Word by Word
Ash-Shuuraa (the Council) Meccan, except for verses 23, 24, 25 and 26, which are Medinese; it consists of 53 verses revealed after [soorat] Fussilat. Haa meem
Tafsir of Surah Ash-Shura
The Revelation and Allah's Might
Ain Sin Qaf.
We have previously discussed the individual letters
كَذَلِكَ يُوحِي إِلَيۡكَ وَإِلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِكَ
Likewise Allah, the Almighty, the All-Wise sends revelation to you as to those before you.
means, `just as this Qur'an has been revealed to you, so too the Books and Scriptures were revealed to the Prophets who came before you.'
Allah, the Almighty, (means, in His vengeance),
the All-Wise, (means, in all that He says and does).
Imam Malik, may Allah have mercy on him, narrated that A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said,
Al-Harith bin Hisham asked the Messenger of Allah, `O Messenger of Allah, how does the revelation come to you?'
The Messenger of Allah said:
أَحۡيَانًا يَأۡتِينِي مِثۡلَ صَلۡصَلَةِ الۡجَرَسِ وَهُوَ أَشَدُّهُ عَلَيَّ فَيَفۡصِمُ عَنِّي وَقَدۡ وَعَيۡتُ مَا قَالَ وَأَحۡيَانًا يَأۡتِينِي الۡمَلَكُ رَجُلً فَيُكَلِّمُنِي فَأَعِي مَا يَقُول
Sometimes it comes to me like the ringing of a bell, which is the most difficult for me; then it goes away, and I understand what was said.
And sometimes the angel comes to me in the image of a man, and he speaks to me and I understand what he says.
A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said,
I saw him receiving the revelation on a very cold day, and when it departed from him, there were beads of sweat on his forehead.
It was also reported in the Two Sahihs, and the version quoted here is that recorded by Al-Bukhari
لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الاَۡرۡضِ
To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth,
means, everything is subject to His dominion and control.
وَهُوَ الۡعَلِيُّ الۡعَظِيمُ
and He is the Most High, the Most Great.
This is like the Ayat:
the Most Great, the Most High, (13:9)
وَهُوَ الۡعَلِىُّ الۡكَبِيرُ
He is the Most High, the Most Great, (22:62)
And there are many similar Ayat
تَكَادُ السَّمَاوَاتُ يَتَفَطَّرۡنَ مِن فَوۡقِهِنَّ
Nearly the heavens might be rent asunder from above them,
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ka`b Al-Ahbar said,
Out of fear of His might.
وَالۡمَلَايِكَةُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّهِمۡ وَيَسۡتَغۡفِرُونَ لِمَن فِي الاۡاَرۡضِ
and the angels glorify the praises of their Lord, and ask for forgiveness for those on the earth.
This is like the Ayah:
الَّذِينَ يَحۡمِلُونَ الۡعَرۡشَ وَمَنۡ حَوۡلَهُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّهِمۡ وَيُوۡمِنُونَ بِهِ وَيَسۡتَغۡفِرُونَ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواۡ رَبَّنَا وَسِعۡتَ كُـلَّ شَىۡءٍ رَّحۡمَةً وَعِلۡماً
Those who bear the Throne and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (saying):
Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, (40:7)
أَلَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الۡغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
Lo! Verily, Allah is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
This is a reminder, to take heed of this fact
وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ أَولِيَاء
And as for those who take as protecting friends others besides Him,
This refers to the idolators,
اللَّهُ حَفِيظٌ عَلَيۡهِمۡ
Allah is Hafiz over them.
meaning, He is Witness to their deeds, recording and enumerating them precisely, and He will requite them for them in full.
وَمَا أَنتَ عَلَيۡهِم بِوَكِيلٍ
and you are not a trustee over them.
meaning, `you are just a warner, and Allah is the Trustee of all affairs.
The Qur'an was revealed to serve as a Warning
Allah says, `just as We sent revelation to the Prophets before you,'
وَكَذَلِكَ أَوۡحَيۡنَا إِلَيۡكَ قُرۡانًا عَرَبِيًّا
and thus We have revealed to you a Qur'an in Arabic,
meaning, plain, clear, and manifest
لِّتُنذِرَ أُمَّ الۡقُرَى
that you may warn the Mother of the Towns, i.e., Makkah,
and all around it,
means, all the lands, east and west.
Makkah is called Umm Al-Qura (the Mother of the Towns) because it is nobler than all other lands, as indicated by much evidence that has been discussed elsewhere. Among the most concise and clear proofs of that is the report recorded by Imam Ahmad from Abdullah bin `Adi bin Al-Hamra' Az-Zuhri, who heard the Messenger of Allah say, as he was standing in the market place of Makkah;
وَاللهِ إِنَّكِ لَخَيۡرُ أَرۡضِ اللهِ وَأَحَبُّ أَرۡضِ اللهِ إِلَى اللهِ وَلَوۡلَاا أَنِّي أُخۡرِجۡتُ مِنۡكِ مَا خَرَجۡت
By Allah, you are the best land of Allah, the most beloved land to Allah; were it not for the fact that I was driven out from you, I would never have left you.
This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah;
At-Tirmidhi said, Hasan Sahih.
وَتُنذِرَ يَوۡمَ الۡجَمۡعِ
and warn (them) of the Day of Assembling,
i.e., the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will assemble the first and the last in one plain.
لَاا رَيۡبَ فِيهِ
of which there is no doubt,
means, there is no doubt that it will happen and will most certainly come to pass.
فَرِيقٌ فِي الۡجَنَّةِ وَفَرِيقٌ فِي السَّعِيرِ
a party will be in Paradise and a party in the blazing Fire.
This is like the Ayah:
يَوۡمَ يَجۡمَعُكُمۡ لِيَوۡمِ الۡجَمۡعِ ذَلِكَ يَوۡمُ التَّغَابُن
(And remember) the Day when He will gather you (all) on the Day of Gathering, --- that will be the Day of mutual loss and gain, (64:9)
which means that the people of Paradise and the people of Hell will gain and lose, respectively.
And it is like the Ayah:
إِنَّ فِى ذلِكَ لايَةً لِّمَنۡ خَافَ عَذَابَ الاٌّخِرَةِ ذلِكَ يَوۡمٌ مَّجۡمُوعٌ لَّهُ النَّاسُ وَذَلِكَ يَوۡمٌ مَّشۡهُودٌ
وَمَا نُوَخِّرُهُ إِلاَّ لاًّجَلٍ مَّعۡدُودٍ
يَوۡمَ يَأۡتِ لَا تَكَلَّمُ نَفۡسٌ إِلاَّ بِإِذۡنِهِ فَمِنۡهُمۡ شَقِىٌّ وَسَعِيدٌ
Indeed in that (there) is a sure lesson for those who fear the torment of the Hereafter. That is a Day whereon will be gathered together, and that is a Day when all (the dwellers of the heavens and the earth) will be present.
And We delay it only for a term fixed.
On the Day when it comes, no person shall speak except by His leave. Some among them will be wretched and (others) blessed. (11:103-105)
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
The Messenger of Allah came out to us, holding two books in his hand. He said,
أَتَدۡرُونَ مَا هذَانِ الۡكِتَابَانِ
Do you know what these two books are?
We said, We do not know unless you tell us, O Messenger of Allah.
Concerning the book in his right hand, He said:
هَذَا كِتَابٌ مِنۡ رَبِّ الۡعَالَمِينَ بِأَسۡمَاءِ أَهۡلِ الۡجَنَّةِ وَأَسۡمَاءِ ابَايِهِمۡ وَقَبَايِلِهِمۡ ثُمَّ أُجۡمِلَ عَلى اخِرِهِمۡ لَا يُزَادُ فِيهِمۡ وَلَا يُنۡقَصُ مِنۡهُمۡ أبدًا
This is a book from the Lord of the worlds, containing the names of the people of Paradise and of their fathers and tribes; all of them are detailed, down to the last one of them, and nothing will be added or taken away from it.
Then concerning the book in his left hand, he said:
هَذَا كِتَابُ أَهۡلِ النَّارِ بِأَسۡمَايِهِمۡ وَأَسۡمَاءِ ابَايِهِمۡ وَقَبَايِلِهِمۡ ثُمَّ أُجۡمِلَ عَلى اخِرِهِمۡ لَا يُزَادُ فِيهِمۡ وَلَا يُنۡقَصُ مِنۡهُمۡ أَبَدًا
This is the book of the people of Hell, containing their names and the names of their fathers and tribes, all of them are detailed down to the last one of them, and nothing will be added or taken away from it.
The Companions of the Messenger of Allah said, Why should we strive if it is something that is already cut and dried
The Messenger of Allah said:
سَدِّدُوا وَقَارِبُوا فَإِنَّ صَاحِبَ الۡجَنَّةِ يُخۡتَمُ لَهُ بِعَمَلِ أَهۡلِ الۡجَنَّةِ وَإِنۡ عَمِلَ أَيَّ عَمَلٍ وَإِنَّ صَاحِبَ النَّارِ يُخۡتَمُ لَهُ بِعَمَلِ أَهۡلِ النَّارِ وَإِنۡ عَمِلَ أَيَّ عَمَل
Strive with your deeds as hard as you can for middle course or close to it, for the person who is destined for Paradise will die doing the deeds of the people of Paradise, regardless of what he did before, and the person who is destined for Hell will die doing the deeds of the people of Hell, regardless of what he did before.
Then he made a gesture with his fist and said,
فَرَغَ رَبُّكُمۡ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مِنَ الۡعِبَاد
Your Lord has settled the matter of His servants.
and he opened his right hand as if throwing something;
فَرِيقٌ فِي الۡجَنَّة
A party in Paradise.
and he made a similar gesture with his left hand;
فَرِيقٌ فِي السَّعِير
And a party in the blazing Fire.
This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, and An-Nasa'i;
At-Tirmidhi said, Hasan Sahih Gharib.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Nadrah said,
One of the Companions of the Prophet , whose name was Abu Abdullah, was visited by some of his friends, and they found him weeping. They asked him, `What has caused you to weep Didn't the Messenger of Allah say to you,
خُذۡ مِنۡ شَارِبِكَ ثُمَّ أَقِرَّهُ حَتَّى تَلۡقَانِي
Trim your moustache and adhere to that practice until you meet me.'
He said, `Yes, but I heard the Messenger of Allah say;
إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى قَبَضَ بِيَمِينِهِ قَبۡضَةً وَأُخۡرَى بِالۡيَدِ الاُۡخۡرَى قَالَ هذِهِ لِهذِهِ وَهذِهِ لِهذِهِ وَلَا أُبَالِي
Allah picked up a handful in His Right Hand and another in His other Hand, and said, This is for this and this is for this, and I do not care.
`And I do not know in which of the two handfuls I am.'
There are several Hadiths about Al-Qadr (the Divine Decree) in the books of Sahih, Sunan and Musnad. Including those narrated by Ali, Ibn Mas`ud, A'ishah and a large number of Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all
وَلَوۡ شَاء اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَهُمۡ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً
And if Allah had willed, He could have made them one nation,
means, either all following guidance or all following misguidance, but He made them all different, and He guides whomsoever He wills to the truth and He sends astray whomsoever He wills, and He has complete wisdom and perfect proof.
وَلَكِن يُدۡخِلُ مَن يَشَاء فِي رَحۡمَتِهِ
وَالظَّالِمُونَ مَا لَهُم مِّن وَلِيٍّ وَلَاا نَصِيرٍ
but He admits whom He wills to His mercy. And the wrongdoers will have neither a protector nor a helper.
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