Surat Hud (The Prophet Hud) 11 – Meccan – Ayats 123 Section Eight – Ayats 110-123

Wahba Mahmoud Diyab

We certainly gave the Book to Moses, but differences arose therein; and had it not been a Word had gone forth from your Lord, the matter would have been  decided between them; and indeed they are in suspicious and grave doubt concerning it (the Qur’an) (110) وَلَقَدْ آَتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ فَاخْتُلِفَ فِيهِ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةٌ سَبَقَتْ مِنْ رَبِّكَ لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِنْهُ مُرِيبٍ (110)
And verily, of a surety, to each of them your Lord will pay back (in full the recompense) of their deeds. Surely, He is All-Acquainted, and Knows well all that they do. (111) وَإِنَّ كُلًّا لَمَّا لَيُوَفِّيَنَّهُمْ رَبُّكَ أَعْمَالَهُمْ إِنَّهُ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ (111)
Therefore, stand firm (in the Straight Path) as you [O’ Muhammad-PPBUH] are commanded; you and those who are with you, turn (to God); and do not transgress (from the Path). Verily, He is All-Seer of all what you do. (112) فَاسْتَقِمْ كَمَا أُمِرْتَ وَمَنْ تَابَ مَعَكَ وَلَا تَطْغَوْا إِنَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ (112)
And do not incline toward those who do wrong, lest the Fire will seize you, and you have no protectors other than God, nor shall you be helped. (113) وَلَا تَرْكَنُوا إِلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا فَتَمَسَّكُمُ النَّارُ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مِنْ أَوْلِيَاءَ ثُمَّ لَا تُنْصَرُونَ (113)
And establish/perform regular prayers at the two ends of the day, and at the approaches of the night (some hours in the night). Verily, those things –that are good- remove (the stains) those are evil. But that is a remembrance to those who mindful (accept advice) and remember. (114) وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِنَ اللَّيْلِ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ذَلِكَ ذِكْرَى لِلذَّاكِرِينَ (114)
And be steadfast in patience, for verily, God will not suffer the reward of the righteous to perish. (115) وَاصْبِرْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ (115)
Why there were not –among the generations before you- persons possessed of balanced good sense, prohibiting (men) from mischief in the earth, except a few among them whom We have saved them (from harm)? But the wrong-doers pursued the enjoyment of the good things of life which were given to them, and persisted in sin. (116) فَلَوْلَا كَانَ مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ أُولُو بَقِيَّةٍ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْفَسَادِ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِمَّنْ أَنْجَيْنَا مِنْهُمْ وَاتَّبَعَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مَا أُتْرِفُوا فِيهِ وَكَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ (116)
Nor your Lord will be the One to destroy the town/ villages/communities for a single wrong-doing, if its members were likely to mend/right doers. (117) وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ لِيُهْلِكَ الْقُرَى بِظُلْمٍ وَأَهْلُهَا مُصْلِحُونَ (117)
And if your Lord had so Willed, He could have made mankind One People (one nation); but they still will not cease to dispute. (118) وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ لَجَعَلَ النَّاسَ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَا يَزَالُونَ مُخْتَلِفِينَ (118)
Except those; on whom your Lord has bestowed His Mercy: and for this He did created them. And the Word of your Lord shall be fulfilled: “Surely, I will fill Hell with Jinns and men all together”! (119) إِلَّا مَنْ رَحِمَ رَبُّكَ وَلِذَلِكَ خَلَقَهُمْ وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ لَأَمْلَأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ (119)
And all that We relate to you [O’ Muhammad-PPBUH] of the news/stories of the Apostles, in order that with it We make your heart firm and strong thereby. And in this (the Qur’an) has come to you the Truth, as well as an exhortation and a message of remembrance to those who believe. (120) وَكُلًّا نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ أَنْبَاءِ الرُّسُلِ مَا نُثَبِّتُ بِهِ فُؤَادَكَ وَجَاءَكَ فِي هَذِهِ الْحَقُّ وَمَوْعِظَةٌ وَذِكْرَى لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ (120)
And say to those who do not believe: “Act according to your ability/do whatever you can. We shall do our part/ act in our way. (121) وَقُلْ لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ اعْمَلُوا عَلَى مَكَانَتِكُمْ إِنَّا عَامِلُونَ (121)
“And you wait! We too are within!” (122) وَانْتَظِرُوا إِنَّا مُنْتَظِرُونَ (122)
To God belongs the unseen (secrets) of the heavens and the earth, and to Him goes back every affair (all affairs for decision). So worship Him, and put your trust in Him; and (surely) your Lord is not unmindful of aught that you do. (123) وَلِلَّهِ غَيْبُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُ الْأَمْرُ كُلُّهُ فَاعْبُدْهُ َتَوَكَّلْ عَلَيْهِ وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ (123)

(Verse 110)- A/See Surat Yunus 10 verse 19. Previous revelations are not to be denied or dishonored, because those who nominally go by them have corrupted and deprived them of the spiritual value by their vain controversies and disputes. It was possible to settle such disputes under the flag, as it were, of the old Revelations, but God’s Plan was to revive and rejuvenate His Message through Islam amongst a newer and younger people, unhampered by the burden of age-long prejudices. B/See verse 62. There is always in human affairs the conflict between the old and the new,- the worn-out system of our ancestors, and the fresh living spring of God’s inspiration fitting in with new times, and new surroundings. The advocates of the former look upon this latter –not only with intellectual doubt- but with moral suspicion, and did the People of the Book upon Islam, with its fresh outlook and vigorous realistic way of looking at things.
(Verse 111-112-113)- See verse 109 above, with which the argument is now connected up by recalling the characteristic word (“pay-back”) and leading to the exhortation (in verses following) to stand firm in the right path freshly revealed.
(Verses 114-115)- A/’The two ends of the day’: Morning and afternoon. The Morning Prayer is the Fajr, after the light is up but before sunrise; we thus get up betimes and begin the day with the remembrance of God and of our duty to Him, just as an ambassador might start on his journey after saluting his king and receiving his blessing. The early afternoon prayer (al-zuhr) is immediately afternoon, we are in the midst of our daily life, and again we remember God. B/ ’Approaches of the night’: Zulfan-???? : plural of Zulfatun-???? : an approach, something near at hand. As Arabic has –like Greek- a dual number distinct from the plural number is used here, and not the dual, it is reasonable to argue that at least three “approaches of the night” are meant. The late afternoon prayer, (Al-Asr), can be one of these three, and the evening prayer, (Al-Maghrib), just after the sunset, can be second. The early night prayer, (Al-‘Ishaa), at supper time when the glow of sunset is disappearing, would be the third of the ‘approaches of the night’, when we commit ourselves to God before sleep. These are the five canonical prayers of Islam. C/”Those things that are good”: in this context the words refer primarily to prayers and sacred thoughts, but they include all good thoughts, good words, good deeds. It is by them that we keep away everything that is evil, whether reflecting to the past, the present, or the future.
(Verse 116)- A/’Al-Baqiyat-???????? : some virtue or facility that stands assault and is lasting; balanced good sense that stands firm to virtue and is not dazzled by the lusts and pleasures of this world, and is not deterred by fear from boldly condemning wrong if it was fashionable or customary. It is leaders possessed of such character that can save a nation from disaster or perdition. The scarcity of such leaders -and the rejection of the few who stood out- brought ruin among the nations whose examples has already been set out to us as a warning. See verse 86 the word has a more literal meaning. B/The exceptional men of firm virtue would have been destroyed by the wicked -to whom they were an offence- had they not been saved by the grace and mercy of God. Or perhaps –but for such grace- they might themselves have succumbed to the evil around them, or been overwhelmed in the general calamity.
(Verse 117)-There are different shades of interpretation for this verse. I follow Al-Baidhawi in construing “Zulmin-???” here as a ‘single wrong’. He thinks that the wrong referred to is ‘Shirk- ???’: or polytheism: God will not destroy for mere wrong belief if the conduct is right. I include interpreting in more general terms. God is Long-Suffering and Oft-Forgiving: He is too merciful to destroy for a single wrong, if there is any hope of reclaiming the wrong-doers to repentance and amendment or right life. An alternative interpretation is: “to destroy communities unjustly”.
(Verse 118)- See Surat Yunus 10 verse 19. All mankind might have been one. But in God’s Plan man was to have a certain measure of free-will, and this made differences inevitable. This would not have mattered if all had honestly sought God. But selfishness and moral wrong came in, and people’s disputations became mixed up with hatred, jealousy, and sin, except in the case of those who accepted God’s grace, which saved them. The object for their creation was to raise them up spiritually by God’s grace. But if they will choose that path of evil and fall into sin, God’s decree must be fulfilled, and His Justice will take its course. In the course of that justice Hell will be filled with men and spirits, such in the number of those who go astray.
(Verse 119)- See Surat Al-A’raf 7 verses 18 and 179. If Satan and his evil spirit tempt men from the path of rectitude, the responsibility of the tempted –which choose the path of evil-, is no less than that of the tempters, and they will both be involved in punishment.
(Verse 120)- The stories of the Prophets in the Qur’an are not mere narratives of histories; they involve three things: (1) they teach the highest spiritual Truth; (2) they give advice, direction, and warning as to how we should govern our lives; and (3) they awaken our conscience and recall to us the working of God’s Law in the human affairs. The story of Joseph in the next Surat is an illustration in point.
(Verse 121)- Verse 93- as in Surat Al-An ‘am 6 verse 135. ‘The worst that you can do will not defeat God’s Plan; and as for us who believe, our obvious duty is to do our part as taught to us by God’s Revelation.
(Verse 122)-Verse 93; and Surat Yunus 10 verse 102. If the wicked only wait, they will see how God’s Plan unfolded itself. As for those who believe, they are glad to wait in perfect confidence, because they know that God is good and merciful, as well as just and true.
(Verse 123)- See Surat Al-Bagara 2 verse 210. There is nothing –secret or open- in our world or in Creation, which does not depend ultimately on God’s Will and Plan. Every affair goes back to Him for decision. Therefore we must worship Him and trust Him. Worship implies many things, e.g., (1) trying to understand His nature and His Will, (2) realizing His goodness and glory, and His working in us, as a means to this end, (3) keeping Him in constant remembrance and celebrating His praise, to whom all praise is due; and (4) completely identifying our will with His, which means obedience to His Law, and service to Him and His creatures in all sincerity.
HADEETH SHARIF:
(Verse 113: The sin of the person who gives refuge or helps a person who innovates a heresy (in the religion) commits sins. (This has been narrated by ‘Ali on the authority of the Prophet-PPBUH). Narrated ‘Asim: I said to Anas:’Did God’s Messenger [PPBUH] make Al-Medina a sanctuary?’ He replied:’ Yes, Al-Medina is a sanctuary from such and such place to such and such place. It is forbidden to cut its trees and whoever innovate a heresy in it or commits a sin therein, will incur the Curse of God, the Angels, and all the people”. Then Musa bin Anas told me that Anas added:”…or give refuge to such a heretic or a sinner…” {Sahih Al-Bukhari}. Verse 114: A) Narrated Ibn Mas’ud: A man kissed a woman and then came to the God’s Messenger [PPBUH] and told him of that. So this Divine Revelation was revealed to the Prophet [PPBUH] (And establish/perform regular prayers at the two ends of the day, and at the approaches of the night (some hours in the night). Verily, those things –that are good- remove (the stains) those are evil. But that is a remembrance to those who mindful (accept advice) and remember (114). The man said “Is this instruction for me only?” the Prophet [PPBUH] said:”it is for all those of my followers who encounter a similar situation”. {Sahih Al-Bukhari}. B) Narrated Abu Dhar: God’s Messenger [PPBUH] said to me :”( a) be afraid of God and keep your duty to Him wherever you may be. (b) And follow up the evil deeds with good deeds, (verily) the good deeds remove (blot out) the evil deeds. (C) and (treat) behave with the people in a high standard of character”. {This Hadith is quoted by Al-Qurtubi).

 

 

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