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Towards Understanding the Quran
With kind permission: Islamic Foundation UK
Introduction to Tafheem | Glossary | Verbs
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 Surah Ta-ha 20:1-24 [1/8]
  
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Verse Summary -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
طهTa Ha.
﴿١﴾
مَآNot
أَنزَلْنَاWe (have) sent down
عَلَيْكَto you
ٱلْقُرْءَانَthe Quran
لِتَشْقَىٰٓthat you be distressed
﴿٢﴾
إِلَّا(But)
تَذْكِرَةً(as) a reminder
لِّمَنfor (those) who
يَخْشَىٰfear
﴿٣﴾
تَنزِيلاًA revelation
مِّمَّنْfrom (He) Who
خَلَقَcreated
ٱلْأَرْضَthe earth
وَٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِand the heavens
ٱلْعُلَى[the] high,
﴿٤﴾
ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنُThe Most Gracious
عَلَىover
ٱلْعَرْشِthe Throne
ٱسْتَوَىٰis established.
﴿٥﴾
لَهُۥTo Him (belongs)
مَاwhatever
فِى(is) in
ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِthe heavens
وَمَاand whatever
فِى(is) in
ٱلْأَرْضِthe earth,
وَمَاand whatever
بَيْنَهُمَا(is) between them
وَمَاand whatever
تَحْتَ(is) under
ٱلثَّرَىٰthe soil.
﴿٦﴾
وَإِنAnd if
تَجْهَرْyou speak aloud
بِٱلْقَوْلِthe word,
فَإِنَّهُۥthen indeed, He
يَعْلَمُknows
ٱلسِّرَّthe secret
وَأَخْفَىand the more hidden.
﴿٧﴾
ٱللَّهُAllah -
لَآ(there is) no
إِلَـٰهَgod
إِلَّاexcept
هُوَ‌ۖHim.
لَهُTo Him (belong)
ٱلْأَسْمَآءُthe Names,
ٱلْحُسْنَىٰthe Most Beautiful.
﴿٨﴾
وَهَلْAnd has
أَتَـٰكَcome to you
حَدِيثُthe narration
مُوسَىٰٓ(of) Musa?
﴿٩﴾
إِذْWhen
رَءَاhe saw
نَارًاa fire,
فَقَالَthen he said
لِأَهْلِهِto his family,
ٱمْكُثُوٓاْ" Stay here;
إِنِّىٓindeed, I
ءَانَسْتُ[I] perceived
نَارًاa fire;
لَّعَلِّىٓperhaps I (can)
ءَاتِيكُمbring you
مِّنْهَاtherefrom
بِقَبَسٍa burning brand,
أَوْor
أَجِدُI find
عَلَىat
ٱلنَّارِthe fire
هُدًىguidance."
﴿١٠﴾
فَلَمَّآThen when
أَتَـٰهَاhe came to it,
نُودِىَhe was called,
يَـٰمُوسَىٰٓ"O Musa,
﴿١١﴾
إِنِّىٓIndeed, [I]
أَنَا۟I Am
رَبُّكَyour Lord,
فَٱخْلَعْso remove
نَعْلَيْكَ‌ۖyour shoes.
إِنَّكَIndeed, you
بِٱلْوَادِ(are) in the valley
ٱلْمُقَدَّسِthe sacred
طُوًى(of) Tuwa.
﴿١٢﴾
وَأَنَاAnd I
ٱخْتَرْتُكَ(have) chosen you,
فَٱسْتَمِعْso listen
لِمَاto what
يُوحَىٰٓis revealed.
﴿١٣﴾
إِنَّنِىٓIndeed, [I]
أَنَاI Am
ٱللَّهُAllah.
لَآ(There is) no
إِلَـٰهَgod
إِلَّآbut
أَنَا۟I,
فَٱعْبُدْنِىso worship Me
وَأَقِمِand establish
ٱلصَّلَوٲةَthe prayer
لِذِكْرِىٓfor My remembrance.
﴿١٤﴾
إِنَّIndeed,
ٱلسَّاعَةَthe Hour
ءَاتِيَةٌ(will be) coming.
أَكَادُI almost
أُخْفِيهَا[I] hide it
لِتُجْزَىٰthat may be recompensed
كُلُّevery
نَفْسِۭsoul
بِمَاfor what
تَسْعَىٰit strives.
﴿١٥﴾
فَلَاSo (do) not
يَصُدَّنَّكَ(let) avert you
عَنْهَاfrom it
مَن(one) who
لَّا(does) not
يُؤْمِنُbelieve
بِهَاin it
وَٱتَّبَعَand follows
هَوَٮٰهُhis desires,
فَتَرْدَىٰlest you perish.
﴿١٦﴾
وَمَاAnd what
تِلْكَ(is) that
بِيَمِينِكَin your right hand,
يَـٰمُوسَىٰO Musa?"
﴿١٧﴾
قَالَHe said,
هِىَ"It
عَصَاىَ(is) my staff;
أَتَوَكَّؤُاْI lean
عَلَيْهَاupon it,
وَأَهُشُّand I bring down leaves
بِهَاwith it
عَلَىٰfor
غَنَمِىmy sheep,
وَلِىَand for me
فِيهَاin it
مَـَٔـارِبُ(are) uses
أُخْرَىٰother."
﴿١٨﴾
قَالَHe said,
أَلْقِهَا"Throw it down,
يَـٰمُوسَىٰO Musa!"
﴿١٩﴾
فَأَلْقَـٰهَاSo he threw it down,
فَإِذَاand behold!
هِىَIt
حَيَّةٌ(was) a snake,
تَسْعَىٰmoving swiftly.
﴿٢٠﴾
قَالَHe said,
خُذْهَا"Seize it
وَلَاand (do) not
تَخَفْ‌ۖfear.
سَنُعِيدُهَاWe will return it
سِيرَتَهَا(to) its state
ٱلْأُولَىٰthe former.
﴿٢١﴾
وَٱضْمُمْAnd draw near
يَدَكَyour hand
إِلَىٰto
جَنَاحِكَyour side;
تَخْرُجْit will come out
بَيْضَآءَwhite,
مِنْ غَيْرِwithout any
سُوٓءٍdisease
ءَايَةً(as) a sign
أُخْرَىٰanother.
﴿٢٢﴾
لِنُرِيَكَThat We may show you
مِنْof
ءَايَـٰتِنَاOur Signs
ٱلْكُبْرَىthe Greatest.
﴿٢٣﴾
ٱذْهَبْGo
إِلَىٰto
فِرْعَوْنَFiraun.
إِنَّهُۥIndeed, he
طَغَىٰ(has) transgressed."
﴿٢٤﴾


بِسۡمِ اللهِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِيۡمِ طٰهٰ​ ۚ‏  مَاۤ اَنۡزَلۡـنَا عَلَيۡكَ الۡـقُرۡاٰنَ لِتَشۡقٰٓى ۙ‏  اِلَّا تَذۡكِرَةً لِّمَنۡ يَّخۡشٰى ۙ‏  تَنۡزِيۡلًا مِّمَّنۡ خَلَقَ الۡاَرۡضَ وَالسَّمٰوٰتِ الۡعُلَى ؕ‏  اَلرَّحۡمٰنُ عَلَى الۡعَرۡشِ اسۡتَوٰى‏  لَهٗ مَا فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَمَا فِى الۡاَرۡضِ وَمَا بَيۡنَهُمَا وَمَا تَحۡتَ الثَّرٰى‏  وَاِنۡ تَجۡهَرۡ بِالۡقَوۡلِ فَاِنَّهٗ يَعۡلَمُ السِّرَّ وَاَخۡفٰى‏  اَللّٰهُ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ ​ؕ لَـهُ الۡاَسۡمَآءُ الۡحُسۡنٰى‏  ​وَهَلۡ اَتٰٮكَ حَدِيۡثُ مُوۡسٰى​ۘ‏  اِذۡ رَاٰ نَارًا فَقَالَ لِاَهۡلِهِ امۡكُثُوۡۤا اِنِّىۡۤ اٰنَسۡتُ نَارًا لَّعَلِّىۡۤ اٰتِيۡكُمۡ مِّنۡهَا بِقَبَسٍ اَوۡ اَجِدُ عَلَى النَّارِ هُدًى‏  فَلَمَّاۤ اَتٰٮهَا نُوۡدِىَ يٰمُوۡسٰىؕ‏  اِنِّىۡۤ اَنَا رَبُّكَ فَاخۡلَعۡ نَـعۡلَيۡكَ​ۚ اِنَّكَ بِالۡوَادِ الۡمُقَدَّسِ طُوًىؕ‏  وَاَنَا اخۡتَرۡتُكَ فَاسۡتَمِعۡ لِمَا يُوۡحٰى‏  اِنَّنِىۡۤ اَنَا اللّٰهُ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّاۤ اَنَا فَاعۡبُدۡنِىۡ ۙ وَاَقِمِ الصَّلٰوةَ لِذِكۡرِىۡ‏  اِنَّ السَّاعَةَ اٰتِيَـةٌ اَكَادُ اُخۡفِيۡهَا لِتُجۡزٰى كُلُّ نَفۡسٍۢ بِمَا تَسۡعٰى‏  فَلَا يَصُدَّنَّكَ عَنۡهَا مَنۡ لَّا يُؤۡمِنُ بِهَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوٰٮهُ فَتَرۡدٰى‏   وَمَا تِلۡكَ بِيَمِيۡنِكَ يٰمُوۡسٰى‏  قَالَ هِىَ عَصَاىَ​ۚ اَتَوَكَّؤُا عَلَيۡهَا وَاَهُشُّ بِهَا عَلٰى غَـنَمِىۡ وَلِىَ فِيۡهَا مَاٰرِبُ اُخۡرٰى‏  قَالَ اَلۡقِهَا يٰمُوۡسٰى‏  فَاَلۡقٰٮهَا فَاِذَا هِىَ حَيَّةٌ تَسۡعٰى‏  قَالَ خُذۡهَا وَلَا تَخَفۡ​ سَنُعِيۡدُهَا سِيۡرَتَهَا الۡاُوۡلٰى‏  وَاضۡمُمۡ يَدَكَ اِلَىٰ جَنَاحِكَ تَخۡرُجۡ بَيۡضَآءَ مِنۡ غَيۡرِ سُوۡٓءٍ اٰيَةً اُخۡرٰىۙ‏  لِنُرِيَكَ مِنۡ اٰيٰتِنَا الۡـكُبۡـرٰى​ۚ‏  اِذۡهَبۡ اِلٰى فِرۡعَوۡنَ اِنَّهٗ طَغٰى‏ 
(20:1) Ta' Ha' (20:2) We did not reveal the Qur'an to you to cause you distress; (20:3) it is only a reminder for him who fears Allah;1 (20:4) a revelation from Him Who created the earth and the high heavens. (20:5) The Most Compassionate Lord is settled on the Throne (of the Universe).2 (20:6) To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and all that is in between, and all that is beneath the soil. (20:7) Whether you speak out aloud (or in a low voice), He knows what is said secretly, and even that which is most hidden.3 (20:8) Allah - there is no god but He. His are the most excellent names.4 (20:9) Has the story of Moses reached you? (20:10) When he saw a fire5 and said to his family: "Hold on! I have just perceived a fire; perhaps I will bring a brand from it for you, or I will find some guidance at the fire about the way to follow."6 (20:11) When he came to it, a voice called out: "Moses! (20:12) Verily I am your Lord! Take off your shoes.7 You are in the sacred valley, Tuwa!8 (20:13) I Myself have chosen you; therefore, give ear to what is revealed. (20:14) Verily I am Allah. There is no god beside Me. So serve Me and establish Prayers to remember Me.9 (20:15) The Hour of Resurrection is coming. I have willed to keep the time of its coming hidden so that everyone may be recompensed in accordance with his effort.10 (20:16) Let him who does not believe in it and follows his lust not turn your thought away from it, lest you are ruined. (20:17) And what is in your right hand, O Moses?"11 (20:18) Moses answered: "This is my staff. I lean on it (when I walk), and with it I beat down leaves for my flock, and I have many other uses for it."12 (20:19) He said: "Moses, throw it down." (20:20) So he threw it down, and lo! it was a rapidly moving snake. (20:21) Then He said: "Seize it and have no fear. We shall restore it to its former state. (20:22) And place your hand in your armpit, it will come forth shining white, without blemish.13 This is another Sign of Allah, (20:23) for We shall show you some of Our greatest Signs. (20:24) And go to Pharaoh now for he has transgressed all bounds."

1. This verse makes plain the meaning of the previous one. The object of the revelation of the Quran is not to make the Prophet (peace be upon him) do something impossible and to put him to unnecessary distress by demanding from him to imbue the hearts of the obdurate people with faith, but to admonish those people who have fear of Allah. Therefore the Prophet (peace be upon him) should not waste his efforts on those people who have no fear of God left in them, and who do not bother at all about what is truth and what is falsehood.

2. That is, after creating the universe, He is ruling over it and conducting all the affairs of its management.

3. That is, you need not complain to Allah in a loud voice against the persecution from which you and your companions are suffering and the mischievous machinations your enemies are devising to defeat you for Allah is fully aware of all those things, and He hears even the complaints you cherish in your hearts.

4. That is, He possesses all the excellent attributes and characteristics.

5. This happened when Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was returning to Egypt after passing several years in exile in Midian, along with his wife whom he had married there. According to the early part of his history, which has been related in Surah Al-Qasas, an Egyptian had been killed by Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), so he had to leave Egypt in order to escape arrest and had taken refuge in Midian.

6. It appears that this happened during a night of winter, when Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was passing through the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula. When he saw a fire at a distance, he went towards it in the hope that he might get some of it to keep his wife and children warm during the night, or at least get some guidance concerning the direction of his journey. But instead of this it was his good fortune that he found the guidance to the right way.

7. Probably, it is because of this that the Jews do not say their prayers with their shoes on. The Prophet (peace be upon him), however, removed this misunderstanding, saying: Act in contrast to the practice of the Jews who do not say their prayers with their shoes or leather socks on. (Abu Daud). It does not, however, mean that one must say his prayers with the shoes on, but it is merely to make it lawful to say prayers with shoes on. This is confirmed by another tradition, related by Abu Daud from Amar bin Aas, that he had seen the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying his prayer both with and without the shoes. There are other traditions also to this effect but it should also be kept in mind that there were no carpets, mats, etc. in the mosques in those days, not even in the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) Mosque. Therefore it would be improper to go with shoes on into the mosques of today which have carpets, mats, etc. However, one may say his prayer on grassy plots or open ground with shoes on.

8. In general, the commentators are of the opinion that Tuwa was the name of the valley, but according to some, it is the valley that had been made sacred for the time being.

9. This is the real object of Salat. It has been prescribed to remind people that they should not become neglectful of Allah by worldly diversions and that they should remember that man is not an unbridled free being but a servant of Allah. Salat has been prescribed five times a day to remind man of Allah’s presence.

Some people are of the opinion that it means:

Establish Salat, so that I may remember you. Incidentally, according to this verse, if one forgets to offer a prayer in time, he should offer it when he recollects it. This is also supported by a tradition related by Anas: If one forgets to offer a certain prayer at the proper time, he should offer it whenever he recollects this, for there is no other expiation for this omission. (Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmed). There is another tradition related by Abu Hurairah to the same effect. It was inquired from the Prophet (peace be upon him): What should we do if we remained asleep during the time of prayer? The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: There is no sin if one remained asleep. The sin is that one should neglect his prayer intentionally while awake. Therefore if one forgets to offer a prayer or remained asleep, he should offer that prayer on remembering it or on awaking. (Tirmizi, Nasai, Abu Daud).

10. After Tauhid, the second thing that was revealed to all the Prophets was the reality of the Hereafter, and they were appointed to impart its knowledge to their peoples. Here its object has also been stated. The Hour of Resurrection is destined to come so that everyone should get the recompense in the Hereafter of what he did in this world, and that Hour has been kept secret to fulfill the requirement of the trial. For the one who believes in the Hereafter will always be on his guard against any deviation from the right way, and the one who does not believe in the coming of that Hour will remain engaged in other things, for he will think that he did not see any sign of the coming of the Hour.

11. This question was not asked for the sake of getting any information, for Allah knew that Moses (peace be upon him) held a staff in his hand. The question was posed with a view to impressing upon him the fact that it was a staff so that he might be mentally prepared to see the miracle which was going to be performed with it.

12. Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) deliberately prolonged his answer and did not stop at: It is my staff. This was because he naturally wanted to prolong the dialogue to make the privilege meeting last longer.

13. That is, your hand will shine brightly like the sun, but it will not cause any hurt to you. It is strange that the Bible interprets this miracle, saying that his hand was leprous as snow but it was turned again as his other flesh. The Talmud also interprets the miracle in the same way and adds that this was a miracle which was meant for Pharaoh who was suffering from leprosy. It is a pity that the same interpretation has been adopted by our own commentators, though the correct interpretation is the one that has been adopted by us, and many former commentators. Obviously, it is bad taste to attribute to a Prophet the repugnant miracle of leprosy and that, too, before a king in his court.