*1 This is a brief introduction to the Surah. A study of the following discourse can show what relevance the things mentioned in it have with the theme that follows. The first thing said is that this Word is being sent down by God, as if to say: "You, O people, may go on saying again and again that this Word is being composed by Muhammed (upon whom be Allah's peace) but the fact is that its revelation is from God, Lord of the worlds. " Furthermore, the addressees have also been warned, so as to say: "If you express your displeasure on hearing this discourse. this displeasure is not against Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) tart against God. If you reject it, you reject Allah's Word, not of a man, and if you turn away from it, you do not turn away from a mart but from Allah." Secondly, that the one sending it down is that God, Who is extremely Merciful (Rehman and Rahim) to His creatures. The mention of the attribute of mercy of the Sender of Revelation, instead of any other attributes, points to the truth that He has sent down this Word under the requirement of His mercifulness. By this the addressees have been warned, so as to say: °If someone spurns this Word, or rejects it. or expresses displeasure at it, he in fact is his own enemy "Thts is indeed a supreme blessing. which God has sent down, out of this infinite mercy, for the guidance and well-being and happiness of man. if God were merciless to mankind, He would have left them to wander about in darkness and would have least cared what pit they fell into. But this is His bounty and beneficence that along with bringing men into existence and providing for them He has taken on Himself the responsibility to show them the light of knowledge also in order to adorn their lives, and is sending down this Word to a servant of His for the same purpose. Now, who could be more ungrateful and a greater enemy of himself than the ono who instead of benefiting from this mercy made up his mind to fight it?" Thirdly that the verses of this Book are well-expounded. That is, there is nothing confusing and ambiguous in it so that somebody might excuse himself from accepting it on the ground that he was unable to understand the contents of the Book.It has been plainly told m it what is the truth and what is the falsehood, what arc the right beliefs and what are the wrong beliefs, what is good and what is evil, what is high morality and what is vice, in what way lies the good of tnan and in what he incurs loss for himself. If a person rejects such clear and manifest guidance, or pays no heed to it, he cannot offer any excuse for it. His attitude clearly unplies that he wants to remain in the wrong wilfully. Fourthly, that this is an Arabic Qur'an, which implies this: "If this Qur'an had been sent down in some other language, the Arabs would have presented the excuse that they were ignorant of the language in which God had sent His Book. But this is their own language. They cannot put forward the excuse that they cannot understand it. (Here, one should keep in view verse 44 also, in which the same theme has been expressed in a different way, and the suspicion that in that case there is a reasonable excuse for the non-Arabs not to accept the message of the Qur'an, we have already removed in our commentary of Surah Yusuf: 2 and E.N. 2 on it. Please also see Rasa'il-o-Masa'il. Vol. I, pp. 19-23). Fifthly, that this Book is for those who possess knowledge. That is, only the people of understanding can draw any benefit from this Book. For the ignorant it is as useless as a precious diamond for the one who cannot distinguish it from a mere stone. Sixthly, that this Book gives good news and administers warning. That is, it does not consist of mere fantasy, or a philosophy, or a specimen of good literary composition, which one may accept or reject without entailing any consequence, but it is openly administering a warning to the whole world that the results of accepting and believing in it are marvellous and of rejecting it very dreadful. Thus only a fool could reject it with scant attention.(41:5) They say: “Our hearts are securely wrapped up against what you call us to,2 and in our ears is a heaviness, and between you and us there is a veil.3 So act; we too are acting.”4
*2 That is, "It has no way open to reach our hearts."
*3 That is "This invitation has divided us: it has cut us off from you it leas become a hindrance for us to join you."
*4 It has two meanings: (1) "That we have nothing to do with you ;" and (2) "that if you do not desist from your preaching, you may go on doing your mission, we also will not stop our opposition to you, and we will do whatever we can to defeat and frustrate your mission. "(41:6) Tell them, (O Prophet): “I am only a human being like you.5 It is revealed to me that your God is One God;6 so direct yourselves straight to Him,7 and seek His forgiveness. Woe to those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity,8
*5 That is, "It is not in my power to remove the covering that envelops your hearts, open your ears, and tear away the curtain which you have drawn between me and yourselves, I am only a tnan: I can make only him understand who is inclined to listen, and can only meet him who is ready to meet me."
*6 That is. "You may if you so like put coverings on your hearts and make your ears deaf, but the fact is that you don't have many gods: then is only One God, whose servants you are. And this is no philosophy, which I might have thought out myself, and which might have equal probability of being true or false, but this reality has been made known to me through revelation, which cannot admit of any likelihood of error. "
*7 That is, "Do not make any other your God: do not serve and worship any other deity: do not invoke and bow to any other for help: and do not obey and follow the customs and laws and codes made and set by others. "
*8 "Ask for His forgiveness": Ask for His forgiveness for the unfaithfulness that you have been showing so far towards Him, for the shirk and disbelief and disobedience that you have been committing till now, and for the sins that you happened to comfit due to forgetfulness of God.(41:7) who do not pay Zakah,9 and who deny the Hereafter.
*9 Here, the meaning of the word zakat has been disputed by the commentators. Ibn `Abbas and his illustrious pupils, `Ikrimah and Mujahid, say that zakat here implies the purity of the soul and self which accrues from belief in Tauhid and obedience to Allah. According to this explanation, the translation of the verse would be: "Woe to the mushriks, who do not adopt purity." The other group which includes commentators like Qatadah, Suddi, Hasan Basri, Dahhak, Muqatil and Ibn as-Sa'ib take this word here also in the meaning of the zakat on property and wealth. According to this explanation, the verse means: "Woe to those who do not fulfil the right of Allah by committing shirk and the right of the men by withholding the zakat.(41:8) As to those who have faith and do good works, surely theirs shall be a never-ending reward.10
*10 The words ajrun ghaira mamnun in the original have two other meanings also: (1) That it will be a reward which will never decrease and diminish; and (2) that this reward will not be given with reminders of good done, like the gift made by a miserly person, who keeps on reminding the beneficiary of his favour if at all he gives away anything.