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Towards Understanding the Quran
With kind permission: Islamic Foundation UK
Introduction to Tafheem | Glossary | Verbs
Other resources: Maarif | Dawat 

 Surah Hud 11:96-109 [9/10]
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Verse Summary -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
وَلَقَدْAnd certainly
أَرْسَلْنَاWe sent
بِـَٔـايَـٰتِنَاwith Our Signs
وَسُلْطَـٰنٍand an authority
وَمَلَإِيْهِۦand his chiefs,
فَٱتَّبَعُوٓاْbut they followed
أَمْرَ فِرْعَوْنَ‌ۖ(the) command of Firaun,
وَمَآand not
أَمْرُ فِرْعَوْنَ(the) command of Firaun
بِرَشِيدٍwas right.
يَقْدُمُHe will precede
قَوْمَهُۥhis people
يَوْمَ(on the) Day
ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ(of) the Resurrection
فَأَوْرَدَهُمُand lead them
ٱلنَّارَ‌ۖ(into) the Fire.
وَبِئْسَAnd wretched
ٱلْوِرْدُ(is) the place
ٱلْمَوْرُودُto which (they are) led.
وَأُتْبِعُواْAnd they were followed
لَعْنَةً(by) a curse
وَيَوْمَand (on the) Day
ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ‌ۚ(of) the Resurrection.
ٱلرِّفْدُ(is) the gift
ٱلْمَرْفُودُwhich (will) be given.
مِنْ(is) from
أَنۢبَآءِ(the) news
ٱلْقُرَىٰ(of) the cities
نَقُصُّهُۥ(which) We relate
عَلَيْكَ‌ۖto you;
مِنْهَاof them,
قَآئِمٌsome are standing
وَحَصِيدٌand (some) mown.
وَمَاAnd not
ظَلَمْنَـٰهُمْWe wronged them
ظَلَمُوٓاْthey wronged
فَمَآSo not
ءَالِهَتُهُمُtheir gods
يَدْعُونَthey invoked
مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِother than Allah,
أَمْرُ رَبِّكَ‌ۖ(the) command (of) your Lord.
وَمَاAnd not
زَادُوهُمْthey increased them
غَيْرَother than
وَكَذَٲلِكَAnd thus
أَخْذُ رَبِّكَ(is) the seizure (of) your Lord
أَخَذَHe seizes
ٱلْقُرَىٰthe cities
وَهِىَwhile they
ظَـٰلِمَةٌ‌ۚ(are) doing wrong.
أَخْذَهُۥٓHis seizure
أَلِيمٌ(is) painful,
شَدِيدٌ(and) severe.
لَأَيَةً(is) surely a Sign
لِّمَنْfor (those) who
عَذَابَ(the) punishment
ٱلْأَخِرَةِ‌ۚ(of) the Hereafter.
يَوْمٌ(is) a Day
مَّجْمُوعٌ(will) be gathered
لَّهُon it
ٱلنَّاسُthe mankind,
وَذَٲلِكَand that
يَوْمٌ(is) a Day
وَمَاAnd not
نُؤَخِّرُهُۥٓWe delay it
لِأَجَلٍfor a term
يَوْمَ(The) Day
يَأْتِ(it) comes
تَكَلَّمُwill speak
نَفْسٌa soul
بِإِذْنِهِۦ‌ۚby His leave.
فَمِنْهُمْThen among them
شَقِىٌّ(will be the) wretched,
وَسَعِيدٌand (the) glad.
فَأَمَّاAs for
ٱلَّذِينَthose who
شَقُواْwere wretched
فَفِىthen (they will be) in
ٱلنَّارِthe Fire.
لَهُمْFor them
زَفِيرٌ(is) sighing,
وَشَهِيقٌand wailing.
خَـٰلِدِينَ(Will be) abiding
مَا دَامَتِas long as remain
ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتُthe heavens
وَٱلْأَرْضُand the earth,
مَا شَآءَ رَبُّكَ‌ۚwhat your Lord wills.
رَبَّكَyour Lord
فَعَّالٌ(is) All-Accomplisher
لِّمَاof what
يُرِيدُHe intends.
۞ وَأَمَّاAnd as for
ٱلَّذِينَthose who
سُعِدُواْwere glad
فَفِىthen (they will be) in
خَـٰلِدِينَ(will be) abiding
مَا دَامَتِas long as remains
ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتُthe heavens
وَٱلْأَرْضُand the earth,
مَا شَآءَ رَبُّكَ‌ۖwhat your Lord wills -
عَطَآءًa bestowal
فَلَاSo (do) not
مِّمَّاas to what
هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ‌ۚthese (polytheists).
يَعْبُدُونَthey worship
كَمَاas what
ءَابَآؤُهُمtheir forefathers
مِّن قَبْلُ‌ۚbefore.
وَإِنَّاAnd indeed, We
لَمُوَفُّوهُمْwill surely pay them in full
نَصِيبَهُمْtheir share
مَنقُوصٍbeing diminished.

وَلَقَدۡ اَرۡسَلۡنَا مُوۡسٰى بِاٰيٰتِنَا وَسُلۡطٰنٍ مُّبِيۡنٍۙ‏  اِلٰى فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَمَلَا۟ ـئِهٖ فَاتَّبَعُوۡۤا اَمۡرَ فِرۡعَوۡنَ​ۚ وَمَاۤ اَمۡرُ فِرۡعَوۡنَ بِرَشِيۡدٍ‏  يَقۡدُمُ قَوۡمَهٗ يَوۡمَ الۡقِيٰمَةِ فَاَوۡرَدَهُمُ النَّارَ​ؕ وَبِئۡسَ الۡوِرۡدُ الۡمَوۡرُوۡدُ‏  وَاُتۡبِعُوۡا فِىۡ هٰذِهٖ لَـعۡنَةً وَّيَوۡمَ الۡقِيٰمَةِ​ ؕ بِئۡسَ الرِّفۡدُ الۡمَرۡفُوۡدُ‏  ذٰ لِكَ مِنۡ اَنۡۢبَآءِ الۡـقُرٰى نَقُصُّهٗ عَلَيۡكَ​ مِنۡهَا قَآئِمٌ وَّحَصِيۡدٌ‏   وَمَا ظَلَمۡنٰهُمۡ وَلٰـكِنۡ ظَلَمُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَهُمۡ​ فَمَاۤ اَغۡنَتۡ عَنۡهُمۡ اٰلِهَتُهُمُ الَّتِىۡ يَدۡعُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ مِنۡ شَىۡءٍ لَّمَّا جَآءَ اَمۡرُ رَبِّكَؕ ​ وَمَا زَادُوۡهُمۡ غَيۡرَ تَتۡبِيۡبٍ‏  وَكَذٰلِكَ اَخۡذُ رَبِّكَ اِذَاۤ اَخَذَ الۡقُرٰى وَهِىَ ظَالِمَةٌ​ ؕ اِنَّ اَخۡذَهٗۤ اَلِيۡمٌ شَدِيۡدٌ‏  اِنَّ فِىۡ ذٰ لِكَ لَاٰيَةً لِّمَنۡ خَافَ عَذَابَ الۡاٰخِرَةِ​ ؕ ذٰ لِكَ يَوۡمٌ مَّجۡمُوۡعٌ  ۙ  لَّهُ النَّاسُ وَذٰ لِكَ يَوۡمٌ مَّشۡهُوۡدٌ‏  وَمَا نُؤَخِّرُهٗۤ اِلَّا لِاَجَلٍ مَّعۡدُوۡدٍؕ‏  يَوۡمَ يَاۡتِ لَا تَكَلَّمُ نَفۡسٌ اِلَّا بِاِذۡنِهٖ​ۚ فَمِنۡهُمۡ شَقِىٌّ وَّسَعِيۡدٌ‏  فَاَمَّا الَّذِيۡنَ شَقُوۡا فَفِى النَّارِ لَهُمۡ فِيۡهَا زَفِيۡرٌ وَّشَهِيۡقٌ ۙ‏   خٰلِدِيۡنَ فِيۡهَا مَا دَامَتِ السَّمٰوٰتُ وَالۡاَرۡضُ اِلَّا مَا شَآءَ رَبُّكَ​ ؕ اِنَّ رَبَّكَ فَعَّالٌ لِّمَا يُرِيۡدُ‏  وَاَمَّا الَّذِيۡنَ سُعِدُوۡا فَفِى الۡجَـنَّةِ خٰلِدِيۡنَ فِيۡهَا مَا دَامَتِ السَّمٰوٰتُ وَالۡاَرۡضُ اِلَّا مَا شَآءَ رَبُّكَ​ ؕ عَطَآءً غَيۡرَ مَجۡذُوۡذٍ‏   فَلَا تَكُ فِىۡ مِرۡيَةٍ مِّمَّا يَعۡبُدُ هٰٓؤُلَاۤءِ ​ؕ مَا يَعۡبُدُوۡنَ اِلَّا كَمَا يَعۡبُدُ اٰبَآؤُهُمۡ مِّنۡ قَبۡلُ​ؕ وَاِنَّا لَمُوَفُّوۡهُمۡ نَصِيۡبَهُمۡ غَيۡرَ مَنۡقُوۡصٍ‏ 
(11:96) And indeed We sent Moses with Our signs and with a clear authority (11:97) to Pharaoh and his nobles. But they obeyed the command of Pharaoh even though Pharaoh's command was not rightly-directed. (11:98) He shall stand at the head of his people on the Day of Resurrection, and will bring them down to the Fire.104 What a wretched destination to be led to! (11:99) They were pursued by a curse in this world and so will they be on the Day of Resurrection. What an evil reward will they receive! (11:100) That is an account of some towns which We recount to you. Of them some are still standing and some have been mown down. (11:101) We did not wrong them; it is rather they who wronged themselves. And when the command of your Lord came to pass, the gods besides Allah whom they had called upon, did not avail them in the least. They added nothing to them except ruin. (11:102) Such is the seizing of your Lord that when He does seize the towns immersed in wrong-doing, His seizing is painful, terrible. (11:103) Surely in that is a sign for him who fears the chastisement of the Hereafter.105 That will be a Day when all men shall be mustered together; that will be a Day when whatever happens shall be witnessed by all. (11:104) Nor shall We withhold it except till an appointed term. (11:105) And when the appointed Day comes, no one shall even dare to speak except by the leave of Allah.106 Then some will be declared wretched, others blessed. (11:106) As for the wretched, they shall be in the Fire, and in it they shall sigh and groan. (11:107) They shall abide in it as long as the heavens and the earth endure,107 unless your Lord may will otherwise. Surely your Lord does whatsoever He wills.108 (11:108) And as for those who are blessed, they shall abide in the Garden as long as the heavens and the earth endure, unless your Lord may will otherwise.109 They shall enjoy an unceasing gift. (11:109) [O Prophet!] Have no doubt about what they worship. For they worship what their fathers worshipped before.110 And (yet) We shall grant them their due portion in full, diminishing of it nothing.

104. From this verse and some other narrations of the Quran it appears that the leaders of a community in this world will be its leaders also on the Day of Resurrection. If they guided and led the people towards virtue, righteousness and truth in this world, their followers will gather together under their banner on the Day of Resurrection and march to the Gardens under their leadership. On the other hand, if they called people to some deviation, immorality or unrighteous ways, their followers will follow them there also, and march to the fire of Hell under their leadership. The Prophet (peace be upon him) explained this thing in a tradition: On the Day of Resurrection, the banner of the poets of ignorance will be in the hands of Imra-ul-Quais, and all of them will march towards Hell under his leadership.

Now let us try to picture the march of these two processions. It is obvious that the first procession will march happily and joyously, praying for and praising their leaders whose guidance had led them to this happy state of marching to the blessed Paradise. On the other hand, when the followers of the leaders of errors will find themselves in the miserable plight, to which the leaders had brought them, naturally their anger against them will be beyond description. For the followers will march towards Hell, abusing and cursing their leaders, who had brought them to that horrible state of torture.

105. That is, in these historical events there is a sign which will show conclusively to the one who considers this deeply that the torment of the Hereafter is inevitable, as warned by the Messengers. One can also judge from this how terrible it will be. This knowledge will fill one with such fear that will keep him on the straight way.

Now let us consider the question: How are these historical events a sign of the Hereafter and the chastisement therein. Everyone who makes a critical study of history with this consideration that it is not merely a collection of events, but also a means of drawing logical conclusions, will find that the rise and fall of communities and nations has been taking place in a regular succession. Moreover, one will find that this rise and fall takes place in accordance with some moral laws in an extraordinary way. This is a clear proof that man is subordinate to the Sovereign, Who is ruling over the universe in accordance with some rational moral laws. Accordingly, He raises up those who keep the moral limits above a certain minimum standard set for this purpose and degrades those who fall below it. Then He gives respite to the latter to mend their ways, but if they do not avail of it and continue their downward march and fall below the limit set for their complete degradation, He annihilates them in a way as to serve as a lesson for others. The fact that these events always take place in a regular cycle leaves no shadow of doubt that rewards and punishments are permanent parts of the law of His kingdom.

A further consideration of the chastisements that were inflicted on different communities shows that, though these punishments fulfilled the demands of justice to some extent, there was still need of more to fulfill all the demands of justice, for these criminals were punished only for those sins which they themselves committed but not for those committed by the succeeding communities, which followed the bad example left by them as their predecessors. It is obvious from the study of history that the law of retribution must take its course and justice demands that they should be punished for the evil legacy they left for others to follow after them. Common sense and justice demand that life in this world should be reproduced in its entirety in order to fulfill all the demands of the law of retribution. The just Sovereign will, therefore, bring into existence all those people for this purpose and award them due punishments. (Please see also (E.N. 10 of Surah Yunus).

106. This is to warn these foolish people who depend on the promises of their intercessors that they would protect them from the torment of the Day. They have been warned to desist from the evil deeds they are committing in the hope that their intercessors would not rest content till they succeed in obtaining from Allah permits of forgiveness for their sinful followers. This is because they believe them to be the beloved favorites of Allah Who cannot afford to displease them at any cost. Then they have been told that, not to speak of wielding any such influence, they shall not dare utter a word except with His permission. No saint, no angel, howsoever high, is so powerful or influential as to speak a word or make any recommendation in the Court of the Highest Sovereign unless He Himself permits it. Therefore such people as make offerings to others than Allah will be utterly disillusioned and disappointed on that Day, for they will come to know that they were foolish in relying on their intercessors and committing evil deeds in the world in the hope that they would deliver them from the torment of the Day.

107. This is to emphasize that there is no power that can deliver them from that everlasting torment. Of course, Allah has full powers to forgive anyone He wills or to make a change in the term of the torment of anyone, for He Himself devises laws for Himself and there is no law higher than His Law so as to limit His powers.

108. In (Ayats 107-108), the words “the heavens and the earth” might have been used idiomatically to denote the everlasting state or they might refer to the new earth and the heavens that will be made in the next world. Anyhow these cannot be the earth and the heavens in their existing state for two reasons. First, according to the Quran, they shall be changed on the Day of Resurrection. Secondly, the events that are being related in these verses will happen in the Hereafter.

109. That is, they will not be sent to the Garden nor will dwell there in accordance with any extraneous law which might have forced Allah to let them dwell therein anyhow. They shall dwell there simply because of His favor. He has full powers to make any changes, if He will, about them.

110. It does not mean at all that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had any doubts concerning their deities. Though these words have been addressed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), as a matter of fact they are meant for the common people. What they mean is this: No reasonable person should entertain any presumption that the people who worship the deities must have been convinced of their miraculous powers, otherwise they would not have worshiped them nor offered gifts to them nor invoked their help. The fact of the matter is that their worship, their offerings and their prayers are not based on any knowledge nor any experience nor any real observation, but are the result of blind imitation of their forefathers. The proof of their falsehood is that the deities could not save them when Allah's scourge visited their worshipers who were completely annihilated in spite of them.