the people of Al-Madinah also persist in hypocrisy. You do not know them, We know them. We will punish them twice (they will be humiliated in the battle and they will see their families and children embracing Belief). Then they will be relegated to a painful doom.

9:102There are others who acknowledge their faults. Since they have a mixed record of good and bad deeds, they may hope that God will relent toward them, for God is Forgiving, Merciful.

9:103Accept their contribution for the community. Purify their thoughts with proper education and training so that their own ‘self’ may grow. Encourage and support them! Your support is a great source of peace in their hearts. God is Hearer, Knower.

[Let the believers adopt the Divine Attributes in their human capacity. 2:103]

9:104Do they not know that God is the One Who accepts the repentance of His servants, and accepts their charity? God is the Acceptor of repentance, Merciful.

9:105Say, "Act! (Prove your word with action). God will watch your actions and so will His Messenger, and the believers. Ultimately you will be returned to the Knower of the invisible and visible. Then, He will make you understand what you used to do." (7:7)

9:106There are some who await God's decree whether He will punish them or relent to them. God is All Knower, All Wise.

[Their matter is under investigation by the State. Divine laws are based on knowledge and wisdom 9:118]

9:107(The hypocrites keep making schemes.) They built a Masjid - 'Masjidan dhiraaran' - out of mischief to promote disbelief and sectarianism among the believers, and as an outpost for those who made war against God and His Messenger before. They will swear, “We only had good intentions”, but God bears witness that they are liars.

9:108You shall not stand in such a Masjid! The Masjid whose foundation was laid from the first day on righteousness, is more worthy that you stand therein. In it there are people who love to be purified in character, and God loves those who keep clean of schism and sectarianism. [6:160]

9:109Is he who founded his building on the secure way of God and His goodly acceptance better, or he who founded his building on the crumbling cliff of "Shirk" that topples down with him into the fire of Hell? God does not guide a people who displace right with wrong.

9:110The building which they have built will never cease to be a source of misgiving in their hearts unless their hearts be torn to pieces. God is Knower, Wise.

[A building that divides believers will remain a source of unrest in the hearts of the sectarians until their hearts stop beating]

9:111God has purchased from the believers their persons and their goods, for (in return) theirs is the Garden. They shall fight in the cause of God, and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise that is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel, and the Qur’an. Who can fulfill a promise better than God? Rejoice then in the bargain you have made, for that is the Supreme Triumph.

[Deuteronomy 6:4-5, 6:32. Mathew 10:5, 10:39, 19:29, 21:19]

9:112Triumphant are those who:

- Return to the right path and take corrective action as soon as they realize that they have erred.

- Obey the commands of God.

- Work to manifest the praise of God (for bestowing the most excellent guidance). .

- Pick up lessons about the history of previous nations whenever they travel.

- Are always humble before the Divine System.

- Adore and submit to God alone.

- Advocate all that is virtuous and discourage all that is vice.

- And remain watchful against trespassing the limits set by God.

So give the good news to those who have chosen to be graced with belief (that these are the men and women who deserve a most pleasant life in both worlds). [3:104, 33:35, 66:5]

9:113It is not fitting for the Prophet and the believers to pray for the forgiveness of the idolaters, even if they are their relatives, after it has been made clear to them that they are dwellers of the fire.

9:114Abraham asked forgiveness for his father because of a promise that he had made. The promise was based on the hope that his father would mend his ways. When it was made clear to him that his father was a persistent opponent of God's commands, he desisted from asking forgiveness for him. Abraham was kind-hearted, clement. [14:41, 19:47]

9:115God never sends a people astray after He has guided them, unless they violate the laws that were made plain. God is the Knower of all things.

9:116To God belongs the Dominion of the heavens and earth. He has full control over the laws of life and death, for individuals and nations. You have no protector and helper outside God’s laws.

9:117God turned in kindness to the Prophet, the emigrants and those who hosted them. They followed him in difficult times after the hearts of some of them had nearly wavered. Then He turned to them in kindness. He is Compassionate, Merciful to them.

[Muhaajireen = Emigrants. Ansaar = Those who host and support them]

9:118And (God also turned in compassion) to the three men who had stayed behind. The earth, despite all its vastness, had become narrow for them, and they became extremely despondent. They realized with certainty that there is no refuge from God other than a return to Him. Then He turned to them in mercy so that they return to the right way. God is Acceptor of repentance, Merciful.

[9:106, 9:43-46. According to the ever fallible history, the three who had stayed behind: Ka’b bin Maalik, Mararah bin Rabee’, Hilal bin Umayyah]

9:119O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Be mindful of God and be with the truthful.

9:120It is not for the residents of Al-Madinah and for the Bedouins around, to stay back behind the Messenger of God and prefer their own affairs over supporting him. For, whenever they suffer from thirst or weariness or hunger in the cause of God, and whenever they take any step that angers the rejecters, and whatever comes to them from the enemy (victory, injury or death), a good deed is recorded in their favor. God never fails to reward the doers of good.

[Muhsin = A benefactor of humanity = One who serves people = Whoever helps the creation = A doer of good. Anger during combat deters sound planning. Muhsin, in this sense, may refer to the one engaged in benign aggression self-defense as opposed to malignant aggression unjust war]

9:121And whatever they spend, small or large, and whenever they cross a valley, it is recorded in their credit, so that God repays them the best return for their actions.

9:122The believers shall not go to an expedition or mission all together. Of every group of believers, let some of them come forth to gain sound knowledge of Deen (the Qur’anic System of life). Then, upon return, they can warn their people against straying.

9:123O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Fight those of the disbelievers who close up on you, and let them find strength among your ranks. And know that God is with those who are mindful of His laws.

9:124Whenever a Surah is revealed some of them (hypocrites) say, “Which one of you has increased in faith?” In fact, it has increased the believers in faith and they rejoice.

9:125But those who have caused their hearts to ail by harboring doubts, it only adds another element of disbelief to disbelief, and they die refusing to accept the truth.

9:126Do they not see that they are tested once or twice each year? Still they do not repent, nor pay heed. (Tested at your hands. 9:14).

9:127When a Surah is revealed, the hypocrites look at each other mockingly as if saying, “Is anyone noticing you? Let us leave.” And then they turn away. God’s law turns their hearts away because they are a people who do not use their faculties of understanding.

9:128(All humanity must realize that) there has come to you a Messenger one of your own who feels your burden. He is full of concern for your betterment, and for those who attain belief, he is very compassionate, merciful.

9:129(O Messenger) if they turn away, then say, “God is Sufficient for me. There is no god but He. In Him I put my trust. For, He is the Lord of the Tremendous Throne.”

[‘Arsh = Throne = Sky = Height = The Throne of His Almightiness of Supreme Control. 7:54, 10:3, 13:2, 20:5, 25:59, 32:4, 57:4]

Surah 10. Yunus – Jonah

This is the 10th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 109 verses. Prophet Jonah was sent to Nineveh, the capital of Ancient Assyria around 700 BC. Nineveh was located by the East Bank of the Tigris River, and had a population of just over 100,000. Granting a period of respite to nations, in which they can mend their ways, is one of the eternal Divine laws.

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

10:1A.L.R. Alif–Laam-Ra. (Allah, Lateef the Unfathomable, Raaziq the Provider, states that), These are the verses of a Book that is full of wisdom.

10:2Is it too much of a wonder for people that We reveal Our message to a man among them? “You shall warn mankind, and give good news to those who attain belief that they have a sure footing with their Lord.” Those who are bent upon denying the truth, say, “This man is an obvious wizard.” (He is gifted with spellbinding eloquence).

10:3But, your Lord (Who sent this Book) is God Who created the heavens and earth in six stages, and is established on the Throne of His Almightiness of Supreme Control. He, the Director of all directions, Issuer of all decrees, runs the Universe according to His laws. No intercessor can stand in His Court but as a witness of law. Such is God, your Lord. You shall serve Him. Will you not use your intellect and reasoning?

[Six Stages or Eras: 2:255, 7:54, 10:3, 11:7, 16:111, 25:59, 50:38, 57:4, 41:10]

10:4To Him is your return, of all of you. God’s promise is the unwavering truth. He created the first creation, and He will create it again, so that He may reward with justice those who attain belief and do works that help the society. And those who reject the truth, for them will be a burning drink of despair and a painful doom because of their persistent refusal to acknowledge the truth.

[A consequence of their own doings. 33:24, 34:3-4, 45:22, 53:31]

10:5He is the One Who appointed the sun as a splendid glow, and the moon as a cool light. He appointed stages for the moon, in due measure. You make your calculations and calendars accordingly. God has created the Universe as the absolute reality and for a purpose. God explains His verses for those who wish to learn.

[The Universe is neither a dream as the ancient Hindu philosopher Manu preached, nor a reflection of the world of ideas as Plato thought. 6:97, 17:12]

10:6In the alternation of the day and the night, and in all that God has created in the heavens and earth, there are signs for people who are mindful of Divine laws.

[Taqwa = Seeking to journey through life in security = To live upright = To be mindful of Divine laws = Being observant = Shielding oneself against moral disintegration. 2:41]

10:7Those who do not look forward to meeting with Us, but exclusively desire the life of this world and feel contented herein, and those who are neglectful of Our messages,

[Meeting with Us = Liqa-anaa. At other places ‘Meeting with the Lord’ is generally understood as meeting the Divine Law of Requital or Recompense. Some exponents apply ‘Meeting with the Lord’ to Resurrection alone. In my humble opinion, since God is a Personal, Compassionate God, and a vast majority of His humble servants harbor an intense desire to see Him, He would not deny this kindness to them. We know that God is far too Glorious to have a physical image anthropomorphic form, but He is Able to do all things. In the World of Command AMR, He designs laws as He wills. It is in the World of Creation KHALQ that He implements those laws, and then, never changes them. So, He is absolutely Capable of devising any law in His World of Command. I find myself in agreement with numerous Ahadith narrating that humans should be able to meet their Creator in the Next Life, not as a wishful thinking, but because they are in agreement with the Qur’an. I do not certainly mean God assuming a physical form for 'meeting' with His servants, but in some way that is beyond our understanding at this time. Let us ponder some verses as well that allude to a new creation of humans in forms unknown to us at this time, and entirely new laws becoming operative in the New Universe: … 56:59 Is it you who create it or are We the Creator? … 56:60 We have decreed death designed the laws of death among you. And there is nothing to prevent Us 56:61 From changing your forms and making you in a manner, and in an environment, that is as yet unknown to you. … 11:106 Those who, by their deeds, brought misery on themselves will be in the fire, sighing and wailing will be their portion. … 11:107 Therein to abide, as long as the New Universe endures; that is time beyond count, unless your Lord decrees otherwise. Your Lord is Doer of what He wills in the World of Command. … The current Universe will be dismantled for a new Universe. 14:19, 14:48, 21:104, 25:22, 35:16, 36:81, 50:44, 69:16, 70:9 … 'Meeting with the Lord' is mentioned in the Qur’an about a hundred times. Even the great Allama Mashriqi ventures into the area, although I humbly disagree with him. He thinks that with evolution, humans will lose their body and only the 'spirit' will remain. And this spirit will merge with the 'Spirit' of God. And that is the 'Meeting with the Lord'! Ref: Tazkarah, Hadith-il-Qur’an. Now this concept exactly matches the Sufi parlance but it is totally unacceptable to a student of the Qur’an. Finally, 2:55 points out that only the disbelievers demand to see God in physical form, but that verse relates only to the life of this world]

10:8Their home will be the Fire that they have earned.

10:9Those who choose to believe and work to increase the human potential, their Lord will guide them because of their conviction in Truth. Beneath them will flow streams in Gardens of Bliss.

[A’maal Saaleh = Actions that increase the individual and collective potential of a society = Helping people = Improving the environment = Fulfilling others’ needs = Contributing to the society]

10:10Their prayer therein will be, “Glory be to You, O God!” Their greeting to one another will be, “Peace!” The conclusion of their prayer will be, “Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds!”

[And so shall be the peaceful Ideal Society on earth. They will realize that the good of one is the good of another, and understand how Praiseworthy the Giver of such blissful guidance is]

10:11If God hastened retribution for people as they demand goodly things be hastened for them, their respite would have already expired. Those who do not look forward to meeting with Us, We leave them in their arrogance, blindly stumbling to and fro. [10:7]

10:12When affliction befalls man, he cries to Us, whether he be lying, or sitting or standing. But when We have relieved him of the affliction, he goes on his way as if he had never cried to Us for what afflicted him. Those who trespass the Divine laws, lose discernment and even their ill deeds will then seem fair to them.

10:13We annihilated many communities before you for violation of human rights. Their Messengers had come to them with clear evidence of the truth, but they refused to believe (them). Thus We reward those who steal the fruit of others’ labor.

10:14Now We have made you their successors in the land, to see how you behave.

10:15When Our messages are conveyed to them in all clarity, those who do not expect that they are destined to meet with Us (want to strike a deal with the Messenger). They say, “Bring us a Qur’an other than this or make some changes in it.” Say (O Prophet), "I cannot possibly change it on my own. I only follow what is revealed to me. If I disobey my Lord, I fear the retribution of an awesome Day."

10:16Say, "If God willed otherwise, I would not have recited and conveyed this to you, nor would I have made you aware of it. I have dwelt among you a whole lifetime before this. Will you not, then, use your sense?”

[You have always called me Ameen Trustworthy and Sadiq Truthful. 7:184]

10:17Who does a greater wrong than the one who forges a lie against God, or denies His revelations? But the guilty will never prosper.

10:18They worship and obey besides God, deities that can neither harm nor benefit them. They say, “These are our intercessors with God.” Say, "Are you informing God of what He does not know in the heavens and earth? Glory to Him! He is High, Exalted above all that they associate with Him.” [39:3]

10:19All mankind were but one community (and are meant to be so); then they differed. Had it not been for a Word that went forth from your Lord (the Law of Respite), He would have judged their disputes immediately. [2:30, 2:213, 2:256, 11:118, 16:9, 76:2-3]

10:20And they say, “Why was not a miracle sent down to him from his Lord?” Then answer (O Prophet), “The Unseen is known to God alone. Wait for the results of my program, and I shall be waiting with you.”

[That will be the best sign for all of us to behold]

10:21When We cause people to taste of mercy after they have suffered a hardship, they start scheming to defy Our commands. Say, “God is Swift in planning. Our couriers write down what you plot.”

10:22He is the One Who enables you to travel in the land and the sea. When you board the ships, the ships sail with the voyagers with a favorable breeze. And they rejoice therein. If a stormy wind comes and the waves surround them, they think they are overwhelmed. Then they implore God, in all sincerity turning to His universal laws, saying, "If You only save us this time, we will truly show our gratitude.”

10:23Yet as soon as He has saved them, they return to land in their behavior of rebellion against all that is right. O Mankind! Remember that your rebellion is only against your own ‘self’ (91:9-10). Enjoyment of the worldly life with disregard of Eternity, is but a fleeting delight. In the end, to Us is your return, and We will inform you of all that you truly accomplished.

10:24Those who do not invest in the life to come must consider a similitude: The life of the world is a passing delight: We send down water from the height to produce with it all kinds of plants from the earth, provision for humans and animals. Then, just as the earth has taken its ornament and is perfectly adorned, and its people think that they are in control, Our command arrives by night or by day, leaving it completely barren, as if nothing existed there yesterday. The only way to inherit the fruit of your labor in the Hereafter is to live by Our laws. We expound Our messages and signs in nature for those who use their intellect.

10:25God calls to the Home of Peace, and leads men and women to the straight path. He does guide to the straight path him who wills to be guided. [4:88]

10:26For those who benefit humanity is an excellent reward and more. Not even the dust of sadness nor a trace of insult will come near them. They are the rightful dwellers of the Garden; they will abide therein.

[‘Wajh’ = Face = Whole being]

10:27But those who earn evil by disrupting others’ lives, will have a similar reward of their evil. Humiliation will overtake them. There will be no one to protect them from God’s law. Their whole being will be covered as if with dark layers of the night. They are dwellers of the Fire; they will abide therein forever.

10:28One Day We will gather all of them together. We will say to those who acknowledged false deities, “Stay back, you and your contrived partners of God!” We will have the leaders and their followers confront each other. Their leaders will say, “It was not us that you worshiped.”

10:29(Such false deities as Prophets, angels, Sufis, saints, clergy, idols and the universal forces,) they will all say, “God suffices as a Witness between us and you that we were not even aware of your worship.”

[They worshiped their own desires and fantasies]

10:30Therein every person will experience exactly the result of what he did before. They will be brought back to God, their rightful Master, and all their false imagery will fail them.

[Maula = The True Master = Lord Supreme. The extremely common practice of calling a religious leader as MaulanaOur Master is a frank, deplorable form of Shirkassociating others with God. But the clergy take pride in it! Many verses in the Qur’an tell us that there is no Maulana but God. It is amazing to note that the Muslim clergy write Maulana with their names, and with their own hands! 9:51]

10:31(Now is the time for them to think.) Say (O Messenger), “Who is it that provides for you from the heaven and the earth, or who is it that has full power over your hearing and sight? And who is it that brings forth the living from the dead, and the dead from the living? And who is it that directs the Order of the Universe?” They will say, "God.” Say, “Will you not then be mindful of His laws?”

10:32Such is God, your Rightful Lord. After the truth what is there but error? How could you then turn away?

10:33The Word of your Lord is justified that those who drift away from Reason will not accept the truth.

10:34Ask them, "Can any of your 'partner gods' originate creation and then bring it forth again?” Say, “God originates creation and then brings it forth again. How then, are you so deluded?”

10:35Say, “Of your ‘partners’, is there any that can lead you to the truth?” Say, “God leads to the truth. So, who is more worthy of being followed? The One Who shows you the way or one who finds no way unless he is guided? What is amiss with you? How do you judge?”

10:36The majority of people follow nothing but conjecture. But conjecture can never be a substitute for the Reality of things. God is Knower of what they do (and forge).

10:37This Qur’an could not possibly have been devised by anyone except God. Nay, it is a confirmation of the (truth in) the earlier revelations, and a clear exposition of the Eternal law. Without any trace of doubt, this Book is from the Lord of the Worlds.

[While it confirms the surviving truth in the previous revelations, it is a Watcher over them and ignores and, where necessary, corrects the human touch in them. 2:75, 2:78-79, 2:101, 3:70-71, 3:78, 3:186-187, 5:13, 5:41, 6:91, 9:31]

10:38Or, do they say, “He has invented it”? Tell them, "Bring one Surah like this and call for help everyone you can besides God, if you are truthful.”

[2:23, 11:13. One chapter like this in beauty, eloquence and wisdom - And “besides God” would mean, without copying phrases and sentences from the Qur’an]

10:39Nay, they deny it without encompassing the profound knowledge therein. And they have yet to see the benevolent transformation it can bring about (within oneself and in the making of humanity). Such were those before them who denied. Then see what the end was of those who thus wronged themselves.

[Ta’weel= Interpretation that can be implemented. Ta’weel is erroneously promoted by some as remote meanings of the Qur’an known only to a few select!]

10:40And of them is he who believes in this (Qur’an), and of them is he who does not believe in it. Your Lord is best Aware of those who are bent upon denial and want corruption and disorder to go on.

10:41If they keep denying you (O Prophet), say, "I have my work, and you have your work. You are innocent of what I do and I am innocent of what you do.” [109:1-6]

10:42Among them are those who apparently listen to you. (But their thoughts are wandering.) Can you make hear those deaf who do not use reason? [47:16]

10:43And among them you will find those who look at you without seeing. (Their mind is roaming elsewhere.) Can you show the way to those who are blind of the heart? [7:198]

10:44God is never unjust to human beings; but people wrong themselves.

[Failing to use the God-given faculties is the first wrong one can commit. It brings the humans down to subhuman levels. 7:179]

10:45And on the Day when He will gather them, they will think they lived (in this world) an hour of the day, recognizing one another. (Others will think it was a day or a few days 20:103-104.) Lost will be those who denied meeting with God, and thus, failed to be rightly guided. [10:7]

10:46Whether We show you (O Messenger), something of what We promise them, or cause you to die, to Us is their return. God is the Watcher over what they do.

10:47Every community has had a Messenger. They were judged in all equity only after their Messenger came (and delivered the message), and they were never wronged.

10:48And yet, they ask, "When will the promise be fulfilled, if you are truthful?" (The promise of just recompense.)

10:49Say (O Messenger), "I have no power to avert any harm even from myself, or benefit myself contrary to the laws of God. Every community determines its own rise and fall. When the time comes, they can neither delay, nor hasten the requital.”

10:50Say, “Have you thought, when His retribution comes to you suddenly by night, or in the bustling day, what portion of it would the guilty wish to hasten?”

10:51“Would you then profess belief in it at last, when it comes to pass! Ah! Now? And you wanted to hasten it on.” (But the period of respite has been over.)

10:52It will be said to the oppressors and violators of human rights, “Taste the eternal torment, the exact reward of what you earned.”

10:53They keep asking you (O Prophet), "Is it really true?” Say, “Yes, by my Lord, it is true, indeed. And you cannot defy His laws.”

10:54Whoever oppresses people, has wronged his own ‘self’. Even if they possessed everything on earth, they would readily present it as ransom. But they will regret within themselves when they see the doom. They will be judged fairly and no wrong shall be done to them.

10:55To God belongs all that is in the heavens and earth. His promise is unwaveringly True but most of them never learn.

10:56He is the One Who gives life and death. You and your actions will be returned to Him.

10:57O Mankind! There has now come to you Enlightenment from your Lord, and a healing for all that troubles your hearts; and guidance and grace to all who embrace it.

10:58Say, “In this bounty of God and in His grace – in this, then, let them rejoice. It is better than all the treasures that they may amass.”

10:59Say, “Have you considered how God sends down to you all kinds of provisions for your minds and bodies? Then you render some of them unlawful and some lawful?” Say, “Has God permitted you to do this? Or do you invent lies and attribute them to God?”

[The clergy go after manmade dogmas thus tampering with the revealed Word of God and declare unlawful His bounties of sustenance, food, clothes, ornament of life and things of aesthetic beauty such as art. 7:32. See 34:13 how a Prophet of God, Solomon decorates his kingdom with beautiful works of art]

10:60Does it ever occur to the people who tamper with religion and invent lies concerning God, that they will have to face Him on the Resurrection Day? God is Infinitely Bountiful toward mankind, but the majority of them do not show gratitude in action (by sharing His bounties with others).

10:61In whatever condition you may find yourself (O Prophet), and whatever of the Qur’an you are reciting and preaching, and whatever work or business you believers are occupied with, remember that We are your Witness from the moment you embark upon it. Not an atom's weight in the Low nor in the Height escapes your Lord's knowledge. Nor, a thing smaller or bigger, everything is recorded in a clear Database.

[Smaller than atom: Who could think of electrons and protons in the 7th century!]

10:62Remember that friends of God will have nothing to fear nor will they grieve,

10:63Those who accept the Message and live upright.

[See Taqwa,2:41]

10:64There is good news for them in this world and in the Hereafter. God’s Words never change. This, this is the Supreme Triumph.

[And changeless are His laws, 6:115, 10:64, 17:77, 18:27, 33:38, 33:62, 35:43, 40:85, 48:23. And you will never find even a slight turn in His laws 17:77]

10:65Let not their utterances sadden you (O Prophet). To God belongs all honor. He is the Hearer, the Knower.

[No power, glory or honor is attainable contrary to His laws]

10:66To God belongs whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on earth. What do the ones, who worship His ‘partners’ instead of God, follow? They follow nothing but conjecture, and themselves do nothing but make wild guesses.

10:67He is the One Who made night for you to rest in, and made the day lighted to make things visible to you. These are signs for those who are willing to listen and think.

10:68And yet they assert, “God has taken to Himself a son!.” Glory to Him! He is Absolutely Independent needing no helpers. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. No evidence whatever you have for this assertion! Would you ascribe to God something you really do not know?

10:69Say, “Those who attribute their lying inventions to God, will see the crops of their false imagery burning to ashes.”

10:70They get their fleeting share in this world, but then to Us is their return. Our Law of Requital will have them effectively taste a dreadful doom, for they chose to live in the darkness of falsehood.

10:71(People have been fabricating falsehood since ancient times.) Relate to them the history of Noah. He said to his people, "O My people! If the stand I have taken and my reminding you of God’s revelations are an offense to you, well, I have put my trust in God. So, get together on a decisive plan, you and your partners. Let your course of action be clear to you. Then pass your sentence on me and give me no respite.”

[Maqaami = My stand = My station = My location]

10:72But if you turn away, I have asked of you no wage. My wage is with none but God. And I am commanded to be of those who submit (to Him).”

10:73But they persisted in their denial, and We saved Noah and his companions who boarded the ship, and made them successors in the land. And We drowned those who had rejected Our messages. See then what happened to those who had been given sufficient warning.

[The deniers thought of the flood warning as a laughing matter. The Tigris and Euphrates had flooded with torrential rains]

10:74Then after him We sent many Messengers to their respective people and they brought them clear evidence of the truth. (They preemptively rejected the message.) And they were not the kind of people who would choose to believe what they had denied before. Thus We (through Our laws) seal the hearts of the transgressors.

[Mu’tadeen = Those who cross limits = Cross all bounds = Given to excesses = Transgressors = Who go beyond reason]

10:75Then, after them, We sent Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh and his chiefs, with Our messages. But they were a people arrogant and they were used to thriving on the fruit of others’ toil.

10:76When the truth from Us came to them, they said, "This is clearly nothing but magic.”

10:77Moses said, “Is this what you say about the truth when it has come to you! Is this magic? Those who deceive people with lies and claims of magic, never prosper.”

10:78They said, "Have you come to turn us away from what we found our fathers doing, so that you two become prominent in the country? We will not believe in you two."

10:79Pharaoh said, "Bring all eloquent debaters to me."

10:80And when they came, Moses said to them, “Begin with your presentation."

10:81When they finished with their arguments, Moses said, “Your reasoning is totally flawed. God proves it false through His laws. God will annihilate the political and social systems that promote corruption, disorder and bloody feuds.

10:82God will always vindicate the truth by His laws, even though the guilty may hate it.

[Societies will flourish only when they embrace the Permanent Value System. The guilty that are used to thriving on the toil of others, will hate equity]

10:83Only a few of the Egyptians, some youngsters, could proclaim belief in Moses because of the fear of Pharaoh and his chiefs. Pharaoh was a most arrogant tyrant on earth. He used to exceed the limits.

10:84Moses said, “O My people! If you do believe in God, then place your trust in Him – if you have truly surrendered to Him.

10:85They responded, "In God we have put our trust. Our Lord! Make us not a temptation for the oppressors.”

10:86“Save us by Your grace from people who oppose the truth.”

10:87We revealed to Moses and his brother, “Tell your people: Maintain your homes in Egypt, and turn them into centers of devotion and training. Establish the commandments in your lives and give good news to the believers.”

10:88(Moses promised to proceed on these lines.) He prayed, “Our Lord! You have given Pharaoh and his chiefs a life of luxury and abundance. Our Lord! With their resources and might they continue with their oppression and lead people astray from Your path. Our Lord! Destroy their riches and make their faculties incapable of contriving their oppressive designs. They will not see the truth unless they face an awful suffering.”

10:89God said, "Your prayer is heard. Both of you shall remain determined. And you shall not follow the path of those who act without comprehending." [20:36, 20:42]

10:90We brought the Children of Israel across the sea, and Pharaoh with his armies pursued them in rage and bitter enmity. When Pharaoh was drowning, he cried out, "I believe that there is no god but the One in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of those who surrender.”

10:91What? Now! You rebelled ardently all your life. And you committed bloody crimes and spread inequities on earth.

[‘Fasaad’, see glossary]

10:92Nay, but this day We will preserve your body so that you may remain a lesson for generations to come. A great many of mankind remain heedless of Our signs.

[The Pharaoh’s body was only discovered during the excavations of 1898. Today it is on display in the Royal Mummies Chamber of the Egyptian Museum]

10:93Thereafter, We assigned to the Children of Israel an honorable dwelling place, and gave them decent provision. But they began to hold divergent views and divided themselves despite the knowledge (of revelation). Your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection regarding wherein they differed.

10:94(O Reader!) If you carry any doubts about what We have sent to you, ask those who have been reading the scripture before you. Indeed, the truth has come to you from your Lord. Do not be of those who waver.

[Bible readers will confirm many facts given about them in the Qur’an]

10:95(Those who consider Divine revelations as intrinsic inspiration or intuition, in fact deny them.) Be not of those who deny Our revelations and become losers.

10:96Those who have received the decisive Word of your Lord (and yet deny it), such would not believe.

[They have seen the benevolent transformation of the society so how else would they believe? 2:7, 10:74, 10:100]

10:97Though every evidence may come to them, until they see the painful doom.

10:98Sad is their state. There has never yet been any community that attained belief, and benefited by its belief, except the people of Jonah. When they embraced belief, We removed from them the suffering of disgrace, and let them enjoy their term. (37:147-148).

[Jonah’s people used to live in humiliation in Nineveh. When they accepted the Divine message, they prospered for about two centuries between 800-612 BC. Then the Midyans conquered them. After the demise of Jonah, his people had been fast ignoring the Divine Word revealed to Jonah, and leaning towards the resurging priest class. The invaders set on fire the wonderful town of Nineveh. The spacious 60 mile wide and beautiful town was reduced to ashes. The king of Assyria got himself burnt alive in the palace, and that was the end of the Assyrian dynasty]

10:99If your Lord willed, all who are on earth, would have believed. Would you then, compel people to become believers? [2:256, 76:4-6]

10:100No person can attain conviction except by following God’s law of guidance (using the faculty of reason). And His law will place confusion on those who do not use their intellect.

[6:126, 10:39. “He places”, “He does”, “He causes” = His laws are so designed]

10:101Say, “Look and ponder what is in the heavens and earth! No miracles and no warnings will help those people who have chosen to disbelieve. [2:6-7, 41:53]

10:102Can they expect other than the days of calamity that befell those who passed on before them? Say, “Wait then! I shall wait with you.”

10:103We ultimately save Our Messengers and those who believe. It is incumbent upon Us to save the believers.

10:104Say, "O Mankind! If you are in doubt about my religion, I do not worship and do not obey those whom you worship and obey instead of God. But I obey God Who causes you to die (and Who controls the laws of life and death of individuals and nations). I have been commanded to be of the believers.”

[Religion: The System that the Prophet is trying to establish. Logic: If you believe that other parallel systems can be better, let us go ahead with our programs and await the results. 3:61, 7:71, 109:6]

10:105(O Prophet) set your purpose resolutely for the Upright System of life and do not be of those who associate anyone with God in any form.

10:106Do not ever call on deities besides God. They have no control over your harm or benefit. If you expected help outside the laws of God, you will be among the wrongdoers.

10:107If God afflicts you, there is none who can remove it but He. And when He intends some benefit for you, there is none who can prevent His bounty. He sends it to His servants according to His laws. And He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.

[Affliction, relief or bounty from God must draw our attention to His laws]

10:108Say, "O Mankind! Now has come to you the truth from your Lord. So whoever chooses to follow the right path, follows it for the good of his own ‘self’. And whoever chooses to go astray, goes astray to the hurt of his own ‘self’. And I am not a guardian over you."

10:109(O Messenger) follow what is revealed to you and be steadfast in adversity until God issues His Judgment. And He is the Best of judges.

Surah 11. Hud – Hud

This is the 11th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 123 verses. As we have learned earlier, Prophet Hud was sent to the powerful tribe of ‘Aad. He is considered to be the next in line to Prophet Noah only and that puts his times several millennia BC. He is also thought to be the first ever Messenger to be raised in the Arabian Peninsula. Let us bear in mind that the inhabitants of the Peninsula were not Arabs before Prophet Ishmael whose period of advent is about 2000 BC. For a brief history of how the Arabs are the descendants of Ishmael, please see 2:125. All communities have received their Messengers from God. None of the Messengers asked for a return for their services to humanity. They met stiff resistance as well as enjoyed loyal following.

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

11:1A.L.R. Alif–Laam-Ra. (Allah, Lateef the Unfathomable, Raaziq the Provider, states that), A Divine Writ this is, the verses wherein are perfected and well expounded. It comes from One Wise, Aware.

11:2Serve God by serving fellow humans. (Say O Prophet), “I am from Him a warner to you and a bearer of good news.

11:3Seek your Lord’s forgiveness turning to Him in repentance. He will then grant you a goodly enjoyment of life in this world until a term appointed. He will bestow His abounding grace on all who abound in merit. But if you turn away, then I fear for you the chastisement of a Great Day.”

11:4To God is your return and He has power over all things.

11:5See how they fold up their chests that they may hide their thoughts from Him! Even when they cover themselves with their garments, He knows what they conceal and what they reveal. He is Knower of the innermost thoughts of the hearts. [71:7]

11:6There is no living creature on earth but its sustenance depends on God. He knows its habitation and its destiny. (He carries them from one station to another until the final destination.) All this is laid down in the Divine Database [6:99, 55:29]

11:7He created the heavens and earth in six stages and established Himself on the Throne of His Almightiness. He has Supreme Control over the origination of life which began in water (21:30). Life is a test for yourselves to see which of you leads a balanced life and is best in conduct. Yet, if you tell them, “You will be raised again after death,” those in denial will say, “This is nothing but obvious deception!”

[45:24. Six Stages or Eras: 7:54, 10:3, 11:7, 25:59, 50:38, 57:4. See 41:10. ‘Sihr’ = Magic = Lie = Deception]

11:8And when We delay for them the retribution until after the period of respite, they will say, “What is keeping it back?” Ah! On the day it actually reaches them, nothing will turn it away from them. And what they mock will completely surround them.

11:9Thus it is: If We let the human being taste some of Our grace, and then take it away from him, he abandons all hope, forgetting all gratitude.

11:10But if We let him taste a blessing after adversity had afflicted him, he will say, “All adversity has gone away from me!” He is exultant, boastful.

11:11Except those who are steadfast in adversity and prosperity, and work to improve human potential. For them is the protection of forgiveness and a great reward.

[A’maal Saaleh = Deeds that increase the individual and collective potential of a society = Helping people = Improving the environment = Fulfilling others’ needs = Contributing to the society]

11:12Is it then conceivable (O Prophet), that you omit any part of what is being revealed to you (because the rejecters dislike it)? Or because you feel uncomfortable on their saying, "Why has not a treasure been sent down for him, or an angel come with him?" You are but a warner, and it is God Who is the Custodian of all things.

11:13Or they assert, “He has forged it.” Say to them, "Then bring ten Surahs like this, forged, and call on whomever you can other than God - if you are truthful!"

[Or produce one Surah like this 2:23, 10:38]

11:14“And if they do not answer your call, then know that it has been revealed only with the knowledge of God, and that there is no god but He. Will you then submit to Him (be Muslims)?”

11:15Whoever cares for (no more than) the short term gains and glitter of the worldly life, We shall repay for them their deeds herein without the least reduction. [17:18]

11:16But (since they did not invest in the life to come), for them is nothing but fire of regret in the Hereafter. All that they have contrived here is vain, and worthless is all that they did.

[Following one's own desires is the inevitable consequence of disregarding Permanent Values]

11:17Can they (those who look for material gains alone) be like those who take their stand on clear evidence from their Lord and to whom a witness from Him recites and works on it? (They have the Prophet as a witness who correlates God’s signs in the Universe with His verses and establishes the System.) Also, they have the scripture of Moses since before it, a standard of guidance and grace. (It foretold the advent of the Final Messenger; Deuteronomy 18:15-18.) They choose to believe in it. As for those who league together (in opposition) rejecting the truth, the fire is their appointed place. And so, harbor no doubt; most certainly this is the truth from your Lord, even though most people do not believe it.

[‘Tilawat’ = Reciting and following the Qur’an.‘Imam’ = Standard of truth = Literally, the plumb-line = A trustworthy leader, human or book = Authority = Decisive means]

11:18Who can be a greater wrongdoer than the one who invents a lie about God? Such will be brought before their Lord, and the witnesses will say, “These are the ones who lied about their Lord.” God’s rejection is the due of all those who displace right with wrong.

[The clergy have tampered with previous scriptures, and they will keep doing it. 2:79, 2:101, 3:77-78, 5:48, 6:113, 6:138-139, 9:34, 22:52]

11:19They are the ones who hinder people from the path of God, and seek to make it crooked. Thus they practically disbelieve in the life Hereafter.

11:20They will not escape on earth. And they will have no protectors against God. Double suffering will be imposed on them since they could not bear to hear (the truth) nor could see (it).

11:21Such are the ones who have lost their own ‘self’, and all their false imagery. Their invented dogmas and the idols will fail them.

11:22Without any doubt, these fabricators will be the worst losers in the Hereafter.

11:23Those who attain belief and work for the betterment of people, and are humble before their Lord, are the rightful dwellers of the Garden; they will abide therein.

11:24These two kinds of persons may be likened to the blind and the deaf, and he who can see and hear well. Are the two equal when compared? Will you not then keep this in mind? (13:16-19, 35:39)

[A brief historical resume of some communities and their Messengers illustrates this phenomenon - the efforts of the Messengers and the reaction of their respective people. Using Tasreef, here are some related verses about people and their Messengers described in Surah Hud.

Noah to the Valleys of Tigris and Euphrates: 7:69, 10:72, 14:9, 21:76, 23:23, 26:109, 29:14, 71:21.

Hud to ‘Aad: 7:65, 7:123. 11:50, 29:38, 41:13, 46:26, 51:41, 53:50, 54:17, 69:4.

Saleh to Thamud: 7:73, 11:89, 26:141, 27:45. LOT: 6:86, 15:61, 21:74, 27:56, 29:26, 37:131.

Abraham to Babylon and Ninevah: 21:24, 2:258, 3:33, 3:96, 4:35, 4:125, 14:36, 16:120, 19:50, 21:51, 22:26, 29:27, 37:83, 37:99, 53:27, 53:37, 60:1, 87:19.

Sho’aib to Midyan: 7:85, 9:70, 15:78, 22:44, 26:176, 38:13, 50:14.

Moses to the Israelites and Pharaoh’s people: 4:164, 6:84, 7:103, 7:144, 10:75, 17:101, 19:51, 20:9-40, 23:47, 26:10, 27-12, 28:22-29, 40:25, 79:15]

11:25We sent Noah to his people and he declared, “Indeed, I come to you with a plain warning.”

11:26“That you may serve none but God (and follow not the rampant traditions). I am afraid this trend is slowly taking you toward a day of awful disaster.”

11:27But the chiefs of his people, who were the foremost in rejection of the message said, “We see in you nothing but a man like ourselves. And we see that none has followed you except, quite obviously, the lowest among us. And we do not find in you all any merit over us. Nay, we think all of you are liars. [17:70]

11:28Noah said, “O My people, think! What if I am taking my stand on clear evidence from my Lord? What if He has blessed me out of His grace of guidance? It is obscure to you because you are not seeing it through the eyes of reason. In any case, can we compel you to accept what is detestable to you?”

11:29"O My people! No wealth do I ask you for this. My reward rests with none but God. And I am not going to repulse any of the believers (39:40, 63:8). They know that they are destined to meet their Lord, whereas in you I see people who are wandering in the darkness of ignorance."

11:30"O My people! Who will help me against God if I drove them away? Will you then not reflect?"

11:31“I never say to you that I have the treasures of God. Neither do I claim knowledge of what is beyond human perception, nor do I say that I am an angel. I disagree with you, that my followers are the people of the lesser status. You claim that God will never give them His bounties, but He knows their true merit. I cannot be unjust to them.”

11:32They said, “O Noah! You have disputed with us and disputed a great deal. Now bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you are a man of truth.”

11:33He answered, “God alone brings His requital according to His laws. Once it is upon you, then you can by no means escape.”

11:34Noah said, “My counseling and well-wishing will not help you however much I desire to counsel you if God’s law of guidance leaves you astray. He is your Lord, and to Him you must return.”

[God has appointed laws for guidance e.g. making good use of our senses and reflecting with an open mind. 4:88]

11:35(God said to Noah), “Do they say that he has invented this set of values?” Tell them, “If I made it up, I will suffer the consequences of my crime. And I am innocent of the crimes you commit.”

11:36And it was revealed to Noah, “No one of your people will attain faith except the ones who have already believed. Do not be saddened by their actions.”

11:37(Noah was commanded) “Build an ark under Our watchful Eyes and according to Our Directions, and do not plead with Me on behalf of the oppressors. Indeed, they are destined to be drowned.”

[A flood in the valley of Tigris and Euphrates was brewing. The rejecters would drown for not heeding the Prophet. 23:27, 11:44]

11:38As he was building the ship, and every time the chiefs of his community passed by him, they ridiculed him. Thereupon he said, “If you are mocking us now, we might ridicule your ignorance likewise.

11:39And soon you will know upon whom a humiliating punishment befalls, and upon whom a lasting torment will come. “

11:40Thus it was until Our command came to pass. Waters gushed forth in torrents over the face of the land. Torrential rain began and the rivers started overflowing. We commanded Noah to take with him livestock, a couple each, and to take his family and followers with him. The rejecters, of course, were not to embark. The community of believers with Noah was small.

[11:45, 66:10. Noah's wife and son did not embark]

11:41Noah put his trust in God and told his people to embark, "Come on board, with the name of God will be its course and its resting. My Lord is the Absolver of imperfections, Merciful."

11:42The ship sailed with them amidst huge waves as Noah called his son, who was standing aloof, “O My dear son! Come ride with us; do not be with the disbelievers.”

11:43He said. "I will cling to a hill-top to protect me from the water.” Noah said, “Nothing can protect anyone today from God’s command except for those who have earned His grace.” A towering wave came between them and his son was among those who drowned.

[The only security that day in the valley was for those who had believed in Noah and followed his advice]

11:44And it was said, “O Earth! Swallow your water and, O Sky! Cease!" And the command was fulfilled. The water sank into the earth. And the ark came to rest upon the Mount Al-Judi. And it was said, “Away with these oppressors of the weak.”

[“Noah’s Ark came to rest at Judea, in the hills of Ararat, east of the Tigris River. The Valley of Mount Ararat was also known as ‘The Valley of Figs’.” Monographs of William Wilson Hunter 1840-1900, the British author of “The Indian Musalmans”. See 95:1]

11:45Noah called upon his Lord, "My Lord! My son was of my family and Your promise is the True promise and You are the Most Just of judges."

[So, why he was not saved while God had promised to save his family. 11:46]

11:46He (God) said, "O Noah! Your son was not of your family. For, his conduct was unrighteous. So, do not expect from Me that of which you have no knowledge. I enlighten you so that you do not remain ignorant.”

[The Divine Criterion of relationships is based on Ideology and not on lineage 49:13]

11:47Noah said, “My Lord! I guard myself in Your shelter from asking favors which do not befit me, and for my lack of knowledge. Forgive me and shower me with Your grace, otherwise I will become a loser.”

11:48He was told, “O Noah! Disembark and descend from the hills in peace from Us and blessings upon you, and some generations (that will spring forth) from your companions (11:41). There will be other peoples to whom We shall give enjoyment a long while, but in the end a painful chastisement will reach them from Us.”

[And other communities, all of them will be awarded according to their deeds. 11:15-16]

11:49(O Prophet) these are the news We reveal to you that neither you, nor your people were aware of. Go ahead with your program with forbearance. The destination of bliss belongs to those who seek to live upright.

11:50We sent to ‘Aad their brother Hud. He said, “O My people! Serve God alone. You have no god but He. As it is, you are but inventors of falsehood.”

11:51He said, "O My people! I ask no reward from you. My reward is with Him Who brought me into being. If you use your sense, you will understand.”

11:52“O My people! Come to the forgiveness of your Lord by turning to Him and mending your ways. He will shower on you abundant heavenly blessings, and will add strength to your strength. So do not turn away guilty.”

11:53They said, "O Hud! You have not shown us any miracle. We will not forsake our idols just because you say so. We are not going to believe you.”

11:54“We think that one of our gods has possessed you like a demon and you have gone crazy." Hud said, "I call God to witness, and you too bear witness that I am absolutely free of your idolatry.”

11:55“Get together, all of you and your gods besides Him. Make a firm decision against me and give me no respite.”

11:56“I have put my trust in God, my Lord and your Lord. There is not a creature in the Universe beyond His firm Control. Indeed, my Lord is on the Straight, Balanced Path.”

[God has designed the Universe so that all things go through evolution. It is an ascending, linear journey that makes progress possible. In the Cyclical hypothesis of the Greek philosophers, things will keep revolving in a circle like oxen endlessly going around water wells without covering any distance. Christian monasticism, Judaic mysticism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism etc define the ultimate objective of humans as freeing themselves of the endless cycle of life i.e. salvation. Therefore, salvation is a negative notion, whereas the Qur’an motivates us to attain eternal success. The dogma of Original Sin in Christianity also involves restoration to a sinless state, once again a negative connotation]

11:57“You may accept or reject the message that I have clearly conveyed to you. If you turn away, you will decline and fall. Then, My Lord will bring another people in your place. You cannot harm Him at all. My Lord is the Guardian of all things.”

11:58And so, when Our command came to pass, We saved Hud and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us. We saved them from a harsh retribution that inflicted the rejecters.

11:59Such were ‘Aad. They denied the clear messages of their Lord, rebelled against His Messengers and followed the command of every stubborn tyrant.

11:60And they were pursued in this world by Divine rejection, and will be overtaken by it on the Resurrection Day. ‘Aad denied their Lord! Oh, away with the ‘Aad, the people of Hud!

11:61And to the tribe of Thamud, We sent their brother Saleh. He said, "O My people! Serve God. You have no one worthy of obedience but He. He initiated you from the earth and made you thrive thereon. Come to His forgiveness, then turn to Him in repentance mending your ways. My Lord is ever-Near, Responsive."

11:62They said, "O Saleh! We had placed great hopes in you before this! But now you are telling us to move away from worshiping what our forefathers worshiped. Now we are in grave doubt, amounting to suspicion about the meaning of your call to us.”

11:63He said, "O My people! Do you really see and think? What if I have clear evidence of the truth from my Lord, and mercy from Him? Then, who can help me against God if I disobey Him? You can only push me into ruin.

11:64(The feudal lords had been depriving the poor of using the land and its natural resources of water and vegetation). Saleh said, “O My people! This she-camel belonging to God shall be a token for you. So leave her alone to graze in God’s earth. Do her no harm, lest speedy punishment befall you.” (91:13)

[This verse along with 55:10 pronounces one of the most revolutionary concepts of the Qur’an. The land is owned by none but God and must be open for all His creation as a means of sustenance. So, all landlord-ship is contrary to the Divine Ordinance. In the Divine System, the Central Authority will see to it that any piece of land will be for those who toil in it and give God His Right, the poor-due. 6:141. “Baatin-e Al-Ardhu Lillah Zaahir Ast - Har Keh Ou Zaahir Na Beenad Kafir Ast” The meaning of “Land belongs to God” is obvious. Anyone who does not see it obvious, is an infidel – Sir Iqbal]

11:65But they hamstrung her. Thereupon he said to his people, “Only for three more days shall you enjoy life in your homes. This is a promise that cannot be false.”

[‘Aqarooha = They hamstrung her. Severing the hamstrings of a camel leads to a quick demise, therefore, ‘they hamstrung her’ = ‘They killed her’]

11:66And so, when Our command came to pass, by Our grace We saved Saleh and the believers with him from the humiliating annihilation of the day. Surely, your Lord, He alone is Strong, Almighty.

11:67(Saleh and His followers moved out of the town while the disbelievers stayed back with their mockery). And a tremendous blast overtook the oppressors, and then they lay lifeless, in their very homes, on the ground.

11:68As if they had never lived there. Thamud had denied their Lord. Oh, away with the Thamud!

11:69(Similar was the end of the people of Lot.) Our Messengers came to Abraham bearing a glad tiding. They greeted Abraham with “Peace!” And he greeted them back with "Peace!" and made haste to place before them a roasted calf.

11:70But when he saw their hands not reaching out towards it, he mistrusted and became a bit apprehensive of them. They said, “Fear not! We are being sent to the people of Lot.”

[Abraham was apprehensive of the visitors’ refusal of hospitality as a sign of serious intentions, but in fact they were hurrying to Lot]

11:71And his wife (Sarah), standing nearby, laughed when We gave her good tiding of Isaac, and after Isaac, (his son) Jacob.

11:72She exclaimed, "Oh, woe unto me! Shall I bear a child now that I am an old woman and this husband of mine is an old man? This is really strange!"

11:73Answered the Messengers, "Do you marvel about God’s command? May God’s grace and blessings be upon you, O Dwellers of the house! The Owner of all praise, Sublime He is.”

11:74When fear had left Abraham, and the good news was conveyed to him, he began to plead with Us for Lot’s people.

11:75For, Abraham was clement, kind-hearted, ever turning to His Lord.

11:76(They said) O Abraham! Turn away from this pleading. Your Lord's command has gone forth, and the retribution is now inevitable.

11:77When Our Messengers came to Lot he was distressed, and did not know how to save his people. He exclaimed, "This is a difficult day!”

11:78And the most iniquitous among his people came rushing to Lot. (They wanted the visiting Messengers to approve their behavior.) Lot said, "O My people! Your wives, who are like my daughters, are permitted for you. Be mindful of God, and do not humiliate me in the presence of my guests. Is there not a single upright man among you?”

11:79They said, "You know, we have little interest in our wives whom you call your daughters. You know well what we want.”

[Our intention is to get our behavior made permissible]

11:80Lot exclaimed, “I wish I had the strength to resist you or had some strong support.”

11:81They (the visiting Messengers) said, "O Lot! We are Messengers of your Lord. They will not catch up to you. Now take your family while it is yet night. And let none of you look back, except your wife (who will stay behind). What is to befall these (people) shall befall her. Their appointed time is the morning. Is not the morning near?

[She stays behind because she has chosen to silently accept the trends of the times]

11:82And so, when Our command came to pass, We brought low the highly arrogant towns (Sodom and Gomorrah), and rained down upon them hard devastating rocks (from the volcano).

11:83The stones were marked arrows from your Lord. His requital is never far from those who choose to do wrong.

11:84And to Midyan, We sent their brother Sho’aib. He said, "O My people! Serve God alone. There is no god for you but He. And do not give short measure and weight. I see that you are prosperous. But I fear for you a day that will surround you with chastisement."

[Any system based on injustice cannot endure]

11:85"So, O My people! Always give full measure and weight with equity and do not deprive people of what is rightfully theirs. Do not spread corruption and disorder in the land.”

11:86“That which God gives you as just profit is better for you if you believe. But I am not a guardian over you."

11:87They said, "O Sho’aib! (We had thought that your religion was only a matter between you and your Lord.) Does your Salaat command you that we forsake what our fathers used to worship? Or, that we should give up doing what we like to do with our wealth and possessions? You, only you, are the clement, the rightly guided!"

11:88He said, "O My people, think again! What if I am acting on a clear evidence from my Lord, and He has provided me with a decent sustenance? I deal in all fairness and I shall never preach what I do not practice behind your sight. I desire nothing but reform to the best of my power. All my resources, abilities, and success depend on God alone. In Him I trust and to Him I turn with hope.”

11:89"O My people! Let not my disagreement with you be taken personally to cause you to persist in your guilt so that the same (retribution) befall you that befell the people of Noah, and the people of Hud, and the people of Saleh. And remember that the people of Lot did not live very far from you.”

11:90(None of the communities was destroyed for a deficiency in their worship. They met destruction for violating human rights.) “Seek forgiveness of your Lord, then repent by journeying on the right path. You will experience that my Lord is Merciful, Loving." [14:8]

11:91They said, "O Sho’aib! Much of what you tell us is beyond our comprehension. We see that you are not a man of power in our midst. If we were not concerned about your family and your tribe, we would have stoned you. You are of no value to us."

11:92He said, "O My people! Do my family and tribe command a greater respect than God? And you put Him behind you, neglected. Remember, my Lord surrounds all you do."

11:93"O My people! Do your utmost and so will I. Soon you will find out which of us will incur the chastisement of humiliation, and who is a liar. Just watch and I will be watching along with you.”

11:94When Our command came to pass, We saved Sho’aib, and those who believed with him, by a mercy from Us. An awful blast seized the wrongdoers. The morning found them dead in their very homes, on the ground.

[Sho’aib and his companions had moved to safety as forewarned]

11:95As if they had never lived there. Oh, away with Midyan, just as the Thamud have been done away with!

11:96We sent Moses with Our revelations and a manifest authority (of self-evident truth).

11:97To Pharaoh and his chiefs. They followed only the command of Pharaoh, and his command did not lead to right.

11:98Pharaoh will go before his people on the Day of Resurrection, and lead them into the fire. What a miserable place to land! [14:28]

11:99Divine rejection was made to follow them in this world and will overcome them on the Day of Resurrection. Contemptible is the gift that will be given to them.

11:100(O Messenger), this is news from only a few of the past communities that We narrate to you. Some of them are merely surviving and some have vanished.

11:101We did no injustice to them, but they wronged themselves. And when the command of your Lord came to pass, their gods whom they called besides God availed them not. They only added to their ruin.

11:102Such is the grasp of your Lord's Law of Requital on townships when they run oppressive systems. His grasp is painful, strong.

11:103Herein, certainly is a lesson for those who fear the suffering of the life to come. That is a Day when all mankind will be gathered, and that is a Day that will be witnessed by all that ever lived. And the results of all actions will become manifest.

11:104And We defer that Day only to a specified time.

11:105On that Day, when it comes, no one will speak except by His Leave. Some of them will be sad, others glad.

[The sad ones will be devoid of blessings, and the glad ones will enjoy all bounties of the eternal life. 36:59]

11:106Those who, by their deeds, brought misery on themselves will be in the fire, sighing and wailing will be their portion. [21:100]

11:107Therein to abide, as long as the (New) Universe endures; that is time beyond count, unless your Lord decrees otherwise. Your Lord is Doer of what He wills in the World of Command.

[The current Universe will be dismantled for a new Universe. 14:48, 21:104, 25:22, 39:37, 50:44, 69:16, 70:9]

11:108The happy ones on that Day will enter the Garden and live there as long as the (New) Universe endures, that is time beyond count; until your Lord opens for them the way to further evolution, a gift unfailing.

11:109Be not in doubt about the end of those who worship idols in any form. They only blindly follow their forefathers. They and their forefathers will get their due portion according to Our law.

11:110People differed even when Moses was given the scripture. Had it not been for a Word that had already gone forth from your Lord, the matter would have been judged between them then and there. They are still in doubt, amounting to suspicion, concerning it.

[The Word that the Final revelation Al-Qur’an, will come forth with perfected message]

11:111Unto each your Lord will certainly repay his works. He is fully Aware of what they do.

11:112Therefore, (O Prophet) stand firm as you are commanded, along with those who turn to God with you. Remember to be moderate in all your actions. He is watching all that you do.

11:113Do not be intimidated by the oppressors and guard yourself against even a touch of the fire. Remember, there are no protectors to help you against the laws of God. And then you will not be helped in any way.

11:114Strive to establish and consolidate the Divine System, day and night. Actions that create balance in the society remove the ill effects of inequities. Good deeds remove bad deeds. This is a reminder for those who will remember.

11:115Resort to patience and steadfastness, for, God never fails to reward the doers of good.

[Patience and steadfastness never go unrewarded]

11:116But, sadly for them! Among the generations before your time, only a few were virtuous enough to discourage disorder in the land. We saved those few, whereas those who continued to violate human rights only pursued material riches. And they were guilty of stealing the fruit of others’ labor (and they were requited).

[Zulm = Displacing something from its rightful place = Wrongdoing = Violation of human rights. Mujrimeen = Criminals = Guilty = Those who thrive on the fruit of others’ toil]

11:117Your Lord never destroys a community unjustly (for their wrong beliefs alone) as long as its people are setting things right.

[The Qur’an is consistent in its theme that people will be rewarded for what they do Ya’maloon, and not for what they know Ya’lamoon. The Book stresses on the right belief system only because people are strongly influenced in their behavior by what they think and believe. Muslihoon = Reformers = Those who help their own and fellow humans’ condition = Those who set things right in their environment. This is one of the most important verses in the Qur’an. It throws out all dogmatic assertions that are the hallmark of a ‘religion’. As we have seen, Islam is not a ‘religion’ consisting merely of a set of some dogmas, rites and rituals. It is Ad-Deen, the Divinely Prescribed System of Life]

11:118Had your Lord so willed, He could have made all mankind one single community, (but He has granted them free will as against other creatures who are driven by instinct). Therefore, they will continue to hold divergent views. [5:48]

11:119Except those on whom your Lord will bestow His grace (for working toward the noble objective of unity). And for this He created them. Those who defy (this command) will fulfill the Word of your Lord, “Surely, I shall fill Hell with the nomad and urban mankind all together.”

11:120(O Messenger) all that We relate to you of the history of some Messengers, is in order to strengthen your heart. Although through these accounts the truth comes to you, but it is also meant to be an enlightenment and reminder for all believers in this Divine Writ.

11:121And tell those who adamantly disbelieve, “Do anything that may be in your power, while we shall labor (in God’s way.)”

11:122And tell them, “And wait for what is coming. Indeed, we are also waiting.”

11:123And God alone comprehends the hidden reality of the heavens and earth. For, all that exists goes back to Him as its Source. Serve Him, then, and place your trust in Him alone. Your Lord is not unaware of what you do.

Surah 12. Yusuf – Joseph

This is the 12th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 111 verses. In this Surah, the story of Prophet Joseph (Yusuf) is narrated. As usual, the Qur’an validates certain Biblical accounts while correcting the errors that were intermingled with the passage of time. And the Sublime purpose of the Book, even in historical accounts, consistently remains enlightenment for the reader. Prophet Jacob titled Israel, was the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. Jacob had twelve sons from four wives. Joseph the second youngest and Benjamin (Binyamin), the youngest had the same mother (Rachel). Joseph was born about 1700 BC in Hebron, Palestine, and according to the Bible died at the age of 110. There are two mandatory qualities for being a good leader: Sincerity and Competence.

Note that the Egyptian head of state of Prophet Joseph's era referred as ‘Malik’ (Ruler or King) in the Qur’an and not as Pharaoh, the word that appears erroneously in the book of Genesis. The term Pharaoh came in use only for kings after 1500 BC which historians call the New Kingdom. Prophet Joseph lived around 1700 BC during the Old Kingdom, that of Amalekites. In the story of Moses, the Qur’an uses the term Pharaoh for the Egyptian ruler. Moses lived around 1400 BC during the New Kingdom, that of Pharaohs.

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

12:1A.L.R. Alif–Laam-Ra. (Allah, Lateef the Unfathomable, Raaziq the Provider, states that), These are the messages of a revelation clear in itself and clearly showing the truth.

12:2Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an (in the most eloquent language) so that you might encompass it with your reason. (‘Arabiyyan’ = Most eloquent tongue).

12:3We reveal this Qur’an to you (O Prophet) and explain it in the best possible way, seeing that before this you were unaware of what revelation is.

12:4Thus spoke Joseph to his father, "O My father! I have seen in a dream eleven stars, and the sun, and the moon. I saw them bowing to me in honor!"

12:5Jacob replied, "O My dear son! Do not relate your dream to your brothers lest they plot a scheme against you. Surely, Satan (selfish ego) is man’s open enemy."

12:6"Your Lord will elect you and give you outstanding insight into the reality of things. He will perfect His grace upon you, and upon the House of Jacob, as He perfected it upon your forefathers, Abraham and Isaac. Your Lord is Knower, Wise.”

12:7In the story of Joseph and his brothers there are messages for all with a seeking mind.

12:8Joseph’s brothers spoke thus to one another, "Joseph and his brother (Benjamin) are more favored by our father even though we are so many. Our father is obviously in error.”

12:9One of them proposed, "Let us slay Joseph or leave him in a distant land. Then your father’s favor will be all for you, and your affairs will be adjusted right for you."

12:10Another of them suggested, "Do not slay Joseph. Rather, if you must do something, cast him into a deep well, and some caravan may pick him up."

12:11They said, "O Our father! Why do you not trust us with Joseph when we are good friends to him?"

12:12"Send him with us tomorrow that he may enjoy himself and play. We will take good care of him."

12:13Jacob said, "I worry that you take him with you to the wild and some wolf devours him when you are distracted.”

12:14They said, "If a wolf devours him in the strong presence (of the ten) of us, will our lives be worth living?"

12:15Unanimous in their decision, they led Joseph to cast him into a deep well. When they were placing Joseph in the well, We revealed to him that he would remain secure, and one day he would tell his brothers about what they did. We also revealed to him that it would be a mystery to them as to how Joseph was saved!

12:16After carrying out their plan they came to their father at night weeping.

12:17Saying, "O Our father! We went racing with each other, and left Joseph by our belongings. A wolf did eat him up. We fear that you will not believe us even though we speak the truth."

12:18And they came with false blood on his shirt. He said, "I do not believe this story; you have made it up. I will remain steadfast in the face of your conspiracy, and God is the One Whose help is sought in the kind of misfortune you describe to me."

12:19There came a caravan, and they sent their water drawer. He let down his rope and pail into the well. He called in excitement, "Oh, what a lucky find! It is a boy!" People of the caravan took him along as treasure. And God was Aware of what they did.

12:20They sold him in the market for a low price, a few silver coins. They had little idea of his value.

12:21The one who bought him in Egypt said to his wife, "Receive him honorably. Take good care of him. May be he can help us or we can adopt him as a son." We, thus, established Joseph in Egypt and arranged for him proper education and training. He was gifted with a great insight into events. God’s command always prevails although most people do not understand (the Law of Cause and Effect).

12:22When he reached his prime, We bestowed upon him wisdom and knowledge. This is how We reward the doers of good to others.

[Wisdom and knowledge are granted to all those who benefit people since youth. 28:14]

12:23The lady of the house tried to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, "I am all yours." He said, "May God protect me! Truly, He is my Lord and He has bestowed upon me a good moral character and granted me a position of honor. The wrongdoers do not prosper."

[Ahsana Mathwa = An excellent abode = A position of honor = Good moral stature]

12:24She desired him, and he would have desired her if he had not known the clear moral values from his Lord, ("Go not near adultery” 17:32.) Obeying Our command saved him from evil and lewdness. He was among Our sincere servants.

12:25And they raced to the door and in the process, she tore his shirt from behind. They found her husband at the door. She said, "What should be the punishment for one who wanted to molest your wife, except prison or a painful chastisement?"

12:26Joseph said, "She is the one who tried to seduce me." Now a member of her family came and suggested, "If his shirt is torn from the front, then she is telling the truth, and he is the liar.

12:27And if his shirt is torn from the back then she lied, and he is telling the truth.”

12:28When her husband saw the shirt torn from the back, he said, "This is the typical scheme of you women. Your scheming is formidable."

[His discriminatory comment shows his anger, and that women in that society were not viewed well]

12:29He said, "O Joseph! Forget about what happened. And you O woman! Ask forgiveness. For, you have been greatly at fault."

12:30Women in the city started gossiping, "The governor's wife is trying to seduce her servant. She is deeply in love with him. But we see that she adopted the wrong tactics.”

12:31When she heard their gossip, she invited them, and prepared comfortable couches for them, and they schemed. She gave a knife to each of the women. Then, she called Joseph, “Come out to them!” And when they saw him they flattered him and ‘cut their hands’ (exhausted their efforts). They exclaimed in their flattery, “Good Lord! This is no mortal man! This is but an angel!”

[The governor's wife and her friends had planned to incite Joseph into behaving indecently. “Cut their hands” = They exhausted their efforts. There is absolutely no mention of the supposed “beauty’ of Joseph, a fabrication adopted by ancient and modern commentators. Secondly, the root word Qat’a in this verse is of very special significance. Did these women chop off their hands? Must the thieves get their hands chopped off? Please see 5:38-39]

12:32The lady of the house said, "This is he about whom you blamed me. I tried to seduce him but he firmly saved himself. Since he thinks he is an angel, and remains adamant against my command, he shall be imprisoned and brought low.

[The women made up allegations against him]

12:33He said, "My Lord! Prison is dearer to me than what they invite me to. Unless You help me fend off their schemes, I am afraid of getting intimidated and of behaving like the ignorant ones."

12:34His Lord heard his prayer, and helped Joseph remain steadfast in fending off their schemes. He is the Hearer, the Knower (of all intentions and actions).

12:35Later, they (the judges) even after seeing the proofs (of his innocence), decided to put him in prison for a while.

12:36Two young men went to prison with him (for unrelated crimes). One of them (a butler) told his dream, "I saw myself making wine." The other (a baker) said, "I saw myself carrying bread on my head from which birds were eating. Can you tell us what this means? We see that you are a doer of good."

12:37He said, "I will tell you the meaning before today's meal is served. But, remember that it is my Lord Who teaches me through revelation. Indeed, I have stayed away from the ways of people who do not believe in God and are disbelievers in the life to come.”

12:38“I follow the Creed of such of my ancestors as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is not conceivable that we ever ascribe partners to God. This (belief in Monotheism) is the bounty of God upon us and upon all mankind. (It frees us from bondage to superstition and to ‘men of religion’). But the majority of people fail to grasp this point, and thus remain ungrateful.”

12:39“O My prison mates! Are several masters better, or God, the One, the Dominant?”

12:40"Those whom you worship and obey besides Him, are but names that you have fabricated, you and your forefathers. God has revealed no authority for them. All ruling belongs to God alone. And there is no Judge but He. He has commanded that you serve none but Him. That is the Right Religion. But most people are not aware of this fact or disregard it in practice."

12:41"O My prison mates! The first of you will be the chief wine butler for the King. The other one (the chief baker of the King) will be crucified and birds will eat off his head. Thus is the case decided about what you ask."

12:42Joseph asked the one whom he thought would be released, “Mention me in the presence of your King.” But Satan (his selfish ways) made him forget to mention it to the King, so Joseph stayed in prison for a few years.

12:43And one day the King of Egypt said to his court, "I have dreamed seven fat cows being eaten up by seven lean cows and seven green spikes of wheat and (seven) dry. O My chiefs! Explain to me my vision, if you can interpret dreams.”

12:44They answered, "Confused nightmares! We are not skilled in interpreting such dreams."

[This king was not a Pharaoh. He is probably the second one of the six Hyksos rulers who dominated Egypt between 1700-1580 BC, after invading the country through the Sinai Peninsula]

12:45The one who was released (the chief butler) at long last remembered. He said, "I can bring you the meaning, so send me forth."

12:46He said, "Joseph, O You truthful one! Explain for us the seven fat cows being eaten by seven lean ones, and the seven green spikes of wheat and others dry. I wish to go back with information that they may know” (the interpretation and your value).

12:47Joseph told him the meaning and the way to avert the oncoming famine, “Work hard on agriculture for seven seasons. When you harvest the crop, only reap the amount you need. Leave the rest of the grains in the spikes (to store for the ensuing famine).”

12:48“Then after that will come seven dry seasons which will use up all that you have prepared for them, but a little that you have stored up.”

12:49“After that, one year will come with good rains and the crops will be plenty. You will get abundant grain and fruit, and a lot of oil and juice to squeeze.”

[Please note that only a Messenger of God could correctly interpret dreams since God shares His knowledge of the future only with a Messenger He chooses. 3:179, 72:26-27]

12:50And the King said, “Bring him before me!” When the courier came to Joseph, he said, "Return to your King and ask him to find out the case of the women who had exhausted their efforts. Certainly, my Lord knows their plot."

[“Cutting hands” = Exhausting efforts. Joseph asked for investigation before being released to vindicate his character]

12:51The King sent for those women, and asked them, "What happened when you tried to seduce Joseph?" They answered, "Good Lord! We found no evil in him." The wife of the governor (Zelicha, Zulaikha in the Arab history) couldn't hold back, "Now the truth is out. I was the one who tried to make him desire me and he is truthful."

12:52(When Joseph heard this, he said), "I hope that the governor will realize that I never betrayed him in his absence. And God never leads to success the schemes of betrayers."

12:53(Zelicha continued) "I do not claim innocence for myself. The human ‘self’ incites evil except for those who have deserved grace from my Lord. Surely, my Lord is Absolver of imperfections, Merciful.”

12:54The King said, "Bring him to me so that I may appoint him a close adviser to me." And when he had spoken with him, the King decreed, "From today you have a high standing with us, invested with all trust."

[Note the Egyptian head of state of Prophet Joseph's era referred as ‘Malik’ Ruler or King and not as Pharaoh, the word that appears erroneously in the book of Genesis. The term Pharaoh came in use only for kings after 1500 BC which historians call the New Kingdom. Prophet Joseph lived around 1700 BC during the Old Kingdom, that of Amalekites. In the story of Moses, the term Pharaoh is used for the Egyptian ruler. Moses lived around 1400 BC during the New Kingdom, that of Pharaohs]

12:55Joseph replied, "Place in my charge the land resources (the treasury) of the State. I will prove to be a knowledgeable guardian."

[Now that he could personally handle the oncoming drought]

12:56Thus, We gave established power to Joseph in the land (of Egypt). He had full mastery over it, ruling as he saw fit. We bestow Our grace according to Our laws, and never waste the reward of the doers of good.

12:57And the reward in the life to come is phenomenally better for all those who attain belief and live upright.

12:58(And after some years) Joseph’s brothers came and presented themselves before him. Joseph recognized them, but they did not know him.

[They came from Can’aan to buy grain as places around Egypt started suffering the drought]

12:59And when he had given them suitable provisions, he said, “Next time bring to me that brother of yours from your father’s side. Now you have seen that I am just and hospitable.”

12:60"And if you do not bring him to me, you will get no share from me; you will not even come close."

12:61They said, “We will try to persuade his father to let him go. We will surely do that.”

12:62Joseph said to his servants, “Load their barter (the price of wheat) back in their saddlebags, so that they may find it when they go home, and hence be more eager to return.”

12:63When they went back to their father, they said, “O Our father! All grain is to be withheld from us unless you send with us our brother (Benjamin). So send him so that we may obtain the measure, we will guard him well.”

12:64Jacob said, "Shall I trust you with him as I trusted you with his brother? God is better at guarding and He is the most Merciful of the merciful."

12:65When they opened their packs, they discovered that their barter had been returned to them. (The grand minister, the Prophet of God, had paid on their behalf.) They said, “O Our father! What more can we ask? We shall bring food for our family and guard our brother. And we shall have the extra measure of a camel load. The first load we have brought is but scant.”

12:66Jacob said, “I will not send him with you until you give me a solemn pledge in the name of God, that you will bring him back to me unless you get surrounded (by circumstances beyond control). And when they gave him their solemn pledge, he said, "God is the witnessing Guardian over all we say."

12:67And he said, “O My sons! Do not enter the town all by one gate, but enter by different gates. Yet, I cannot avail you against the Divine laws. (So, handle all situations accordingly.) Rule and law-giving belongs to God alone. In Him I trust, and everyone must place trust in Him since the Divine laws never change."

[17:77, 33:38, 35:43. It is a common misconception that Jacob told his eleven sons to enter by different gates to obviate ‘evil eye’. Historically the brothers had been accused of spying on a previous occasion. The Qur’an consistently rejects all superstition. Genesis 42:9 And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said to them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come]

12:68When they went, they entered the town as their father instructed. Jacob was quite right that even he (a Prophet of God) could not avail them against the Divine laws. It was a duty that he did (giving the correct advice to his sons), although it could not prevent what was to happen (with Benjamin 12:75-81). He was, by Our instruction, full of knowledge. But most people do not know.

12:69When they met with Joseph, he brought his brother closer to him and said, "I am your brother, do not grieve about what they have been doing to us."

12:70As the camels were being loaded, one of the brothers hid the drinking-cup into his brother’s (Benjamin's) saddlebag. Then a caller cried, "O Camel-riders! You are thieves!"

[12:77-89. The Qur’an here corrects Genesis which states that it was Joseph who had placed the cup in their pack]

12:71They said, coming towards them, "What is it that you have lost?"

12:72They said, “We have lost the King's cup, and whoever produces it shall have an extra camel-load, and I (the chief royal servant) guarantee that.”

12:73They explained, “By God! Well you know that we did not come here to create mischief in the land, and we are not thieves.”

12:74The callers asked, "What shall be the penalty for it if you prove liars?"

12:75The brothers replied, "The penalty for it! He in whose bag the cup is found, he shall be the penalty for it. (The thief will become your slave.) Thus we requite the doers of such wrong (in our land)."

12:76They were brought before Joseph for the search. He began with the bags of his half-brothers before the bag of his brother (Benjamin). And he finally extracted the cup out of his brother’s bag. We thus perfected the plan for Joseph. He could not have detained his brother under the King's law. But that was the will of God. We raise people in ranks according to Our laws. Yet, above every person of knowledge there is One Who knows all.

12:77The brothers said, "If he stole, so did his brother in the past." Joseph stayed quiet, revealing nothing. He only said in his heart, "You are in worse case, and God is the Best Knower of what you allege."

12:78They said to Joseph, "O Noble one! He has an aged father, so take one of us instead of him. We see that you are a doer of good."

12:79He answered, “God save us from detaining other than the one with whom we found our goods. Otherwise, we would be unjust.”

12:80So, when they lost hope, they conferred in private. The eldest among them said, “Do you not know that your father took a solemn pledge from you in God’s name, and how you failed in the case of Joseph before? I shall not go from this place until my father gives leave or God judges for me. He is the Best of deciders.”

12:81(He told the rest of the brothers), “Return to your father and say, ‘O Our father! Your son has committed theft. We bear witness only to what we know. And we could not guard against the unseen.

12:82Ask the township where we were, and the caravan we came with. We are certainly telling the truth.’"

12:83Jacob said, "Nay, you have made up yet another story good enough only for you. But I resort to decent forbearance. May God bring them all to me! He, only He, is the Knower, the Wise."

12:84Then Jacob turned away from them saying, “Ah, my grief for Joseph!” His eyes glistened with tears but he suppressed his grief.”

[Jacob worried more about Joseph since he had no news of him yet. Many exponents at this point have ventured into strange guesswork. They report that Prophet Jacob became blind, crying incessantly for eighty years grieving for Joseph! The Bible relates that Jacob lived to be 147 years old. Even so, it is not befitting of a Prophet of God, or even an ordinary person, to turn blind with grief and weep incessantly for 80 years. The whiteness of his eyes in this verse clearly refers to his eyes glistening with tears momentarily. And then he controlled his grief]

12:85His sons said, "By God! You will never cease remembering Joseph until your health is ruined or you perish."

12:86. He said, "I present my distress and anguish only to God and I know from God what you know not."

12:87“O My sons! Go and find Joseph and his brother and never despair God’s grace. None but the disbelievers (in His attributes) despair the grace of God.”

12:88When they came before Joseph, they said, “O Noble one! We have suffered a lot of hardship along with our family. We bring only inferior barter to pay. So give us the full measure, and be charitable to us. God rewards the charitable.”

12:89As he granted the request, Joseph said, “Do you remember what you did to Joseph and his brother in your ignorance?”

12:90They exclaimed, “What? Is it really you who are Joseph?” He answered, “I am Joseph and this is my brother. God has been Gracious to us. If one empowers himself against evil, and is steadfast, God never wastes the reward of such doers of good.”

12:91They said, “By God! God has exalted you above us, and we were at fault.”

12:92Joseph said, “There is no blame on you this day! May God forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of the merciful.”

12:93Now, go and take this royal shirt of mine and show it to my father. He will see the reality of things. Then, bring all your family to me.

12:94As soon as the caravan departed from Egypt, their father (Jacob) began saying, “I do scent the presence of Joseph even though you may call me senile.”

12:95They said, “By God! You are still in your old confusion.”

12:96(The caravan arrived in Can’aan.) The bearer of the good news came and cast (Joseph’s royal shirt) over his (Jacob’s) face, he was delighted and his eyes saw the reality. He said, “Did I not tell you that I know from God what you do not know?”

12:97They said, “O Our father! Ask forgiveness for us, for we trailed behind in your obedience, we were at fault.”

12:98Jacob answered, “I shall ask forgiveness for you from my Lord. He is Forgiving, Merciful.”

12:99And when they came in before Joseph, he respectfully greeted his parents, “Welcome to Egypt! God willing, you will be in safety and peace here.”

12:100He raised his parents upon the throne of honor. All those present bowed to him in respect (to let his parents see the honor God had given their son). Joseph said, “O My father! This is how my Lord has made my dream come true. He has been very kind to me, since He freed me from the prison, and He has brought you here from the village. Satan (selfishness of my brothers) had sown enmity between us brothers. My Lord is Unfathomable in the ways He carries out His will. For, He is the Knower, the Wise.”

12:101(Then, Joseph prayed,) “O My Lord! You have bestowed on me some power, and have granted me the insight into events. O You Originator of the heavens and earth! You are my Protecting Friend in this world and the Hereafter. Help me remain committed to Your commands until the last breath, and unite me with those who develop their ‘self’ by doing good to the society.”

12:102(O Prophet Muhammad) These are the chapters of the Unseen (history) that We reveal to you. You were not there when the brothers of Joseph decided together and were making their schemes.

12:103Yet, most of these people will not believe even as you compassionately so desire.

12:104Although you ask them no reward for it. It is but a Reminder for the worlds (all peoples).

12:105How many a sign there is in the heavens and earth which they pass by with their faces turned away (without paying attention)!

12:106The majority of people do not believe in God without remaining ‘Mushriks’.

[‘Shirk’ = Idol worship in different forms. ‘Mushrik’ = One who calls upon gods besides God, associates others with Him, or believes in false deities = One who ascribes partners to Him, submits to false authorities, or follows clergy instead of Divine Revelation = One who blindly follows his desires]

12:107Do they consider themselves secure from the overwhelming requital of God, or the coming of the Hour all of a sudden while they do not perceive?

12:108Say (O Prophet), “This is my way. Resting my call upon reason, I am calling you all to God, I and those who follow me. Glory to God! And I am not one of those who ascribe divinity in any form besides Him.”

[We do not invite through blind faith, vague dogmas or by stunning your intellect with miracles]

12:109And even before you, We sent none but men to whom We revealed Our messages – (Men) chosen from the people of the townships. Have they then never journeyed about the earth to see what happened in the end to those who lived before them? But the home of the Hereafter is best for those who live upright. Will you not then, use reason?

12:110There have been times when even the Messengers had lost all hope of reformation and thought that they had been denied. Then came Our help. We saved according to Our laws (those worthy of being saved). And none can repel Our retribution from the guilty who thrive on the fruit of others’ toil.

12:111Indeed in the history of these men, there is a lesson for people of understanding. As for this revelation, it could not possibly be a Hadith, fabricated. It confirms the (surviving truth in) the previous scriptures, and gives a detailed explanation of everything. And it is a beacon and mercy for all those who accept it. [2:79, 2:101, 3:78, 3:187, 5:48]

Surah 13. Ar-Ra’d – The Thunder

This is the 13th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 43 verses. 13:13 indicates thunder being an angel of God. And a reported saying of the exalted Messenger emphasizes this fact. Yet, under the Biblical influence most Muslims think of angels only as winged creatures flying across the Universe. The Qur’an, in all compassion, does not expect us to know the exact nature of all what is beyond the present state of our mind. For example, we believe according to the Book of God that His verses were conveyed to the Prophets' hearts, through the angels of revelation. How exactly this process took place, then carries little significance. In general, the Qur’an describes ‘angels’ as God’s physical laws and forces operative in the Universe.

(“The real existence on earth is of the one who benefits humanity.” 13:17)

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

13:1A.L.M.R. Alif–Laam-Meem-Ra. (Allah, Lateef the Unfathomable, Majeed the Magnificent, Raaziq the Provider, states that), These are the verses of the Divine Writ, the scripture. What is revealed to you (O Prophet) from your Lord is the truth. Yet most people do not believe in it.

13:2God is the One Who raised the skies without pillars visible to you. Then, upon the Throne of His Almightiness, He assumed Supreme Control of the entire Universe. He committed the sun and the moon to be of service, each running to an appointed term. He keeps Order in the Universe and He explains His messages in detail, so that you may be sure of meeting with your Lord.

[Studying the Book of nature will bring mankind closer to their Lord. Until recently, the sun was thought to be stationary, but today we know that the sun, along with Solar System, is moving toward the "Constellation of Hercules," also known as the "Solar Apex", at a speed of 12 miles per second, 43,200 miles per hour. 36:38]

13:3He is the One Who has spread the earth wide and placed therein mountains firm like pegs, and flowing streams. And He created thereon couples of every kind of plants (and their fruit). He causes the night to cover the day. In all this, there are signs for people who think.

[Plants have male and female flowers, and some trees like the date-palm are unisexual, male and female]

13:4On earth there are many lots and tracts of land in proximity, yet widely differing from one another in composition and quality. On it, there are vineyards, and fields of grain, date and palm-trees, growing in clusters or standing alone. All of them receive the same water and yet, We have made some of them excel others in fruit. In all this, there are signs for people who use their intellect.

13:5If you wonder at this, then even more wondrous is their saying, "What! After we have become dust, shall we be restored to life in a new act of creation?" They are the ones who deny their Lord. And they are the ones who will carry the shackles of their own making around their necks. They will be dwellers of the fire, to dwell therein.

13:6(Instead of reflecting on the message), they challenge you (O Prophet) to hasten the disaster, rather than doing acts of benevolence. Sufficient examples have been set for them in the past. Your Lord is full of forgiveness for mankind despite their transgressions. But your Lord is also Strict in grasping.

[He has designed the Law of Respite, the interim period when people can safely mend their ways]

13:7Those who deny the truth keep saying, "Why has no miracle ever been bestowed upon him from his Lord?" But you (O Prophet) are only a warner and to every community is a guide.

[The Perfect Divine Guidance through the Prophet shall be preserved in the form of the Qur’an for all times and all peoples 6:34, 6:91, 6:116, 10:64, 15:9 18:27, 41:53, 75:16-19. And his prime duty is to counsel mankind that false systems of life only end up in disaster]

13:8God knows what every female bears, and what every womb releases or gains. Everything has a due measure with Him.

[God’s Guidance is a mercy to humanity. We may liken it to the nourishment of the embryo in the evolving environment of the womb. The embryo lodges in security and its needs are met in a timely fashion in perfect balance. Then the fetus comes to the world ready to thrive. This is how the Divine System, when established in a society, nourishes the individual]

13:9He has perfect knowledge of the visible and the invisible. He is the Great, Most High.

13:10It is all alike to Him whether any of you conceals his thoughts or declares them, and whether he seeks to hide under the cover of night or walks boldly in daylight.

13:11For each person there are universal forces surrounding him. They record his actions according to God's command. Most certainly, God does not change the condition of a nation until they first change themselves. When God intends a nation to suffer punishment (as a consequence of their misdeeds), there is none who can repel it and they have no defender besides Him.

[8:53, 82:10-14. Hifz = Protect = Preserve = Save = Record = Guard. ‘Ma bi anfusihim’ = What is in themselves = What is in their own ‘self’ = What is in their hearts = Their psyche = Their way of thinking = Their intentions = Their will to change = Their innate ‘self’]

13:12He is the One Who displays before you the lightning, to cause fear and hope, and initiates heavy clouds.

[Similarly, the light of guidance brings to you the warning and a good tiding]

13:13And the thunder and the (other) angels strive to glorify Him by carrying out their duties in awe of Him. And He is the One Whose physical laws let loose the thunderbolt to strike the earth. And yet they stubbornly argue about God (and fall for superstitions), though He is Awesome in Power!

13:14Calling upon Him is the True calling. Those unto whom they call besides God, cannot respond to them at all. Thus, they are like the one who stretches forth his two palms towards water hoping for it to reach his mouth from distance, and it will never reach. Likewise, the calling of those who are oblivious to Divine laws is misdirected. [4:123]

13:15And before God bow, willingly or unwillingly, all beings that are in the heavens and earth, as do their shadows in the mornings and evenings. [3:82, 41:11]

13:16Ask them, "Who is the Lord of the heavens and earth?” Say, “It is God!” (23:84-90, 29:21-23). Then ask, “Why then, do you take as protectors besides Him those who have neither benefit, nor harm even for themselves?” (When you acknowledge Him as God of the heavens, what stops you from acknowledging Him as God of the earth, and thus, as the law-giving authority? (6:3, 21:21-22, 43:84). Say, “Is the blind of reason equal to the seer, or is darkness equal to light?” (11:24, 35:19). Have their so-called partners of God created something like He has created, so that this act of creation appears to them to be similar? Say, “God is the Creator of all things. He is the One, Dominating.”

13:17He sends down water from the height causing the riverbeds to flow according to their measure and the flood bears on its surface swelling foam. When they use fire to refine metals for their jewelry or equipment, foam is produced like it. In this way, God is citing for you the example of the truth and falsehood. For, as far as the foam is concerned, it passes away as scum upon the riverbanks - While that which is of benefit to mankind, exists on earth. This is how God uses analogies for you to understand.

[The real existence on earth is of that which benefits humanity]

13:18For those who respond to their Lord’s call, is a state of bliss. And those who do not respond to Him, even if they had all the treasures of the world and more like it, they would readily give it as ransom. But, a terrible reckoning awaits them, and Hell will be their abode. What a miserable bed to lie on!

13:19Is he, then who knows that what has been revealed to you (O Prophet) is the truth from your Lord, like him who chooses to remain blind? Only those who develop their insight will bear this in mind.

13:20Those who are true to their bond with God (in their allegiance to the Divine System), keep their pledge with God and with people,

13:21Build bridges of goodwill between people, and strengthen ties of human relationships as God has commanded, and stand in awe of their Lord. (not relegating His commands to others’ utterances), and fear the eventuality of a tough accountability,

13:22They persevere in the face of adversities seeking the approval of their Lord, help establish and consolidate the Divine System, and uphold the Permanent Values, spend on others of the provision We have given them, in secret and in public, and they counter harshness with kindness. Theirs will be the Eternal Home. [2:27]

13:23They will enter the Gardens of Eden, along with all who are righteous, of their parents, spouses and children. Angels will greet them at every gate.

13:24Saying, "Peace be upon you, since you remained steadfast in your commitment! Oh, what an excellent final home!"

13:25But those who broke the pledge with God after ratifying it, and cut asunder what God has commanded to be joined (13:20-21), and spread corruption and disorder on earth, their due is (God’s) rejection. And theirs is the terrible Home!

13:26God grants abundant provision, or gives it in scant measure according to His laws (17:18-21). They rejoice in the life of this world alone. But the life of this world is a fleeting pleasure compared with the Hereafter (2:200-201).

13:27(These laws are unwavering.) Now those who are bent upon denying the truth say, “Why has no miracle ever been bestowed upon him from his Lord?” Say, “People go astray according to God’s laws, and attain guidance according to His laws.

[Man has been endowed with free will and there is no compulsion or coercion in Religion, whether physical, emotional or intellectual. 2:256, 4:88, 12:108]

13:28Those who attain faith through reason, their hearts find rest in the practical remembrance of God, that is, in following His commands. Remembering God (by following His commands) ensures tranquility in the hearts.

13:29The abode of bliss is guaranteed to those who accept the message and fulfill the needs of others. [3:13]

13:30(O Messenger) We have sent you as We sent the Messengers before you so that you convey to them what We reveal to you, for in their ignorance, they deny the Most Gracious. Say, “He is my Lord, there is no god but He. In Him I put my trust and to Him do I turn (for grace).”

13:31The Divine law precludes the possibility that a Lecture would move the mountains, tear the earth asunder, or make the dead speak. Nay, all decrees belong to God. Do not the believers know that if God had willed, He could have guided all mankind (by making them driven by positive instincts)? As for those who reject the Divine laws in nature: Disasters will not cease to strike them for their deeds, even close to their homes until the promise of God come to pass. Surely, God never fails in His promise.

[Mankind will keep devising various political and socio-economic systems in search for the best. Those systems will keep collapsing and they will keep suffering far and close to their towns and homes. Then, ultimately, they will realize that the Qur’an offers the solutions to all the problems humanity faces at any given time. 5:3, 9:31-33, 10:100, 13:31,14:48, 18:48, 41:53, 48:28, 51:20-21, 61:9. The Qur’an is intended to move hearts, not mountains. 6:7, 6:25, 6:112, 15:14-15, 17:90-93]

13:32Messengers were mocked before you, but I gave the rejecters plenty of respite. At length I seized them, then how awesome My requital was!

13:33Is there any equal to the One Who stands witness over what every person does? Yet, they ascribe partners to God. Say, “Name them! Are you informing Him of something that He does not know on earth? Or is it a mere show of words?” Nay, whatever the unbelievers contrive seems fair to them. But they get hindered from the right path. Whoever chooses to go astray according to God’s law, for him there is no guide. [4:88]

13:34For them is torment in the life of this world, and certainly the doom of the life to come is harder, and they will have no defender against God.

13:35The similitude of the Garden which is promised for the righteous, is flowing streams beneath, its fruit everlasting, and cool shades (14:25, 47:15). This is the end result of the righteous, while the end of the rejecters is Fire.

13:36So, those to whom We have given the Book, rejoice in what is revealed to you (O Prophet). But, among the (dissenting) groups, there are those who deny a part of it. Say, “I am commanded only that I serve God and associate none with Him. Unto Him I invite all mankind, and He is my goal.”

[The dissenting groups even preach that some of the verses are abrogated or that they have a hidden meaning]

13:37Thus, We have revealed it, a decisive authority in Arabic. (O Prophet) if you follow their likes and dislikes after the knowledge has come to you, you will have no protector or defender against God.

13:38And certainly We sent Messengers before you, and We appointed for them wives and children as well. It was not given to any Messenger that he could bring a sign (the requital they hastened for), but it came according to God’s Law of Respite. For every rise and for every fall, there is a written law.

[7:34. 3:144. All Messengers were mortal human beings and they conveyed God's revelation as commanded. Please note that all of them had wives and children, and think of Jesus!]

13:39God blots out and establishes communities according to His laws. Nations rise and fall accordingly, and with Him is the Ultimate Decree.

[Ummul Kitaab = The Ultimate Decree = Divine Database]

13:40(O Messenger) whether We show you what We promise them, or cause you to die before that, your duty is to convey the message. And the reckoning is Ours.

13:41Do they not see that every day on earth brings them closer to the end? For, when God judges, there is no power that could repel His Judgment. And Swift in reckoning He is!

13:42Those who lived before these people, also devised schemes, but the most comprehensive devising is that of God. He knows what every ‘self’ earns. The rejecters will soon come to know for whom will be the future Home.

13:43The disbelievers say, “You have not been sent (by God).” Say, "None can bear witness between me and you as God does; and then, none can bear witness as the one who truly understands this Book by way of reason.”

[God will soon prove me true]

Surah 14. Ibrahim – Abraham

This is the 14th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 52 verses. Prophet Abraham lived around 2000 BC in Ur, Babylon (Mesopotamia, now Iraq), Can’aan (Palestine), and later in Makkah. He is the ancestor of Jews, and Arabs, and ideologically, of all Christians and Muslims. Isaac was his son from Sarah, and Ishmael was his son from Hagar (Haajirah) From his son Isaac descended Jacob (Israel) and the Children of Israel. Through his other son, Ishmael descended the Arabs and God’s last Messenger, Muhammad, the exalted.

Abraham's father Azar, as the Chief Priest, was the most powerful man in Babylon, next only to the King. As the progeny of Azar, Abraham and Ishmael were entitled to the luxurious and powerful office of the Chief Priesthood in the court of King Nimrod. But they sacrificed all temptation in order to follow the commands of God and strove to establish True Monotheism wherever they lived.

Midyan was another of Prophet Abraham's son from his third wife, Qatoora. His progeny had settled in the Arabian Peninsula as well, and Prophet Sho’aib (Jethro) was sent to the Midyanites during the times of Moses]

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

14:1A.L.R. Alif–Laam–Ra (Allah, Lateef the Unfathomable, Raaziq the Provider, states that), A Divine Writ this is that We have revealed to you (O Prophet) so that you may bring forth all mankind, by their Lord’s leave, out of darkness into light. On to the way that leads to the Almighty, the Owner of all praise. [14:5, 33:43]

14:2God to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. Therefore, those who reject His guidance, incur an awful retribution.

[His commands must govern human social order as they govern the Universe]

14:3They choose the life of this world as the sole object of their love, preferring it to the life to come, and bar people from the path of God. They try to make the straight path crooked. They have strayed far away.

[They oppose reform in order to protect their selfish interests]

14:4We never sent a Messenger who did not speak the language of his people, so that he might make the message clear to them. People go astray or attain guidance according to God’s laws (4:88). He is Almighty, Wise.

14:5(Moses spoke the language of his people.) We sent him with Our messages, saying, "Bring your people from darkness to light and remind them of the Days of God. There are lessons in the history of nations for those who are steadfast in their resolve to rise and wish that their efforts be fruitful.”

[The Days of God = When people follow His guidance. Shukr or gratefulness is not just the verbal proclamation of 'Thank God!' It pertains to sharing the God-given bounties with others. It also means ‘efforts bearing fruit’]

14:6Moses spoke thus to his people, “Remember God's blessing upon you when He saved you from Pharaoh’s people. They used to persecute you in the worst manner, killed your sons and spared your women. Therein was a tremendous trial from your Lord.”

14:7And recall! Your Lord proclaimed, “If you are grateful (establishing a system where everyone equitably receives the provision), I will give you more. But if you show ingratitude, then My retribution is certainly dire.”

14:8And Moses said, “If you deny the truth and show ingratitude, you and all on earth together, know that God is absolutely Free of want, Worthy of all praise.”

[He is in no need of your worship]

14:9“Has not the history of the previous communities reached you? The history of the people of Noah and ‘Aad and Thamud? And of those who came after them? None knows them but God. To them came their Messengers with clear evidence of the truth. But they put their hands on their mouths and said, “Look! We reject what you are sent with. We are in great doubt concerning what you invite us.”

14:10Their Messengers said, "Can there be any doubt about God, the Initiator of the heavens and earth? He only calls you that He may grant you the protection of His forgiveness for your trailing behind in humanity and to postpone your end until an appointed time." They said, "Ah, you are but mortals like us! You want to bar us from what our ancestors used to worship. Then bring us a clear authority."

[God is far too Glorious from feeling offended by idol worship in any form. But submitting to false deities and 'authorities' is the root cause of inequities in any society, such as superstition, exploitation, ritualism and division of humanity into castes and sects, and the resulting violation of human rights. That is why all Messengers of God began their mission by calling people to the service, and obedience of the One True God]

14:11(Without exception) their Messengers said to them, "Yes, we are human beings like yourselves. But God gives His grace (of revelation) to whom He chooses among His servants. It is not for us to bring you an authority except as God permits. And all believers put their trust in God.

14:12“Why should we not put our trust in God? He has shown us the ways we follow. We shall certainly endure with uncompromising resolve whatever torment you inflict upon us. Let those who trust put their trust in God."

[Trusting in God is trusting the permanence of His laws]

14:13The rejecters resorted to threatening the Messengers, “Be sure, We will banish you from our land unless you return to our religion.” But their Lord revealed to them, “We will subdue those who try to relegate the truth and insist on running oppressive systems.”

[‘Zaalimeen’ expansively translated in the last line]

14:14“And certainly We will establish you in the land after them. This reward is for those who are awed by My Majesty and My warning.”

14:15They earnestly prayed for triumph and then every stubborn tyrant was undone.

14:16Hell of his own making is behind every stubborn tyrant, and before him is the cup of distress that he is made to drink.

[Such people hinder their own development and forfeit inner peace in this life as well. 47:15]

14:17Which he sips but can hardly swallow. How difficult it is to swallow the bitterness of self-imposed failure! A life unlived, a mere survival as if death comes to him from all sides, yet he neither lives nor dies. To follow him still is a heavy doom! [20:74, 87:13]

14:18Here is a similitude of those who deny their Lord. Their works are like ashes that the wind blows hard on a stormy day. They have no power whatsoever over what they earned. Such is the farthest wandering. [13:17, 14:24-26]

14:19Have you not realized that God has created the heavens and earth with a sublime purpose? If He wills, He can do away with you and bring a new creation. [4:133, 7:146, 9:39, 47:38]

14:20And this is not difficult for God.

14:21They will be, all of them, marshaled before God. Then the ones who had disabled their minds with blind following will say to their self-glorified leaders, "We used to follow you. Can you divert from us some of God’s doom?" The leaders will respond, "If God had guided us, we would have guided you. Now it makes no difference whether we panic in grief or try to bear it in patience, there is no escape for us."

[It is noteworthy here that Satan had brought the same argument that his Lord had sent him astray. 7:16]

14:22And Satan (their selfish desires) will disown them after the Judgment has been issued, "God promised you a true promise. And I promised you, then failed you. But I had no power over you except that I called upon you and you obeyed me. So do not blame me, blame yourselves. Neither can I help you, nor can you help me. Now I condemn your act of associating me with God. There must be a painful doom for all those who relegate the truth and choose to do wrong.”

14:23And those who attained belief and increased human potential, will be admitted to the Gardens underneath which rivers flow, therein to abide by their Lord’s leave. Their greeting therein is, “Peace!”

14:24Do you not reflect how God cites an example of a Noble Ideology as a goodly tree, firmly rooted with its branches swinging high in the heaven?

[This Ideology ensures blessings in both lives. Kalimatan Tayyebah = There is no god but God, and Muhammad is His Messenger = Goodly Word = Noble Ideology = Creed = Ordained System of Life. 35:10]

14:25It (the tree of this Ideology) bears fruit in all seasons by the leave of its Lord. God sets forth examples to humans that they may reflect.

14:26And the example of an evil ideology is that of a bad tree that gets easily uprooted from the surface of the earth, and it has no stability.

[It is neither firmly rooted, nor reaches any heights]

14:27God strengthens those who choose to believe, with the Word that stands firm, in the life of this world and in the Hereafter. But God leaves to stray, those who choose to do wrong. God does everything according to His laws.

14:28Have you not considered those who exchange God’s blessing with ingratitude and lead their people down to an abode of utter loss?

14:29Into Hell! They are exposed to it. What a miserable place to rest in!

[They show ingratitude by holding on to God’s blessings for themselves, and exhort their people to do the same]

14:30And they set up rivals to God to mislead from His way. (They take the clergy as their authorities instead of the Word of God, thus setting up ‘rivals’ to Him.) Tell them, "Enjoy life while you can, for your sure destination is the fire.”

14:31(O Prophet), "Tell My believing servants to establish the Divine System and spend on others of the provision We have given them, secretly and openly, before a Day comes wherein there shall be neither trading nor befriending.” [2:254]

14:32(Think of the Source of your wealth and provision!) God is the One Who has created the heavens and earth, and sends down water from the sky, thereby producing fruit and vegetation as provision for you. And He makes ships and boats to be of service to you that they sail in the sea by His command, and has made of service to you the rivers.

14:33And He made the sun and the moon, both of them constant on their courses and committed the night and the day to serve you.

14:34And He gives you all that you would be asking Him for. If you count the blessings of God’s provision never will you be able to enumerate them. Indeed, the human being is persistent in wrongdoing, stubbornly ingrate. [55:29]

14:35Recall that Abraham said, “My Lord! Make this a peaceful land and protect me and my children from idolatry in any form.” [2:125]

14:36“My Lord! They (the keepers of these idols and temples) mislead a great many people. Whoever follows me, will be of me. Any who rebels against me, well, You are Forgiving, Merciful.”

[11:15. Relationships would stand on Ideology. 2:124, 60:4]

14:37“Our Lord! I have settled some of my family in this barren valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House. Our Lord! They are here to establish the Divine System. Give them the nobility of character so that the hearts of people incline toward them. Provide for them with your blessings so that they may focus on their Mission. Make their efforts fruitful and enable them to show gratitude by sharing the bounties with others.”

[The meaning of Shukrhas been detailed in the last sentence]

14:38“Our Lord! You know what we conceal and what we reveal.” Nothing is hidden from God, whether on earth or in heaven.

14:39“All praise to God Who has given me sons like Ishmael and Isaac in later age! My Lord is the Hearer of prayer.”

14:40“My Lord! Enable me and my children to establish the Divine System. Our Lord! Accept my prayer.”

14:41Our Lord! Grant the shelter of forgiveness to me, my parents, and the believers on the Day when the final reckoning comes to pass.” [9:114]

14:42Do not think that God is unaware of what the wrongdoers are doing. He but gives them respite. They will stare in horror on the Day when all their deeds will reach their logical conclusion.

14:43As they rush to and fro with their faces looking upwards, their eyes will not even blink, and their hearts will be horrified.

14:44So, warn mankind of the Day when the suffering may befall them, and the wrongdoers will say, "Our Lord! Give us a little time. We will respond to Your Call and follow the Messengers.” (They will be told), "What! Did you not use to swear in the past that there would never be a decline for you?"

14:45“You dwelled in the homes and towns where people before you had dwelt and wronged their own ‘self’ oppressing the weak. And you were made well aware of how We dealt with them. And We gave you plenty of examples.”

14:46They made mighty schemes and their schemes were well within the Sight of God. And they were strong enough to intimidate the strongest of resolves.

[Literally, strong enough to shake mountains]

14:47Never think that God would fail His Messengers in His promise. Surely, God is Mighty, the Lord of just requital.

14:48The Day will come when this earth will be replaced with a new earth, and the heavens too will be replaced and they will come forth to God, the One, the Dominating.

[And before that, as the caravan of humanity journeys forward, people will witness a total metamorphosis in their political and social systems, a brand new environment where the universal law of the One Mighty, Dominating God will prevail. 9:31-33, 13:31,14:48, 18:48, 41:53, 48:28, 51:20-21, 61:9]

14:49And you will see the criminals effectively immobilized.

14:50They will be drenched in the flames of their own igniting, feeling as if the coal tar is stuck on their whole existence.

14:51Justice will be swift in the Divine Order, so that everyone is paid a quick recompense and peace will remain undisturbed. God is Swift at reckoning.

14:52This is a clear message for all mankind in order that they may be warned thereby, and that they may know that He is One God. Let those endowed with insight take this to heart.

[Danger signs have been posted on the highway of life as the caravan of humanity moves along to the noble goal of Peace. God is the Lord and Cherisher of all humanity and His law is Supreme 1:1, 114:1. Men and women of understanding and discernment, and those of history, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and those in positions of authority must pay heed to what their Lord is telling them. 9:31-33, 14:48, 18:48, 48:28, 61:9]

Surah 15. Al-Hijr – The Valley of Rocks

This is the 15th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 99 verses. Al-Hijr implies "The Valley of Rocks". The valley extends from Makkah to Syria, a distance of about 1,000 miles. The people of Prophets Saleh and Sho’aib inhabited here in their respective times. Prophet Lot was sent a bit north in the valley, close to the Dead Sea. Rocky and desert grounds, the “stone-hearted” behavior of these three communities, and the history of their annihilation through earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, perhaps gave the Valley its name. The ancient Greek philosopher, Ptolemy (Batlimus) mentioned the place as ‘Hegra’.

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

15:1A.L.R. Alif–Laam–Ra (Allah, Lateef the Unfathomable, Raaziq the Provider, states that), These are the verses of revelation, of Qur’an that explains itself.

15:2The time is coming when the rejecters of the truth will ardently wish that they were Muslims.

15:3Let them eat, drink, and enjoy life while hanging on to false hopes. They will come to know.

[47:12. If they do not come to the truth, the truth will come to them, and they will see it. 102:7]

15:4And We never annihilated any community that had not a term assigned and decreed.

[All communities are given a period of respite. 13:38]

15:5(The Law of Respite makes no exceptions.) The end of any community can neither be advanced, nor delayed.

15:6And yet, those who deny the truth, say, “O You, to whom this Reminder has been revealed, certainly you are mad!”

15:7“Why do you not bring angels to us if you are among the truthful?”

15:8We do not send down the angels except when the period of respite is over. And in that case the rejecters get no further reprieve.

15:9We have sent down this Reminder, and We will guard it. [6:115]

15:10Of course, (O Prophet) even before your time We sent Messengers to the communities.

15:11And never came a Messenger to them that they did not mock him.

15:12We instill this attitude in the hearts of the guilty.

[Mujrim = One who thrives on the fruit of other’s labor = Guilty]

15:13They do not accept the message. Such has been the way of those who went before them.

15:14And even if We opened to them a Gate into the Heaven, and they kept ascending through it,

15:15They would say, "Our eyes are intoxicated. Nay, we are a people bewitched."

15:16We have set constellations in the Sky and We have beautified it for the beholders.

15:17And We have guarded it from every destructive force.

15:18The Shining Flame of knowledge has now come to you to dispel the deceptive claims of every deceiver.

[26:210-212, 37:8-9, 52:38, 67:5, 72:8-9. God is everywhere, not just in the skies. The Qur’an dispels all superstitions including the clairvoyants and fortunetellers spying onto His Court]

15:19And the earth, We have spread it out, and placed in it mountains firmly. And caused each seemly thing to grow therein in due proportion. [15:19-20, 31:10, 39:5, 41:10, 79:28-30, 88:18-20]

15:20We have given you means of livelihood, as well as for all whose sustenance does not depend on you.

15:21There is not a thing but with Us are the treasures thereof. And We send it down but in precise measure.

15:22We send the winds as pollinators that fertilize plants, and cause water to come down from the height for you to drink. Who holds the stores of the Universe? You do not. [51:4]

15:23For, it is We, We alone Who control the laws of life and death, and it is We alone Who remain the Ultimate Inheritor.

[So, the provision must remain accessible to all. 56:63-74]

15:24We know those who passed on before you, and We know those who will come after you.

[And We know those who advance in goodness and those who lag behind]

15:25It is your Lord Who will gather all of them together. Surely, He is Wise, All Knower.

15:26And We created man from sounding clay, out of dark inorganic matter. [37:11]

15:27Before humanity became civilized, We had placed in them a fiery disposition. See Jinn – Surah 72, note)

15:28Recall when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I am about to create man out of sounding inorganic matter, (and then) out of hydrated clay.” [2:30-35, 7:11-22, 17:61, 19:21, 20:116-120]

15:29And when I have perfected him in due proportion and breathed into him from My Energy, be of service to him.”

[Note "from My Energy". So God gave humans 'something' from His Energy. That something is free will. 76:3]

15:30Thereupon the angels agreed to be subservient, all of them together.

[The physical laws in the Universe were made subservient to mankind]

15:31But Iblees (Satan) refused to be among those who submitted.

[The selfish desires of humans declared rebellion against the higher controls of Reason. 2:34]

15:32God asked, "O Iblees! Why are you not with those who submitted?"

15:33He replied, "I am not one to submit to man whom You have created from sounding inorganic matter."

15:34God said, "Go forth then, from here! You are dismissed forthwith.”

15:35“My rejection shall be your due until the Day of Judgment." [7:14-15]

15:36Said Iblees, "Then O My Lord! Grant me respite until the Day when all shall be raised from the dead."

15:37Answered He, "Surely, so be it. You shall be among those who are granted respite.”

15:38“Till the Day known (to Me alone).”

15:39Iblees said, "O My Lord! Because You have put me in the wrong, I will entice them on earth, and I will put them all in the wrong.”

[Ghawa = Put in error = Thwart = Mislead = Deprive of sound judgment]

15:40“Except those who are truly Your servants."

15:41"This is, with Me, a straight path," said God.

15:42“Surely, you shall have no power over My servants, except those who put themselves in error and follow you.”

15:43“And for all such, Hell is the promised abode.”

15:44With seven gates leading into it - each gate receiving its share of wrongdoers.

[Sab’ah = Seven = Many. The right path is one, while the wrong paths are numerous and each of them leads to Hell. 30:30-31]

15:45Surely, those who live upright, will find themselves amidst gardens and springs.

15:46They will be told, “Enter them in peace, secure.”

15:47And We shall remove from their hearts any sense of jealousy, rancor, rivalry and bitterness. And they shall rest as brothers and sisters, facing one another, on thrones of happiness.

[7:43, 56:15, 88:13. Akh = Brother. Ukht = Sister. Ikhwan = Brothers and sisters]

15:48No weariness shall ever touch them, and never shall they lose this abode of bliss.

15:49Tell My servants that I am Forgiving, Merciful.

15:50Yet, My Law of Requital dispenses a severe requital.

15:51As an example, tell them once again about Abraham's guests.

15:52When they came to him, and said, “Peace!” He said, "Indeed, We are afraid of you."

15:53Said they, "Fear not! Indeed, we bring you the glad tiding of an enlightened son."

15:54He said, "How can you give me such glad tiding even though I have been overtaken by old age?"

15:55They answered, “We have given you the glad tiding that is bound to come true. So be not of those who abandon hope!”

15:56Abraham exclaimed, "And who, other than the one in error, despairs of the grace of his Lord?”

15:57He added, “And afterward what is your mission, O Messengers?"

15:58They replied, "We are sent to dispense retribution to a guilty people,

15:59Except Lot’s household and followers, all of whom we shall save (as commanded).

15:60But not his wife, who, we have ascertained, will be among those who will lag behind.”

15:61When the Messengers came to Lot's house,

15:62He said, "Indeed, you are people unknown."

15:63They answered, "Nay, we bring to you the decision concerning what they keep disputing with you.”

15:64“And we are bringing you the certainty (that the period of respite for your people is over). We are indeed truthful.”

15:65“Go, then, with your family and followers while it is yet night. Follow them in the rear, and let none of you look back (never to come back to this place). But proceed as you are commanded (by your Lord 11:81).”

15:66And We made plain the case to him, “The last remnant of those shall be wiped out in the morning.”

15:67The residents of the town came in rejoicing in anticipation.

[They thought that these Messengers could make for them permissible what Lot had been declaring non-permissible]

15:68Lot said, "Indeed, these are my guests; so do not embarrass me.”

15:69“Be mindful of God and disgrace me not!”

15:70They said, "Did we not forbid you from entertaining anyone?”

15:71Lot said, "These (your wives who are like) my daughters, are better for you, if you would.”

15:72The Messengers said to Lot, "They will not listen to you even if you preach them all your life." They were highly intoxicated, stumbling up and down.

15:73The blast (of requital) overtook them at the time of sunrise.

15:74We turned the towns upside down and showered upon them hard heated rocks.

15:75Therein, are lessons for the inquiring minds.

15:76Those towns (Sodom and Gomorrah) stood by a road that still exists.

15:77Herein is a message for those who believe.

15:78And the dwellers in woods (of Midyan, the people of Sho’aib), were also wrongdoers.

15:79And so We (Our Law of Requital) struck them. Both these communities lived by a highway, plain to see.

15:80And likewise, the dwellers in Al-Hijr (Thamud of Prophet Saleh) denied Our Messengers.

15:81And We gave them Our messages, but they stubbornly turned away from them.

15:82They used to carve secure homes out of the mountains.

15:83And so the blast (of requital) overtook them early in the morning.

15:84And of no avail to them was all the power that they had acquired.

15:85We have not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, without purpose. The Hour (of revolution) is surely coming. So overlook their faults (O Prophet), and forgive them graciously.

[Nations failing to meet the natural conditions of survival destroy themselves. So shall happen to these people if they do not mend their ways. 73:10]

15:86Your Lord is the all Knowing Creator.

15:87We have given you several examples from history that repeats itself, and We have given you this Sublime Qur’an that defines the laws of the rise and fall of nations.

[Most ancient and contemporary exponents have misunderstood this verse because of uncritical following of Bukhari. They maintain that Sab’an Seven here means the seven verses of the first Surah, Al-Fatihah. Obviously, this interpretation is against the flowing context here and it reduces the glorious meaning to naught. Saba’ = Seven, often denotes several]

15:88Do not even look at the worldly possessions that We have given to them and grieve not (over unbelievers). But lower your wing of kindness to the believers. [15:94]

15:89Say, "Truly, I am one who warns openly and without ambiguity."

15:90We did send down punishment upon the formulators of sects (after such warnings).

15:91Those who (cause division and sectarianism) dismember the Qur’an.

15:92Therefore, by your Lord, We will call all of them to account.

15:93For whatever they have done!

15:94So, proclaim openly all that you have been commanded and disregard those who bring forth ‘authorities’ parallel to Him.

15:95Surely, We shall suffice you against all who deride this message.

15:96And those who set up another god besides God, soon they will come to know.

15:97And We know well that your heart is distressed by what they say.

15:98But strive to manifest the glory of your Lord that the Giver of such Magnificent guidance is worthy of all praise. Be among those who humbly adore Him.

[Saajid = One who adores God = He who prostrates = One who sincerely submits to God = The truly devoted]

15:99Serve your Lord so that you may have conviction in the forthcoming success.

Surah 16. An-Nahl – The Bee

This is the 16th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 128 verses. An-Nahl signifies the Bee. The honeybee is a remarkable creature. It works hard through the processes of making honey and then turns up its labor for the common benefit of all. What a beautiful token of selflessness, and organized Way of Life!

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

16:1God’s command has come. Stop and think over these messages and hasten not in comprehending the Qur’an. Glorified, Exalted He is, High above what people associate with Him.

16:2He sends down His angels with revelation of His command, to such of His servants as He wills - Saying, "Proclaim that there is no one worthy of obedience but Me, so be mindful of My laws."

16:3He has created the heavens and the earth with purpose. He is High, Exalted above all that they associate with Him.

16:4He created the human being out of male and female gametes. They should be humble before their Creator's messages instead of being contentious.

16:5And cattle He has created for you. From them you derive warmth, and numerous benefits, and from them you obtain food.

16:6And you find beauty in them when you drive them home in the evenings and when you take them out to pasture in the mornings.

16:7They carry your loads to places you could not reach without much hardship. Surely, your Lord is Compassionate, Merciful.

16:8And He created horses, mules, and donkeys for you to ride and for joyful decor. And He will yet create things of which (today) you have no knowledge.

16:9(You see that these animals serve you and follow their instinct). God alone can show the right path, but there are ways that turn aside towards wrong. If God willed, He could have guided all of you.

[He could have created you driven by instinct without the ability to make choices]

16:10He is the One Who sends down water from the sky for you to drink from it, and out of it grow trees for you to graze your cattle.

16:11Therewith He causes to grow for you crops, olives, date palms, grapes, vineyards, and all kinds of fruit. This is a convincing sign for those who reflect (on the universal order).

[ZAR'A = Crops, agriculture, vegetation, plants, corn.]

16:12He has committed to your service the night and the day, as well as the sun and the moon. And the stars are committed by His command. These are sufficient signs for people who use their intellect.

16:13And all that He has created for you on earth is of diverse colors and qualities. Therein is a message for people who would reflect (and study the Book of Nature).

[My rendition of Yatazakkaroon= Those who study the Book of Nature; Root word Zikr = Reflection = Remembrance = Observation = Reminder. Dr. Ghulam Jeelani Barq rightly points out that there are two Books of God: The scripture and the Universe around us. The other two sources of knowledge: Human ‘self’ and History]

16:14And He it is Who has made the sea subservient that you eat from it tender fresh meat and extract from it gems and ornaments to wear. And you see the ships roaming through the waves that you may seek of His bounty and be appreciative.

16:15And He has placed mountains firm like stabilizing pegs in the earth, lest it sway with you; and made streams and paths, so that you may find your way.

[21:31, 31:10. Mountains are the most vivid evidence of the geological history of the earth. With the earth’s interior still being almost a molten fluid, the earth crust cooled off becoming hard, and mountains came into being like pegs as the crest shrank. Mountains clench different plates of the earth together like a peg. In this way, they create more stability in the earth’s crust and take away much energy from earthquakes. 78:6-7]

16:16And the natural landmarks as well as the stars to help people navigate.

16:17Is the One Who creates comparable to anyone that cannot create? Will you then not reflect?

16:18If you count up God’s favors, you would never be able to fathom them. God is Forgiving, Merciful.

[His blessings abound in the Universe. He is the Absolver of imperfections. And He nourishes all mankind 1:1, 114:1]

16:19And God knows which of His blessings you keep hidden and which of them you bring into the open.

16:20Those whom they invoke besides God create nothing and are themselves created.

16:21(Powerless are the so-called saints, mystics and monks, whom you make holier and holier with the passage of time.) They are dead, disintegrated bodies, not living. They are not even aware when they will be raised.

[And you still call upon them for help!]

16:22Your God is One God. Those who do not believe in the Afterlife, their hearts refuse to admit, for they are proud.

[The very thought of accountability before a Supreme Being hurts their arrogance]

16:23(They deceive people with fancy words and contrived rituals but) God knows their intentions and actions, and what they conceal and what they reveal. Surely, He does not love the arrogant.

16:24And when it is said to them, “What has your Lord revealed?” They say, “Fables of ancient times!”

[When the Qur’an is presented to them, their clergy claim that its verses apply not to them, but only to Jews, Christians and the idolaters of Arabia]

16:25They shall bear their burdens undiminished on the Resurrection Day, with part of the burdens of those whom they misled without this revealed knowledge. Ah, evil is what they bear!

16:26Those who lived before them, had also plotted (against God’s way) whereupon God struck at the very foundations of all they had built and contrived; such that the roofs caved in upon them from above. And the doom befell them from directions they had not even perceived.

16:27On the Resurrection Day He will cover them with shame and say, “Where are My ‘partners’ for whose sake you opposed My guidance?” Men and women blessed with knowledge will say, “This Day are humiliation and misery upon the rejecters.”

16:28Namely, those whose lives the angels take while they were doing wrong to their own ‘self’. They finally would offer submission and say, “We did not mean to do wrong.” “Yes indeed! God is Knower of all you were doing!”

16:29Therefore, enter the gates of Hell, to abide therein.” A miserable abode for those who do wrong and take pride in it.

16:30And to those who live upright, it is said, “What has your Lord sent down?” They say, “All that is good.” (The Qur’an ordains people to benefit others.) For those who do good to others in this world, is a goodly return here, and the home of the Hereafter will be better. Pleasant will be the home of those who live upright.

16:31The Gardens of Eden they will enter, underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will have whatever they wish. This is how God rewards the upright.

16:32(The upright are contented even as they depart from the world.) Angels cause them to die saying, “Peace unto you! Enter the Garden now because of what you used to do.”

16:33(Those who violate human rights, wrong their own ‘self’.) Are they waiting for the angels to visit them, or that your Lord’s command comes (for their doom)? So did those who passed on before them. But God did not wrong them. Nay, they wronged their own ‘self’.

16:34All the evil that they had done fell back upon them, and the very thing they used to mock, surrounded them.

16:35The idolaters say, “If God had so willed, we would not have worshiped anyone but Him, neither we nor our forefathers. Nor would we have forbidden things against His command.” Thus did those before them. But, are the Messengers responsible for other than conveying the message clearly?

16:36We have raised in every community a Messenger, saying, “Serve God alone and shun false gods in any form.” Then God guided some of the people (since they followed the laws of guidance 4:88). And error took hold of others (who fell into arrogance or blind following 18:29). So, travel through the earth, and see what the end was of the deniers.

16:37(O Messenger) in your compassion you desire everyone to be rightly guided, but God does not guide those who choose straying. And they have no helpers.

16:38They most strongly swear by God that He will not raise the dead. Nay, but it is a promise binding upon Him in truth, but most people do not make use of whatever they know.

16:39He will then make them understand wherein they differed, and the rejecters will realize that they were liars.

16:40Whenever We will anything to be, We say to it Our Word, “Be” and it is.

[The moment We pass a decree in the World of Command, it starts happening]

16:41Those who emigrate in the cause of God because they were oppressed, We shall give them good lodging in the world, and the reward of the Hereafter is greater, if they but knew.

16:42They have been steadfast, and have put their trust in their Lord.

16:43(O Prophet) before you We sent none but men to whom We granted revelation. (Tell the deniers), “If you do not know this, ask the bearers of the reminder (People of the Book).”

16:44With clear evidence of the truth and Books of Divine wisdom, We sent them. And now (O Prophet) We have revealed this Reminder to you for you to convey to mankind what has been revealed for them, so that they may think.

16:45Can those who devise evil schemes ever feel sure that God will not cause the earth to swallow them, or that suffering will not befall them in ways they could least anticipate?

16:46Or that His Law of Requital will not take them to task suddenly in the midst of their comings and goings? Then there is no escape for them.

16:47Or that He could not cause such communities to decline slowly. Yet, your Lord is Most Compassionate, Merciful.

[6:65, 7:182. He has ordained the Law of Respite for individuals and nations. 39:54]

16:48Have they not observed the things that God has created? Their shadows incline to the right and to the left; that is their utter submission to God, in all humility.

[Even the shadows can show you that the entire Cosmos, with its celestial bodies, is submitting to His laws]

16:49Indeed, before God, bows in submission all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, whether living beings or the angels, for none are arrogant.

['All that is' includes three classes of God’s creation: Inanimate things, living beings, and angels. Angels, here, represent God’s forces in nature]

16:50They all fear their Lord, High above them, and they do all that they are commanded. [24:41]

16:51And God has said, “Do not take two gods. There is only One God. So Me, only Me, shall you fear.”

[21:19-21, 29:60-61, 43:84. The One True God Who sustains all Universe, must be your God in your individual and collective lives. And there is no such thing as a god Yazdaanand a god Ahriman, as in Zoroastrianism]

16:52Unto Him belongs all that is in the heavens and earth. Therefore, the Religion belongs eternally to Him (as the Source).Will you then fear other than God?

[The entire Cosmos follows HisSystem]

16:53And whatever blessings you enjoy are from God, and when touched by distress, to Him you turn for help.

16:54Yet as soon as He relieves you from the distress, some of you fall back into associating others with their Lord,

16:55As if to show their ingratitude to what We have given them. Enjoy yourselves while you can. Soon the reality will dawn upon you.

16:56They set aside a portion of what We have provided them with, for those about whom they know nothing (idols and fictitious gods.) By God! You will be asked concerning all that you fabricate.

16:57They ascribe daughters to God. All glory to Him! And to themselves they choose what they desire!

16:58So, whenever any of them is given the glad tiding of the birth of a daughter, his face darkens with sadness and anger.

16:59Ashamed, he hides himself from people, because of the news given to him. He even asks himself, “Shall I keep the baby grudgingly, or bury her deep in dust?” Oh, evil is what they decide!

16:60Those who disbelieve in the Hereafter (and look for quick gains in this life), set up an evil example in the society. God’s is the Supreme example. (His Sublime Attributes adopted in their limited human capacity enable people to set up excellent examples.) For, He alone is the Mighty, the Wise. [30:27]

16:61If God were to punish humans for their wrongdoing, He would not leave a single living creature upon the face of the earth (35:45). But He grants them respite until a term decreed. And when their term expires, they can neither delay it by a single hour nor can they hasten it.

16:62They ascribe to God what they dislike for themselves, and then lie that the fair reward is for them. Surely, for them is the fire, and they will be hastened on into it. [56:10]

16:63By God! We sent Messengers to communities before you. But Satan, their selfish desires, made their acts fair-seeming to them. To this day he remains their patron, so they will have a painful doom.

16:64And upon you (O Prophet) We have revealed this Book so that you may clearly explain to them that wherein they differ (and thus help them become one community). And this Book is a guidance and mercy for people who will believe.

16:65(This Divine Writ has the power to revive the intellectually dead, and those who are going through a life unlived. The likeliness of the Qur’an is that) God sends down water from the sky, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless. Herein, is a message for those who hear and listen.

16:66In the cattle too there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink from their bellies, processed through the digested food and blood, pure milk pleasant to those who drink it. [23:21]

16:67Of the fruits of the date palm, and grapes, from which you make (the harmful) intoxicants, as well as wholesome sustenance. In this is a message for those who use their sense.

16:68Consider how your Lord inspired the bee, “Build for yourself dwellings in hills and in trees, and in what people may build.”

16:69“And then eat from fruits of all kind, and follow the ways that your Lord has made easy for you.” And then comes forth from their bellies a delicious drink of many hues, in which there is healing for people. In all this, there is a message for people who are willing to listen.

[Notice the female gender used throughout for bees. They are the worker bees. Interestingly, Shakespeare wrote: Honeybees are soldiers and they have a king. ‘Made easy for you’ relates to the bee endowed with superb navigational skills]

16:70God has created you, and in time will cause you to die. There are some among you whose lives are prolonged to an abject old age, when they cease to know what they once knew so well. (The time to do good deeds is when you are capable.) God is Knower, Powerful. [22:5]

16:71And God has caused some of you to excel in earning livelihood over others. And yet, those who are more abundantly provided are often unwilling to share their provision with those who work for them, lest all might be equal in this respect. Will they continue to deny God’s blessings in this manner? [16:53, 28:78, 30:28, 39:49, 43:32, 70:24]

16:72And God has given you mates of your own kind, and through your mates, has given you children and their children, and has provided for you decent sustenance of life. (Note that in your family, individuals earn according to their capacity and receive according to their needs.) Will people, then, stick to false systems in the society and thus turn ungrateful to God’s blessings?

16:73And they worship besides God that which owns no provision for them from the heavens and the earth, nor they have any power.

[15:21. ‘Worshiping besides God’ here indicates running manmade systems that fail to provide equitably to the society and individuals. ‘From the heavens and earth’ will then denote heavenly blessings and using earthly resources]

16:74Therefore, do not coin any similitudes for God. God knows and you do not know (His Majesty).

16:75God gives you an example of two men; one of them is enslaved, unable to do anything of his own accord. And the other is a free man whom We have blessed with Our bounties, and he spends of it on others secretly and openly. Can these two be equal? All praise to God! (Praise Him by way of obedience.) But the majority of humans do not understand (that verbal proclamation of thanks does not equate gratitude by sharing the bounties with others).

16:76. God gives you another example of two men. One of them is he whose faculties of speech and mind are disabled. He cannot do anything of his own accord and he is wholly dependent on his care-provider, unable to bring forth any good. Can such a one be equal to the man who is fit, enjoins justice and himself walks the straight path?

[God expects humans to use their faculties in the best manner]

16:77Unto God belongs the Unseen of the heavens and the earth, and the Hour is but as a twinkling of the eye, or even quicker. (A speedy revolution may be around the corner.) Surely, God has appointed due measure for all things and events.

16:78God brought you forth from the bellies of your mothers when you knew nothing, and He gave you hearing, sight and intelligence so that you may give thanks.

[You must give thanks by using your faculties to actualize your potentials and help others]

16:79Do they not see the birds held poised in mid-air? None holds them but God. Herein are signs for people who wish to attain conviction through reason.

[It is God Who has designed the law that creatures heavier than air can fly, and objects heavier than water can float]

16:80God has given you in your houses a place of rest. And He has given you of the hides of cattle, tent-houses which you find light to carry when you travel and when you camp. And of their wool, their fur, and their hair, you make furnishings and comforts that serve you for a while.

16:81God has provided you shade out of things He has created. He has granted you resort in the mountains, garments to protect you from heat, and coats of armor to protect you from your own foolhardy violence. Thus He completes His blessings on you so that you may willingly submit to Him.

16:82Then, if they turn away, your only duty (O Prophet) is clear conveyance of the message. [16:84]

16:83In fact, they recognize God’s blessings, but they refuse to acknowledge them. (That is how) most of them are unbelievers. [16:71]

16:84And think of the Day when We shall raise among every community a witness, then no excuse will be accepted from those who rejected the truth, nor will they be allowed to make amends. [4:41, 16:77, 16:89, 41:24]

16:85When the wrongdoers actually see the doom, it will be too late. It will not be made light for them, nor will they be given further respite.

16:86When those who ascribe partners to God see their ‘partners’ they will say, “Our Lord! These are our ‘partners’ whom we used to call instead of You.” But, the leaders will fling to them the retort, “You certainly have been lying to yourselves in self-deception.”

16:87And they will tender their submission to God on that Day, but all they used to fabricate will miserably fail them.

16:88The ones who not only rejected the truth, but hindered people from the way of God, We will add doom upon doom for them because they corrupted the human minds and the society.

16:89For, one Day, We shall raise from every community a leading witness against them from among themselves. And We shall call you (O Prophet) to testify regarding those whom your message has reached. The Book We have revealed to you explains everything; a Guide and grace and the glad tiding for all those who have submitted.

[Tibiyaanan likulli shaiy: The Book covers all things that were necessary to be revealed]

16:90God commands justice, creating balance in the society, benefiting humanity, kindness to His creation, and giving to relatives. And He forbids all indecent deeds, immodesty, stinginess and rebellion. He instructs you (again) so that you may take it to heart.

[Ihsaan = Creating balance in the society, benefiting humanity, kindness to God’s creation. Fahasha = Immodesty, lewdness, indecent deeds, stinginess to the point of shame. Munkar = All deeds that the Qur’an condemns and forbids. Baghii = Transgression, rebellion, crossing limits, commit excesses]

16:91Fulfill the Covenant with God as you have pledged to do so. And do not break your oaths after you have confirmed them, for you have made God as the Guarantor over you. For, God knows all you do. [1:4-5, 9:111]

16:92Do not be like a woman who breaks apart the yarn which she herself has spun and made strong, by using your oaths as a means of deceiving one another, only because one party is more numerous than another. Thus, God lets you test yourselves (in character). He will certainly explain to you on the Day of Resurrection wherein you differed.

[57:20. Being truthful, keeping pledges and being trustworthy are the prime qualities of a believer according to a reported Hadith that agrees with Qur’an. Human beings are the only creatures who can make a pledge and this is a test of their character. Breaking pledges violates human rights and hurts one’s own ‘self’. ‘Wherein you differed’ in this instance, also alludes to rationalizing misdeeds in various ways]

16:93Had God so willed, He could have made you all one single community. However, He lets go astray him that wills (to go astray) and guides him that wills (to be guided). And you will be called to account for all that you ever did.

[A common error of translation: “God sends astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills.” In that case, the very revelations of God come into question! If straying and guidance solely depended on God’s will, no person could be held accountable for his deeds. In fact, God shows the right path and lets people make free choices. 2:256, 4:88, 18:29]

16:94Do not make your oaths a means of deceiving one another, otherwise you will slip after having been firm (in faith). You will have to taste the evil consequences of hindering yourself from the path of God. And there will be a tremendous suffering awaiting you.

[Breaking solemn oaths and pledges will create distrust in the society and present a bad example for all. Such violation is like barring oneself and others from the path of God]

16:95Do not trade away your Covenant with God for petty gains. God possesses what is far better for you, if you but knew.

16:96What you possess vanishes away, but what He has (and that you deposit with Him) lasts forever. We will give those who are steadfast (in their pledges) their reward according to the best of their actions.

[16:94. ‘Best of their actions’ indicates, even beyond their merit]

16:97Whoever - male or female - does works that help others and is a believer, We shall certainly cause them to live a good life, and We shall grant them the rewards considering the best of their actions.

16:98When you read the Qur’an, seek refuge in God against Satan, the rejected one.

[One’s own straying thoughts as well may divert the attention]

16:99He (Satan) has no power over those who truly believe and put their trust in their Lord.

16:100His power is only over those who befriend him and assign ‘partners’ to God.

16:101When We replace one revelation with another; and God knows best what He reveals; they say, “You are but a forger.” But most of them do not know (that human civilization has evolved sufficiently to be given the perfected Final message superseding previous scriptures, and that the Qur’an will remain a watcher over them. 5:48.)

16:102Tell them, “Ruh-ul-Qudus has brought it down from your Lord in absolute truth. This revelation will keep firm in thought and action, those who accept it. And it will provide guidance and good news to Submitters.”

[Ruh-ul-Qudus = Ruh-il-Qudus = Ruh-il-Amin = Gabriel 2:87, 2:97, 2:253, 5:110, 16:2, 16:102, 26:193, 42:52]

16:103We know well what they say, “It is but a man teaching him!” The tongue of him they so maliciously point to is notably foreign, while this is Arabic, pure and clear.

16:104Those who refuse to acknowledge God's messages, God does not show them the lighted road, and for them is a painful suffering.

[Ayaatillah = God’s verses = Divine revelation = Qur’anic verses = Also implies God’s signs in the Book and in the Universe, depending on the context]

16:105It is those who reject God's messages that invent this falsehood (of a man teaching the Prophet). And it is those who are lying.

16:106Whoever shows ingratitude to God after attaining faith is excused if he has done it under compulsion, with his heart remaining fully contented in faith. But if someone opens his heart to ingratitude, for such there is God’s requital, and theirs is an awful doom. [6:145]

16:107That is because they have chosen the life of this world only, ignoring the life to come. God does not guide those who choose to reject the truth.

16:108Such are those whose hearts, ears and eyes God (His law) has sealed. For, they have remained heedless.

[Disuse of faculties brings people down to subhuman levels of existence. 2:171, 7:179]

16:109There is no doubt that such people will be great losers in the Hereafter as well.

16:110But certainly, your Lord; to those who leave their homes after trial and persecution, and then strive and patiently persevere, your Lord is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

16:111Beware of the Day when every human being will come to plead for himself alone. (There shall be no pleaders or intercessors), and they will be repaid exactly what they did. And no one shall be wronged.

16:112God gives you an example. Think of a township that used to be secure and prosperous, with provision coming to it in plenty from all directions. But, they practically denied God's blessings by not sharing them with the needy. So God’s law made it experience the garb of hunger and fear for their wrong system. [6:44]

16:113A Messenger came to them from among themselves, but they denied him. And so the torment seized them since they used to wrong themselves by doing wrong to others.

16:114So enjoy all the lawful and decent things which God has provided for you. And be grateful for God’s bounty, if it is Him you truly serve.

[Gratitude is not mere words of thanks. It involves sharing God’s bounties with fellow humans]

16:115He only prohibits for you the dead animal, blood, swine-flesh and anything that has been dedicated to other than God. In a forced situation, provided one doesn't exceed the necessity, remember that God is Forgiving, Merciful. [2:173, 6:145]

16:116Do not keep uttering in falsehood, "This is lawful and this is unlawful”, thus inventing lies against God. Those who fabricate lies against God, fail to prosper in their own ‘self’.

16:117A brief enjoyment, but grievous suffering in the long run!

16:118To the Jews We had prohibited such things as We have mentioned to you before (6:147). We did them no wrong, but they used to do wrong to themselves.

[They followed their religious leadership instead of the Divine revelation]

16:119Remember that your Lord shows mercy to those who do evil out of ignorance but then come back to the right path and make amends. Surely, your Lord, after all this, is Forgiving, Merciful.

16:120Abraham was virtue personified devoted in his commitment to God, turning away from all that is false. He upheld strict Monotheism and never indulged in idolatry of any kind. His impact on history was like that of a whole community.

[2:124-126, 14:35-37. Ummah = Community = A community based on a noble ideology = Virtue personified, in this context]

16:121He was always grateful for the blessings granted by Him Who had elected him and guided him on to straight path.

16:122We gave him good reward in the world. And in the Hereafter he shall be among those who actualized their human potentials.

16:123We have revealed to you this message (O Prophet), “Follow the creed of Abraham who turned away from all that is false." (2:125). He was, by no means, of the idolaters.

16:124And know that the observance of Sabbath was ordained for those who came to hold divergent views about him. Your Lord will judge between them on the Resurrection Day, where they differed (from the way of Abraham). [2:65, 4:47, 4:154, 7:163]

16:125Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful exhortation. Reason with them most decently. Your Lord is best Aware of him who strays from His path, and He is best Aware of the upright.

16:126So, if you have to respond to an attack in argument, respond only to the extent of the attack leveled against you. But to bear with patience is far better for the steadfast.

16:127Endure then, with patience, always remembering that it is none but God Who gives you the strength to endure (O Prophet). Do not grieve over them, nor be distressed by the false arguments they contrive.

16:128God is with the upright, and the benefactors of humanity.

Surah 17. Al-Asra – The Night Journey

This is the 17th Surah of the Qur’an. Some exponents refer to it as Surah Bani Israel. It has 111 verses. Asra (Night Journey) is often confused with Me’raaj (Ascension). Since God is Omnipresent, the notion of anyone going to meet with Him over the skies does not stand up to reason. Asra signifies night journey and it refers to the beginning of the exalted Messenger's emigration from Makkah to Madinah by night. Verses 20:77 and 26:52 use the same term for migration of Prophet Moses along with his followers across the sea. Also consider 17:2. Masjid Al-Aqsa means the Remote Mosque and refers to the ‘Remote Mosque’ in Madinah, the place where Muslims used to congregate before the Prophet's arrival to the city. Masjid may also be understood here as Madinah since it was the place of regular congregations. The famous Masjid Al-Aqsa, the so-called Qiblah Awwal, the supposed First Holy Sanctuary, is widely known as Haram Shareef in Jerusalem. But, in fact, it was built in 72 AH (691 CE) by the Umayyad Ruler, Abdul Malik bin Marwan, about 60 years after the exalted Messenger passed on. The First Sanctuary was nothing but Ka’bah in Makkah 3:96. Jerusalem, until the Muslim conquest under the second Caliph of Islam in 637 CE, had been under the control of Byzantine Christians for centuries, and there was no person worshiping in a Masjid anywhere in the world but Madinah. So, the question of the presence of a Masjid in Jerusalem during the lifetime of the exalted Prophet should not arise. Again, Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 637 CE during the Rule of the second Caliph of Islam, Hazrat Umar. When he visited the place, he along with his companions continued to pray in open grounds, although Pope Severinus gave him the key to the city and invited him to pray in the Church of Holy Sepulture. But Hazrat Umar feared that Muslims might start converting churches into Masjids, so he politely declined. If a Masjid were present, he would have prayed there. The word Me'raaj (physical Ascension) nowhere occurs in the Qur’an. Yet, under erroneous traditions, it is a popular, though non-Qur’anic, belief among many Muslims that the exalted Messenger was taken up physically to the Heights/Skies to meet with God! The Qur’an sets the records straight by asserting that the First ever blessed Sanctuary was the Ka’bah built by Prophets Abraham and Ishmael in Makkah. And that the Divine laws remain unchanged under all circumstances. Bodily Ascension is a Biblical and not a Qur’anic theme at all.

Qubbah-tas-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock)is an Islamic shrine and major landmark located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, near Al-Aqsa. It was completed in 691 CE. Temple Mount is a holy site for Judaism as well. There is a very questionable history that the Dome of the Rock was constructed over the site of the Second Jewish Temple which was completely destroyed during the Roman invasion by General Titus in 70 CE.

The exalted Messenger never ascended to the heavens. Allah is everywhere. Our brilliant Muhaddithin and historians bring a lot of irrational and contradictory material on this subject:

01. Me’raaj happened in Madinah.

02. No sorry! It happened in Makkah.

03. It happened just before Hijrah.

04. Sorry! It happened 9 years before Hijrah.

05. The Prophet was sleeping at Umm Hani’s house - what? Gabriel held his hand and took him to Allah up there in the heavens.

06. Oh’ no! (That would be a slander). He was sleeping in the Ka’bah.

07. Gabriel opened his chest and poured faith and wisdom from a platter of gold before taking him up there.

08. Sorry! That surgery was performed when he was 3 years old.

09. Gabriel took him straight to the heavens. Sorry again! The angel first took him to Jerusalem.

10. No, it was not Gabriel. Burraaq (The Centauress with the head and face of a beautiful woman and the body of a horse) carried him to the heavens at lightning speed.

These are not even 10% of the insults. The real ascension of the exalted Messenger was his character, and not some kind of Greek Mythology.

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

17:1Glorious is He Who initiated the migration of His servant by night, from the Sacred Masjid to the Remote Masjid whose environment We did bless that We may show him some of Our signs. He is the Hearer, the Seer.

[20:23. Signs that the Divine System will begin to prevail from there]

17:2(Recall that Moses had to migrate from Pharaoh's kingdom to the Sinai Peninsula.) We gave Moses the scripture and We appointed it a Guide to the Children of Israel, saying, “Choose no guardian besides Me.”

17:3They were the descendants of those whom We carried on the ship along with Noah. Surely, he was a most grateful servant of Ours.

17:4We had informed the Children of Israel in the scripture, "Surely, you will work corruption on the earth twice, and show great arrogance and tyranny.”

17:5When the first of the warnings came to pass, We sent against you Our servants of great might (armies of Nimrod Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon) who ravaged your country, a warning fulfilled (and took you to Babylon as slaves in 586 BC).

17:6Then, We granted you victory over them (when King Cyrus of Persia defeated the Babylonians and brought you back to your country in 520 BC). We then, helped you with wealth and children and made you numerous in soldiery.

17:7We made it clear, “If you do collective good, you will be doing good to yourselves. And if you do evil, you will hurt yourselves. (You did not heed these warnings), and then the second warning came to pass.

[The Roman General Titus invaded Jerusalem in 70 CE. His armies entered the Temple and destroyed everything they conquered completely, just as the Babylonians had done before]

17:8Now is the time that your Lord may bless you with His mercy (as the Final Messenger is in your midst 7:157). If you repeat your transgressions, We will counter with retribution. We have made Hell a prison for opponents of the Divine Order.

17:9Surely, this Qur’an guides to what is most upright, and gives good news of a great reward to those who accept it, and benefit the creation.

17:10And that for those who disbelieve in the life to come, We have readied grievous suffering.

17:11Man asks for what is evil for him as he prays for the good. Man is prone to be hasty in judgment.

17:12(Right and wrong have been made distinct as day and night.) We have appointed the Night and the Day as two of Our signs. The sign of the Night We have made darkness while the sign of the Day we have made sight-giving so that you may seek the bounty from your Lord, and be aware of the numbers and counting of years. Thus, We have explained all things in detail.

[6:97, 10:5. Reckon every day, month and year to see what you have gained and lost in your self-development]

17:13All deeds of the humans are instantly recorded on their own ‘self’, as if the record book is fastened to their own necks. And We shall bring forth this record book wide open to them on the Day of Resurrection.

17:14"Read your book! You are a sufficient auditor for yourself this Day."

17:15So, whoever goes right, does it for his own ‘self’, and whoever strays, strays against his own ‘self’. No person bears the load of another. And We never punish any people until We have sent a Messenger.

[The Eternal Messenger now is the Qur’an]

17:16(Here is the Divine Law of Requital for communities.) We let the leaders of a community commit corruption, drift out of discipline and consider themselves above law. Then the sentence is passed against them and We annihilate them completely.

[And the leaders and the public are left blaming one another. 7:38, 10:28, 14:21, 16:86]

17:17How many generations has Our law annihilated since Noah! God suffices as the Knower and Beholder of what causes His servants to trail behind.

17:18Those who desire only the quick gains of this life, We readily grant them from it according to Our laws, to those whom We will. In the end, We have appointed for them Hell. They will endure its heat, condemned and rejected. [2:200, 11:15-16]

17:19And the one who keeps the life to come in view and strives for it as best as he can, provided he is a true believer; the endeavor of every such person will be accepted. [2:201]

17:20All, these as well as those, We bestow on them some of your Lord’s gifts since your Lord’s giving is not confined. [42:20]

17:21Behold how We bestow more bounty on some of them than others. But the life to come will be far higher in degree and far greater in bounty.

17:22Do not set up gods besides God. If you run manmade systems, disregarding the Permanent Values, you will face an embarrassing failure.

17:23(A benevolent society begins at home.) Your Lord has decreed that you serve none but Him, and always be kind to your parents. If one of them or both attain old age, do not utter the slightest harsh word to them. Never repel them and always address them respectfully. [2:233, 7:189, 17:23-24, 31:13-15, 36:68, 46:15]

17:24Lower for them the wing of kindness and humility and say, "My Lord! Bestow upon them Your grace as they raised me in kindness since I was little."

17:25Your Lord knows best what is in your minds. If you work for social welfare, He grants the protection of forgiveness to those who take corrective action when they falter.

[Saaleh = He who contributes to the society = Who does acts of social welfare = Helps people = Restores balance. Ghafarah = Helmet = Guarding against deterioration = Protection = Forgiveness. Awwabeen = Those who take corrective action = Who return to the right road]

17:26And give your relative his or her Divinely ordained right, and give to those whose running businesses have stalled, those who have lost their jobs, the needy wayfarer, the homeless, and the one who reaches you in a state of destitution. Do not squander your wealth senselessly.

[2:261, 6:141. Squanderers cannot be charitable]

17:27Squanderers are close companions of Satan, their selfish desires. And Satan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.

17:28If you are waiting for affluence from your Lord, and are unable to currently help the needy, then speak to them in kindness, and treat them in the nicest manner.

17:29You should not keep your hand chained to your neck in stinginess, nor open it foolishly lest you sit down destitute and denuded.

17:30Your Lord provides sustenance in abundance and scarcity according to His laws. He is fully Cognizant, Seer of His servants.

[Manyyasha = According to His laws = Common but erroneous translation, ‘whom He pleases’. God has appointed laws for affluence and poverty in societies. In the Divine System every individual will get fair return for his labor. 53:39]

17:31Do not kill your children (nor deprive them of good rearing) for fear of poverty. We are the One Who provide for them as well as for you. Surely, killing them is a grave offense.

[Killing children = Slaying them = Depriving them of proper education and training = Rearing children callously. The Divine System will take responsibility of all human needs. 6:151, 9:111, 20:118]

17:32Do not come close to adultery, for, it is an abomination and an evil way.

17:33You shall not kill any person, for God has forbidden it, except in the course of justice (through an appropriate court). In case of unjust killing, We have given rights to the victim’s next of kin. With that right of retribution, comes the responsibility that, since the law is helping them, he (the next of kin) must not exceed the limits.

[2:178, 5:32, 6:152, 42:40. Illa bil-Haqq = Except in the course of justice = Except for a just cause]

17:34Go not near the wealth of the orphan, except for his or her own good, until they come of age. (Then let them make their own decisions.) This is a covenant that you must fulfill. Surely, you will be questioned about all your covenants.

17:35(Always be mindful of just dealings.) Give full measure when you measure, and weigh with even scale. This is the best way and it will prove to be best in the end. [81:1-3]

17:36Do not reach conclusions about that of which you have no knowledge. (Using your senses and intellect, you must verify it for yourself.) Surely, the hearing, the sight and the faculty of reasoning – all of them – will be questioned. [32:9, 45:23, 46:26]

17:37Do not walk on earth with pride. Neither could you bore through the earth, nor could you become as tall as the mountains.

[The body language speaks louder than words. 3:187, 31:19, 40:75]

17:38The evil of all this is detestable in the Sight of your Lord.

17:39This is some of the wisdom your Lord has revealed to you. Do not set up with God any other god, lest you be cast into Hell, blameworthy and rejected. [2:269]

17:40What! Has your Lord distinguished you by giving you sons, and chosen for Himself daughters in the guise of angels? Certainly, you speak a monstrous word! [16:57]

17:41We have explained things in various ways in this Qur’an so that they understand, but it only increases their flight from the truth.

[Blind following, arrogance, preconceived notions disable reason. 4:88]

17:42Say, "If there were any other deities side by side with Him, as they claim, even those would have to find a way to the Lord of the Throne of Almightiness.”

17:43Glorified is He, and High Exalted above what they say!

17:44All the seven Highs and their Lows, and all beings in them are working His Plan, displaying that He is Praiseworthy. All creatures are playing their role in the Universe. In your present state of knowledge, you do not understand their exact modes of action. God, the Clement, the Absolver of imperfections, sustains and maintains them in Order.

17:45When you recite the Qur’an, We put an invisible veil between you and those who disbelieve in the Hereafter.

[17:41. Disbelievers in the eternal life remain preoccupied with the glitter of this world, a mental barrier to understanding]

17:46And We place shields over their hearts and minds to prevent them from grasping it, and cause deafness in their ears. Their minds, hearts, and ears act impermeable when you mention your Lord in the Qur’an, Him alone, and they turn their backs in disgust.

[They wish to hear about their saints and ‘Imams’]

17:47We are best Aware of what they wish to hear when they listen to you. Then they hold secret meetings and these wrongdoers say, "You only follow a man who is under the influence of magic."

[It is unfortunate that under the influence of fabricated traditions, most Muslims even today believe that a Jewish magician successfully cast a spell of ‘magic’ on the exalted Prophet! Traditions and Ahadith that clash with the Qur’an, were obviously contrived by forgers in the guise of ‘Imams’ 25:8]

17:48See what similes they strike for you (O Prophet)! They are going astray to the point of no return.

17:49And they say, "What! After we are bones and fragments, shall we be raised up as a new creation?"

17:50Say, "Even if you turn into rocks or iron!”

17:51“Or fossilize into forms as far away from life as you can imagine, you shall be raised up.” Then they might say, “Who shall bring us back to life?” Tell them, “He Who initiated you in the first place.” They will then shake their heads and say, "When will that be?" Say, "It may be sooner than you think!"

17:52A Day when He will call you, you will be spellbound with His glory. Then you will think that you lived in this world only a short while.

17:53(They must do good works in this short lifespan, so) Tell My servants to speak to one another in a kind manner and treat one another nicely. Satan, their selfishness, creates discord among them. For, Satan is an open foe for humans.

17:54Your Lord is best Aware of you (what you are, what you do and what you deserve). He will bestow His grace upon you or He will chastise you according to His laws. We have not sent you (O Prophet) as a warden over them.

17:55And your Lord is best Aware of all beings who are in the highs and the lows. We caused some Prophets to excel the others. To David We gave a Book of wisdom

[The Psalms, as well as a kingdom that was matchless in its times. 21:79, 34:10, 38:19-20. All Prophets were one in purpose, so we make no distinction between them. 2:62, 2:136, 2:253]

17:56(All these Prophets taught that there is only One True God.) Say, "Call unto those saints, angels, idols, whom you consider gods besides Him. They have no power to rid you of any troubles, nor can they divert them."

17:57Even the believing sages whom they call upon, are themselves striving to obtain their Lord's favor and closeness. They hope for His grace, and fear His requital. Surely, your Lord’s requital is something to beware of!

17:58There is not a township but We will destroy it before the Day of Resurrection, or punish it with dire punishment. This is well recorded in the Divine Database.

17:59(They keep asking for visible signs for fulfillment of the warnings of the oncoming disaster, such as the sign of the she-camel of Thamud.) Nothing has changed Our plan to send down this revelation, even though the previous generations have often denied Our verses. (For example) We sent the she-camel to Thamud, a visible sign of their compliance. But they did wrong to her. We send messages that they fear (the consequences of their misdeeds and establish the right System in their societies).

[7:73, 11:89, 26:141, 27:45. Thamud killed the visible sign of the she-camel and incurred heavy retribution]

17:60We said to you (O Prophet), “Your Lord encompasses all mankind, so We have given you the vision (of mankind’s unity)." Those who hinder this Plan will end up eating the bitter, pungent Tree of Division that is mentioned in the Qur’an. This vision and the Tree of Division shall be a test for them. Now We have conveyed a warning to them, yet, for a time it shall increase them in gross rebellion.

[Vision: Mankind will become one community again. Division: 7:19, 14:26, 15:39, 17:60, 37:65, 38:82, 44:44]

17:61(Refresh the story of your common origin and the challenge facing humanity since day one.) We made angels, the Divine laws in the Universe, subservient to Adam, the mankind. It was Iblees, their despondence after fulfilling their selfish desires, that refused to submit. He said, "Shall I bow to one whom You have created from inorganic matter (and thus charged him with material temptations)?” [2:30-39, 7:11-14, 15:27-41]

17:62He said, “Since You have honored him above me, grant me respite until the Day of Resurrection, and I will put reins through the noses of his children and pull them wherever I please. Only a few will withstand my temptation."

17:63God said, "Go! But whoever of them follows you, Hell will be the reward for all of you, an ample recompense."

17:64"Tempt and allure them with your voice such of them as you can (through the media and show biz, and propaganda against the truth). You may prompt them into armed conflicts, and entice them with monetary help, business partnerships and ready loans. You may misguide the children with detrimental educational programs, and counter-productive recreation. And hold out promises to them.” Whatever Satan promises them, is meant to deceive their mind.

17:65“Indeed, you shall have no power over My faithful servants. And your Lord suffices as their Guardian." [15:40-42]

17:66(O Mankind, be mindful of your Lord to ward off Satan.) Your Lord is He Who causes the ships to move on for you through the sea that you may seek of His bounty. Surely, He is Most Gracious towards you.

17:67(His laws are changeless and, therefore, trustworthy.) When harm touches you on the sea, those you call upon besides Him, fail you miserably. (You try to save the ship according to Divine laws and forget superstitions.) But when He brings you safely ashore, you turn away and forget Him. Most ungrateful is the human being.

17:68(You forget that His laws apply to land as they do in the entire Universe). Can you then, ever feel sure that He will not cause the dry land to engulf you, or let loose upon you a deadly storm, whereupon you find none to be your protector?

17:69Or can you feel sure that He will not return you to that plight a second time, and then let loose upon you a raging tempest and cause you to drown in requital for your ingratitude? And then, you will find none to help you against Us.

[Life is too short and too unpredictable to postpone for tomorrow the good you can do today]

17:70Surely, We have conferred dignity on children of Adam (as a birth right, regardless of where the child is born), and provided them with transport on land and sea and given them decent things of life. We have favored them over very many of those whom We have created.

17:71But one Day We shall summon all human beings with their records. One who is given his record in the right hand will read it in jubilation. This will be a symbol of success for them, and they will receive their rewards without the least reduction.

17:72Whoever is blind of heart here will be blind in the Hereafter as well, and yet further astray (from grace).

[Individuals and nations that are blind of reason live in misery in this world, and no amount of wishful thinking will take them to success]

17:73They endeavor to tempt you away from what We reveal to you, to substitute in Our Name something quite different. In that case, they would have certainly made you their friend.

[They want the Prophet to make compromises in return for accepting him as the King of Arabia – compromises like authorizing the worship of their false deities as well and taking back human equality. 17:46]

17:74Their pressure was so intense that, without firm conviction that brings Our support, you might have inclined toward them a little. [10:15, 11:113, 68:9]

17:75Had you inclined toward them, We would have doubled the retribution for you in this life and after death, and you would have found no one to help you against Us (Our Law of Requital).

17:76Since they saw that they could not persuade you, they wished to drive you out (of Madinah as well). If they had done that, (they would have lost the stabilizing force of your presence and), they would have annihilated one another in a short while.

17:77Such has always been Our law with all of Our Messengers We sent before you. (Nations that drove them out suffered dire consequences.) You will never find a change in Our laws. [6:34, 6:115, 10:64, 17:77, 18:27, 33:38, 33:62, 35:43, 40:85, 48:23]

17:78You shall commit yourself to reflect on the Divine Commands before sunrise and then carry on with your program until the darkness of night prevails. The Qur’an springs forth the light for you to brighten your way. The Dawn ushered in by the Qur’an will be self-evident to all. Its likeness is the dawn that brings light after a dark night. [42:38]

17:79(As head of the state, you shall commit yourself to extra endeavor.) You shall even contemplate and work part of the night, from sunset to the darkness of night. (And your companions shall join you in this endeavor as needed 73:2-3). Soon, your Lord will raise you to a highly honored, praiseworthy station.

[Maqaam-am-Mahmooda = Praiseworthy station that will be obvious to the friend and foe alike]

17:80Say, “My Lord! Admit me in honor and let me depart in honor at every juncture of my life, and help me with strong support.”

17:81(Time has come for you to) say, "The truth has come to light, and falsehood has withered away. For, falsehood is bound to wither away."

17:82Thus, step by step, We have sent down in the Qur’an the cure of all ills of humanity. It is a nourishment of grace for those who accept it. At the same time, it is a harbinger of loss for those who displace the Book from its rightful place of authority.

[The Qur’an is also a harbinger of loss for oppressors since it liberates the oppressed from their grasp. Zulm = To displace something from its rightful place = Oppression = Violation of human rights. Rahmah = Nourishment of grace just as the womb nourishes the embryo without returns]

17:83People without higher objectives easily exult and turn away when Our laws make life pleasant for them. And they quickly despair when a hardship touches them. [41:51]

17:84Say, "Everyone acts in a manner peculiar to himself. (Human beings tend to make their own rules of conduct), but your Lord is best Aware as to who has chosen the best path.

17:85(O Messenger) they ask you about the ROOH (Revelation). Say, "The Revelation is from my Lord's World of Command of which you have been given little knowledge.”

['Rooh' = Divine Energy from which free will has been given to humans = ‘Wahi’ = Revelation to Messengers = ‘Spirit’ = 'Soul' = Angel of Revelation. ‘Spirit’ and ‘Soul’ are popular but non-Qur’anic terms. 'Nafs' meaning Self in the Qur’an comes closest to these two terms. The Qur’an does not mention the presence of ‘rooh’, spirit or soul in humans. We consist of a physical body, mind and NAFS ‘Self’.]

17:86(Revelation is the extrinsic knowledge, as distinct from intrinsic inspiration.) If We so willed, We could withdraw what We reveal to you, and you would find none to plead on your behalf before Us.

17:87This (Revelation) is a grace from your Lord. His bounty upon you (O Messenger) has ever been great. [6:116, 15:19, 87:6-7]

17:88Say, “If all mankind, in towns and villages, get together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they will not be able to produce the like of it, no matter how much help they give one another." [2:23, 10:38, 11:13]

17:89We have used Tasreef to explain The Qur’an in many facets for mankind. However, most people (due to arrogance, prejudice or blind following) remain ungrateful by rejecting such clear guidance. [17:41]

17:90(Instead of reflecting on it, they keep demanding physical miracles) and they say, “We will not believe in you until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth.”

17:91"Or unless you bring a garden of date palms and grape vines and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst."

17:92"Or make the sky fall on us, as you keep warning us about retribution, or bring God and the angels face to face before us." [26:187, 6:35]

17:93"Or unless you have a dazzling house of gold or unless you climb into the sky. But, nay, we will not believe your climbing unless you bring a written book that we can read." Tell them, “Glorified is my Lord! Am I more than a human, a Messenger?"

17:94Yet whenever guidance came to people, nothing kept them from believing as much as this objection, "Would God send a mortal man as His Messenger?"

17:95Say, "If angels walked about and dwelled on the earth, We would have sent an angel from the heaven as Messenger." [43:60]

17:96Tell them, "God suffices as witness between me and you. Surely, He is fully Aware of His servants."

[The outcome through His laws will prove who is right]

17:97One who follows God’s Guidance is the rightly guided. And to go astray, He lets him go astray. You will not find any protectors for such of them besides Him. On the Day of Resurrection, We will assemble them prone on their faces, unable to see, speak and hear. (They chose to live blind, dumb and deaf.) Hell is their abode, and every time its flames abate, Our laws will increase for them its blazing flame.

17:98Such is their reward because they preemptively rejected Our messages. And for having said, "When we are bones and fragments, shall we be raised from the dead as a new creation?"

17:99Do they not realize that God Who created the heavens and the earth, is Able to create them anew in their own likeness again? He has appointed an irrevocable time to end the worldly life (and of Resurrection). Only those remain submerged in the darkness of ignorance who are bent upon doing wrong to their own ‘self’ (and thus remain ungrateful for the Benevolent guidance).

17:100Say, "If you owned the treasures of my Lord's grace, you would keep them back for fear of exhausting them. For, the human being has always been covetous."

17:101(We have been sending Prophets for the reformation of this mentality.) We gave to Moses nine clear messages. Ask then, the Children of Israel what happened when he came to them and Pharaoh said to him, "Surely, O Moses! I think you are bewitched."

[2:83, 7:133, 27:12, 34:13. Think of the Ten Commandments given to Prophet Moses. The Qur’an drops the forbidding of making graven images, although Muslim orthodoxy declares it Haraam.]

17:102Answered Moses, "You know well that no one but the Lord of the heavens and the earth has revealed these eye-opening messages and, certainly, O Pharaoh! I think that you are utterly lost."

17:103Pharaoh resolved to wipe off Moses and his followers from the face of the earth. But We drowned him and those with him, all together.

17:104After that We said to the Children of Israel, "Dwell now securely on earth but remember that when the last promise comes to pass, We shall bring you as a crowd gathered out of various communities."

[The first two promises: 17:5, 17:7, 7:157]

17:105We have sent it down, and with the truth it has come down (to you O Prophet). We have sent you as a bearer of glad tidings and as a warner

17:106With the Qur’an which We have gradually unfolded, so that you might convey it to mankind by stages. Indeed, We have sent it down step by step, as one revelation.

17:107Say, "Believe in it or do not believe in it." Those who possess knowledge from the previous scriptures, when it is recited to them, they fall down to their chins, prostrating."

[Zaqan = Chin, and not face]

17:108They say, “Glory be to our Lord. Surely, the promise of our Lord has been fulfilled."

17:109And so they fall down on their chins, weeping, and increasing in humility.

17:110Say, "Call upon God, or call upon the Beneficent: By whatever name you call upon Him, to Him belong the best names and attributes of perfection. And do not be too loud in your prayer, nor speak in a voice too low, but follow a way between. [7:180]

17:111And say, "All praise is due to God Who never begot a son, nor does He have a partner in His Kingdom, nor does He need any ally out of weakness." Therefore, extol His greatness with all magnificence.

[Establish His Supremacy on earth with all magnificence, as it is in the entire Universe. 9:33, 74:3]

Surah 18. Al-Kahf – The Cave

This is the 18th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 110 verses. The Surah derives its name from the Cave in which some young men (probably seven of them) had taken shelter against persecution by the Roman Emperor Decius (who ruled between 249-251 CE).

Decius (Daqianoos) being a pagan was known for his persecution of the Monotheistic Christians. They were true Unitarian followers of Jesus Christ, and they took refuge outside the town of Ephesus (Afsoos) in today’s Turkey. The 19th Century Archaeology has uncovered the ruins of the town just South of Izmir.

Dwellers of the Cave, known as 'The Seven Sleepers' in history, have also been referred in this Surah as the owners of Ar-Raqeem - from Raqammeaning inscribing - Inscription. I understand that they held on to the scripture, the Gospel of Jesus. The dogmas of Trinity, Blood Atonement, Divinity and Sonship of Jesus, all were canonized about 75 years after Decius at the Conference of Nicea under Emperor Constantine in 325 CE. So, the Gospel that these young men held on to, was much closer to the real teachings of Jesus. They were vanguards of truth, and not ascetics withdrawing from the responsibilities of the worldly life.

Al-Kahf is one of the most commonly misinterpreted Surahs of the Qur’an because of contradictory historical accounts, questionable Ahadith and the Biblical influence on the minds of many commentators. The Qur’an, as always, sifts out fabrications and expounds the truth.

Tasreef (and some relevant history) help us understand this Surah.

The Surah also gives us an important lesson that true revolutions begin in the hearts, and violent revolutions create only corruption, disorder and bloodshed in the land.

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

18:1All beauty and balance in the Universe is the living evidence that God is Praiseworthy. All praise is for God Who has revealed this Book to His servant, and made it flawless.

18:2It is a perfect Book, unerringly straight so that He may warn all of a strict retribution from Him (which is the destructive result of their wrongdoings). And that He may give good news to the believers who benefit the society, that theirs shall be an immensely pleasant reward.

18:3(A state of bliss) in which they will dwell indefinitely.

18:4Furthermore, this Divine Writ is meant to warn all those who say, “God has taken to Himself a son.”

18:5No knowledge whatsoever have they of Him, and neither did their forefathers. An outrageous statement it is that comes out of their mouths, and nothing but falsehood do they utter.

18:6(O Messenger) should you grieve yourself to death if they are not willing to believe in this Message?

18:7We have adorned what is on earth so that We may let them test themselves as to who is best in conduct, and lives a balanced life.

[18:30-31, 18:46, 67:2. Ahsanu ‘amala includes ‘best in conduct’ and ‘balanced life’]

18:8We shall reduce all that is on earth to barren dust!

18:9Do you think that the Dwellers of the Cave, the Upholders of Raqeem (the Inscribed Gospel) were some supernatural beings, more wondrous than Our other signs?

[Nay, strange legends became famous about them]

18:10As they fled for refuge to the Cave (outside Ephesus), they prayed, “Our Lord! Bestow on us grace from Your Presence, and help us conduct our affairs in the right way.

18:11And thereupon We veiled their ears in the Cave for some years.

[They remained isolated, hiding from the soldiers of Emperor Decius during his reign, 249-251 CE]

18:12And then We roused them (out of the Cave), in order to test for themselves which of the two parties, (the young men and their friends in town, or their opponents), had made better use of the time.

[The Dwellers of the Cave had maintained secret communication with like-minded people in Ephesus]

18:13And now (contrary to hearsay) We shall relate to you (O Prophet) their true history. Indeed, they were young men who truly believed in their Lord and We increased them in guidance.

18:14We strengthened their hearts as they took a firm stand and said, “Our only Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Never shall we call upon any 'authority' other than Him. If we did, we would be in enormous schism.”

[Their proclamation was not mere words. They were determined to establish the Divine System in their land]

18:15“Our people have taken gods other than Him. Why do they not bring forward a clear and convincing evidence in support of what they do? And who does a greater wrong than the one who invents a lie against God?”

[Taken gods other than Him = Obeyed false authorities contradicting Divine Commands]

18:16(The young men conferred with their friends and among themselves), “Now that you have withdrawn from them and all that they submit to other than God, then seek refuge in the Cave. Your Lord will shower you with His grace, and set your affairs towards ease.”

18:17And you would have seen the sun rising on the right side of the Cave, and set, aside from them, on the left while they lived on in that spacious chamber. It is a sign of God that (He arranged for them excellent camouflage and) whom God guides is rightly guided, and whom He lets go astray (for violating the laws of guidance) for such, you will find no ally to show the right way.

[The Cave lay North South and while it was roomy from inside, its entrance was small]

18:18You would have thought that they were awake, even when they slept. (They remained alert round the clock.) We made them change their positions right and left, frequently. They had a faithful dog to guard the entrance, with its four paws outstretched (ready to pounce). The whole environment was awe-inspiring. Had you come upon them suddenly, you would have fled away from them in awe.

18:19And so, when We caused them to rise (out of the Cave), they began to ask one another (about the next step). One of them asked, “How long have you been here?” “We have been here a day or part of a day!” they answered. Finally they said, “Your Lord knows best how long. (They were so committed to their mission that they hardly noticed how the days and nights went by.) Let one of you go with these silver coins to the town, and look for the best available food, and bring you some provisions. But let him exercise caution, and by no means make anyone aware of you.”

18:20“If they discover you, they will stone you to death or force you to revert to their religion. Then you will never succeed.”

18:21And in this way We caused them to be discovered (when their mission had succeeded), and everyone realized that God's promise is always true. There remained no doubt about the success of the Revolution. (The Dwellers of the Cave were revered by their people as the Divine Order was restored. Time went by and they passed on. The reverence of the people took a turn.) Some people said, "Erect a building in the memory of the Dwellers of the Cave since God knows their high stature.” Others, whose opinion prevailed, said, “We must raise a house of worship in their memory in which people would submit to the One True God, a temple of Submission (Masjid).

[But later, people converted the building into a monastery and placed huge tombstones with superstitious inscriptions including RAQEEM. The sanctuary became a haven for nuns and monks]

18:22Then, some would say they were three, and their dog was the fourth, and some would say five, and their dog the sixth. They only made wild guesses, and some of them said that they were seven and their dog was the eighth. Say, "My Lord is best Aware of their number.” There are some who know* their right number but, do not argue about them except a passing comment. You need not consult anyone about them (to avoid undue controversies).

[*The last statement that they were seven and their dog was the eighth, is not denied by the Qur’an. Those who get this point probably know their number]

18:23(This is the news of the Unseen, like the next day is unseen for you.) Never say about a thing, “Certainly, I will do it tomorrow.”

[Something may happen beyond your control]

18:24Add to your statement, “If my promise is not contrary to the Divine laws” - And remember your Lord if you forget your promise, and say, "I hope my Lord will guide me even closer to the right course.”

18:25And (some people assert that) they lived in the Cave for three hundred years and some have added nine (to that number).

[Interestingly, 300 Solar years = 309 lunar years, but God knows best]

18:26Say, “God knows best how long they remained there.” His alone is the knowledge of the hidden reality of the heavens and the earth. How well does He see and hear! They have no guardian apart from Him and He allots no one a share in His Rule!

18:27(O Messenger) convey to them whatever of this Book is revealed to you from your Lord. None can alter His Words. And you will find no refuge other than Him.

[His laws in Theory Kalimaatillah, and His laws in Practice as implemented in the Universe Sunnatillah, never change. 6:19, 6:34, 6:116, 10:64, 17:77, 18:27, 33:38, 33:62, 40:85, 48:23]

18:28(There is a lesson of perseverance in the history of the Dwellers of the Cave.) Keep yourself content with those who remember their Lord morning and evening seeking His approval. And let not your eyes overlook them in quest for the glitter of this world. And do not obey any whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, one who follows his own desires, and whose case has been closed.

[6:52, 8:52-54, 89:29:30. ‘Case closed’ = The Divine laws have already decreed for him ultimate loss for his relentless misdeeds]

18:29And proclaim, "This is the truth from your Lord. Whoever accepts it let him accept it, and whoever rejects it, let him reject it.” Surely, for all those who wrong their own ‘self’, We have readied billowing folds of fire to surround them. When they beg for water, they will be given their burning hot deeds that backfire on their faces, a drink of distress they gave others. How dreadful a drink! And how terrible a resting place! [9:34-35]

18:30As for those who attain belief and do works that help others, We never fail to reward such benefactors of humanity.

18:31Theirs shall be the Gardens of Eden with rivers flowing beneath. They will be adorned with bracelets of gold, and wear green robes of finest silk, brocade and velvet, reclining upon thrones of honor. What a wonderful reward, and how goodly a place to rest!

18:32(The real success belongs to those who work for both lives.) Cite for them the example of two men. To one of them, We had given two vineyards, and surrounded them with date palms and placed a field of grain in between.

18:33Both gardens produced plenty of fruit on time, as We caused a stream to flow through them.

18:34Once, after an abundant crop, he boastfully said to his friend, “I am far more prosperous than you, and I command more respect from people.”

18:35And having thus wronged himself, he entered his garden saying, “I do not think that this will ever perish!”

18:36He said, “I do not think that the Hour will ever come. If I am returned to my Lord, I will find something even better as my resort.”

18:37His friend differed with him, “Do you disbelieve in the One Who created you from dust, and then from gametes, and then shaped you into the current human form?”

18:38“As for me, God is my Lord and I will never accept any other god besides my Lord.”

18:39And he continued, “Ah, when you entered your garden, you should have said, 'This is what God has given me according to His laws for no one has Power but God.' You see that I have less wealth and fewer children than you.” (Still I associate no one with Him.)

18:40He said, “So my Lord may grant me something better than your garden. (The luxuries of this life are bound to vanish.) He may send a calamity from heaven to wipe out this garden, leaving it a heap of barren dust.”

18:41“Or, it may happen that the water level recedes low, out of your reach.”

[Therefore, we must invest for the Eternity as well]

18:42And thus it happened. One day, the arrogant man’s fruitful gardens were wiped out. And there he was, twisting and turning his hands in sorrow. He lost his property which was now tumbled to pieces in complete ruin. And he could only say, "Oh, I wish I never worshiped anyone (even my property) other than my Lord!”

18:43He had none to help him against the Divine laws, nor could he help himself.

18:44Thus it is. The only invincible protection comes from God alone. He is the Best to grant recompense, and the Best to determine what must be.

18:45Cite for them the example of the materialistic life of this world. It is like the water We send down from the sky, and which is absorbed by plants of the earth. But in time they turn into dry stubble or hay which the winds blow freely about. God is Sovereign over all things and events.

[87:5. Total preoccupation with the material delights of life deprives people from growing in humanity]

18:46(Divine bounties and blessings are for you to enjoy, but they are a means to a higher end 7:32.) Wealth and children are the joys of the life of this world. But good deeds that fulfill the needs of others, their fruit endures forever. Such actions are of far greater merit in the Sight of your Lord, and the best foundation of hope. [19:76]

18:47So, know the Day when the tycoons of wealth and power will be shaken by Our law, and the poor downtrodden will come at par with them. All humanity will stand equal. No person will lag behind in his or her birth right of dignity. [20:105]

18:48And they will be marshaled before your Lord in ranks. (It will be said to them), “Now, you have come to Us as We created you at the first creation. But you thought that We had set no plan for this (Day).”

[Also, in this world, mankind will become one single community, as they were in the beginning. 2:213, 10:19]

18:49The Book will be laid open and you will see the guilty fearful of what they see therein. Those who used to steal the fruit of others' labor will say, “Oh, woe to us! What kind of a Book is this that leaves out nothing, be it small or large, but takes everything into account.” And they will find all that they did confronting them, for your Lord wrongs no one.

[This verse probably applies to the Qur’an and to the Divine Database, just as Hell and Paradise are frequently mentioned in the Qur’an applying to both lives. 9:31-33, 13:31,14:48, 18:48, 41:53, 48:28, 51:20-21, 53:39-40, 61:9]

18:50Recall when We said to the angels, “Humble yourselves to Adam!” They all humbled themselves except Iblees. He was of the hidden selfish desires that drifted away from his Lord's command. Will you still befriend him and his comrades rather than Me? And they are enemies to you! Miserable is the exchange the wrongdoers make.

[2:30-38, 18:48. Zurriyyah = Progeny = Children = Party = Comrades]

18:51I never permitted any creatures to witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor their own creation. And neither do I need to take as My helpers those beings (religious leaders) who lead people astray.

18:52Be mindful of the Day when He will say, “Call those whom you assigned as My partners.” Then they will call upon them, but they will not answer. We shall set a gulf of doom between them.

18:53Those who thrived on the fruit of others’ toil will gaze at the fire, and will realize that they are bound to fall into it, and will find no way to escape.

18:54Indeed, for the benefit of mankind We use Tasreef to explain the Qur’an from various vantage points. However, man, above all other imperfections, is given to contention.

18:55For, what is there to keep people from attaining belief now that guidance has come to them, and from asking the protecting forgiveness of their Lord? - Unless they choose the fate of the ancient people to befall them and hasten the doom upon them.

18:56We send the Messengers only to give glad tidings and to give warnings. But the deniers dispute with false arguments, trying to refute the truth, and to make My messages and warnings a target of their mockery.

18:57And who does greater harm to himself than the one to whom his Lord’s messages are conveyed and he turns away from them, forgetting what he is doing and what wrong he has done before? Our law makes their hearts and ears impermeable to reason and advice. No matter what you do to guide them, they will not allow themselves to be shown the right way.

18:58Yet, your Lord is the Truly-Forgiving One, full of grace. He could take them to task right away for whatever wrong they commit, and punish them then and there. But He gives them a period of respite beyond which they shall find no refuge.

18:59Our Law of Requital annihilated many communities when they went on and on with their unjust systems. They were all given a due period of respite (in order to make amends) and We set up a time-limit for their annihilation.

18:60And so, in the course of his quest for knowledge, Moses said to his young friend, “I shall not give up until I reach the junction of the two streams, though I march on for ages in my quest.”

[The Divine revelation shows the way and the outcome with conviction. When Moses was a young man, not yet commissioned as a Prophet, he was constantly in search of truth 93:7. God chose His Prophets and assigned them their mission at the appropriate time. The young Moses knew that the human intellect was the source of conceptual knowledge whereas the Divine revelation is the extrinsic knowledge from beyond human faculties. Intellect and revelation: The Two Streams of knowledge]

18:61But when Moses with his young friend reached the junction of the two streams, they forgot all about the fish. And it disappeared into the sea.

[Moses became more concerned about his people in bondage. Interestingly, fish is an ancient symbol of worldly life with all its glitter and indulgence]

18:62And after the two had walked some distance, Moses said to his young friend, “Bring us our lunch, the journey has been tiring.”

18:63Said his friend, “Would you believe it? When we rested at the rock, I forgot about the fish and none but Satan, my wandering thoughts, made me forget it. And it took its way into the sea. How strange!

18:64Moses said, “That is what we were seeking!” And the two turned back retracing their footsteps. (Moses retired to rest in deep thought.)

18:65(Moses wondered how exciting the merging of the two streams would be! And he imagined that) he found a servant of Ours, upon whom We had bestowed grace from Our Presence and to whom We had imparted knowledge from Ourselves.

[A close examination of verses 60-65 is quite revealing. From this point on the young friend suddenly disappears. Also consider the way the fish disappeared, and how then, Moses remarks, "That is what we were seeking". I agree with Muhammad Asad that the 'fish' here is only figurative. I also understand that the young friend of Moses is none else but his own youthful enthusiasm taking him to a great quest. Then in 18:64 Moses goes back retracing his footsteps. So, what happens next is most probably his deep contemplation at rest. The mystical story is worth pondering. The enlightened man who meets Moses at this juncture, and later his weird actions, grant him an allegorical and not a tangible presence. For these reasons I think that in 18:60-82, the Qur’an is relating the intellectual search of Moses rather than his physical experience]

18:66Moses (deep in his contemplation) said to the man, “May I follow you that you may teach me some of the knowledge and guidance which you have been taught?”

18:67He said, "Surely, you would not be able to have patience with me.

18:68And how can you bear with what you cannot comprehend?"

18:69Moses said, "God willing, you will find me patient and I will not disobey you."

18:70The man said, "Well, if you go with me, do not ask me any questions unless I choose to tell you about it."

18:71So they went on until they were in a boat and he made a hole in it. Moses said, "Did you make a hole to drown its people? You have done something terrible!"

18:72The man said, "Did I not tell you that you could not bear with me?"

18:73Said Moses, “Do not rebuke me for forgetting. And be not hard on me for my fault.”

18:74So they went on until when they met a lad, he slew him. Moses said, "What! Have you slain an innocent person who had slain none? Surely, you have done a horrible thing."

18:75The man said, “Didn’t I tell you that you could not bear with me?”

18:76Moses said, “If I ask you after this about anything, then do not keep me with you. By then you shall have received enough excuses from me.”

18:77So they proceeded. When they reached a township, they asked its people for food, but they refused them hospitality. Soon they saw a wall that was about to collapse, and he fixed it. Moses said, "If you had wished, you could have taken a wage for that."

18:78He replied, “This is the parting between you and me! But I will explain to you the real meaning of things you could not bear with patience."

18:79"As for the boat, it belonged to poor people working on the river, and I wished to make it defective. For, behind them was a king who was taking every (good) boat by force.

18:80And as for the lad, his parents were true believers whereas we had every reason to fear that he would bring bitter grief upon them by rebellion and disbelief.

18:81And so we desired that their Lord grant them, instead of him, a child better in purity of conduct and affection.

18:82As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town. And there was a treasure for them, beneath the wall. Their late father was a righteous man, and your Lord wanted them to grow up to full maturity and then extract their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. I did not do it of my own accord (but by Divine Command). This is the explanation of things you could not stand.”

[As the pondering was over, Moses understood that revelation is to the intellect what the sunlight is to the eye. Thus, was completed his intellectual journey. Later on Moses was commissioned to Prophethood and experienced the Divine revelation first hand]

18:83(O Messenger) they ask you about Zul-Qarnain. Say, "I will convey to you something by which he is worth remembering."

18:84We established him in power on earth and granted him the ways and means to accomplish his objectives.

18:85He set out for an expedition choosing the right means to the right end.

18:86(Conquering land to the west toward Lydia, he reached as far as the Black Sea.) The sun was setting and it appeared to him as if it was setting in the dark waters. (The local people, given to wrongdoing, fought against him and lost.) We said, "O Zul-Qarnain! Either punish or be kind to them."

[Zul-Qarnain = King Cyrus the Great of Persia, 590-529 BC]

18:87Cyrus said to them, “As for him who does wrong from now on, we shall punish him. And then he will be brought back before his Lord Who will commit him to greater retribution.

[Note King Cyrus talking in the royal manner, “We” and reflect on the King of kings, God, using “I” or “We” for Himself]

18:88But whoever chooses to believe and helps others, he will have a goodly reward and we will make his task easy by our command.”

[‘Amal Saaleh = Act of social welfare = Helping others = Increasing the societal potential = Fulfilling needs]

18:89(After establishing peace in the West) he once again chose the right means to achieve the right end.

[He set forth to an expedition towards the East]

18:90Then he reached (Balkh in Afghanistan) at the rising of the sun, the easternmost point of his expedition. He found it rising on a people for whom We had appointed no shelter from it.

[The nomads there built no houses or tents]

18:91So it was, and We knew all about him and his resources.

[He helped those people with his abundant resources that God had given him]

18:92And once again he chose the right means to achieve a right end.

[North towards Caucasus]

18:93When he reached the valley between two mountain ranges, he found people whose language was barely understandable to him.

18:94They presented a grievance, "O Zul-Qarnain! Gog and Magog keep ravaging this land with great mischief. May we, then, pay you a regular tribute that you might erect a barrier between us and them?"

[Tribute = Kharaj, not Jizyah of 9:29 which means War Reparations]

18:95He responded, "The power in which My Lord has established me is better than tribute. Help me then with manpower and I will erect a strong barrier between you and them."

18:96“Bring me pieces of iron.” (His engineers worked their skills using dirt and molten iron and filled the gap between the mountains.) When he had filled up the space between the two steep mountainsides, he said, “(Light a fire and) blow with your bellows!” When it was red hot, he said, “Bring me molten copper and tar to pour over it.”

18:97Thus they (Gog and Magog) could not climb it, nor could they bore holes in it.

18:98Said the King, "This is a grace from my Lord. Yet when the time appointed by my Lord comes, He will make this barrier level with the ground. And my Lord’s promise always comes true.

[The barrier will stay in place and crumble according to Divine laws]

18:99(Zul-Qarnain was right that such obstructions would become immaterial with time.) We will let some nations invade others on a day when the trumpets of war are blown. Then We will gather them together in battle-fields.

[Gog and Magog, the powerful imperialist nations, will attack one another and the weaker nations, and great wars will take place]

18:100And on that day, We will place hell right before the ungrateful.

18:101Those whose eyes were veiled to see My Reminder, and who could not bear to hear.

18:102Do the disbelievers in My Reminder think that they can choose My servants as allies besides Me? We have readied Hell as a welcome for the disbelievers.

[No matter what coalitions they make, if they befriend systems other than the Divine Order, they will end up in Hell]

18:103Say, "Shall We inform you who the worst losers are in respect of their deeds?"

18:104They are the ones whose effort in the life of the world remains misdirected. And yet they think that they are doing good work.

[They work in the wrong cause, contrary to the Divine Reminder]

18:105It is those who have chosen to deny their Lord’s messages and the fact that they are destined to meet Him. Their works are in vain. And on the Day of Resurrection We will give them no weight.

18:106That is their reward, Hell! For, they rejected the truth and ridiculed My messages and My Messengers.

18:107As for those who attain belief and fulfill the needs of others, there will be gardens of Paradise to welcome them.

18:108Therein shall they abide. They will not even desire a change!

18:109Say, "If all the sea were ink for my Lord’s words, the sea would be exhausted before my Lord’s attributes and laws are exhausted! And thus it would be if We were to add to it sea upon sea.”

[31:27. ‘Kalimaat’ = Words, attributes, laws]

18:110Say (O Prophet), "I am only a human like you. It is revealed to me that your God is only One God. So, whoever looks forward to meeting with His Lord, let him do works that help others and ascribe no partners in the service of his Lord.”

Surah 19. Maryam – Mary

This is the 19th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 98 verses. One of the important injunctions that clearly come through in this Surah is that God makes laws as He wills in the World of Command and implements them in the World of Creation i.e. the Universe. Then, He never changes them. The grand empire of human learning, development, invention, science and technology would have failed to come off ground if God’s physical laws in the Universe were to keep changing. Pregnancy and childbirth require the unison of the male and the female chromosomes. God never changes His laws, therefore, the idea of a virgin birth, although popular among the Christians and the Muslims, is non-Qur’anic and absolutely erroneous. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is probably more often mentioned in the Qur’an than in the Bible, as a lady of outstanding determination and character. Prophet Zacharias was the elder contemporary of Mary. Both descended from Prophet Aaron. The families had been the custodians of the holy shrines in Can’aan (Palestine) Zacharias, a distant uncle was Mary’s guardian in the sanctuary. Jesus is referred to as son of Mary because his mother was more prominent and also because his father Joseph the carpenter, died at an early age. The Bible also refers to Jesus as son of man and as son of David, and Elizabeth wife of Zakariya (Zacharias) is called the daughter of Aaron. Also, in the history of mankind Mary was the first revolutionary and that too, a feminine voice against the institution of monasticism that was never Divinely ordained. [57:27]

Before moving on, let us note a few salient points for the sake of clear understanding:

(i) Mary was a descendant of Prophet Aaron. Even generations after a prominent man, it was customary to call the descendants this way. In Luke 1:5 Elizabeth, the wife of Prophet Zacharias, is referred to as “One of the daughters of Aaron”. That is why Mary is referred to as sister of Aaron in 19:28.

(ii) In verse 19:23 it appears that Mary is talking to her husband. Violation of the sanctuary rules, a land far from home, lack of shelter and labor pains all add to her grief. Now a few important concepts given in the Qur’an that strongly negate the fallacy of the “Virgin Birth” of Jesus.

(iii) God does all things according to His laws. [3:40, 19:9]

(iv) And you will never see God’s laws changing or deviating. [6:34, 6:116, 10:64, 17:77, 18:27, 33:38, 33:62, 35:43, 40:85, 48:23]

(v) The example of Jesus, as far as God is concerned, is the same as that of Adam. He created him from dust; then said to him, "Be", and he was. [3:59]

(vi) By Adam is meant all mankind. [7:11]

(vii) All men are created from dust, then from a zygote, male and female. [22:5]

(viii) The Qur’an emphatically and repeatedly states that all human beings are procreated from both male and female, without exceptions.

(ix) Even God would not have an offspring since He never had a mate. [6:101] (x) Verse 19:22 narrates Mary moving far-off from her village. Since Mary had broken the rules of the shrine, she and her family kept the marriage with Joseph Carpenter confidential. When she became pregnant, the husband and wife decided to move far away to avoid the mockery of people.

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

19:1K.H.Y.'A.S. Kaaf Ha Ya ‘Ain Saad (Kareem the Honored, Haadi the Guide, Yaamen the Bounteous, ‘Aleem the Knower, Saadiq the True, states that)

19:2Mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zacharias.

19:3When he called out to his Lord in the secrecy of his heart. [3:37]

19:4He said, "My Lord! My bones have turned brittle and my head is shining with gray hair, and I have never remained unblessed in my prayer to You, my Lord.”

19:5“Now I fear what my relatives will do after me. (I am concerned about the heritage of my ancestors such as Jacob.) But my wife is barren. Oh, Give me from Your Presence, a successor.

19:6Let him be my heir and the heir of the house of Jacob and make him, my Lord, worthy of Your acceptance.”

19:7He was told, “O Zacharias! We give you the good news of a boy whose name shall be Yahya (John the Baptist). We have never given this name to anyone before.” [19:65]

19:8Zacharias exclaimed, "My Lord! How can I have a son when my wife is barren and I am already infirm with old age?"

19:9He said: Thus it is. Your Lord says, “It is easy for Me. I created you before, and you were nothing."

[The infertility in his wife was treated. 21:90]

19:10Zacharias said, “My Lord! Give me a special message.” He said, “The message is that you shall not speak to people for three (days and) nights consecutively.”

[3:40-41. Vow of silence - 19:26. He was not struck dumb as claimed in Luke: 1:20-22]

19:11Then Zacharias came out from the shrine and told his deputies by signs, “Keep striving in your mission morning and evening that His glory be manifest to beholders.”

19:12(John (Yahya) was born according to the good news) We told him “O Yahya! Hold fast to the scripture.” And We had granted him wisdom and good judgment when he was yet a little boy.

19:13We gave him compassion from Our Presence and a spotless character. He lived a life upright and he was of those who empower themselves against evil.

[See Taqwa in Glossary]

19:14He was dutiful toward his parents, and was polite, not rebellious or arrogant.

19:15Salutes to him the day he was born, the day he dies and the day he shall be raised alive!

19:16(O Prophet) make mention of Mary in the Book when she withdrew from her people to an eastern location.

[She left the sanctuary and went to her village in Galilee

19:17 (Since she was not used to mixing with people), she had chosen seclusion from them. Then We sent to her Our angel that appeared to her in the shape of a well-made human being.

[Angels never appear in this world in physical form, so,fatamathalaha = ‘that appeared to her in a dream’. 6:8, 16:33, 25:22]

19:18She exclaimed, “Surely, I seek refuge in the Most Gracious that you may be righteous.”

19:19He said: I am only a Messenger of your Lord who says, “I shall bestow upon you the gift of a son endowed with a spotless character.”

[See 3:45]

19:20She said, "How can I have a son when no man has ever (intimately) touched me? For, I am not rebellious to morality.” [3:46, 19:28]

19:21The angel answered: Thus it is - Your Lord says, “It is easy for Me, so that We make him a symbol for people and a grace from Us. And it is a thing decreed.”

[3:46-47. A symbol - of belief and disbelief. A grace - revelation]

19:22And in time she conceived him and withdrew with him to a far-off place, (Bethlehem).

19:23And when labor pains drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree, she exclaimed, “Ah, I wish I had died before this, and had become a thing forgotten, utterly forgotten!”

[Mary appears to be talking to herself]

19:24A voice came to her from beneath the palm-tree, “Grieve not! Your Lord has provided a stream beneath you."

[Probably Joseph’s voice]

19:25"And shake the trunk of the palm-tree towards you. It will drop fresh ripe dates upon you."

19:26"Eat then and drink, and let your eyes be gladdened! And if you see any human being, convey this to him, ‘Indeed, I have made a vow of silence for the Beneficent. So, I may not speak to any person today.’ ”

19:27Later, she returned to her people carrying the child with her. They said, "O Mary! You have come with an amazing thing (breaking the rules of the shrine).”

19:28“O Sister of Aaron! Your father was not a bad man, nor was your mother a woman rebellious to morality, nor did she ever oppose the system."

[“Sister of Aaron”, See Author’s Note above. ‘Baghyya’ carries both meanings given at the end.]

19:29Then she pointed to him. They said, "How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, a young boy?"

[Mary and Joseph had lived in Bethelhem for years. ‘In the cradle’, idiomatically means a young person. In 19:31 he promises to establish the Divine System and set up the Just Economic Order. Can a child say that?]

19:30But he spoke up, "Indeed, I am a servant of God. He has given me revelation and appointed me a Prophet.”

19:31“He has made me blessed wherever I may be. He has enjoined upon me to establish the Divine System and help set up the Just Economic Order as long as I live.”

19:32“And He has made me kind to my mother, and has not made me haughty, unblessed.”

19:33“Peace was on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I will be raised to life again." [19:15]

19:34Such was Jesus, the son of Mary and this is the truth of this matter about whose nature they so deeply disagree.

19:35It does not befit God that He would beget a son. He is Glorious, High above (what they say). When He decrees a thing, it starts happening.

19:36And (Jesus always said), "Surely, God is my Lord and your Lord, so serve Him alone. This is the straight path."

19:37And yet, the sects (that follow the Bible) differ among themselves. There is humiliation in store for all those who deny the truth when that awesome Day appears.

19:38How plainly will they hear and see the truth when they come before Us! Today, however, they persist in doing wrong to themselves and are obviously lost in error.

19:39So, warn them of the Day of Regrets, when the case will be decided. Being negligent of their duty to investigate with reason, they do not believe in the reality as yet.

19:40Indeed, We inherit the earth, and all who are on it, and to Us all will return.

19:41Also mention in the Book (the story of) Abraham. Indeed, he was a man of truth, a Prophet.

19:42He even confronted his father (Azar), “O My father! Why do you worship what hears not and sees not and can be of no avail to you?”

[Azar Terah was the chief priest of King Nimrod Shaddad of Babylon and Ninevah, and he was a master sculptor]

19:43"O My father! There has come to me of knowledge that did not come to you. Follow me then, and I will lead you on to a perfect way.”

19:44“O My father! Do not serve the Satan, for Satan (selfish desire) is a rebel against the Beneficent.”

19:45“O My father! I am afraid that a retribution from the Beneficent might overtake you, and you be counted among the friends of Satan.”

19:46He answered, "Do you dislike my gods, O Abraham? If you cease not, I will certainly get you stoned to death! Now get away from me for good!”

[The Chief Priest, Azar, had the power to declare anyone an apostate and condemn him to be stoned to death. For the Divine Ordinance of No Compulsion in Religion, see 2:256]

19:47Abraham said, "Peace be upon you! I will pray to my Lord for your forgiveness. For, He is ever Kind to me.” [9:114]

19:48“I am withdrawing from you all and from whatever you invoke besides God. I will call on my Lord. By imploring my Lord alone, I cannot go wrong." [60:4]

19:49So, when he abandoned them and their deities besides God, We bestowed upon him a son Isaac and a grandson Jacob. And each of them We made a Prophet.

[Abraham had moved from Mesopotamia to Syria]

19:50We showered them with Our grace and We granted them a high and true renown.

19:51And make mention in this Book, of Moses. Surely, he was sincerely devoted and a Prophet bearing Our message.

19:52We called and blessed him with revelation by the Mount Sinai and made him draw near to Us to converse in secret.

[Right side of the Mount allegorically indicates a blessing]

19:53And We bestowed upon him of Our mercy his brother, Aaron, a Prophet as well.

19:54And make mention in the Book, of Ishmael. He was truthful in his pledge, and he was a Prophet bearing Our message.

19:55He enjoined upon his people the establishment of the Divine System and of the Just Economic Order. He was highly acceptable in the Sight of his Lord.

19:56And make mention of Enoch (Idrees) in the Book. Surely, he was a man of truth, a Prophet.

19:57And We raised him to a high station of honor.

19:58These are some of the Prophets whom God blessed. They all were from the descendants of Adam, the early humans. The descendants of those whom We carried with Noah on the Ark, and the descendants of Abraham and Israel (Jacob). We guided them and selected them. Whenever the messages of the Most Gracious were conveyed to them, they would fall down prostrate in tears.

[Devoted to Submission, they put their hearts into their mission]

19:59But after them came generations that ruined the Salaat and started following desires. Soon they will meet utter disillusion.

[Ruined the Salaat = Stopped following the Divine commands and followed their desires instead]

19:60Except those who repented by returning to the right track, truly believed and did their best for the community. Such will enter the Garden, and will not face the least of injustice.

19:61The Beneficent has promised His servants the Gardens of Eternal bliss (Eden) that is unseen at this time. And His promise must always be fulfilled.

19:62There they will not hear any vain discourse, but only salutations of Peace. And therein they will have their sustenance day and night.

[Likewise, in the Ideal Society no person will sleep hungry and there shall be plenty of provision for all]

19:63Such is the Garden which We give as an inheritance to those of Our servants who have lived upright (and thus earned it with their own hands).

19:64(And the angels say), “We do not descend but by the command of your Lord. To Him belong our assignments of the past, present and future. Your Lord is never forgetful.”

[41:31. Inspiration, motivation, resolve, courage, steadfastness, hope and good news are also angels that support the upright]

19:65Lord of the heavens and the earth and of all that is between them! Therefore, serve Him and be constant in His service. Do you know any whose name is worthy of mentioning side by side with His?

19:66Human (keeps thinking or) says, “What! When I am dead, shall I be raised up alive?”

19:67But does not man reflect that We created him before, when he was nothing?

19:68So, by your Lord, without doubt, We shall certainly get them together including the rebellious ones; then We shall bring them crouching, around Hell.

19:69Then, We will drag out from among every sect the most stubborn in rebellion to the Beneficent.

19:70And certainly We know best those who are more worthy of being burned therein.

19:71Every one of you (stubborn rebels) will approach it. This is a fixed decree of your Lord. [19:69, 19:86, 21:99]

19:72And once again, We shall save the upright and leave the wrongdoers crouching in humiliation.

[The upright will not even hear any commotion of Hell. 21:102]

19:73As it is, when Our messages are presented to them in all clarity, those in denial say to the believers, “Which of the two sides has a better position and better as a group?”

19:74But many generations We have destroyed before them. They were more imposing in equipment and in outward glitter.

[‘We’ refers to the Law of Requital]

19:75Say, “The Beneficent gives respite to those who go astray. During this period of respite they either mend their ways or move on to see the promise of retribution in this life or at the Hour of Doom. Then they know who is worse off and weaker in forces.”

19:76God increases in guidance, those who seek it and seek to live upright. The lasting good deeds that fulfill the needs of others, are eternally rewarded by your Lord, and are best for eventual returns and better for resort.

19:77Have you seen the kind of person who denies Our messages and says, “Surely, I will be given wealth and children.”

[He fails to realize that there is more to life than these blessings]

19:78Do they know the realm of the Unseen? Have they taken a promise from the Beneficent?

19:79Nay, We shall record what he says, and prolong for him a span of torment.

19:80To Us shall return all that he speaks of, and he shall appear before Us in a lonely state.

19:81And they have chosen idols in various forms besides God, hoping that they would be a source of strength for them.

19:82But nay, they will reject their worship, and will turn against them.

19:83Are you not aware that We have sent satanic forces against the disbelievers to incite them into confusion?

19:84So make no haste against them, for We mark the number of their days.

19:85On the Day when We shall gather the righteous to Us, the Beneficent, like a delegation presented for honors,

19:86And drive the violators of human rights to Hell as a thirsty herd is driven to a well.

19:87None will have the benefit of intercession unless he has entered into a bond with the Beneficent during the life of the world.

19:88As it is, some assert, “The Beneficent has taken a son!”

19:89Indeed, you have put forth something monstrous!

19:90Whereby the skies are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins!

19:91That men should ascribe a son to the Most Gracious.

19:92It is not befitting for the Majesty of the Beneficent that He should choose a son.

19:93There is none in the skies and earth but comes to the Beneficent as a servant.

19:94Indeed, He fully knows them, and has counted them one by one.

19:95And each of them will come to Him singly on the Resurrection Day.

19:96Surely, those who attain belief and work for the good of others, the Beneficent will endow them with love.

19:97And only to this end We have made this (Qur’an) easy to understand in your own tongue (O Prophet) - That you may convey thereby glad news to the righteous and warn people given to futile disputation.

19:98But We have destroyed many generations before them. Can you perceive a single one of them now or hear a whisper of them?

Surah 20. Ta-Ha – The Ideal Prophet

This is the 20th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 135 verses many of which are very brief. Ta Ha is the metaphor for perfection illustrated by the full moon. All Prophets were one in purpose but their timings and jurisdictions have been different. God’s perfected, eternally preserved message was revealed to the Final Prophet Muhammad. The Title Ta Ha represents, and linguistically implies ‘The Ideal Prophet’. According to the Qur’anic style, the title of a Surah is not at all restrictive. This Surah makes a most beautiful use of allegories. The forthcoming verses give us a beautiful walk-through of the flowery concepts in this Divine forest. Let us move along in the fragrant mist of Ta Ha.

With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness

20:1T.H. Ta-Ha! (O Ideal Prophet!)

20:2We have not bestowed upon you this Qur’an to cause you any hardship.

20:3But, only as a Reminder to those who fear (faltering in their journey of life).

[Khashiyyah = Fearing = Being in awe = Being awestruck. Compare with Taqwa meaning journeying through life in security. This verse is commonly translated ending with ‘those who fear God’. See Preface for Taqwa]

20:4A revelation from Him Who has created the earth and the glorious heavens.

20:5The Beneficent, established on the Throne of Almightiness.

[He maintains Supreme Control over all that He has created]

20:6Unto Him belongs all that is in the heavens, all that is on the earth, all that is between them and all that is beneath the soil.

[All things in the Universe follow His laws]

20:7And if you speak aloud, then He knows the secret thoughts, as well as what is yet more hidden.

20:8God! There is no god but He. To Him belongs the Most Beautiful Names.

[His alone are the attributes of perfection]

20:9Has there come to you the history of Mos