The Quran Only Means What Our Wisdom and Intentions Dictate

Holy Quran
The Muslim Times has the best collection of articles about the holy Quran

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

The former Christian governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, was sentenced to two years in jail for blasphemy in a case that has undermined Indonesia’s reputation for practicing a moderate form of Islam, in May of 2017.

Ahok said he would appeal against the guilty verdict and sentence.

The five-judge panel said he was “convincingly proven guilty of blasphemy” and ordered his arrest.

Ahok was elected as governor in 2014 and at the time of his reelection in 2016, the right wing Muslim politicians in Indonesia used the following verse to dissuade masses from voting for a Christian.

O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. And whoso among you takes them for friends is indeed one of them. Verily, Allah guides not the unjust people. (Al Quran 5:51/52)

They argued that if the Muslims cannot be good friends with the Christians how can they have a Christian as their governor?

Ahok suggested alternate explanations for this verse and his comments became the grounds of a blasphemy charge against him eventually.  According to the Jakarta Post, he had previously commented on the Quranic verse in his book written in 2008. He also spoke of the verse at an event conducted by a political party and in some interviews with television stations, Kompas TV and Al Jazeera.

Now, let me describe the essence of the message of the Holy Quran towards people of other faiths. Allah wants us to be kind and nice to them, except those who are belligerent and want to make us homeless:

Allah forbids you not, respecting those who have not fought against you on account of your religion, and who have not driven you forth from your homes, that you be kind to them and act equitably towards them; surely Allah loves those who are equitable.
Allah only forbids you, respecting those who have fought against you on account of your religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and have helped others in driving you out, that you make friends of them, and whosoever makes friends of them — it is these that are the transgressors. (Al Quran 60:8-9/9-10)

These verses we believe are the ground for our compassionate and just interaction with all of humanity, without consideration of their religion.

Seyyed Hossein Nasr translates the verse of the holy Quran that became pivotal in the politics of Indonesia as follows:

O you who believe! Take not Jews and  Christians as protectors. They are the protectors of one another. And whosoever takes them as protectors, surely he is of them. Truly God guides not wrongdoing people. (Al Quran 5:51/52)

A simple change in translation from ‘friend,’ to ‘protector,’ and reading this in the light of the fundamental verses from chapter 60 quoted above, makes a dramatic difference.  Now the verse has a limited context of the political engagement between the Muslim state as it was evolving under the leadership of the prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, and the non-Muslim powers around.

We believe that we need to grasp what is fundamental in the holy Quran and for that matter in any book or writing and not go after the allegorical. Let the fundamental define the allegorical and not vice versa. The Quran says:

He it is Who has sent down to you (Muhammad) the Book; in it there are verses that are fundamental or decisive in meaning — these are the corner stone of the Book — and there are others that are susceptible of different interpretations. But those in whose hearts is perversity pursue those that are susceptible of different interpretations, seeking discord and wrong interpretation of such ambiguous verses. And none knows their right interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge; they say, ‘We believe in it; the whole is from our Lord.’ — And none heed except those gifted with understanding. (3:7/8)

So, what is a fundamental teaching?

A fundamental teaching is what is substantiated not from one perspective but from multiple or all angles. It is something which does  not leave the slightest doubt in your heart and mind. It is something that you can easily defend,  no matter who the audience. It is something that you like to preach to your children and you don’t hide from anyone. It is something that is true whether you are on the receiving end or the opposite. It is true whether you are a leader or a follower. It is true whether you are among the ‘haves’ or the ‘have-nots.’ It is not what is preached by one scholar, one leader or one sect of Islam. It is true if it follows the Golden Rule.

It is a fundamental teaching if it fulfills all or a majority of the above conditions.

A fundamental Quranic teaching is one that is not mentioned once or twice in the scripture, rather dozens of times from different angles and perspectives.

Once you have a few fundamentals going for you, you will be able to understand more and more of the Quranic text. The Quran will be made easy for you. You will begin to resolve the apparent conflicts in the Quran. Because your understanding would be in keeping of the Divine understanding and rise above the vulnerability of human inconsistencies and contradictions.

We believe that the verses about compassion and justice in the holy Quran are fundamental. As there are, Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran and scores of verses about justice in human affairs.

We believe that the verses fundamental to the Muslim and the Christian relationship have been quoted above and are:

Allah forbids you not, respecting those who have not fought against you on account of your religion, and who have not driven you forth from your homes, that you be kind to them and act equitably towards them; surely Allah loves those who are equitable.
Allah only forbids you, respecting those who have fought against you on account of your religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and have helped others in driving you out, that you make friends of them, and whosoever makes friends of them — it is these that are the transgressors. (Al Quran 60:8-9/9-10)

Some allege that there are some verses that are allegorical and don’t have any decisive meanings. I believe that it is wrong understanding as it is attributing futility to the word of Allah and He is certainly above any such criticism. These verses are indecisive to some but not to Allah or those firmly grounded in knowledge as the second half of the verse 3:7/8 quoted above states.

The Quranic verses may mean one thing to the Islamophobes or for that matter to those who are Islamomaniacs or Islamists and totally something different to those who are firmly grounded in knowledge and wisdom.  The holy Quran states:

And We are gradually revealing of the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers; but it only adds to the loss of the wrongdoers. (Al Quran 17:82/83)

I would like to conclude with the following two verses regarding the Muslim and the Christian interaction:

This day all good things have been made lawful for you. And the food of the People of the Book is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. And lawful for you are chaste believing women and chaste women from among those who were given the Book before you, when you give them their dowries, contracting valid marriage and not committing fornication nor taking secret paramours. (Al Quran 5:5/6)

And:

And you shall assuredly find those who say, ‘We are Christians,’ to be the nearest of them in love to the believers. That is because amongst them are savants and monks and because they are not proud. (Al Quran 5:82/83)

Suggested Reading

God Is Living, So Why Does Religion Treat God As Dead?

The Holy Quran Does Not Exhaust Any Subject in Any One Chapter

Believing in the Blasphemy Laws is ‘the Real Blasphemy’: But, There is No Worldly Punishment

Is He who created the heavens and the earth not able to create the likes of them?

Supernova
Supernova. The Muslim Times has the best collection of articles about religion and science

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

The title of this article is a part of a verse of the holy Quran from Surah Yasin:

Is He who created the heavens and the earth not able to create the likes of them? Of course He is! He is the All Knowing Creator. (Al Quran 36:82/83)

We believe the two fundamental beliefs in Islam, which it shares with Judaism and Christianity are belief in the Transcendent God and accountability in the life after death. (87:16-19) The former is discussed at some length in Surah Al Fatihah and the latter in Surah Al Waqi’ah.

The verse under discussion links the teaching of the Creator God and our accountability.

I believe that a collection of articles below can drive home both these teachings of the holy Quran that are the foundation of Islam and also of the other Abrahamic faiths, Christianity and Judaism:

A challenge for Dawkins: Where did carbon come from?

Stephen Hawking has a change of heart: God did not create Universe?

Ten Raised to Five Hundred Reasons for Our Gracious God

Surah Qaf: The First Creation as the Foremost Proof for Afterlife

Allah the Creator, the Maker and the Fashioner: Flowers in the Desert

Plain Water will Tell you the Story

Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape The Universe by Martin Rees

The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life? by Paul Davies

Atheism exposed in one paragraph

Moon: Does it have a purpose?

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences

Where is the Injil, is it the Q document or ‘Q?’

Source: Islam for the West

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

The word Injil occurs several times in the Quran (3:4, 3:49, 3:66, 5:47, 5:67, 5:69, 5:111; 7:158; 9:111; 48:30; 57:28) and refers to the revelation to Isa (Jesus). Muslims believe that Injil was the Gospel given to Jesus, may peace be on him. We do not believe that the Injil in the Quran refers to the four Gospels as they today exist in the New Testament. In Quran, the Injil is instruction for the righteous. According to the Holy Quran:

And We (Allah) caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, fulfilling that which was revealed before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Injil which contained guidance and light, fulfilling that which was revealed before it in the Torah, and a guidance and an admonition for the God-fearing. (Al Quran 5:47)

What is the present day equivalent of what the Holy Quran describes as Injil? Could it be the Q document? Q is sometimes called the Synoptic Sayings Source. What gave me this idea was a comment by one of the experts in the four hour PBS documentary ‘From Jesus to Christ: the First Christians.’ Elaine Pagels says in the documentary, “Whoever collected the sayings of ‘Q’ wasn’t interested in the death of Jesus, wasn’t interested in the resurrection of Jesus, thought the importance of Jesus was what he said, what he preached.” This description parallels what the Holy Quran has to say about Injil.

The New Testament comprises of 27 books of four different genre or kind:

(I) Four Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, between 60 and 100 AD.

(2) Acts, which is the history of the Church, written by Luke in 65 AD.

(3) Epistles, which comprise letters, which were mostly written by Paul.

(4) Revelation which was written by John around 95 AD.

As there was no Prophet of God between Jesus and Muhammad, may peace be on both, the Quran does not recognize the Acts, the Epistles and the Book of ‘Revelation,’ as part of Injil, unless accidentally quoting, what was revealed to Jesus. According to the Quran, interpolations were made in the ‘Tauraat’ and the Injil (2:75 & 2:79). However, the Books of the Old Testament and the Gospels still contain many fragments of the original Revelations and teachings, which were affirmed by the Quran, and referred to as ‘Hudan wa Noor’ that means, guidance and light. (5:44-47)

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, as it talks about the Q document:

‘Q’ biblical literature in the study of biblical literature, is a hypothetical Greek-language proto-Gospel that might have been in circulation in written form about the time of the composition of the Synoptic Gospels—Mark, Matthew, and Luke—approximately between 65 and ad 95. The name Q, coined by the German theologian and biblical scholar Johannes Weiss, is a reference to the German word Quelle (‘source’).

Most biblical scholars agree that the authors of Matthew and Luke based their written accounts largely on The Gospel According to Mark. Matthew and Luke, however, both share a good deal of material—largely made up of logia (Greek: ‘sayings’) attributed to Jesus—that is absent from Mark. This led biblical scholars to hypothesize the existence of an undetermined source from which the shared material was drawn: Q, sometimes called the ‘lost source.’ While no actual source document has been found and some scholars doubt that Q ever existed, others have attempted to reconstruct it through intensive textual analysis.

Please read this article along with the article about the Gospel of Thomas, as there are several parallels between the two.

The Holy Quran states about Injil:

Allah is He besides Whom there is no God, the Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining. He has sent down to thee the Book containing the truth and fulfilling that which precedes it; and He sent down the Torah and the Injil, before this, as a guidance to the people; and He has sent down the Discrimination (the Quran).  (Al Quran 3:3-5)

Read further

Surah Al Falaq: The Daybreak: Overcoming Envy

Introduction

One of the central theme of this short surah is the all common emotion of envy and jealousy in human affairs. We believe that any good exposition of the emotion from the psychological perspective or of other Abrahamic faiths can serve as a commentary of this surah and we intend to collect a few sources in the commentary section that do that.

Suran Falaq along with the previous and the following surah are also a form a special prayer of protection from all possible evils that any human can face in his or her lifetime.

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues in their recent commentary of the Quran, in introduction to the previous surahSurah Ikhlas:

It has been reported on the authority of the Prophet’s wife ‘A’ishah that the Prophet would recite al-Ikhlas and the two immediately following it, al-Falaq and al-Nas, together while breathing into his palms, and then rub them over himself every night. The three together are thus understood to provide protection.

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

113:1. Proclaim: I seek the protection of the Lord of the break of dawn,

 قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ

113:2. From the mischief of every created thing,

 مِن شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ

113:3. From the harm of the night when darkness gathers.

 وَمِن شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ

113:4. From the mischief of those who seek to promote discord,

 وَمِن شَرِّ النَّفَّاثَاتِ فِي الْعُقَدِ

113:5. And from the mischief of every hostile envious person.

 وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ

Commentary

113:5

Here is a fifty minute podcast from Hidden Brain series in NPR titled: Feeding the Green-Eyed Monster: What Happens When Envy Turns Ugly:

Envy is an unflattering, miserable emotion. It can prompt us to improve our lives — and also cause us to feel resentment, rage, and a desire for revenge.

The benign form of envy drives us positively to work harder to catch up.

But, then there is a malignant or a hostile form of envy, schadenfreude, which is the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, or humiliation of another.  Please listen to the above video for greater understanding of this malignant form.

One of the goals of our commentary is to promote interfaith tolerance and to that goal, we are going to use a sermon of a famous American televangelist Joel Osteen to master jealousy better:

For the Muslim readers, whenever Joel Osteen speaks of the Bible we could choose to substitute it with the Quran and whenever he refers to Jesus we can suitably imply Allah or Muhammad, may peace be on him. By such simple substitution almost all of his presentations become perfectly kosher and halal for the Muslim audience, who can greatly benefit from his oratory and scholarship.

One of the important means to overcome envy is to focus on virtues rather than material gains and on the eternal life in the hereafter rather than temporary gains of our present mundane life. The holy Quran states in Surah Ta Ha:

And do not gaze longingly at what We have given some of them to enjoy, the finery of this present life: We test them through this, but the provision of your Lord is better and more lasting. (Al Quran 20:131)

Most of us, except the best enlightened and the perceptive, have an undue emphasis on our present earthly life: “They know only the outer aspect of the life of this world, and of the Hereafter they are utterly unmindful.” (Al Quran 30:7) As our emphasis changes towards goodness and virtue and eternal things the emotions of envy melt away into non-existence. But, it could be a long process spread over years and decades. This is why God has also taught us the virtue of patience.

I’m a middle-aged, white Scottish man who converted to Islam without ever meeting a Muslim. This is how

Epigraph:

“The best among you is who learns the Quran and teaches it.” The Prophet Muhammad

Quran
The Muslim Times has the best collection of articles about the holy Quran

Source: Independent

By Alan Rooney

It’s important to remember the distinction between written Islamic teachings and culture in the real world. After 18 months, I went to my first mosque and met other Muslims properly for the first time

How does a middle-aged, white Scottish man living in the Scottish Highlands end up becoming a Muslim – especially when he hasn’t properly met a Muslim in his life?

For me, it all started when I heard the call to prayer from a local mosque while on a beach holiday in Turkey. It woke something up inside me, and inspired me to begin a spiritual quest.

Back home in Inverness, I went to the local bookshop, bought a Qur’an and started to read. While reading, I always asked God to guide me on the journey I had set out on.

Read further

Suggested reading

One of the Best English Translations of the Quran Now Available Online

A British Convert to Islam: ‘I found Qur’an mother of all philosophies’

A New Commentary of the Holy Quran Emphasizing Compassion, Justice and Human Rights Launched

The Holy Quran Applauded as a Landmark Contribution to ‘Words of Justice’ by the Harvard University

Surah Ikhlas: The Sublime Monotheism

 

Introduction

According to Muhammad Abdel Haleem, in his recent translation of the Quran published by the Oxford University:

This sura is unusual in having as its title a term not mentioned in the body of the sura. Ikhlas conveys the meaning of sincerity in one’s religion and total dedication to the One true God. Be- cause of the importance of this theme in Islam, the Prophet said that this sura, despite its brevity, was equal to one—third of the Qur’an.

“Christianity,” according to a Christian theologian, Philip Cary, who is a philosophy professor at Eastern University with a concentration on Augustine of Hippo and received his Ph.D. from Yale Divinity School, “is an Abrahamic faith, of obsession with the person of Jesus of Nazareth.”

It is like Sunni Muslims can appreciate that Shiite Islam is an Islamic understanding of obsession with the persons of Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Imam Hussain.  If we can over come our obsessions, the two billion Christians and 1.6 billion Muslims can be one under the teachings of this surah, and obsess only over the Transcendent God of the Abrahamic faiths, who is Lord of Mercy and is beyond time, space and matter and cannot be encapsulated in the person of Jesus of Nazareth or any other human being.

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues in their recent commentary of the Quran, in introduction to Surah Ikhlas:

According to many early authorities, the Prophet said that this surah is ‘equivalent to one-third of the whole Quran’ (Al, IK, Q, R, Ts), which is understood by some to mean that the message regarding the Oneness of God is one-third of the Quran’s message. It has been reported on the authority of the Prophet’s wife ‘A’ishah that the Prophet would recite al-Ikhlas and the two immediately following it, al-Falaq and al-Nas, together while breathing into his palms, and then rub them over himself every night. The three together are thus understood to provide protection.

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

112:1. Say: He, God is One,

 قُلْ هُوَ اللَّـهُ أَحَدٌ

112:2. God the eternal.

 اللَّـهُ الصَّمَدُ

112:3. He begets not nor was He begotten.

 لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ

112:4. No one is comparable to Him.

 وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ

Commentary

112:1

“Say: He, God is One,”

For the Trinitarian Christian readers, Allah is God the Father in your tradition, so He is One and is not Triune. The Jewish understanding of God is no different from that of Islam: William Lane Craig’s Confession: ‘If we Examine Trinity, through the lens of the Old Testament, It is not Believable!’

112:2

“God the eternal.”

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues in their recent commentary:

Eternally Sufficient unto Himself translates the Divine  Name al-Samad, which occurs in the Quran only this once and is applied only to God. Its lexical, nontheological meaning indicates something solid and impenetrable or simply “not hollow” (AH, Q, R, T). In this regard, some take al-Samad to indicate something that is beyond all comprehension (My). Theologically al-Samad is interpreted by some as an allusion to the Primary or Initial Cause of all things, an eternally self—sufficient independent Being Who continues to exist after His creation has ceased to exist, “the One Who has always been and will always be” (Ts). According to al-Zamakhshari, in this context, ‘Al-Samad is a verb taking the meaning of the passive participle, the One to Whom one betakes oneself (man sumida ilayhi) when one seeks Him (idha qasadahu). And He is the Master Who is Sought (al-sayyid al-masmud) in [all] needs.’

112:3

“He begets not nor was He begotten.”

Suggested reading for this verse:

How Islam has Influenced Christian understanding of God

God of Islam: God of Nature and the Creator of our Universe

Third Council of Constantinople (680-681): Does Jesus has one nature / operation or two?

Is Jesus a Man, a God or a Hybrid, Just an Academic Pursuit?

Two natures of Jesus: another Christian mystery!

Refuting William Lane Craig’s: ‘The Birth of God’‏

Understanding the Nature of Jesus is Always a Heresy

112:4

“No one is comparable to Him.”

If we read the commentary of Surah Al Fatihah: The Opening, along with what has been linked above then it becomes obvious that ‘No one is comparable to Him.’

Surah Qaf: The First Creation as the Foremost Proof for Afterlife

Introduction

The first few verses of this Surah highlight the creativity of God Almighty as a proof for the Afterlife or the second creation:

Do they not see the sky above them, how We have built and adorned it, without any flaw, and how We spread out the earth and put firm mountains on it, and caused every kind of beautiful plants in pairs to grow in it, as a lesson and reminder for every servant who turns to God; and how We send blessed water down from the sky and grow with it gardens and the harvest grains, and the towering palm trees laden with clusters of dates, as a provision for everyone; how with water We give new life to a land that is dead? This is how the dead will emerge. (Verses 6-11)

The punch line is delivered a little bit later: “So were We incapable of the first creation? No indeed! Yet they doubt a second creation.” (Verse 15)

Such line of reasoning is pursued at least in a dozen other places in the holy Quran, therefore it is of fundamental importance for the believers to see the universe as a beautiful creation of God, rather than as an accident as the staunch atheists will have us believe. Here is an article to express gratitude to the Al Rahman God, the Lord of Mercy, for His creativity: Ten Raised to Five Hundred Reasons for Our Gracious God.

We believe the two fundamental beliefs in Islam, which it shares with Judaism and Christianity are belief in the Transcendent God and accountability in the life after death. (87:16-19) The former is discussed at some length in the commentary of Surah Al Fatihah and the latter in the commentary of Surah Al Waqi’ah.

In verse 38 of this surah, Allah stresses again: “We created the heavens, the earth, and everything in between, in six Days without tiring.” The surah closes with a verse, highlighting the role of the prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, as a teacher of the Quran: “But, You, (Muhammad) have not been appointed as a guardian. So remind, with this Qur’an, those who fear My warning.”

According to Muhammad Abdel Haleem, as he writes a brief introduction to this surah:

A Meccan sura which deals predominantly with the Resurrection and the Day of Judgement. Reference is made to previous generations of disbelievers (verses 12-14), both to warn the disbelievers in Mecca and to reassure the Prophet. Creation is cited as an indication of God’s ability to bring the dead to life again (verses 3-11), and emphasis is placed on the powerlessness of man on the Day of Resurrection (verses 20-30). The sura both opens and closes with mention of the Qur’an.

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

50:1. Qaaf;  We cite the testimony of the glorious Quran!

 ق ۚ وَالْقُرْآنِ الْمَجِيدِ

50:2. But the disbelievers marvel that a warner has come from among them and they say, ‘How strange!’

 بَلْ عَجِبُوا أَن جَاءَهُم مُّنذِرٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَقَالَ الْكَافِرُونَ هَـٰذَا شَيْءٌ عَجِيبٌ

50:3. ‘To come back to life after we have died and become dust? That is very far-fetched.’

 أَإِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَابًا ۖ ذَٰلِكَ رَجْعٌ بَعِيدٌ

50:4 We know very well what the earth takes away from them; We keep a comprehensive record.

  قَدْ عَلِمْنَا مَا تَنقُصُ الْأَرْضُ مِنْهُمْ ۖ وَعِندَنَا كِتَابٌ حَفِيظٌ

50:5. But the disbelievers deny the truth when it comes to them; so they end up in a confused state.

 بَلْ كَذَّبُوا بِالْحَقِّ لَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ فَهُمْ فِي أَمْرٍ مَّرِيجٍ

50:6. Do they not see the sky above them, how We have built and adorned it, without any flaw.

 أَفَلَمْ يَنظُرُوا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَوْقَهُمْ كَيْفَ بَنَيْنَاهَا وَزَيَّنَّاهَا وَمَا لَهَا مِن فُرُوجٍ

50:7. And how We spread out the earth and put firm mountains on it, and caused every kind of beautiful plants in pairs to grow in it,

 وَالْأَرْضَ مَدَدْنَاهَا وَأَلْقَيْنَا فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَأَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ زَوْجٍ بَهِيجٍ

50:8. As a lesson and reminder for every servant who turns to God;

 تَبْصِرَةً وَذِكْرَىٰ لِكُلِّ عَبْدٍ مُّنِيبٍ

50:9. And how We send blessed water down from the sky and grow with it gardens and harvest grains.

 وَنَزَّلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً مُّبَارَكًا فَأَنبَتْنَا بِهِ جَنَّاتٍ وَحَبَّ الْحَصِيدِ

50:10. And the towering palm trees laden with clusters of dates,

 وَالنَّخْلَ بَاسِقَاتٍ لَّهَا طَلْعٌ نَّضِيدٌ

50:11. As a provision for everyone; how with water We give new life to a land that is dead? This is how the dead will emerge.

 رِّزْقًا لِّلْعِبَادِ ۖ وَأَحْيَيْنَا بِهِ بَلْدَةً مَّيْتًا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ الْخُرُوجُ

50:12. The people of Noah disbelieved long before these disbelievers, as did the people of Rass, Thamud,

 كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ وَأَصْحَابُ الرَّسِّ وَثَمُودُ

50:13. ‘Ad, Pharaoh and the people of Lot,

 وَعَادٌ وَفِرْعَوْنُ وَإِخْوَانُ لُوطٍ

50:14. The Forest-Dwellers, Tubba’: all of these people disbelieved their messengers, and so My warning was realized.

 وَأَصْحَابُ الْأَيْكَةِ وَقَوْمُ تُبَّعٍ ۚ كُلٌّ كَذَّبَ الرُّسُلَ فَحَقَّ وَعِيدِ

50:15. So were We incapable of the first creation? No indeed! Yet they doubt a second creation.

 أَفَعَيِينَا بِالْخَلْقِ الْأَوَّلِ ۚ

 بَلْ هُمْ فِي لَبْسٍ مِّنْ خَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ

50:16. We did indeed create man, We know what his soul whispers to him: We are closer to him than his jugular vein

 وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ ۖ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ

50:17.  With two monitors set to record, one on his right side and one on his left.

 إِذْ يَتَلَقَّى الْمُتَلَقِّيَانِ عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ قَعِيدٌ

50:18. He does not utter anything without a ready watcher beside him.

 مَّا يَلْفِظُ مِن قَوْلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ

50:19. The stupor of imminent death will bring the Truth with it: ‘This is what you tried to escape.’

 وَجَاءَتْ سَكْرَةُ الْمَوْتِ بِالْحَقِّ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ مَا كُنتَ مِنْهُ تَحِيدُ

50:20. The Trumpet will be sounded: ‘This is the Day you were warned of.’

 وَنُفِخَ فِي ال ذَٰلِكَ يَوْمُ الْوَعِيدِصُّورِ ۚ

50:21. Each person will arrive attended by an angel to drive him on and another to bear witness:

  وَجَاءَتْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّعَهَا سَائِقٌ وَشَهِيدٌ

50:22. You paid no attention to this Day; but today We have removed your veil of denial and your sight is sharp.

 لَّقَدْ كُنتَ فِي غَفْلَةٍ مِّنْ هَـٰذَا فَكَشَفْنَا عَنكَ غِطَاءَكَ فَبَصَرُكَ الْيَوْمَ حَدِيدٌ

50:23. The person’s attendant will say, ‘Here is what I have prepared.’

 وَقَالَ قَرِينُهُ هَـٰذَا مَا لَدَيَّ عَتِيدٌ

50:24. Cast every obstinate disbeliever into Hell.

 أَلْقِيَا فِي جَهَنَّمَ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ

50:25. Everyone who hindered good, was aggressive, caused others to doubt,

 مَّنَّاعٍ لِّلْخَيْرِ مُعْتَدٍ مُّرِيبٍ

50:26. And set up other gods beside God. Cast him into severe punishment!

  الَّذِي جَعَلَ مَعَ اللَّـهِ إِلَـٰهًا آخَرَ فَأَلْقِيَاهُ فِي الْعَذَابِ الشَّدِيدِ

50:27. And his evil companion will say, ‘Lord, I did not make him transgress; he had already gone far astray on his own.’

 قَالَ قَرِينُهُ رَبَّنَا مَا أَطْغَيْتُهُ وَلَـٰكِن كَانَ فِي ضَلَالٍ بَعِيدٍ

50:28. God will say, ‘Do not argue in My presence. I sent you a warning.’

 قَالَ لَا تَخْتَصِمُوا لَدَيَّ وَقَدْ قَدَّمْتُ إِلَيْكُم بِالْوَعِيدِ

50:29. And My word cannot be changed: I am not unjust to the slightest to any of my servants.

 مَا يُبَدَّلُ الْقَوْلُ لَدَيَّ وَمَا أَنَا بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِي

50:30. We shall ask Hell on that day, ‘Are you full?’And it will reply, ‘Are there no more?’

 يَوْمَ نَقُولُ لِجَهَنَّمَ هَلِ امْتَلَأْتِ وَتَقُولُ هَلْ مِن مَّزِيدٍ

50:31. But Paradise will be brought close to the reverent and will no longer be distant.

 وَأُزْلِفَتِ الْجَنَّةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ غَيْرَ بَعِيدٍ

50:32. This is what you were promised —this is for everyone who turned often to God and kept Him in mind.

 هَـٰذَا مَا تُوعَدُونَ لِكُلِّ أَوَّابٍ حَفِيظٍ

50:33. Who held the Most Gracious in awe, though He is unseen, who comes before Him with a heart turned to Him in devotion.

  مَّنْ خَشِيَ الرَّحْمَـٰنَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَجَاءَ بِقَلْبٍ مُّنِيبٍ

50:34. So enter it in peace. This is the Day of everlasting Life.

 ادْخُلُوهَا بِسَلَامٍ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ يَوْمُ الْخُلُودِ

50:35. They will have all that they wish for there, and We have more for them that they cannot conceive.

  لَهُم مَّا يَشَاءُونَ فِيهَا وَلَدَيْنَا مَزِيدٌ

50:36. We have destroyed even mightier generations before these disbelievers. Then they searched around in the lands, but there was no refuge.

وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُم مِّن قَرْنٍ هُمْ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُم بَطْشًا فَنَقَّبُوا فِي الْبِلَادِ هَلْ مِن مَّحِيصٍ

50:37. There truly is a reminder in this for whoever has a heart, whoever listens attentively.

 إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَذِكْرَىٰ لِمَن كَانَ لَهُ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ

50:38. We created the heavens, the earth, and everything in between, in six Days without tiring.

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ وَمَا مَسَّنَا مِن لُّغُوبٍ

50:39. Oh Prophet, bear everything they say with patience; celebrate the praise of your Lord before the rising and setting of the sun;

 فَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ الْغُرُوبِ

50:40. Proclaim His praise in the night and at the end of every formal prayer.

 وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْهُ وَأَدْبَارَ السُّجُودِ

50:41. Listen out for the Day when the caller will call from a nearby place.

 وَاسْتَمِعْ يَوْمَ يُنَادِ الْمُنَادِ مِن مَّكَانٍ قَرِيبٍ

50:42. The Day they will hear the mighty inevitable blast, that is the Day when they will come forth.

  يَوْمَ يَسْمَعُونَ الصَّيْحَةَ بِالْحَقِّ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ يَوْمُ الْخُرُوجِ

50:43. It is We who give life and cause death;  and to Us is the final return.

 إِنَّا نَحْنُ نُحْيِي وَنُمِيتُ وَإِلَيْنَا الْمَصِيرُ

50:44. On the Day when the earth will be split asunder, letting them rush out and that gathering will be easy for Us.

 يَوْمَ تَشَقَّقُ الْأَرْضُ عَنْهُمْ سِرَاعًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ حَشْرٌ عَلَيْنَا يَسِيرٌ

50:45. We know best what the disbelievers say.  But, You, (Muhammad) have not been appointed as a guardian. So remind, with this Quran, those who fear My warning.

 نَّحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ ۖ وَمَا أَنتَ عَلَيْهِم بِجَبَّارٍ ۖ فَذَكِّرْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مَن يَخَافُ وَعِيدِ

Commentary

50:6-11

The first few verses of this Surah highlight the creativity of God Almighty as a proof for the Afterlife or the second creation:

Do they not see the sky above them, how We have built and adorned it, without any flaw, and how We spread out the earth and put firm mountains on it, and caused every kind of beautiful plants in pairs to grow in it, as a lesson and reminder for every servant who turns to God; and how We send blessed water down from the sky and grow with it gardens and the harvest grains,and the towering palm trees laden with clusters of dates, as a provision for everyone; how with water We give new life to a land that is dead? This is how the dead will emerge. (Verses 6-11)

The punch line is delivered a little bit later: “So were We incapable of the first creation? No indeed! Yet they doubt a second creation.” (Verse 15)

Such line of reasoning is pursued at least in a dozen other places in the holy Quran, therefore it is of fundamental importance for the believers to see the universe as a beautiful creation of God, rather than as an accident as the staunch atheists will have us believe. Here is an article to express gratitude to the Al Rahman God, the Lord of Mercy, for His creativity: Ten Raised to Five Hundred Reasons for Our Gracious God.

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues in their recent commentary:

This is one of several passages to call human beings to reflect upon the beauty, proportionality, and bounty of the natural world as evidence of God’s Mercy and wisdom and of the Resurrection; see 16:79-81; 24:43-50; 26:7-8; 33:27; 35:27-28; 36:71-73; 45:1-5.

We believe the two fundamental beliefs in Islam, which it shares with Judaism and Christianity are belief in the Transcendent God and accountability in the life after death. (87:16-19) The former is discussed at some length in the commentary of Surah Al Fatihah and the latter in the commentary of Surah Al Waqi’ah.

50:12-14

“The people of Noah disbelieved long before these disbelievers, as did the people of Rass, Thamud, ‘Ad, Pharaoh and the people of Lot, the Forest-Dwellers, Tubba’: all of these people disbelieved their messengers, and so My warning was realized.”

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues in their recent commentary:

Before them means before the idolaters who  oppose the Prophet (T). For the Quranic account of Noah and the flood, see 11:25-48; 23:23-30; 26:105-21; Surah 71. The inhabitants of al-Rass (cf. 25:38) is an enigmatic reference that some understand to mean one of the towns of the tribe of Thamud (T). Others understand al-Rass to mean “the well’’ and interpret it as a reference to the well in which the people spoken of in 36:13-27 threw the prophet whom God had sent to them (I). The ‘Ad and the Thamud were pre-Islamic Arabian tribes who rejected the prophets sent to them. For the account of the ‘Ad see 7:65-72; 11:50-60; 41:15-16; 54:18-21. For that of the Thamud, see 7:73-79; 11:61-68; 26:141-58; 54:24-31. The story of Lot and his people is discussed most extensively in 11:77-83; see also 7:80-84; 15:57-77; 21:74-75; 26:160-73;  27:54-58; 29:28-35; 37:133-38. The thicket translates al- aykah, which according to some is a proper name. The inhabitants of the thicket are either the people of Midian, who are said to have rejected the prophet Shu‘ayb (see 7:85-93; 11:84-95; 26:176-89; 29:36-37), or a second community to which Shu‘ayb was sent (Mw). For Tubba‘ , most likely a reference to a line of kings in southern Arabia, see 44:37c.

How does the history of prophets of the past plays out in the contemporary life? For this we link a recent article from the Muslim Sunrise, the oldest Muslim publication of North America, written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times: God’s Existence and Natural Disasters.

50:15

“So were We incapable of the first creation? No indeed! Yet they doubt a second creation.”

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues in their recent commentary:

This verse is a rebuke to what the idolaters say in v.  3. They are questioned as to how it is that they could doubt God’s ability to resurrect when they have the evidence of God’s ability to create everything that is around them (T). The rhetorical question is answered in 46:33: Have they not considered that God, Who created the heavens and the earth and did not weary in their creation, is able to give life to the dead? Yea! He is Powerful over all things. In the present verse, the first creation means the creation of this world. When confronted with the Quranic teaching regarding bodily resurrection, the reaction of the disbelievers is that they say, What! When we are bones and dust, shall we indeed be resurrected as a new creation? (17:49, 98). In this interpretation new creation refers to the Resurrection; see also 13:5; 14:19; 34:7; 35:16-17c. New creation can also be understood as a reference to the perpetual creation of the world, in which God’s creative act is renewed at every instant (K). That most human beings are in doubt regarding a new creation indicates that they are unable to see because their sight is not yet piercing (see v. 22).

50:34

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues in their recent commentary:

Enter it in peace. This is the day of abiding.”  34 Peace translates saldm, which also denotes  “greeting” and “safety.” Enter it in peace is thus interpreted to mean, “Enter secure from every fear,” or “Enter with the greeting of peace” (JJ), as in 56:25-26: They hear no idle talk therein, nor incitement to sin, save that “Peace! Peace!” is uttered (cf. 7:46; 10:10; 13:23-24; 14:23; 16:32; 19:62; 25:75; 33:44; 36:58). Thus the Garden is also known as the Abode of Peace (61127; 10:25). That this is the day of abiding indicates that it is the day on which everlasting life in the Garden will begin (JJ, T).

50:45

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues in their recent commentary:

Given the general principle in Islam that there is no coercion in religion (2:256), the Prophet is not to compel disbelievers. His function is only to remind human beings through revelation (see 88:21-22), as prophets are only responsible for proclaiming the message (see, e.g. 3:20; 5:92, 99; 13:40; 16:35. 82; 24:54; 29:18; 36:17; 42:48). Those who fear My Threat (see also 8719-10) is understood by some to mean the believers (JJ), but can be taken more generally to mean all but the most obstinate disbelievers, since every human being is believed to bear the primordial covenant, and thus the remembrance of God, within the depths of his or her soul (see 7:172c; 30:30c).