Translation & Commentary of Verses from Surah 27, Al-Naml [83 – 93]

[83] The day We shall muster together out of every community a troop that cried lies to Our signs, and then they will be arranged (in ranks).

[84] Until, when they have all come, He will say, ‘Did you deny My revelations although you did not comprehend them in knowledge?105 Or what was it that you were doing?’


105. The verse tells us by implication that one should not speak out his opinion in matters that one does not understand well. This is also applicable to some of the things that the Gnostics say, that not everyone is able to understand. Silence in the face of such statements is the best course of action (Thanwi).

[85] And the Word will be fulfilled against them because of their wrongdoing, then they will not speak.

[86] Have they not observed that We have made the night so that they can repose in it, and the day sight-giving? Surely, in that are signs for a people who will believe.

[87] And, the Day the Trumpet is blown, then, terrified will be whosoever is in the heavens and whosoever is in the earth – excepting whom Allah wills; and every one will come to Him humbled.

[88] You will see the mountains and think that they are firmly fixed but they would be moving, like the movement of the clouds.106 Allah’s making, who gave perfection to everything.107 He is well aware of what you do.


106. We have the same thing described elsewhere. Allah (swt) said (52: 9-10),

The Day when the heavens will shake with a tremendous shaking and the mountains will move in a wondrous manner.” In another place (18: 47),

And the Day when We shall move the mountains and you will see the earth raised up” (IbnKathir).

107. With the advancement of science, perfection in Allah’s creation is becoming more visible than ever. In fact, as the probe goes deeper, it is more the order, the intricate connections, and the perfection – both in animate as well as inanimate objects – which the scientists increasingly encounter, rather than what could be put to good human use. This of course is a vast subject. We shall have to contend ourselves with a few generalities and that too at the macro level rather than micro, which is all the more intricate and hence difficult to cover in a short passage. We shall presently look at merely the fine balance present at the cosmological level, which is only one aspect of the perfection in creation. We quote from a recent scientific publication which is not at all sympathetic to religion or religious ideas, in fact which rejects the anthropic principle: “(The gravitational constant is expressed in equation as G = 6.67259 x 10-11 m3kg-1s-2)… we might compare gravity’s strength with that of the three other fundamental forces. Doing so, we find that gravitation is remarkably weak. The weak nuclear force is 1028 – ten billion billion billion – times stronger than gravity. Electromagnetism is one hundred billion times stronger than that, and the strong nuclear force is a hundred times stronger than electromagnetism…

“Imagine what would happen were gravity a little stronger. The consequence, it turns out, would be dire. Cosmic expansion would have halted and the universe would have collapsed long before life could have evolved anywhere. Even if expansion somehow continued, the stars would burn out too rapidly to incubate intelligent life on anything like a terrestrial timescale. The sun, for instance, would have lasted only about a billion years. (It is now estimated as 5 billion years old: Au.). Planets might not even exist. A planet represents a balance between the gravitational force that seeks to collapse it and the electromagnetic force that prop up its molecules. Were gravity stronger, planets would light up and become stars, or further collapse to become white dwarfs, neutron stars, or black holes. So life probably could not exist in a stronger gravity universe. If, on the other hand, we decrease the strength of gravity, we find that the primordial material of the big bang simply dissipates, like hot air from a blown tire, before the gravitational fields can gather it into planets, stars and galaxies. Life seems unlikely in that universe, too. So we’ve learned something interesting about gravity – that if it didn’t have just about exactly the strength it does, we wouldn’t be here to inquire into the matter.

“Similar arguments can be applied to many other aspects of nature. Why is the universe so old? Because living creatures need carbon (the basis of terrestrial life) as well as other metals (which is why a good multivitamin pill contains minerals), and for a planet to have abundant carbon and iron it had to have formed from material that had been processed through precedent stars, all of which take billions of years. Why are neutrons slightly more massive than protons? Because if protons were just one percent heavier they would spontaneously decay into neutrons, in which case hydrogen atoms could not exist, nor stars shine: No stars, no life as we know it. Why does space have three dimensions rather than two or four? Because the knots and tangles of genetic material in living cells and the walls of organs can exist only in three dimensions” (The Whole Shebang by Timothy Ferris, Touchstone Publication, New York, 1995pp. 297, 298) – Au.

[89] Whoever brought good (deeds), for him will be better than it; and they will be secure from the terror of that day.108


108. Ibn Kathir offers the following in connection with this verse:

Someone told `Abdullah ibn `Amr: “What is this hadith that you narrate to the effect that the Last Hour will arrive at such and such a time?” He replied: “Hallowed be Allah, there is no god but Allah (or words to this effect). I have decided that I will not narrate anything to anyone from now on. I had only said that after some time you will see an important event – that the (sacred) House (Ka`ba) would be destroyed and such and such things will happen, surely they will.” Then he added, Allah’s Messenger said: “Dajjal will appear in my Ummah and remain for forty.” [I cannot say whether he meant forty days, forty months, or forty years]. “Allah will then send Jesus son of Maryam who will resemble `Urwah b Mas`ud. He will chase Dajjal and kill him. Then the people will live for seven years in such a state that there will be no ill-feeling of any kind between them. Thereafter Allah will send a cold wind from the Syrian region that none on the earth who has a speck of good in him will survive. So much so that if one of you entered the innermost part of a mountain, the wind will reach that place and seize him.’ I heard this from Allah’s Messenger.” He also said, “Only the most wicked will survive and they would be as nimble as birds with the characteristics of beasts. They will neither appreciate the good nor condemn the evil. Then Satan will go to them in human form and say: ‘Will you not respond?’ They will ask, ‘What do you want us to do?’ He will command them to worship idols. But, in spite of this, they will receive abundant sustenance and lead comfortable lives. Then the Trumpet will be blown and no one would hear it but would bend his neck to one side and raise it from the other side (trying to hear: Au.). The first to hear the Trumpet would be a person who will be busy repairing the water trough for his camels. He will swoon and the rest of the people will also swoon. Then Allah will send rains like dew and there would grow thereby bodies of the people. Then The Trumpet will be blown a second time and they will stand up and begin to look (around). It will be said: ‘O people. Proceed to your Lord.’ Further on, they will be stopped and questioned. Then it will be said: ‘Bring out a group meant for the Fire.’ It will be asked: ‘How many?’ It will be said: ‘Nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand for the Fire.’ That will be the day which would turn the children grey-haired because of terror and that would be the day about which it has been said (68: 42): ‘The Day when the shank is uncovered’” (IbnKathir).

[90] As to he who brought evil,109 their faces will be dipped into the Fire. Are you being recompensed but for what you were doing?


109. IbnMas`ud, Ibn `Abbas, Abu Hurayrah, Anas b. Malik and many of the followers have unanimously said that the allusion by “good” is to the testimony “la ilaha ..” and by “evil” to shirk (IbnJarir, Qurtubi, IbnKathir).

[91] I have been indeed commanded that I should worship the Lord of this land110 which He has declared sacred. And to Him belong all things. And I have been ordered that I should be of those who have submitted.

[92] And that I should recite the Qur’an. So whosoever is rightly-guided, is rightly-guided for his own self; and he who goes astray, then (unto them you) say, ‘I am only of the warners.’


110. The city is Makkah (and its surroundings: Au.), and the words “Lord of this land” are for expressing honor for the city and for demonstrating divine care for it (Zamakhshari, IbnKathir).

Yusuf Ali further elucidates: “The Lord of this City. This was spoken in Makkah say about the 5th year before the Hijrat, when the holy Prophet (saws) and his adherents were being persecuted as enemies to the cult of Makkah. So far from being against the true spirit of the holy City of Makkah, it was actually in furtherance of that spirit, which had been overlaid by the idolatries and abominations of the Pagan Quraish. They are told that the new Teaching is from the Lord of Makkah itself, the One True God, Who had sanctified it in the time of Abraham. Lest they should think that it was a local or tribal or narrow cult, it is added that He is not only Lord of this City, but Lord of the Worlds, ‘to Whom belong all things’. It is a universal message; but how sad it would be if the Makkans, among whom it came first, were to reject it?

[93] And say, ‘Praise belongs to Allah. In time He will show you His signs, and you shall recognize them;111 and your Lord is not unaware of what you do.’


111. As Allah (swt) said elsewhere (41: 53),
We shall surely show them signs in the horizons and in their own selves until it becomes clear to them that this is the Truth” (Qurtubi, Ibn Kathir).

End of the Surah

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