Sura/Chapter:

Verse:    Count: 34
Tafseer/Commentary:
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Translations:
31: Luqman - لقمان

31:1
[ Original ]
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ الم
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
A. L. M.
[ Saheeh International ]
Alif, Lam, Meem.
Tafseer Commentary

3579 See n. 25 to 2:1 and Introduction to S. 30.


31:2
[ Original ]
تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ الْحَكِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
These are Verses of the Wise Book,-
[ Saheeh International ]
These are verses of the wise Book,
Tafseer Commentary

3580 This Surah relates to Wisdom and the Qur'an is appropriately called the Wise Book, or the Book of Wisdom. In verse 12 below there is a reference to Luqman the Wise. "Wise" in this sense (Hakim) means not only a man versed in knowledge human and divine, but one carrying out in practical conduct ( 'amat) the right course in life to the utmost of his power. His knowledge is correct and practical, but not necessarily complete: for no man is perfect. Such an ideal involves the conception of a man of heroic action as well as of deep and workmanlike knowledge of nature and human nature-not merely dreams or speculation. That ideal was fulfilled in a most remarkable degree in the Prophet, and in the sacred Book which was revealed through him. "The Wise Book" (alKitab alHalum) is one of the title of the Qur'an.


31:3
[ Original ]
هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِلْمُحْسِنِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
A Guide and a Mercy to the Doers of Good,-
[ Saheeh International ]
As guidance and mercy for the doers of good
Tafseer Commentary

3581 A guide to all, and, to those who accept its guidance, a source of mercy leading them to Salvation.


31:4
[ Original ]
الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ بِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Those who establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity, and have (in their hearts) the assurance of the Hereafter.
[ Saheeh International ]
Who establish prayer and give zakah, and they, of the Hereafter, are certain [in faith].
Tafseer Commentary

3582 The righteous are distinguished here by three marks, which are summed up in the phrase "doers of good", viz.: (1) they yearn towards Allah in duty, love and prayer, (2) they love and serve their fellow-men in charity, (3) they win peace and rest for themselves in the assured hope of the Future.


31:5
[ Original ]
أُولَٰئِكَ عَلَىٰ هُدًى مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
These are on (true) guidance from their Lord: and these are the ones who will prosper.
[ Saheeh International ]
Those are on [right] guidance from their Lord, and it is those who are the successful.
Tafseer Commentary

3583 They get the blessings because they submit their will to Allah's Will and receive His guidance. They will do well in this life (from the highest standpoint) and will reach their true Goal in the Future.


31:6
[ Original ]
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَشْتَرِي لَهْوَ الْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُهِينٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But there are, among men, those who purchase idle tales, without knowledge (or meaning), to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah and throw ridicule (on the Path): for such there will be a Humiliating Penalty.
[ Saheeh International ]
And of the people is he who buys the amusement of speech to mislead [others] from the way of Allah without knowledge and who takes it in ridicule. Those will have a humiliating punishment.
Tafseer Commentary

3584 Life is taken seriously by men who realise the issues that hang upon it. But there are men of a frivolous turn of mind who prefer idle tales to true Realities and they are justly rebuked here. In the time of the Prophet there was a pagan Nadr ibn al Harith who preferred Persian romance to the Message of Allah, and turned away ignorant men from the preaching of Allah's Word.


31:7
[ Original ]
وَإِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِ آيَاتُنَا وَلَّىٰ مُسْتَكْبِرًا كَأَنْ لَمْ يَسْمَعْهَا كَأَنَّ فِي أُذُنَيْهِ وَقْرًا ۖ فَبَشِّرْهُ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When Our Signs are rehearsed to such a one, he turns away in arrogance, as if he heard them not, as if there were deafness in both his ears: announce to him a grievous Penalty.
[ Saheeh International ]
And when our verses are recited to him, he turns away arrogantly as if he had not heard them, as if there was in his ears deafness. So give him tidings of a painful punishment.
Tafseer Commentary

3585 Such men behave as if they had heard nothing of serious import, or laugh at serious teaching. The loss will be their own. They will miss the higher things of fife and be left out of Allah's blessings. Ignorance and arrogance are in most cases the causes of their fall.


31:8
[ Original ]
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتُ النَّعِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For those who believe and work righteous deeds, there will be Gardens of Bliss,-
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds - for them are the Gardens of Pleasure.

31:9
[ Original ]
خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۖ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقًّا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
To dwell therein. The promise of Allah is true: and He is Exalted in power, Wise.
[ Saheeh International ]
Wherein they abide eternally; [it is] the promise of Allah [which is] truth. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
Tafseer Commentary

3586 He is Exalted in power, and can carry out His Will, and nothing can stop the carrying out of His promise. He is also infinitely Wise: His promise is therefore full of meaning: it is not merely without purpose; it has a place in the Universal Plan.


31:10
[ Original ]
خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا ۖ وَأَلْقَىٰ فِي الْأَرْضِ رَوَاسِيَ أَنْ تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ ۚ وَأَنْزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَنْبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِنْ كُلِّ زَوْجٍ كَرِيمٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He created the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; He set on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you; and He scattered through it beasts of all kinds. We send down rain from the sky, and produce on the earth every kind of noble creature, in pairs.
[ Saheeh International ]
He created the heavens without pillars that you see and has cast into the earth firmly set mountains, lest it should shift with you, and dispersed therein from every creature. And We sent down rain from the sky and made grow therein [plants] of every noble kind.
Tafseer Commentary

3587 Cf. 13:2 and n. 1800.

3588 Cf. 16:15 and n. 2038.

3589 Cf. 2:164 and n. 166.

3590 Note the change of the pronoun at this stage in the verse. Before this, Allah was spoken of in the third person. "He", and the acts of Creation referred to were acts that, in the main, were completed when the universe as we see it came into being, though its slow age-long evolution continues. After this, Allah speaks in the first person "We "-the plural of honour, as explained before (see n. 56 to 2:38); and the processes spoken of are those that go on continually before us, as in the case of rain and the growth of the vegetable kingdom. In some way the creation of the heavens and the earth and animal life on it may be considered impersonal to man, while the processes of rain and vegetation may be considered in special personal relationship to him.

3591 I think that sex life in plants is referred to, as in 13:3, where see n. 1804, though the pairs here may refer to animals also. "Noble" (karim) may refer to the more beneficent plants and trees (and animals), which Allah has created for man's use.


31:11
[ Original ]
هَٰذَا خَلْقُ اللَّهِ فَأَرُونِي مَاذَا خَلَقَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ دُونِهِ ۚ بَلِ الظَّالِمُونَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Such is the Creation of Allah. now show Me what is there that others besides Him have created: nay, but the Transgressors are in manifest error.
[ Saheeh International ]
This is the creation of Allah. So show Me what those other than Him have created. Rather, the wrongdoers are in clear error.
Tafseer Commentary

3592 The transition from "We" in the last verse to "Me" in this verse means a still more personal relation to Allah; (see n. 56 to 2:38): as we are now asked about the true worship of Allah, as against the false worship of others besides Allah.


31:12
[ Original ]
وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا لُقْمَانَ الْحِكْمَةَ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِلَّهِ ۚ وَمَنْ يَشْكُرْ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ حَمِيدٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
We bestowed (in the past) Wisdom on Luqman: "Show (thy) gratitude to Allah." Any who is (so) grateful does so to the profit of his own soul: but if any is ungrateful, verily Allah is free of all wants, Worthy of all praise.
[ Saheeh International ]
And We had certainly given Luqman wisdom [and said], "Be grateful to Allah." And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever denies [His favor] - then indeed, Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.
Tafseer Commentary

3593 The sage Luqman, after whom this Surah is called, belongs to Arab tradition. Very little is known of his life. He is usually associated with a long life, and his title is Mu'ammar (the long-lived). He is referred by some to the age of the 'Ad people, for whom see n. 1040 to 7:65. He is the type of perfect wisdom. It is said that he belonged to a humble station in life, being a slave or a carpenter, and that he refused worldly power and a kingdom. Many instructive apologues are credited to him, similar to Aesop's Fables in Greek tradition. The identification of Luqman and Aesop has no historical foundation, though it is true that the traditions about them influenced each other.

3594 Cf. 14:8. The basis of moral Law is man's own good, and not any benefit to Allah, for Allah is above all needs, and "worthy of all praise"; i.e., even in praising Him, we do not advance His glory. When we obey His Will, we bring our position into conformity with our own nature as made by Him.


31:13
[ Original ]
وَإِذْ قَالَ لُقْمَانُ لِابْنِهِ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Behold, Luqman said to his son by way of instruction: "O my son! join not in worship (others) with Allah. for false worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing."
[ Saheeh International ]
And [mention, O Muhammad], when Luqman said to his son while he was instructing him, "O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah. Indeed, association [with him] is great injustice."
Tafseer Commentary

3595 Luqman is held up as a pattern of wisdom, because he realised the best in a wise life in this world, as based upon the highest Hope in the inner life. To him, as in Islam, true human wisdom is also divine widsom; the two cannot be separated. The beginning of all wisdom, therefore, is conformity with the Will of Allah (31:12). That means that we must understand our relations to Him and worship Him aright (31:13). Then we must be good to mankind, beginning with our own parents (31:14). For the two duties are not diverse, but one. Where they appear to conflict, there is something wrong with the human will (see n. 3597).


31:14
[ Original ]
وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَىٰ وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), "Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal.
[ Saheeh International ]
And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.
Tafseer Commentary

3596 The set of milk teeth in a human child is completed at the age of two years, which is therefore the natural extreme limit for breast-feeding. In our artificial life the duration is much less ( Cf. 2:233).


31:15
[ Original ]
وَإِنْ جَاهَدَاكَ عَلَىٰ أَنْ تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا ۖ وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفًا ۖ وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَيَّ ۚ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration), and follow the way of those who turn to me (in love): in the end the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you the truth (and meaning) of all that ye did."
[ Saheeh International ]
But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.
Tafseer Commentary

3597 Where the duty to man conflicts with the duty to Allah, it means that there is something wrong with the human will, and we should obey Allah rather than man. But even here, it does not mean that we should be arrogant or insolent. To parents and those in authority, we must be kind, considerate, and courteous, even where they command things which we should not do and therefore disobedience becomes our highest duty. The worship of things other than Allah is the worship of false things, things which are alien to our true knowledge, things that go against our own pure nature as created by Allah.

3598 In any apparent conflict of duties our standard should be Allah's Will, as declared to us by His command. That is the way of those who love Allah and their motive in disobedience to parents or human authority where disobedience is necessary by Allah's Law, is not self-willed rebellion or defiance, but love of Allah, which means the true love of man in the highest sense of the word. And the reason we should give is, "Both you and I have to return to Allah: therefore not only must I follow Allah's Will, but you must command nothing against Allah's will."

3599 These conflicts may appear to us strange and puzzling in this life. But in Allah's Presence we shall see their real meaning and significance. It may be that that was one way in which our true mettle could be tested: for it is not easy to disobey and love man at the same time.


31:16
[ Original ]
يَا بُنَيَّ إِنَّهَا إِنْ تَكُ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِنْ خَرْدَلٍ فَتَكُنْ فِي صَخْرَةٍ أَوْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ أَوْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَأْتِ بِهَا اللَّهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَطِيفٌ خَبِيرٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"O my son!" (said Luqman), "If there be (but) the weight of a mustard-seed and it were (hidden) in a rock, or (anywhere) in the heavens or on earth, Allah will bring it forth: for Allah understands the finest mysteries, (and) is wellacquainted (with them).
[ Saheeh International ]
[And Luqman said], "O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted.
Tafseer Commentary

3600 Verses 14-15 are not the direct speech of Luqman but flow by way of commentary on his teaching. He was speaking as a father to his son, and he could not very well urge respect for himself and draw the son's attention to the limitations of that obedience. These verses may be supposed to be general directions flowing from Luqman's teaching to men, and not directed to his son, though in either case, as Luqman received wisdom from Allah, it is divine principles that are enunciated.

3601 The mustard seed is proverbially a small, minute thing, that people may ordinarily pass by. Not so Allah. Further emphasis is laid by supposing the mustard seed to be hidden beneath a rock or in the cleft of a rock, or to be lost in the spaciousness of the earth or the heavens. To Allah everything is known, and He will bring it forth; i.e., take account of it.

3602 For Latif as a title applied to Allah, see n. 2844 to 22:63.


31:17
[ Original ]
يَا بُنَيَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا أَصَابَكَ ۖ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"O my son! establish regular prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong: and bear with patient constancy whatever betide thee; for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs.
[ Saheeh International ]
O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination.

31:18
[ Original ]
وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"And swell not thy cheek (for pride) at men, nor walk in insolence through the earth; for Allah loveth not any arrogant boaster.
[ Saheeh International ]
And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful.
Tafseer Commentary

3603 The word "cheek" in English, too, means arrogance or effrontery, with a slightly different shade added, viz.: effrontery from one in an inferior position to one in a superior position. The Arabic usage is wider, and includes smug selfsatisfaction and a sense of lofty superiority.


31:19
[ Original ]
وَاقْصِدْ فِي مَشْيِكَ وَاغْضُضْ مِنْ صَوْتِكَ ۚ إِنَّ أَنْكَرَ الْأَصْوَاتِ لَصَوْتُ الْحَمِيرِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"And be moderate in thy pace, and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass."
[ Saheeh International ]
And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys."
Tafseer Commentary

3604 The "Golden Mean" is the pivot of the philosophy of Luqman as it is the philosophy of Aristotle and indeed of Islam. And it flows naturally from a true understanding of our relation to Allah and His universe and to our fellowcreatures, especially man. In all things be moderate. Do not go the pace, and, do not stand stationary or slow. Do not be talkative and do not be silent. Do not be loud and do not be timid or half-hearted. Do not be too confident, and do not be cowed down. If you have patience, it is to give you constancy and determination, that you may bravely carry on the struggle of life. If you have humility, it is to save you from unseemly swagger, not to curb your right spirit and your reasoned determination.


31:20
[ Original ]
أَلَمْ تَرَوْا أَنَّ اللَّهَ سَخَّرَ لَكُمْ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَأَسْبَغَ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعَمَهُ ظَاهِرَةً وَبَاطِنَةً ۗ وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يُجَادِلُ فِي اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَلَا هُدًى وَلَا كِتَابٍ مُنِيرٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Do ye not see that Allah has subjected to your (use) all things in the heavens and on earth, and has made his bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, (both) seen and unseen? Yet there are among men those who dispute about Allah, without knowledge and without guidance, and without a Book to enlighten them!
[ Saheeh International ]
Do you not see that Allah has made subject to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth and amply bestowed upon you His favors, [both] apparent and unapparent? But of the people is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or an enlightening Book [from Him].
Tafseer Commentary

3605 Allah's Creation is independent of man. But Allah, in His infinite mercy, has given man the faculty to subdue the forces of nature and to penetrate through high mysteries with his powers of reason and insight. But this is not merely a question of power. For in His Universal Plan, all are safeguarded. But man's destiny, as far as we can see, is noble to the highest degree (Cf. 45:13).

3606 Allah's grace and bounties work for us at all times. Sometimes we see them, and sometimes we do not In things which we can apprehend with our senses, we can see Allah's grace, but even in them, sometimes it works beyond the sphere of our knowledge. In the inner or spiritual world, sometimes, when our vision is clear, we can see it working, and often we are not conscious of it, but it works all the same.

3607 Such men lack knowledge, as they make no use of their intellects but are swayed by their passions; they lack guidance, as they are impatient of control; and the fruits of revelation, or spiritual insight, do not reach them, as they reject Faith and Revelation.


31:21
[ Original ]
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا ۚ أَوَلَوْ كَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ يَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَىٰ عَذَابِ السَّعِيرِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When they are told to follow the (Revelation) that Allah has sent down, they say: "Nay, we shall follow the ways that we found our fathers (following)." What! even if it is Satan beckoning them to the Penalty of the (Blazing) Fire?
[ Saheeh International ]
And when it is said to them, "Follow what Allah has revealed," they say, "Rather, we will follow that upon which we found our fathers." Even if Satan was inviting them to the punishment of the Blaze?
Tafseer Commentary

3608 They do not realise that in the spiritual world, as in the physical world, there is constant progress for the live ones: they are spiritually dead, as they are content to stand on ancestral ways, many of them evil, and leading to perdition.


31:22
[ Original ]
وَمَنْ يُسْلِمْ وَجْهَهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ ۗ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Whoever submits his whole self to Allah, and is a doer of good, has grasped indeed the most trustworthy handhold: and with Allah rests the End and Decision of (all) affairs.
[ Saheeh International ]
And whoever submits his face to Allah while he is a doer of good - then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold. And to Allah will be the outcome of [all] matters.
Tafseer Commentary

3609 Cf. 2:256 and n. 301.

3610 Cf. 22:41, Everything goes back to Allah. He is our final Goal, as He is the final Goal of all things.


31:23
[ Original ]
وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَلَا يَحْزُنْكَ كُفْرُهُ ۚ إِلَيْنَا مَرْجِعُهُمْ فَنُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا عَمِلُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But if any reject Faith, let not his rejection grieve thee: to Us is their return, and We shall tell them the truth of their deeds: for Allah knows well all that is in (men's) hearts.
[ Saheeh International ]
And whoever has disbelieved - let not his disbelief grieve you. To Us is their return, and We will inform them of what they did. Indeed, Allah is Knowing of that within the breasts.
Tafseer Commentary

3611 The man of God should not grieve because people reject Faith. He should do his duty and leave the rest to Allah. Every soul must return to Allah for its reckoning. Allah knows everything, and His Universal Plan is full of wisdom.


31:24
[ Original ]
نُمَتِّعُهُمْ قَلِيلًا ثُمَّ نَضْطَرُّهُمْ إِلَىٰ عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
We grant them their pleasure for a little while: in the end shall We drive them to a chastisement unrelenting.
[ Saheeh International ]
We grant them enjoyment for a little; then We will force them to a massive punishment.
Tafseer Commentary

3612 Cf. 2:126. The respite in this life is of short duration. The ultimate Penalty of Evil is such as cannot be quenched. Cf. 14:17 . It will be too late then to repent.


31:25
[ Original ]
وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ مَنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ ۚ قُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ۚ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
If thou ask them, who it is that created the heavens and the earth. They will certainly say, "(Allah)". Say: "Praise be to Allah." But most of them understand not.
[ Saheeh International ]
And if you asked them, "Who created the heavens and earth?" they would surely say, "Allah." Say, "[All] praise is [due] to Allah "; but most of them do not know.
Tafseer Commentary

3613 Cf. 23:84-89, and 29:61 and n. 3493. Men will acknowledge that Allah created the heavens and the earth, and yet fail to understand the love and goodness of Allah in continuing to cherish and maintain them with His gifts. Even if they allow this, they sometimes yet fall short of the corollary, that He is the only One to be worshipped, and run after their own false gods in the shapes of their fancies and lusts. They do not do the duties which, if they rightly understood their own nature and position, they should take a delight in doing.

3614 This ejaculation expresses our satisfaction that at least this is recognised-that the Creator of the whole world is Allah. It is a pity mat they do not go further and recognise other facts and duties (see the last note).


31:26
[ Original ]
لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
To Allah belong all things in heaven and earth: verily Allah is He (that is) free of all wants, worthy of all praise.
[ Saheeh International ]
To Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and earth. Indeed, Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy.
Tafseer Commentary

3615 Cf. above, 31:12. There was begun the argument about showing gratitude to Allah, introducing Luqman's teaching and philosophy. Such gratitude is shown by our understanding His love and doing our duty to Him by serving our fellow-men. For Allah Himself is Free from all wants and is in no way dependent on our service. That argument has been illustrated in various ways. But now we are told that it can never be completed, for no human tongue or human resources can be adequate either to praise Him or to expound His Word.


31:27
[ Original ]
وَلَوْ أَنَّمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مِنْ شَجَرَةٍ أَقْلَامٌ وَالْبَحْرُ يَمُدُّهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ سَبْعَةُ أَبْحُرٍ مَا نَفِدَتْ كَلِمَاتُ اللَّهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And if all the trees on earth were pens and the ocean (were ink), with seven oceans behind it to add to its (supply), yet would not the Words of Allah be exhausted (in the writing): for Allah is Exalted in Power, full of Wisdom.
[ Saheeh International ]
And if whatever trees upon the earth were pens and the sea [was ink], replenished thereafter by seven [more] seas, the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
Tafseer Commentary

3616 Words of Allah: His wonderful Signs and Commandments are infinite and cannot be expressed if all the trees were made into pens, and all the wide Ocean, multiplied seven times, were made into ink. Any Book of His Revelation would deal with matters which man can understand and use in his life: there are mysteries beyond mysteries that man can never fathom. Nor would any praise that we could write with infinite resources be adequate to describe His power, glory, and wisdom.


31:28
[ Original ]
مَا خَلْقُكُمْ وَلَا بَعْثُكُمْ إِلَّا كَنَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ بَصِيرٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And your creation or your resurrection is in no wise but as an individual soul: for Allah is He Who hears and sees (all things).
[ Saheeh International ]
Your creation and your resurrection will not be but as that of a single soul. Indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing.
Tafseer Commentary

3617 Allah's greatness and infinitude are such that He can create and cherish not only a whole mass, but each individual soul, and He can follow its history and doings until the final judgement. This shows not only Allah's glory and omniscience and omnipotence: it also shows the value of each individual soul in His eyes, and lifts individual responsibility right up into relations with Him.


31:29
[ Original ]
أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُولِجُ اللَّيْلَ فِي النَّهَارِ وَيُولِجُ النَّهَارَ فِي اللَّيْلِ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ كُلٌّ يَجْرِي إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Seest thou not that Allah merges Night into Day and he merges Day into Night; that He has subjected the sun, and the moon (to his Law), each running its course for a term appointed; and that Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do?
[ Saheeh International ]
Do you not see that Allah causes the night to enter the day and causes the day to enter the night and has subjected the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term, and that Allah, with whatever you do, is Acquainted?
Tafseer Commentary

3618 Cf. 22:61 and n. 2841. Even when we can form a conception of Allah's infinitude by His dealings with each individual in His Creation as in verse 28 above, it is still inadequate. What is an individual himself? What is his relation to the universal Laws of Allah? In outer nature we can see that there is no clear-cut line between night and day: each merges into the other. Yet the sun and the moon obey definite laws. Though they seem to go on forever. Yet their existence and duration themselves are but an atom in Allah's great universe. How much more "merging" and imperceptible gradation there is in the inner and spiritual world? Our actions themselves cannot be classified and ticketed and labelled when examined in relation to motives and circumstances. Yet they are like an open book before Allah.


31:30
[ Original ]
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ وَأَنَّ مَا يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ الْبَاطِلُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْكَبِيرُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
That is because Allah is the (only) Reality, and because whatever else they invoke besides Him is Falsehood; and because Allah,- He is the Most High, Most Great.
[ Saheeh International ]
That is because Allah is the Truth, and that what they call upon other than Him is falsehood, and because Allah is the Most High, the Grand.
Tafseer Commentary

3619 Cf. 22:62 and n. 2842 and n. 2843. All the wonderful complexities, gradations, and nuances, that we find in Creation, are yet blended in one harmonious whole, that obeys Law and exemplifies Order. They therefore point to the One True God. He is the only Eternal Reality. Anything put up in competition or equality with Him is only Falsehood, for He is higher and greater than anything we can imagine. (R).


31:31
[ Original ]
أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ الْفُلْكَ تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِنِعْمَتِ اللَّهِ لِيُرِيَكُمْ مِنْ آيَاتِهِ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِكُلِّ صَبَّارٍ شَكُورٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Seest thou not that the ships sail through the ocean by the Grace of Allah.- that He may show you of His Signs? Verily in this are Signs for all who constantly persevere and give thanks.
[ Saheeh International ]
Do you not see that ships sail through the sea by the favor of Allah that He may show you of His signs? Indeed in that are signs for everyone patient and grateful.
Tafseer Commentary

3620 Even the things that man makes are, as using the forces of Nature, evidence of the grace of Allah, Who has subdued these wonderful forces to the use of man. But this gift of mastery can only be understood and appreciated by constant perseverance, combined with a recognition of the divine gifts ("giving thanks"). Sabbar is an intensive form of Sabrand I have indicated it by the adverb "constantly".


31:32
[ Original ]
وَإِذَا غَشِيَهُمْ مَوْجٌ كَالظُّلَلِ دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ فَمِنْهُمْ مُقْتَصِدٌ ۚ وَمَا يَجْحَدُ بِآيَاتِنَا إِلَّا كُلُّ خَتَّارٍ كَفُورٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When a wave covers them like the canopy (of clouds), they call to Allah, offering Him sincere devotion. But when He has delivered them safely to land, there are among them those that halt between (right and wrong). But none reject Our Signs except only a perfidious ungrateful (wretch)!
[ Saheeh International ]
And when waves come over them like canopies, they supplicate Allah, sincere to Him in religion. But when He delivers them to the land, there are [some] of them who are moderate [in faith]. And none rejects Our signs except everyone treacherous and ungrateful.
Tafseer Commentary

3621 Cf. 7:29 . Unlike the people mentioned in the last verse, who constantly seek Allah's help and give thanks for His mercies by using them aright and doing their duty, there is a class of men whose worship is merely inspired by terror. When they are in physical danger-the only kind of danger they appreciate-e.g., in a storm at sea, they genuinely think of Allah. But once the danger is past, they become indifferent or wish to appear good while dallying with evil. See next verse.

3622 They halt between two opinions. They are not against good, but they will not eschew evil. They are a contrast to those who "constantly persevere and give thanks". But such an attitude amounts really to "perfidious ingratitude".


31:33
[ Original ]
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ وَاخْشَوْا يَوْمًا لَا يَجْزِي وَالِدٌ عَنْ وَلَدِهِ وَلَا مَوْلُودٌ هُوَ جَازٍ عَنْ وَالِدِهِ شَيْئًا ۚ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ ۖ فَلَا تَغُرَّنَّكُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَلَا يَغُرَّنَّكُمْ بِاللَّهِ الْغَرُورُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
O mankind! do your duty to your Lord, and fear (the coming of) a Day when no father can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father. Verily, the promise of Allah is true: let not then this present life deceive you, nor let the Chief Deceiver deceive you about Allah.
[ Saheeh International ]
O mankind, fear your Lord and fear a Day when no father will avail his son, nor will a son avail his father at all. Indeed, the promise of Allah is truth, so let not the worldly life delude you and be not deceived about Allah by the Deceiver.
Tafseer Commentary

3623 On the Day of Reckoning no one can help another. The most loving father cannot help his son be a substitute for him, and vice versa. Each will have his own personal responsibilities.

3624 The Chief Deceiver is the Power of Evil. It may make us forget that Time is fleeting and delude us by suggesting that the Reckoning may not come, whereas it is certain to come, because Allah's promise is true. We must not play with Time nor be deceived by appearances. The Day may come today or tomorrow or when we least expect it ( Cf. 35:5).


31:34
[ Original ]
إِنَّ اللَّهَ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ وَيُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْأَرْحَامِ ۖ وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ مَاذَا تَكْسِبُ غَدًا ۖ وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ بِأَيِّ أَرْضٍ تَمُوتُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone). It is He Who sends down rain, and He Who knows what is in the wombs. Nor does any one know what it is that he will earn on the morrow: Nor does any one know in what land he is to die. Verily with Allah is full knowledge and He is acquainted (with all things).
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, Allah [alone] has knowledge of the Hour and sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs. And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.
Tafseer Commentary

3625 The question of Knowledge or Mystery governs both clauses here, viz.: Rain and Wombs. In fact it governs all the five things mentioned in this verse: viz. (1) The Hour; (2) Rain; (3) the Birth of a new Life (Wombs); (4) our Physical Life from day to day; (5) our Death. See n. 3627 below. As regards Rain we are asked to contemplate how and when it is sent down. The moisture may be sucked up by the sun's heat in the Arabian Sea or the Red Sea or the Indian Ocean near East Africa, or in the Lake Region in Central Africa . The winds drive it hither and thither across thousands of miles, or it may be, only short distances. "The wind bloweth where it listeth." No doubt it obeys certain physical Laws established by Allah, but how these Laws are interlocked, one with another! Meteorology, gravity, hydrostatics and dynamics, climatology, hygrometry, and a dozen other sciences are involved, and no man can completely master all of them, and yet this relates to only one of the millions of facts in physical nature, which are governed by Allah's Knowledge and Law. The whole vegetable kingdom is primarily affected by Rain. The mention of Wombs brings in the mystery of animal life, embryology, sex, and a thousand other things. Who can tell-to take man alone-whether the child conceived is male or female, how long it will remain in the womb, whether it will be born alive, what sort of new individual it will be-a blessing or a curse to its parents, or to Society?

3626 "Earn" here, as elsewhere, means not only "earn one's livelihood" in a physical sense but also to reap the consequences (good or ill) of one's conduct generally. The whole sentence practically means: "no man knows what the morrow may bring forth."

3627 See the five Mysteries summed up in n. 3625 above. The Argument is about the mystery of Time and Knowledge. We are supposed to know things in ordinary life. But what does that knowledge amount to in reality? Only a superficial acquaintance with things. And Time is even more uncertain. In the case of rain, which causes vegetable life to spring up, or in the case of new animal life, can we answer with precision questions as to When or How or Wherefore? So about questions of our life from day to day or of our death. These are great Mysteries, and full knowledge is with Allah only. How much more so in the case of the Ma'ad, the Final House, when all true values will be restored and the balance redressed? It is certain, but the When and the How are known to Allah alone.


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