7 Eylül 2016 Çarşamba

Chronological Order of The Holy Qur'an

1st Year of Revelation

96. Al Alaq (The Clinging Clot) or Iqra' (Read!)  (96:1-5)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. (O My Beloved) Proclaim! (or Read!(Start to reading Holy Quran))(6203) in the name(6204) of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created(Everything, All that exists)-

6203 Iqra' may mean "read", or "recite or rehearse", or "proclaim aloud", the object understood being Allah's Message. For an account of the circumstances in which this first revelation-the divine commission to preach and proclaim Allah's Message came to the Prophet, in the cave of Hira ', see C. 27-31. In worldly letters he was unversed, but with spiritual knowledge his mind and soul were filled, and now had come the time when he must stand forth to the world and declare his mission.

6204 The declaration or proclamation was to be in the name of Allah the Creator. It was not for any personal benefit to the Prophet: to him there was to come bitter persecution, sorrow, and suffering. It was the call of Allah for the benefit of erring humanity. Allah is mentioned by his tide of "thy Lord and Cherisher", to establish a direct nexus between the source of the Message and the one addressed. The Message was not merely an abstract proposition of philosophy, but the direct concrete message of a personal Allah to the creatures whom He loves and cherishes. Thy addressed to the Prophet is appropriate in two ways: (1) he was in direct contact with the divine Messenger (Gabriel) and Him Who sent the Messenger; (2) he represented the whole of humanity, in a fuller sense than that in which Christ Jesus is the "Son of Man".

2. Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood(stick like leeches to the uterine wall consists of eggs vaccinated fed by sucking blood or a piece of thick coagulated blood):(6205)

6205 Cf. 23:14. The lowly origin of the animal in man is contrasted with the high destiny offered to him in his intellectual, moral, and spiritual nature by his "most bountiful" Creator. No knowledge is withheld from man. On the contrary, through the faculties freely given to him, he acquires it in such measure as outstrips his immediate understanding, and leads him ever to strive for newer and newer meaning.

3. Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful(Because, Allah will gives gratuitous, and even Allah does not hesitate of nothing and will give time to the people),-

4. He Who taught (the writing) (the use of) the Pen,-(6206)

6206 The symbol of a permanent revelation is the mystic Pen and the mystic Record. See n. 5593 to 68:1.

The Arabic words for "teach" and "knowledge" are from the same root. It is impossible to produce in a Translation the complete orchestral harmony of the words for "read", "teach", "pen" (which implies reading, writing, books, study, research), "knowledge" (including science, self knowledge, spiritual understanding), and "proclaim", an alternative meaning of the word for "to read". This proclaiming or reading implies not only the duty of blazoning forth Allah's message, as going with the prophetic office, but also the duty of promulgation and wide dissemination of fhe Truth by all who read and understand it. The comprehensive meaning of qara' refers not only to a particular person and occasion but also gives a universal direction. And this kind of comprehensive meaning, as we have seen, runs throughout the Qur'an—for those who will understand.

5. Taught man that which he knew not (Allah gave to the people powerful things such hearing, seeing and comprehension and Allah will give them revelation for strong evidence about everything).(6207)

6207 Allah teaches us new knowledge at every given moment. Individuals learn more and more day by day; nations and humanity at large learn fresh knowledge at every stage. This is even more noticeable and important in the spiritual world.

74. Al Muddaththir (The One Wrapped Up) (74:1-7)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. O thou wrapped up(5778) (in the mantle) (O My Messenger, On that night you saw Angel Gabriel In the Cave of Hira, which Gabriel covered from down to sky and you return back to your wife becoming terrified and you said her: “Cover me with a mantle!, Cover me with a mantle!”)!

5778 In these wonderful early mystic verses there is a double thread of thought; (1) A particular occasion or person is referred to; (2) a general spiritual lesson is taught. As to (1), the Prophet was now past the stage of personal contemplation, lying down or sitting in his mantle; he was now to go forth; boldly to deliver his Message and publicly proclaim the Lord; his heart had always been purified, but now all his outward doings must be dedicated to Allah, and conventional respect for ancestral customs or worship must be thrown aside; his work as a Messenger was the most generous gift that could flow from his personality, but no reward or appreciation was to be expected from his people, but quite the contrary; there would be much call on his patience, but his contentment would arise from the good pleasure of Allah. As to (2), similar stages arise in a minor degree in the life of every good man, for which the Prophet's life is to be a universal pattern. (R).

2. Arise and deliver thy (to your nation) warning!

3. And thy Lord do thou magnify! (And also with belief and also with expressing verbally)

4. And thy garments(5779) keep free from stain (Bad morals)!

5779 Possibly, in its immediate application, there is a reference to the dirt and filth which the Pagans used to throw at the Prophet to insult and persecute him.

5. And all abomination shun (And you continued to leave the sin of practicing idolatry or polytheism the deification or worship of anyone or anything other than the Allah and denial that will cause doom!)!(5780)

5780 Rujz or Rijz: abomination: usually understood to refer to idolatry. It is even possible that there was an idol called Rujz. But it has a wider signification, as including a mental state opposed to true worship, a state of doubt or indecision.

6. Nor expect, in giving, any increase (for thyself)!(5781)

5781 The legal and commercial formula is that you give in order to receive. And usually you expect to receive what is worth to you a little more than you give. The spiritual consideration is that you give, but expect nothing from the receiver. You serve Allah and Allah's creatures.

7. But, for thy Lord´s (Cause),(5782) be patient and constant!

5782 Our zeal for Allah's Cause itself requires that we should not be impatient, and that we should show constancy in our efforts for His Cause. For we have faith, and we know that He is All-Good, All-Wise, and All-Powerful, and everything will ultimately be right.

103. Al 'Asr (Time Through the Ages) (103:1-2)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. By (the Token of) Time (through the Ages),(6262)

6262 Al 'Asr may mean: (1) Time through the Ages, or long periods, in which case it comes near to the abstract idea of Time, Dahr, which was sometimes deified by the Pagan Arabs (see Introduction to S. 76.); (2) or the late afternoon, from which the 'Asr canonical prayer takes its name (see n. 271 to 2:238). A mystic use of both these ideas is understood here. An appeal is made to Time as one of the creations of Allah, of which everyone knows something but of which no one can fully explain the exact significance. Time searches out and destroys everything material. No one in secular literature has expressed the tyranny of "never-resting Time" better than Shakespeare in his Sonnets. For example, see Sonnets 5 ("never-resting Time"), 12 ("Nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence"), and 64 ("When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced, the rich proud cost of outworn buried age"). If we merely run a race against Time, we shall lose. It is the spiritual part of us that conquers Time. See verse 3 below. For the "afternoon" idea see next note.

2. Verily Man is in loss,(6263)

6263 If life be considered under the metaphor of a business bargain, man, by merely attending to his material gains, will lose. When he makes up his day's account in the afternoon, it will show a loss. It will only show profit if he has Faith, leads a good life, and contributes to social welfare by directing and encouraging other people on the Path of Truth and Constancy.

51. Al Dhariyat (The Winds That Scatter) (51:1-6)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. By the (Winds)(4986) that scatter broadcast;(4987)

4986 Four agencies are mentioned in verses 1 to 4 as evidences or types or symbols of the certainty and unity of a Truth described in verses 5-6. What these agencies are is described by certain adjectival participles, the noun understood being usually taken to be "Winds": the word for Wind (Rih) being feminine in Arabic. Some Commentators however understand other nouns as being implied, e.g., angels in all four verses, or different things in each of the four verses. Whatever the agencies are, their different modes of working are evidence of the power and goodness of Allah, the Unity of His Plan, and the certainty of Good and Evil reaching their own destined ends, when Judgement and Justice will have given each one his due. (R).

4987 Winds may blow strong, and scatter particles of dust far and wide; but they do not diminish by one jot the substance of Allah's material creation; on the contrary they help to readjust things. They reshape the configuration of the earth; in the vegetable kingdom they carry seeds about and plant new seeds in old soils; in the region of air they produce mighty changes in temperature and pressure that affect animal and vegetable life; they carry the moisture of equatorial Africa to the parched plains of India; and so on. Yet they are just one little agency showing Allah's working in the material world. So in the spiritual world. Revelation works mighty changes; it may be resisted, but the resistance will be swept away; it ever points to the one Great Final Event, "to which the whole Creation moves".

2. And those that(4988) lift and bear away heavy weights;

4988 The things that lift and bear away heavy weights may be the Winds that carry the heavy rain clouds or that sweep off every resistance from their path, or it may be the heavy moisture-laden clouds themselves. So works Revelation: it lifts and sweeps away the burdens of custom, superstition, or man's inertia, and ever leads onwards to the destined End.

3. And those that(4989) flow with ease and gentleness;

4989 These may be Winds that fill the sails of ships with gentle and favourable breezes, that carry men and merchandise to their destinations. Or they may be the ships themselves, whose smooth motion through the waters is described in many places by the verb jam, "to flow", e.g., Cf. 2:164.

4. And those that(4990) distribute and apportion by Command;-

4990 These may be Winds (or other agencies) that distribute and apportion moisture or rain or atmospheric pressure to other blessings of Allah—not haphazard but by fixed laws, i.e., according to the Command of their Lord. So with Revelation. Its blessings are distributed all around, and it produces its marvellous effects sometimes in the most unlikely places and ways.

5. Verily that which ye(4991) are promised is true;

4991 That which ye are promised: the Promise of Allah about Mercy and Forgiveness to the Penitent, and Justice and Penalty to the Rebellious; the promise of the Hereafter; the promise that all does not end here, but that there is a truer and more lasting world to come, for which this is but a preparation.

6. And verily Judgment(4992) and Justice must indeed come to pass.

4992 .Din=the giving to each person his precise and just due; this is implied in Judgement and Justice. All the inequalities of this life are to be redressed.

102. Al Takathur (The Piling Up) (102:1-2)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you(6257) (from the more serious things),

6257 Acquisitiveness, that is, the passion for seeking an increase in wealth, position, the number of adherents or followers or supporters, mass production and mass organisation, may affect an individual as such, or it may affect whole societies or nations. Other people's example or rivalry in such things may aggravate the situation. Up to a certain point it may be good and necessary. But when it becomes inordinate and monopolises attention, it leaves no time for higher things in life, and a clear warning is here sounded from a spiritual point of view. Man may be engrossed in these things till death approaches, and he looks back on a wasted life, as far as the higher things are concerned.

2. Until ye visit the graves.(6258)

6258 That is, until the time comes when you must lie down in the graves and leave the pomp and circumstance of an empty life. The true Reality will then appear before you. Why not try to strive for a little understanding of that Reality in this very life?

52. Al Tur (The Mount) (52:1-8)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. By the Mount (of Revelation);(5037)

5037 The adjuration is by five things which we shall presently explain. An appeal is made to these five Signs in verses 1 to 6, and the certainty of future events is asserted in the most emphatic terms in verses 7 to 28, in three parts, viz., the coming of judgement and the passing away of this phenomenal world (verses 710); the future ill consequences of ill-deeds done (verses 11-16); and future attainment of bliss and complete realisation of Allah's love and mercy (verses 1728).

2. By a Decree inscribed(5038)

5038 55003388 5038 See last note. The five Signs to which appeal is made are: (1) the Mount (of Revelation), (verse 1; (2) the Decree Inscribed, verses 2-3; (3) The Much frequented Fane, verse 4; (4) the Canopy Raised High, verse 5; and (5) the Ocean filled with Swell, verse 6.

Let us examine these in detail. Each of them has a figurative and a mystic meaning. (1) The Mount is the sublime world of Revelation. In the case of Moses it is typified by Mount Sinai: Cf. 95:2, where it is mentioned in juxtaposition to the sacred territory of Makkah , 95:3. In the case of Jesus it is the Mount of Olives : Cf. 95:1, and also Matt. 24:3-51, where Jesus made his striking pronouncement about the Judgement to come. In the case of Muhammad, it is the Mountain of Light , where the divine inspiration made him one with the spiritual world: Cf. C. 31, and n. 11 (2). The Decree Inscribed is Allah's Eternal Decree. When it becomes Revelation to man, it is further described as "inscribed", reduced to writing; and as it is made clear to the intelligence of man, it is further described as "in a scroll unfolded", that is, spread out so that everyone who has the will can seek its guidance.

3. In a Scroll unfolded;

4. By the much-frequented Fane;(5039)

5039 See the last two notes. (3) "The much-frequented Fane" (or House) is usually understood to mean the Ka'bah, but in view of the parallelism noted in the last note, it may be taken generally to mean any Temple or House of Worship dedicated to the true God. It would then include the Tabernacle of the Israelites in the wilderness, the Temple of Solomon , the Temple in which Jesus worshipped, and the Ka'bah which the Prophet purified and rededicated to true worship. These would be only illustrations. Other concrete places of worship would be included, and in a more abstract meaning, the heart of man, which craves, with burning desire, to find and worship Allah. The Fane is "much frequented" as there is a universal desire in the heart of man to worship Allah, and his sacred Temples draw large crowds of devotees.

5. By the Canopy Raised High;(5040)

5040 (4) "The Canopy Raised High" is the canopy of heaven, to whose height or sublimity no limit can be assigned by the mind of man. It is Nature's Temple , in which all Creation worships Allah-the Symbol in which the material and the visible merges into the spiritual and the intuitional.

6. And by the Ocean(5041) filled with Swell;-(5042)

5041 (5) The Ocean—the vast, limitless, all encircling Ocean—is the material symbol of the universal, unlimited, comprehensive nature of the invisible spiritual world. It is expressed to be masjur, full of a mighty swell, boiling over, poured forth all over the earth, as if overwhelming all landmarks; Cf. 81:6-a fitting description of the final disappearance of our temporal world in the supreme establishment of the Reality behind it.

5042 This completes the five Signs or Symbols by which man may know for certain of the Judgement to come. Note that they are in a descending order—the highest, or most remote from man's consciousness, being mentioned first, and that nearest to man's consciousness being mentioned last. The truth of Revelation; its embodiment in a Prophet's Message given in human language; the universal appeal of divine worship; the starry world above; and the encircling Ocean, full of life and motion below—all are evidences that the Day of Allah will finally come, and nothing can avert it. (R).

7. Verily, the Doom of thy Lord will indeed come to pass;-

8. There is none can avert it;-

112. Al Ikhlas (The Purity of Faith) (112:1-4)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. Say: He is Allah,(6296) the One and Only;(6297)

6296 The nature of Allah is here indicated to us in a few words, such as we can understand. The qualities of Allah are described in numerous places elsewhere, e.g., in 59:22-24, 62:1, and 2:255. Here we are specially taught to avoid the pitfalls into which men and nations have fallen at various times in trying to understand Allah. The first thing we have to note is that His nature is so sublime, so far beyond our limited conceptions, that the best way in which we can realise Him is to feel that He is a Personality, "He", and not a mere abstract conception of philosophy. He is near us; He cares for us; we owe our existence to Him. Secondly, He is the One and Only God, the Only One to Whom worship is due; all other things or beings that we can think of are His creatures and in no way comparable to Him. Thirdly, He is Eternal, without beginning or end, Absolute, not limited by time or place or circumstance, the Reality before which all other things or places are mere shadows or reflections. Fourthly, we must not think of Him as having a son or a father, for that would be to import animal qualities into our conception of Him. Fifthly, He is not like any other person or thing that we know or can imagine: His qualities and nature are unique.

6297 This is to negate the idea of Polytheism, a system in which people believe in gods many and lords many. Such a system is opposed to our truest and profoundest conceptions of life. For Unity in Design, Unity in the fundamental facts of existence, proclaim the Unity of the Maker.

2. Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;(6298)

6298 Samad is difficult to translate by one word. I have used two, "Eternal" and "Absolute". The latter implies: (1) that absolute existence can only be predicted of Him; all other existence is temporal or conditional; (2) that He is dependent on no person or things, but all persons or things are dependent on Him, thus negativing the idea of gods and goddesses who ate and drank, wrangled and plotted, depended on the gifts of worshippers, etc.

3. He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;(6299)

6299 This is to negative the Christian idea of the godhead, "the Father", "the only begotten Son" etc.

4. And there is none like unto Him.(6300)

6300 This sums up the whole argument and warns us specially against Anthropomorphism, the tendency to conceive of Allah after our own pattern, an insidious tendency that creeps in at all times and among all peoples.

88. Al Ghashiyah (The Overwhelming Event) (88:1-5/8-16)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. Has the story reached thee of the overwhelming (Event)?(6096)

6096 Al Ghashiyah : the thing or event that overshadows or overwhelms, that covers over or makes people lose their senses. In 12:107, it is described as the "covering veil of the Wrath of Allah"; where see n . ..  . 1 7 90. The Day of Judgement is indicated, as the Event of overwhelming importance in which all our petty differences of this imperfect world are covered over and overwhelmed in a new world of perfect justice and truth.

2. Some faces, that Day,(6097) will be humiliated,

6097 Cf. 75:22, 24.

3. Labouring (hard), weary,-(6098)

6098 On the faces of the wicked will appear the hard labour and consequent fatigue of the task they will have in battling against the fierce Fire which their own Deeds will have kindled.

4. The while they enter the Blazing Fire,-

5. The while they are given, to drink, of a boiling hot spring,

....

8. (Other) faces that Day will be joyful,

9. Pleased with their Striving,-(6100)

6100 Notice the parallelism in contrast, between the fate of the Wicked and that of the Righteous. In the one case there was humiliation in their faces; in the other, there is joy; where there was labour and weariness in warding off the Fire, there is instead a healthy Striving, which is itself pleasurable—a Striving which is a pleasant consequence of the spiritual Endeavour in the earthly life, which may have brought trouble or persecution from without, but which brought inward peace and satisfaction.

10. In a Garden on high,(6101)

6101 The most important point is their inward state of joy and satisfaction, mentioned in verses 8-9. Now are mentioned the outer things of bliss, the chief of which is the Garden. The Garden is in contrast to the Fire. Its chief beauty will be that they will hear there nothing unbecoming, or foolish, or vain. It will be a Garden on high, in all senses-fit for the best, highest, and noblest. (R).

11. Where they shall hear no (word) of vanity:
 
12. Therein will be a bubbling spring:(6102)

6102 Instead of the boiling hot spring (verse 5) there will be a bubbling spring of sparkling water. Instead of the grovelling and grumbling in the place of Wrath, there will be Thrones of Dignity, with all the accompaniments of a brilliant Assembly.

13. Therein will be Thrones (of dignity), raised on high,

14. Goblets placed (ready),

15. And cushions set in rows,

16. And rich carpets (all) spread out.

86. Al Tariq (The Night Star) (86:11-17)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

11. By the Firmament(6074) which returns (in its round),

6074 The Firmament above is always the same, and yet it performs its diurnal round, smoothly and punctually. So does Allah's Revelation show forth the Truth, which like a circle is ever true to its centre-which is ever the same, though it revolves through the changing circumstances of our present life.

12. And by the Earth which opens out(6075) (for the gushing of springs or the sprouting of vegetation),-

6075 The earth seems hard, but springs can gush forth and vegetables sprout through it and make it green and soft. So is Truth: hard perhaps to mortals, but through the fertilising agency of Revelation, it allows our inner personality to sprout and blossom forth.

13. Behold this is the Word that distinguishes (Good from Evil):(6076)

6076 See the last two notes. Revelation-Allah's Truth-can pierce through the hardest crusts, and ever lead us back to the centre and goal of our spiritual life: for it separates Good from Evil definitely. It is not mere play or amusement, any more than the Sky or the Earth is. It helps us in the highest issues of our life.

14. It is not a thing for amusement.

15. As for them,(6077) they are but plotting a scheme,

6077 Though Allah in His Mercy has provided a piercing light to penetrate our spiritual darkness, and made our beings responsive to the growth of spiritual understanding, just as the hard earth is responsive to the sprouting of a seed or the gushing of a stream, yet there are evil, unregenerate men who plot and scheme against the beneficent purpose of Allah. But their plots will be of no avail, and Allah's Purpose will prevail. It happened so with the Quraysh who wanted to thwart the growth of Islam. It will be so in all ages.

16. And I am planning a scheme.(6078)

6078 Makara is applied both to plotting with an evil purpose and planning with a good purpose. Cf. 3:54, and n. 393 "And the unbelievers plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah."

17. Therefore grant a delay to the Unbelievers: Give respite to them gently (for awhile).(6079)

6079 Gentle forbearance with Evil shows our trust in Allah and Allah's Plan; for it can never be frustrated. This does not mean that we should assist or compromise with evil, or fail to put it down where we have the power. It means patience and humility where we have no visible power to prevent Evil.

82. Al Infitar (The Cleaving Asunder) (82:1-5)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. When(5997) the Sky is cleft asunder;(5998)

5997 Cf. the passage 81:1-14 and notes. For the three parallel interpretations, see the Introduction to this Surah. There are four conditional clauses here, and the substantive clause is in verse 5. In S. 81. there were 12 conditional clauses, and the conclusion was similar, but not expressed in precisely the same terms. See 72:5, n. 6002 below. The physical world as we see it now will be destroyed before the final Day of Judgement, establishing the true spiritual Reality. In the following four clauses we have a reference to the Lesser Judgement, the individual dawn of the true Reality at Death. (R).

5998 Cf. 73:18, n. 5869. The beautiful blue sky overhead, which we take for granted in sunshine and storm, will be shattered to pieces before the New World is established. The partition which seems at present to divide things divine from the phenomenal world has to be shattered before each soul knows the reality about itself. (R).

2. When the Stars are scattered;(5999)

5999 Cf. 81:2, where the word for "stars" (Nujum) is different, and the verb is different. Najm has reference to brightness, and the verb "losing their lustre" was appropriate there, to show the opposite. Kawkab (used here) has more the meaning of a star as fixed in a constellation; and the opposite of a fixed and definite order is "scattered", the verb used here. In fact, throughout this passage, the dominating idea is the disturbance of order and symmetry. The metaphor behind the scattering of the constellations is that in the present order of things we see many things associated together, e.g., rank with honour, wealth with comfort, etc. In the New World this will be seen to have been merely fortuitous. (R).

3. When the Oceans are suffered to burst forth;(6000)

6000 Cf. 81:6, "when the oceans boil over with a swell". Here, "are suffered to burst forth" expresses the end of the present order of things. This may be in two ways: (1) The barrier, which keeps within their respective bounds the various streams of salt and fresh water (55:20, n. 5185), will be removed; (2) the Ocean will overwhelm the whole Globe. (R).

4. And when the Graves are turned upside down;-(6001)

6001 This item is not mentioned in 81:1-14. Here it is introduced to show that the whole order of things will be so reversed that even Death will not be Death. We think there is tranquillity in Death, but there will be no tranquillity. Literally, and figuratively, Death will be the beginning of a new Life. What we think to be Death will bring forth Life.

5. (Then) shall each soul know what it hath sent forward(6002) and (what it hath) kept back.

6002 Sent Forward and kept back : may mean: the deeds of commission and omission in this life. Or the Arabic words may also be translated: sent forward and left behind: i.e., the spiritual possibilities which it sent forward for its other life, and the physical things on which it prided itself in this life, but which it had to leave behind in this life. Or else, the things it put first and the things it put last in importance may change places in the new world of Reality. "The first shall be last and the last shall be first".

91. Al Shams (The Sun) (91:1-5)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. By the Sun(6147) and his (glorious) splendour;

6147 Six types are taken in three pairs, from Allah's mighty works in nature, as tokens or evidence of Allah's providence and the contrasts in His sublime creation, which yet conduce to cosmic harmony (verses 1-6). Then (verses 7-8) the soul of man, with internal order and proportion in its capacities and faculties, as made by Allah, is appealed to as having been endowed with the power of discriminating between right and wrong. Then the conclusion is stated in verses 910, that man's success or failure, prosperity or bankruptcy, would depend upon his keeping that soul pure or his corrupting it.

2. By the Moon(6148) as she follows him;

6148 The first pair is the glorious sun, the source of our light and physical life, and the moon which follows or acts as second to the sun for illuminating our world. The moon, when she is in the sky with the sun, is pale and inconspicuous; in the sun's absence she shines with reflected light and may metaphorically be called the sun's vicegerent. So with Revelation and the great Prophets who brought it; and the minor Teachers who derive their light reflected, or perhaps doubly reflected, from the original source.

3. By the Day as it(6149) shows up (the Sun´s) glory;

6149 The next contrasted pair consists, not of luminaries, but conditions, or periods of time, Day and Night. The Day reveals the sun's glory and the Night conceals it from our sight. So there may be contrasts in our subjective reception of divine light, but it is there, working all the time, and must reappear in its own good time.

4. By the Night as it conceals it;

5. By the Firmament(6150) and its (wonderful) structure;(6151)

6150 The next contrasted pair is the wonderful firmament on high, and the earth below our feet, stretching away to our wide horizons. The sky gives us rain, and the earth gives us food. Yet both work together: for the rain is moisture sucked up from the earth, and the food cannot grow without the heat and warmth of the sun. There are many other contrasts under this head; yet they all point to unity.

6151 The ma masdariyah in Arabic, in this and the subsequent clauses, is best translated in English by nouns. Thus what would literally be "and the (wonderful) making or construction of it" or "the fact of its (wonderful) construction" is, idiomatically, "its (wonderful) structure." "The (wide) spreading out" of the earth is rendered "its (wide) expanse," and so on.

108. Al Kawthar (The Abundance) (108:1-3)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. To thee have We granted the Fount (of Abundance).(6286)

6286 Kawthar literally means "good in abundance". It is the abundant bounty which Allah bestowed on Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). This includes a river (or fountain) in heaven of this name which Allah has promised the Prophet (peace be on him). [Eds.].

2. Therefore to thy Lord turn in Prayer and Sacrifice.(6287)

6287 He who grants these blessings is Allah, and to Allah alone must we turn in adoration and thanksgiving, and in sacrifice. Nahr = sacrifice: in a restricted ritual sense, the sacrifice of camels: see n. 2813 to 22:36. But the ritual is a mere Symbol. Behind it is a deep spiritual meaning; the meat slaughtered feeds the poor, and the slaughter is a symbol of the self-sacrifice in our hearts. "It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him" (22:37).

3. For he who hateth thee,(6288) he will be cut off (from Future Hope).

6288 Hatred and spite are not constructive contributions to the work of this world, but its opposites. Abu Jahl and his Pagan confederates vented their personal spite and venom against the Prophet by taunting him with the loss of his two infant sons by Khadijah, but where were these venomous detractors a few years afterwards, when the divine Light shone more brilliantly than ever? It was these that were cut off from all future hope, in this world and the next.

87. Al A'la (The Most High) (87:1-9)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. Glorify the name of thy Guardian-Lord(6080) Most High,

6080 The word "Lord" by itself is an inadequate rendering here for Rabb. For it implies cherishing, guarding from harm, sustaining, granting all the means and opportunities of development. See n. 20 to 1:2. For shortness, perhaps "GuardianLord" will be sufficient in the Text.

2. Who hath created,(6081) and further, given order and proportion;

6081 The story of Creation is wonderful and continuous. There are several processes which we contemplate in glorifying Allah's name. First, He brings us into being. Secondly, He endows us with forms and faculties exactly suited to what is expected of us, and to the environments in which our life will be cast, giving to everything due order and proportion.

3. Who hath ordained laws.(6082) And granted guidance;

6082 Thirdly, He has ordained laws and decrees, by which we can develop ourselves and fit ourselves into His whole scheme of evolution for all His Creation. He has measured exactly the needs of all, and given us instincts and physical and psychic predispositions which fit into His decrees. Fourthly, He gives us guidance, so that we are not the sport of mechanical laws. Our reason and our will are exercised, that we may reach the higher destiny of man.

4. And Who bringeth out(6083) the (green and luscious) pasture,

6083 Fifthly, after maturity comes decay. But even in that decay, as when green pasture turns to stubble, we subserve other ends. Insofar as we are animals, we share these processes with other forms of material. Creation, animal, vegetable, and even mineral, which all have their appointed laws of growth and decay. But man's higher destiny is referred to in subsequent verses.

5. And then doth make it (but) swarthy stubble.

6. By degrees shall We teach thee to declare(6084) (the Message), so thou shalt not forget,(6085)

6084 The soul, as it reaches the Light of Allah, makes gradual progress, like a man going from darkness into light. So the Qur'an was revealed by stages. So all revelation from Allah comes by stages.
  
As usual, there are two parallel meanings: (1) that connected with the occasion of direct inspiration to the Prophet; and (2) the more general Message to mankind for all time. Everyone who understands the Message must declare it, in words, and still more, in his conduct.

6085 The particular occasion was an assurance to the Prophet, that though he was unlettered, the Message given to him would be preserved in his heart and in the hearts of men. The more general sense is that mankind, having once seized great spiritual truths, will hold fast to them, except as qualified in the following verse.

7. Except as Allah wills:(6086) For He knoweth what is manifest and what is hidden.

6086 There can be no question of this having any reference to the abrogation of any verses of the Qur'an, for this Surah is one of the earliest revealed, being placed about eighth according to the most accepted chronological order. While the basic principles of Allah's Law remain the same, its form, expression, and application have varied from time to time, e.g., from Moses to Jesus, and from Jesus to Muhammad. It is one of the beneficent mercies of Allah that we should forget some things of the past, lest our minds become confused and our development is retarded. Besides, Allah knows what is manifest and what is hidden, and His Will and Plan work with supreme wisdom and goodness.

8. And We will make it easy for thee (to follow) the simple (Path).(6087)

6087 The path of Islam is simple and easy. It depends on no abstruse mysteries or self-mortifications, but on straight and manly conduct in accordance with the laws of man's nature as implanted in him by Allah (30:30). On the other hand, spiritual perfection may be most difficult, for it involves complete surrender on our part to Allah in all our affairs, thoughts, and desires: but after that surrender Allah's Grace will make our path easy.

9. Therefore give admonition in case the admonition(6088) profits (the hearer).

6088 This is not so strong as the Biblical phrase, "Cast not pearls before swine" (Matt. 7:6) The cases where admonition does produce spiritual profit and where it does not, are mentioned below in verses 10 and 11-13 respectively. Allah's Message should be proclaimed to all; but particular and personal admonitions are also due to those who attend and in whose hearts is the fear of Allah; in the case of those who run away from it and dishonour it, such particular and personal admonition is useless. They are the unfortunate ones who prepare their own ruin.

85. Al Buruj (The Constellation) (1-7~12-22)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. By the sky, (displaying)(6051) the Zodiacal Signs;(6052)

6051 Here is an appeal to three symbols in verses 1 -3, and the substantive proposition is in verses 4-8, a denunciation of wicked persecutors of the votaries of Allah, persecutors who burnt righteous men for their Faith. The three Symbols are: (1) the Glorious Sky, with the broad belt of the Constellations marking the twelve Signs of the Zodiac; (2) the Day of Judgement, when all evil will be punished; and (3) certain Persons that will be witnesses, and certain Persons or things that will be t he subjects of the witness. See the notes following.

6052 See n. 1950 to 15:16. The Stars of the Zodiac as well as of other Constellations are like the eyes of the Night. It may be that crimes are committed in the darkness of night (literally or metaphorically). But countless eyes (metaphorically) are watching all the time, and every author of evil will be brought to book.

2. By the promised Day (of Judgment);(6053)

6053 The Day of Judgement, when the Sinner will have to give an account of every deed, open or hidden, is not merely a matter of speculation. It is definitely promised in revelation, and will inevitably come to pass. Woe then to the Sinners for their crimes.

3. By one that witnesses, and the subject of the witness;-(6054)

6054 The literal meaning is clear, but its metaphorical application has been explained in a variety of ways by different Commentators. The words are fairly comprehensive, and should, I think, be understood in connection with Judgement There the Witnesses may be: (1) the Prophets (3:81); Allah Himself (3:81. and 10:61); (he Recording Angels (50:21); the Sinner's own misused limbs (24:24); his record of deeds (17:14); or the Sinner himself (17:14). The subject of the witness may be the deed or crime, or the Sinner against whom the testimony cries out The appeal to these tilings means that the Sinner cannot possibly escape the consequences of his crime. He should repent, seek Allah's Mercy, and amend his life.

4. Woe to the makers of the pit (of fire),(6055)

6055 Who were the makers of the pit of fire in which they burnt people for their Faith? The words are perfectly general, and we need not search for particular names, except by way of illustration. In ancient history, and in Mediaeval Europe, many lives were sacrificed at the stake because the victims did not conform to the established religion. In Arab tradition there is the story of Abraham: Nimrud tries to burn him to death, but on account of Abraham's Faith, the fire became "a means of safety for Abraham": 21:69, and n. 2725. Another case cited is that of Dhu Nuwas, the last Himyarite King of Yemen , by religion a Jew, who persecuted the Christians of Najran and is said to have burnt them to death. He seems to have lived in the latter half of the sixth Christian century, in the generation immediately preceding the Prophet's birth in 570 A.D. Whale the words are perfectly general, a reference is suggested to the persecution to which the early Muslims were subjected by the Pagan Quraysh. Among other cruelties, they were stripped, and their skins were exposed to the burning rays of the Arabian summer sun. (R).

5. Fire supplied (abundantly) with fuel:

6. Behold! They sat(6056) over against the (fire),

6056 The persecutors sat calmly to gloat over the agonies of their victims in the well-fed Fire.

7. And they witnessed (all) that they were doing against the Believers.

...

12. Truly strong is the Grip (and Power) of thy Lord.

13. It is He Who creates from the very beginning,(6061) and He can restore (life).

6061 For the various words for "Creation" and the ideas implied in them, see n. 120 to 2:117.

14. And He is the Oft-Forgiving, Full of Loving-Kindness,

15. Lord of the Throne of Glory,

16. Doer (without let)(6062) of all that He intends.

6062 Allah's Will is itself the Word and the Deed. There is no interval between them. He does not change His mind. No circumstances whatever can come between His Will and the execution thereof. Such are His Power and His Glory. Compare it with that of men, described in the next two verses.

17. Has the story reached thee, of the forces-(6063)

6063 In contrast to the real, all-embracing, and eternal power of Allah, what are the forces of man at their best? Two examples are mentioned. (1) Pharaoh was a proud monarch of a powerful kingdom, with resources and organisation, material, moral, and intellectual, as good as any in the world. When he pitted himself against Allah's Prophet, he and his forces were destroyed. See 79:15-26. (2) Thamud were great builders, and had a high standard of material civilisation. But they defied the law of Allah and perished. See 7:73-79, and n. 1043.

18. Of Pharaoh and the Thamud?

19. And yet the Unbelievers (persist) in rejecting (the Truth)!(6064)

6064 In spite of the great examples of the past, by which human might and skill were shown to have availed nothing when the law of Allah was broken, the unbelievers persist (in all ages) in defying that law. But Allah will know how to deal with them.

20. But Allah doth encompass them from behind!(6065)

6065 Allah encompasses everything. But the wicked will find themselves defeated not only in conditions that they foresee, but from all sorts of unexpected directions, perhaps from behind them, i.e., from the very people or circumstances which in their blindness they despised or thought of as helping them.

21. Day, this is a Glorious Qur´an,

22. (Inscribed) in a Tablet Preserved!(6066)

6066 Inscribed in a Table Preserved, i.e., Allah's Message is not ephemeral. It is eternal. The "Tablet" is "preserved" or guarded from corruption: 15:9: for Allah's Message must endure forever. That Message is the "Mother of the book": see n. 347 v. 3:7. (R).

81. Al Takwir (The Folding Up) (1-29)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. When the sun(5969) (with its spacious light) is folded up;(5970)

5969 Verses 1 to 13 are conditional clauses, and the substantive clause is in verse 14. The time will come when nature's processes as we know them will cease to function, and the soul will only then know by self-conviction the results of its actions. With reference to an individual soul, its resurrection is its supreme crisis: the whole world of sense, and even of imagination and reason, melts away, and its whole spiritual scroll is laid bare before it.

5970 The conditional clauses are twelve, in two groups of six. The first six affect the outer or physical life of man; the last six, his inmost spiritual life. Let us take them one by one. (1) The biggest factor affecting us in the external physical World is the light, heat, and perhaps electric or magnetic energy of the sun. The sun is the source of all the light, heat, and energy, and indeed the source and support of all physical life that we know. It is the biggest factor and yet most remote from us in our solar system. Yet the sources of our inner spiritual life will be greater and more lasting, for they will survive it. The sun as the centre of our solar system also stands as a symbol of the present order of things. The physical forces, as defined in Newton 's laws of Matter and Attraction, will also break up with the break-up of the sun. Is folded up: is folded up, or twisted up, like a sheet or garment.

2. When the stars(5971) fall, losing their lustre;

5971 (2) Next after the sun, we can derive faint lights from the innumerable stars in the firmament. For all the ages of which we have any record, these stars have remained fixed. Nothing can be more fixed: yet they can and will fail.

3. When the mountains vanish (like a mirage);(5972)

5972 Cf. 78:20. (3) On our own earth the mountains-the "eternal hills'-seem the most striking examples of stability; yet they will be swept away like a mirage, as if they had never existed.

4. When the she-camels, ten months with young, are left untended;(5973)

5973(4) The type of Arab property, as well as the type of the Arab pet, was the camel, and the most precious camel was the she-camel just about to be delivered of her young. She would in normal times be most sedulously cared for. But when all our landmarks of this life vanish, even she would be left untended. Nothing would then be as it is now.

5. When the wild beasts are herded together (in the human habitations);(5974)

5974 (5) In the present world, the wild animals fear each other, and they all fear man and normally keep away from human habitations. But when this order passes away, there will be scarcely any differentiation between human habitations and the wilds of the forests.

6. When the oceans(5975) boil over with a swell;

5975 See 52:6 and n. 5041. (6) The oceans, which now keep their bounds, will surge and boil over, and overwhelm all landmarks. At present the waters seem to have reached their fixed and normal levels, but the whole equilibrium will then be disturbed. Such will be the complete wreck of this transitory world, at the approach of the dawn of the permanent Reality. But these are physical symbols, relating to the outer nature surrounding the physical nature of man. The remaining six, viz.: the 7th to the 12th, describe the ordering of the new spiritual World, from which all present seeming incongruities will be removed.

7. When the souls are sorted out,(5976) (being joined, like with like);

5976 Cf. 56:7, where the sorting out into three classes is mentioned,
viz.: Those Nearest to Allah, the Companions of the Right Hand, and the Companions of the Left Hand. That was a sort of broad general division. The meaning in this passage is wider. (7) Whereas in this world of probation, good is mixed with evil, knowledge with ignorance, power with arrogance, and so on-in the new world of
Reality, all true values will be restored, and like will consort with like, for it will be a world of perfect Peace, Harmony, and Justice.

8. When the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned –

9. For what crime she was killed;(5977)

5977 (8) In this world of sin and sorrow, much unjust suffering is caused, and innocent lives sacrificed, without a trace being left, by which offenders can be brought to justice. A striking example before the Quraysh was female infanticide: cf. 16:58-59, and n. 2084. The crime was committed in the guise of social plausibility in secret collusion, and no question was asked here. But in the spiritual world of Justice, full questions will be asked, and the victim herself-dumb here-will be able to give evidence, for she had committed no crime herself. The proofs will be drawn from the very means used for concealment.

10. When the scrolls are laid open;(5978)

5978 (9) The Scrolls recording the deeds of men, good or bad, will then be laid open before all. Cf. 50:17-18, n. 4954; also 82:11-12. In the present phenomenal world, things may be concealed; but in the spiritual world of absolute Reality, every secret is opened out, good or bad. The whole tale of acts, omissions, motives, imponderable spiritual hurt, neglect, or help will be laid bare.

11. When the world on High(5979) is unveiled;

5979 The World on High: literally, the Sky, or Heaven as standing for both the Blazing Fire and the Garden, the Home of the Hereafter. (10) The soul's spiritual Sky-the things it held high or sacred-will be stripped of the thin blue that gave restand partly illusion-to its spiritual eye in the world of illusions. Just as when an animal is skinned, its real flesh and blood and inner organs become visible, without any outer coating to hold them together, so the inmost state of the spiritual world will then become plain.

12. When the Blazing Fire(5980) is kindled to fierce heat;

5980 (11) Then will burn the Blazing Fire of the Hell, worse than the fiercest fire. (R).

13. And when the Garden(5981) is brought near;-(5982)

5981 (12) The last of the Metaphors, the Garden of Bliss-the Light of Allah's Face (92:20)-will come in sight-not yet attained, but visible, or "brought near". For the scales have fallen from the eyes, and the soul knows itself.

5982 See 75:22, n. 5822; 78:40, n. 5914; and 79:14, n. 5926. [Eds.].

14. (Then) shall each soul know what it has put forward.(5983)

5983 This is the conclusion. It is only on such conditions that the soul reaches its full realisation. Put forward: cf. "the Deeds which his hands have sent forth" in 78:40.

15. So verily I call(5984) to witness the Planets -(5985) that recede,

5984 Cf. 56:75, n. 5258, for the witness that the heavenly bodies bear symbolically to the power, beauty, and goodness of Allah, in sending His Revelation. See n. 5798 to 74:32, for the significance of an adjuration in the Qur'an.

5985 The appeal here is made to three things, the Planets, the Night, and the Dawn. (1) The Planets have a retrograde and a forward motion, and during occultation, hide or disappear behind the sun or moon, or are otherwise invisible or appear stationary. They behave differently from the millions of stars around them. Yet they are not mere erratic bodies, but obey definite laws, and evidence the power and wisdom of Allah.

16. Go straight, or hide;

17. And the Night as it dissipates;(5986)

5986 How the Night gradually declines after its height at midnight! It seems gradually to steal away, and as Dawn approaches, to merge into Day. So a soul in spiritual darkness gradually awakes to its spiritual Dawn through Revelation.

18. And the Dawn as it breathes away the darkness;(5987)

5987 The slow "breathing out" of the darkness by the Dawn, shown us, by beautiful imagery, that these mysterious operations, of which people in their ignorance are frightened if they have to do with darkness, are really beneficent operations of Allah. They have nothing to do with evil spirits, or witches, or magic. For three questions were actually raised about the Prophet's Ministry by the ignorant (1) Did his wonderful works come from himself and not from Allah? (2) Was he possessed of an evil spirit? In other words, was he mad? For that was the theory of madness, then current. (3) Was he a soothsayer, or necromancer, or magician? For he had virtues, powers, and eloquence, so extraordinary that they could not understand him.

19. Verily this is the word of a most honourable Messenger,(5988)

5988 They are told here that all their three theories were foolish. The Revelation was really from Allah. Their wonder should cease if they observe the daily miracles worked round them in nature. The bringer of Allah's Message was the angel Gabriel, and not an evil spirit.

20. Endued with Power, with rank before the Lord of the Throne,(5989)

5989 Not only was the bringer of the Revelation. Gabriel, an honourable Messenger, incapable of deceit, but he had, in the angelic kingdom, rank and authority before Allah's Throne, and he could convey an authoritative divine Message. He was, like the Prophet, faithful to his trust; and therefore there could be no question of the Message being delivered in any other way than exactly according to the divine Will and Purpose. These epithets could apply to the Prophet himself, but in view of verse 23 below, it is best to understand them of Gabriel.

21. With authority there, (and) faithful to his trust.

22. And (O people!) your companion is not one possessed;(5990)

5990 After describing the credentials of the Archangel Gabriel, the Text now appeals to the people to consider their own "Companion", the Prophet, who had been born among them and had lived with them, and was known to be an honourable, truthful, and trustworthy man. If Gabriel was the one who brought the Message to him, then there was no question of demoniacal possession. And the Prophet had seen him in his inspired vision "in the clear horizon".

23. And without doubt he saw him in the clear horizon.(5991)

5991 Read along with this the whole passage in 53:1-18 and notes there; specially n. 5092, where the two occasions are mentioned when there was a vision of inspiration: "For truly did he see, of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest" (53:18).

24. Neither doth he withhold grudgingly a knowledge of the Unseen.(5992)

5992 Such would be the words of a soothsayer, guarded, ambiguous, and misleading. Here everything was clear, sane, true, and under divine inspiration.

25. Nor is it the word of an evil spirit accursed.(5993)

5993 Such as evil suggestions of envy, spite, greed, selfishness, or other vices. On the contrary, the teaching of the Qur'an is beneficent, pointing to the Right Way , and Way of Allah. Rajim: literally, driven away with stones, rejected with complete ignominy. Cf. 15:17. The rite of throwing stones in the valley of Mina at the close of the Makkan Pilgrimage [see n. 217 (6) to 2:197] suggests symbolically that the Pilgrim emphatically, definitely, and finally rejects all Evil.

26. When whither go ye?(5994)

5994 It has been shown that this is no word of a mortal, but that it is full of divine wisdom: that its teaching is not that of a madman, but sane to the core and in accordance with human needs: that it freely and clearly directs you to the right Path and forbids you the Path of evil. Why then hesitate? Accept the divine Grace; repent of your sins; and come to the higher Life.

27. Verily this is no less than a Message to (all) the Worlds:(5995)

5995 It is not meant for one class or race; it is universal, and is addressed to all the Worlds. For the meaning of "Worlds", see n. 20 to 1:2.

28. (With profit) to whoever among you wills to go straight:(5996)

5996 Cf. 74:55-56. Allah is the Cherisher of the Worlds, Lord of Grace and Mercy, and His guidance is open to all who have the will to profit by it. But that will must be exercised in conformity with Allah's Will (verse 29). Such conformity is Islam. Verse 28 points to human free will and responsibility; verse 29 to its limitations. Both extremes, viz.: cast-iron Determination and an ides of chaotic Free Will, are condemned.

29. But ye shall not will except as Allah wills,- the Cherisher of the Worlds.


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