Word by Word
Az-Zukhruf (the Jewelry) Meccan [entirely], or as some say [Meccan] with the exception of verse 45, which is Medinese; it consists of 89 verses, revealed after [soorat] al-Shooraa. Haa meem: God knows best what He means by these [letters].
Tafsir of Surah Az-Zukhruf
By the manifest Book.
means, plain and clear in both wording and meaning, because it was revealed in the language of the Arabs, which is the most eloquent language for communication among people.
Verily, We have made it, (meaning, revealed it),
a Qur'an in Arabic,
meaning, in the language of the Arabs, eloquent and clear;
that you may be able to understand.
means, that you may understand it and ponder its meanings.
This is like the Ayah:
بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِىٍّ مُّبِينٍ
In the plain Arabic language. (26:195)
وَإِنَّهُ فِي أُمِّ الۡكِتَابِ لَدَيۡنَا لَعَلِيٌّ حَكِيمٌ
And verily, it is in the Mother of the Book with Us, indeed exalted, full of wisdom.
This explains the high status of the Qur'an among the hosts on high (the angels), so that the people of earth will respect it, venerate it and obey it.
(And verily, it),
means, the Qur'an,
فِي أُمِّ الۡكِتَاب
(is in the Mother of the Book),
meaning, Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz (the Preserved Tablet).
This was the view of Ibn `Abbas and Mujahid.
means, in Our presence.
This was the view of Qatadah and others.
means, occupying a position of honor and virtue.
This was the view of Qatadah.
(full of wisdom),
means, clear, with no confusion or deviation.
All of this indicates its noble status and virtue, as Allah says elsewhere:
إِنَّهُ لَقُرۡءَانٌ كَرِيمٌ
فِى كِتَـبٍ مَّكۡنُونٍ
لااَّ يَمَسُّهُ إِلااَّ الۡمُطَهَّرُونَ
تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الۡعَـلَمِينَ
That (this) is indeed an honorable recitation. In a Book well-guarded. Which none can touch but the pure. A revelation from the Lord of the all that exists. (56:77-80)
كَلَّ إِنَّهَا تَذۡكِرَةٌ
فَمَن شَأءَ ذَكَرَهُ
فَى صُحُفٍ مُّكَرَّمَةٍ
بِأَيۡدِى سَفَرَةٍ كِرَامٍ بَرَرَةٍ
Nay, indeed it is an admonition. So whoever wills, let him pay attention to it. (It is) in Records held (greatly) in honor, exalted, purified, in the hands of scribes (angels), honorable and obedient. (80:11-16)
أَفَنَضۡرِبُ عَنكُمُ الذِّكۡرَ صَفۡحًا أَن كُنتُمۡ قَوۡمًا مُّسۡرِفِينَ
Shall We then take away the Reminder (this Qur'an) from you, because you are a people excessive.
means, `do you think that We will forgive you and not punish you, when you do not do as you have been commanded?'
This was the view of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Abu Salih, Mujahid and As-Suddi, and was the view favored by Ibn Jarir.
أَفَنَضۡرِبُ عَنكُمُ الذِّكۡرَ صَفۡحًا
Shall We then take away the Reminder (this Qur'an) from you?
By Allah, if this Qur'an had been taken away when the first generations of this Ummah rejected it, they would have been doomed, but Allah by His mercy persisted in sending it and calling them to it for twenty years, or for as long as He willed.
What Qatadah said is very good, and his point is that Allah, by His grace and mercy towards His creation, did not stop calling them to the truth and to the wise Reminder, i.e., the Qur'an, even though they were heedless and turned away from it. Indeed, He sent it so that those who were decreed to be guided might be guided by it, and so that proof might be established against those who were decreed to be.
Consolation to the Prophet for the Disbelief of Quraysh
Then Allah consoles His Prophet for the disbelief of his people, and commands him to bear it with patience.
وَكَمۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن نَّبِيٍّ فِي الاَۡوَّلِينَ
And how many a Prophet have We sent amongst the men of old.
meaning, among the sects (communities) of old.
وَمَا يَأۡتِيهِم مِّن نَّبِيٍّ إِلاَّ كَانُوا بِهِ يَسۡتَهۡزِوُون
And never came there a Prophet to them but they used to mock at him.
means, they disbelieved him and mock at him
فَأَهۡلَكۡنَا أَشَدَّ مِنۡهُم بَطۡشًا
Then We destroyed men stronger than these,
means, `We destroyed those who disbelieved in the Messengers, and they were stronger in power than these who disbelieve in you, O Muhammad.'
This is like the Ayah:
أَفَلَمۡ يَسِيرُواۡ فِى الاٌّرۡضِ فَيَنظُرُواۡ كَيۡفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ كَانُواۡ أَكۡـثَرَ مِنۡهُمۡ وَأَشَدَّ قُوَّةً
Have they not traveled through the earth and seen what was the end of those before them? They were more in number than them and mightier in strength. (40:82)
And there are many similar Ayat.
وَمَضَى مَثَلُ الاَۡوَّلِينَ
and the example of the ancients has passed away.
Mujahid said, The way of their life.
Qatadah said, Their punishment.
Their lesson, i.e., `We made them a lesson for those disbelievers who came after them, that they would suffer the same end as them,' as in the Ayah at the end of this Surah:
فَجَعَلۡنَـهُمۡ سَلَفاً وَمَثَلً لِّلٌّخِرِينَ
And We made them a precedent, and an example to later generations. (43:56)
سُنَّةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِى قَدۡ خَلَتۡ فِى عِبَادِهِ
this has been the way of Allah in dealing with His servants. (40:85)
وَلَن تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللَّهِ تَبۡدِيلً
and you will not find any change in the way of Allah. (33:62
The Idolators' admission that Allah is the Sole Creator, and Further Evidence of that
And indeed if you ask them:
Allah says:`If you, O Muhammad, were to ask these idolators who associate others with Allah and worship others besides Him,'
مَّنۡ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالاَۡرۡضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ خَلَقَهُنَّ الۡعَزِيزُ الۡعَلِيمُ
Who has created the heavens and the earth
They will surely say:The All-Mighty, the All-Knower created them.
In other words, they will admit that the Creator of all that is Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, yet they still worship others -- idols and false gods -- alongside Him
الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الاَۡرۡضَ مَهۡدًا
Who has made for you the earth like a bed,
means, smooth, stable and firm, so that you can travel about in it, and stand on it and sleep and walk about, even though it is created above water, but He has strengthened it with the mountains, lest it should shake.
وَجَعَلَ لَكُمۡ فِيهَا سُبُلً
and has made for you roads therein,
means, paths between the mountains and the valleys.
in order that you may find your way.
means, in your journeys from city to city, region to region, land to land
وَالَّذِي نَزَّلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء بِقَدَرٍ
And Who sends down water from the sky in due measure,
means, according to what is sufficient for your crops, fruits and drinking water for yourselves and your cattle.
فَأَنشَرۡنَا بِهِ بَلۡدَةً مَّيۡتًا
then We revive a dead land therewith,
means, a barren land, for when the water comes to it, it is stirred (to life), and it swells and puts forth every lovely kind (of growth).
By referring to the revival of the earth, Allah draws attention to how He will bring bodies back to life on the Day of Resurrection, after they have been dead.
and even so you will be brought forth.
Then Allah says
وَالَّذِي خَلَقَ الاۡاَزۡوَاجَ كُلَّهَا
And Who has created all the pairs?
meaning, of everything that grows in the earth, all kinds of plants, crops, fruits, flowers, etc., and all different kinds of animals.
وَجَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنَ الۡفُلۡكِ
and has appointed for you ships, (or vessels),
وَالاۡاَنۡعَامِ مَا تَرۡكَبُونَ
and cattle on which you ride.
means, He has subjugated them to you and made it easy for you to eat their meat, drink their milk and ride on their backs.
لِتَسۡتَوُوا عَلَى ظُهُورِهِ
In order that you may mount on their backs,
meaning, sit comfortably and securely,
(on their backs) means, on the backs of these kinds of animals.
ثُمَّ تَذۡكُرُوا نِعۡمَةَ رَبِّكُمۡ
and then may remember the favor of your Lord,
means, whereby these animals are subjugated to you.
إِذَا اسۡتَوَيۡتُمۡ عَلَيۡهِ وَتَقُولُوا
سُبۡحانَ الَّذِي سَخَّرَ لَنَا هَذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقۡرِنِينَ
when you mount thereon, and say:
Glory to Him Who has subjected this to us, and we could have never had it.
means, if it were not for the fact that Allah has subjugated these things to us, we could never have done this by our own strength.'
Ibn Abbas, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd said:
We could not have done this ourselves.
وَإِنَّا إِلَى رَبِّنَا لَمُنقَلِبُونَ
And verily, to Our Lord we indeed are to return.
means, `We will return to Him after our death, and our ultimate destination is with Him.'
In this Ayah, mention of earthly journeys draws attention to the journey of the Hereafter, just as elsewhere, mention of earthly provision draws attention to the importance of ensuring provision for the Hereafter, as Allah says:
وَتَزَوَّدُواۡ فَإِنَّ خَيۡرَ الزَّادِ التَّقۡوَى
And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is the Taqwa. (2:197)
And mention of earthly garments is also used to draw attention to the raiment of the Hereafter:
وَرِيشًا وَلِبَاسُ التَّقۡوَى ذَلِكَ خَيۡرٌ
and as an adornment; and the raiment of the Taqwa, that is better. (7:26)
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