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Towards Understanding the Quran
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 Surah Al-Furqan 25:35-44 [4/6]
  
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وَلَقَدْAnd verily,
ءَاتَيْنَاWe gave
مُوسَىMusa
ٱلْكِتَـٰبَthe Scripture
وَجَعَلْنَاand We appointed
مَعَهُۥٓwith him
أَخَاهُhis brother
هَـٰرُونَHarun
وَزِيرًا(as) an assistant.
﴿٣٥﴾
فَقُلْنَاThen We said,
ٱذْهَبَآ"Go both of you
إِلَىto
ٱلْقَوْمِthe people,
ٱلَّذِينَthose who
كَذَّبُواْhave denied,
بِـَٔـايَـٰتِنَاOur Signs."
فَدَمَّرْنَـٰهُمْThen We destroyed them
تَدْمِيرًا(with) destruction.
﴿٣٦﴾
وَقَوْمَAnd (the) people
نُوحٍ(of) Nuh,
لَّمَّاwhen
كَذَّبُواْthey denied
ٱلرُّسُلَthe Messengers,
أَغْرَقْنَـٰهُمْWe drowned them
وَجَعَلْنَـٰهُمْand We made them
لِلنَّاسِfor mankind
ءَايَةً‌ۖa sign.
وَأَعْتَدْنَاAnd We have prepared
لِلظَّـٰلِمِينَfor the wrongdoers.
عَذَابًاa punishment
أَلِيمًاpainful.
﴿٣٧﴾
وَعَادًاAnd Ad
وَثَمُودَاْand Thamud
وَأَصْحَـٰبَand (the) dwellers
ٱلرَّسِّ(of) Ar-rass
وَقُرُونَۢاand generations
بَيْنَbetween
ذَٲلِكَthat
كَثِيرًاmany.
﴿٣٨﴾
وَكُلاًّAnd each
ضَرَبْنَاWe have set forth
لَهُfor him
ٱلْأَمْثَـٰلَ‌ۖthe examples,
وَكُلاًّand each
تَبَّرْنَاWe destroyed
تَتْبِيرًا(with) destruction.
﴿٣٩﴾
وَلَقَدْAnd verily,
أَتَوْاْthey have come
عَلَىupon
ٱلْقَرْيَةِthe town
ٱلَّتِىٓwhich
أُمْطِرَتْwas showered
مَطَرَ(with) a rain
ٱلسَّوْءِ‌ۚ(of) evil.
أَفَلَمْThen do not
يَكُونُواْthey [were]
يَرَوْنَهَا‌ۚsee it?
بَلْNay,
كَانُواْthey are
لَاnot
يَرْجُونَexpecting
نُشُورًاResurrection.
﴿٤٠﴾
وَإِذَاAnd when
رَأَوْكَthey see you,
إِنnot
يَتَّخِذُونَكَthey take you
إِلَّاexcept
هُزُوًا(in) mockery,
أَهَـٰذَا"Is this
ٱلَّذِىthe one whom
بَعَثَ ٱللَّهُAllah has sent
رَسُولاً(as) a Messenger?
﴿٤١﴾
إِن كَادَHe would have almost
لَيُضِلُّنَا[surely] misled us
عَنْfrom
ءَالِهَتِنَاour gods
لَوْلَآif not
أَنthat
صَبَرْنَاwe had been steadfast
عَلَيْهَا‌ۚto them."
وَسَوْفَAnd soon
يَعْلَمُونَwill know
حِينَwhen
يَرَوْنَthey will see
ٱلْعَذَابَthe punishment,
مَنْwho
أَضَلُّ(is) more astray
سَبِيلاً(from the) way.
﴿٤٢﴾
أَرَءَيْتَHave you seen
مَنِ(one) who
ٱتَّخَذَtakes
إِلَـٰهَهُۥ(as) his god
هَوَٮٰهُhis own desire?
أَفَأَنتَThen would you
تَكُونُbe
عَلَيْهِover him
وَكِيلاًa guardian?
﴿٤٣﴾
أَمْOr
تَحْسَبُdo you think
أَنَّthat
أَكْثَرَهُمْmost of them
يَسْمَعُونَhear
أَوْor
يَعْقِلُونَ‌ۚunderstand?
إِنْNot
هُمْthey
إِلَّا(are) except
كَٱلْأَنْعَـٰمِ‌ۖlike cattle.
بَلْNay,
هُمْthey
أَضَلُّ(are) more astray
سَبِيلاً(from the) way.
﴿٤٤﴾


وَلَقَدۡ اٰتَيۡنَا مُوۡسَى الۡكِتٰبَ وَجَعَلۡنَا مَعَهٗۤ اَخَاهُ هٰرُوۡنَ وَزِيۡرًا​ ۖ​ ۚ‏  فَقُلۡنَا اذۡهَبَاۤ اِلَى الۡقَوۡمِ الَّذِيۡنَ كَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰيٰتِنَاؕ فَدَمَّرۡنٰهُمۡ تَدۡمِيۡرًاؕ‏  وَقَوۡمَ نُوۡحٍ لَّمَّا كَذَّبُوا الرُّسُلَ اَغۡرَقۡنٰهُمۡ وَجَعَلۡنٰهُمۡ لِلنَّاسِ اٰيَةً ​ ؕ وَاَعۡتَدۡنَا لِلظّٰلِمِيۡنَ عَذَابًا اَ لِيۡمًا ​ۖ​ ۚ‏  وَّعَادًا وَّثَمُوۡدَا۟ وَ اَصۡحٰبَ الرَّسِّ وَقُرُوۡنًۢا بَيۡنَ ذٰ لِكَ كَثِيۡرًا‏   وَكُلًّا ضَرَبۡنَا لَهُ الۡاَمۡثَالَ​ وَكُلًّا تَبَّـرۡنَا تَـتۡبِيۡرًا‏   وَلَقَدۡ اَتَوۡا عَلَى الۡقَرۡيَةِ الَّتِىۡۤ اُمۡطِرَتۡ مَطَرَ السَّوۡءِ​ ؕ اَفَلَمۡ يَكُوۡنُوۡا يَرَوۡنَهَا ​ۚ بَلۡ كَانُوۡا لَا يَرۡجُوۡنَ نُشُوۡرًا‏  وَاِذَا رَاَوۡكَ اِنۡ يَّتَّخِذُوۡنَكَ اِلَّا هُزُوًا ؕ اَهٰذَا الَّذِىۡ بَعَثَ اللّٰهُ رَسُوۡلًا‏  اِنۡ كَادَ لَيُضِلُّنَا عَنۡ اٰلِهَـتِنَا لَوۡ لَاۤ اَنۡ صَبَـرۡنَا عَلَيۡهَا​ ؕ وَسَوۡفَ يَعۡلَمُوۡنَ حِيۡنَ يَرَوۡنَ الۡعَذَابَ مَنۡ اَضَلُّ سَبِيۡلًا‏  اَرَءَيۡتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ اِلٰهَهٗ هَوٰٮهُ ؕ اَفَاَنۡتَ تَكُوۡنُ عَلَيۡهِ وَكِيۡلًا ۙ‏  اَمۡ تَحۡسَبُ اَنَّ اَكۡثَرَهُمۡ يَسۡمَعُوۡنَ اَوۡ يَعۡقِلُوۡنَ​ ؕ اِنۡ هُمۡ اِلَّا كَالۡاَنۡعَامِ​ بَلۡ هُمۡ اَضَلُّ سَبِيۡلًا‏ 
(25:35) Verily We granted Moses the Book48 and appointed his brother Aaron with him as his helper (25:36) and said to him: "Go the two of you to the people who have given the lie to Our Signs."49 Thereafter We utterly destroyed them. (25:37) (The same happened with) the people of Noah: when they gave the lie to the Messengers50 We drowned them and made of them a Sign of warning for all mankind. We have kept ready a painful chastisement for the wrong-doers51. (25:38) And in like manner were the 'Ad and the Thamud destroyed and the people of al-Rass52 and many a nation in the centuries in between. (25:39) We warned each (of them) by examples (of the nations so destroyed in the past), and We totally annihilated each of them. (25:40) They have surely passed by the town which was rained upon by an evil rain.53 Have they not seen it? Nay; but they do not believe in being raised up after death.54 (25:41) Whenever they see you they take you for nothing else but an object of jest, saying: "Is this whom Allah has sent as a Messenger? (25:42) Had we not firmly persevered in our devotion to them55 (he had almost) led us astray from our gods." But soon, when they see the chastisement, they will come to know who had strayed too far from the Right Way. (25:43) Have you ever considered the case of him who has taken his carnal desire for his god?56 Can you take responsibility for guiding him to the Right Way? (25:44) Do you think that most of them hear or understand? For they are merely like cattle; nay, even worse than them.57

48. Here by the Scripture is not meant the Torah, which was given to Prophet Moses after the exodus from Egypt, but it implies that divine guidance which was given to him after his appointment as a Prophet up to the Exodus. It included the orations delivered by him in the court of Pharaoh and also the instructions given to him during his conflict with Pharaoh as mentioned in the Quran here and there. Most probably, these things were not included in the Torah; the Torah began with the Ten Commandments which were given to Moses engraved on stone tablets on Mount Sinai after the exodus.

49. The divine teachings which had reached them through Prophets Jacob and Joseph, and which had been preached to them by the righteous people of Israel for centuries.

50. They did not charge only Prophet Noah (peace be upon him) with imposture because he was a man, but, in fact, charged all the Prophets with imposture because they were all human beings.

51. That is, a painful chastisement in the Hereafter.

52. There is no definite knowledge about the people of the Raas. Different commentators have said different things about them, but nothing is convincing. The only thing that may be said about them is that they were a people who had killed their Prophet by throwing him into or hanging him down a Rass (an old or dry well).

53. The habitation referred to was that of the people of Prophet Lot (peace be upon him), which was destroyed by a rain of stones. The people of Hijaz while traveling to Palestine and Syria, passed by its ruins and heard the horrible tales of its destruction.

54. As the disbelievers did not believe in the Hereafter, they looked at these ancient ruins as mere spectators and did not take any warning from them. Incidentally, this is the difference between the observation of a disbeliever and of a believer in the Hereafter. The former looks at such things as a mere spectator or at the most as an archaeologist whereas the latter learns moral lessons from the same and obtains an insight into the realities beyond this worldly life.

55. Obviously there is a contradiction between the question posed by the disbelievers and the assertion made by them about their deities. The question was meant to bring the Prophet (peace be upon him) into contempt, as if to say: You are making a claim that is far above your low position. On the other hand, their assertion shows that they indirectly admitted the force of the arguments and the high character of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and were even afraid of the effectiveness and success of his message, because, according to them, it was going to turn them away from their false gods.

56. “The person who makes his desire as his god” is the one who becomes the slave of his lusts and desires. As he serves his lust like the one who warships his deity. He becomes as much guilty of shirk as the one who worships an idol. According to a tradition, related by Abu Hurairah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Of all the false gods being worshipped and served instead of Allah, the worst in the sight of Allah is one’s own lust. (Tabarani). For further explanation, see (E.N. 50 of Surah Al-Kahf).

The man who keeps his desires under control, and uses his common sense to make decisions, can be expected to come to the right path by making an appeal to his reason even though he might have been involved in shirk or disbelief. For if he decides to follow the right way, he will remain firm and steadfast on it. On the other hand, the man who is the slave of his own lust, is like a ship without an anchor, who wanders about on any path where his lust leads him to. He is least bothered about the distinction between the right and the wrong, the true and the false, and has no desire to choose one against the other. And, if at all, such a person is persuaded to accept the message of guidance, no one can take the responsibility that he will observe any moral laws.

57. They are only like the cattle because they follow their lusts blindly. Just as the sheep and cattle do not know where their driver is taking them, to the meadow or to the slaughter house, so are these people also following their leaders blindly without knowing or judging where they are being led, to success or to destruction. The only difference between the two is that the cattle have no intelligence and will not be accountable as to the place where they are being taken by the driver. But it is a pity that human beings who are endowed with reason, should behave like cattle; therefore their condition is worse than that of cattle.

Incidentally it should be noted that this passage (verses 43, 44) is not meant to dissuade the Prophet (peace be upon him) from conveying the message to such people, but it is an indirect warning to the disbelievers of the consequences if they continued to behave like cattle .