Verses from Surah al-Mu’minun [112 – 118] & Al-Noor [1]

[112] He will ask, ‘How long did you tarry in the earth – by number of years?’

[113] They will answer, ‘We tarried a day or part of a day, so ask those who keep count.’121

Commentary

112. The allusion could both be to the angels as well as humans who keep account of events (such as the historians) – Ibn Jarir.

Asad adds: “The disappearance, upon resurrection, of man’s earth-bound concept of time is indicated by the helpless answer, (‘ask those who keep count’).”

[114] He will say, ‘Indeed you tarried not, but a little; if you had but realised.

[115] Did you think we created you only for sport122 and that to Us you would not be returned?’ 

Commentary

122. That is, if not for the Judgment in the Hereafter, the sinner and the obedient, the pious and the rapscallion, would all be on par and equal, reducing this life to a mere farce (Razi).

[116] Exalted is Allah, the (Ultimate) Sovereign, the (Ultimate) Truth.123 There is no god but He, Lord of the noble `Arsh. 

Commentary

123. Alusi understands the combination of the two Attributes as (al-haqeequbil-malikiyyati: “The True Sovereign,” or, “[the One to whom] sovereignty truly [belongs].”

[117] And whosoever invokes another god along with Allah, whereof he has no evidence, assuredly, his reckoning is with His Lord. Surely the unbelievers shall not prosper.124

[118] And say, ‘My Lord! Forgive and show mercy, and You are the best of the merciful.’

Commentary

124. Note that the Surah started on the note: “Succeeded indeed the believers”, and ends on the note, “Surely the unbelievers shall not prosper” (Zamakhshari).

Surah 24
Al-Noor
(The Light)
Madinan

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE KIND, THE MERCIFUL

[1] (This is)1 a Surah which We have sent down, made obligatory;2 and revealed therein verses clear (of evidences),3 that haply you may take heed. 

Commentary

1. The words in parenthesis are from Ibn Jarir.

2. The great majority have read the text as it appears in all copies now. But Mujahid read “farad-naha” as “farrad-naha,” explaining the term as, “We have expounded it, and have sent down thereby commandments of various sort.” But most others, having read it as “farad naha,” understood it as meaning, “We have made obligatory the injunctions therein” (Ibn Jarir, Razi, Qurtubi, Alusi).

Al-Fard in Arabic is to break up a thing. Hence, “Fara’id al-Mirath,” i.e., “Breakup of the inherited property.”(Qurtubi)

Majid, and after him,Mawdudi, both stress on the emphatic form of the address here. In the simpler words of Mawdudi:

“(That is), whatever has been said in this Surah is not in the nature of ‘recommendations’ or ‘suggestions,’that may or may not be followed… They are, instead, categorical commands which must be followed… Further, far from being ambiguous, these commands are couched in terms which are both clear and categorical… No other Surah of the Qur’an has a more forceful preamble.”

3. Asad writes: “It would seem that the special stress on God’s having laid down this Surah ‘in plain terms’ is connected with the gravity of the injunctions spelt out in the sequence: in other words, it implies a solemn warning against any attempt at widening or re-defining those injunctions by means of deductions, inferences or any other considerations unconnected with the plain words of the Qur’an.”

 (To be continued)