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Wednesday, 19 September 2018
 

Surat Al-A’raf/The Heights (The Wall with Elevations) 7- Meccan – Ayats 206-Section Fourteen– Verses from 182-206

Verily, those who reject Our Signs, We shall –gradually- seize them with punishment, in ways they perceive not. (182)

وَالَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآَيَاتِنَا سَنَسْتَدْرِجُهُمْ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ (182)

And I grant them respite, certainly My plot/My scheme is strong (unfailing). (183)

وَأُمْلِي لَهُمْ إِنَّ كَيْدِي مَتِينٌ (183)

Do not they reflect/cogitate?! Their companion [Muhammad PPBUH] is not seized with madness; he is but a perspicuous Warner. (184)

أَوَلَمْ يَتَفَكَّرُوا مَا بِصَاحِبِهِمْ مِنْ جِنَّةٍ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ (184)

Do not they look in the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that God has created?! (do they not see) that it may well be that their term is nigh drawing (end of their lives) to an end? In what Message after this with they then believe? (185)

أَوَلَمْ يَنْظُرُوا فِي مَلَكُوتِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ وَأَنْ عَسَى أَنْ يَكُونَ قَدِ اقْتَرَبَ أَجَلُهُمْ فَبِأَيِّ حَدِيثٍ بَعْدَهُ يُؤْمِنُونَ (185)

Whomsoever God rejects from his guidance (send astray); there can be no guide (to him); and He will leave them in their trespasses wandering in distraction/wandering blindly in their transgressions. (186)

مَنْ يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ وَيَذَرُهُمْ فِي طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ (186)

They ask you about the (final) Hour- “when will be its appointed time?” Say:”the knowledge thereof is with my Lord (alone); none but He can reveal as to when it will occur. Heavy were its burden through the heavens and the earth. Only –all of a sudden- it will come to you”. They ask you as if you have knowledge of it. Say:”the knowledge thereof is with God (Alone); but most of mankind do not know.” (187)  

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ السَّاعَةِ أَيَّانَ مُرْسَاهَا قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِنْدَ رَبِّي لَا يُجَلِّيهَا لِوَقْتِهَا إِلَّا هُوَ ثَقُلَتْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَا تَأْتِيكُمْ إِلَّا بَغْتَةً يَسْأَلُونَكَ كَأَنَّكَ حَفِيٌّ عَنْهَا قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ (187)

Say [O’ Muhammad PPBUH]:”I have (posses) no power over any good benefit or harm to myself, except as God wills. If I had knowledge of the unseen, I should have secured an abundance and multiplied all good (wealth), and no evil should have touched me. I am but a Warner, and bringer of glad tidings to those who have faith. (188) 

قُلْ لَا أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِي نَفْعًا وَلَا ضَرًّا إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ وَلَوْ كُنْتُ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ لَاسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ وَمَا مَسَّنِيَ السُّوءُ إِنْ أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ (188)

It is He Who has created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature (created from him his wife Eve); in order that he might dwell with her (to enjoy the pleasure of love). When they are united, she bears a light burden and carries it about (unnoticed). When she grows heavy, they both pray to God their Lord, invoking:”If You give us a goodly/virtuous child, we vow we shall (ever) be grateful” . (189) 

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَجَعَلَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا لِيَسْكُنَ إِلَيْهَا فَلَمَّا تَغَشَّاهَا حَمَلَتْ حَمْلًا خَفِيفًا فَمَرَّتْ بِهِ فَلَمَّا أَثْقَلَتْ دَعَوَا اللَّهَ رَبَّهُمَا لَئِنْ آَتَيْتَنَا صَالِحًا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ (189)

But when He gave them a goodly/virtuous child, they ascribed to others a share in the gift they have received. But God is Exalted, High above the partners they ascribe to Him. (190)

فَلَمَّا آَتَاهُمَا صَالِحًا جَعَلَا لَهُ شُرَكَاءَ فِيمَا آَتَاهُمَا فَتَعَالَى اللَّهُ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ (190)

Do they indeed attribute and ascribe to Him as partners things that can create nothing; and they themselves are created?! (191) 

أَيُشْرِكُونَ مَا لَا يَخْلُقُ شَيْئًا وَهُمْ يُخْلَقُونَ (191)

No help/aid can they give them, nor can they help/aid themselves. (192)

وَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ لَهُمْ نَصْرًا وَلَا أَنْفُسَهُمْ يَنْصُرُونَ (192)

And if you call them to guidance, they will not obey and follow you. It is the same whether you call them, or you hold your peace keep silent. 193

وَإِنْ تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَى الْهُدَى لَا يَتَّبِعُوكُمْ سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْكُمْ أَدَعَوْتُمُوهُمْ أَمْ أَنْتُمْ صَامِتُونَ (193)

 Verily, those whom you call upon besides God are slaves like you. So call upon them and let them answer your prayer, if you are (indeed) are truthful! (194)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ عِبَادٌ أَمْثَالُكُمْ فَادْعُوهُمْ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ (194)

Have they feet wherewith they walk? Or have they hands wherewith they hold? Or have they eyes wherewith they see? Or have they ears wherewith they hear? Say [O’ Muhammad PPBUH]:”Call your ‘so called god-partners’, and then plot (your worst) against me, and give me no respite!”. (195)

أَلَهُمْ أَرْجُلٌ يَمْشُونَ بِهَا أَمْ لَهُمْ أَيْدٍ يَبْطِشُونَ بِهَا أَمْ لَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا أَمْ لَهُمْ آَذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا قُلِ ادْعُوا شُرَكَاءَكُمْ ثُمَّ كِيدُونِ فَلَا تُنْظِرُونِ (195)

“Verily, my protector/supporter is God, Who has revealed the Book (the Qur’an), and He Will choose and befriend the righteous.” (196) 

إِنَّ وَلِيِّيَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْكِتَابَ وَهُوَ يَتَوَلَّى الصَّالِحِينَ (196)

“But those whom you call upon besides Him (God), (they are) are unable to help you, and indeed (are unable) to help themselves”. (197) 

وَالَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ نَصْرَكُمْ وَلَا أَنْفُسَهُمْ يَنْصُرُونَ (197)

And if you call them to guidance; they hear not, and you will see them looking at you, but yet they do not see. (198)

وَإِنْ تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَى الْهُدَى لَا يَسْمَعُوا وَتَرَاهُمْ يَنْظُرُونَ إِلَيْكَ وَهُمْ لَا يُبْصِرُونَ (198)

Hold to forgiveness: command what is right; and turn away from the ignorant. (199)

خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجَاهِلِينَ (199)

And if an evil whisper [incitement-insinuations] from Satan (to assail your mind); then seek refuge with God. Verily, He is All-Hearer – All-Knower. 200

وَإِمَّا يَنْزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ (200)

Verily, those who are pious and fear God, when a thought of evil from Satan assaults them, they bring God to remembrance, when lo! They indeed see (aright)!  (201)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا إِذَا مَسَّهُمْ طَائِفٌ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ تَذَكَّرُوا فَإِذَا هُمْ مُبْصِرُونَ (201)

But their brethren (the evil ones); plunge them deeper into error, and they never relax {their efforts). (202)

وَإِخْوَانُهُمْ يَمُدُّونَهُمْ فِي الْغَيِّ ثُمَّ لَا يُقْصِرُونَ (202)

And if you do not bring them a Sign (miracle), they say:”why have you not contrived/selected it?”. Say:” I but closely follow what is revealed to me from my Lord. This (the Qur’an) is and evident demonstrations/Lights from your Lord, and Guidance, and Mercy for the people who believe and have faith. (203)

وَإِذَا لَمْ تَأْتِهِمْ بِآَيَةٍ قَالُوا لَوْلَا اجْتَبَيْتَهَا قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَتَّبِعُ مَا يُوحَى إِلَيَّ مِنْ رَبِّي هَذَا بَصَائِرُ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ (203)

And the Qur’an is read/recited, listen to it with attention, and hold your peace, that you may receive Mercy. (204) 

وَإِذَا قُرِئَ الْقُرْآَنُ فَاسْتَمِعُوا لَهُ وَأَنْصِتُوا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ (204)

And (you O’ reader!) Bring your Lord to remembrance in your (Very) soul, with humility and reverence, without loudness in words, in the mornings and in the afternoons, and do not be of those who are neglectful/un heedful. (205)

وَاذْكُرْ رَبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعًا وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآَصَالِ وَلَا تَكُنْ مِنَ الْغَافِلِينَ (205)

Surely, those who are near to their Lord, they do not disdain to do Him worship. They glorify and celebrate His praises and prostrate before Him.206

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ لَا يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِهِ وَيُسَبِّحُونَهُ وَلَهُ يَسْجُدُونَ (206)

COMMENTARY:-
(Verses 182-183-184)- A/Their companion, i.e.. the Holy Apostle, who lived with and amongst them. He was accused of madness because he behaved differently from them. He had no selfish ambitions; he was always true, in thought, word, and deed: he was kind and considerate to the weak, and was not dazzled by worldly power or wealth or position: he was undeterred by fear of the strong, the mockery of the cynics, the bitterness of the evil, or the indifference of the heedless. That is why he stood out boldly against wrong: he did not mince his words, and his warnings were not mealy-mouthed. B/ Mubin=????  : perspicuous. ) I wish if I could translate by a simpler word than “PERISPICUOUS”. But ‘plain’ may mean unadorned, the opposite of beautiful, and this Book is among the most beautiful that it is the privilege of mankind to read. ’Clear’ would be right as far as it means “unambiguous, self-evident, not involved in mysteries of origin, history, or meaning, one which everyone can understand as to the essentials necessary for him, without the intervention of priests or privileged persons”. Mubin (intellectually bright) has all these meanings, but it suggests -besides- some quality of a shining light by which we are able to make things clear, to distinguish the true from the false. This I think is suggested better by “perspicuous” than by the word “clear”. Besides it is hardly good idiom to speak of “a clear Book”. Al-Mustafa’s [PPBUH] sermons were not polite reminders –with an eye to the flattery of weaknesses in high or national vanities or crowd passions. They brought out every foible into the glare of light, by a fiery eloquence fed by inspiration from God.
(Verse 185)- An appeal to God’s most wonderful universe should at once convince a thinking mind of man’s nothingness, and God’s power, glory, and goodness. Man’s term here is fleeting. If he is not warned by the great Signs, and the Messages which call his attention to them: is he capable of any faith at all?!
(Verse 186)- See Surat Al-Bagara 2 – verse 15. If God’s light is removed, the best of them can only wander hither and thither, like blind men, in distraction.
(Verse 187)- A/The fact of its coming is a certainty: the exact time appointed for it is not revealed by God. If it were, it would be so momentous as to disturb our thoughts and life. It would be heavy burden to us. Our duty is to be prepared for it at all times. It will come when we least expect it. In the present Gospels Jesus says the same thing: he does not know the Hour, but it will come suddenly. “But of that day and that Hour knows no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take your heed, watch and pray: for you know not when the time is.- Mark. Xiii. 32-33”. B/Hafi=??? : is usually construed to mean: “eager or anxious in search of”: the preposition following here is ‘an=concerning, about. Some commentators –including Raghib- understand it in this passage to mean :”well-acquainted’. In Surat Maryam 19- verse 47- with the preposition (bi) following it, it signifies “well-disposed to”, “favorable to, good to, kind to”.
(Verse 188)- A Warner to all, and a bringer of glad tidings, to those who have faith, because they will profit by the glad tidings. As everyone is invited to faith, the glad tidings are offered to all, but they are not necessarily accepted by all.
(Verse 189)- A/See Surat Al-Nisa’a 4 – verse 1, where the construction is explained as:{ NAFS= May mean: (1) soul; (2) self; (3) person, living person; (4) will, good pleasure, as in verse 4 below. MINHA= we follow the construction suggested by Imam Al-Razi. The particle MIN would then suggest here not a portion or source of something else, but a species, a nature, a similarity. The pronoun HA refers of course to NAFS. The Biblical story of the creation of Eve from a rib of Adam may be allegorical, but we need not assume it in Qur’an teaching. All our mutual rights and duties are referred to God. We are His creatures; His Will is the standard and measure of good; and our duties are measured by our conformity with His Will. Tennyson [in memoriam] says: “Our will are ours, to make them Thine. But among us the human beings, our mutual rights and duties arise out of God’s Law, the sense of Right that is implanted in us by Him.  Among the most wonderful mysteries our nature is that of sex. The unregenerate male is apt, in the pride of his physical strength, to forget the all-important part which the female plays in his very existence, and in all the social relationships that arise in our collective human lives. The mother that borne us ever have our reverence. The wife, through whom we enter parentage, must have our reverence. Sex which governs so much of our physical life, and has so much influence on our emotional and higher nature deserves –not our fear, or our contempt, or our amused indulgence- but our reverence in the highest sense of the term. With these fitting introductions we enter on a discussion of women, orphans, and family relationships. Hadeeth Sharif= ((NARRATED JUBAIR BIN MUT’IM, THAT HE HEARD THE PROPHET [PPBUH] SAYING {AL-QATIA’} ?????? = [THE PERSON WHO SEVERES THE BOND OF KINSHIP] WILL NOT ENTER PARADISE)). B/The mystery of the physical birth of man –as it affects the father and the mother- only touches the imagination of the parents in the later stages when the child is yet unborn and yet the life stirs within the body of the expectant mother. The coming of the new life is a solemn thing, and is fraught with much hope as well as much unknown risk to the mother herself. The parents in their anxiety turn to God. If this feeling of solemnity, hope, and looking towards God were maintained after birth, all would be well for the parents as well as for the rising generation. But the attitude changes, as the following verses show. C/Goodly: Salih=???? : includes the following ideas; sound in body and mind; righteous of good moral disposition.             
(Verses 190-191-192)- When the child is born, the parents forget that it is a precious gift of God,- a miracle of Creation, which should life their minds up to the of God. Instead, their gradual familiarity with the new life makes them connect it with many superstitions, ideas or rites and ceremonies, or they take it as a matter of course, as a little plaything of the material world. This leads to idolatry or false standards, in derogation of the dignity of God.
(Verse 193)- When false worship takes root, the Teacher of Truth finds much to discourage him. As far as he is concerned, it seems as if he has produced no effect. Yet his duty is to continue his work, in the spirit of verse 199 below, forgiving all opposition; teaching what is right, and not joining the ignorant in their attitude of doubt and indecision.
(Verse 194)- False gods –whether idols or deified men, or ideas and superstitions- have no existence of their own, independent of God creation. They are God’s creatures, and like servants are subject to His Authority. Deified men are not real men, but false ideas of men. They cannot help themselves; how can they help others?!  
(Verses 195-196-197)- Here is a test and a challenge. If the false gods had any power or even existence, collect them all together, and –says the man of God-:”Let them do their worst against me”. They cannot; because the whole thing is based on a superstition and a chimaeras.
(Verse 198)- The beauty and righteousness of Muhammad’s [PPBUH] life were acknowledged on all hands, until he received the mission to preach and to fight against evil. What happened then? Evil erected barricades for itself. It had eyes, but it refused to see. It had ears, but refused to hear. It had intelligence, but it blocked up its channels of understanding. Even now –after fourteen centuries and almost a half- a life of unexampled purity, probity, justice, and righteousness is seen in the false lights by blind detractors! 
(Verse 199)- God comforts the Apostle and directs his mind to three precepts: (1) to forgive injuries, insults, and persecutions: (2) to continue to declare the faith that was in him, and not only to declare it, but to act up to it in all his dealings with friends and foes: (3) to pay no attention to ignorant fools, who raised doubts or difficulties, hurled taunts or reproaches, or devised plots to defeat the truth; they were to be ignored and passed by, not to be engaged in fights and fruitless controversies, or conciliated by compromises.
(Verse 200)- Even a man of God is but human. He might think that revenge or retaliation, or little tactful silence when evil stalks abroad, or some compromise with ignorance, might be best for the cause. He is to reject such suggestions.
(Verse 201)- God protects His own, as no one else can. He is the sure refuge –and the only one- for men of faith. If we are confused or angry, being blinded by the world, He will open our eyes.
(Verse 202)- We go back to consider the ungodly –whom we left at verse 198- in order to be taught our behavior towards evil. The forces of evil never relax their efforts to draw their “brethren” [those who go into their family] deeper and deeper into the mire of sin and destruction.
(Verses 203-204-205)- A/Ayat= here – I think- means specially an Ayat of the Holy Qur’an. The infidels did not believe in revelation, and used to taunt the Holy Apostle [PPBUH], as much as to say that he used to put together words and promulgate them as revelation. The answer is contained in the sentence that follows: No human composition could contain the beauty, power, and spiritual insights of the Qur’an. Without inspiration it is impossible to suppose that a man –with or without literary and philosophic training- could produce such a book as the Qur’an. B/”Lights”: eyes, faculty of spiritual insight. The revelation is for us (1) spiritual eyes, (2) guidance, and (3) mercy. (1) is the highest in degree: just as a blind man, if he is given eyes and the faculty of sight, is at once removed into an entirely new world, so those who can reach the stage of spiritual insight pass into and become citizens of a wholly new spiritual world. (2) is next in degree; the man of the world can act up to the teaching about right conduct, and prepare for the Hereafter. (3) is the Mercy of God, free to everyone, saint and sinner, who sincerely believes and puts his trust in God.
(Verse 206)- A/The higher you are in spiritual attainment, the more is your desire and your opportunity to serve and worship your Lord and Cherisher, and the Lord and Cherisher of all the worlds; and the greater is your pride in that service and that worship. B/At this stage a Sajda=????  : or prostration in indicated , as a symbolical of our humble acceptance of the privilege of serving and worshipping God,- a fitting close to Sura in which we are led –through a contemplation of the stories of the Messengers of God- to the meaning of revelation and its relation to our moral and spiritual progress.