Sura/Chapter:

Verse:    Count: 20
Tafseer/Commentary:
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Translations:
73: Al-Muzzammil - المزمل

73:1
[ Original ]
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
O thou folded in garments!
[ Saheeh International ]
O you who wraps himself [in clothing],
Tafseer Commentary

5754 Muzzammil: Some Commentators understand by this, "properly dressed for prayer", or "folded" in a sheet, as one renouncing the vanities of this world. Muzzammil is one of the titles of our Prophet. But there is a deeper mystic meaning in this and the address "Thou wrapped up" of the next Surah. Human nature requires warm garments and wrappings to protect the body from cold or heat or rain. But in the spiritual world these wrappings are useless; the soul must stand bare and open before Allah, in the silence of the night, but not too austerely, as the following verses show.


73:2
[ Original ]
قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Stand (to prayer) by night, but not all night,-
[ Saheeh International ]
Arise [to pray] the night, except for a little -
Tafseer Commentary

5755 The Prophet was prone to austerities in the cave of Hira ', both before and after he received his mission, spending days and nights in prayer and contemplation. See C. 29. Midnight and after-midnight prayers have technically received the name of Tahajjud. See also verse 20 below; also 17:79. (R).


73:3
[ Original ]
نِصْفَهُ أَوِ انْقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Half of it,- or a little less,
[ Saheeh International ]
Half of it - or subtract from it a little

73:4
[ Original ]
أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Or a little more; and recite the Qur'an in slow, measured rhythmic tones.
[ Saheeh International ]
Or add to it, and recite the Qur'an with measured recitation.
Tafseer Commentary

5756 At this time there was only S. 96, S. 68, and possibly S. 74, and the opening Surah (Al Hamd); but the heart of the Messenger had received enlightenment, and that Light was gradually finding expression in the verse of the Qur'an. For us, now, with the whole of the Qur'an before us, the injunction is specially necessary. The words of the Qur'an must not be read hastily, merely to get through so much reading. They must be studied, and their deep meaning pondered over. They are themselves so beautiful that they must be lovingly pronounced in tones of rhythmic music.


73:5
[ Original ]
إِنَّا سَنُلْقِي عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Soon shall We send down to thee a weighty Message.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, We will cast upon you a heavy word.
Tafseer Commentary

5757 The Qur'an as completed by degrees, after the Fatrah (see Introduction to this Surah).


73:6
[ Original ]
إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ اللَّيْلِ هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطْئًا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Truly the rising by night is most potent for governing (the soul), and most suitable for (framing) the Word (of Prayer and Praise).
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence [of heart and tongue] and more suitable for words.
Tafseer Commentary

5758 For contemplation, prayer, and praise, what time can be so suitable as the night, when calm and silence prevail, the voices of the marketplace are still, and the silent stars pour forth their eloquence to the discerning soul.


73:7
[ Original ]
إِنَّ لَكَ فِي النَّهَارِ سَبْحًا طَوِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
True, there is for thee by day prolonged occupation with manifold engagements:
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, for you by day is prolonged occupation.
Tafseer Commentary

5759 A prophet of Allah, as a man, a member of a family, or a citizen, has many manifold duties to perform; and his work may be made difficult and irksome in protecting those who listen to his preaching and are therefore molested and persecuted by the world. But while discharging all his manifold duties, he should work as in the presence of Allah, and in all matters and at all times retain the sense of Allah's nearness. His work may be on earth, but his heart is in Heaven.


73:8
[ Original ]
وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلْ إِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But keep in remembrance the name of thy Lord and devote thyself to Him whole-heartedly.
[ Saheeh International ]
And remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him with [complete] devotion.

73:9
[ Original ]
رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَاتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(He is) Lord of the East and the West: there is no god but He: take Him therefore for (thy) Disposer of Affairs.
[ Saheeh International ]
[He is] the Lord of the East and the West; there is no deity except Him, so take Him as Disposer of [your] affairs.
Tafseer Commentary

5760 Allah is all-in-all-. He is Lord of all places. He rules the world. Therefore be not discouraged by the plots or enmity of wicked men. Leave all things to Allah; trust Him; He is just and will do justice. Only turn away from the unjust, but in a worthy, noble way; i.e., to show them clearly that you do not fear them, but that you leave all affairs in Allah's hands. If we divide the world into hemispheres from the north to south, "East and West" will cover all directions.


73:10
[ Original ]
وَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَاهْجُرْهُمْ هَجْرًا جَمِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And have patience with what they say, and leave them with noble (dignity).
[ Saheeh International ]
And be patient over what they say and avoid them with gracious avoidance.

73:11
[ Original ]
وَذَرْنِي وَالْمُكَذِّبِينَ أُولِي النَّعْمَةِ وَمَهِّلْهُمْ قَلِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And leave Me (alone to deal with) those in possession of the good things of life, who (yet) deny the Truth; and bear with them for a little while.
[ Saheeh International ]
And leave Me with [the matter of] the deniers, those of ease [in life], and allow them respite a little.
Tafseer Commentary

5761 Men who enjoy the good things of life have special cause for gratitude to Allah, Who bestowed them. When they are in the ranks of Allah's enemies, none but Allah can adequately deal with them.


73:12
[ Original ]
إِنَّ لَدَيْنَا أَنْكَالًا وَجَحِيمًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
With Us are Fetters (to bind them), and a Fire (to burn them),
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, with Us [for them] are shackles and burning fire
Tafseer Commentary

5762 Cf. 13:5; 34:33; 40:71 and 69:30-32. [Eds.].

5763 Cf. 44:47 and 56:94. [Eds.].


73:13
[ Original ]
وَطَعَامًا ذَا غُصَّةٍ وَعَذَابًا أَلِيمًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And a Food that chokes, and a Penalty Grievous.
[ Saheeh International ]
And food that chokes and a painful punishment -
Tafseer Commentary

5764 Cf. 44:43-44; 56:52; 69:36-37, and 88:6. [Eds.].

5765 In general terms, the Penalty of sin may be described as a Penalty Grievous, an Agony. It may come in this very life, but that in the Hereafter is certain! See next verse. We can also consider punishments from another aspect. The first object of punishment is to protect the innocent from the depredations of the criminal; we have to bind him. The next object is to produce in his heart the fire of repentance, to consume his evil proclivities and to light his conscience. Where that is not enough, a more drastic punishment for the callous is something which causes him pain in things which ordinarily cause him pleasure, such as food, drink, and the satisfaction of physical needs. People in whom the higher spiritual faculties are dead may perchance be awakened through the lower physical features of their life, which appeal to them. Where this also fails, there is finally the complete Agony, a type or symbol too terrible to contemplate,


73:14
[ Original ]
يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الْأَرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَكَانَتِ الْجِبَالُ كَثِيبًا مَهِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
One Day the earth and the mountains will be in violent commotion. And the mountains will be as a heap of sand poured out and flowing down.
[ Saheeh International ]
On the Day the earth and the mountains will convulse and the mountains will become a heap of sand pouring down.
Tafseer Commentary

5766 The Judgement is described as a violent commotion which will change the whole face of nature as we know it. Even the hard rock of mountains will be like loose sand running without any cohesion.


73:15
[ Original ]
إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ رَسُولًا شَاهِدًا عَلَيْكُمْ كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ رَسُولًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
We have sent to you, (O men!) a messenger, to be a witness concerning you, even as We sent a messenger to Pharaoh.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, We have sent to you a Messenger as a witness upon you just as We sent to Pharaoh a messenger.
Tafseer Commentary

5767 Our Prophet has to warn his age, i.e., the present age, reclaim it from sin, and be a witness for the righteous and against evil, as Moses did his office in his age. For Pharaoh, his arrogance, and his punishment, see 10:75-92.


73:16
[ Original ]
فَعَصَىٰ فِرْعَوْنُ الرَّسُولَ فَأَخَذْنَاهُ أَخْذًا وَبِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But Pharaoh disobeyed the messenger; so We seized him with a heavy Punishment.
[ Saheeh International ]
But Pharaoh disobeyed the messenger, so We seized him with a ruinous seizure.
Tafseer Commentary

5768 Pharaoh the earthly king faces Moses the Prophet of Allah. In earthly eyes it was Moses who disobeyed Pharaoh. In spiritual relations, it was Pharaoh who disobeyed Moses. Pharaoh represented an ancient and mighty kingdom, with a long history behind it, and a pride in its learning and science, art, organisation, and power. Moses led a depressed people, hewers of wood and drawers of water. But the might of Allah was behind him. What became of the wisdom, power, and armies of Pharaoh? They were rent asunder when the day came, and the terror and surprise must have been the same as if the heavens had been rent asunder, and children's hair had turned grey! But formidable revolutions turn children greyhaired in another way. Nations that were as children became wise before they in their turn decayed, and from similar disobedience to the laws of Allah. For Allah's law must stand and be fulfilled when all else is swept away.


73:17
[ Original ]
فَكَيْفَ تَتَّقُونَ إِنْ كَفَرْتُمْ يَوْمًا يَجْعَلُ الْوِلْدَانَ شِيبًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then how shall ye, if ye deny (Allah), guard yourselves against a Day that will make children hoary-headed?-
[ Saheeh International ]
Then how can you fear, if you disbelieve, a Day that will make the children white- haired?
Tafseer Commentary

5769 If already you deny and disobey Allah in this life of probation, how can you stand up to the Day of Judgement, the Day of the terrible Reality? That Day is described in two metaphors; (1) It will be a time of such stress that even children will become like hoary-headed men; (2) What we look upon as the eternal sky, ever the same, will be cleft asunder; Cf. 82:1. In other words, the shape of things will be completely altered, both within man and in outer nature, and all true values will be restored. For the Promise of Allah, in this as in all other respects, cannot but be fulfilled.


73:18
[ Original ]
السَّمَاءُ مُنْفَطِرٌ بِهِ ۚ كَانَ وَعْدُهُ مَفْعُولًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Whereon the sky will be cleft asunder? His Promise needs must be accomplished.
[ Saheeh International ]
The heaven will break apart therefrom; ever is His promise fulfilled.

73:19
[ Original ]
إِنَّ هَٰذِهِ تَذْكِرَةٌ ۖ فَمَنْ شَاءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِ سَبِيلًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily this is an Admonition: therefore, whoso will, let him take a (straight) path to his Lord!
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, this is a reminder, so whoever wills may take to his Lord a way.
Tafseer Commentary

5770 This is no empty threat. It is an admonition for your good. If you have the will, you can at once come for the Grace and Mercy of Allah, and obtain it. For Repentance and Amendment are the straight Way to the nearness of Allah.


73:20
[ Original ]
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ تَقُومُ أَدْنَىٰ مِنْ ثُلُثَيِ اللَّيْلِ وَنِصْفَهُ وَثُلُثَهُ وَطَائِفَةٌ مِنَ الَّذِينَ مَعَكَ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يُقَدِّرُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ ۚ عَلِمَ أَنْ لَنْ تُحْصُوهُ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ ۚ عَلِمَ أَنْ سَيَكُونُ مِنْكُمْ مَرْضَىٰ ۙ وَآخَرُونَ يَضْرِبُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَبْتَغُونَ مِنْ فَضْلِ اللَّهِ ۙ وَآخَرُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۖ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ ۚ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَقْرِضُوا اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا ۚ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنْفُسِكُمْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا وَأَعْظَمَ أَجْرًا ۚ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Thy Lord doth know that thou standest forth (to prayer) nigh two-thirds of the night, or half the night, or a third of the night, and so doth a party of those with thee. But Allah doth appoint night and day in due measure He knoweth that ye are unable to keep count thereof. So He hath turned to you (in mercy): read ye, therefore, of the Qur'an as much as may be easy for you. He knoweth that there may be (some) among you in ill-health; others travelling through the land, seeking of Allah's bounty; yet others fighting in Allah's Cause, read ye, therefore, as much of the Qur'an as may be easy (for you); and establish regular Prayer and give regular Charity; and loan to Allah a Beautiful Loan. And whatever good ye send forth for your souls, ye shall find it in Allah's Presence,- yea, better and greater, in Reward and seek ye the Grace of Allah: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, your Lord knows, [O Muhammad], that you stand [in prayer] almost two thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and [so do] a group of those with you. And Allah determines [the extent of] the night and the day. He has known that you [Muslims] will not be able to do it and has turned to you in forgiveness, so recite what is easy [for you] of the Qur'an. He has known that there will be among you those who are ill and others traveling throughout the land seeking [something] of the bounty of Allah and others fighting for the cause of Allah. So recite what is easy from it and establish prayer and give zakah and loan Allah a goodly loan. And whatever good you put forward for yourselves - you will find it with Allah. It is better and greater in reward. And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
Tafseer Commentary

5771 Cf., above, 73:2-4. The Prophet, and a zealous band of his disciples, were often up, two-thirds of the night, or a half, or a third, rejecting sleep and giving themselves up to Prayer and Praise and the reading of the Qur'an. They are told that this was too severe a tax on them, especially if their health was affected, or they were on a journey, or they were striving, with might and main, in other ways, for the cause of Allah. See the lines following.

5772 The usual meaning taken is that the counting of the exact hours of night and day may not be possible for ordinary people, in order to determine exactly the half, or the third, or the two-thirds of a night. The length of the night and day varies everyday of the solar year, and the precise hour of midnight can only be determined by exact observation in clear skies or by chronometers, which is not possible for everyone. But I understand it in a wider meaning. Allah fixes night and day in due proportions; for rest and work, and according to seasonal variations. For prayer and praise no meticulous observations of that kind are necessary or possible. Allah's service can be done in many ways as detailed below. But we must give some time to devotion, as may be most easy and convenient to us, in various circumstances of health, travel, and the performance of various duties.

5773 The reading of the Qur'an here is a part of Prayer and religious devotion. This is not to be made into an obsession or a burden. Cf. 20:2: "We have not sent down the Qur'an to thee to be an occasion for thy distress." We must do it wholemindedly, but not by formal mechanical computations.

5774 This refers to Jihad. The better opinion is that this particular verse was revealed in Madinah, long after the greater part of the Surah. The reference, further on, to canonical Prayers and regular Charity (Zakah), points to the same conclusion.

5775 Cf. 2:245, and n. 276, where the meaning of "a Beautiful Loan" is explained. See also 57:18. The "Beautiful Loan" should be that of our own souls. We should expect no returns in kind, for that is not possible. But the reward we shall find with Allah will be infinitely greater and nobler. Cf. the biblical phrase, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven" (Matt. vi. 20).

5776 Any good that we do raises our own spiritual status and dignity. We must not think that when we speak of Allah's service or Allah's Cause, we are doing anything for His benefit: He is independent of all needs whatsoever.

5777 This emphasises the need of Allah's Grace. Whatever good we do, our own merits are comparatively small. Allah's Grace must lift us up and blot out our shortcomings. Even in piety there may be an arrogance which may become a sin. We should always seek Allah's Mercy in all humility.


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