Wahba Mahmoud Diyab
SURAT YUNUS, or JONAH – 10 – MECCAN – AYATS 109 SECTION FOUR– AYATS FROM 31-46
IN THE NAME OF GOD, the MOST GRACIOUS the MOST MERCIFUL بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم
Say [O’ Muhammad PPBUH]:”Who is that provides and sustains you (in life) from the sky and from the earth? Or who is it that who has power over and owns hearing and sight? And who is it that who brings out the living from the dead, and the dead from the living? And who is it that who rules and regulates all affairs?”. They will -soon- say:”God”. Say:”Will you not then show piety (to Him)/be pious?” (31) قُلْ مَنْ يَرْزُقُكُمْ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَمَّنْ يَمْلِكُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَمَنْ يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَيُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ وَمَنْ يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ فَسَيَقُولُونَ اللَّهُ فَقُلْ أَفَلَا تَتَّقُونَ (31)
Such is God, your Lord, the real Cherisher and Sustainer. So apart from the Truth, what remains but error? How then have you averted and turned away? (32) فَذَلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّكُمُ الْحَقُّ فَمَاذَا بَعْدَ الْحَقِّ إِلَّا الضَّلَالُ فَأَنَّى تُصْرَفُونَ (32)
Thus is the Word of your Lord justified and proved true against those who rebel. Verily, they will not believe. (33) كَذَلِكَ حَقَّتْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ فَسَقُوا أَنَّهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ (33)
Say:”Is there of your ‘partners’ can -any one- originate the creation and repeat it?” Say:”It is God Who originates the Creation and repeats it. Then how –come- are you deluded away (from the truth)?” (34) قُلْ هَلْ مِنْ شُرَكَائِكُمْ مَنْ يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ قُلِ اللَّهُ يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ فَأَنَّى تُؤْفَكُونَ (34)
Say:”is there of your ‘partners’ –any one- that can give any guidance towards the Truth?” Say:”It is God Who gives guidance to the Truth. Is then He Who gives guidance to the Truth more worthy to be followed, or he who finds no guidance (himself), unless he is (being) guided? What then is the matter with you?! What (plea) have you/what is wrong with you; How do you judge? (35) قُلْ هَلْ مِنْ شُرَكَائِكُمْ مَنْ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ قُلِ اللَّهُ يَهْدِي لِلْحَقِّ أَفَمَنْ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ أَحَقُّ أَنْ يُتَّبَعَ أَمَّنْ لَا يَهِدِّي إِلَّا أَنْ يُهْدَى فَمَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ (35)
But most of them follow nothing but fancy and conjecture; truly fancy and conjecture can be of no avail against Truth. Verily, God is well aware and All-Knower of all that they do. (36) وَمَا يَتَّبِعُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ إِلَّا ظَنًّا إِنَّ الظَّنَّ لَا يُغْنِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَيْئًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَفْعَلُونَ (36)
And it is no way (possible) could this Qur’an have been fabricated (produced) by other than God; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (the revelation) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of Book –wherein there is no doubt- from the Lord of worlds. (37) وَمَا كَانَ هَذَا الْقُرْآَنُ أَنْ يُفْتَرَى مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلَكِنْ تَصْدِيقَ الَّذِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَتَفْصِيلَ الْكِتَابِ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ مِنْ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ (37)
Or do they say:” he [Muhammad PPBUH] forged it?”. Say:”bring then a Sura (Chapter) like it, and call (to your aid) anyone you can besides God, if you are truthful/ speaking the truth”. (38) أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَاهُ قُلْ فَأْتُوا بِسُورَةٍ مِثْلِهِ وَادْعُوا مَنِ اسْتَطَعْتُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ (38)
Nay. They have denied and charged with falsehood the knowledge whereof they could not comprehend/ compass, even before the elucidation thereof has reached them. Thus did those before them make charges of falsehood: but see what was the end of those transgressors who did wrong!” (39) بَلْ كَذَّبُوا بِمَا لَمْ يُحِيطُوا بِعِلْمِهِ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِهِمْ تَأْوِيلُهُ كَذَلِكَ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ فَانْظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الظَّالِمِينَ (39)
And of them there are some who believe therein, and some who do not; and your Lord is the Best-Knower of those who are evil doers/out for mischief. (40) وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يُؤْمِنُ بِهِ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ لَا يُؤْمِنُ بِهِ وَرَبُّكَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُفْسِدِينَ (40)
And if they deny and charge you with falsehood, say:” for me are my deeds, and for you are your deeds! You are free from responsibility of what I do, and I am free from responsibility of you do!”. (41) وَإِنْ كَذَّبُوكَ فَقُلْ لِي عَمَلِي وَلَكُمْ عَمَلُكُمْ أَنْتُمْ بَرِيئُونَ مِمَّا أَعْمَلُ وَأَنَا بَرِيءٌ مِمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ (41)
And among them are some who (pretend to) listen to you; but can you make the deaf to hear,- even though they are without understanding/apprehension? (42) وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَسْتَمِعُونَ إِلَيْكَ أَفَأَنْتَ تُسْمِعُ الصُّمَّ وَلَوْ كَانُوا لَا يَعْقِلُونَ (42)
And among them are some who look at you; but can you guide the blind,- even though they will not (attempt to) see? (43) وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْكَ أَفَأَنْتَ تَهْدِي الْعُمْيَ وَلَوْ كَانُوا لَا يُبْصِرُونَ (43)
Verily, God will not deal unjustly with mankind in aught, but it is mankind that wrongs themselves. (44) إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَظْلِمُ النَّاسَ شَيْئًا وَلَكِنَّ النَّاسَ أَنْفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ (44)
And on the Day when He shall gather (resurrect) them together; (it will be) as if they had tarried but an hour of a day: the will recognize each other. Assuredly those will be lost –who denied the meeting with God and refused to receive true guidance. (45) وَيَوْمَ يَحْشُرُهُمْ كَأَنْ لَمْ يَلْبَثُوا إِلَّا سَاعَةً مِنَ النَّهَارِ يَتَعَارَفُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ قَدْ خَسِرَ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِلِقَاءِ اللَّهِ وَمَا كَانُوا مُهْتَدِينَ (45)
Whether We show you [realized in your life-time O’ Muhammad PPBUH] some part of what We promise them (of the torment),- or We take your soul (to Our Mercy; before that),- in any case- to Us is their return. Ultimately God is witness, to all that they do. (46) وَإِمَّا نُرِيَنَّكَ بَعْضَ الَّذِي نَعِدُهُمْ أَوْ نَتَوَفَّيَنَّكَ فَإِلَيْنَا مَرْجِعُهُمْ ثُمَّ اللَّهُ شَهِيدٌ عَلَى مَا يَفْعَلُونَ (46)
(Verse 31)- A/Sustenance may be understood in the sense of all provision necessary for maintaining physical life as well as mental and spiritual development and well-being. Examples of the former are light and rain from heaven, and the produce of the earth and facilities of movement on land and sea and air. Examples of the latter are the moral and spiritual influences that come from our fellow-men, and from the great Teachers and Prophets. B/Just two of our ordinary faculties –hearing and sight- are mentioned, as examples of the rest. All the gifts of God –physical and spiritual- are enjoyed and incorporated by us by means of the faculties and capacities with which He has endowed us. C/ See Surat Al-Imran 3 verse 27 and commentary, and Surat Al-An’am 6 verse 95 and commentary, and Surat Al-Rum 30 verse 19. D/This is the summing-up of the argument. The government of the whole Creation and its maintenance and sustenance are in the hands of God. How futile then would it be to neglect His true worship and go after false gods?
(Verse 32)- The wonderful handwork and wisdom of God having been referred to –as the real Truth- as against the false worship and false gods that men set up, it follows that to disregard the Truth must lead us into woeful wrong; not only in our belief but in our conduct. We shall err and stray and be lost. How then can we turn away from the Truth?
(Verse 33)- Disobedience to God brings its own terrible consequences on ourselves. The Law, the Word, the Decree of God must be fulfilled. If we go to false gods, our Faith will be dimmed, and then extinguished. Our spiritual faculties will be dead.
(Verses 34-35-36)- The argument is now turned in another direction. The false gods can neither create out-of-nothing, nor sustain the creative energy which maintains the world. Nor can they give any guidance which can of use for the future destiny of mankind: on the contrary they themselves (assuming they were men who were defied) stand in need of such guidance. Why then follow vain fancies, instead of going to the source of all knowledge, truth, and guidance, and worship, serve, and obey the One True God?
(Verse 37)- The Book: see Surat Al-Imran 3 verse 23 and commentary (a portion of the Book: I conceive that God’s revelation as a whole throughout the ages is “The Book”. The Law of Moses and the Gospel of Jesus were portions of the Book. The Qur’an completes the revelation and is per a completeness excellence to the Book of God.
The commentators mention a particular incident when a dispute was submitted by the Jews for arbitration to the Holy Apostle (PPBUH). He appealed to the authority of their own books, but they tried to conceal and prevaricate. The general lesson is that the People of the Book should have been the first to welcome in Muhammad (PPBUH) the living exponent of the Message of God as a whole, and some of them did so; but others turned away –deceived by their guilty-arrogance, relying on corrupted texts and doctrines forged out of their own fancies, though they were not comfortable to reason and good sense). God’s revelation throughout the ages is one. The Qur’an confirms, fulfills, completes, and further explains the one true revelation, which has been sent by the One True God in all ages.
(Verse 38)- See Surat Al-Bagara 2 verse 23 and commentary:- (How do we know that there is revelation, and it is from God? Here is a concrete test: The Teacher of God’s Truth has placed before you many Suras# can you produce one like it? If there is any one besides God who can inspire spiritual truth in such noble language, then produce your evidence. Or is it that your doubts are merely argumentative, refractory against your own inner light or conscience? All true revelation in itself is a miracle, and stands on its own merits).
(Verse 38)- Ta-aweel: elucidation, explanation, final fulfillment, as in Surat Al-A’raf 7 verse 53 and commentary:- ( If those without Faith want to wait and see what happens in the Hereafter, they will indeed learn the truth, but it will be too late for them to profit by it then. All the false ideals and false gods which they put their trust upon will leave them in the lurch. If they thought that the goodness or greatness of others would help them, they will be undeceived on the day when their personal responsibility will be enforced. There will be no salvation except on their own record. How they will then wish that they had another chance! But their chance will be gone). The Message of God not only gives us rules for our every-day conduct, but speaks of high matters of mystic significance, which require elucidation in three ways: (1) by instruction from Teachers of great spiritual experience, (2) by experience from actual facts of life, and (3) by the final fulfillment of the hopes and warnings which we now take on trust through our Faith. The Unbelievers reject God’s Message simply because they cannot understand it an without giving it even a chance of elucidation in any of these ways.
(Verses 39-40)- Wrong-doers always came to grief ultimately. The true course of history shows it from a broad standpoint. But they are so headstrong that they prejudge issues in their ignorance before they are decided.
(Illustration verses 41-70:_ Men but wrong their own souls in shutting out the Truth of God. To Him will be their return. They have been warned at all time and among all peoples by chosen Apostles of God, whom they have flouted. The Day will come when they will see the majesty, the glory, the goodness, and the justice of God. But they invent fancies and falsehoods. Let not their blasphemies and falsehoods grieve the men of God; for falsehoods and false ones will never prosper).
(Verse 41)- When the man of God is rejected and charged with falsehood, he does not give up his work, but continues to teach and preach his Message. He can well say to those who interfere with him: “Mind your own business: supposing your charge against me is true, you incur no responsibility: I have to answer for it before God: and I do my duty and deliver my Message; your rejection does not make me liable for your wrong-doing: you will have to answer before God”.
(Verses 42-43)- See Surat Al-An’am 6 verses 36, 39 commentary There is a double meaning here: (1) If people listen to the truth sincerely and earnestly, they must believe; even if the spiritual faculty is dead, God will –by His Grace- revive it and they will come to Him, if they really try earnestly to understand. (2) The sincere will believe; but those whose hearts are dead will not listen, yet they cannot escape being brought to the Judgment Seat before Him. Signs are all around them, but they do not understand. If they want a particular Sign to suit their gross ignorance, they will not be humored, for they can always pick holes in anything that descends to their level. “ANIMALS/CREATURES LIVING ON THE EARTH” include those living in the water –fishes, reptiles, crustaceans, insects, as well as four-footed beasts. Life on the wing is separately mentioned. (Ta’ir-طائر) which is ordinarily translated as a “bird” is anything that flies, including mammals like bats. In our pride we may exclude animals from our purview, but they all live a life, social and individual, like ourselves, and all life is subject to the Plan and Will of God. In verse 59 (to come) we are told that not a leaf falls but by His Will and things dry and green are recorded in His Book. In other words they all obey His archetypal Plan, the Book which is also mentioned here. They are all answerable in their several degrees to His Plan (“shall be gathered to their Lord in the end”). This is not Pantheism: it is ascribing all life, activity, and existence of the Will and Plan of God. The limited free will of man makes a little difference. If he sees the Signs but shuts his ears to the true Message, and refuses (like a dump thing) to speak out the Message which all Nature proclaims then according to the Plan (of his limited free will) he must suffer and wander, just as – in the opposite case- he will receive grace and salvation). Hypocrites go to hear and see some great Teacher, but they get no profit out of it because they are not sincerely seeking the truth. They are like the blind, or the deaf, or the imbeciles. It is impossible to guide them, because they have not the will to be guided.
(Verse 44)- God cannot be blamed for man’s evil, nor will He deal unjustly with man. He has given him faculties and means of guidance. If man goes wrong, it is because he wrongs himself.
(verse 45)- A/In eternity our life on this earth will look as if it had been just a little part of our little day, and also will appear any interval between our death and the call to Judgment. B/ We shall retain some perception of our mutual relations on earth, so that the righteous judgment –which will be pronounced- will be intelligible to us, and we shall be convinced of its righteousness.
(Verse 46)- The Apostle is assured that the end of evil is evil, as just the end of good is good. Whether this result is made plain before his very eyes in his own life-time or afterwards, no difference. The wicked should not rejoice if they are given rope and seem to have the upper hand for a time, nor should the righteous lose heart; for God’s promise is sure and must come to pass. And in any case, the scales can only be partially, if at all, adjusted to this life. There is the final and complete adjustment on the Day of Judgment. God is All-Knowing, and all truth will be before Him.
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