Surah Fajr- the Dawn
Miracle Dream Tafseer - Nouman Ali Khan
What do we learnt from the Previous Surah from before (surah Ghashiyah)?
إِنَّ إِلَيْنَا إِيَابَهُمْ .ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا حِسَابَهُم
It is to us they will return, and it is upon us to judge them.
(Ghashiyah 88: 25-26)
The people who get questioned on that Day are destroyed, and only the people who do not have Hisaab/Questioning will be safe.
The one who is given the book in their right hand – the angels will let them pass through without a hard time.
Why did the people of the past take oaths, and why does Allah take Oaths in the Qur’an?
1 – To get attention in speech.
2 – The Object being sworn/oathed by has a relation to the Subject to come.
The oaths in this surah continue with the pattern of previous oaths which show the different signs of Allah’s wonders in the sky. (I.e. The stars, the sunrise, the red glow of the sun when it sets, the still night etc.)
[I swear] By the break of Day
Fajr – the time when the night has been ripped, and the light begins to come through into the sky.
Fajr (and other similar root words to it) = to tear/rip open something completely.
So the earliest time when the light tears through the darkness of the night – Fajr has begun.
Allah does an oath by this time of the Day.
This is the time of life. Animals and birds start chirping. The world is given life once again after its death.
(Surah Duha – wal layli idha saja – By the Night when it is Saja [still/not moving at all.])
It is only the believer who wakes up willingly by choice at this time to worship Allah, his Master, whereas the disbelievers/sinners remain asleep. And the animals wake up without choice. This makes the believing slave of Allah have a high rank in His sight.
At this time – the hearts are the closest and most in fear in the presence of their Lord. Why?
1 – The slave has woken up for no reason of the world except for Allah’s sake.
2 – When Allah swears by the morning – He is swearing by death and life. Because the night sleep is a sign of death, and the waking up is like the Ressurection after that death.
This is affirmed by the du’a we recite from the Sunnah after waking up; Alhamdulillah aladhee ahyana ba’da ma amaatana wa ilayhin-nushoor.(the praise is for Allah who brought us to life after our death, and to Him is our gathering.)
So waking up is a reminder of the final Ressurection on Judgment Day.
3 – Darkness is removed. Since this surah is a Makki surah (revealed in Makkah when the Muslims faced hardship). The Fajr morning light is a sign of the upcoming victory of Islam after the hardships (darkness) faced by the Muslims.
Just like the morning light (of Tawheed/monotheism) removes the darkness of shirk (polytheism) and oppression.
This is why Fajr is sworn by.
wa layaalin ‘ashr
And I swear by Ten Nights.
[wa layaal IL (alif,lam) 'ashr - and I swear by THE ten nights" is not mentioned.
The lack of 'AL [THE] means its NOT limited to just one set of 10 nights, it could be more than one set of 10 nights. As we will see;
’10 nights’ are important to ponder over because; Allah swore by them, and because they are part of the lesson of the Surah.
What are ‘Ten nights’? 2 Opinions;
1 – The Last 10 Nights of Ramadan (when fasting takes place.)
2 – The First 10 Nights of Dhul Hijjah (the month in which Hajj takes place).
There other minority opinions (i.e. Some say Muharram) but these are the main two.
(The vast majority of sahaba [Companions of Allah's Messenger],tabi’oon [followers of the companions] and mufassiroon [exegesists/interpreters of the Qur'an] have held either of the above 2 opinions.)
The First or Last 10 days of any month are the most visible when you see the shifting of the moon. The major changes are known by looking at the sky, just like you look at the sky for Fajr.
Islahi – changing of the nights shows us the inevitable.
So when you see the Fajr light – you know for sure that the day is going to come. The same way if you see the moon, you know the month is going to go ahead and the moon full.
So if you want to know the victory of Islam coming, just pay attention to the Fajr dawn, and the moon as it becomes full gradually. Because surely, light doesn’t come except after the darkest part of the night.
The barakah / blessings are at the highest within these nights, and the rewards are the greatest. This is why fasting, ‘ibaadah (worship), sacrifice [in Dhul Hijjah] etc. Are within these nights.
This surah ends; ya ayatuhan-nafs ul muttma’inna, Irji’ee ilaa Rabiki raadiyatan mardiyatan fadkhulee janatee. (oh soul at rest, come to your Master, pleased and pleased with (by Allah) and enter my Paradise. (Ayah :30) – because this person did good for the pleasure of Allah, causing Allah to be pleased with it, and as a result He entered this person into Paradise.
The Days when entering Paradise is easiest to earn.
Ramadan – Laylat-al-Qadr. – when Revelation (wahy) began. The Qur’an was revealed on this night.
The Messenger of Allah opened/took Makkah on the Day of Hajj in Dhul Hijjah. A sign of the fulfillment of his mission.
So the entire Life of Allah’s Messenger is covered within these sets of 10 nights.
The dawn of Islam is near, and that was achieved within the Opening of Makkah in Dhul Hijjah on the day of Hajj.
The Fajr gives life to the dead, a sign of the Day of Ressurection. And what was one of the signs of the Day of Ressurection? The coming of Allah’s Messenger Muhammad (sal Allah alaihi wasalam).
So the Fajr mentioned in the 1st ayah – a reminder of the Ressurection Day connects with the next aayah (Ayah 2) covering the life of Allah’s Messengers beginning of the message, and the end of his message and the upcoming victory of Islam.
Al Aloosi: Some say these are the ten nights of Dhul Hijjah and others say they are the 10 nights of Ramadan.
hadeeth fi bukhari; ma min iyamin ‘amal as-salih, ahuba lillahi fee hinna ayaam, ya’ni ‘ashru dhul hijjah…
(there are no days which are more beloved to Allah than the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah) [Bukhari]
wash-shaf’i wal witr.
And I swear by the even and the odd.
shaf’ = to be with someone. (i.e. Shafa’ah “I’m with him/on his side.”) One part of another. One with the other.
watr = odd. (i.e. The witr prayer is in odd numbers of raka’ats).
A view by many Sahaba (companions of Allah’s Messenger):
ash-shaf’ – all of the creation of Allah in pairs. Male & female, night & day, darkness and light, big and small etc.
watr – only Allah alone. Since only Allah is One and there is none like or comparable to Him.
So Allah swears by the creation and Himself.
Others have connected it to the previous oaths. Some nights are odd and sometimes the nights are even. Some months are odd, some months are even.
But regardless – they are blessed months.
Qatada: ash-Shaf’ – refers to everyday of the month (because every day contains a Day and a Night). Except the last day of the month which contains no night (since the night of that day fits into the new month).
[This is because the Maghrib (sunset) of a day is the night for the oncoming day, i.e. On Thursday Maghrib time = the Night of Friday. After Fajr - it is Friday daytime. At Friday maghrib (sunset) time - it is Saturday night. Etc.]
Related to this view is ash-Shaf’ referring to all the days of the world because they are similar in pattern, and the Watr being the Final Day of Ressurection when everything will be different to the norms of other days of the world.
Another Deep interpretation is;
Every one of those two things within the pair need to be appreciated individually, and through looking at them individually – you see how they work together evenly for such beauty and harmony.
i.e. The night is an odd, the day is an odd. These two together are an even. The beauty of the day for our work and lively matters is something to appreciate, and the night for rest should also be appreciated. But we would not be able to appreciate them both fully unless we had two of them.
The Earth, the Sky. The male and the female. Slave and Master. Hell and Paradise. We cannot appreciate one without the other.
Similarly, this Worldly life would be out of balance if it didn’t have another to balance it. So just like everything else – Allah has made a balance for it – a Judgment Day to balance out the injustices and justice done in this life. He has made the Afterlife for Punishment and Reward.
An opinion which has been criticized by many scholars, but it’s interesting;
ash-shaf’ – the 2 haramain of Masjid al Haram in Makkah and Masjid an-Nabawi in Medinah.
watr – Bayt al Maqdis (Masjid al Aqsa in Jerusalem).
وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَسْرِ
wal layli idha yasrI[kasra/zeyr (i sound) at the end].
I swear by the night as it strolls away.
Normally in the arabic language, we would expect the word to be Yasree (with a Ya at the end).
But instead, there is just a kasra at the end – YasrI.
yasri – It means to take a stroll at night time.
al Akhfash was a Scholar on Hadeeth (muhadith) was asked; how come Allah removed the Ya from yasri?
He was a tough teacher and said to him, come back after a year and I will tell you. The student came back in a year and asked the same question. So the al Akhfash replied;
The night does not take a scroll. Rather, the stroll is taken – by people – in the night.
This implies that people don’t have power over time, rather Allah has power over time, and humans – with the limited abilities given to them – use the different times for their benefit. So humans have to adapt to the environment, and they should not be arrogant because they themselves cannot control the time of the universe around them.
This oath (ayah 4) is connected to Ayah 1.
Ayah 2 and Ayah 3 are connected to each other.
Ayah 4 and Ayah 1 are connected. How?
The Fajr in the 1st ayah represented the Ressurection Day, the same way we wake from our sleep.
The night taking a stroll (the world coming to an end) is a sign of the approaching of the Fajr (which signifies the Day of Ressurection).
And the aayaat in between Ayah 2 and 3 signify the life of Allah’s Messenger.
Ayah 1 – signifies the Ressurection, the same way we wake up from our sleep.
Ayah 2 and 3 – signifies the coming of Allah’s Messenger and him being victorious. He is one of the great signs of the end times.
Ayah 4 – the night taking a stroll signifies the world coming to an end.
هَلْ فِي ذَٰلِكَ قَسَمٌ لِّذِي حِجْرٍ
Hal fee dhalika qasamun lizhee hijr
Is there in that enough of an oath (a powerful oath) for people of rock/solid intellect?
hijr – boulder. In classical arabic, it would refer to the ‘Aql – Intellect.
So what does a boulder (a big rock) have to do with the intellect?
The intellect was that which controlled you from harming yourself.
i.e. If you don’t have an intellect – you will touch fire and burn yourself. But if you did have an intellect – it would prevent you.
The same way a big bolder is a barrier prevents you from passing it, the same way your intellect prevents you from harm.
An enormous restraint which prevents you from harming yourself, so you stop yourself (your bolder/intellect prevents you) from going forward in something wrong or emotional which might be harmful to you.
So in all of the Oaths mentioned earlier – is there enough of a (powerful) Oath for those who have a rock solid intellect/for those who can control their desires?
Allah does not usually do this, He doesn’t usually tell people to reflect on the oaths He has mentioned earlier. Another time He has done emphasis on His oaths is in Surah Balad. And Surah al-Waqi’ah (56:75-77)
In the previous Surah, Allah warned the disbelievers through warning of the next life. So obviously they still hav’t believed, so maybe they – by seeing the ruins of the disbelieving people before them – might learn lessons.
أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِعَادٍ
Alam tara kayfa faAAala rabbuka biAAad
(O Muhammad) – did you not see how your Master dealt with the people of ‘Aad?
He recites to the disbelievers.
TaRa – You See.
Ru’ya – see with your heart. (“I see what he means” = an action of seeing from the heart.)
yaNdhur – has been mentioned in the previous surahs – meaning to look closely at something physically with your eyes in detail.
Did you not reflect on how your people dealt with ‘Aad?
kayfa = how. How did he do it?
The ‘Aad people were huge, very powerful, they built enormous beams and pillars, and nobody fought them because they were so strong.
The people who were undefeatable and built such amazing big monuments. The Arabs would pass by them and wonder; how could they be destroyed? Who could overcome them?
(Who is stronger than us in power? Surah Fussilat)
From this is encouragement of Allah to His Messenger;
1 – the Quraysh arabs who thought that they were so strong – torturing the companions of Allah’s Messenger. Do they think they will get away with it? Allah is giving reassurance to His Messenger that He will help the believers, the same way He helped the believers at the time ‘Aad was destroyed.
2 – A threat to the disbelievers.
In the previous surah, Allah reminded His Messenger to remind the people, and in this surah – He is reminding His Messenger Himself – how He dealt with the people of ‘Aad who were oppressive.
This is the last time the people of ‘Aad will be mentioned in the Qur’an. To end all the discussions previously mentioned of them in a befitting way – that your Master dealt with them, so don’t worry – Allah can deal with all the oppressors in an equal way without any stopping Him.
fa yu adhibuhu adhaab al akbar – He will punish him with the most powerful puinishment [Ghashiyah]
And Allah has punished them with a severe punishment.
Background on ‘Aad:
The people of ‘Aad were from Yemen, they were the 3rd or 4th generation after Prophet Nuh [as said by Qatadah]. So they were naturally big people in size. The Prophet sent to them was Prophet Hud.
They had a famous statement;
man ashaddu min-naa quwwah? Who is stronger than us in power? (surah fussilat).
Whose going to fight us? Who can win us?
Ibn Katheer: these are the first ‘aad and Allah sent Prophet Hud to them. They rejected him and they lied against the message, they opposed him, they were arrogant and rebellious, and oppressed.
So Allah tells us how He destroyed them and made them into nothing but a lesson/reminder and news to talk about.
إِرَمَ ذَاتِ الْعِمَادِ
Irama dhaatil ‘imaad
Who were very tall like lofty pillars.
The earlier generation of ‘Aad are Iram. These are the forefathers of ‘Aad and Thamood.
some say Iram is the father who established their tribe.
Iram = to get rocks together and make a sign with them.
irama dhaatil ‘imad – they possessed bodies of strength, and they built pillars and beams for their massive structures. So when people would pass by them, they would fear how they were destroyed.
ash-Shawkani: the affair of ‘aad and thamood was famous for the Arabs, because their homes were adjacent to the Arabs. This is why Allah mentioned these tribes as a reminder alot in the Qur’an, since the Arabs had passed by their remnants throughout their journeys. So they would always see them.
Whereas some Prophets before were at a disadvantage because their people had not seen the remnants of nations which had been destroyed.
So the Quraysh couldn’t say – we’ve never seen anything like that, because they would always see the remnants.
Allah also mentions Pharoah alot in the Qur’an because this person was mentioned by the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) alot, since he was destroyed in the life of Moses.
The Arabs knew of Iram and would even mention them in their poetry;
Qays bin Raqqiyat’s poetry;
adraka ‘aadan wa qablahum iram.
(you know ‘Aad and before them Iram.)
الَّتِي لَمْ يُخْلَقْ مِثْلُهَا فِي الْبِلَادِ
Allatee lam yukhlaq mithluha fee albilad
the likes of which had never been created in all of the cities.
bilaad – city whose borders are defined and they are ready to defend its borders.
Misr [with a tanween / Noon at the end] – a city that has fortified walls on the outside or it has a dip – so you have to cross over or down something to get inside. (this is different to Egypt/Misr because that doesn’t have a Tanween on).
Medina – a city with a established leader.
Bilaad – the guarded cities, which showed; might, civilization, military power which had never been seen before.
Don’t you see how Allah dealt with them?
وَثَمُودَ الَّذِينَ جَابُوا الصَّخْرَ بِالْوَادِ
Wathamooda alladheena jaboo as sakhra bil wad
And [with] Thamud, who carved out the rocks in the valley?
And Thamood. Prophet Salih was sent to Thamood (the one with the miracle she camel).
sakhrah – really LARGE Bolder.
Naht = to scrape – within a rock. I.e. You might scrape your name on a stone.
Jaabu – drill a hole right through something, cracking open, break open. And then give final shape/structure/design.
These people didn’t just scratch and make marks in stones. No, they actually made holes and cracked through stones with their own manpower. They were strong people.
waad – anyplace where water falls. So they were financially prosperous, and they were amazing designers.
waad – waad al qurra. Valleys of the towns that were destroyed.
ash-Shawkani: The lineage of the people of Thamood/Thamud is;
Thamud bin ‘Aabir bin Iram bin Sam bin Nuh.
The Thamood are later descendants of ‘Aad and further from Iram who came before.
وَفِرْعَوْنَ ذِي الْأَوْتَادِ
WafirAAawna dhee al-awtad
and Pharoah the Possessor of pegs.
possessor of pegs:
1 – when armies travel and set camp – they put pegs in the ground.
Pharoah is known for his massive armies – so when you see the armies – you see an army of pegs.
2 – Torture Methods: Those who rebelled against him, he would cut off their limbs, then crucify them and peg their remaining body to the crucifix. Some narrations state that this happened to ‘Aasiya, the believing wife of Pharoah too.
3 – Construction: the Pharoahs’ were known to be famous for their powerful construction. One symbol for their constructions were their pegs, which was shown in their hieroglyphics. So the pegs might refer to their powerful construction methods.
We see that all 3 peoples described; ‘Aad, Thamood and Pharoah were known for their powerful construction methods.
Why is this important for the ‘arabs to hear? Because they were not builders at all.
So Allah has destroyed these people who were much more powerful in construction, living in firm, strong homes. So the Arabs who only built mud houses shouldn’t feel secure from Allah’s punishment.
These people were far more capable than the Arabs. Why don’t you compare yourself to these great nations? Are you really going to compare yourself to them? The ones you just get scared of when you pass their towns? The remnants of them which leave hayba/terror in you?
This put the Arabs in their place. It humbled them. Since they knew they were weaker than them in all ways.
These kind of reminders are still for people of our generations; like pyramids of Pharoah and the sphynx.
The places put fear in our hearts because of the unknown atmospheres withinthem locations, and because Allah destroyed the Pharoahs’, and He is easily able to do that to us people.
Now Allah will answer another question without asking it.
(Why did Allah destroy these people?)
الَّذِينَ طَغَوْا فِي الْبِلَادِ
Alladheena taghaw fee albilad
Who (all) were rebellious (to Allah) in these lands,
taghaw – to go beyond the limits in rebelling against someone, because you are against their authority. (=tughyan).
Their rebellion against Allah and His Messengers’ who had no armies, just a warning from Allah.
fil bilaad – (rebelled) in the lands. So where did the evil consequences start? In the city itself. The corruption starts against their own people.
“ina ma baghyukum ‘ala anfusikum. – your rebellion is only against yourselves” (quran).
fil balaad – corruption takes place in the land, and the societies purposelly rebel to show their ‘freedom’ of rebellion against Allah and His Messengers’.
So people will not even do the basic good acts like being kind to the neighbour, or not lie. They want to show their freedom, whereas it is rebellion and harm against their ownselves (fil balaad – in their city) and punishment coming in the near future.
فَأَكْثَرُوا فِيهَا الْفَسَادَ
fa aktharoo fee hal fasaad
so they increased in corruption.
al Fasaad – corruption and deterioration. Beautiful constructions and beautiful views might be there. This was the situation of the nations described above, and also of our time. But the most corruption is present there; including injustice, racism, abuse, homelesness etc.
When you rebel (tughyan) in the land. This is when injustice and fasaad/corruption spreads.
فَصَبَّ عَلَيْهِمْ رَبُّكَ سَوْطَ عَذَابٍ
fa sabba alayhim rabuka sawta azaab
So your Lord poured on them different kinds of severe torment.
sabb – pour ALOT. I.e. Get a bucket full of water and just throw it out, bucket upon bucket of water. Slam it down.
afragha = pour.
rabuK – Your Master (O Muhammad). Allah is on the side of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah.
And don’t think that your tribe/people will help you – because the nations before you were destroyed altogether. Their tribe didn’t help them, and they were stronger than you disbelievers.
sab – drenched them/threw on them fully
sawt – whip. A leather whip. Some linguists say this is The worst kind of torture because it hurts your skin, and the skin being tortured is where pain hurts the most (since the most sensitive nerves are there).
jalda – lashes.
Sawt – Allah whipped them with one powerful strike.
Allah unleashed his entire whip on them.
And the whips and punishments are more severe of the next life.
So some scholars said this is Watr (1 odd whip) and the punishments of the next life are more in number (ash-Shaf’).
Allah Threw His punishment fully upon them – so they were overwhelmed with the punishment.
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَبِالْمِرْصَادِ
ina rabaka la bil marsaad.
There is no doubt, your Lord is waiting in ambush.
mirsaad = a place where someone in hunt silently watches – ready to attack when the time is right.
So O disbelievers, Allah is waiting, ready to attack, to punish. He is already waiting for you in ambush (O disbelievers).
Fajr 2 33.20
Rabaka la bil marsaad – La hum (for them) is not mentioned. This keeps the feeling of suspense and makes the one opposing the message anxious, Allah could attack/punish at anytime ‘if I make the wrong move.’
Before Allah was talking about entire nations, now He will focus on the persona of the individual human being. How is man really like towards his Master?
فَأَمَّا الْإِنسَانُ إِذَا مَا ابْتَلَاهُ رَبُّهُ فَأَكْرَمَهُ وَنَعَّمَهُ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّي أَكْرَمَنِ
Faamma al-insanu itha maibtalahu rabbuhu faakramahu wanaAA’AAamahu fayaqoolu rabbeeakraman
As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honour and gifts, then he says (puffed up): “My Lord has honoured me.”
fa – illustrates that what is to come has some relation to what was mentioned earlier in the surah.
Before we read about tughyan (rebellion) and fasad (corruption).
In the previous surah Ghashiyah, the two keywords were Tawal-la (turned away), and kafara (disbelieved.) The consequences of denial is rebellion against Allah, which causes corruption in the land.
Nations don’t become corrupt, people begin to become corrupt first. Then they effect society through their rebellion against Allah, finally causing corruption to spread everywhere.
idha Mabtalahu – when He fully/thoroughly tests.
idha abtalahu is normal in arabic.
The Ma signifies that; each and every time We test him (the human being..)
Rabuhu – his Master.
Intahana – testing. (in hujurat) – testing in a way which does not cause pain.
balaw – (kama balawna as-haab al jannah) (surah qalam). A testing which has some difficulty.
Ibtilaa – rigorous/harsh and tough testing. (this word is used in surah al Baqarah, when Allah tested Ibrahim/Abraham.)
fa akramahu wa na’amahu
ikram – to cause someone to be honored.
Karuma – to be honored in and of yourself.
kareem = you can’t call yourself kareem. You can only be called Kareem when others show you respect, and it becomes recognised that this person is always being honored. (kiramah).
The first tough test Allah gives the human is that he gives him an honorable and distinctive position in society so he is famously recognised.
Na’am-ma – abundant life of comfort, ease, luxury, wherever he turns.
So outside the home – he has honour and prestige, in the home he has luxries.
Allah calls this a very difficult test.
Alot of people mistakenly think that Allah loves them if He gives them wealth. This is a major misunderstanding and has caused many to deviate from the truth when it came to them.
Allah gave many bad people alot of wealth and honour in society.
Pharoah had alot of wealth, and so did Qaroon (he is mentioned in surah al Kahf/the Cave).
The Quraysh leaders who were disbelievers had alot of honour and prestige in society.
But who gave them all this? Allah. He tested them.
Why is this test so difficult? Because people don’t know this is a test, so they don’t be patient in being thankful and obedient to Allah.
fa – as a result of all these blessings and favours from Allah..
yaqool [present tense form]- he (man) says over and over again/excessively (due to yaqOOl being plural, if it was singular it would be said; Fa Qaala [singular]).
he says (excessively) Rabee akraman.
My Lord has honored me [al ithbat ‘ala ghayril fa’il – (the way he says this arrogantly implies: My Lord has honored me like He has not honored anyone else. So as a result, I deserve all these blessings as a God given right more than anyone else.)
Man didn’t mention the blessings that were given to him. He just mentioned honour. He is implying that this honour I have is ‘God given’.
If you study the history of the world, you see that most corrupt rulers and kings in history have always argued that ‘God is on our side’, that their authority and kingship is due to Divine help.
Even the pharoahs’ – they believed the sun is on their side.
Even amongst hindus – they believed the stars had chosen them.
Even amongst the Catholic christians – it was believed that the king was divinely ordained by God.
So they considered their honour blessings of luxuries to be specific for them due to God ‘choosing them over all other people’.
This at the individual level is also a sick disease, where once Allah gives, the slave might expect that it is Allah’s duty to give him luxuries and honour all the time.
So when this slave mentions Allah, he only does so out of arrogance and to raise his level of pride. Not to be thankful to Allah.
وَأَمَّا إِذَا مَا ابْتَلَاهُ فَقَدَرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقَهُ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّي أَهَانَنِ
Wa ammaa idha ma ibtalahu faqadara AAalayhi rizqahu fayaqoolu rabbee ahanan
But when He tries him and restricts his provision, he says, “My Lord has humiliated me.”
wa – and.. This is a continuation of the description of that same person being described in ayah 15.
fa qadara ‘alayhi rizqahu – he lessens/constrains the provision for him.
qadara – very precise estimation/calculation.
When he had been given wealth, that was written for him in his Qadr (Destiny). When he lost wealth – that was also already written for him in his Qadr.
So even the morsel of food which did not go into our mouth had not been written for us.
fa yaqoolu rabee ahaanan – it is my Lord who has ahaanan.
ahaanan – ihaana – make an effort to humiliate someone out of animosity against them.
So this person has an attitude of bad thoughts about Allah. He is not thankful to Allah for good he does get, but when Allah does limit his wealth – as was written for him in his destiny – he says, my Lord has humiliated me (because He doesn’t like me, because He is angry with me and I didn’t even do anything bad. Etc.) That sort of attitude.
akraman – akramaneey [the Ya (to make the 'eey' sound at the end) should really be there but it isn't.]
ahaanan – ahaananeey [the Ya (to make the 'eey' sound at the end) should really be there but it isn't.]
This is similar to the theme mentioned earlier in Ayah 4. Wal layli idha yasr. Yasreey [the Ya (to make the 'eey' sound at the end) should really be there but it isn't.]
But why isn’t the ‘ee’ mentioned at the end of these words?
This person says “my Lord has honored me”, “my Lord has humiliated me” – and that’s all, i don’t want to hear anymore from anyone else. So i don’t want to hear your responses or criticisms for or against my claims. An attitude of arrogance or sometimes sheer frustration.
What did these people associate honour with? When people respect you and give you blessings.
What is our rizq [sustenance]? It is the blessings we have, and it also includes the honour we have been given.
So when that wealth is taken away from him, he thinks he’s lost his respect and honour. And he thinks that the only way he’ll gain it back is through getting wealth back again.
This effects the Muslims today too. Like we feel embarrassed to have cheaper company brand clothes, less expensive cars, an older games console etc. And we have been affected to sub-consciously think that there is no respect/honour except through wealth and expensive items.
Keep in mind – Allah never said ‘the disbeliever’ said this. Allah says ‘Insaan’ (humans) say these words often.
Insaan – Nasiya – forgetful human being. Forgetful of his purpose, forgetful of his Lord’s promises.
Insaan – Uns – Affection – to wealth and material pleasures.
Everything Allah gives is a gift since He owns everything and we were born with nothing, He doesn’t have to give to us. So you should form a relationship with Him in the right way, so He will give you more (ibrahim 14:8). It’s only through a corrupt relationship with Allah or a lack of sincerety with Him that causes Insaan to complain this way. And if someone carries on complaining in ungratefulness, usually the next step is rebelling against Allah. (i.e. ‘if Allah didn’t give me enough money through halal, then I will do it through haram!’) And rebellion (tughyan) brought corruption and the destruction of the nations before us.
wa man yunhinillahu fa ma lahu min mukrim? Whoever Allah dishonours, then what will honour him? (quran).
So we see how nations become corrupt – through corrupt individuals who have wrong understandings about Allah’s ways.
May Allah change our attitudes about luxuries/wealth and honour by means of these Aayaat. Ameen.
كَلَّا ۖ بَل لَّا تُكْرِمُونَ الْيَتِيمَ
Kalla bal la tukrimoona alyateem
not at all (you don’t deserve to be honored at all) – you do not honour the orphan.
Orphan / Yateem – someone who doesn’t have any family or support in any way.
- Children who have single parents and cannot earn enough for the basic necessities.
- People who convert to Islam and are disowned by their parents.
- Muslim widows – especially in Muslim populated countries. Everyone disowns them due to ‘respect’, and she has no help.
People who didn’t have any helpers in society were known as Yateem in the time of Allah’s Messenger.
Allah doesn’t even mention here the feeding or providing of Yateem. He says you don’t honour them.
It’s easy to honour someone higher in society rank than you. But what about the weak or ‘lower class’ in society who are ‘below you in society’ who need help? Why don’t you respect them?
You should show respect and honour, like they are Royalty.
وَلَا تَحَاضُّونَ عَلَىٰ طَعَامِ الْمِسْكِينِ
Wala tahaaddoona AAala taAAami almiskeen
And you don’t encourage each other – at all – in feeding the poor.
So Allah told us to honour the weak, and then encourage – ourselves and others – to feed them.
This is because we live in a society where we might give 10 moneys to the homeless person on the street. “Here’s 10 moneys, but don’t touch me”.
We need to do Ikraam (honour) of the ones in need. There is no dawah to Islam better than this.
You people have this wealth and people respect you, yet you spend the blessings given to you in vain and useless activities. Why should you then be worthy of honor, if you don’t even honor and feed the needy with the blessings given to you?
وَتَأْكُلُونَ التُّرَاثَ أَكْلًا لَّمًّا
Wata/kuloona atturatha aklan lamma
And you devour inheritance all with greed,
On top of this, you consume turaath.
turaath – wiraathah – inherited wealth. It can also refer to wealth which you gain without having to do any work for it.
So this person is already rich, but he still wants more free money.
So you see a ill member dying and all you think is, how am I going to inherit from their money after they die?
akla lamaa -
lam – pile something together, put your arms around it, and eat it [akl - to eat].
This is how you want to eat up the wealth of the orphan.
These criticisms are being directed at the disbelievers, but we live in such a shocking time that even Muslims are doing this due to their cultural backgrounds. I.e. They don’t give their sisters inheritance share to them etc. Saying “I need it more than her.”
وَتُحِبُّونَ الْمَالَ حُبًّا جَمًّا
Watuhibboona almala hubbanjamma
You love wealth gathered.
That’s the biggest crime this person has committed – since his love for wealth is the root cause for all his evils.
jam’a – to fill a scale to the brim. Fully loaded. ALOT of full wealth.
These people think their wealth will be with them always, or that it will stay within their families.
But Allah says; inna nahnu narith al ard wa man alayha, wa ilayna yurja’un.
- surely We will inherit the earth, and what is on it, and to Us is their return. (quran).
The previous surah Ghashiyah had the hereafter in the beginning. This surah has the hereafter in the end.
كَلَّا إِذَا دُكَّتِ الْأَرْضُ دَكًّا دَكًّا
Kalla idha dukkati al-ardu dakkan dakka
No! when the earth is smashed and pounded.
dakka – pound and beat a material till it becomes dust – then you can flatten it out.
Dakkan dakka – pounded and pounded till it is flattened out.
Allah told us about how He has made the mountains as nusub/pegs, how He has spread the earth for us etc.
This same Earth – He will pound and beat it till it becomes flattened.
In the previous aayaat – wealth was mentioned. The same wealth you are hoarding up and keeping safe, that is part of what will be pounded and turned into useless dust.
وَجَاءَ رَبُّكَ وَالْمَلَكُ صَفًّا صَفًّا
Wajaa rabbuka walmalaku saffansaffa
and your Lord will come, and the angels will come (descend) rows upon rows upon rows.
saffan saffa – rows upon rows, like a never ending army. The disbelievers would boast about their armies being huge in numbers. So on this Day – Allah will show His angels standing in rows upon rows upon rows like a massive army.
In the previous surah – we were told to look at the sky and how it has been raised (rufi’at).
In this surah – the description of Judgment Day shows us that we will look at the sky and see angels coming down from it in rows upon rows upon rows.
وَجِيءَ يَوْمَئِذٍ بِجَهَنَّمَ ۚ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَتَذَكَّرُ الْإِنسَانُ وَأَنَّىٰ لَهُ الذِّكْرَىٰ
Wajee-a yawma-izin bi jahannama yawma-izin yatadhakkaru al-insanu wa anna lahu adhdhikra
And on that Day then, hellfire (jahannam) will be brought forward.
Jahannam – according to sone linguists, comes from the Persian word Jahnaam = Torture chamber.
According to the ahadith, it will be brought and dragged forward with chains.
yawma idhin yatadhakarul insanu..
This is not separate in another ayah, rather it is in the same ayah because just when man sees the torture chamber, he will remember all that he had done in this world.
On that Day the insan/(forgetful) human will remember fully/thoroughly what it had done (of deeds in this life).
yatadhakaru. – fully and thoroughly remember.
In the previous surah, Allah told His Messenger to remind (yadh-dhakur) and remind. And the disbelievers would choose not to benefit from the reminder.
So the irony is that the disbelievers didn’t choose to benefit from the reminder, but on this Day – when they see the torture chamber of hell – they will thoroughly remember every detail they had done in this life.
..wa annaa lahudhikra.
And whats the benefit of the reminder (at that point)?
It’s too late by then.
When they remember everything they had done in life of worthlessness and sin..
يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي قَدَّمْتُ لِحَيَاتِي
ya qoolu ya laytanee qadamtu li hayatee.
He will say, “Oh would that I had forwarded some good for my (future) life!”
ya laytanee – oh what destruction has fallen on me! I’m destroyed!
qadamtu li hayatee – if only i had sent savings ahead (if only i had invested) for my life.
If only I had spent my wealth in obedience to Allah – an investment for the real life of Jannah/Paradise.
But instead he wasn’t encouraging to feed the needy, using his wealth to oppress others, while eating up more wealth of the orphan / weak, and still being greedy for more in this life.
Wasn’t he doing all this for his life? But on this Day he will know that the real life is the one which is everlasting in Paradise.
But he cannot mend his ways – it’s too late to return.
فَيَوْمَئِذٍ لَّا يُعَذِّبُ عَذَابَهُ أَحَدٌ
Fayawma-idhin la yuAAazibu AAazaabahu ahad
So on that Day, none will punish [as severely] as His punishment,
fa yawma idhin
Then on that Day, no-one will be torturing the likes of His torture.
ash-Shawkani: on that day there is not going to imagine a more intense punishment than for the ones who disobeyed Him.
these sins include rebellion, and corruption.
وَلَا يُوثِقُ وَثَاقَهُ أَحَدٌ
Wala yoothiqu wathaqahu ahad
And nobody will tie/bind the likes of His tying/bind.
wathaaq – tie with a firm, strong binding.
After all this reminder, the stubborn disbelievers are so hopeless of being guided – that their situation is dropped (we know they are binded. What comes after that? Hell. But it isn’t mentioned because we’re already supposed to know that from the previous Surahs’.)
يَا أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ
Ya ayyatuha annafsualmutma-inna
(It will be said to the pious): “O (you) the one in (complete) rest and satisfaction!
So Allah now turns to and talks to the one He has hope in. (And it is Allah talking to all the relaxed people.
The context of the following words takes place in Jannah/paradise;
Ya = O! Hey you! This is used when directly talking to someone. [shifting the earlier speech of 3rd person to 2nd person - as a sign of Allah's closeness to His believing tranquil slave.]
Through this technique, Allah is FORCING the listener/recitor to imagine himself being the tranquil soul in Paradise who Allah is talking to.
O tranquil person [nafs]…
muttma’inah – ittminaan – completely tranquil.
This surah earlier talked about a person who wasn’t tranquil, who was always afraid of losing his wealth and honour.
The believing slave, who didn’t let his nafs get taken away from empty false desires.
fa ammaa man khaafa maqaama Rabihee wa nahan-nafsa ‘an-il hawa (quran).
The one who feared standing infront of his Master and he prevented the nafs from vanities/empty desires.
Oh calm/tranquil/satisfied Nafs/person.
This is one of the great gifts in Paradise, eternal bliss, calmness and ease…
Beginning of the Surahs’ relation to its End:
Muhammad al Sha’rawi: the oaths mentioned in the first 4 aayaat are related to the times when the tranquil nafs/self takes the most advantage of them situations.
Ayah 1 – wal Fajr – the time when the believer prays in the early morning, and it is the most tranquil of times in the day and the time when no worldly distractions are in the mind.
Ayah 2 – wal-layaal al ‘ashr – and the 10 nights. The tranquil self takes advantage of the last 10 nights of Ramadan and Dhul Hijjah. These are the best nights and days to do worship.
Ayah 3 – wash-shaf’i wal watr. And the even and the odd. Some said that it refers to the even and odd prayers (the amount of raka’ahs).
Ayah 4 – wal layli idha yassr – and the night when it departs. This is the last 3rd of the night when prayers are answered the most by Allah. Also the time for Tahajjud/Qiyam al Layl prayer. And also the time for Suhoor – the time you eat your meal for fasting.
What has satisfied this Nafs?
ارْجِعِي إِلَىٰ رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَّرْضِيَّةً
irji’ee ilaa rabiki raaddiyatan marddiyah
Return to your Master well-pleased and pleased with (by Allah)
In this worldly material life – everyone else was tiring to achieve other forms of pleasure. But what was this tranquil Nafs yearning for? To meet Allah.
‘alaa bi dhikrillah tattma’ina al quloob surah ar-ra’d). Surely with the remembrance of Allah do hearts find calmness.
So before he would think of Allah and find peace in His remembrance, so he is now returning to Allah in a tranquil state.
People who turn to Allah sincerely and become serious in Allah’s cause – you face alot of problems. Your family, friends, society, everyone will cause problems or friction for you. But when you return to Allah – that’s when you find the most tranquility in life. More than any other way of life.
irji’ee – Rajaa’ – return
ilaa Rabika – to your Lord
Raadiyatan – pleased with Allah.
This person is pleased with Allah in all situations, unlike the person described in the early parts of the surah who was always showing arrogance and ungratefulness against Allah.
Mardiyatan (ism maf’ool) – well pleased with (by Allah)
فَادْخُلِي فِي عِبَادِي
fa-dkhulee fee ‘ibaadi -
so enter in amongst my slaves.
This person read about the righteous before him, of the Prophets’, and the righteous, and he would wish to be with them.
So after Allah met and spoke to the tranquil nafs, He allowed it to meet the other righteous slaves of Allah.
and enter my Jannah/paradise.
After all these amazing gifts, He mentions Paradise last.
He didn’t say enter Jannah/paradise.
He said; JannatEE – (enter) MY garden.
So whenever someone enters Jannah, Allah tells them individually – O tranquil Nafs, enter amongst my righteous slaves and enter MY Jannah.
He didn’t say enter your Jannah (which you achieved), but He said MY Jannah – so it must be so amazing that He attributes this Paradise – which He has made with His own hands – to Himself, His Perfection.
Allah is forcing us to picture ourselves as the one to whom Allah is talking to, the one to who Allah says; enter amongst my slaves, and enter into my Paradise.
O Allah make us of those with a tranquil nafs (mutma’innah), and make for us a home in Jannah al Firdaws close to you, ameen.