The Arabic word tabaraka is very comprehensive, and cannot be understood fully and completely by "highly blessed", not even by a sentence. However, its meanings may be grasped by keeping in view the remaining portion
of vv. 1-2. Here it has been used to convey the following meanings:
(1) He is the most Beneficent: that is why He has bestowed the great blessing of Al-Furqan by degrees on His servant so that he may admonish all mankind.
(2)He is the most Exalted and Great: for the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth belongs to Him.
(3) He is the most Holy, Pure and Perfect: He is free from every tinge of shirk and has neither a partner in His Godhead, nor needs a son to succeed Him; for He is Ever-Lasting.
(4) He is the Highest and the Most Supreme in rank: the Kingdom and the Dominion wholly and solely belong to Him, and there is none who has any share in His Authority and Powers.
(5) He is the sole Creator of the universe and has created each and everything in it and predetermined its destiny. For further details, see E.N. 14 of AIMu'minun and E.N. 19 of AI-Furgan.
*2 Al-Furgan: The Criterion. The Qur'an has been called AI-Furgan because it is the Criterion for judging right and wrong virtue and vice, truth and falsehood.
*3 The word nazzala implies revelation of the Qur'an piecemeal by degrees. The wisdom of this introductory remark will be explained in the study of verse 32, where the objection of the disbelievers of Makkah -as to why the Qur'an has not been sent down all at once-has been dealt with
*4 ..... warner to all mankind": To warn all mankind of the evil consequences of their heedlessness and deviation. The warner may be AI-Furgan or the Holy Prophet to whom it was revealed. In fact, both were the warners because they were both sent for one and the same purpose. The message of the Qur'an and Prophethood of Muhammad (Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) were not meant for any particular country but for the whole world; and not for their own time, but for alI times to come. This has been stated at several places in the Qur'an; for instance: "O Muhammad, say, O mankind, I am a Messenger to aII of you from Allah ....." (Al-A`raf: 158); "..... and this Qur'an has been revealed to me so that I should thereby warn you aII and whom it may reach." (AlAn'am: 19); "We have sent you only as a bearer of good news and as a warner to all mankind." (Saba: 28); and "We have sent you as a mercy to all mankind." (AIAnbiya': 107) The Holy Prophet himself has stated this clearly in the Hadith; for instance, he said: "I have been sent to aII men-the red and the black." "Before me a Prophet was sent only to his own people, but 1 have been sent to all mankind." (Bukhari, Muslim). "I have been sent to all mankind, and I am the Last of the Prophets." (Muslim).(25:2) He to Whom belongs the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth:5 Who has begotten no son:6 Who has no partner in His Sovereignty:7 Who created each and every thing and then ordained its destiny.8
*5 Another translation may be: "To Him belongs the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth." That is, He alone has an exclusive right to it, and no one else has any right to it nor any share in it
*6 That is, "He has neither any relation of direct parenthood to anyone, nor has He taken anyone as a son. Therefore, none else in the universe is entitled to worship. He is Unique and there can be no partner in His Godhead. Thus alI those who associate with Him angels or jinns or saints as His offspring, are ignorant. Likewise, those who believe that some one, is His "son", are also ignorant. They have no true conception of the Greatness of AIIah and consider Him to be weak and needy like human beings, who require some one to become their inheritor. It is sheer ignorance and folly." For further details, see E.N.'s 66 to G8 of Surah Yunus .
*7 The Arabic word mulk means Sovereignty, Supreme Authority, and Kingship. Thus the sentence will mean: "AIIah is the Absolute Ruler of the whole universe and there is none other who may have any right to authority; therefore He alone is God." For whenever a man takes anything else as his lord, he does so under the presumption that his deity has the power to do good or bring harm and make or mar his fortune; nobody will like to worship a powerless deity. Now when it is recognized that none but AIIah has the real power and authority in the universe, nobody will bow before anyone other than Him in worship, nor will sing anybody else's hymns, nor commit the folly of bowing in worship before any thing else except his real God, or recognize any other as his ruler, because "To AIIah belongs the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and to Him alone."
*8 There may be other translations of this also: "He has ordained it in due proportion"; or "He has appointed an exact measure for everything." But no translation can convey its real meaning, which is: "Allah has not only created everything in the universe but also determined its shape, size, potentialities, characteristics, term of existence, the limitations and extent of its development and aII other things concerning it. Then, He has created the means and provisions to enable it to function properly in its own separate sphere. " This is one of the most comprehensive verses of the Qur'an with regard to the Doctrine of Tauhid. According to Traditions, the Holy Prophet himself taught this verse to every child of his family as soon as it was able to speak and utter a few words. Thus, this verse is the best means of impressing the Doctrine of Tauhid on our minds, and every Muslim should use it for educating his children as soon as they develop understanding.(25:3) Yet the people have set up, besides Him, deities, who do not create anything but are themselves created :9 who can neither harm nor help even themselves: who have no power over life or death, nor can they raise up the dead.10
*9 The words are comprehensive and cover aII the false gods whom the mushriks worship whether they are angels, jinns, Prophets, saints, the sun, the moon, the stars, trees, rivers, animals etc., which have been created by AIIah, or those which have been created by man, as the idols of stone, wood, etc.
*10 That is, "Allah has sent down AI-Furqan on His servant so that he may invite the people to the Truth, which they have forsaken due to heedlessness and waywardness, and warn them of the evil consequences of their folly. The Furqan is being revealed piecemeal so that he may distinguish right from wrong and the genuine from the counterfeit. "(25:4) Those who have rejected the Message of the Prophet, say, "This (A1-Furgan) is a forgery which this man himself has devised, and some others have helped him at it. " What a cruel injustice11 and an impudent lie!
*11 Another translation may be: "a great injustice."(25:5) They say, "These things are the writings of the ancients which he has got copied down for himself, and then these are recited to him in the morning and evening.''
This is the same objection which the modern orientalists have raised against the Qur'an, but strange as it may seem, no contemporary of the Holy Prophet ever raised such an objection against him. Nobody, for instance, ever said that Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) as a boy had met Buhairah, the monk, and had attained religious knowledge from him, nor did anybody claim that he had obtained all that information from the Christian monks and Jewish rabbis during the trade journeys in his youth. In fact, they knew that he had never travelled alone but in the caravans and if they said such a thing, it would be refuted by hundreds of their own people from the city.
Then, one could ask, if he had gained all that knowledge from Buhairah when he was about 12, and during trade journeys when he was 25, why did he keep it secret from the people till he became 40? whereas he did not leave his country even for a single day, but lived for years among his own people in the same city. That is why the people of Makkah dared not bring such an impudent and baseless charge against him. Their objections related to the time when he claimed to be a Prophet of Allah and not to the time preceding that claim. Their argument was like this: "This man is illiterate and cannot obtain any knowledge through books. He has lived among us for forty years, but we have never heard from him anything that might have shown that he had any acquaintance with what he is preaching; therefore he must have had the help of other people who copied these things from the writings of the ancients for him: he learns these things from them and recites them as Divine Revelations: this is a fraud." So much so that according to some traditions, they named some of his "helpers", who were the people of the Book, were illiterate and lived in Makkah. They were: (1) Addas, a freed slave of Huvaitib bin `Abdul `Uzza(2) Yasar, a freed slave of 'Ala bin AlHadrami, and (3) Jabr, a freed slave of `Amir bin Rabbi`ah .
Apparently this is a weighty argument. For there can be no greater proof of the "fraud" of Prophethood than to specify its source. But it looks strange that no argument has been put forward to refute this charge except a mere denial, as if to say, "Your charge is an impudent lie: you are cruel and unjust to bring such a false charge against Our Messenger; for the Qur'an is the Word of Allah Who knows all the secrets in the heavens and the earth. " Had their charge been based on facts, it would not have been rejected with contempt, for in that case the disbelievers would have demanded a detailed and clear answer. But they realized the strength of the arguments and did not make such a demand. Moreover, the fact that the "weighty" argument failed to produce any doubt in the minds of the new Muslims, was a clear proof that it was a lie.
The enigma is clearly explained if we keep in view the prevalent circumstances
(1) The disbelievers of Makkah did not take any decisive steps to prove their charge, although they could, had there been any truth in their charge. For instance, they could have made raids on the houses of the alleged helpers and on the house of the Holy Prophet himself and taken hold of the whole "material" which was being used in this "fraud", and made it public to expose his Prophethood. And this was not difficult for them because they never hesitated to resort to anything to defeat him, including persecution, as they were not bound by any moral code.
(2) The alleged helpers were not strangers. As they lived in Makkah, everyone knew it well how learned they were. The disbelievers themselves knew that they could never have helped to produce a unique and sublime Book like the Qur'an which had the highest literary excellence and merit. That is why none of them challenged the answer to the charge. That is why even those people, who did not know them, considered this frivolous. Then if the alleged helpers were such geniuses, why did they not claim to be prophets themselves?
(3) Then, aII the alleged helpers were freed slaves who were attached"to their former masters even after their freedom according to the customs of Arabia; therefore they could not have become willing accomplices of the Holy Prophet in this "fraud" of false prophethood because their former masters could have coerced them to expose it. The only reason for them to help the Holy Prophet in his claim could have been some greed or interest which, under the circumstances, could not even be imagined. Thus, apparently there was no reason why they should have offended those whose protection and patronage they needed and enjoyed, and become accomplices in the "fraud".
(4) Above all, all these alleged helpers embraced Islam. Could it be possible that those very persons, who had helped the Holy Prophet to make his "fraud" successful, could have possibly become his devoted followers? Moreover, if, for the sake of argument, it be admitted that they helped him, why was not any of them raised to a prominent rank as a reward of his help? Why were not 'Addas and Yasar and Jabr exalted to the same status as were Abu Bakr and 'Umar and Abu 'Ubaidah? Another odd flung is that if the "fraud" of prophethood was being carried on with the help of the alleged helpers, how could it remain hidden from Zaid bin Harithah, 'AIi bin Abi Talib, Abu Bakr and other people, who were the Holy Prophet's closest and most devoted Companions? Thus the charge was not only frivolous and false, but it was also below the dignity of the Qur'an to give any answer to it. The charge has been cited merely to prove that those people had been so blinded by their opposition to the Truth that they could say anything.
*13 "... He is very Forgiving and Merciful" is very meaningful here. It means that Allah is giving full respite to the enemies of the Truth, for He is "Forgiving and Merciful"; otherwise He would have sent down a scourge to annihilate them because of the false charges they were bringing against the Messenger. It also contains an admonition, as if to say, "O unjust people! if even now you give up your enmity and obduracy and accept the Truth, We shall forgive your previous misdeeds.(25:7) They say, "What sort of a Messenger is he that he eats food and moves about in the streets?14 Why has not an angel been sent down to accompany him and threaten (the disbelievers)?15
*14 That is, "He cannot be a Messenger of AIIah because he is a human being like us. Had Allah willed to send a Messenger, He would have sent an angel, and f at aII a human being was to be sent, he should have been a king or a millionaire, who would have resided in a castle and been guarded by attendants. A Messenger could not be an ordinary person who has to move about in the market places like the common people, for it is obvious that such a human Messenger cannot attract the attention of the people. In other words, they thought that a Messenger was not meant to guide the people to the right path but to coerce them to obedience by show of worldly power and grandeur. For further details, see E.N. 26 of AI-Mu'minun.
*15 That is, "If a human being was to be sent as a Messenger, an angel should have been appointed to accompany him to proclaim: `If you do not believe in him, 1 will scourge you." But what son of a Messenger is he, who has to suffer from abuse and persecution?"(25:8) Or why has not at least a treasure been sent down for him or a garden given to him for (easy) sustenance?"16 And the wicked people say, "You are following a man bewitched."17
*16 That is, "If nothing else, Allah should at least have made extraordinary arrangements for his livelihood. But this man has no treasure and no gardens; yet he claims to be a Messenger of the Lord of the universe."
*17 The disbelievers of Makkah made the false propaganda against the Holy Prophet that he had been bewitched by some jinn or by the sorcery of an enemy or by the curse of some god or goddess for his insolence. But it is strange that they also admitted that he was a clever man who could make use of extracts from the ancient writings for the sake of his "prophethood", could practise sorcery and was also a poet.(25:9) Just see what strange arguments they bring forward with regard to you! They have gone so far astray that they cannot charge any thing against you.18
*18 As these objections were frivolous and meaningless like others, the Qur'an has ignored them, saying, "Your objections are irrelevant, unreasonable and void of sense. You bring no sound argument to prove your doctrine of shirk, ur to refute the Doctrine of Tauhid put forward by him, whereas the Messenger gives such proofs of the Doctrine of Tauhid that you cannot refute them except by saying, 'He is bewitched'. The same is true of the doctrine of the life-after-death and of the moral system of the Qur'an, which has produced men of high character. You cannot deny these things; you reject them, saying, "He is a human being like us, etc. etc."