In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate
بِسۡمِ اللهِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِيۡمِ
(11:1) Alif. Lam. Ra. This is a Divine Command1 whose contents
have been made firm and set forth in detail2 from One Who is All-Wise,
الٓرٰ كِتٰبٌ اُحۡكِمَتۡ اٰيٰـتُهٗ ثُمَّ فُصِّلَتۡ مِنۡ لَّدُنۡ حَكِيۡمٍ
(11:2) that you may worship none but Allah. Verily, I have come to you as
a warner and a bearer of good news from Him
اَلَّا تَعۡبُدُوۡۤا اِلَّا اللّٰهَ ؕ اِنَّنِىۡ لَـكُمۡ مِّنۡهُ نَذِيۡرٌ وَّبَشِيۡرٌ
(11:3) that you may seek forgiveness of your Lord and turn to Him in repentance
whereupon He will grant you a fair enjoyment of life until an appointed term,3
and will bestow favour on everyone who merits favour.4 But should
you turn away (from the truth), I fear for you the chastisement of an Awesome
وَّاَنِ اسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡا رَبَّكُمۡ ثُمَّ تُوۡبُوۡۤا اِلَيۡهِ يُمَتِّعۡكُمۡ مَّتَاعًا
حَسَنًا اِلٰٓى اَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَ يُؤۡتِ كُلَّ ذِىۡ فَضۡلٍ فَضۡلَهٗ ؕ وَاِنۡ تَوَلَّوۡا
فَاِنِّىۡۤ اَخَافُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ عَذَابَ يَوۡمٍ كَبِيۡرٍ
(11:4) Unto Allah is your return, and He has power to do everything.
اِلَى اللّٰهِ مَرۡجِعُكُمۡۚ وَهُوَ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ قَدِيۡرٌ
(11:5) Lo! They fold up their breasts that they may conceal themselves from
Him.5 Surely when they cover themselves up with their garments Allah
knows well what they cover and what they reveal. Indeed He even knows the secrets
hidden in the breasts.
اَلَاۤ اِنَّهُمۡ يَثۡنُوۡنَ صُدُوۡرَهُمۡ لِيَسۡتَخۡفُوۡا مِنۡهُؕ اَلَا حِيۡنَ
يَسۡتَغۡشُوۡنَ ثِيَابَهُمۡۙ يَعۡلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّوۡنَ وَمَا يُعۡلِنُوۡنَۚ اِنَّهٗ
عَلِيۡمٌۢ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُوۡرِ
(11:6) There is not a single moving creature on the earth but Allah is responsible
for providing its sustenance. He knows where it dwells and where it will permanently
rest.6 All this is recorded in a clear Book.
وَمَا مِنۡ دَآ بَّةٍ فِى الۡاَرۡضِ اِلَّا عَلَى اللّٰهِ رِزۡقُهَا وَ يَعۡلَمُ
مُسۡتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسۡتَوۡدَعَهَاؕ كُلٌّ فِىۡ كِتٰبٍ مُّبِيۡنٍ
(11:7) And He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six days - and
[before that] His Throne was upon the water7 that He may test you,
who of you is better in conduct8 If you were to say (O Muhammad):
'All of you will surely be raised after death', then those who disbelieve will
certainly say: 'This is nothing but plain sorcery.9 وَ هُوَ الَّذِىۡ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضَ فِىۡ سِتَّةِ اَ يَّامٍ وَّكَانَ
عَرۡشُهٗ عَلَى الۡمَآءِ لِيَبۡلُوَكُمۡ اَيُّكُمۡ اَحۡسَنُ عَمَلًا ؕ وَلَٮِٕنۡ قُلۡتَ
اِنَّكُمۡ مَّبۡعُوۡثُوۡنَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ الۡمَوۡتِ لَيَـقُوۡلَنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوۡۤا
اِنۡ هٰذَاۤ اِلَّا سِحۡرٌ مُّبِيۡنٌ
(11:8) And were We to put off the chastisement from them for a determined
period, they will cry out: 'What withholds Him from chastising?' Surely when
the day of the chastisement will come, nothing will avert it and the chastisement
which they had ridiculed shall encompass them.
وَلَٮِٕنۡ اَخَّرۡنَا عَنۡهُمُ الۡعَذَابَ اِلٰٓى اُمَّةٍ مَّعۡدُوۡدَةٍ لَّيَـقُوۡلُنَّ
مَا يَحۡبِسُهٗؕ اَلَا يَوۡمَ يَاۡتِيۡهِمۡ لَـيۡسَ مَصۡرُوۡفًا عَنۡهُمۡ وَحَاقَ بِهِمۡ
مَّا كَانُوۡا بِهٖ يَسۡتَهۡزِءُوۡنَ
1. The Arabic word kitab has been translated into Book because of the context.
For its meaning is not confined to book or something written but it includes
command and sovereign decree as well and has been used in several places in
the Quran in the same sense.
2. The contents of this Book are firm, strong, and unchangeable: they are
well balanced and measured. There is no tinge of verbosity, pedantry, volubility,
poetic fancy and rhetorical exaggeration. The truth has been stated accurately,
and there is nothing more and nothing less than the truth. Moreover, the contents
have been given in detail and everything has been made so clear and plain that
there is neither confusion nor complication nor ambiguity in it.
3. The assurance that “He will let you enjoy a fair provision for a term
appointed” has been given to remove the misunderstanding which Satan has imbued
in the heart of every foolish worshiper of the world that piety ruins one’s
worldly life, though it might lead to one’s success in the Hereafter. Allah
has reassured the true believers that He will shower His blessings on God fearing
people and they will live happy and peaceful lives and will be honored and respected
everywhere. The same thing has been stated in a different manner in
(Surah An-Nahal, Ayat 97): “Whoso will do good deeds, whether a man or a woman, provided the one
is a believer, We will surely make such a one lead a pure and clean life in
this world.” Allah has refuted this theory of Satan and his disciples that piety
inevitably brings poverty, distress and affliction and ignominy to the person
who adopts truth, righteousness and virtue. He has assured that He will make
the life of the one who will believe in Him and adopt a righteous life truly
successful both in this world and in the Hereafter. And it is common experience
that only those people enjoy real peace of mind and are honored and respected
who are God fearing and possess a pure character, who are fair and generous
in all their affairs and dealings and who are free from evil. For they are trusted
by all and none fears any wrong or wickedness from them.
According to the Quran, the provisions of life are either mataul-hasana meaning
good provisions or mataul-ghuroor meaning deceptive provisions. Here those,
who return to Allah, have been assured that they will be given good provisions
of life and not deceptive ones. The provisions are good if their recipient becomes
even more grateful to Allah than before and uses these for fulfilling His rights
and the rights of mankind and of his own self. Such good provisions make his
life truly successful in this world and also in the next world. On the contrary,
the provisions are deceptive, if they become a temptation for the recipient,
and get him involved in the worship of the things of this world more than before.
Though the deceptive provisions might appear to be a blessing and a favor, these
are, in fact, a curse and means of some future torment.
4. This verse enunciates a fundamental divine principle. The higher a person
rises in character and conduct, the higher is the rank he obtains in the sight
of Allah. That is to say that Allah does not let go waste the good deed of anyone.
He does neither appreciate any evil deed, nor detracts from any good deed. Everyone
will be given the honor which he deserves for his deeds.
5. They were those people of Makkah, who though not very active in their
antagonism against the message of the Prophet (peace be upon him), nevertheless
were very averse to it. Therefore they did not like to hear it nor come face
to face with him, and did their very best to avoid him. If, by chance, they
found him sitting somewhere and talking to the people, they would at once turn
back on their heels. Or if they saw him coming towards them, they would slink
away or hide their faces with cloth for fear that he might address them and
convey his message to them. As they did not have the courage to face the truth,
they would bury their heads ostrich-like and make believe that the reality from
which they were hiding had disappeared, whereas it was all along there and watching
their ridiculous attempts to hide from it.
6. That is, it is foolish on your part to deceive yourselves that you can
escape punishment by hiding yourselves from Allah Who has full and perfect knowledge
of everything. Who knows the nest where the tiniest sparrow lives and the hole
where the smallest insect resides, and provides their sustenance to them wherever
they be. Who knows the dwelling place and the final resting place of every creature
and gives life and death to them at the appointed time. Do you think that by
hiding yourselves from His messenger, you can also hide yourselves from the
All-Knowing Sovereign Who has sent him? Do you think that Allah does not see
His messenger doing his very best to convey His message to you and you are trying
to turn a deaf ear to it?
7. This is a parenthetical clause that has probably been inserted in answer
to a question, which has not been cited: if the heavens and the earth were created
afterwards in six days, what was there before their creation? The answer is:
then there was water. It is not possible for us to say what exactly was the
nature of that water. It might have been the common fluid known by that name.
Or perhaps, the word water has been used as a symbol for the fluid state of
the matter before it was changed to its present form. As regards to “His Throne
was upon the water” I am of the opinion that it means: “His Kingdom was over
8. This enunciates the purpose of the creation: Allah created the heavens
and the earth for the sake of the creation of mankind and He created mankind
to test human beings by delegating to them the powers of vicegerency and making
them morally responsible for using or abusing them, just as they liked. Thus
it has been emphasized that the sole purpose of the creation is the moral trial
of man and his consequent accountability to the Creator for the use or abuse
of the delegated powers, and the award of rewards and punishments. For without
this basic purpose, the whole work of creation would have become meaningless
9. That is, the disbelievers very foolishly considered the purpose of the
creation to be no more than a pastime in which they themselves were mere playthings.
They were so absorbed in their foolish conception that when the Prophet (peace
be upon him) told them what the real purpose of creation was and what part they
were required to play in it, they would scoff at him, saying: Your message is
like a piece of sorcery and beyond our understanding.