Sura/Chapter:

Verse:    Count: 52
Tafseer/Commentary:
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Translations:
68: Al-Qalam - القلم

68:1
[ Original ]
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ ن ۚ وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Nun. By the Pen and the (Record) which (men) write,-
[ Saheeh International ]
Nun. By the pen and what they inscribe,
Tafseer Commentary

5592 Nun is an Abbreviated Letter: see Appendix I at the end of Surah 2. Nun may mean a fish, or an ink-holder, or it may be just the Arabic letter of the alphabet, N. In the last case, it may refer to either or both of the other meanings. Note also that the Arabic rhyme in this Sura ends in N. The reference to ink would be an appropriate link with the Pen in verse 1. The reference to the fish would be appropriate with reference to the story of Jonah in verses 48-50. Jonah's title is "the Companion of the Fish", (Dhu al Nun,21:87), as he was, in the story, swallowed by the Fish.

5593 The Pen and the Record are the symbolical foundations of the Revelation to man. The adjuration by the Pen disposes of the flippant charge that Allah's Messenger was mad or possessed. For he spoke words of power, not incoherent, but full of meaning, and through the Record of the Pen, that meaning unfolds itself, in innumerable aspects to countless generations. Muhammad was the living Grace and Mercy of Allah, and his very nature exalted him above abuse and persecution. (R).


68:2
[ Original ]
مَا أَنْتَ بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ بِمَجْنُونٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Thou art not, by the Grace of thy Lord, mad or possessed.
[ Saheeh International ]
You are not, [O Muhammad], by the favor of your Lord, a madman.
Tafseer Commentary

5594 People usually call anyone mad whose standards are different from their own. And madness is believed by superstitious people to be due to demoniacal possession, an idea distinctly in the minds of the New Testament writers: for Luke speaks of a man from whom the "devils" were cast out, as being then "clothed, and in his right mind." (Luke, 8:35). (R).


68:3
[ Original ]
وَإِنَّ لَكَ لَأَجْرًا غَيْرَ مَمْنُونٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Nay, verily for thee is a Reward unfailing:
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, for you is a reward uninterrupted.
Tafseer Commentary

5595 Instead of being out of his right mind, the Prophet of Allah had been raised to a great spiritual dignity, a reward that was not like an earthly reward that passes away, but one that was in the very core of his being, and would never fail him in any circumstances. He was really granted a nature and character far above the shafts of grief or suffering, slander or persecution.


68:4
[ Original ]
وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character.
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, you are of a great moral character.

68:5
[ Original ]
فَسَتُبْصِرُ وَيُبْصِرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Soon wilt thou see, and they will see,
[ Saheeh International ]
So you will see and they will see
Tafseer Commentary

5596 Though Al Mustafa's nature raised him above the petty spite of his contemporaries, an appeal is made to their reason and to the logic of events. Was it not his accusers that were really mad? What happened to Al Walid ibn Al Mughayrah, or Abu jahl, or Abu Lahab?-and to Allah's Messenger and those who followed his guidance? The world's history gives the answer. And the appeal is not only to his contemporaries, but for all time.


68:6
[ Original ]
بِأَيْيِكُمُ الْمَفْتُونُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Which of you is afflicted with madness.
[ Saheeh International ]
Which of you is the afflicted [by a devil].

68:7
[ Original ]
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ ضَلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily it is thy Lord that knoweth best, which (among men) hath strayed from His Path: and He knoweth best those who receive (true) Guidance.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has gone astray from His way, and He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided.
Tafseer Commentary

5597 Men set up false standards of judgement. The right standard is that of Allah. For His Knowledge is complete and all-embracing; He reads hidden motives as well as things that appear before men's sight; and He knows the past history in which the roots of present actions are embedded, as well as the future consequences of present actions.


68:8
[ Original ]
فَلَا تُطِعِ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So hearken not to those who deny (the Truth).
[ Saheeh International ]
Then do not obey the deniers.
Tafseer Commentary

5598 The enemies of Allah's truth are sometimes self-deceived. But quite often they have a glimmering of the truth in spite of their desire to shut their eyes. Then they compromise, and they would like the preachers of inconvenient truths to compromise with them. On those terms there would be mutual laudation. This easy path of making the best of both worlds is a real danger or temptation to the best of us, and we must be on our guard against it if we would really enter into the company of the Righteous who submit their wills to the Will of Allah. Abu Jahl freely offered impossible compromises to the Prophet.


68:9
[ Original ]
وَدُّوا لَوْ تُدْهِنُ فَيُدْهِنُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Their desire is that thou shouldst be pliant: so would they be pliant.
[ Saheeh International ]
They wish that you would soften [in your position], so they would soften [toward you].

68:10
[ Original ]
وَلَا تُطِعْ كُلَّ حَلَّافٍ مَهِينٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Heed not the type of despicable men,- ready with oaths,
[ Saheeh International ]
And do not obey every worthless habitual swearer
Tafseer Commentary

5599 The type of each of these hateful qualities is not uncommon, though the combination of all in one man makes him peculiarly despicable, as was Al WalTd ibn Al Mughiyrah, who was a ringleader in calumniating our Prophet and who came to an evil end not long after the battle of Badr, in which he received injuries.

5600 It is only liars who swear on all occasions, small or great, because their ordinary word is not believed in. The true man's word, according to the proverb, is as good as his bond.


68:11
[ Original ]
هَمَّازٍ مَشَّاءٍ بِنَمِيمٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
A slanderer, going about with calumnies,
[ Saheeh International ]
[And] scorner, going about with malicious gossip -

68:12
[ Original ]
مَنَّاعٍ لِلْخَيْرِ مُعْتَدٍ أَثِيمٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(Habitually) hindering (all) good, transgressing beyond bounds, deep in sin,
[ Saheeh International ]
A preventer of good, transgressing and sinful,

68:13
[ Original ]
عُتُلٍّ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ زَنِيمٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Violent (and cruel),- with all that, base-born,-
[ Saheeh International ]
Cruel, moreover, and an illegitimate pretender.
Tafseer Commentary

5601 Besides the self-deceiver and the easy-going man, there is a third type, even more degraded. He has no idea of truth or sincerity. He is ready to swear friendship with everyone and fidelity to every cause. But at the same moment he will slander and backbite, and cause mischief even between good but credulous persons. Evil seems to be his good, and good his evil. He will not only pursue evil courses himself but prevent other people from doing right. When checked, he resorts to violence. In any case, he will intrude where he has no right, claiming relationship or power or consideration in circles which would gladly disown him. He is vain of his wealth or because he has a large following at his beck and call. Religion is to him merely old-fashioned superstition.


68:14
[ Original ]
أَنْ كَانَ ذَا مَالٍ وَبَنِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Because he possesses wealth and (numerous) sons.
[ Saheeh International ]
Because he is a possessor of wealth and children,
Tafseer Commentary

5602 Because may connect with heed not in verse 10, or with violent and cruel in verse 13. In the former case, we construe: 'Pay no attention to despicable men of the character described, simply because they happen to have wealth or influence, or much backing in manpower'. In the latter case, we construe: the fellow is violent and cruel, because he is puffed up with his wealth or riches or backing in manpower'. In the eyes of Allah such a man is in any case branded and marked out as a sinner.


68:15
[ Original ]
إِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِ آيَاتُنَا قَالَ أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When to him are rehearsed Our Signs, "Tales of the ancients", he cries!
[ Saheeh International ]
When Our verses are recited to him, he says, "Legends of the former peoples."
Tafseer Commentary

5603 Allah's Signs, by which He calls us, are everywhere-in nature and in our very heart and soul. In Revelation, every verse is a Sign, for it stands symbolically for far more than it says. "Sign" (Ayah) thus becomes a technical term for a verse of the Qur'an.

5604 Cf. 6:25.


68:16
[ Original ]
سَنَسِمُهُ عَلَى الْخُرْطُومِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Soon shall We brand (the beast) on the snout!
[ Saheeh International ]
We will brand him upon the snout.
Tafseer Commentary

5605 Literally, proboscis, the most sensitive limb of the elephant. The sinner makes himself a beast and can only be controlled by his snout.


68:17
[ Original ]
إِنَّا بَلَوْنَاهُمْ كَمَا بَلَوْنَا أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ إِذْ أَقْسَمُوا لَيَصْرِمُنَّهَا مُصْبِحِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily We have tried them as We tried the People of the Garden, when they resolved to gather the fruits of the (garden) in the morning.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, We have tried them as We tried the companions of the garden, when they swore to cut its fruit in the [early] morning
Tafseer Commentary

5606 "Why do the wicked flourish?" is a question asked in all ages. The answer is not simple. It must refer to (1) the choice left to man's will, (2) his moral responsibility, (3) the need of his tuning his will to Allah's Will, (4) the longsuffering quality of Allah, which allows the widest possible chance for the operation of (5) His Mercy, and (6) in the last resort, to the nature of spiritual Punishment, which is not a merely abrupt or arbitrary act, but a long, gradual process, in which there is room for repentance at every stage. All these points are illustrated in the remarkable Parable of the People of the Garden, which also illustrates the greed, selfishness, and heedlessness of man, as well as his tendency to throw the blame on others if he can but think of a scapegoat. All these foibles are shown, but the Mercy of Allah is boundless, and even after the worst sins and punishments, there may be hope of an even better orchard than the one lost, if only the repentance is true, and there is complete surrender to Allah's Will. But if, in spite of all this, there is no surrender of the will, then, indeed, the punishment in the Hereafter is something incomparably greater than the little calamities in the Parable.


68:18
[ Original ]
وَلَا يَسْتَثْنُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But made no reservation, ("If it be Allah.s Will").
[ Saheeh International ]
Without making exception.
Tafseer Commentary

5607 We must always remember, in all our plans, that they depend for their success on how far they accord with Allah's Will and Plan. His universal Will is supreme over all affairs. These foolish men had a secret plan to defraud the poor of their just rights, but they were put into a position where they could not do so. In trying to frustrate others, they were themselves frustrated.


68:19
[ Original ]
فَطَافَ عَلَيْهَا طَائِفٌ مِنْ رَبِّكَ وَهُمْ نَائِمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then there came on the (garden) a visitation from thy Lord, (which swept away) all around, while they were asleep.
[ Saheeh International ]
So there came upon the garden an affliction from your Lord while they were asleep.
Tafseer Commentary

5608 It was a terrible storm that blew down and destroyed the fruits and the trees. The whole place was changed out of all recognition.


68:20
[ Original ]
فَأَصْبَحَتْ كَالصَّرِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So the (garden) became, by the morning, like a dark and desolate spot, (whose fruit had been gathered).
[ Saheeh International ]
And it became as though reaped.

68:21
[ Original ]
فَتَنَادَوْا مُصْبِحِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
As the morning broke, they called out, one to another,-
[ Saheeh International ]
And they called one another at morning,

68:22
[ Original ]
أَنِ اغْدُوا عَلَىٰ حَرْثِكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَارِمِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Go ye to your tilth (betimes) in the morning, if ye would gather the fruits."
[ Saheeh International ]
[Saying], "Go early to your crop if you would cut the fruit."
Tafseer Commentary

5609 Awakening from sleep, they were not aware mat the garden had been destroyed by the storm overnight. They were in their own selfish dreams: by going very early, they thought they could cheat the poor of their share. See next note.


68:23
[ Original ]
فَانْطَلَقُوا وَهُمْ يَتَخَافَتُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So they departed, conversing in secret low tones, (saying)-
[ Saheeh International ]
So they set out, while lowering their voices,

68:24
[ Original ]
أَنْ لَا يَدْخُلَنَّهَا الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِسْكِينٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Let not a single indigent person break in upon you into the (garden) this day."
[ Saheeh International ]
[Saying], "There will surely not enter it today upon you [any] poor person."
Tafseer Commentary

5610 The poor man has a right in the harvest-whether as a gleaner or as an artisan or a menial in an Eastern village. The rich owners of the orchard in the Parable wanted to steal a march at an early hour and defeat this right, but their greed was punished, so that it led to a greater loss to themselves. They wanted to cheat but had not the courage to face those they cheated, and by being in the field before anyone was up they wanted to make it appear to the world that they were unconscious of any rights they were trampling on.


68:25
[ Original ]
وَغَدَوْا عَلَىٰ حَرْدٍ قَادِرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And they opened the morning, strong in an (unjust) resolve.
[ Saheeh International ]
And they went early in determination, [assuming themselves] able.

68:26
[ Original ]
فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهَا قَالُوا إِنَّا لَضَالُّونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But when they saw the (garden), they said: "We have surely lost our way:
[ Saheeh International ]
But when they saw it, they said, "Indeed, we are lost;
Tafseer Commentary

5611 Their fond dreams were dispelled when they found that the garden had been changed out of all recognition. It was as if they had come to some place other then their own smiling garden. Where they had expected to reap a rich harvest, there was only a howling wilderness. They reflected. Their first thought was of their own personal loss, the loss of their labour and the loss of their capital. They had plotted to keep out others from the fruits: now, as it happened, the loss was their own.


68:27
[ Original ]
بَلْ نَحْنُ مَحْرُومُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"Indeed we are shut out (of the fruits of our labour)!"
[ Saheeh International ]
Rather, we have been deprived."
Tafseer Commentary

5612 Cf. 56:67. Also see last note.


68:28
[ Original ]
قَالَ أَوْسَطُهُمْ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَكُمْ لَوْلَا تُسَبِّحُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Said one of them, more just (than the rest): "Did I not say to you, 'Why not glorify ((Allah))?' "
[ Saheeh International ]
The most moderate of them said, "Did I not say to you, 'Why do you not exalt [Allah]?' "
Tafseer Commentary

5613 This was not necessarily a righteous man, but there are degrees in guilt. He had warned them, but he had joined in their unjust design.


68:29
[ Original ]
قَالُوا سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَالِمِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
They said: "Glory to our Lord! Verily we have been doing wrong!"
[ Saheeh International ]
They said, "Exalted is our Lord! Indeed, we were wrongdoers."

68:30
[ Original ]
فَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ يَتَلَاوَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then they turned, one against another, in reproach.
[ Saheeh International ]
Then they approached one another, blaming each other.
Tafseer Commentary

5614 When greed or injustice is punished people are ready to throw the blame on others. In this case, one particular individual may have seen the moral guilt of defying the Will of Allah and the right of man, but if he shared in the enterprise in the hope of profit, he could not get out of all responsibility.


68:31
[ Original ]
قَالُوا يَا وَيْلَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا طَاغِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
They said: "Alas for us! We have indeed transgressed!
[ Saheeh International ]
They said, "O woe to us; indeed we were transgressors.

68:32
[ Original ]
عَسَىٰ رَبُّنَا أَنْ يُبْدِلَنَا خَيْرًا مِنْهَا إِنَّا إِلَىٰ رَبِّنَا رَاغِبُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"It may be that our Lord will give us in exchange a better (garden) than this: for we do turn to Him (in repentance)!"
[ Saheeh International ]
Perhaps our Lord will substitute for us [one] better than it. Indeed, we are toward our Lord desirous."
Tafseer Commentary

5615 If the repentance was true, there was hope. For Allah often turns a great evil to our good. If not true, they only added hypocrisy to their other sins. The Parable presupposes that the garden came into the possession of selfish men, who were so puffed up with their good fortune that they forgot Allah. That meant that they also became harsh to their fellow-creatures. In their arrogance they plotted to get up early and defeat the claims of the poor at harvest time. They found their garden destroyed by a storm. Some reproached others, but those who sincerely repented obtained mercy. The "better garden" may have been the same garden, flourishing in a future season under Allah's gift of abundance.


68:33
[ Original ]
كَذَٰلِكَ الْعَذَابُ ۖ وَلَعَذَابُ الْآخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Such is the Punishment (in this life); but greater is the Punishment in the Hereafter,- if only they knew!
[ Saheeh International ]
Such is the punishment [of this world]. And the punishment of the Hereafter is greater, if they only knew.
Tafseer Commentary

5616 Even in this life the punishment for heedless or selfish arrogance and sin comes suddenly when we least expect it. But there is always room for Allah's Mercy if we sincerely repent. If the Punishment in this life seems to us so stupefying, how much worse will it be in the Hereafter, when the Punishment will not be only for a limited time, and the time for repentance will have passed?


68:34
[ Original ]
إِنَّ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily, for the Righteous, are Gardens of Delight, in the Presence of their Lord.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, for the righteous with their Lord are the Gardens of Pleasure.
Tafseer Commentary

5617 All symbols of delight, expressed in terms of sense, are spiritualized by their being referred to the presence of Allah. The Garden is a joy, but the joy of this spiritual Garden is the sense of nearness to Allah. (R).


68:35
[ Original ]
أَفَنَجْعَلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ كَالْمُجْرِمِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Shall We then treat the People of Faith like the People of Sin?
[ Saheeh International ]
Then will We treat the Muslims like the criminals?
Tafseer Commentary

5618 The spiritual arrogance which rejects faith in Allah is perhaps the worst Sin, because it makes itself impervious to the Mercy of Allah, as a bed of clay is impervious to the absorption of water. It sets up its own standards and its own will, but how can it measure or bind the Will of Allah? It sets up its own fetishes-idols, priests, gods, or godlings. The fetishes may be even God-given gifts or faculties. Intellect or Science, if pushed up to the position of idols. If they are made rivals to Allah, question them: Will they solve Allah's mysteries, or even the mysteries of Life and Soul?


68:36
[ Original ]
مَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
What is the matter with you? How judge ye?
[ Saheeh International ]
What is [the matter] with you? How do you judge?

68:37
[ Original ]
أَمْ لَكُمْ كِتَابٌ فِيهِ تَدْرُسُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Or have ye a book through which ye learn-
[ Saheeh International ]
Or do you have a scripture in which you learn

68:38
[ Original ]
إِنَّ لَكُمْ فِيهِ لَمَا تَخَيَّرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
That ye shall have, through it whatever ye choose?
[ Saheeh International ]
That indeed for you is whatever you choose?
Tafseer Commentary

5619 It is clearly against both logic and justice that men of righteousness should have the same End as men of sin. Even in this life, man cannot command whatever he chooses, though he is allowed a limited freedom of choice. How can he expect such a thing under a reign of perfect Justice and Truth?


68:39
[ Original ]
أَمْ لَكُمْ أَيْمَانٌ عَلَيْنَا بَالِغَةٌ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ۙ إِنَّ لَكُمْ لَمَا تَحْكُمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Or have ye Covenants with Us to oath, reaching to the Day of Judgment, (providing) that ye shall have whatever ye shall demand?
[ Saheeh International ]
Or do you have oaths [binding] upon Us, extending until the Day of Resurrection, that indeed for you is whatever you judge?
Tafseer Commentary

5620 Nor can the Pagans plead that they have any special Covenants with Allah which give them a favoured position above other mortals. The "Chosen Race" idea of the Jews is also condemned. It is quite true that a certain race or group, on account of special aptitude may be chosen by Allah to uphold His truth and preach it. But this is conditional on their following Allah's Law. As soon as they become arrogant and selfish, they lose that position. They cannot have a perpetual and unconditional lease till the Day of Judgement.


68:40
[ Original ]
سَلْهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ بِذَٰلِكَ زَعِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Ask thou of them, which of them will stand surety for that!
[ Saheeh International ]
Ask them which of them, for that [claim], is responsible.

68:41
[ Original ]
أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ فَلْيَأْتُوا بِشُرَكَائِهِمْ إِنْ كَانُوا صَادِقِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Or have they some "Partners" (in Godhead)? Then let them produce their "partners", if they are truthful!
[ Saheeh International ]
Or do they have partners? Then let them bring their partners, if they should be truthful.
Tafseer Commentary

5621 "Partners" in Godhead: as in the doctrine of the Trinity, or indeed in any form of polytheism. Such a doctrine destroys the cardinal doctrine of the Unity of Allah.


68:42
[ Original ]
يَوْمَ يُكْشَفُ عَنْ سَاقٍ وَيُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى السُّجُودِ فَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
The Day that the shank shall be laid bare, and they shall be summoned to prostrate in adoration, but they shall not be able,-
[ Saheeh International ]
The Day the shin will be uncovered and they are invited to prostration but the disbelievers will not be able,
Tafseer Commentary

5622 The Day that the Shin shall be laid bare, that is, when men are confronted with the stark reality of the Day of Judgement. On that occasion men will be summoned to adoration, not necessarily in words, but by the logic of facts, when the Reality will be fully manifest: the Glory will be too dazzling for the Unbelievers, whose past deliberate refusal, when they had freedom to choose, and yet rejected, will stand in their way. (R).


68:43
[ Original ]
خَاشِعَةً أَبْصَارُهُمْ تَرْهَقُهُمْ ذِلَّةٌ ۖ وَقَدْ كَانُوا يُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى السُّجُودِ وَهُمْ سَالِمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Their eyes will be cast down,- ignominy will cover them; seeing that they had been summoned aforetime to prostate in adoration, while they were in good shape, (and had refused).
[ Saheeh International ]
Their eyes humbled, humiliation will cover them. And they used to be invited to prostration while they were sound.
Tafseer Commentary

5623 Their past memories, combined with their present position, will then fill them with a sense of the deepest dismay and humiliation. See last note.

5624 Salimun: whole, in full possession of the power of judgement and will; not constrained, as they now will be, by the Punishment staring them full in the face.


68:44
[ Original ]
فَذَرْنِي وَمَنْ يُكَذِّبُ بِهَٰذَا الْحَدِيثِ ۖ سَنَسْتَدْرِجُهُمْ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then leave Me alone with such as reject this Message: by degrees shall We punish them from directions they perceive not.
[ Saheeh International ]
So leave Me, [O Muhammad], with [the matter of] whoever denies the Qur'an. We will progressively lead them [to punishment] from where they do not know.
Tafseer Commentary

5625 Notice the transition between "Me" and "We" in this verse, and again to "I" and "My" in the next verse. The first person plural ordinarily used in the Holy Qur'an as Allah's Word, is the plural of respect. In Royal decrees the first person plural is similarly used. When the first person singular is used, it marks some special personal relation, either of Mercy or favours (as in 2:38 or 2:150) or of punishment, as here. (Cf. n. 56 to 2:38).

5626 Cf. 7:182. We must not be impatient if we see the wicked flourish. It may be that the very appearance of flourishing here may be a part of the Punishment There may be an eventual punishment by a sort of Cataclysm; but evolutionary punishment is gradual and sure. Allah may punish wicked people by granting them respite and providing them worldly benefits in abundance, which encourages them in sin and transgression. So when they are finally seized by the Wrath of Allah they are caught suddenly and utterly unprepared, as it were, red-handed while engrossed in disbelief, a life of impiety and open revolt against their Lord! (R).


68:45
[ Original ]
وَأُمْلِي لَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّ كَيْدِي مَتِينٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
A (long) respite will I grant them: truly powerful is My Plan.
[ Saheeh International ]
And I will give them time. Indeed, My plan is firm.

68:46
[ Original ]
أَمْ تَسْأَلُهُمْ أَجْرًا فَهُمْ مِنْ مَغْرَمٍ مُثْقَلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Or is it that thou dost ask them for a reward, so that they are burdened with a load of debt?-
[ Saheeh International ]
Or do you ask of them a payment, so they are by debt burdened down?
Tafseer Commentary

5627 Cf. 52:40 n. 5074. It costs the Unbelievers nothing to hear the Preacher, for the Preacher asks for no reward, and indeed suffers for their benefit. The Preacher need not look even for appreciation or conversions. Al Mustafa is addressed in the first instance, but there is always a universal interpretation. The righteous man asks for no reward for his preaching or example: if he did, the value would be too great for the world to pay for. The Unbelievers behave as if they had the secret of the Unseen, but they are empty triflers, for, if they only tried to formulate spiritual laws, they would fail.


68:47
[ Original ]
أَمْ عِنْدَهُمُ الْغَيْبُ فَهُمْ يَكْتُبُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Or that the Unseen is in their hands, so that they can write it down?
[ Saheeh International ]
Or have they [knowledge of] the unseen, so they write [it] down?
Tafseer Commentary

5628 Cf. 52:41, n. 5075. The Unseen is certainly not within their knowledge or control. If it were, they could clearly write it down for their own guidance or the guidance of others. They should listen to the words of inspiration, sent by the Knower of all things.


68:48
[ Original ]
فَاصْبِرْ لِحُكْمِ رَبِّكَ وَلَا تَكُنْ كَصَاحِبِ الْحُوتِ إِذْ نَادَىٰ وَهُوَ مَكْظُومٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So wait with patience for the Command of thy Lord, and be not like the Companion of the Fish,- when he cried out in agony.
[ Saheeh International ]
Then be patient for the decision of your Lord, [O Muhammad], and be not like the companion of the fish when he called out while he was distressed.
Tafseer Commentary

5629 This was Dhu al Nun, or Jonah, for whom see n. 2744 to 21:87-88. Cf. also 37:139-148 and the notes there. Jonah was asked to preach to the people of Nineveh , a wicked city. He met with hostility and persecution, fled from his enemies, and took a boat. He was caught in a storm and thrown into the sea. He was swallowed by a fish or whale, but he repented in his living prison, and was forgiven. But the people of Nineveh were also forgiven, for they, too, repented. Here is a double allegory of Allah's mercy and forgiveness, and a command to patience, and complete and joyful submission to the Will of Allah.


68:49
[ Original ]
لَوْلَا أَنْ تَدَارَكَهُ نِعْمَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِ لَنُبِذَ بِالْعَرَاءِ وَهُوَ مَذْمُومٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Had not Grace from his Lord reached him, he would indeed have been cast off on the naked shore, in disgrace.
[ Saheeh International ]
If not that a favor from his Lord overtook him, he would have been thrown onto the naked shore while he was censured.
Tafseer Commentary

5630 Cf. 37:145-146, and n. 4126.


68:50
[ Original ]
فَاجْتَبَاهُ رَبُّهُ فَجَعَلَهُ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Thus did his Lord choose him and make him of the Company of the Righteous.
[ Saheeh International ]
And his Lord chose him and made him of the righteous.
Tafseer Commentary

5631 Jonah was chosen by Allah's Grace and Mercy to be Allah's Prophet to Nineveh . If in his human frailty he lost a little patience, he suffered his punishment, but his true and sincere repentance and recognition of Allah's goodness and mercy restored him from his physical and mental distress, and from the obscuration of the spiritual Light in him.

5632 Cf. 4:69, n. 586. In the beautiful Fellowship of the Righteous there is room for all, of every grade of spiritual advancement, from the highest to the most ordinary. But, as in democratic politics every citizen's rights and status have complete recognition, so, in the spiritual Fellowship, the badge of Righteousness is the bond, even though there may be higher degrees of knowledge or experience.


68:51
[ Original ]
وَإِنْ يَكَادُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَيُزْلِقُونَكَ بِأَبْصَارِهِمْ لَمَّا سَمِعُوا الذِّكْرَ وَيَقُولُونَ إِنَّهُ لَمَجْنُونٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And the Unbelievers would almost trip thee up with their eyes when they hear the Message; and they say: "Surely he is possessed!"
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes when they hear the message, and they say, "Indeed, he is mad."
Tafseer Commentary

5633 The eyes of evil men look at a good man as if they would "eat him up", or trip him up or disturb him from his position of stability or firmness. They use all sorts of terms of abuse-"madman" or "one possessed by an evil spirit", and so on. Cf. 68:2 above, and n. 5594. But the good man is unmoved, and takes his even course. The Message of Allah is true and will endure, and it is a Message to all Creation.


68:52
[ Original ]
وَمَا هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ لِلْعَالَمِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But it is nothing less than a Message to all the worlds.
[ Saheeh International ]
But it is not except a reminder to the worlds.
Tafseer Commentary

5634 This is the extreme antithesis to madness or demoniacal possession. So far from the Prophet uttering words disjointed or likely to harm people, he was bringing the Message of true Reality, which was to be cure of all evil, in every kind of world. For the different kinds of worlds see n. 20 to 1:2.


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