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Towards Understanding the Quran
With kind permission: Islamic Foundation UK
Introduction to Tafheem | Glossary | Verbs
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 Surah Luqman 31:20-30 [3/4]
  
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Verse Summary -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
أَلَمْDo not
تَرَوْاْyou see
أَنَّthat
ٱللَّهَAllah
سَخَّرَhas subjected
لَكُمto you
مَّاwhatever
فِى(is) in
ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِthe heavens
وَمَاand whatever
فِى(is) in
ٱلْأَرْضِthe earth
وَأَسْبَغَand amply bestowed
عَلَيْكُمْupon you
نِعَمَهُۥHis Bounties
ظَـٰهِرَةًapparent
وَبَاطِنَةً‌ۗand hidden?
وَمِنَBut of
ٱلنَّاسِthe people
مَن(is he) who
يُجَـٰدِلُdisputes
فِىabout
ٱللَّهِAllah
بِغَيْرِwithout
عِلْمٍknowledge,
وَلَاand not
هُدًىguidance
وَلَاand not
كِتَـٰبٍa book
مُّنِيرٍenlightening.
﴿٢٠﴾
وَإِذَاAnd when
قِيلَit is said
لَهُمُto them,
ٱتَّبِعُواْ`Follow
مَآwhat
أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُAllah (has) revealed,`
قَالُواْthey say,
بَلْ`Nay,
نَتَّبِعُwe will follow
مَاwhat
وَجَدْنَاwe found
عَلَيْهِon it
ءَابَآءَنَآ‌ۚour forefathers.`
أَوَلَوْEven if
كَانَ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنُShaitaan was
يَدْعُوهُمْ(to) call them
إِلَىٰto
عَذَابِ(the) punishment
ٱلسَّعِيرِ(of) the Blaze!
﴿٢١﴾
۞ وَمَنAnd whoever
يُسْلِمْsubmits
وَجْهَهُۥٓhis face
إِلَىto
ٱللَّهِAllah
وَهُوَwhile he
مُحْسِنٌ(is) a good- doer,
فَقَدِthen indeed,
ٱسْتَمْسَكَhe has grasped
بِٱلْعُرْوَةِthe handhold
ٱلْوُثْقَىٰ‌ۗthe most trustworthy.
وَإِلَىAnd to
ٱللَّهِAllah
عَـٰقِبَةُ(is the) end
ٱلْأُمُورِ(of) the matters.
﴿٢٢﴾
وَمَنAnd whoever
كَفَرَdisbelieves,
فَلَاlet not
يَحْزُنكَgrieve you
كُفْرُهُۥٓ‌ۚhis disbelief.
إِلَيْنَاTo Us
مَرْجِعُهُمْ(is) their return,
فَنُنَبِّئُهُمthen We will inform them
بِمَاof what
عَمِلُوٓاْ‌ۚthey did.
إِنَّIndeed,
ٱللَّهَAllah
عَلِيمُۢ(is) the All-Knower
بِذَاتِof what
ٱلصُّدُورِ(is in) the breasts.
﴿٢٣﴾
نُمَتِّعُهُمْWe grant them enjoyment
قَلِيلاً(for) a little,
ثُمَّthen
نَضْطَرُّهُمْWe will force them
إِلَىٰto
عَذَابٍa punishment
غَلِيظٍsevere.
﴿٢٤﴾
وَلَئِنAnd if
سَأَلْتَهُمyou ask them,
مَّنْ`Who
خَلَقَcreated
ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِthe heavens
وَٱلْأَرْضَand the earth?`
لَيَقُولُنَّThey will surely say,
ٱللَّهُ‌ۚ`Allah.`
قُلِSay,
ٱلْحَمْدُ`All praises
لِلَّهِ‌ۚ(are) for Allah.`
بَلْBut
أَكْثَرُهُمْmost of them
لَا(do) not
يَعْلَمُونَknow.
﴿٢٥﴾
لِلَّهِTo Allah (belongs)
مَاwhatever
فِى(is) in
ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِthe heavens
وَٱلْأَرْضِ‌ۚand the earth.
إِنَّIndeed,
ٱللَّهَAllah,
هُوَHe
ٱلْغَنِىُّ(is) Free of need,
ٱلْحَمِيدُthe Praiseworthy.
﴿٢٦﴾
وَلَوْAnd if
أَنَّمَاwhatever
فِى(is) in
ٱلْأَرْضِthe earth
مِنof
شَجَرَةٍ(the) trees
أَقْلَـٰمٌ(were) pens
وَٱلْبَحْرُand the sea,
يَمُدُّهُۥ(to) add to it
مِنۢ بَعْدِهِۦafter it
سَبْعَةُseven
أَبْحُرٍseas,
مَّاnot
نَفِدَتْwould be exhausted
كَلِمَـٰتُ(the) Words
ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ(of) Allah.
إِنَّIndeed,
ٱللَّهَAllah
عَزِيزٌ(is) All-Mighty,
حَكِيمٌAll-Wise.
﴿٢٧﴾
مَّاNot
خَلْقُكُمْ(is) your creation
وَلَاand not
بَعْثُكُمْyour resurrection
إِلَّاbut
كَنَفْسٍas a soul
وَٲحِدَةٍ‌ۗsingle.
إِنَّIndeed,
ٱللَّهَAllah
سَمِيعُۢ(is) All-Hearer,
بَصِيرٌAll-Seer.
﴿٢٨﴾
أَلَمْDo not
تَرَyou see
أَنَّthat
ٱللَّهَAllah
يُولِجُcauses to enter
ٱلَّيْلَthe night
فِىinto
ٱلنَّهَارِthe day,
وَيُولِجُand causes to enter
ٱلنَّهَارَthe day
فِىinto
ٱلَّيْلِthe night
وَسَخَّرَand has subjected
ٱلشَّمْسَthe sun
وَٱلْقَمَرَand the moon,
كُلٌّeach
يَجْرِىٓmoving
إِلَىٰٓfor
أَجَلٍa term
مُّسَمًّىappointed,
وَأَنَّand that
ٱللَّهَAllah
بِمَاof what
تَعْمَلُونَyou do
خَبِيرٌ(is) All-Aware.
﴿٢٩﴾
ذَٲلِكَThat
بِأَنَّ(is) because
ٱللَّهَAllah,
هُوَHe
ٱلْحَقُّ(is) the Truth,
وَأَنَّand that
مَاwhat
يَدْعُونَthey call
مِن دُونِهِbesides Him
ٱلْبَـٰطِلُ(is) [the] falsehood,
وَأَنَّand that
ٱللَّهَAllah,
هُوَHe
ٱلْعَلِىُّ(is) the Most High,
ٱلْكَبِيرُthe Most Great.
﴿٣٠﴾


اَلَمۡ تَرَوۡا اَنَّ اللّٰهَ سَخَّرَ لَكُمۡ مَّا فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَمَا فِى الۡاَرۡضِ وَاَسۡبَغَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ نِعَمَهٗ ظَاهِرَةً وَّبَاطِنَةً ​ؕ وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنۡ يُّجَادِلُ فِى اللّٰهِ بِغَيۡرِ عِلۡمٍ وَّلَا هُدًى وَّلَا كِتٰبٍ مُّنِيۡرٍ‏   وَ اِذَا قِيۡلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوۡا مَآ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰهُ قَالُوۡا بَلۡ نَـتَّـبِـعُ مَا وَجَدۡنَا عَلَيۡهِ اٰبَآءَنَا ؕ اَوَلَوۡ كَانَ الشَّيۡطٰنُ يَدۡعُوۡهُمۡ اِلٰى عَذَابِ السَّعِيۡرِ‏  وَمَنۡ يُّسۡلِمۡ وَجۡهَهٗۤ اِلَى اللّٰهِ وَهُوَ مُحۡسِنٌ فَقَدِ اسۡتَمۡسَكَ بِالۡعُرۡوَةِ الۡوُثۡقٰى​ؕ وَاِلَى اللّٰهِ عَاقِبَةُ الۡاُمُوۡرِ‏  وَمَنۡ كَفَرَ فَلَا يَحۡزُنۡكَ كُفۡرُهٗ ؕ اِلَيۡنَا مَرۡجِعُهُمۡ فَنُنَبِّئُهُمۡ بِمَا عَمِلُوۡا ​ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ عَلِيۡمٌۢ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُوۡرِ‏  نُمَتّـِعُهُمۡ قَلِيۡلًا ثُمَّ نَضۡطَرُّهُمۡ اِلٰى عَذَابٍ غَلِيۡظٍ‏  وَلَٮِٕنۡ سَاَلۡتَهُمۡ مَّنۡ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضَ لَيَـقُوۡلُنَّ اللّٰهُ​ ؕ قُلِ الۡحَمۡدُ لِلّٰهِ​ ؕ بَلۡ اَكۡثَرُهُمۡ لَا يَعۡلَمُوۡنَ‏  لِلّٰهِ مَا فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضِ​ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ هُوَ الۡغَنِىُّ الۡحَمِيۡدُ‏   وَلَوۡ اَنَّ مَا فِى الۡاَرۡضِ مِنۡ شَجَرَةٍ اَقۡلَامٌ وَّالۡبَحۡرُ يَمُدُّهٗ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِهٖ سَبۡعَةُ اَبۡحُرٍ مَّا نَفِدَتۡ كَلِمٰتُ اللّٰهِ​ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ عَزِيۡزٌ حَكِيۡمٌ‏  مَا خَلۡقُكُمۡ وَلَا بَعۡثُكُمۡ اِلَّا كَنَفۡسٍ وَّاحِدَةٍ​ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ سَمِيۡعٌۢ بَصِيۡرٌ‏  اَلَمۡ تَرَ اَنَّ اللّٰهَ يُوۡلِجُ الَّيۡلَ فِى النَّهَارِ وَيُوۡلِجُ النَّهَارَ فِى الَّيۡلِ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمۡسَ وَالۡقَمَرَ كُلٌّ يَّجۡرِىۡۤ اِلٰٓى اَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَّاَنَّ اللّٰهَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ خَبِيۡرٌ‏  ذٰ لِكَ بِاَنَّ اللّٰهَ هُوَ الۡحَقُّ وَاَنَّ مَا يَدۡعُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِهِ الۡبَاطِلُ ۙ وَاَنَّ اللّٰهَ هُوَ الۡعَلِىُّ الۡكَبِيۡرُ‏ 
(31:20) Have you not seen that Allah has subjected to your service all that is in the heavens35 and on the earth and has abundantly bestowed upon you all His bounties, both visible and invisible?36 Yet some persons dispute regarding Allah37 without having any knowledge or guidance or any illuminating Book.38 (31:21) When they are told: “Follow what Allah has revealed,” they say: “We will rather follow that which we have found our forefathers following.” (Will they follow that) even though Satan might invite them to the chastisement of the Blazing Fire?39 (31:22) Whoever surrenders himself to Allah40 and lives righteously41 grasps the most firm handle.42 The ultimate decision of all matters rests with Allah. (31:23) So let the unbelief of the unbeliever not grieve you.43 To Us is their return and then We shall inform them of all that they did. Surely Allah knows well even the secrets that are hidden in the breasts (of people). (31:24) We allow them to enjoy themselves a while in the world and then We shall drive them in utter helplessness to a harsh chastisement. (31:25) If you were to ask them: “Who created the heavens and the earth?” they will certainly reply: “Allah.” Say: “All praise and thanks be to Allah.”44 Yet most of them do not know.45 (31:26) All that is in the heavens and the earth belongs to Allah.46 Verily He is All-Sufficient, Immensely Praiseworthy.47 (31:27) If all the trees on earth become pens, and the sea replenished by seven more seas were to supply them with ink, the Words of Allah would not be exhausted.48Verily Allah is Most Mighty, Most Wise. (31:28) To create all of you or to resurrect all of you is to Him like (creating or resurrecting) a single person. Verily Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.49 (31:29) Do you not see that Allah makes the night phase into the day and makes the day phase into the night and has subjected the sun and the moon50 to His will so that each of them is pursuing its course till an appointed time? (Do you not know that)51 Allah is well aware of all that you do? (31:30) All this is because Allah, He alone, is the Truth52 and all that which they call upon beside Him is false.53 Surely Allah, He alone, is All-High, Incomparably Great.54

36. “Apparent favors” imply those favors which are perceived by man in one way or the other, or are known to him. And the “hidden favors” are those which are neither perceived by him nor are known to him. There are countless things in man’s own body and in the world outside him, which are working in his interest, but man is utterly unaware of the means which his Creator has provided for his protection and safety, for his development and provision of sustenance to him, and for his well-being and happiness. Research of man in the different branches of science is revealing many such favors of God as were hidden from him before. And the favors and blessings which have so far been revealed are insignificant as against those which are still hidden from man.

37. “Who disputes about Allah”: Who wrangle and dispute about questions such as these: Does Allah exist or not? Is He One God alone, or are there other gods also? What are His attributes and what is their nature? What is the nature of His relationship with His creations etc.?

38. That is, they neither have any means of knowledge by which they might themselves have observed or experienced the reality directly, nor do they have the guidance of a guide available to them, who might have guided them after observing the reality, nor do they possess a divine Book, which might be the basis of their belief.

39. That is, it is not at all necessary that the forefathers of every person and every family and nation should have been on the right path. The mere argument that a particular way of life had been bequeathed by the elders cannot be a proof of its being right also. No sane person can commit the folly that he should blindly go on following the way of his forefathers even if they were not rightly guided, and should never bother to find out where the way is leading him.

40. “Whoever surrenders his face to Allah”: Who submits himself wholly to the service of Allah, entrusts all his affairs to Him and makes His guidance the law of his entire life.

41. That is, practically also he should adopt the attitude of an obedient servant of Allah.

42. That is, he will neither have the apprehension that he will be misguided, nor the fear that he will meet an evil end after having served Allah.

43. This means to say, “O Prophet, the one who refuses to listen to you, thinks that by rejecting Islam and insisting on unbelief he has harmed you, but in fact he has not harmed you but harmed only himself. If he does not listen to you, you need not bother yourself about him at all.”

44. That is, “Thank God that you at least know this and believe in this. But if this be the reality, all praise should then belong to Allah alone. How can any other being deserve praise when it has no share whatever in the creation of the universe?”

45. That, is, “Most of the people do not know what are the inevitable results and demands of accepting Allah as the Creator of the universe, and what contradicts it. When a person acknowledges Allah as the Creator of the earth and the heavens. He should also acknowledge that Allah alone is the Deity and Lord: that He alone is worthy of worship and obedience: that He alone can be invoked for needs, and no one other than Him can be the Law-Giver and Ruler of His creation. To acknowledge one as the Creator and another as the deity is contrary to reason and a contradiction in terms, which can be upheld only by an ignorant person. Likewise, it would be a contradiction in terms to believe in one Being as the Creator and to regard another from among the creation as remover of hardships or as a deity and possessor of power and authority and sovereignty, which no reasonable person will acknowledge and accept.”

46. That is, “The reality is not merely this that Allah is the Creator of the earth and the heavens, but in fact He alone is the Master of all things found in the earth and heavens. Allah has not created his universe and left it to others to become masters of the whole or a part of it, but He Himself is Master of His creation and everything that exists in this universe is His. Here, He alone possesses divine rights and powers and no one else.”

47. This has been explained in (E. N. 19 )above.

48. “Words of Allah”: Allah’s creative works and the manifestations of His power and wisdom. This very theme has been presented in Surah Al-Kahf: Ayat 109 a little differently. A person might think there is exaggeration in this, but if one considers the matter a little deeply, one will feel that there is in tact no exaggeration whatsoever in it. All the pens that can be made from the trees of the world and all the ink that can be provided by the oceans of the world, which are replenished by seven more oceans, cannot perhaps help prepare a complete list of all the creations in the universe, not to speak of all the manifestations of Allah’s power and wisdom and creative works. When it is impossible even to count all the things found on the earth only, how can one bring into writing all the creations found in this limitless universe?

Here, the object is to make man realize that no creature can become a deity and an associate in the works of Allah, Who has brought into being such a vast Universe, Who is administering its affairs and Whose powers and resources are limitless. Not to speak of becoming an associate in the administration of this vast Kingdom, it is not within the power of any creation to obtain a mere nodding acquaintance with the minutest portion of it. How can then one imagine that one or the other creation can have any share in the divine powers and authority on the basis of which it may answer prayers and make or un-make destinies?

49. That is, “He is hearing every sound in the universe distinctly at one and the same time, and no sound can absorb his hearing so completely that He may hear no other sound. Likewise, He is seeing the whole universe in each of its details as to thing and event at one and the same time and nothing can absorb His sight so completely that He may see nothing else. The same precisely is the case concerning the creation of men and their re-creation also. He can re-create instantaneously all the men who have been born since the beginning of the creation and will be born till the end of time, His creative power is not absorbed so completely in the creation of one man that He may be unable to create other men at the same time. For Him the creation of one man and of the billions of men, therefore, is equal and one and the same thing.”

50. That is, the appearance and alternation of the day and night consistently and regularly by itself shows that the sun and the moon have been subjected to a system. The sun and the moon have been mentioned here in particular because both these are the most prominent bodies of the heaven, which man has been worshiping as deities since the earliest times, and which many people worship as gods even today. The fact, however, is that Allah has bound all the stars and planets of the universe including the earth into an unalterable system from which they cannot deviate even by an inch.

51. That is, nothing in the world, whether the sun or the moon, or any other star or planet, in the universe, is eternal and ever-lasting. Everything has a term for it and can function only till its expiry. Everything has a beginning in time before which it was not there and an end in time after which it will not be there. This means to imply that such temporal and powerless things cannot become the deities of men.

52. That is, “The real Sovereign is Allah. He alone is the real Owner of power and authority over the creation and its disposal.”

53. That is, “They are figments of your own imagination. You have yourselves presumed that so-and-so has got a share in Godhead, and so-and-so has been given the powers to remove hardships and fulfill needs, whereas in fact none of them has any power to make or un-make anything.”

54. That is, “He is the Highest of all before Whom everything is low, and He is the Greatest of all before Whom everything is small.”

55. That is, such signs show that all powers rest only with Allah. Man may make as strong and suitable ships for his sea journeys as he likes, and may achieve whatever perfection in marine science and in the related knowledge and experience, these by themselves cannot avail him anything to perform safe voyages especially when confronted by the terrible forces at the sea, unless he is succored by the grace of Allah. As soon as Allah’s grace is withdrawn, man immediately realizes how meager and insufficient are the means and resources and knowledge of the sciences. Similarly, man in the state of peace and security may be a hardened atheist or polytheist, but when his boat loses balance in the storm at sea, even the atheist comes to realize that there is God and the polytheist that there is only One God.