Word by Word
(of) the Book
(of) the Book
The revelation of this Book is from Allah, the Exalted in Power, full of Wisdom.
Az-Zumar (the Troops) Meccan, except for verses 52, 53 and 54, which are Medinese; it consists of 75 verses, revealed after [soorat] Saba'. The revelation of the Book, Al-Qur'an (tanzeelu'l-kitaabi, the subject) is from God (mina'Llaahi, its predicate) the Mighty, in His kingdom, the Wise, in His handiwork.
Tafsir of Surah Az-Zumar
The Order for Tawhid and the Refutation of Shirk
Allah tells us that the revelation of this Book, which is the magnificent Qur'an, is from Him, and is truth in which there is no doubt whatsoever.
This is like the Ayat:
وَإِنَّهُ لَتَنزِيلُ رَبِّ الۡعَـلَمِينَ
نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الاٌّمِينُ
عَلَى قَلۡبِكَ لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الۡمُنۡذِرِينَ
بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِىٍّ مُّبِينٍ
And truly, this is a revelation from the Lord of the creatures, which the trustworthy Ruh (Jibril) has brought down upon your heart that you may be (one) of the warners, in the plain Arabic language. (26:192-195)
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواۡ بِالذِّكۡرِ لَمَّا جَأءَهُمۡ وَإِنَّهُ لَكِتَـبٌ عَزِيزٌ
لااَّ يَأۡتِيهِ الۡبَـطِلُ مِن بَيۡنِ يَدَيۡهِ وَلَا مِنۡ خَلۡفِهِ تَنزِيلٌ مِّنۡ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ
And verily, it is a mighty Book. Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise. (40:41-42)
And Allah says here:
تَنزِيلُ الۡكِتَابِ مِنَ اللَّهِ الۡعَزِيزِ الۡحَكِيمِ
The revelation of this Book is from Allah, the Almighty,
meaning, the Almighty, All-Powerful.
meaning, in all that He says, does, legislates and decrees.
إِنَّا أَنزَلۡنَا إِلَيۡكَ الۡكِتَابَ بِالۡحَقِّ فَاعۡبُدِ اللَّهَ مُخۡلِصًا لَّهُ الدِّينَ
Verily, We have sent down the Book to you in truth. So, worship Allah by doing religious deeds sincerely for Him only.
means, so worship Allah Alone with no partner or associate, and call mankind to that, and teach them that it is not right to worship anyone or anything except Him Alone, and He has no partner, equal or rival.
أَلَا لِلَّهِ الدِّينُ الۡخَالِصُ
Surely, the religion is for Allah only.
meaning, He will not accept any deed unless it is done purely and sincerely for Him Alone, with no partner or associate.
وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ أَوۡلِيَاء
And those who take protectors besides Him (say):
Allah tells us that the idolators say:
مَا نَعۡبُدُهُمۡ إِلاَّ لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلۡفَى
We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah.
meaning what motivates them to worship them is the fact that they made their idols in the image of the angels -- or so they claim -- and when they worship those images it is like worshipping the angels, so that they will intercede with Allah for them to help and give them provision and other worldly needs. As far as the resurrection is concerned, they denied it and did not believe in it.
Qatadah, As-Suddi and Malik said, narrating from Zayd bin Aslam and Ibn Zayd:
إِلاَّ لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلۡفَى
(only that they may bring us near to Allah), means,
So that they may intercede for us and bring us closer to Him.
During Jahiliyyah, they used to recite the following for their Talbiyah when they performed Hajj;
At Your service, You have no partner except the partner You have; he and all that he owns belong to You.
This pretentious argument which the idolators of all times, ancient and modern, used as evidence is what the Messengers, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon them all, came to refute and forbid, and to call people to worship Allah Alone with no partner or associate. This is something that the idolators themselves invented; Allah did not give them permission for it, nor does He approve of it; indeed, He hates it and forbids it.
وَلَقَدۡ بَعَثۡنَا فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعۡبُدُواۡ اللَّهَ وَاجۡتَنِبُواۡ الۡطَّـغُوتَ
And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming):Worship Allah, and avoid Taghut. (16:36)
وَمَأ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ نُوحِى إِلَيۡهِ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنَاۡ فَاعۡبُدُونِ
And We did not send any Messenger before you but We revealed to him (saying):None has the right to be worshipped but I (Allah), so worship Me. (21:25)
And Allah tells us that the angels in the heavens, those who are close to Him and others, are all servants who submit humbly to Allah. They do not intercede with Him except by His leave for the one with whom He is pleased. They are not like the princes and ministers of their (the idolators') kings who intercede with them without their permission for both those whom the kings like and those whom they hate.
فَلَ تَضۡرِبُواۡ لِلَّهِ الاٌّمۡثَالَ
So put not forward similitudes for Allah. (16:74)
Exalted be Allah far above that.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحۡكُمُ بَيۡنَهُمۡ
Verily, Allah will judge between them,
means, on the Day of Resurrection,
فِي مَا هُمۡ فِيهِ يَخۡتَلِفُونَ
concerning that wherein they differ.
means, He will judge between His creation on the Day of Resurrection and will reward or punish each person according to his deeds.
وَيَوۡمَ يَحۡشُرُهُمۡ جَمِيعاً ثُمَّ يَقُولُ لِلۡمَلَـيِكَةِ أَهَـوُلَاءِ إِيَّاكُمۡ كَانُواۡ يَعۡبُدُونَ
قَالُواۡ سُبۡحَـنَكَ أَنتَ وَلِيُّنَا مِن دُونِهِمۡ بَلۡ كَانُواۡ يَعۡبُدُونَ الۡجِنَّ أَكۡـثَرُهُم بِهِم مُّوۡمِنُونَ
And (remember) the Day when He will gather them all together, then He will say to the angels:Was it you that these people used to worship?
They (the angels) will say:Glorified be You! You are our Wali (Lord) instead of them.
Nay, but they used to worship the Jinn; most of them were believers in them. (34:40-41)
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهۡدِي مَنۡ هُوَ كَاذِبٌ كَفَّارٌ
Truly, Allah guides not him who is a liar, and a disbeliever.
means, He will not show true guidance to one who deliberately tells lies about Allah and whose heart rejects the signs and proof of Allah.
Then Allah states that He does not have any offspring, as the ignorant idolators claim the angels to be, and as the stubborn Jews and Christians claim `Uzayr and `Isa to be.
Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, says
لَوۡ أَرَادَ اللَّهُ أَنۡ يَتَّخِذَ وَلَدًا لاَّصۡطَفَى مِمَّا يَخۡلُقُ مَا يَشَاء
Had Allah willed to take a son (or offspring), He could have chosen whom He willed out of those whom He created.
meaning, the matter would not have been as they claim.
This is a conditional sentence which does not imply that this happened or that it is permitted; indeed, it is impossible. The aim is only to point out the ignorance of their claims.
It is like the Ayat:
لَوۡ أَرَدۡنَأ أَن نَّتَّخِذَ لَهۡواً لاَّتَّخَذۡنَـهُ مِن لَّدُنَّأ إِن كُنَّا فَـعِلِينَ
Had We intended to take a pastime, We could surely have taken it from Us, if We were going to do (that). (21:17)
قُلۡ إِن كَانَ لِلرَّحۡمَـنِ وَلَدٌ فَأَنَاۡ أَوَّلُ الۡعَـبِدِينَ
Say:If the Most Gracious had a son, then I am the first of worshippers. (43:81)
All of these Ayat are conditional, and it is permissible to form a conditional sentence referring to something that is impossible if it serves the purposes of the speaker.
سُبۡحَانَهُ هُوَ اللَّهُ الۡوَاحِدُ الۡقَهَّارُ
But glory be to Him! He is Allah, the One, the Irresistible.
means, exalted and sanctified be He above the idea that He could have any offspring, for He is the One, the Only, the Unique, the Self-Sufficient Master to Whom everything is enslaved and is in need of. He is the One Who is independent of all else, Who has subjugated all things and they submit humbly to Him. Blessed and exalted be He far above what the wrongdoers and deniers say
Evidence of the Power and Oneness of Allah
خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالاَۡرۡضَ بِالۡحَقِّ
He has created the heavens and the earth with truth.
Allah tells us that He is the Creator of what is in the heavens and on earth, and what is between them. He is the Sovereign and Controller alternating the night and day.
يُكَوِّرُ اللَّيۡلَ عَلَى النَّهَارِ وَيُكَوِّرُ النَّهَارَ عَلَى اللَّيۡلِ
He makes the night to go in the day and makes the day to go in the night.
means, He has subjugated them and He causes them to alternate without ceasing, each seeking the other rapidly, as He says:
يُغۡشِى الَّيۡلَ النَّهَارَ يَطۡلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا
He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly. (7:54)
This is the meaning of that which was narrated from Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others.
وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمۡسَ وَالۡقَمَرَ كُلٌّ يَجۡرِي لاَِجَلٍ مُسَمًّى
And He has subjected the sun and the moon. Each running for an appointed term.
means, for a period of time that is known to Allah, then it will come to an end on the Day of Resurrection.
أَلَا هُوَ الۡعَزِيزُ الۡغَفَّارُ
Verily, He is the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving.
means, beside His might, greatness and pride, He is Oft-Forgiving to those who disobey Him but then turn to Him in repentance
خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفۡسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ
He created you (all) from a single person;
means, He created you, with all your varied races, types, languages and colors, from a single soul, who was Adam, peace be upon him.
ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِنۡهَا زَوۡجَهَا
then made from him his wife.
who was Hawwa', peace be upon her.
This is like the Ayah:
يَـأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواۡ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِى خَلَقَكُمۡ مِّن نَّفۡسٍ وَحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنۡهَا زَوۡجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنۡهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيراً وَنِسَأءً
Have Taqwa of your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women. (4:1)
وَأَنزَلَ لَكُم مِّنۡ الاۡأَنۡعَامِ ثَمَانِيَةَ أَزۡوَاجٍ
And He has sent down for you of cattle eight pairs.
means, He has created for you from among the cattles, eight pairs. These are the ones that are mentioned in Surah Al-An`am, eight kinds -- a pair of sheep, a pair of goats, a pair of camels and a pair of oxen.
يَخۡلُقُكُمۡ فِي بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمۡ
He creates you in the wombs of your mothers,
means, He forms you in your mothers' wombs.
خَلۡقًا مِن بَعۡدِ خَلۡقٍ
creation after creation.
Everyone of you is originally a Nutfah, then he becomes an `Alaqah, then he becomes a Mudghah, then he is created and becomes flesh and bones and nerves and veins, and the Ruh (soul) is breathed into him, and he becomes another type of creation.
فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ أَحۡسَنُ الۡخَـلِقِينَ
So Blessed is Allah, the Best of creators. (23:14)
فِي ظُلُمَاتٍ ثَلَثٍ
in three veils of darkness,
means, in the darkness of the womb, the darkness of the placenta which blankets and protects the child, and the darkness of the belly.
This was the view of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Abu Malik, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd.
ذَلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّكُمۡ
Such is Allah your Lord.
means, the One Who created the heavens and the earth and everything in between, and created you and your forefathers, is the Lord.
His is the kingdom,
i.e. To Him belong sovereignty and control over all of that.
لَاا إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ
La ilaha illa Huwa.
means, no one else should be worshipped except Him alone with no partner or associate.
How then are you turned away?
means, how can you worship anything besides Him? What has happened to your minds
Allah hates Disbelief and is pleased with Gratitude
إِن تَكۡفُرُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنكُمۡ
If you disbelieve, then verily, Allah is not in need of you;
Allah tells us that He is Independent and has no need of anything in creation.
This is like the Ayah in which Musa, peace be upon him, says:
إِن تَكۡفُرُواۡ أَنتُمۡ وَمَن فِى الاٌّرۡضِ جَمِيعًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَنِىٌّ حَمِيدٌ
If you disbelieve, you and all on earth together, then verily, Allah is Rich, Owner of all praise. (14:8)
In Sahih Muslim, it says:
يَا عِبَادِي لَوۡ أَنَّ أَوَّلَكُمۡ وَاخِرَكُمۡ وَإِنۡسَكُمۡ وَجِنَّكُمۡ كَانُوا عَلَى أَفۡجَرِ قَلۡبِ رَجُلٍ مِنۡكُمۡ مَا نَقَصَ ذَلِكَ مِنۡ مُلۡكِي شَيۡيًا
O My servants, if the first and the last of you, men and Jinn alike, were all to be as evil as the most evil man among you, that would not diminish from My sovereignty in the least.
وَلَا يَرۡضَى لِعِبَادِهِ الۡكُفۡرَ
He likes not disbelief for His servants.
means, He does not like it and He does not enjoin it.
وَإِن تَشۡكُرُوا يَرۡضَهُ لَكُمۡ
And if you are grateful, He is pleased therewith for you.
means:He likes this for you and He will increase His favor upon you.
وَلَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزۡرَ أُخۡرَى
No bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another.
means, no person can bear anything for another; each person will be asked about his own affairs.
ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّكُم مَّرۡجِعُكُمۡ فَيُنَبِّيُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُونَ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ
Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you what you used to do. Verily, He is the All-Knower of that which is in breasts.
means, nothing whatsoever is hidden from Him.
It is an aspect of Man's Disbelief that He remembers Allah at times of difficulty then associates others with Him after He has been relieved of His Distress
وَإِذَا مَسَّ الاۡإِنسَانَ ضُرٌّ دَعَا رَبَّهُ مُنِيبًا إِلَيۡهِ
And when some hurt touches man, he cries to his Lord, turning to Him in repentance.
means, at times of need, he prays to Allah and seeks His help alone, not associating anything with Him.
This is like the Ayah:
وَإِذَا مَسَّكُمُ الۡضُّرُّ فِى الۡبَحۡرِ ضَلَّ مَن تَدۡعُونَ إِلَا إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا نَجَّـكُمۡ إِلَى الۡبَرِّ أَعۡرَضۡتُمۡ وَكَانَ الاِنۡسَـنُ كَفُورًا
And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon vanish from you except Him. But when He brings you safe to land, you turn away. And man is ever ungrateful. (17:67)
ثُمَّ إِذَا خَوَّلَهُ نِعۡمَةً مِّنۡهُ نَسِيَ مَا كَانَ يَدۡعُو إِلَيۡهِ مِن قَبۡلُ
But when He bestows a favor upon him from Himself, he forgets that for which he cried for before,
means, at the time of ease, he forgets that supplication and prayer.
This is like the Ayah:
وَإِذَا مَسَّ الاِنسَـنَ الضُّرُّ دَعَانَا لِجَنبِهِ أَوۡ قَاعِدًا أَوۡ قَأيِمًا فَلَمَّا كَشَفۡنَا عَنۡهُ ضُرَّهُ مَرَّ كَأَن لَّمۡ يَدۡعُنَأ إِلَى ضُرٍّ مَّسَّهُ
And when harm touches man, he invokes Us, lying on his side, or sitting or standing. But when We have removed his harm from him, he passes on as if he had never invoked Us for a harm that touched him! (10:12)
وَجَعَلَ لِلَّهِ أَندَادًا لِّيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ
and he sets up rivals to Allah, in order to mislead others from His path.
means, at times of ease, he associates others in worship with Allah and sets up rivals to Him.
قُلۡ تَمَتَّعۡ بِكُفۡرِكَ قَلِيلً إِنَّكَ مِنۡ أَصۡحَابِ النَّارِ
Say:Take pleasure in your disbelief for a while, surely, you are (one) of the dwellers of the Fire!
means, say to those whose way this is, `enjoy your disbelief for a while!'
This is a stern threat and solemn warning, as in the Ayat:
قُلۡ تَمَتَّعُواۡ فَإِنَّ مَصِيرَكُمۡ إِلَى النَّارِ
Say:Enjoy! But certainly, your destination is the Fire! (14:30)
نُمَتِّعُهُمۡ قَلِيلً ثُمَّ نَضۡطَرُّهُمۡ إِلَى عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٍ
We let them enjoy for a little while, then in the end We shall oblige them to (enter) a great torment. (31:24
The Obedient and the Sinner are not equal
Allah says, `is the one who is like this equal to one who associates others in worship with Allah and sets up rivals to Him?'
They are not equal before Allah, as He says:
لَيۡسُواۡ سَوَاءً مِّنۡ أَهۡلِ الۡكِتَـبِ أُمَّةٌ قَأيِمَةٌ يَتۡلُونَ ءَايَـتِ اللَّهِ ءَانَأءَ الَّيۡلِ وَهُمۡ يَسۡجُدُونَ
Not all of them are alike; a party of the People of the Scripture stands for the right, they recite the Ayat of Allah Ana'a Al-Layl, prostrating themselves (in prayer). (3:113)
And Allah says here:
أَمَّنۡ هُوَ قَانِتٌ انَاء اللَّيۡلِ سَاجِدًا وَقَايِمًا
Is one who is obedient to Allah, Ana'a Al-Layl prostrating and standing,
meaning, one who is humble and fears Allah when he prostrates and stands (in prayer).
It was reported that Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
The obedient one is one who obeys Allah and His Messenger.
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Al-Hasan, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd said,
Ana'a Al-Layl means in the depths of the night.
يَحۡذَرُ الاۡخِرَةَ وَيَرۡجُو رَحۡمَةَ رَبِّهِ
fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord.
means, in his worship he feels both fear and hope. Both are essential in worship, and fear should be stronger during one's lifetime.
يَحۡذَرُ الاۡخِرَةَ وَيَرۡجُو رَحۡمَةَ رَبِّهِ
(fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord), At the time of death, hope is uppermost, as Imam `Abd bin Humayd recorded in his Musnad from Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, who said,
The Messenger of Allah entered upon a man who was dying, and said to him,
(How do you feel?)
He said, `I am both afraid and hopeful.'
The Messenger of Allah said:
لَاا يَجۡتَمِعَانِ فِي قَلۡبِ عَبۡدٍ فِي مِثۡلِ هَذَا الۡمَوۡطِنِ إِلاَّ أَعۡطَاهُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ الَّذِي يَرۡجُو وَأَمَّنَهُ الَّذِي يَخَافُه
These do not co-exist in a person's heart at times such as this, but Allah will give him what he hopes for and protect him from that which he fears.
This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i in Al-Yawm wal-Laylah, and Ibn Majah from the Hadith of Yasar bin Hatim from Ja`far bin Sulayman.
At-Tirmidhi said, Gharib.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Tamim Ad-Dari, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:
مَنۡ قَرَأَ بِمِايَةِ ايَةٍ فِي لَيۡلَةٍ كُتِبَ لَهُ قُنُوتُ لَيۡلَة
Whoever recites one hundred Ayat in one night, it will be recorded as if he prayed all night.
This was also recorded by An-Nasa'i in Al-Yawm wal-Laylah.
قُلۡ هَلۡ يَسۡتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعۡلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ
Say:Are those who know equal to those who know not?
means, is this one equal with the one who sets up rivals to Allah to mislead (men) from His path?
إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُوۡلُوا الاَۡلۡبَابِ
It is only men of understanding who will remember.
means, the only one who will understand the difference between them is the one who has understanding.
And Allah knows best.
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