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Surah al Qalam (68) the Pen - Abdul Nasir Jangda

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There are almost 7 divisions in the entire Copy [Mus-haf] of the Qur’an according to Theme. The final of these 7 sections starts from surah Mulk [surah number 67] to surah an-Naas [surah number 114].
This final part [last 7th of the Quran] focuses on; sources of Reflection, People, their final scenes they will face on Judgment Day and Hellfire and Paradise.
Surprisingly, even though it is the final part of Qur’an – it was revealed the earliest in Makkah.
It is spiritual and focused on the basic and foundation beliefs required to be a true believer.

Similarities between this surah al Qalam, and the previous surah al Mulk:
1 – Surah Mulk tells us how to appreciate Allah’s blessings, and how to believe in Him.
Surah al Qalam is the pair of surah al Mulk. Some scholars even said that it is like a mirror of it.
If surah Mulk focused on believing in Allah, this surah Qalam focuses on believing in His Messenger, Muhammad (sal Allah alayhi wasalam).
2 – Surah al Mulk tells us to believe in Allah, and if you don’t – then here are the consequences (hellfire).
Surah al Qalam tells us to believe in Prophet Muhammad, and if you don’t – here are the consequences (hellfire.)
This is why the surah begins with Qalam (the Pen) and yaSTuRoon – that which they are Writing out.
So it’s talking about Knowledge. Allah’s Messenger would recieve the Qur’an and his companions would write [transcribe] it down.
So it’s very appropriate in the role of the deliverance of the message.

Their is a smooth connection and Coherence between surah Mulk and Qalam:
Surah Mulk 79:29 – Qul huwwa ar-Rahman, aamannaa bihee wa ‘alayhi tawakalnaa fa sa ta’lamoona man huwwa fee Dalaalin mubeen – say He is the Most merciful, we believe in Him and upon Him alone we have put our trust, so soon you will know who was in clear error.
Surah Qalam 68:7 – most definitely your Master who knows who is astray and He is well informed who are rightly guided.
So surah Mulk mentioned how there are two parties; believers and disbelievers, and this surah Qalam discusses that Allah fully knows who are astray and He knows who are the rightly guided.
Themes and Structure of surah Qalam:
1 – Similar to surah Mulk, except that surah Qalam is sharper in it’s tone.
2 – Surah Mulk was 30 aayaat. Surah Qalam is 52 aayaat. So this surah is more longer and detailed in describing the consequences of the peoples actions.
3 – Surah Mulk focuses on believing in Allah, which is obvious and easy on human nature.
However, surah Qalam focuses on believing in Prophet Muhammad as Allah’s Messenger, which requires more detail and requires more warnings of the consequences of disbelief in him.
Even hadeeth rejectors reject the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, and the disbelievers do too. Why? Because submitting to another human is hard for humans.
Allah is telling us that Prophet Muhammad speaks on Allah’s behalf.
4 – surah Mulk ended with;
Say (O Muhammad), if Allah destroyed me and those with me or had mercy on us, then who would save the disbelievers from a painful punishment?
The disbelievers are being told that even if the Messenger who is warning you of Judgment Day was to die, who would save you disbelievers from Allah’s punishment (for your evil actions of this life?).
Surah Qalam is going to show us that the tactics the disbelievers use is to discredit/character assasinate this person, so the other humans will already not take the Messenger seriously. The general people will already get a biased image of the character they are going to see.
This technique of Character Assasination has been used throughout history, especially by the corrupt and those who control the media.
The disbelievers secretly heard the Qur’an and were amazed by it. So they could not discredit it, so their next resort was to use the method of character assasination.
However, the praise is for Allah – this was difficult for these people because Prophet Muhammad was the most honorable and noble man with the greatest character, and so they had to resort to lies against him.
The disbelievers claimed Prophet Muhammad was;
1 – Crazy/mad/insane:
They found this a useful tool. They would argue, how can you believe someone who says that you will come back to life after your bones have decomposed in the ground, and then after coming back to life – you be judged and face consequences for your actions you did in this world?
They would tell people that a person with such beliefs is Insane, so you should not listen to him.
2 -Corrupt:
They would say that he is corrupt because he is causing separation between the father and his son, man from wife etc. So you should not approach this man because he may cause you problems between you and your people.
So in this surah, Allah refutes both these claims (especially in the beginning aayaat/verses of the surah).
Look at the character of this man, look at and listen to the revelation he is reciting to you.
Now compare it to the corruption of the rulers you have.
..fa sa Tubsiru wa Yubsiroon, bi ayyikum-ul maFtoon - so soon you will see, and they will see, who is really affected (by insanity etc.)
Soon people will find out the truthfulness of this message, it will be exposed to them and the corruption of the leaders will also be exposed.
Then people will know who truly is insane.
It just takes abit of Fitrah (common sense/Natural disposition) and people will realise this.
This surah is split into 3 parts:
1st part – Defending the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (sal Allah alayhi wasalam). If you don’t believe in him, then don’t – but do not insult or harm Prophet Muhammad.
2nd partThe companions of the Garden [aS-haab al Jannah].
Allah gives us an example: Imagine there were people who have all wealth they desired (i.e. Garden full of all fruits). They took these blessings for granted and did not thank Allah for them, nor did they use these blessings to help the poor and weak.
So Allah removed all these blessings from them suddenly within one night.
That is the example given in this surah which we will discuss as it comes insha’ Allah.
Quraysh is a powerful tribe who have all sorts of wealth, however – they abuse this and harm the poor believers. Isn’t Allah able to make the rich and powerful Quraysh into poor people if He wills?
Realise your way before it’s too late.
3rd part: Harshly rebuking those who deny life after death.
The disbelievers would say that – if hypothetically there is a life in the next world. What is preventing us from being in power in the next world, just as we are in power in this world?
aResponse: Do you think that Allah is so unjust that He cannot see the difference between the one who is right (and submits to Him) and the one who is wrong (disbelieves in His signs)?
b -  Allah challenges the disbelievers that if there is no next life, or that the disbelievers will be successful in the next life, then produce your evidence or proof that this is true.
c – the surah begins with Allah defending His Messenger, and then ends with consoling him (sal Allah alayhi wasalam.)
This is the true beauty of the surah. It is very powerful – especially when Allah defends and consoles His Messenger.
These are amazing aayaat because it shows the high rank of Prophet Muhammad in the sight of Allah, and how sensitive Allah is in regard to him.
So Allah ends the surah by telling Prophet Muhammad that you should not be offended by their insults, so be patient – they will face the punishment on Judgment Day.
Another consolation from Allah to Prophet Muhammad is;
And do not rush (don’t become impatient). Why? Because there was another Messenger – Prophet Yunus (Jonah) – the companion of the Whale (saahib-il Hoot). He became a little bit impatient for the help of Allah to arrive/he rushed a little bit. So Allah put him through some training.
Yunus was very patient, but just a little more patience will give you success.
Ayah 1:
Ayah 1:
ن. وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ
NuuN, wa-l Qalami wa maa yasTuroon
Nun. By the pen and what they inscribe,
Nuun (letter N in the arabic language).
These are the Disjointed letters (i.e. you recite them as individual letters).
There are 29 places in the Qur’an at the beginning of each surah, which have these Disjointed letters recited at their Beginning.
Below are some examples;
1 Letter: Qaf (surah Qaf), Nuun (surah Qalam), Saad (surah Saad), Nuun (surah Qalam) etc.
2 Letters: Ya Seen (surah Ya Seen), Ta Ha (surah Ta Ha), Ha Meem (surah Fussilat) etc.
3 Letters: Alif Lam Meem (surah al-Baqarah), Alif Lam Ra (surah Yusuf) etc.
4 letters: Alif Lam Meem Saad (surah al A’raf)
5 Letters: Kaaf Haa Yaa Ayn Saad (surah Maryam), Ha Meem Ayn Seen Qaaf.
This is the largest amount.
In ‘Ulum al Qur’an (sciences/knowledges of the Quran) these are called:
alHuroof al MuQata’aat [the Disjointed Letters].
These are letters that are to be read and recited individually.
What do these Letters mean?
The meaning of these letters has not been clearly explained by Allah in the Qur’an or authentically from Prophet Muhammad (sal Allah alayhi wasalam).
However, some Companions of Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) held some views regarding these letters, aswell as some of the Salaf and scholars:
The opinions mentioned may not necessarily be authentic and may have weaknesses;
- NUUN [N] =
1 – Some Sahaba and scholars stated that because the letter Nuun is next to the word Qalam [Pen] in this ayah, Nuun may refer to theInkpot.
2 – Others said; Lawh (Tablet) – that which is written on.
3 – some said that Prophet Yunus is mentioned in this surah later on, and he is called Dhun-NUUN [surah So what do these Disjointed Letters mean?


Qalam[Ayah 1-4]Download: part B/2 [MP3 Download].

Ayah 1 continued :

ن ? وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ

Nun, wa-’l Qalami wa maa yaSturoon

Nun. By the pen and what they inscribe,

wa-’l Qalam - by the Pen.

Wa [huroof Jaarra] – an Oath is being taken by the Object that will come after it.
In this context, the Qalam (Pen) is being mentioned.
The Huroof Jaarra means that this ‘Wa’ makes the word after it in ‘maJroor’ form (with a Kasra/zeyr) on it = qalamI.
wa-’l QalamI = (I swear) by the Pen.

wa maa yaSTuRoon – and by what they are Writing out (in complete lines = SiTR).
An Oath in the Qur’an is done by Allah to;
1 – Honor and Dignify that creation.
2 – Calling Attention to that object.
3 – that creation/object ties into the Theme/message of that surah.
4 – Elaborate/prove a point.
In this surah – the idea of a Qalam/Pen is relevant to the Theme of this surah.

Through these Oaths; Allah is establishing;
1 – That which the angels write out.
2 – Proving aayaat 2 – 4 of this surah.

What is meant by ‘the Pen’?
Difference of Opinion in Classical Tafseers;
a – the Pen of Decree/Destiny – which writ the decree of all that was to come.
Hadith 1 :
Ubadah bin Samit narrated that the Messenger of Allah said [meaning];
(Surely the first thing which Allah created was the Pen. Then He told it to write. So it did so -writing- uptill what would happen till the Day of Ressurection)

(Tirmidhi and Musnad Ahmad – Hasan-Saheeh/Good-Authentic)

Hadith 2:
Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘Aas.
the Prophet (sal Allah alayhi wasalam) said (meaning);
Allah wrote the decree of all of creation before creating the heavens/skies and the Earth by 50,000years.
(Saheeh Muslim)
So this Qalam could be the Pen of decree/Destiny, as was the opinion of Ibn Abbas.
[as az-Zamakshari and ar-Razi quoted Ibn Abbas in their tafseers'.]
The 2nd opinion is – the Pen of the Angels.
This is not a specific pen, rather – it is the pens of the angels who constantly write the deeds of mankind and jinn – good and bad.
Surely the first thing which Allah created was the Pen. Then He told it to write. So it did so -writing- uptill what would happen till the Day of Ressurection)

3rd opinion -
The Pen that people use. A pen which people write with.
a Pen is extremely powerful because it writes down; ideas, history, theories, identities, plans for the future etc. It writes down what people think, feel, experience and much much more.

Abdur Rahman al Busti said: When the brave soldiers take an oath by their swords and they count their sword, they consider their sword as a sign of their honor.
However, the Pen which is used to write a book – suffices for pen and dignity.
Why? Because Allah never took an Oath by the sword, but He did take an oath by a Pen.
So if the Pen of humans is meant, then ‘wa ma yaSturoon’ – “and what they write in complete lines”, means – Human Historywhich men write out.
This is the view of many Muffassiroon (scholars of Tafseer).
So Allah is pointing out to the Quraysh disbelievers and any disbelievers who oppose Allah’s guidance, that;
Look through the history of humanity and see if you have ever come across an individual who has come even close to Muhammad ibn Abdullah (sal Allah alayhi wasalam).
In terms of his; honour, nobility, selflessness, character, compassion, kindness, benevolence, generosity.
Also see of the people who opposed the Messengers’ in the past and what happened to them when they opposed them.
The Quraysh fully knew this because they were fully aware of what happened to the people of ‘Aad and Thamood, who the ‘Arabs were distantly related to.
2 – Some scholars also had the opinion that the Qalam refers to the Pen and ‘wa ma yaSturoon’what is written in complete lines – refers to the Qur’an.
Many scholars of tafseer and hadeeth held this view.
Ayah 2:

Ayah 2:

مَا أَنتَ بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ بِمَجْنُونٍ

maa anta bi ni’mati Rabbika bi majnoon

You are not -by means of the blessing of your Lord- insane.
This ayah is a defense of the Messenger (sal Allah alayhi wasalam.)
Ni’ma – commonly translated as ‘Blessing’:
1 - the Ni’ma in this surah refers to the blessing of Islam. I.e. It is because of the blessing of the Divine Revelation.
I.e. You have not become insane (O Muhammad) because of this Qur’an.
2 - Allah is also consoling His Messenger. ‘You really are a Messenger of Allah.’ you are not insane like the liars claim. Allah is reassuring His Messenger of this reality, because when people say something about you alot – you might start to believe it.
Surah Tur 52:29: فَذَكِّرْ فَمَا أَنتَ بِنِعْمَتِ رَبِّكَ بِكَاهِنٍ وَلَا مَجْنُونٍ-  And you are not by means of the blessings of your Lord a soothsayer or a madman.
Surah Taha 20:2: مَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لِتَشْقَى? -  I did not send down the Qur’an on you so that you will be ruined.
You are not crazy, and the fact that you are not crazy is because of the blessing of your Lord.
3 - I.e. You are not insane as a Mercy from Allah. I.e. you will not get these problems that other humans have.
I.e. You are protected from being affected by devils, insanity, and other faults and evils.

Hassab bin Thaabit was a poet of the Messenger of Allah;
his poetry would praise the Messenger of Allah so much – saying that the Messenger of Allah was such a perfect human being, extremely handsome, as if he chose his own attributes and characteristics. No woman ever gave birth to anyone more beautiful than him etc.
So in this ayah – Allah has defended His Messenger from the insults and attacks by the disbelievers’.
Ayah 3:
Ayah 3:
وَإِنَّ لَكَ لَأَجْرًا غَيْرَ مَمْنُونٍ

wa inna laka la ajran ghayra mamnoon -

And most definitely, for you is a reward that will never discontinue.
In the previous ayah – Allah negated. A rhetorical technique used to debate and refute the people. I.e. Negation and Affirmation.
This is really useful because it covers all areas.
So in this ayah, and the previous ayah – affirmation and negation is used.

Ajr – reward. Reward someone for something they have done.
It is implicitly referring to the Da’wah (inviting people to Islam) of Allah’s Messenger, Allah will reward him for that.

Most definitely, exclusively for you there is reward without limit:
1 - You make life difficult for the Messenger of Allah (O disbelievers) – but your opposition raises his honor and reward.
He becomes more dearer to Allah and the believers, the more you harm him. So you are not even successful in harming him – because your harm increases his status and success.
maMnoon – something Cut off/limited.
Ghayra mamnoon – NOT cut off/limited.
2 - It is like Allah is saying to His Messenger;
The small number of followers you have will not lessen (like the disbelievers hope), rather it will continue to increase. Your call will continue to gain even more followers.
Allah’s help will continue to come to you without limit (ghayra mamnoon)
3 - Then you will also gain an amazing reward in the life to come without limit (i.e. an Eternal place in Jannah/Paradise).
There are 4 degrees of Emphasis in this ayah, to remove all doubts.
1 – Inna = Surely – [used to remove doubt])
2 – LaKa – For You. (because this is placed earlier in the sentence [whereas it is usually at the end of a sentence] – it produces more Emphasis).
3 – La ajran – Surely payback.
4 – ajraN (taFkheem – gives weight) to a statement. Al Ajr is not mentioned, but ajraN. So this is another Emphasis.
Very great reward.
wa INNA LAka LA ajraN ghayru mamnoon – and SURELY SURELY For you SURELY (is a) GREAT reward.
Ayah 4:
Ayah 4:
وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَى? خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ

wa innaka la ‘alaa khuluqin adheem

And most definitely you are upon a very great and powerful disposition/character/mannerism.

A few ayah earlier, Allah told His Messenger that you are not crazy. For you is a reward without limit. And most definitely you are upon a great character.
Remember that the disbelievers wanted to Defame/character assasinate the Messenger of Allah.
The disbelievers would say evil about the Messenger of Allah;
i.e. they would say he breaks up a son from his father (i.e. a son may leave his fathers religion), and they would say that he does not obey his tribes leaders (who called to polytheism) etc.
So the people would think that he is doing evil so they would stay away from him.
So Allah negated all these lies and character assasinations of the disbelievers by simply saying one line;
wa INNAka LA ‘ala khuluqiN AdhEEmiN

And SURELY you are SURELY upon CONTINUOUSLY Great Mannerisms.
We see that 4 emphasises were also mentioned in this ayah = No doubt you are upon Continuously Great Mannerisms.
Allah is not saying your message or teachings are of a Great Mannerism (yes they are) but Allah is saying you (O Muhammad) are on the best mannerisms in all aspects of your life.
These aayaat would later be spread to other people, so the news would spread and refute the false lies of the disbelievers’.

‘Ala – On top of something [isti'la] = Upon.
‘Ala implies; You are UPON like a train of truth (Islam) and the believers are riding on TOP of it to the destination they want to go to (i.e. Paradise).
So Allah is telling His Messenger, you are UPON (‘ALA) great mannerisms. Which means that he is on top of great mannerisms and travelling to wherever the direction of good manners are.

Khuluq – aKhlaaq – someones disposition/temperament/natural mode of behaviour.
How you Made (khalq – created) yourself out to be.
In the beginning, someone might force themselves in good behaviour. But when it becomes natural for them to act a certain way = Khuluq.
Allah describes the Khuluq of Allah’s Messenger as Adheem;

Adheem -
1 – Adhama – something to be great and impressive.
(i.e. Allah is al Adheem).
2 – Adhama – something very strong and stable and firm.  (i.e. A bone is called Adhm because it is Tough/firm/strong).
Allah’s Messenger – according to many ahadith – calls people to have Husn Khuluq – Good Character.
However, he himself has Khuluqun AdhEEm – CONTINUOUSLY Great and Impressive Character. So if anyone sees him, they are amazed and impressed by his beautiful and impressive manners etc.
Even if someone is rude to you, he would reply back with beauty and kindness which would make your heart melt in love for him.
In every circumstance – Allah shows us that His Messenger has amazing and impressive manners. And it does not change, since the letter ‘Ya’ in adhEEm implies Constancy. I.e. He is constant in his great and impressive manners.
When Aa’isha was asked about the character of the Messenger of Allah, she replied;

Kaana khuluquhu al Qur’anhis manners/character/mode of behaviour was (consistent with) the Qur’an.
The great ethics layed out in the Qur’an were what he lived by.
Ali ibn Abi Talib was asked;
We know what Khuluq al Hasan (Good Character) is, but what is Khuluq-ul Adheem (Great/Brilliant character)?
He replied: It is the Adab (training/manners) the Qur’an gives you.

Meaning: When ALL the beautiful traits of the Qur’an are applied by someone = Khuluqin Adheem.
Adab al Mufrad by al Bukhari, Mustadrak al Haakim, Ahmad narrate that the Messenger of Allah said;

Inna ma bu’ithtu li uTtamimma kaarim al aKhlaqI have only been sent to complete/perfect good/noble character.

That is the premise of the life of the Messenger of Allah.
This is why Allah said in surah al Jaathiyah 45:18;
ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَى? شَرِيعَةٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ فَاتَّبِعْهَا وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ -

Thumma ja’alnaaka ‘alaa shariy’atin fat-tabi’ha – then after that We have placed you on a path (shari’ah = a path to live a way in life), so follow it/live on it and do not follow the desires of those who do not know. [Jathiyah 45:18]

وَأُمِرْتُ لِأَنْ أَكُونَ أَوَّلَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

And I have been commanded to be of the first of the Muslims [of this Ummah/nation.] [Zumar 39:12]
So Allah’s Messenger set the example for us.
The scholars mentioned that theKhuluq al Adheem comprises of:

1 – Firm adherence to the juntions/commands of the religion.
2 – knowing the reality of the religion.
3 – being extremely forebearing.
4 – ‘Adl – Justiceness and Fairness in all matters.
5 – Being able to deal with people who give you extreme difficulty, and restrain yourself.
6 – When someone does something good to you – being Appreciative.
7 – Having Humbleness and Humility.
8 – Zuhd – Not being attached to the world while living the world.
9 – Self Respect – having shame and nobility.
10 – Being Pardoning (‘Afuw)
11 – Confident.
12 – Haya’ – Modesty
13 – Shuja’a – Bravery
14 – Knowing when to be Quiet
15 – Being calm and collected and self control in life.
16 – Self Respect, and Dignity.
17 – Rahma – Mercy.
18 – Being very Excellent when dealing with people in interaction and with ones self.

Leadership Skills:
19 – Being thoughtful in speech.
20 – Having a Bright face (i.e. Smiling) and approachable.
21 – Thubaat – being Consistent in what you start and do to achieve.
22 – Hukm – Giving commands and authority in the correct manner to the right people.
23 – Being Active and Noble in helping in action.
24 – Calm, Cool and Collected, not in constant worry.
25 – Watching what you eat and drink (i.e. only pure and good things)
26 – Impart these same qualities to your family members.

Specific to the Messenger of Allah:
27 – Being skilled in managing and directing the affairs of the Ummah well.
28 – Fasaah-il Qalam – Having the best and clearest speech.
29 – Jawaami’-ul Qalim – Being Brief and Concise in speech – yet having so much meaning.

Anas said;
I served the Messenger of Allah for 10 years; he never yelled at me, he never hit, he never reprimanded me.

Aisha said;
Allah’s Messenger never layed his hand on anyone ever. (ie. He never hit or smacked anyone.)

Jaabir ibn Abdullah said;
Whenever the Messenger of Allah was asked for anything, he never said no (to their request).
Abu Dawud narrated;
Aisha said, “the Prophet advised his Ummah that by means of good character – they could attain and go beyond people who spend their nights praying and their days fasting.”
So good character is one of the best acts of worship if done for the pleasure of Allah.
Mu’aadh ibn Jabal was going to be sent as a Governor of Yemen by the Messenger of Allah. He said; when I placed my foot into the stirrup of the horse, the last piece of advice the Messenger of Allah gave me was;

“Ya Mu’adh ahsin khuluqaka lin-Naas - O Mu’adh, perfect your character when dealing with the people.”

This is what would make the people love him, and then they would love to obey him.
Qalam 3 (Ayah 5-14) [
Ayah 5:
Ayah 5:

فَسَتُبْصِرُ وَيُبْصِرُونَ

Fa sa tubSiru wa yuBsiroon
Very soon you will realise, and they too will realise.
Fa – So / Then.
So very soon you will come to realise and so will they.
The purpose of this ayah is;
1 – Consolation to Allah’s Messenger (sal Allah alayhi wasalam) that things will get better and work out.
2 – Consolation to the Prophet’s Companions.
3 – Warning to the Disbelievers.
The ‘Fa‘ explains – ‘Then
The ‘Sa‘ prefix added ontop of a Present (MuDari’) tense verb – implies ‘the really near future’.
So ‘really soon’ you will see, and they too will see..

tuBSiroon – IbSaar – BaSar – Vision / Eyesight. To see past the surface and to see deeply / reflect / realise with Insight.

Similar word;
Ru’ya – to See on the surface only.

Keep doing your Da’wah (Inviting to Islam) You will realise (O Muhammad), and they too will realise.
Ibnu-’l Mundhir narrates Ibn Abbas said – “Very soon you will and know, and they will know on Judgment Day.” (who is right and who is wrong).
In surah al Ma’arij – Allah tells us that;
إِنَّهُمْ يَرَوْنَهُ بَعِيدًا. وَنَرَاهُ قَرِيبًا. - they see it (judgment Day) is far but We [Allah] see it as near. [Ma'arij
Other Companions had the view that it refers to the life of this world. I.e. The Battle of Badr showed that the Muslims were Right and who was Wrong. 6years after that – Muslims took over Makkah (Fat-h al Makkah – the Opening of Makkah).
Ayah 6:
Ayah 6:

بِأَييِّكُمُ الْمَفْتُونُ

bi ayyikum-ul maFtoon
With which of you is maFtoon.
bi – this is connecting back to the previous ayah – to show a link between both aayaat. I.e. You will soon find out and they too will find out – which of you is maFtoon…

maFtoon – Fitnah –
Main meaning – Process of Purifying Gold and Silver (through extreme Heat – separates the pure gold/silver from the waste metals).
Fitnah in Islamic terminology refers to Trials because you are tested in extreme hardship – so Allah can distinguish between the pure believers and the worthless hypocrites.
Hadith: an-naasu ma’aadhin ka ma’aadhini dhahaba wa fiDDah – people are like Ores of gold and silver (when it comes to their potential.)
When people are tested – Allah tries to purify their pure goldness and silverness – and the trials/hardships [fitan] they have to go through will see if they are the real gold/silver or the worthless metal.
So we humans are Ores of Gold and Silver, and we can either be the pure Gold/Silver, or the worthless waste – depending on our reactions in times of Fitnah (when being Heated up.)

maFtoon (the maF’ool form – passive participle form of Fitan.) = that which is Tested. The one who is being put through Difficulty.
In this ayah, what does maFtoon mean?
If we stay close to word meaning of maFtoon – Fitan – it implies;

You will soon see, and they will soon see – Which of you has gone through Failure/Difficulty and failed the test and lost his way. (He became the worthless one.)
Another meaning could be;

ar-Razi and Zamakhshari say; maFtoon = maJnoon = someone who has become Afflicted with a Calamity of being Insane/Crazy/Mad/Being Possessed by Jinn.
Because when someone was possessed by Jinn, the arabs would say; “Fatanat-hu al Jinn” – the Jinns have Afflicted him.
The Messenger of Allah is being honored by Allah. The disbelievers were of an evil moral character so that they would insult Allah’s Messenger (sal Allah alayhi wasalam), yet Allah’s Messenger is of such a great character he did not even insult you back. But you will soon come to know (in the near future of this life and on Judgment Day – who is really Insane.)
The embedded message in these Aayaatis that;
1 - Patience is Extremely important. You have to be patient when doing that which is good – and you will face many hardships for that good – but it’s good will soon be seen. “There is light at the end of the tunnel.”
The Companions of Prophet Muhammad complained about the torture they recieved by the disbelievers, so Allah’s Messenger replied;
Innakum qawman tasta’jiloon – You are a people who rush (showing that Victory comes with patience).
2 - O Common People: Reflect on your Leadership. – who seems deluded and insane?;
The Muslims who are truly using their intellect and open-mindedness? Or the disbelieving leaders who are remaining firm on their disbelief with no authority or valid justification for the misguided religion they are upon?
Ayah 7:
Ayah 7:

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ

Inna Rabbaka huwwa a’lamu bi man Dalla ‘an sabeelihee wa huwwa a’lamu bi-l muhtadeen
Most definitely your Master knows fully well who has fallen off the path of their Master, and He knows fully and best about those who are rightly guided.
So if someone is Afflicted and Confused is because they are off the path (Dalla ‘an sabeelihee). But if they are following the path of their Master – they are rightly guided.
So Allah is hinting at us that if the people are not following the path of Allah – then they are only confused because they are astray from the path of Allah. Yet if you are certain while following the guidance – it is because Allah has guided you.
This might hint that those who are astray from Allah’s path are the Confused ones’, just like the one who is Insane and Afflicted by Jinn.
So it brings all the focus back to Allah.
There are 2 outcomes; someone is Confused and will Lose. The other group is Certain with knowledge and will win.

Dalla – Lost (past tense / verb [fi'l]).
Those who have Already Gone Astray..
Allah is establishing and connecting – directing the person’s blame of being misguided onto themselves. It is their fault for being misguided.

..Surely Your Lord knows he who went off the path of his Lord..
He (the disbeliever) saw the path – but said to himself ‘I dont feel like following that path.’ So he left it.
He made this choice. So this has been said in the Verb (doing) form.

Allah is putting the blame on the disbeliever for his disbelief. It is not Allah who is to be blamed.
..wa huwwa a’lamu bi-’l muHtadeen..
and He knows the Guided.

muHtadeen (maf’ool – object done / passive participle) = guidED ones. (those who have been guided).

Allah is attributing Good to Himself – that He has Guided the guided ones.This shows that it is only a favour from Allah that He has guided us.
But He does not attribute Himself to the evil, but puts the blame on the doer of evil instead.
This teaches us;
1 – Accountability – for mistakes that we do make.
2 – Greatfulness for being Guided. – when we do good – we should be thankful to Allah.
These aayaat have clarified; You will realise who is really Mad/Insane. Who is right and who is wrong. Who is guided and who is misguided.
Yet it has one main message – whatever evil the people say – ignore it. Since your Master knows who is truly guided, and who is not (so He will recompense you based on that.)
Ayah 8:

Ayah 8:
فَلَا تُطِعِ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ

Fa laa tuTi’i-l muKadh-dhibeen
Then do not obey the beliers.
These ayaat then give a Contrast to the high Great character of Prophet Muhammad which people are ignoring, to those evil and lowly leaders who people are remaining obedient to.

Why are you obeying the evil ones of a low moral character instead of one who is on the best of Character?
This is Hidayah/guidance. He is a form of guidance and the carrier of it. So everything he has said is guidance.
Allah is giving instructions to His Messenger.
What has been forbidden?

Fa Laa tuTi’ – so don’t Obey and be Influenced by the beliers who continuously Lie against you and call you a Liar.

tuTi’ – Taa’a = Obedience, and to be Influenced.
al muKadhdhibeen – the Rejecting Liars.
kidhb – to Lie.
muKadh-dhib/Baab of taKdheeb – to repeatedly call someone a liar.
So Allah is telling His Messenger;

Don’t ever Listen/be Influenced by those who continuously reject you and call you a Liar.
It is clear: Why should you listen to them and be influenced by them if they are continuously against you and your beliefs while insulting you with the worst of insults?
It reminds you of the media today who will insult Islam, and then expect us to be influenced by it and obey what it teaches to us blindly.
Allah is implying;
Don’t ever listen to these people,

وَلَوْلَا أَن ثَبَّتْنَاكَ لَقَدْ كِدتَّ تَرْكَنُ إِلَيْهِمْ شَيْئًا قَلِيلًا
Had we not kept you firm – over time you would gradually be effected a little by what they are saying. [Isra'
Allah gave such a strong foundation to His Messenger
so that;
Ayah 9:
Ayah 9:

وَدُّوا لَوْ تُدْهِنُفَيُدْهِنُونَ

waddoo law tud-hinu fa yud-hinoon
They wish that you would soften [in your position], so they would soften [toward you].
waddOO – THEY wadd:
al wudd – extreme desire to achieve and accomplish something.
tudhinu – id-haan = oil.
when you squeeze oil out of something (duhn).
id-haan – become lenient and soft abit/compromise etc.

Relation between; duhn & id-haan – apply Oil to something (i.e. hard leather) to Soften it up.
Why are the disbelievers insulting the religion and calling the Messenger (and believers) a liar?

They extremely desire [wad-doo] that you Soften up [tud-hinu], so they Soften up [yud-hinoon]. (i.e. they want you to Compromise in the religion so they too can Compromise in their laws.)
This situation therefore requires the Believer to stay firm on ALL principles of the religion.
By a believer being insulted, your firmness should become stronger, and you should not be oiled and softened up to compromise Allah’s religion.
Yet the disbelievers have no problem in compromising their religion/laws etc. because they are upon falsehood anyway.

Id-dihaan – someone who does not have any Integrity / moral standing.
Even a little bit of difficulty will make him give up/compromise his morals.
(i.e. They might have the attitude; ‘Let people hear what they like to hear’. even if they know it’s wrong).
Abu Huraira or Abu-d-Darda’ is reported to have said – “If I have come across somebody who absolutely no-one has a disagreement with, I know he is Iddihaan (i.e. without Integrity).”
i.e. You might say “Let’s pray”. Someone might say to you that “We’ll pray some other time.” And if you get soften up / compromise and say “Yeah, okay.” You know you have an Iddihaan type of personality.
(Conflicts are bad, but to not stand up for what you believe in is Criticised.)
“They desire that you soften up a little bit, then (fa) they compromise.”

The ‘fa‘ (so/then) implies; a Sudden consequence because of something else. I.e. A happened, so suddenly – B happened
Allah is showing us that they want us to compromise SO (fa) they will quickly compromise their beliefs/laws too. This is how desperate they are.
From the distance it looks fair for both sides to compromise – but the Truth is not allowed to be compromised with Falsehood.
It is a common practise for humans in the world;
If you are dirty, you want everyone to be dirty, if you be a liar – you think of everyone as a liar etc.
The disbelievers don’t want the believers to be pure and truthful. instead they want to drag them down to their level of immorality – so their immorality isn’t exposed by the pure believers.
This is what having no set morals does – it corrupts you down deep into the soul. So they think that; “If i don’t have set morals, then no-one else should.” and if anyone does live a dignified, pure, and set-moral standard life – then they are termed as ‘show-offs’ or ‘claiming-self-purity’ or ‘goody-two-shoes’ etc.
We see that these Makki surahs are focusing strongly on Tawheed (monotheism) and High Moral Standards.
Ibn Abbas: Even aayaat which are criticizing the Polytheists and the People of the Book – then the believers should see if they have those Attributes.
If they do – then they are in deep trouble, unless they change/mend themselves for the better.

Law - huroof at-tamani = If Only.

tud-hinu – you Soften up (Compromise.)
the Response (next half of the ayah) is supposed to be the Light version [of the verb];
..fa yud-hinOO [the letter Nuun would be dropped.]
But in this ayah it is; fa yud-hinOON
This implies: this grammatical change implies there is a missing word which has been omitted purposelly.
= fa HUM Yud-hinOON = So THEY Soften up (Compromise).
This is a STRONG EMPHASIS to show that ‘they’ definitely would compromise, because;
- HUM = Them
- the “Yu” [prefix], and “OON” [suffix] letters = Them.
So Allah is telling us;
“They extremely want you to Soften up, so suddenly THEY [HUM], THEY Compromise [YUd-hinOON].
The ‘They’ has been said twice to emphasise their desperation in wanting to compromise if you do so.

What kind of Easing / Softening Up / Compromise are the disbelievers wanting?
In the Books of Tafaseer, we read:
Ibn Abbas: They extremely want you to disbelieve and be ungrateful (taKfuru) to Allah – so they can be even more Ungrateful to Allah aswell.
Another narration of Ibn Abbas: They want you to give them a break – so you don’t give people Da’wah (inviting to Islam), and they will stop torturing you and your followers.
al Farra al Kalbi: They just want you to be a little lenient/nice [Leenu / Lay-yin] with them so they be lenient/nice with you.
Mujahid: If you lean to them a little bit and stop preaching the truth – they will be really good to you like your best friend.
ar-Rabee’ bin Anas – They just want you to lie a little bit. Just make a few adjustments to your teachings.

Qatadah: They just want you to stop doing what you’re doing (in matters of Da’wah, exposing the evils of disbelief etc.) and they will be completely okay with you.
al Hasan al BaSri: They just want you to compromise in your religion so they will compromise in theirs.
Another narration (maybe of Hasan al BaSri) states;They want you to become weak so they too will become weak.

They want you to worship their false gods, and they will be happy to worship your Allah.
This is further supported by the hadith in which the Polytheists went to the Prophet’s Uncle Abu Talib and they presented their request of giving Women, Wealth, a Crown (i.e. Kingship) etc.
Then Allah’s Messenger’s integrity truly showed and the disbelievers lack of integrity was exposed. When Allah’s Messenger was about to lose the protection of his Uncle, tears were coming down his eyes, and he is reported to have said;

“If the Sun and Moon were placed in my hand, I would not give up this message. Even if I was destroyed in the process.”
This shows the polytheists knew Islam was true, but their lack of integrity and their lack of wanting to submit made them go down to such a low level. That they were willing to give up ALL their principles and values, so long as the Messenger of Allah (and the believers) also softened up and compromised.
Qalam 5 (Ayah 15-33)
Ayah 10:

Ayah 10:
وَلَا تُطِعْ كُلَّ حَلَّافٍ مَّهِينٍ
wa laa tuTi’ kulla Hal-laafin maheen
And don’t incline to/obey every Hal-laafin maheen

- Hal-laaf – takes Oaths frequently and habitually.
- Maheen – a person of no moral or ethical standard.
Ayah 11:

Ayah 11:

هَمَّازٍ مَّشَّاءٍ بِنَمِيمٍ

Ham-maazin mash-shaa’in bi-nameem
[And] scorner, going about with malicious gossip -
- Ham-maaz – Poking people (i.e. with his insults and speech of gossiping [Nameem])
It is in Fa’-'aal form [continuous doing] = It is like it is his Job, so he continuouslly does this all the time.
Ayah 12:

Ayah 12:

مَّنَّاعٍ لِّلْخَيْرِ مُعْتَدٍ أَثِيمٍ

Man-naa’in li-l khayri mu’tadin atheem
A preventer of good, transgressing and sinful,
Has absolutely no motivation in doing good himself (nor giving in charity) and not just that – he prevents others from doing that too.

man-naa’ – continuously preventing others.
mu’tadin – he violates the rights of other people.
atheem – a continuously sinning person.
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Ayah 13:

Ayah 13:

عُتُلٍّ بَعْدَ ذَ?لِكَ زَنِيمٍ
‘Utul-lin ba’da dhaalika zaneem
After that, he has no compassion, and an excess waste to society.
‘utullin – no compassion / mercy for others, not even at a human level.
Ba’da dhaalika Zaneem - after that, he is continuously an excess waste to society.
Zanama is also used for the skin which hangs loose from the neck of a goat. – something which is worthless / useless / and can cause harm more than it benefits. It actually makes the goat look ugly.

Similarly – this person (who you should not obey) – is like a waste and ugliness to society (due to his excessive evils against everyone.)
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Ayah 14:

Ayah 14:
أَن كَانَ ذَا مَالٍ وَبَنِينَ

An kaana dhaa maalin wa baneen
Because he is a possessor of wealth and children,
Why did he do all that evil?

Because he has got Wealth and Children/sons.
Baneen was used with more Emphasis on sons in classical Arabic. And sons was a sign of strength who would have loyalty to their father.
Because of this – he felt that he could oppress others and harm them and start fights with them.
Despite being such an evil being, Allah has sent His best Messenger to recite the best of speech to this evil man. Maybe he might purify himself?
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Ayah 15:
Ayah 15:
إِذَا تُتْلَى? عَلَيْهِ آيَاتُنَا قَالَ أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ

idhaa tutlaa ‘alayhi aayaatunaa qaala asaaTeeru-l awwaleen
When Our Miraculous Signs are recited on to him (Qur’anic or other Miracles are shown to him) – he says – ‘Stories of Old’.

asaaTeer - saTr (to write down something in a Line) – ?usTooRa [singular] (asaaTeer [plural] =
1 – Stories or random Tales which have no significance or order.
2 – Random Stories and Fantasies that have no basis.
They said it had no Basis because it (the Qur’an) points us to the Afterlife. The polytheists did not believe in an Afterlife.
They said it had no Structures (asaaTeer) – because the Qur’an has stories in different sequences. So Moses might be mentioned in one part of the Qur’an, and then another part of his story is in another surah.
This made past, and even some present day critics to doubt the Qur’an. Since a story should -according to humans- be told in it’s full linear form to be understandable.
However, the intelligent believers learnt that this is done purposelly by Allah to mention an event/narrative which is relevant in giving an emphasis to the Theme of the surah’s discussion.
Awwaleen - the Early, early people of old…
So we see that the disbelievers would continuously reject the Message, even though an amazing, kind Messenger had come to them – reciting miracles. Yet they would become stubborn, arrogant and insult, ‘stories of old..’
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So Allah is angry at his rejection and warns;
Ayah 16:
Ayah 16:
سَنَسِمُهُ عَلَى الْخُرْطُومِ
saNasimuhu ‘ala-l khurtoom
Soon We will brand him on the Snout
Sa [prefix] – Soon

Nasimu – Wasam – to Brand something
(i.e. you brand Cattle, Tattoo (al mustaWsima etc.)
hu = him.
‘ala Al – upon The
Khurtoom – means ‘Trunk’ / ‘Snout’ (i.e. of Animals.)
Why? As a sign of humiliation / disgrace.
Imagine branding (with hot metal) someone on their face – so everyone can know that this person was arrogant against Allah and His Messenger.
Why was Khartoom/snout used when people do not have snouts’?
The arrogance is expressed by people when they raise their head above others. Their nose is lifted high.
The position of the Nose shows if the person is proud of himself or not.
Arabic expression: “raghm al aNf” – the Nose was rubbed (in dust) = He was humiliated.
Allah will humiliate this disbeliever – by branding that Snout that he raises high out of pride;
1 – to humiliate him – in this life (people will call his arrogant nose a Snout)
2 – and the next (his arrogant nose will be burnt and branded with heat to show that he was a disobedient slave of Allah).
This is why the word Khartoom (Snout) was used. Because the disbeliever being described had an Ego problem, he had Big Arrogance, so he is described as having a big Nose = a Snout.

“Very soon We will brand him on his Snout..”
So the disbelievers will face humiliation in the near future, really soon.
Context: ?Keep in mind that this is an extremely early Makki surah (maybe 3rd revelation/wahy) and the believers are an extreme minority. The disbelievers are putting pressure on them while being the majority and being the strength.
So in the worldly perspective, the disbelievers will be arrogant. The believers will be humiliated.
So Allah is warning the disbelievers that they will be humiliated in the near future. (which did take place in the battle of Badr, and will also take place on Judgment Day.)
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Ayah 17:
The Companions of the Garden:

Ayah 17:
Now that Allah has threatened the disbelievers with punishment. He will now tell us a story of a people in past nations who were similar to the high class, elite, rich disbelievers. And how their oppression would be a cause for them in losing their wealth and respect.
Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al Qurtubi and other early Tafaseer discuss this story. Their is a difference of opinion on their authenticity.
Some people say it is referring to a Tribe of People shortly after the time of Prophet ‘Eesa (Jesus) in Yemen, not too far from its capital city of San’aa. The town may have been called; Barawaan.

The Story:

These people were famous for having famous and beautiful Gardens, with ladens/loads and loads of fruits.
Among them was an old man who had a family. He had a luxurious garden in that area. He was a pious and humble man. He let poor people enter his garden and eat from it when the fruits dropped to the floor. He was very generous and whenever fruit was plucked, he would give some of it out to people as they lined up. Some say his garden was miles and miles long.
Eventually he died, and he had 3 sons.
His sons said; now that we have our own families – we can’t afford to do business like dad used to do. They would close the gates of the garden and not let the poor pick fruits off the floor, and they became stingy.
Over time – the poor started to complain. They knew that it was time for Harvest (plucking the ripe, healthy foods). And they knew that the poor would line up and ask for the food like the old days.
So they planned that they would harvest/pluck the fruits at Fajr time (early morning) when it is partially dark. This way – the poor people would not know they are already harvesting, and by the time they reach the garden – all the fruit will have been harvested/plucked.
They got greedy and thought they could make money out of it without helping the poor. And because of that – at night – due to some miraculous cause – silently, their whole luxurious garden was wiped out and destroyed.
They woke up at Fajr time to harvest, and found that there were no fruits there. They traced their footsteps and went backward to see if they had come to the right garden.
However, it was their own garden. It had all been destroyed! They couldn’t believe it.
Then, the middle one or the best one of them – he said – I told you we shouldn’t have been greedy. So they started disputing with each other.
Eventually they realised they were wrongdoers, so they stopped arguing and admitted that they had done oppression and wrongdoing (to the poor and also themselves.)
One narration mentions: Once they admitted their wrong, and repented to Allah – Allah replaced them with another nice garden with lots of fruits.

However, we see that thinking of yourself as Above others, and not giving in charity causes more harm to you and your wealth in comparison to if you be generous to others in charity from the blessings Allah has given you.
We also see that the greed and arrogance of these sons made them lose all their wealth in one night.
They did not want to humble themselves, so Allah humbled them before the entire world. So an example is made out of them for all people, including the Quraysh who were opposing Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam.)
Some narrations even mention that after the Migration of Prophet Muhammad to Medinah – a severe famine hit Makkah. And lasted for a few years and was extremely severe on the people of Makkah.
So Allah is forewarning them that this time is coming, so take heed from this Warning.
There is a difference of opinion on whether the following middle part of the surah is Makki or Madani revelation. Because Allah is telling us about the people mentioned in the story above, and its relation to the Quraysh – when they WILL go through the famine in the future, or when they ARE going through the famine while Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) is in Medinah.
Ayah 17:
إِنَّا بَلَوْنَاهُمْ كَمَا بَلَوْنَا أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ إِذْ أَقْسَمُوا لَيَصْرِمُنَّهَا مُصْبِحِينَ

Innaa balawnaa hum kamaa balawnaa aS-haaba-l jannati idh aQsamoo la yaSrimunnahaa muSbiheen

Most definitely We Tested (Balaww) them, like We tested the Companions of the Garden, when they swore to cut its fruit in the [early] morning…
Balaww – Bala / Balwa = harshly and severely test someone publically and openly so he can be an example for others.
(Allah also tested Ibrahim with this type of test. – surah al Baqarah 2:124.)

Similar word:
Imtihaan - a Light Test which is easy.

Difference of Opinion on whether these aayaat are Makki or Madani:

Balaww (Harshly Testing) is said in the Past tense form.
If it is Madani revealed verses, it implies: Allah harshly tested the Quraysh through a famine.
If it is Makki revealed verses: the Past tense form of Balaww implies ‘Certainty’ – Most Certainly, Certainly We will Harshly test them…
(the past tense implies: that it is as Certain -that Allah will harshly test them- as the Past itself is so certain.)
.. Just like We harshly tested the Companions of the Garden.
When they took an Oath (aQsam) that they would -most definitely- Cut the harvest in the early Sunrise.

Saram – to Cut off with a Quick Sharp Slice i.e. the harvest crops/fruits.

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Ayah 18:
Ayah 18:
وَلَا يَسْتَثْنُونَ
..wa laa yastaThnoon..
..And they did not make Exceptions (istiThnaa).

1st Meaning: they did not make exceptions as to sharing some of their harvest with the poor. Rather – they made the decision that they would keep all of it for themselves.
2nd Meaning:
LA yaSrimunNA = we SURELY will Cut off the fruits.
The confidence that they would do it the next morning gave them false hopes, they did not have Certainty that Allah could prevent them.
..wa laa yastaThnoon..
..And they did not make Exceptions (istiThnaa) – in their Certainty (that Allah could oppose their decision.)

3rd Meaning:
IstiThnaa – can imply
the meaning “inshaa’ Allah” – i.e. These people did not think about Allah even one bit when making their decision of what they would do the next day.
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Ayah 19:

Ayah 19:

فَطَافَ عَلَيْهَا طَائِفٌ مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَهُمْ نَائِمُونَ

fa Taafa ‘alayhaa Taa’ifun min Rabbika wa hum Naa’imoon
So there travelled around the garden an affliction from your Lord while they were asleep.

Then something Taa’ifun:
Taa’ifun – Taafa (Tawaaf) = Went Around.
Something came and went around the garden (encircled) it.
I.e. Maybe wind, water, fire, etc.
And they were fast asleep (Naa’imoon)
Then – and in morning – the garden was as if it had already been harvested. (i.e. There was not even a fruit left hanging off the trees)
So they planned to harvest, and Allah also planned – to harvest, and destroy their garden.
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Ayah 20:

Ayah 20:

فَأَصْبَحَتْ كَالصَّرِيمِ

And it became as though reaped [i.e. harvested / sliced / cut off].
Allah uses the same word to show that He cut off the garden – Sareem (Sliced and cut off all its fruits.) [see ayah 17]

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Ayah 21:

Ayah 21:
فَتَنَادَوْا مُصْبِحِينَ
Fa taNaadaw muSbiheen..
And they called one another out loud in the morning,
Then we see the next scene of the brothers waking up in the morning and not yet aware of what has happened to their garden:
Fa taNaadaw muSbiheen..

TaNaadaw – Naada – Nidaa – to call out Loud.
TaNaadaw = when people call out loud to each other.
So you can imagine the brothers waking up in the morning, saying to each other out loud; ‘Lets go to harvest!’
Ayah 22:

Ayah 22:
أَنِ اغْدُوا عَلَى? حَرْثِكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَارِمِينَ

Ani-ghdoo ‘alaa harthikum in kuntum Saarimeen
[Saying], “Go early to cut your crop if you want to cut the fruit.”
Ghadaa – al ghadwa – to go somewhere in the Morning.
Harth - when you literally cut the harvest.

In kuntum saarimeen – if you actually want to cut your harvest down.

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Ayah 23:
Ayah 23:
فَانطَلَقُوا وَهُمْ يَتَخَافَتُونَ

fanTalaqoo wa hum yata-khaafatoon
So they set out, while lowering their voices,
So they depart,

Yatakhaafatoon – khafata – to keep your voice really light.
Takhaafut – when people talk to each other quietly in a light voice in a Public place.
Similar word:
Najwa / muNaajaat: when people talk secretly and quietly in a Private place.
So they are going to the garden and talking amongst themselves in their intent on what they’re doing.
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Ayah 24:
Ayah 24:
أَن لَّا يَدْخُلَنَّهَا الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكُم مِّسْكِينٌ

an-Laa yad-khulannaha-l yawma alaykum-miskeen
“So absolutely no poor person (miskeen – beggar) enters upon you.”
Why are they talking like this (i.e. In quiet whisper)?
“So absolutely no poor person (miskeen – beggar) enters upon you.”
They absolutely don’t want to go through such an experience.
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Ayah 25:
Ayah 25:
وَغَدَوْا عَلَى? حَرْدٍ قَادِرِينَ

wa ghadaww ‘alaa hardin Qaadireen
So they went in the morning – upon [a state of] aggression/energy fueled by hatred - thinking they have everything in control.
Wa ghadaw – so they did (in morning)
‘ala Hardin (upon Hardin )
Hardin = when you spring into action and aggressively pursue something, and this energy is fuelled by hatred.

So these people were angry because they believed it was their garden, and that because they work on the garden – then no-one but we should benefit from it.
They are sneaking aggressively at night to go to their own garden to slice off its fruits for harvest.
Their anger and pride makes them look insane, simply because they do not have to do this – since it is their garden. So why do they require such an attitude? They don’t.
We see their feelings and motives and energy through this main word – “Hardin”.
Qaadireen (ism faa’il) – they thought they had everything in Control [Qudrah].
Normal sentence structure would be;
Wa ghadaw qaadireena ‘alaa hardin = they set off in the morning thinking they are in full control, while in a state of Hard (aggression/energy/hatred etc.)
However, by placing Hardin earlier in the sentence structure – it emphasises that it was the only reason they did this – their greedy motives and their intense anger against the poor who benefit from the wealth of the garden.
When your motivated and angry, you’re hyped up in your intent to fulfill your mission…
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Ayah 26:

Ayah 26:
فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهَا قَالُوا إِنَّا لَضَالُّونَ
fa lam-maa Ra’awhaa Qaaloo in-naa laDaal-loon

“But when they suddenly saw it; they said – We are surely lost!”
We’re definitely Lost (Daaloon)..

This could imply:
1- they think
they’ve gone to the wrong place.
2 – they soon realise that they have come to the right place, but they were lost/misguided in their ideas (their ideas of being greedy and unjust to the poor).
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Ayah 27:

Ayah 27:
بَلْ نَحْنُ مَحْرُومُونَ

Bal nahnu maHroomoon -
No, rather we are Deprived (the garden has been made Haraam/forbidden to us) by Allah.
1 – So they planned the night before to slice and cut off the harvest.
2- Something
travelled around their garden at night and sliced all their harvest off and destroyed it.
3 – They rushed in the morning in anger / adrenaline (upon
Hardin) and realised their garden had been destroyed by Allah as a consequence of their greed against the poor.
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Ayah 28:
Ayah 28:
قَالَ أَوْسَطُهُمْ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكُمْ لَوْلَا تُسَبِّحُونَ

Qaala awsaTuhum alam aQul-lakum law-laa tusab-bihoon
The most middle/best of them said, “Did I not say to you, ‘Why do you not exalt [ Allah ]?’ “
Qaala (Said) aWsatuhum

aWsat – Wasat – middle, best (middle/centre part is the best part).
Since there were 3 brothers in the narration quoted, it is also possible that the in between one (i.e. The middle 2nd one) is being referred to as the Sensible/best one.
He said; “Didn’t I tell you this would happen if you didn’t glorify/sab-bihoon – Allah.
Subh – glorify / elevate something and keep it constant in elevation.
Why did he say this specifically? Because glorifying Allah implies; You should have worshipped Allah, been thankful to Him, believed properly – then this wouldn’t happen to you.
If he advised them earlier, he also did join them in the act. So he was still a partner in crime and therefore faced its loss.
This shows that knowledge isn’t enough, but it needs to be supported by action.
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Ayah 29:
Ayah 29:
قَالُوا سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَالِمِينَ
Qaaloo subhaana Rabbinaa in-naa kun-naa Dhaalimeen –
they said how glorious is our Master, we were surely of the Oppressors/Wrongdoers.

Innaa kunnaa dhaalimeen – we were surelly wrongdoers/oppressors.
It was too late now, so their sin caused harm to them and their repentance didn’t remove the harm their sin had caused. They could only hope good from Allah in the future if they stayed good and constant in obedience to Allah.
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Ayah 30:
Ayah 30:
فَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى? بَعْضٍ يَتَلَاوَمُونَ
Fa aQbala ba’Duhum ‘alaa ba’Din yata Laawamoon -
So they turned on each other after the other, blaming.

Evils of Disobedience to Allah:
Becoming Arrogant causes:
Gradual Losses of:
- Wealth.
- Loyalty [amongst Brothers & Friends].
So you have nothing left. You lose your wealth, and you lose your loyal allies. Showing the evils of arrogance and disobedience to Allah.
Similar happened to the disbelievers in the Battle of Khandaq/Ahzab.

Lawm – to assign blame on someone.
TaLaawum – to assign blame on each other.
When the brothers fight and blame each other, they start to regret.. Realising they have nothing left.
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Ayah 31:

Ayah 31:
قَالُوا يَا وَيْلَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا طَاغِينَ
qaaloo yaa Waylanaa – they said;O Curse/destruction on ourselves!
Innaa kunnaa Taagheensurely we were breaking all limits (in wrong.)
They now become humble now that they have nothing left.
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Ayah 32:
Ayah 32:
عَسَى? رَبُّنَا أَن يُبْدِلَنَا خَيْرًا مِّنْهَا إِنَّا إِلَى? رَبِّنَا رَاغِبُونَ
asaaRabbunaa – perhaps/maybe, our Master may
YuBdilanaa khayran minhaa – Replace for us better than that.
Innaa ilaa Rabbinaa Raaghiboon – surely we are to our Master

Raaghiboon – Raghib (singular) – Raghba - literally and internally become Infatuated / in pursuit of (i.e. our Master)..
We see that these people had the best garden known to all the people, which caused them to become like the evil leaders of Quraysh mentioned in earlier aayaat of this surah.
But by Allah destroying their wealth; their wealth was lost, so was their honor, and brotherhood – they had lost everything.
By repenting – they could hope for good from Allah in the future.
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Ayah 33:

Ayah 33:
كَذَ?لِكَ الْعَذَابُ ? وَلَعَذَابُ الْآخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ ? لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ
Kadhaalik al adhaab – just like that (what is mentioned earlier) is the punishment
Wa la adhaab-ul aakhirati akbar – and surely the punishment of the next life is much greater.
Law kaanoo ya’lamoon – if only they knew (in Knowledge and actual Realisation.)
This is a warning to the people who think they are in control and who think their wealth and unity can cause harm upon the weak and poor believers. Since Allah can use your own strengths against you within just one night.

Hadith: Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said Allah’s Messenger said;
Iyyaakum wa-al ma’aasi, inna- al abda la yadhnibu dhanba fa yuhramu bihi rizqan qad kaana hayyan lahu -

“Be very careful from sins against Allah, sometimes the slave commits sins, and those sins prevent him from rizq/provisions which could be easy (available) for him.
Even when Allah warns disbelievers – He is still warning believers to not fall into such sins. Otherwise – they could face similar punishments.
So we need to feed the poor, otherwise Allah could destroy our wealth.
But if we gave in charity – Allah would increase our wealth and put Barakah (blessings) in it.
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Main Qalam 5 (Ayah 34-41) [
Ayah 34:

Ayah 34:
إِنَّ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ

Inna li-l muttaqeenainda Rabbihim Jan-naatin-Na’eem

Most definitely, for the Constantly God fearing, guarders against evil will be near and withtheir Lordin GardenSof Delight/Enjoyment.
Inna – most definitely
Li-’l muttaqeena – for the people of Taqwa.

The Muttaqeen are those who have the highest levels of Emaan (certainty) and they are the exact opposite of the arrogant disbelievers mentioned at the earlier in this surah.
Taqwa – guarding yourself from evil which brings Allah’s wrath.

Noun [something in a Constant state]: mutTaQeen
Verb [something in a Temporary state]: aladheena-atTaqaw

The muttaqeen are of the highest level of believers because they are Constantly being aware of Allah and fearing to disobey him.
‘inda RabbiHim – near/with Their Lord.
fee – in
JannAAt = Gardens (plural)
[from Jannat (Garden)]
al-Na’eem – Ni’ma – commonly translated as ‘Blessing’. Why?
TaNaa’um – to enjoy something.
A blessing which is enjoyable.
Jannaat Al-Na’eem – gardens which are always pleasurable/sweet/enjoyment/bliss/fun.
“Most definitely for the Muttaqeen are Gardens of Pleasure/enjoyment/fun.”
1 -This is abnormal sentence structure, by placing the mention of Muttaqeen earlier in the sentence structure (instead of at the) – it implies that the gardens of pleasure are exclusively for them.

Example: Ustadh Abdul Nasir mentions; a brother invited him to a meal at a restaurant, and he took him to a table which had a sign saying “RESERVED.” I.e. This table had been reserved for him and the surprise of it made him feel happy inside.
Now imagine Gardens of Delight and Constant eternal Pleasure which have already been reserved for you especially by Allah Himself?
2a – The ‘people of the Garden’ (aS-haab al Jannah) was mentioned in ayah 19, when referring to the men who had the best Garden in the world.
Whereas in this ayah when describing paradise, Allah mentions Plural: Jannaat.

2b – Allah did not attach any extra description to their Garden (Just said ‘Jannah).
In this ayah, Allah is describing the gardens of Paradise as Gardens of pleasure and enjoyment (Jannaatun-Na’eem). Showing they are AMAZING gardenS.
They will enter amazing and delightful gardens and be there with their Lord, forever.
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Ayah 35:

Ayah 35:
أَفَنَجْعَلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ كَالْمُجْرِمِينَ
AFa naj’a-lu-l muslimeena ka-l mujrimeen?
- Shall we then treat the Muslims (those who submit [to Allah] like the Convicted criminals?
So we’re back to the wakeup call (Indhar) again.
This is very very early revelation, so highlighting good rewards should be mentioned, but there needs to be a strong wake up call for the majority of people who are unaware and to wake up and realise the reality.

al Mujrim – iJraam – to be Convicted of committing a crime.
When someone has been convicted and been sentenced as Guilty.
“Shall We make those who submit to Allah, the same as those Criminals who have been convicted and found guilty of Crime?”

This is rational proof of Judgment Day and Justice. There needs to be Accountability for peoples actions by someone in a higher authority than them, to allow Justice.
This is important because even if someone is a wrongdoer, but someone wrongs them – they still want justice. So this isn’t just a religious issue, rather – all humans wants fairness and justice for themselves.
Similar aayaat:
- Surah Sajdah 32:18 – can a true believer be like an extremely evil doer? They are not equal.
- Surah Hashr 59:20 – the people of the fire and the people of paradise cannot be equal.
- Surah Saad 38:28 – the people who believe and do good deeds, are We to make them no different to /equal to those who spread cause corruption on the Earth?

Are We to make the Muttaqoon like those who blatently and openly disobedient to Allah?

Surah Fussilat 41:34: the good is not equal to the evil. (the Laa is repeated twice to show that there is varying degrees of good and varying degrees of evil).
If people treat others differently based on what they do, then why shouldn’t Allah treat people differently according to what they do?
Ayah 36:
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Ayah 36:
مَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ

Maa LaKum – kayfa taHkumoon?
What is with you, how do you Judge?
“Maa LaKum” – what is wrong with you?
There is a pause in the recitation.
Hukm / yaHkum (present tense).
TaHkumoon – To arrive at an Authoritative Decision, through experience and knowledge (wisdom).

1- Hukm – Authoritative Decision.
2- Hikmah – Wisdom.
“Shall We treat those who submit to Allah as those who are convicted criminals, what is wrong with you – How have you come to this conclusion?”
This is in Present tense form (TaHkumoon) – which is implying;
“What is with you – How are you still upon such a decision, on what basis are you still upon it?”

Allah is leaving the door open. You still have the chance to change your decision and become a better person.
This is Transision (iltifaat) – to Highlight their mindset, through which – maybe they might consider changing themselves for the better.
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Ayah 37:
Ayah 37:
أَمْ لَكُمْ كِتَابٌ فِيهِ تَدْرُسُونَ

am laKum kitaabun fee-hi ta-drusoon
Or maybe you have some special Book, in that you are Learning from (your conclusions.)
It is translated as ‘special book’ because of the Abnormal sentence structure.

Normal sentence structure:
Am Kitaabun LaKum – Or a Book you have..?

Sentence structure in this Ayah:
Am LaKum Kitaabun..? – Or do you have a Book?
There is more emphasis placed on the word Kitab (Book) in this ayah. Which makes it seem like a ‘special Book’.
“Or do you have a Special Book from which you Learn (and come to these strange Conclusions which nobody else has)?”
Darasa (past tense = he Learnt) / yaDrusu (present tense = he is Learning.) – to Learn. To Study, to gain Education / Insight etc.
“Do you have a special book by which you are studying with deep Insight, and finding these conclusions?”
The word ‘taDrusoon’ is in Present [MuDaari'] tense, which is implying; are you Still learning from such a book?
Ofcourse this is challenging the disbelievers because they do not (and did not have a book of any kind like that in the time of Prophet Muhammad.) and even if any people do – it shows inconsistent it is wih logic and human nature.
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Ayah 38:
Ayah 38:
إِنَّ لَكُمْ فِيهِ لَمَا تَخَيَّرُونَ
Inna lakum feehi la maa taKhay-yaroon -
“In that book -exclusively for you, surely – is whatever you choose for yourself?”

What does this mean?
The disbelievers challenged Prophet Muhammad and said that if – for arguments sake – there is an afterlife, then if we are rich in this life, then we will also be rich in the next life.
I.e. Do you have a book from which you learn? (a book which tells you) that you shall have all that you choose?

Where are you getting all these strange ideas from? That only you will get what you want, based on your own desires.

TaKhay-yaroon – is really TaTaKhay-yaroon. (double letter Ta at the beginning of the word).
But it has been omitted purposelly by Allah in recitation.

Tatakhay-yara / khay-yara / Tatakhay-yaroon – khayr (good) – to try to find that which is good.
(in this case – the disbelievers are being described as ‘trying to find that which is good for themselves only.’)
Takhay-yur [TaFa'-'ul] – the Verb pattern implies the meaning of someone:
Trying to do something but not necessarily being successful in that.
1 – So they disbelievers are trying to choose that which is better for themselves, when that which they think is good – is not really better for them. (Allah is hinting that the guidance of Allah is better for them.)
The extra ‘Ta’ was dropped in recitation for;
Tatakhay-yaroon has become takhay-yaroon.
When the ‘Ta’ is dropped – it signals to something.
I.e. In this case – it implies they have Rushed in their decision. I.e. They have not considered Islam properly, and they want only what -they Percieve – is best for themselves.
They think that by rejecting Islam quickly without thinking deeply about it – they have done that which is good for them. But it is not good for them.
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Ayah 39:

Ayah 39:
أَمْ لَكُمْ أَيْمَانٌ عَلَيْنَا بَالِغَةٌ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ  إِنَّ لَكُمْ لَمَا تَحْكُمُونَ

am laKum aYmaanun alaynaa Baalighatun ilaa yawmi-l Qiyaamah, inna lakum la maa taHkumoon
Or do you have some exclusive/special Aymaan (Special binding Oath) upon Us (Allah) – that Reaches (Baaligh) all the way till the Day of Judgment. That most definitely you will get what you Decide?

Aymaan (plural) of Yameen – a special binding Oath.

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Ayah 40:
Ayah 40:
سَلْهُمْ أَيُّهُم بِذَلِكَ زَعِيمٌ

Salhum ayyuHum bi dhaalika Za’eem
“So ask them – who amongst them is the one who is responsible and will speak on behalf of them on the choices they make?”

Sal hum – Ask them,

This is a Command Allah is giving to His Messenger.

Allah talking to His Messenger directly instead:
This is Iltifat (transision) – where Allah spoke to the disbelievers before (what an honor!), and now He will tell His Messenger to continue (an honor for the Messenger!)
Also note that Allah in these instances is talking to the disbelievers because it is the one of the Earliest revelations in Makkah (when only a few people were Muslims [maybe a handful]).
So the disbelievers are not totally Kuffar (firmly on disbelief). Their long term decisions are not clear. So Allah is willing to talk to them during this stage. However, once their Kufr (ungratefulness/arrogance/disbelief) is permanent, they are not spoken to, in this life, nor the next.
..ask them (O Muhammad)…
AyyuHum – which (of) them

Bi dhaalika – with that

Za’eem – somebody who is responsible on behalf of people and speaks on their behalf.
“So ask them – who amongst them is the one who is responsible and will speak on behalf of them on the choices they make?”
No-one came forward from the Quraysh, and it is most probable that no-one will from other groups of people too.
Since it is embarrassing for them – because;
- Their arguments of treating the one who has submitted to Allah in good acts being similar to a convicted criminal does not make logical sense.
- Nor can these people prove that they have taken a special binding covenant with Allah to support their claim of having the choice in deciding what should be right and what should be wrong etc.

This lack of proof embarrassment causes people not to step forward, from all walks of life – except Islam. In which we can prove that we have a contract with Allah.
Ayah 40:
Ayah 41:
أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ فَلْيَأْتُوا بِشُرَكَائِهِمْ إِن كَانُوا صَادِقِينَ

am laHum shurakaa’u fa-l ya’too bi shurakaa’ihim in kaanoo Saadiqeen.
Or do they have Shurakaa‘ (partners) then let them bring these Partners forward if they are truthful.

Shurakaa’ (plural) – Shareek (singular) – Partners

Partners can refer to;
1 – Partners they worship as associates along with Allah (ie. their idols, false deities etc.) who are supporting them.
If they have these Partners with Allah, then let them bring them forward if they are truthful.
(i.e. If they are stone idols, or people who are worshipped, or ‘nature’ itself – the unpolluted mind will laugh. ‘How can such a being be an equal with Allah?’)

2 - it could be a Literal meaning: Partners in their stance on Disbelief.

Are there any other Intelligent people of any Civilization, ‘great minds’ – who are willing to backup what you claim?
But they did not have any people to support them – because they were on an island (Arabia) surrounded by 3 sides of water.
Then bring these Associates you have; Idols etc. To support you in your claim, or bring your intelligent associates and ask them to prove your claim that you have a;
- a Special Book which tells you that a Muslim (one who submits to the high moral standards set by Allah) is similar to a Convicted -founded Guilty- Criminal.
- a Special Binding Oath with Allah till Judgment Day – which allows you to do whatever evil you want, and Allah will be fine with that.

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