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

 Surah Qaf 50:16-29 [2/3]
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Verse Summary -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
وَلَقَدْAnd certainly
خَلَقْنَاWe created
وَنَعْلَمُand We know
بِهِۦto him
نَفْسُهُۥ‌ۖhis soul,
وَنَحْنُand We
أَقْرَبُ(are) nearer
إِلَيْهِto him
حَبْلِ ٱلْوَرِيدِ(his) jugular vein.
ٱلْمُتَلَقِّيَانِthe two receivers
ٱلْيَمِينِthe right
وَعَنِand on
ٱلشِّمَالِthe left
يَلْفِظُhe utters
لَدَيْهِwith him
رَقِيبٌ(is) an observer
وَجَآءَتْAnd will come
سَكْرَةُ(the) stupor
ٱلْمَوْتِ(of) death
بِٱلْحَقِّ‌ۖin truth,
مَا(is) what
كُنتَyou were
مِنْهُ[from it]
وَنُفِخَAnd will be blown
ٱلصُّورِ‌ۚthe trumpet.
يَوْمُ(is the) Day
ٱلْوَعِيدِ(of) the Warning.
وَجَآءَتْAnd will come
مَّعَهَاwith it
سَآئِقٌa driver
وَشَهِيدٌand a witness.
كُنتَyou were
فَكَشَفْنَاSo We have removed
عَنكَfrom you
غِطَآءَكَyour cover,
فَبَصَرُكَso your sight
حَدِيدٌ(is) sharp.`
وَقَالَAnd (will) say
قَرِينُهُۥhis companion,
مَا(is) what
لَدَىَّ(is) with me
لِّلْخَيْرِof good,
إِلَـٰهًاa god
فَأَلْقِيَاهُso throw him
ٱلْعَذَابِthe punishment
ٱلشَّدِيدِthe severe.`
۞ قَالَWill say
قَرِينُهُۥhis companion,
رَبَّنَا`Our Lord,
أَطْغَيْتُهُۥI made him transgress,
كَانَhe was
قَالَHe will say,
لَا`(Do) not
لَدَىَّ(in) My presence
وَقَدْand indeed,
قَدَّمْتُI sent forth
إِلَيْكُمto you
بِٱلْوَعِيدِthe Warning.
يُبَدَّلُwill be changed
ٱلْقَوْلُthe word
لَدَىَّwith Me,
وَمَآand not
أَنَا۟I Am
لِّلْعَبِيدِto My slaves.`

وَلَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا الۡاِنۡسَانَ وَنَعۡلَمُ مَا تُوَسۡوِسُ بِهٖ نَفۡسُهٗ ۖۚ وَنَحۡنُ اَقۡرَبُ اِلَيۡهِ مِنۡ حَبۡلِ الۡوَرِيۡدِ‏  اِذۡ يَتَلَقَّى الۡمُتَلَقِّيٰنِ عَنِ الۡيَمِيۡنِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ قَعِيۡدٌ‏   مَا يَلۡفِظُ مِنۡ قَوۡلٍ اِلَّا لَدَيۡهِ رَقِيۡبٌ عَتِيۡدٌ‏  وَ جَآءَتۡ سَكۡرَةُ الۡمَوۡتِ بِالۡحَـقِّ​ؕ ذٰلِكَ مَا كُنۡتَ مِنۡهُ تَحِيۡدُ‏   وَنُفِخَ فِى الصُّوۡرِ ​ؕ ذٰ لِكَ يَوۡمُ الۡوَعِيۡدِ‏  وَجَآءَتۡ كُلُّ نَفۡسٍ مَّعَهَا سَآئِقٌ وَّشَهِيۡدٌ‏  لَقَدۡ كُنۡتَ فِىۡ غَفۡلَةٍ مِّنۡ هٰذَا فَكَشَفۡنَا عَنۡكَ غِطَآءَكَ فَبَصَرُكَ الۡيَوۡمَ حَدِيۡدٌ‏  وَقَالَ قَرِيۡـنُهٗ هٰذَا مَا لَدَىَّ عَتِيۡدٌ ؕ‏  اَلۡقِيَا فِىۡ جَهَنَّمَ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ عَنِيۡدٍۙ‏  مَّنَّاعٍ لِّلۡخَيۡرِ مُعۡتَدٍ مُّرِيۡبِ ۙ‏  اۨلَّذِىۡ جَعَلَ مَعَ اللّٰهِ اِلٰهًا اٰخَرَ فَاَ لۡقِيٰهُ فِى الۡعَذَابِ الشَّدِيۡدِ‏  قَالَ قَرِيۡنُهٗ رَبَّنَا مَاۤ اَطۡغَيۡتُهٗ وَلٰـكِنۡ كَانَ فِىۡ ضَلٰلٍۢ بَعِيۡدٍ‏   قَالَ لَا تَخۡتَصِمُوۡا لَدَىَّ وَقَدۡ قَدَّمۡتُ اِلَيۡكُمۡ بِالۡوَعِيۡدِ‏   مَا يُبَدَّلُ الۡقَوۡلُ لَدَىَّ وَمَاۤ اَنَا بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلۡعَبِيۡدِ‏ 
(50:16) Surely We19 have created man, and We know the promptings of his heart, and We are nearer to him than even his jugular vein.20 (50:17) Moreover, there are two scribes, one each sitting on the right and the left, recording everything. (50:18) He utters not a word, but there is a vigilant watcher at hand.21 (50:19) Lo, the agony of death has indeed come with the Truth.22 That is what you had sought to avoid.23 (50:20) And then the Trumpet was blown.24 This is the day of the promised chastisement. (50:21) Everyone has come, each attended by one who will drive him on, and another who will bear witness.25 (50:22) You were heedless of this. Now We have removed your veil and so your vision today is sharp.26 (50:23) His companion said:“ Here is he who was in my charge.”27 (50:24) The command was given: “Cast into Hell28 every hardened, stubborn unbeliever,29 (50:25) who hinders good,30 exceeds the limits,31 is immersed in doubts,32 (50:26) and has set up another deity with Allah. Hurl him into the grievous torment.”33 (50:27) His companion said:“ I did not incite him to rebel; he was far gone into error of his own accord.”34 (50:28) (It was said): “Do not remonstrate in My presence. I had warned you.35 (50:29) My Word is not changed;36 and never do I inflict the least wrong upon My servants.”37

19. After presenting the arguments for the Hereafter, it is being stated: Whether you believe in the Hereafter, or deny it, it has to come in any case, and it is such a reality which will certainly come about in spite of your denial. If you heed the warning given by the Prophets in advance and prepare for it, you will be doing good to yourselves. If you do not believe in it, you will be inviting your own doom. Your denial will not prevent the Hereafter from taking place and God's law of justice will not became suspended.

20. That is, Our power and Our knowledge has so encompassed man from within and without that Our power and knowledge is closer to him than his own jugular-vein. We do not have to travel from a distance to hear what he says, but We directly know every thought that arises in his heart. Likewise, when We shall want to seize him, We will not have to seize him after covering a distance, for wherever he is, he is in Our grasp; and whenever We will, We will seize him.

21. That is, on the one hand, We directly know man’s actions and movements, even his hidden thoughts; on the other hand, every man has two angels appointed over him, who are recording whatever he does and says; none of his actions or words is left unrecorded. This means that when man is produced in the court of Allah, Allah at that time Himself will also be knowing what each person has done in the world. Besides, there will also be two witnesses who will produce documentary evidence of the person’s actions and deeds. As to what will be the nature of this documentary evidence, it is difficult for us to have a precise concept of it. But from the facts that we are witnessing today, it seems certain that the voices and pictures and marks of man’s actions and movements are being preserved and imprinted on every particle of the environment in which he lives and works, and each one of these can be reproduced in exactly the same form and voice so as to leave no difference whatsoever between the original and its copy. Man is doing this on a very limited scale with the help of his inventions, but the angels of God neither stand in need of these machines nor are bound by any limitation. Man’s own body and everything around it is their tape and their film upon which they can record every voice and every image along with its minutest and most delicate detail precisely and exactly, and can make man hear, on the Day of Resurrection, with his own ears, in his own voice, those very things which he talked in the world, and can make him see, with his own eyes, the pictures of all his misdeeds, whose genuineness he would not possibly be able to deny.

Here, one should also understand that in the court of the Hereafter, Allah will not punish anybody only on the basis of His own knowledge, but will punish him after fulfilling all the requirements of justice. That is why an exhaustive record is being prepared of every person’s words and deeds in the world so that a complete proof with undeniable evidence becomes available of everyone’s life work and activity.

22. “Come with the truth” implies that the agony of death is the starting point when the reality which had remained concealed in the world, begins to be uncovered. At this point man starts seeing clearly the other world of which the Prophet had forewarned him. Here, man also comes to know that the Hereafter is the very truth, and also this whether he is entering this second stage of life as favored or damned.

23. That is, this is the same reality which you refused to believe. You desired that you should live and go about as an unbridled rogue in the world, and there should be no other life after death, in which you may have to suffer for the consequences of your deeds. That is why you shunned the concept of the Hereafter and were not at all inclined to believe that this next world would ever be established. Now, you may see that the same next world is unveiling itself before you.

24. This implies that blowing of the Trumpet at which all dead men will rise back to life in their own physical bodies. For explanation, see (E.N. 47 of Suarh Al-Anaam); (E.N. 57 of Suarh Ibrahim); (E.N. 78 of Suarh TaHa); (E.N.1 of Suarh Al- Hajj); (E.Ns 46,47 of Suarh YaSeen), and (E.N. 79 of Suarh Az-Zumar).

25. Most probably this implies the same two angels who had been appointed for compiling the record of the words and deeds of the person in the world. On the Day of Resurrection, when every man will rise from his grave on the sounding of the Trumpet, the two angels will come forth immediately and take him into their custody. One of them will drive him to the divine court and the other will be carrying his record.

26. That is, you can clearly see that everything of which the Prophets foretold is present here.

27. Some commentators say that the companion implies the angel who has been referred to as a witness in( verse 21). He will say: I have this person’s record ready with me here. Some other commentators say that the companion implies the satan who was attached to the person in the world. He will say: This person whom I was controlling and preparing for Hell, is now presented before You. But the commentary that is more relevant to the context is the one that has been reported from Qatadah and Ibn Zaid. They say that the companion implies the angel who drove and brought the person to Allah’s court. He will say: Here is the person who had been given in my charge

28. As the context shows this command will be given to the two angels who had taken the culprit into their custody as soon as he had risen from the grave, and then brought him before the court.

29. The word kaffar as used in the text means an ungrateful person as well as a denier of the truth.

30. Khair in Arabic is used both for wealth and for goodness. According to the first meaning, the sentence means that he paid no one his dues from his wealth, neither the dues of Allah nor of the people. According to the second meaning, it would mean that he did not only withhold himself from the path of goodness but forbade others also to follow it. He had become a hindrance for the people in the way of goodness and exerted his utmost to see that goodness did not spread.

31. That is, he transgressed the bounds of morality in everything he did. He was ever ready to do anything and everything for the sake of his interests, his desires and his lusts. He amassed wealth by unlawful means and spent it in unlawful ways. He usurped the people’s rights, had neither control over his tongue nor over his hands, and committed every injustice and excess. He did not rest content with creating hindrances in the way of goodness but harassed those who adopted goodness and persecuted those who worked for it.

32. The word murib as used in the original has two meanings: a doubter and the one who puts others in doubt, and both are implied here. It means that he was not only himself involved in doubt but also created doubts in the hearts of others. He held as doubtful the Being of Allah and the Hereafter and the angels and the Prophethood and revelation and every other truth of religion. Anything that was presented by the Prophets as a truth was held as unbelievable by him, and the same disease he spread to other people. Whomsoever he came in contact with, he would create one or the other doubt, one or the other evil thought in his mind.

33. Allah, in these verses, has enumerated the qualities that make a man worthy of Hell:

(1) Denial of the truth.

(2) Ingratitude to Allah.

(3) Enmity for the Truth and the followers of the truth.

(4) To become a hindrance in the way of goodness.

(5) Failure to fulfill the rights of Allah and the people from his wealth.

(6) To transgress the bounds in his affairs.

(7) To commit injustices and excesses against others.

(8) To doubt the truths of religion.

(9) To create doubts in the hearts of the people.

(10) To hold another as an associate in the Godhead of Allah.

34. Here by companion is meant the satan who was attached to the disobedient person in the world. And this also becomes evident from the style that both the person and his satan are disputing between themselves in the court of Allah. He says: My Lord, this wretched one pursued me in the world and did not leave me until he succeeded in misleading me, therefore he alone should be punished. And the satan replies: Lord, I had no power over him. Had he not himself willed to become rebellious, I could not have seduced him forcibly. This wretched person himself fled from goodness and was fascinated by evil. That is why he did not like anything that the Prophets presented and went on yielding to every temptation and inducement presented by me.

35. That is, I had warned both of you as to what punishment will be given to the one who beguiles and what punishment will be suffered by him who is beguiled. In spite of this warning when you did not desist from committing your respective crimes, there is no use quarreling now. Both, the one who beguiled and the one who was beguiled have to be punished for the crimes committed by them.

36. That is, it is not My way to change the decisions once taken. The decision that I have taken to cast you into Hell cannot be withdrawn, nor can the law that I had announced in the world be changed that the punishment for misleading and for being misled will be awarded in the Hereafter.

37. The word zallam as used in the original means the one who is highly unjust. It does not mean: I am unjust to My servants but not highly unjust. But it means: If I were unjust to My own servants being their Creator and Sustainer, I would be highly unjust. Therefore, I am not at all unjust to My servants. This punishment that I am giving you is precisely the same punishment which you have made yourselves worthy of. You are not being punished an iota more than what you actually deserve, for My court is a court of impartial justice. Here, no one can receive a punishment which he does not actually deserve, and for which his being worthy has not been proved by certain and undeniable evidence.