Word by Word
it was sent down
surely in despair
it was sent down
surely in despair
Even though, before they received (the rain) - just before this - they were dumb with despair!
Though indeed before it was sent down upon them, before that (min qablihi is [repeated] for emphasis) they had been despondent, despairing of its sending down.
The Revival of the Earth is a Sign of the Resurrection
Here Allah explains how He creates the clouds that rain the water.
اللَّهُ الَّذِي يُرۡسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ فَتُثِيرُ سَحَابًا
Allah is He Who sends the winds, so that they raise clouds,
either from the sea, as was mentioned by more than one (of the scholars), or from whatever Allah wills.
فَيَبۡسُطُهُ فِي السَّمَاء كَيۡفَ يَشَاء
and spread them along the sky as He wills,
means, He spreads them and causes them to increase and grow. From a little He makes a lot, and creates the clouds that look like shields. Then He spreads them out until they fill the horizon. Sometimes the clouds come from the sea, heavy and full, as Allah says:
وَهُوَ الَّذِى يُرۡسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ بُشۡرىً بَيۡنَ يَدَىۡ رَحۡمَتِهِ حَتَّى إِذَا أَقَلَّتۡ سَحَابًا ثِقَالاً سُقۡنَـهُ لِبَلَدٍ مَّيِّتٍ
And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy. Till when they have carried a heavy-laden cloud, We drive it to a land that is dead until:
كَذَلِكَ نُخۡرِجُ الۡموۡتَى لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَذَكَّرُونَ
Similarly, We shall raise up the dead, so that you may remember or take heed. (7:57)
Allah says here:
اللَّهُ الَّذِي يُرۡسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ فَتُثِيرُ سَحَابًا فَيَبۡسُطُهُ فِي السَّمَاء كَيۡفَ يَشَاء
Allah is He Who sends the winds, so that they raise clouds and spread them along the sky as He wills, and then break them into fragments,
Mujahid, Abu Amr bin Al-Ala', Matar Al-Warraq and Qatadah said,
This means pieces.
Others said that it means `piled up,' as Ad-Dahhak said.
Others said that it means black, because they contained so much water, and sometimes they are heavy and close to the earth.
فَتَرَى الۡوَدۡقَ يَخۡرُجُ مِنۡ خِلَلِهِ
until you see rain drops come forth from their midst!
means, `so you see the drops, i.e., the rain, which come from the midst of those clouds.'
فَإِذَا أَصَابَ بِهِ مَن يَشَاء مِنۡ عِبَادِهِ إِذَا هُمۡ يَسۡتَبۡشِرُونَ
Then when He has made them fall on whom of His servants as He wills, lo, they rejoice!
They rejoice at the rain when it comes to them because of their need for it.
وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبۡلِ أَن يُنَزَّلَ عَلَيۡهِم مِّن قَبۡلِهِ لَمُبۡلِسِينَ
And verily, before that -- just before it was sent down upon them -- they were in despair!
The people to whom this rain came were in despair, thinking that it rain would never fall, just before it came to them. When it came to them, it came at the time of greatest need, so it was a tremendous event for them.
What this means is that they were in need of it before it fell, and there had been no rainfall for a long time, so they were waiting for it at the time when it was due, but it did not come to them at that time. The rain was late, and a long time passed. Then the rain came to them suddenly, after they began to despair, and after their land became dry and barren, it was stirred to life, and it swelled and produced every lovely kind of growth.
فَانظُرۡ إِلَى اثَارِ رَحۡمَتِ اللَّهِ
Look then at the effects of Allah's mercy,
meaning, the rain.
كَيۡفَ يُحۡيِي الاَۡرۡضَ بَعۡدَ مَوۡتِهَا
how He revives the earth after its death.
Thus Allah draws attention to the revival of people's bodies after they have died and disintegrated into nothing.
إِنَّ ذَلِكَ لَمُحۡيِي الۡمَوۡتَى
Verily, that (Allah) shall indeed raise the dead.
means, the One Who does that is able to raise the dead.
وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيۡءٍ قَدِيرٌ
and He is able to do all things.
وَلَيِنۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا رِيحًا فَرَأَوۡهُ مُصۡفَرًّا لَّظَلُّوا مِن بَعۡدِهِ يَكۡفُرُونَ
And if We send a wind, and they see it turn yellow -- behold, they then would become unthankful (disbelievers).
وَلَيِنۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا رِيحًا
And if We send a wind,
means, a wind which dries up the crops which they have tended and cultivated and which have matured, and they see them turn yellow, and start to rot, if this were to happen, they would become ungrateful, i.e., they would deny the previous blessings that they were given.
This is like the Ayah,
أَفَرَءَيۡتُم مَّا تَحۡرُثُونَ
Then tell Me about the seed that you sow in the ground. until:
بَلۡ نَحۡنُ مَحۡرُومُونَ
Nay, but we are deprived! (56:63-67
The Disbelievers are like the Dead, Deaf and Blind
فَإِنَّكَ لَاإ تُسۡمِعُ الۡمَوۡتَى وَلَاإ تُسۡمِعُ الصُّمَّ الدُّعَاء إِذَا وَلَّوۡا مُدۡبِرِينَ
وَمَا أَنتَ بِهَادِي الۡعُمۡيِ عَن ضَلَلَتِهِمۡ
So verily, you cannot make the dead to hear, nor can you make the deaf to hear the call, when they show their backs and turn away.
And you cannot guide the blind from their straying;
Allah says, `just as you are not able to make the dead hear in their graves, or to make your words reach the deaf who cannot hear and who still turn away from you, so too you cannot guide the blind to the truth and bring them back from their misguidance.'
That is a matter which rests with Allah, for by His power He can make the dead hear the voices of the living if He wills. He guides whom He wills and sends astray whom He wills, and no one but He has the power to do this.
إِن تُسۡمِعُ إِلاَّ مَن يُوۡمِنُ بِأيَاتِنَا فَهُم مُّسۡلِمُونَ
you can make to hear only those who believe in Our Ayat, and have submitted (to Allah in Islam).
means, those who are humble and who respond and obey. These are the ones who will listen to the truth and follow it; this is the state of the believers; the former (being deaf and blind) is the state of the disbelievers, as Allah says:
إِنَّمَا يَسۡتَجِيبُ الَّذِينَ يَسۡمَعُونَ وَالۡمَوۡتَى يَبۡعَثُهُمُ اللَّهُ ثُمَّ إِلَيۡهِ يُرۡجَعُونَ
It is only those who listen will respond, but as for the dead, Allah will raise them up, then to Him they will be returned. (6:36)
A'ishah, the Mother of the faithful, may Allah be pleased with her, used this Ayah --
إِنَّكَ لَا تُسۡمِعُ الۡمَوۡتَى
(So verily, you cannot make the dead to hear), as evidence against Abdullah bin Umar when he reported that the Prophet had addressed the slain disbelievers who had been thrown into a dry well three days after the battle of Badr, rebuking and reprimanding them, until Umar said, O Messenger of Allah, are you addressing people who are dead bodies?
وَالَّذِي نَفۡسِي بِيَدِهِ مَا أَنۡتُمۡ بِأَسۡمَعَ لِمَا أَقُولُ مِنۡهُمۡ وَلَكِنۡ لَاا يُجِيبُون
By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, you do not hear what I say any better than they do, but they cannot respond.
A'ishah interpreted this event to mean that the Prophet was making the point that now they would know that what he had been telling them was true.
Allah brought them back to life for him so that they could hear what he said by way of rebuke and vengeance.
The Different Stages of Man
اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن ضَعۡفٍ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِن بَعۡدِ ضَعۡفٍ قُوَّةً
Allah is He Who created you in weakness, then gave you strength after weakness,
Here Allah points out how man passes through different stages of creation, one phase after another.
He is originally created from dust, then from a Nutfah, then from a clot, then from a lump of flesh. Then he becomes bones, then the bones are clothed with flesh, then the soul is breathed into him. Then he emerges from his mother's womb, weak and thin and powerless.
Then he grows up little by little, until he becomes a child, then he reaches the stage of puberty, then he becomes a young man, which is strength after weakness. Then he starts to get older, reaching middle age, then old age and senility, weakness after strength, so he loses his resolve, power of movement and ability to fight, his hair turns grey and his characteristics, both inward and outward, begin to change.
ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِن بَعۡدِ قُوَّةٍ ضَعۡفًا وَشَيۡبَةً يَخۡلُقُ مَا يَشَاء
then after strength gave (you) weakness and grey hair. He creates what He wills.
He does whatsoever He wills and controls His servants in whatever way He wants.
وَهُوَ الۡعَلِيمُ الۡقَدِيرُ
And He is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful.
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