*1 Tabaraka is a superlative from barkat. Barkat comprehends the meanings of exaltation and greatness, abundance and plentifulness, permanence and multiplicity of virtues and excellences. When the superlative tabaraka is formed from it, it gives the meaning that Allah is infinitely noble and great; He is superior to everything beside Himself in His essence and attributes and works; His beneficence is infinite, and His excellences are permanent and everlasting. (For further explanation, see E.N. 43 of AI-A`raf, E.N. 1.4 of Al-Mu'minun E.N.'s 1 and 19 of Al-Furgan).
*2 As the word al-Mulk has been used definitely, it cannot be taken in any limited meaning. Inevitably it would imply sovereignty over everything that exists in the Universe. "In Whose hand is the Kingdom' does not mean that He has physical hands, but that He is possessor of all power and authority and no one else has any share in it.
*3 That is, He can do whatever He wills: nothing can frustrate or hinder Him from doing what He pleases.(67:2) Who created death and life that He might try you as to which of you is better in deed.4 He is the Most Mighty, the Most Forgiving;5
*4 That is, the object of giving life to men in the world and causing their death is to test them to see which of them is best in deeds. Allusion has been made in this brief sentence to a number of truths: (1) That life and death are given by Allah; no one else can grant life nor cause death; (2) that neither the life nor the death of a creation like man, which has been given the power to do both good and evil, is purposeless; the Creator has created him in the world for the test: life is for. him the period of the test and death means that the time allotted for the test has come to an end; (3) that for the sake of this very test the Creator has given every man an opportunity for action, so that he may do good or evil in the world and practically show what kind of a man he is; (4) that the Creator alone will decide who has done good or evil; it is not for us to propose a criterion for the good and the evil deeds but for Almighty AIIah; therefore, whoever desires to get through the test, will have to find out what is the criterion of a good deed in His sight; the fifth point is contained in the meaning of the test itself, that is, every person will be recompensed according to his deeds, for if there was no reward or punishment the test would be meaningless.
*5 This has two meanings and both are implied here: (1),'That He is Almighty: in spite of being dominant over all His creatures, He is Merciful and Forgiving for them, not tyrannous and cruel; and (2) that He has full power to punish the evildoers: no one can escape His punishment; but He is forgiving for him who feels penitent, refrains from evil and asks for His forgiveness.(67:3) Who created the seven heavens one upon another.6 You will see no incongruity in the Merciful One's creation.7 Turn your vision again, can you see any flaw?8
*6 For explanation, see E.N. 34 of AI-Baqarah, E.N 2 of Ar-Ra`d, E.N. 8 of Al-Hijr, E.N. 113 of Al-Hajj, E.N. 15 of Al-Mu'minun, E.N. 5 of As-Saaffat, E.N. 90 of Al-Mu'min.
*7 Literally, tafawut is disproportion: two things being out of accord and agreement with each other. So, the Divine words mean: "You will not see any indiscipline, any disorder and discordance anywhere in the universe, there is nothing disjointed and out of proportion in this world created by Allah: all its parts are well connected and in perfect harmony and coordination.
*8 The word futur means a crack, rift, fissure, or a thing's being split and broken. The verse means to say that the whole universe is so closely well-knit and everything in it, from a particle on the earth to the huge galaxies, so well connected and coherent that the continuity of the system of the universe seems to break nowhere, however hard one may try to probe and investigate. (For further explanation, see E.N. 8 of Surah Qaf).(67:4) Then turn your vision again, and then again; in the end your vision will come back to you, worn out and frustrated.
*9 "The nearest heaven": the heaven the stars and planets of which can be seen with the naked eye; the objects beyond that which can be seen only through telescopes are the distant heaven; and the heavens still farther away are those which have not yet been seen even with telescopes.
*10 The word masabih in the original has been used as a common noun, and therefore, automatically gives the meaning of the lamp's being splendid and glorious. It means: "We have not created this universe dark, dismal and desolate, but have decked and decorated it with stars, the glory and grandeur of which at night strike man with amazement."
This does not mean that the stars themselves are pelted at the Satans, nor that the meteorites shoot out only to drive away the Satans, but it means that the countless meteorites which originate from the stars and wander in space at tremendous speeds and which also fall to the earth in a continuous shower prevent the Satans of the earth from ascending to the heavens. Even if they try to ascend heavenward these meteorites drive them away. This thing has been mentioned here because the Arabs believed about the soothsayers, and this also was the claim made by the soothsayers themselves, that the Satans were under their control, or that they had a close contact with them, and through them they received news of the unseen, and thus, could foretell the destinies of the people. That is why at several places in the Qur'an, it has been stated that there is absolutely no possibility of the Satans' ascending to the heavens and bringing news of the unseen. (For explanation, see E.N.'s 9-12 of AI-Hijr, E.N.'s 6, 7 of As-Saaffat).
As for the truth about meteorites, man's information in this regard is still without a scientific basis. However, the theory which seems best to account for all the facts known today and the information gathered from the examination of the meteorites fallen on the earth, is that meteorites originate from the disintegration of one or more planets and wander in space and sometimes fall to the earth under its gravitational pull. (See Erlcyclopaedia Britannica, vol. XV, under "Meteorites").
*12 That is, the fate of all those,whether men or Satans, who disbelieve in their Lord. (For the explanation of the meaning of disbelieving in the Lord (Rabb), see E.N 161 of AI-Baqarah, E.N. 178 of An-Nisa', E.N. 39 of Al-Kahf, E,N. 3 of Al-Mu'min(67:7) When they will be cast into it, they will hear it roar as it boils,13
*13 The word shahiq is used for producing a cry like the ass's braying. The sentence may also mean that it could be the sound of Hell itself, as well as that it would be the sound coming from Hell, where the people already flung into it would be screaming and crying. This second meaning is supported by Surah Hud: 106, where it has been said: "Therein they will pant and hiss (because of thirst)", and the first meaning is confirmed by AI-Furgan: 12, which says: "When the Hell will see them from afar, they will hear the sounds of its raging and roaring." On this basis, the correct meaning is that it would be the noise made both by Hell and by the dwellers of Hell.(67:8) as though it will burst with rage. Every time a multitude is cast into it, its keepers will ask them: “Did no warner come to you?”14
The real nature of this question will not be of a question that the keepers of Hell would like to ask them whether a warner from Allah had come to them or not, but the object would be to make them realize that no injustice had been done to them by casting them into Hell. They would try to make them confess that Allah had not kept them uninformed and unwarned: He had sent the Prophets to them; He had informed them of the truth and of the Right Way; He had warned them that if they followed a way other than the Right Way, it would lead them to Hell, in which they had been cast. But they had not listened to the Prophets. Hence, they rightly deserved the punishment which was being meted out to them at that time.
This thing has been pointed out over and over again in the Qur'an that the test for which Allah has sent man in the world is not being conducted by keeping man absolutely unaware and uninformed of the requirements of the test only to see whether he found the right way by himself or not; but Allah has made the most appropriate arrangements that could possibly be trade of guiding him to the Right Way, and it is that He has raised the Prophets and sent down the Books. Now the test of man lies in this whether he accepts the Prophets and the Books brought by them and adopts the straight way, or turns away from them to follow his own desires, whites and speculations. Thus, the Prophethood, in fact, is Allah's argument which He has established against tnan and on its acceptance or rejection depends his whole future life. No one, after the appointment of the Prophets, can present the excuse that he remained unaware of the Truth, or that he has been caught and put to the hard test unawares, or that he is being punished while he was innocent. This theme has been presented in countless different ways in the Qur'an; for instance, see AI-Baqarah: 213, and E.N. 230 on it; An-Nisa': 41-42, 165 and E N.'s 64 and 208; Al-An`am: 130-131, and E.N.'s 98-100; Bani Isra'il: 15 and E.N. 17; Ta Ha: 134; Al-Qasas 47, 59, 65 and E.N.'s 66, 83; Fatir: 37; AlMu'min: 50 and E.N. 66.
*15 That is, "Not only you but the people who have believed in and followed you also are misguided and lost in grave error."(67:10) They will say: 'If we had only listened and understood,16 we would not be among the inmates of the Blazing Fire.'”
*16 "Had we only listened or understood": "Had we listened to the Prophets with attention as seekers after Truth or used our intellect to understand what actually was the message they were presenting before us." Here listening has been given priority over understanding, the reason being that the pre-requisite of obtaining guidance is to listen to what the Prophet teaches (or to read if it is in the written form, like a seeker after Truth). To ponder over it in an attempt to understand the truth is secondary. Without the Prophet's guidance tnan cannot by himself reach the Truth directly by using his intellect and common sense.(67:11) Thus will they confess their sins.17 Damned are these inmates of the Blazing Fire.
*17 The word dhanb (sin) has been used in the singular. It means that the real sin because of which they became worthy of Hell was to belie the Messengers and refuse to obey them; all other sins are its consequences.(67:12) Surely forgiveness and a mighty reward19 await those who fear Allah without seeing Him.18
*18 This is the real basis of morality in religion. A person's refraining from an evil because it is an evil in his personal opinion, or because the world regards it as an evil, or because its commission is likely to bring loss in the world, or because it may entail a punishment by a worldly power, is a very flimsy basis for morality. A man's personal opinion may be wrong, he may regard a good thing as bad and a bad thing as good because of some philosophy of his own. In the first place, the worldly standards of good and evil have never been the same: they have been changing from time to time. No universal and eternal standard in the moral philosophies is found today, nor has it ever been found before. The fear of worldly loss also does not provide a firm foundation for morality. The person who avoids an evil because he fears the loss that may result from it for himself, cannot keep himself from committing it when there is no fear of incurring such a loss. Likewise, the danger of the punishment by a worldly power also is not something which can trun a person into a gentleman. Everybody knows that no worldly power is knower of both the seen and the unseen. Many crimes can be committed unseen and unobserved. Then, there are many possible devices by which one can escape the punishment of every worldly power; and the Taws made by a worldly power also do not cover all evils. Most evils are such as do not come within the purview of the mundane laws, whereas they are even worse than the evils which they regard as punishable. That is why, the Religion of Truth has raised the edifice of morality on the basis that one should refrain from an evil in fear of the unseen God Who sees man under all conditions, from Whose grasp man cannot escape in any way, Who has given man an all-pervading, universal and everlasting criterion of good and evil. To forsake evil and adopt good only out of fear of Him is the real good which is commendable in religion. Apart from this, if a man refrains from committing evil for .any other reason or adopts acts which in view of their external form are regarded as good acts, his these moral acts will not be worth any merit and value in the Hereafter, for they are like a building which has been built on sand.
*19 That is, there are two inevitable results of fearing God unseen: (1) That whatever errors and sins one will have committed because of human weaknesses, will be forgiven provided these were not committed because of fearlessness of God; and (2) that whatever good acts a man performs on the basis of this belief, he will be rewarded richly for them.(67:13) Whether you speak in secrecy or aloud, (it is all the same to Allah). He even knows the secrets that lie hidden in the breasts of people.20
*20 The address is to all human beings, whether they are believers or unbelievers. For the believer it contains the admonition that while living his life in the world he should always remember that not only his open and hidden deeds but even his secret intentions and innermost thoughts are not hidden from Allah; and for the unbeliever the warning that he may do whatever he may please fearless of God, but nothing that he does can remain un-noticed and unseen by Him.(67:14) Would He not know, He Who has created,21 when He is All-Subtle,22 All-Aware?
*21 Another translation can be: "Would He not know His own creatures?" In the original man khalaqa has been used, which may mean: "Who has created" as well as "whom He has created, " In both cases the meaning remains the same. This is the argument for what has been said in the preceding sentence. That is, how is it possible that the Creator should be unaware of His creation? The creation may remain unaware of itself, but the Creator cannot be unaware of it. He has made every vein of your body, every fibre of your heart and brain. You breathe because He enables you to breathe, your limbs function because He enables them to function, How then can anything of yours remain hidden from Him?
*22 The word Latif as used in the original means the One Who works in imperceptible ways as well as the One Who knows the hidden truths and realities.