Article Index

(67:1) Blessed is He1 in Whose Hand is the dominion of the Universe,2 and Who has power over everything;3 (67:2) Who created death and life that He might try you as to which of you is better in deed.4 He is the Most Mighty, the Most Forgiving;5 (67:3) Who created the seven heavens one upon another.6 You will see no incongruity in the Merciful One's creation.7 Turn your vision again, can you see any flaw?8 (67:4) Then turn your vision again, and then again; in the end your vision will come back to you, worn out and frustrated. (67:5) We have adorned the lower heaven9 with lamps,10 and have made them a means to drive away the satans.11 We have prepared for them the chastisement of the Blazing Fire. (67:6) The chastisement of Hell awaits those who disbelieve in their Lord.12 What a wretched destination! (67:7) When they will be cast into it, they will hear it roar as it boils,13 (67:8) as though it will burst with rage. Every time a multitude is cast into it, its keepers will ask them: “Did no warner come to you?”14 (67:9) They will say: “Yes, a warner came to us, but we gave the lie to him and said: 'Allah has revealed nothing. You are surely in huge error.'15 (67:10) They will say: 'If we had only listened and understood,16 we would not be among the inmates of the Blazing Fire.'” (67:11) Thus will they confess their sins.17 Damned are these inmates of the Blazing Fire. (67:12) Surely forgiveness and a mighty reward19 await those who fear Allah without seeing Him.18 (67:13) Whether you speak in secrecy or aloud, (it is all the same to Allah). He even knows the secrets that lie hidden in the chests of people.20(67:14) Would He not know, He Who has created,21 when He is All-Subtle,22 All-Aware?

 

 

  1. Tabaraka is a superlative from barkat. Barkat comprehends the meanings of exaltation and greatness, abundance and plentiful, permanence and multiplicity of virtues and excellences. When the superlative tabaraka is formed from it, it gives the meaning that Allah is infinitely noble and great. He is superior to everything beside Himself in His essence and attributes and works. His beneficence is infinite, and His excellences are permanent and everlasting. (For further explanation, see (E.N. 43 of Surah Al-Aaraf); (E.N. 1-4 of Surah Al-Muminoon); (E.Ns 1 and19 of Surah Al-Furqan).
  2. As the word al-Mulk has been used, it cannot be taken in any limited meaning. Inevitably, it would imply sovereignty over everything that exists in the universe. In Whose hand is the dominion does not mean that He has physical hands, but that He is possessor of all power and authority and no one else has any share in it.
  3. That is, He can do whatever He wills, nothing can frustrate or hinder Him from doing what He pleases.
  4. That is, the object of giving life to man in the world and causing his death is to test him to see which of them is best in deeds. Allusion has been made in this brief sentence to a number of truths:

(1) That life and death are given by Allah, no one else can grant life nor cause death.

(2) That neither the life nor the death of a creation like man, which has been given the power to do both good and evil, is purposeless. The Creator has created him in the world for the test. Life is for him the period of the test and death means that the time allotted for the test has come to an end.

(3) That for the sake of this very test the Creator has given every man an opportunity for action, so that he may do good or evil in the world and practically show what kind of a man he is.

(4) That the Creator alone will decide who has done good or evil. It is not for us to propose a criterion for the good and the evil deeds but for Almighty Allah. Therefore, whoever desires to get through the test, will have to find out what is the criterion of a good deed in His sight. Every person will be recompensed according to his deeds, for if there was no reward or punishment the test would be meaningless.

  1. This has two meanings and both are implied here:

(1) That He is Almighty, in spite of being dominant over all His creatures, He is Merciful and Forgiving for them, not tyrannous and cruel.

(2) That He has full power to punish the evildoers. No one can escape His punishment. But He is forgiving for him who feels penitent, refrains from evil and asks for His forgiveness.

  1. For explanation, see(E.N. 34 of Surah Al-Baqarah); (E.N. 2 of Surah Ar-Raad); ( E.N. 8 of Surah Al-Hijr); (E.N. 113 of Surah Al-Hajj); (E.N. 15 of Surah Al-Muminoon); (E.N. 5 of Surah As-Saaffat); (E.N. 90 of Surah Al-Mumin).
  2. Literally, tafawut is disproportion: two things being out of accord and in disagreement with each other. So, the divine words mean: You will not see any indiscipline, any disorder and discordance anywhere in the universe, there is nothing disjointed and out of proportion in this world created by Allah: all its parts are well connected and in perfect harmony and coordination.
  3. The word futoor means a crack, rift, fissure, or a thing’s being split and broken. The verse means to say that the whole universe is so closely well-knit and everything in it, from a particle on the earth to the huge galaxies, so well connected and coherent that the continuity of the system of the universe seems to break nowhere, however hard one may try to probe and investigate. (For further explanation, see (E.N. 8 of Surah Qaf).
  4. The world’s heaven: the heaven the stars and planets of which can be seen with the naked eye; the objects beyond that which can be seen only through telescopes are the distant heaven; and the heavens still farther away are those which have not yet been seen even with telescopes.
  5. The word masabih in the original has been used as a common noun, and therefore, automatically gives the meaning of the lamp’s being splendid and glorious. It means: We have not created this universe dark, dismal and desolate, but have beautified and decorated it with stars, the glory and grandeur of which at night strike man with amazement.
  6. This does not mean that the stars themselves are pelted at the Satans, nor that the meteorites shoot out only to drive away the Satans, but it means that the countless meteorites which originate from the stars and wander in space at tremendous speeds and which also fall to the earth in a continuous shower prevent the Satans of the earth from ascending to the heavens. Even if they try to ascend heavenward these meteorites drive them away. This thing has been mentioned here because the Arabs believed about the soothsayers, and this also was the claim made by the soothsayers themselves, that the Satans were under their control, or that they had a close contact with them, and through them they received news of the unseen, and thus, could foretell the destinies of the people. That is why at several places in the Quran, it has been stated that there is absolutely no possibility for the Satans ascending to the heavens and bringing news of the unseen. (For explanation, see (E.Ns 9-12 of Surah Al-Hijr), (E.Ns 6, 7 of Surah As- Saaffat).

As for the truth about meteorites, man’s information in this regard is still without a scientific basis. However, the theory which seems best to account for all the facts known today and the information gathered from the examination of the meteorites fallen on the earth, is that meteorites originate from the disintegration of one or more planets and wander in space and sometimes fall to the earth under its gravitational pull. (See Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. XV, under Meteorites).

  1. That is, the fate of all those, whether men or Satans, who disbelieve in their Lord. (For the explanation of the meaning of disbelieving in the Lord (Rabb), see(E.N 161 of Surah Al-Baqarah); (E.N. 178 of Surah An-Nisa); (E.N. 39 of Surah Al-Kahf); (E.N. 3 of Surah Al-Momin).
  2. The word shahiq is used for producing a cry like the donkey’s braying. The sentence may also mean that it could be the sound of Hell itself, as well as that it would be the sound coming from Hell, where the people already flung into it would be screaming and crying. This second meaning is supported by (Surah Houd, Ayat 106), where it has been said: Therein they will pant and hiss (because of thirst), and the first meaning is confirmed by (Surah Al- Furqan, Ayat 12), which says: When the Hell will see them from afar, they will hear the sounds of its raging and roaring. On this basis, the correct meaning is that it would be the noise made both by Hell and by the dwellers of Hell.
  3. The real nature of this question will not be of a question that the keepers of Hell would like to ask them whether a warner from Allah had come to them or not, but the object would be to make them realize that no injustice had been done to them by casting them into Hell. They would try to make them confess that Allah had not kept them uninformed and unwarned. He had sent the Prophets to them. He had informed them of the truth and of the right way. He had warned them that if they followed a way other than the right way, it would lead them to Hell, in which they had been cast. But they had not listened to the Prophets. Hence, they rightly deserved the punishment which was being meted out to them at that time.

This thing has been pointed out over and over again in the Quran that the test for which Allah has sent man in the world is not being conducted by keeping man absolutely unaware and uninformed of the requirements of the test only to see whether he found the right way by himself or not; but Allah has made the most appropriate arrangements that could possibly be made of guiding him to the right way, and it is that He has raised the Prophets and sent down the Books. Now the test of man lies in this whether he accepts the Prophets and the Books brought by them and adopts the straight way, or turns away from them to follow his own desires, wishes and speculations. Thus, the Prophethood, in fact, is Allah’s argument which He has established against man and his entire future life depends on its acceptance or rejection. No one, after the appointment of the Prophets, can present the excuse that he remained unaware of the truth, or that he has been caught and put to the hard test unawares, or that he is being punished while he was innocent. This theme has been presented in many different ways in the Quran; for instance, see ( Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 213, and E.N. 230); ( Surah An-Nisa, Ayats 41-42, 165 and E.Ns 64 and 208); (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayats 130-131 and E.Ns 98-100); (Surah Bani Israil, Ayat 15 and E.N. 17); (Surah Ta Ha, Ayat 134); (Surah Al-Qasas, Ayats 47, 59, 65 and E.Ns 66, 83); (Surah Fatir, Ayat 37); (Surah Al-Momin, Ayat 50 and E.N. 66).

  1. That is, not only you but the people who have believed in and followed you also are misguided and lost in grave error.
  2. If we had listened or understood: If we had listened to the Prophets with attention as seekers after truth or used our intellect to understand what actually was the message they were presenting before us. Here listening has been given priority over understanding, the reason being that the pre-requisite of obtaining guidance is to listen to what the Prophet teaches, or to read if it is in the written form, like a seeker after truth. To ponder over it in an attempt to understand the truth is secondary. Without the Prophet’s guidance man cannot by himself reach the truth directly by using his intellect and common sense.
  3. The word dhanb (sin) has been used in the singular. It means that the real sin because of which they became worthy of Hell was to belie the Messengers and refuse to obey them. All other sins are its consequences.
  4. That is, there are two inevitable results of fearing God unseen.

(1) That whatever errors and sins one will have committed because of human weaknesses, will be forgiven provided these were not committed because of fearlessness of God.

(2) That whatever good acts a man performs on the basis of this belief, he will be rewarded richly for them.

  1. The address is to all human beings, whether they are believers or unbelievers. For the believer, it contains the admonition that while living his life in the world he should always remember that not only his open and hidden deeds but even his secret intentions and innermost thoughts are not hidden from Allah. And for the unbeliever, the warning that he may do whatever he may please fearless of God, but nothing that he does can remain un-noticed and unseen by Him.
  2. The address is to all human beings, whether they are believers or unbelievers. For the believer, it contains the admonition that while living his life in the world he should always remember that not only his open and hidden deeds but even his secret intentions and innermost thoughts are not hidden from Allah. And for the unbeliever, the warning that he may do whatever he may please fearless of God, but nothing that he does can remain un-noticed and unseen by Him.
  3. Another translation can be: Would He not know His own creatures? In the original text khalaqa has been used, which may mean: Who has created as well as whom He has created, In both cases the meaning remains the same. This is the argument for what has been said in the preceding sentence. That is, how is it possible that the Creator should be unaware of His creation? The creation may remain unaware of itself, but the Creator cannot be unaware of it. He has made every vein of your body, every fiber of your heart and brain. You breathe because He enables you to breathe, your limbs function because He enables them to function, How then can anything of yours remain hidden from Him.
  4. The word Latif as used in the original means the One Who works in imperceptible ways as well as the One Who knows the hidden truths and realities.

 


(67:15) He it is Who made the earth subservient to you. So traverse in its tracks and partake of the sustenance23 He has provided. To Him will you be resurrected.24 (67:16) Do you feel secure that He Who is in the heaven25 will not cause the earth to cave in with you, and then suddenly it will begin to rock violently? (67:17) Do you feel secure that He Who is in the heaven will not let loose upon you a storm of stones?26 Then shall you know what My warning is like!27 (67:18) Those who came before them also gave the lie (to the Messengers): then how awesome was My chastisement!28 (67:19) Have they not seen birds above them spreading and closing their wings, with none holding them except the Merciful One?29 He oversees everything.30 (67:20) Which is your army that will come to your aid against the Merciful Lord?31 But the unbelievers are in utter delusion. (67:21) Who shall provide for you if He withholds His sustenance? Nay; but they persist in rebellion and aversion. (67:22) Who is better guided: he who walks grovelling on his face,32 or he who walks upright on a Straight Path? (67:23) Say: “He it is Who has brought you into being, and has given you hearing and sight, and has given you hearts to think and understand. How seldom do you give thanks!”33 (67:24) Say: “Allah it is Who multiplied you in the earth and to Him you will be mustered.”34 (67:25) They say: “If you are truthful, tell us when will this promise (of the Hereafter) be fulfilled?”35 (67:26) Say: “Allah alone knows about that; and I am no more than a plain warner.”36 (67:27) When they will see it near at hand, the faces of all those who had denied it will be distraught,37 and then they will be told: “This is the doom which you used to ask for.”(67:28) Say to them: “Did you ever consider: whether Allah destroys me and those that are with me, or shows mercy to us, who can protect the unbelievers from a grievous chastisement?”38 (67:29) Say to them: “He is Merciful, and it is in Him that we believe, and it is in Him that we put all our trust.39 Soon will you know who is in manifest error.” (67:30) Say to them: “Did you even consider: if all the water that you have (in the wells) were to sink down into the depths of the earth, who will produce for you clear, flowing water?”40

23 That is, this earth has not become subdued for you of its own accord, and the provisions also that you are eating have not become available here by themselves, but Allah has so arranged it by His wisdom and power that your life became possible here and this splendid globe became so peaceful that you are moving about on it with full peace of mind, and it has become such a vast table spread with food that it contains endless and limitless provisions for your sustenance. If you are not lost in heedlessness and look about yourself intelligently, you will find how much wisdom underlies in the making of this earth habitable for you and arranging in it immeasurable stores of provisions for you. (For explanation, see (E.Ns 73, 74, 81 of Surah An-Naml); (E.Ns 29,32 of Surah YaSeen); (E.Ns 90, 91 of Al-Momin), (E.N. 7 of Surah Az-Zukhruf), (E.N. 7 of Surah Al-Jathiyah), (E.N. 18 of Surah Qaf).

  1. That is, while you move about on the earth and eat of what Allah has provided for you here, you should not forget that ultimately you have to appear before God one day.
  2. This does not mean that Allah lives in the heavens, but it has been so said because man naturally looks up to the heaven whenever he wants to turn to Allah, raises his hands heavenward in prayer and implores Allah turning his eyes up to heaven whenever he finds himself helpless in an affliction. Then whenever a calamity befalls him suddenly, he says it has descended from heaven; whenever something unusual happens, he says it has come from heaven; and he calls the Books revealed by Allah as heavenly Books. Accordingly to a tradition in Abu Daud, a person came before the Prophet (peace be upon him) with a black slavegirl and said: It has become obligatory on me to set a slave free; can I set this slave-girl free? Prophet (peace be upon him) asked the slave-girl: Where is Allah? She pointed heavenward with her forger. The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked: Who am I? She first pointed towards him and then towards the heaven, by which she obviously meant to say: You have come from Allah. Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Set her free; she is a believer. (A story closely resembling this has been narrated in Muwatta, Muslim and Nasai also). About Khawla bint Thaibah, Umar once said to the people: She is the lady whose complaint was heard above the seven heavens. (In (E.N. 2 of Surah al-Mujadalah), we have given full details concerning this). All this clearly shows that it is natural with man that whenever he thinks of God, his mind turns to the heaven above and not to the earth below. In view of this very thing the words man fis-samaa (He Who is in the heaven) have been used about Allah. There is no room here for any doubt that the Quran regards Allah Almighty as living in the heaven. In fact, there cannot be any basis for this doubt, for in the very beginning of this Surah Al-Mulk, it has been stated: He Who created seven heavens, one above the other, and in Surah Al-Baqarah it has been said: You will face Allah in whatever direction you turn your face. (verse 115).
  3. The object is to impress this: Your very survival and well-being on the earth are at all times dependent upon Allah Almighty’s grace and bounty: you are not strutting about on this earth at will by your own power: you are under obligation only to Allah’s protection for each moment of your life that you are passing here, otherwise Allah at any moment may cause such an earthquake to occur as may make this very earth to become your grave instead of the cradle that it is, or may cause a windstorm to blow razing all your towns and settlements to the ground.
  4. My warning: the warning that was being given through the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Quran to the disbelievers of Makkah to the effect: If you do not refrain from your disbelief and polytheism and do not accept the message of Tauhid being given to you, you will be overtaken by the scourge of God.
  5. The allusion is to the communities who had belied the Messengers, who had come to them previously and consequently been afflicted with divine punishment.
  6. That is, each bird that flies in the air, does so in the protection of the All-Merciful God. He it is Who has given to each bird the form and structure by which it became able to fly. He it is Who has taught each bird the method to fly. He it is Who has made the air obey the laws by which it became possible for the heavier than air bodies to fly in it, and He it is Who upholds every bird in the air, otherwise the moment Allah withdraws His protection from it, it drops to the ground.
  7. That is, this is not confined only to birds, but whatever exists in the world, exists because of Allah’s keeping and guardianship. He alone provides the means necessary for the existence of everything, and He alone keeps watch that everything created by Him is provided with the necessities of life.
  8. Another translation can be: Who is there beside the Merciful, who comes to your rescue as your army? The translation that we have adopted in the text above has relevance to the following sentence, and this second to the preceding discourse.
  9. Walking fallen on his face: walking with face turned down like the cattle on the same track on which someone put him.
  10. That is, Allah had made you men, not cattle. You were not meant to follow blindly whatever error and deviation you found prevailing in the world, without considering for a moment whether the way you had adopted was right or wrong. You have not been given these ears that you may refuse to listen to the one who tries to distinguish the right from the wrong for you, and may persist in whatever false notions you already had in your mind. You have not been given these eyes that you may follow others like the blind and may not bother to see whether the signs scattered around you in the world testified to the unity of God, which the Messenger (peace be upon him) of God is preaching, or whether the system of the universe is Godless, or is being run by many gods simultaneously. Likewise, you have also not been given this knowledge and intelligence that you may give up thinking and understanding to others and may adopt every crooked way that was enforced by somebody in the world, and may not use your own intellect to see whether it was right or wrong. Allah has blessed you with knowledge and intelligence, sight and hearing, so that you may recognize the truth, but you are being ungrateful to Him in that you are employing these faculties for every other object than the one for which these had been granted. (For further explanation, see (E.Ns 72, 73 of Surah An- Naml); (E.Ns 75, 76 of Surah Al-Mominoon); (E.Ns 17, 18 of Surah As-Sajdah); (E.N. 31 of Surah Al-Ahqaf).
  11. That is, after being resurrected from death, you will be gathered together from every corner of the earth and presented before Allah.
  12. They did not ask this question in order to know the time and date of Resurrection so that if they were told the year, the month, the day and time of its occurrence, they would accept it. But, in fact, they thought that Resurrection was impossible, and its occurrence remote from reason, and they asked this question in order to have an excuse for denying it. They meant to say: When will this strange story of Resurrection and gathering together, that you are telling us, materialize? What for has it been put off? Why don’t you make it appear forthwith so that we are assured of it? In this connection, one should understand that one can be certain of Resurrection only by rational arguments, and these have been elaborated at many places in the Quran. As for the date of its occurrence only an ignorant person could raise such a question about it, for even if it is told, it does not make any difference. The unbeliever would say: Well, when it does occur on the date you tell, I shall then believe in it; how can I believe today that it will actually occur on that very day? (For further explanation, see (E.N. 63 of Surah Luqman); (E.N. 116 of Surah Al-Ahzab); (E.Ns 5, 48 of Surah Saba ) (E.N. 45 of YaSeen).
  13. That is, this I know that it will certainly come, and knowing this much only is enough for warning the people before its actual occurrence. As for the question when it will actually come, the knowledge of it is with Allah, not with me, and there is no need of this knowledge for administering the warning. This can be better understood by an example. As to the exact time when a person will die, it is only known to Allah; however, all know that everyone has to die one day. Our this knowledge is enough that we may warn a heedless friend of ours that he should look after himself and his interests before death. For this warning it is not necessary to know the exact day on which he will die.
  14. That is, they will be in the same agony as is suffered by the criminal who is being taken to the gallows.
  15. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) started his mission in Makkah and the members of the different clans of Quraish began to embrace Islam, the people of every house started cursing him and his companions. They started practicing magic and charms on him to cause his death, even devising plots to kill him. At this, it was said: Say to them: what will it profit you whether we perish or we live by the grace of God? You should worry for yourselves as to how you will save yourselves from the punishment of Allah?
  16. That is, we have believed in God, and you are denying Him; we have put our trust in Him, and you have put your trust in yourself, your own resources and false deities besides Allah; therefore, only we deserve to be shown mercy by Allah, not you.
  17. That is, does anyone else another beside Allah have the power to restore these springs of water to you? If none else has this power, and you know well that none has it, then who is worthy of worship: God or your false deities, who do not have the power to restore them? Then ask your own selves as to who is misled and misguided, those who believe in One God or those who believe in many gods.