SURAT HUD (The Prophet HUD) 11 – MECCAN – AYATS 123 SECTION – SIX – AYATS 77-95

IN THE NAME OF GOD, the MOST GRACIOUS the MOST MERCIFUL بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم
And when Our Messengers came to Lot, he was grieved on their account, and he felt himself powerless (to protect) them. He said: “This is a distressful day”. (77) وَلَمَّا جَاءَتْ رُسُلُنَا لُوطًا سِيءَ بِهِمْ وَضَاقَ بِهِمْ ذَرْعًا وَقَالَ هَذَا يَوْمٌ عَصِيبٌ (77)
And his people came rushing towards him, and they had been long in the habit of practicing abominations. He said: “O’ my people! Here are my daughters; they are purer for you (if you marry)! Now fear God, and cover me not with shame and disgrace me concerning my guests! Is there not among you a single right-minded man?” (78) وَجَاءَهُ قَوْمُهُ يُهْرَعُونَ إِلَيْهِ وَمِنْ قَبْلُ كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ هَؤُلَاءِ بَنَاتِي هُنَّ أَطْهَرُ لَكُمْ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُخْزُونِ فِي ضَيْفِي أَلَيْسَ مِنْكُمْ رَجُلٌ رَشِيدٌ (78)
They said: “Surely, you well know that we have neither any desire, nor need of your daughters, and indeed you know well what we want!” (79) قَالُوا لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَا لَنَا فِي بَنَاتِكَ مِنْ حَقٍّ وَإِنَّكَ لَتَعْلَمُ مَا نُرِيدُ (79)
He said: “If only I had –against you- some power to suppress you, or that I could betake myself to some powerful support”. (80) قَالَ لَوْ أَنَّ لِي بِكُمْ قُوَّةً أَوْ آَوِي إِلَى رُكْنٍ شَدِيدٍ (80)
(The Messengers) said: “O’ Lot! We are Messengers from your Lord; by no means shall they reach you! Now travel with your family, while yet a part of the night remains, and let not any of you look back; but your wife (will remain behind). Verily, the punishment which will afflict them will afflict her. Indeed, the morning is their appointed time; is not the morning is nigh?” (81) قَالُوا يَا لُوطُ إِنَّا رُسُلُ رَبِّكَ لَنْ يَصِلُوا إِلَيْكَ فَأَسْرِ بِأَهْلِكَ بِقِطْعٍ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ وَلَا يَلْتَفِتْ مِنْكُمْ أَحَدٌ إِلَّا امْرَأَتَكَ إِنَّهُ مُصِيبُهَا مَا أَصَابَهُمْ إِنَّ مَوْعِدَهُمُ الصُّبْحُ أَلَيْسَ الصُّبْحُ بِقَرِيبٍ (81)
So when Our Commandment Decree issued, We turned (the cities) upside down, and rained on them brimstones, hard as baked clay, spread, and layer on layer. (82) فَلَمَّا جَاءَ أَمْرُنَا جَعَلْنَا عَالِيَهَا سَافِلَهَا وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهَا حِجَارَةً مِنْ سِجِّيلٍ مَنْضُودٍ (82)
Marked as from your Lord; and they are never far from those who do wrong (polytheists/transgressors/evildoers). (83) مُسَوَّمَةً عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ وَمَا هِيَ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ بِبَعِيدٍ (83)
And to the Madyan (Median) people (We sent) Shu’aib –one of their brethren- he said: “O’ my people! Worship God; you have no other god but Him, and do not give short measure or weight, I see you in prosperity, but verily, I fear for you the Penalty of a Day that will compass (you) all around”. (84) وَإِلَى مَدْيَنَ أَخَاهُمْ شُعَيْبًا قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ إِلَهٍ غَيْرُهُ وَلَا تَنْقُصُوا الْمِكْيَالَ وَالْمِيزَانَ إِنِّي أَرَاكُمْ بِخَيْرٍ وَإِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ مُحِيطٍ (84)
“And O’ my people! Give full and just measure and weight, and do not withheld from the people the things that are their due, and do not commit evil in the land with intent causing mischief and corruption!” (85) وَيَا قَوْمِ أَوْفُوا الْمِكْيَالَ وَالْمِيزَانَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلَا تَبْخَسُوا النَّاسَ أَشْيَاءَهُمْ وَلَا تَعْثَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ (85)
“That which is left by God for you (after giving the rights of the people) is better for you if you are Believers! And I am not a guardian over you/not set to keep watch over you!” (86) بَقِيَّةُ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ وَمَا أَنَا عَلَيْكُمْ بِحَفِيظٍ (86)
They said: “O’ Shu’aib! Does your (religion of) prayer commands you that we leave our off the worship which our fathers practiced, or that we leave off doing what we like with our property?  Indeed, you are the forbearing, the discerning, the right-minded!” (87) قَالُوا يَا شُعَيْبُ أَصَلَاتُكَ تَأْمُرُكَ أَنْ نَتْرُكَ مَا يَعْبُدُ آَبَاؤُنَا أَوْ أَنْ نَفْعَلَ فِي أَمْوَالِنَا مَا نَشَاءُ إِنَّكَ لَأَنْتَ الْحَلِيمُ الرَّشِيدُ (87)
He said: “O’ my people! See if whether I have a Clear (Sign) from my Lord, and He has given me sustenance (pure and) good as from Himself? I wish not –in opposition/contradiction to you- to do that which I forbid you to do. I only desire (your) betterment to the best of my power; and my success (in my task) can only come from God. In Him I Trust, and to Him I repent/return/turn penitent!” (88) قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُ عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّي وَرَزَقَنِي مِنْهُ رِزْقًا حَسَنًا وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَنْ أُخَالِفَكُمْ إِلَى مَا أَنْهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ إِنْ أُرِيدُ إِلَّا الْإِصْلَاحَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ وَمَا تَوْفِيقِي إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْهِ أُنِيبُ (88)
“And O’ my people! Let not my dissent (from you) cause you to sin, lest you suffer a fate similar to that of the people of Noah, or of HUD, or of Salih, nor are the people of Lot far off from you!” (90) وَيَا قَوْمِ لَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شِقَاقِي أَنْ يُصِيبَكُمْ مِثْلُ مَا أَصَابَ قَوْمَ نُوحٍ أَوْ قَوْمَ هُودٍ أَوْ قَوْمَ صَالِحٍ وَمَا قَوْمُ لُوطٍ مِنْكُمْ بِبَعِيدٍ (89)
“And ask forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him (in repentance). Verily, my Lord is Most Merciful, Most Loving and Kindness!” (91) وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ إِنَّ رَبِّي رَحِيمٌ وَدُودٌ (90)
They said: “O’ Shu’aib! We do not understand or comprehend much of what you say! And among us we see that you have no strength/weak; and were it not of your clan/family, we should have certainly stoned you! And among us you have no great position/powerful/mighty position against us!” (91) قَالُوا يَا شُعَيْبُ مَا نَفْقَهُ كَثِيرًا مِمَّا تَقُولُ وَإِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِينَا ضَعِيفًا وَلَوْلَا رَهْطُكَ لَرَجَمْنَاكَ وَمَا أَنْتَ عَلَيْنَا بِعَزِيزٍ (91)
He said: “O’ my people! Is it my family/clan of more consideration with you than God? And you cast Him away behind your backs (with contempt). But verily, my Lord encompasses –on all sides- all that you do!” (92) قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ أَرَهْطِي أَعَزُّ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَاتَّخَذْتُمُوهُ وَرَاءَكُمْ ظِهْرِيًّا إِنَّ رَبِّي بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ مُحِيطٌ (92)
“And O’ my people! Do whatever you can/act according to your ability and way; I will do/act (on my way/part). Soon you will know who it is on whom descends the Penalty/Torment of ignominy, and who is a liar! And you watch! For I –too- am watching with you!” (93) وَيَا قَوْمِ اعْمَلُوا عَلَى مَكَانَتِكُمْ إِنِّي عَامِلٌ سَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ يَأْتِيهِ عَذَابٌ يُخْزِيهِ وَمَنْ هُوَ كَاذِبٌ وَارْتَقِبُوا إِنِّي مَعَكُمْ رَقِيبٌ (93)
And when Our Commandment Decree issued/came; We saved Shu’aib and those who are with him by (special) Mercy from Ourselves. But the (mighty) blast (awful cry) did seize the wrong-doers, and they lay prostrate in their homes by the morning. (94) وَلَمَّا جَاءَ أَمْرُنَا نَجَّيْنَا شُعَيْبًا وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا مَعَهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِنَّا وَأَخَذَتِ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا الصَّيْحَةُ فَأَصْبَحُوا فِي دِيَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ (94)
As if they had never dwelt and flourished there! Ah! Behold! (away with) how the Madyan were removed (from sight) as were removed the Thamud! (95) كَأَنْ لَمْ يَغْنَوْا فِيهَا أَلَا بُعْدًا لِمَدْيَنَ كَمَا بَعِدَتْ ثَمُودُ (95)

Wahba Mahmoud Diyab

(Verse 77)- The story of Lot –as referred to in Surat Al-A’raf 7 verse 80-84- laid emphasis on the rejection of Lot’s mission by men who practiced unnatural abominations (see Surat Al-A’raf 7 verse 80 and commentary). Here the emphasis is laid on God’s dealings with men; in mercy for true spiritual service and in righteous wrath and punishment for those who defy the laws of nature established by Him;- also on men’s dealings with each other and the contrast between the righteous and the wicked who respect no laws human or divine.
(Verses 78-79)- The Biblical narrative suggests that the daughters were married and their husbands were close (Gen. Xix. 14= {So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, the men who had married his ‘other’ daughters. Lot said: “Hurry and leave this city! The Lord will soon destroy it!” But those men thought Lost was joking}.), and that these same daughters afterwards committed incest with their father and had children by him (Gen. xix- 31={One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Everywhere on earth, men and women marry [and have family]. But our father is old and there are no men around here to give us children}). The holy Qur’an nowhere suggests such abominations. Some Commentators suggests that “my daughters” in the mouth of a venerable man like Lot, the father of his people, may mean any young girls of those Towns. “My son (waladi-????) is still a common mode of address in Arabic speaking countries when an elderly man addresses a young man.
(Verse 80)- Lot seemed helpless in the situation in which he found himself in , alone against a rabble of people inflamed with evil passion. He wished he had had the strength to suppress them himself or had had some powerful support to lean on! But the powerful support was there, though he had not realized it till then. It was the support of God. His guests were not ordinary men, but Angels who had come to test the people before they inflicted the punishment. They now declared themselves, and gave him directions to get away before the morning, when the punishment would descend on the doomed Cities of the Plain.
(Verse 81)- Even in Lot’s household was one who detracted from the harmony of the family. She was disobedient to her husband, and he was here obeying God’s Command. She looked back and shared the fate of the wicked inhabitants of the Cities of the Plain (see Surat Al-Tahreem 66 verse 10). The Biblical narrative suggests that she was turned into a pillar of salt. (Gen. xix- 26 –{While they were running away. Lot’s wife looked back at the city and became a block of salt}).
(Verse 82)- A/ see Surat Al-A’raf 7 verse 84 and commentary. B/ Sijjil=?????: a Persian word Arabicised Sang-o-gil, or Sang-i-gil, stone and clay, or hard as baked clay according to the Qamus. Sodom and Gomorrah were in a tract of hard, cakey, sulphurous soil, to which this description well applies. In Surat Al-Zariat 51 verse 33: where the words are “stones of clay”-(Hijaratan-min-tin), in connection with the same incident. On the other hand, in Surat Al-Fil 105 verse 4, the word Sijjil: ????? is used for pellets of hard-baked clay in connection with Araha and the Companions of the Elephant.
(Verse 83)- A/If we take the words literally, they would mean that the showers of brimstones were marked with the destiny of the wicked as described by God. But would it not be better to take them figuratively, to mean that the shower of brimstones was especially appointed in God’s Decree or Plan to mark the punishment of the crimes of Sodom and Gomorrah? B/Nor are They ever far: hiya-?? : some Commentators take the pronoun to refer to the wicked cities so destroyed; the meaning then would be those wicked cities were not so different from other cities that do wrong, for they would all suffer similar punishment! Perhaps it would be better to refer “they” to the stones of punishment by a metonymy for ‘punishment’: ‘punishment would not be far from any people that did wrong.
(Verse 84)- A/See Surat Al-A’raf 7 verses 85/93. The location of Madyan is explained in the notes of verse 85 of Surat Al-A’raf 7, and the chronological place of Shu’aib in verse 93 of Surat Al-A’raf 7. The point of the reference here is different from that in Surat Al-A’raf. Here the emphasis is on God’s dealings with men and men’s crooked and obstinate ways: there the emphasis was rather on their treatment of their Prophet, thus throwing light on some of the sins of the Meccans in later times. B/The Midianites were a commercial people, and their besetting sin was commercial selfishness and fraudulent dealings in weights and measures. Their Prophet tells them that is the surest way to cut short their ‘prosperity’ both in the material and spiritual sense. When the Day of Judgment comes, it will search out their dealings through and through: “it will compass them all around” and they will not be able to escape then, however much they may conceal their frauds in this world.
(Verse 85)- Both Plato and Aristotle define justice as the virtue which gives everyone his due. From this point of view Justice becomes the master virtue, and includes most other virtues. It was the lack of this that ruined the Midianites. Their selfishness was “intent in mischief”, i.e. spoiling other people’s business by not giving them their just dues.
(Verse 86)- God’s Law does not require that a man should deprive himself of the things that are necessary for his own well-being and development. If he follows God’s Law, what is left for him after he renders to others their just dues will be –on only enough- but will be the best possible provision for hisd own physical and spiritual growth. Even the kindness and consideration which God’s Law inculcates are in the best interests of the man’s own soul. But of course the kindness and consideration must be spontaneous. It must flow from the man’s own will, and cannot be forced on him by the Teachers who come from God to show him the way.
(Verse 87)- A/ It is the way of selfish and material minded people: (1) to scoff at spiritual things like prayer and worship, and (2) to hug their own property rights as if there were no other rights even greater than those of property. B/ They grow sarcastic against Shu’aib. In effect they say: “You are a fine man! You teach us that we must be kind and forbearing with other people’s faults, and now get at what you call our sins! You think you are the only right minded man!”
(Verse 88)- Shu’aib’s answer is gentle and persuasive. First, he would ask them not to fly into a passion, but satisfy themselves that he had a mission from God, and was working in the discharge of his mission: he was not merely finding fault with them. Secondly, though he was a poor man, he asked them to note that he was happy and comfortable: God had given him good sustenance, material and spiritual, as from Himself, though he did not resort to the sort of tricks which they considered necessary for their prosperity. Thirdly, if he forbade them anything he wished to apply the same standards to himself. Fourthly, all the advice which he is giving them is for their own good, which he desires to advance to the utmost of his powers. Fifthly, he is humble for himself: he would not set himself up to be their teacher or guide, or expect to be obeyed; the success of any of his efforts on their behalf must come from God’s grace, will they not therefore turn to God, so that God’s grace can heal them?!
(Verses 89-90)- A/Finally, Shu’aib appeals to them as man to man: “Because I differ from you, do not think I do not love you, or feel for you. Let it not drive you into obstinacy and sin. I see things that you do not. My vision takes in the fate of previous generations who sinned, and perished on account of their sins. Turn therefore to God in repentance”. B/ The generation of Lot were not far off from the generation of Shu’aib chronologically, if Shu’aib was only in the fourth generation from Abraham (see notes on verse 93 Surat Al-A’raf 7). Nor was its habitat geographically far from that of Shu’aib, as the Midianites wandered about from Sinai Peninsula to the Jordan valley (see notes of verse 85 Surat Al-A’raf 7).
(Verse 91)- A/Spiritual things are easy to understand if we bring the right mind to them. But those who are contemptuous of them deliberately shut their eyes to God’s Signs, and then pretend –in their superior arrogance- that they are ‘quite beyond the’!- B/ What they do understand is brute strength. They practically say: “Don’t you see that we have all the power and influence, and you -Shu’aib- are only a poor Teacher? We could stone you or imprison you or do what we like with you! Thank us for our kindness that we spare you-, for the sake of your family. It is more than you yourself deserve!”
(Verse 92)-See Surat Al-Anfal 8 verse 47.
(Verse 93)- A/See verse 135 Surat Al-An’am 6 and the notes. B/If the wicked will continue to blaspheme and mock, what can the godly say but the? – “Watch and wait! God’s Plan works without fail! I have faith, and I too will watch you for its fulfillment. See Surat Yunus 10 verse 102 and notes.
(Verse 94)- See verses 58 and 66 and the notes.
(Verse 95)- refers to verses 67-68. The blast was probably the tremendous noise which accompanies volcanic eruptions.

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