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Monday, August 16, 2010



2:6 - As to those who reject Faith it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe. 30

30 Kafara kufr, kafr, and derivative forms of the word, imply a deliberate rejection of Faith as opposed to a mistaken idea of God or faith, which is not inconsistent with an earnest desire to see the truth. Where there is such desire, the grace and mercy of God gives guidance. But that guidance is not efficacious when it is deliberately rejected and the possibility of rejection follows from the grant of free will. The consequence of the rejection is that the spiritual faculties become dead or impervious to better influences. See also n. 93 to ii.88. (2.6)

2:7 -Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur). 31 32

6:46 - Say: "Think ye if Allah took away your hearing and your sight and sealed up your hearts who a god other than Allah could restore them to you? See how We explain the Signs by various (symbols): Yet they turn aside. 864

6:65 - Say: "He hath power to send calamities on you from above and below or to cover you with confusion in party strife giving you a taste of mutual vengeance each from the other." See how We explain the Signs by various (symbols) that they may understand. 888 889

6:104 - "Now have come to you from your Lord proofs to open your eyes: if any will see it will be for (the good of) his own soul; if any will be blind it will be to his own (harm): I am not (here) to watch over your doings." 932

2:141 - That was a people that hath passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what they did and ye of what ye do! Of their merits there is no question in your case. 139

2:164- Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth; (here) indeed are signs for a people that are wise. 166

2:175 - They are the ones who buy error in place of guidance and torment in place of forgiveness. Ah! what boldness (they show) for the Fire!

2:216 - Fighting is prescribed for you and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth and ye know not. 236

2:268 - The Evil One threatens you with poverty and bids you to conduct unseemly. Allah promiseth you His forgiveness and bounties and Allah careth for all and He knoweth all things. 318

318 Good and evil draw us opposite ways and by opposite motives, and the contrast is well marked out in charity. When we think of doing some real act of kindness or charity, we are assailed with doubts and fear of impoverishment; but Evil supports any tendency to selfishness, greed, or even to extravagant expenditure for show, or self-indulgence, or unseemly appetites. On the other hand, God draws us on to all that is kind and good, for that way lies the forgiveness of our sins, and greater real prosperity and satisfaction. No kind or generous act ever ruined anyone. It is false generosity that is sometimes shown as leading to ruin. As God knows all our motives and cares for all, and has everything in His power, it is obvious which course a wise man will choose. But wisdom is rare, and it is only wisdom that can appreciate true well-being and distinguish it from the false appearance of well-being. (2.268)

2:274 - Those who (in charity) spend of their goods by night and by day in secret and in public have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. 323

323 We recapitulate the beauty of charity (i.e. unselfish giving of one's self or one's goods) before we come to its opposite, i.e. the selfish grasping greed of usury against those in need or distress. Charity instead of impoverishing you will enrich you; you will have more happiness and less fear. Contrast it with what follows, - the degredation of the grasping usurer. (2.274)

2:277 - Those who believe and do deeds of righteousness and establish regular prayers and regular charity will have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. 327

327 The contrast between charity and unlawful grasping of wealth began at ii. 274, where this phrase occurs as a theme. Here the theme finishes with the same phrase. The following four verses refer to further concessions on behalf of debtors, as creditors are asked to (a) give up even claims arising out of the past on account of usury, and (b) give time for payment of capital if necessary, or (c) to write off the debt altogether as an act of charity. (2.277)

3:55 - Behold! Allah said: "O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject Faith to the Day of Resurrection; then shall ye all return unto Me and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute. 394 395 396 397

396 Those who follow thee refers to those who followed Jesus in contrast to the Jews who rejected him. (3.55)

3:154 - After (the excitement) of the distress He sent down calm on a band of you overcome with slumber while another band was stirred to anxiety by their own feelings moved by wrong suspicions of Allah suspicions due to ignorance. They said: "What affair is this of ours?" say thou: "indeed this affair is wholly Allah's." They hide in their minds what they dare not reveal to thee. They say (to themselves): "If we had anything to do with this affair we should not have been in the slaughter here." Say: "Even if you had remained in your homes those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death"; but (all this was) that Allah might test what is in your breasts and purge what is in your hearts: for Allah knoweth well the secrets of your hearts. 465 466 467

465 After the first surprise, when the enemy turned on them, a great part of the Muslims did their best, and seeing their mettle, the enemy withdrew to his camp. There was a lull; the wounded had rest; those who had fought the hard fight were visited by kindly Sleep, sweet Nature's nurse. In contrast to them was the band of Hypocrites, whose behaviour is described in the next note. (3.154)

4:66 - If We had ordered them to sacrifice their lives or to leave their homes very few of them would have done it: but if they had done what they were (actually) told it would have been best for them and would have gone farthest to strengthen their (faith). 584

584 The highest in faith willingly sacrifice their lives, their homes, and all that they hold dearest, in the cause of Allah. Those whose faith is not so strong are expected at least to do what a loyal member of any society does, submit his doubts and disputes to the head of the society and cheerfully accept his decision and submit to it. The contrast is between the Hypocrites who will not even do this, and the really devoted men and women who would voluntarily sacrifice their lives. (4.66)

4:79 - Whatever good (O man!) happens to thee is from Allah; but whatever evil happens to thee is from thy (own) soul. And We have sent thee as an Apostle to (instruct) mankind: and enough is Allah for a witness. 598

5:71 - so they became blind and deaf: yet Allah (in mercy) turned to them: yet again many of them became blind and deaf…..

6:17 - "If Allah touch thee with affliction none can remove it but He; if He touch thee with happiness He hath power over all things. 849

6:38 - There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth nor a being that flies on its wings…….

6:39 - Those who reject Our Signs are deaf and dumb in the midst of darkness profound: whom Allah willeth He leaveth to wander whom He willeth He placeth on the way that is straight. 860

6:59 -. Not a leaf doth fall but with His knowledge: there is not a grain in the darkness (or depths) of the earth nor anything fresh or dry (green or withered) but is (inscribed) in a Record Clear (to those who can read). 879 880

6:95 - It is Allah Who causeth the seed-grain and the date-stone to split and sprout. He causeth the living to issue from the dead and He is the one to cause the dead to issue from the living. That is Allah; then how are ye deluded away from the truth? 918 919 920

920 This does not mean that in physical nature there are no limits between life and non-life, between the organic and the non-organic. In fact physicists are baffled at the barrier between them and frankly confess that they cannot solve the mystery of Life. If there is such a barrier in physical nature, is it not all the more wonderful that God can create Life out of nothing? He has but to say, "Be," and it is. He can bring Life from non-Life and annihilate Life. But there are two other senses in which we can contemplate the contrast between the living and the dead. (1) We have just been speaking of the botanical world. Take it as a whole, and see the contrast between the winter of death, the spring of revivification, the summer of growth, and the autumn of decay, leading back to the death of winter. Here is a cycle of living from dead, and dead from living. (2) Take our spiritual life, individual or collective. We rise from the darkness of spiritual nothingness to the light of spiritual life. And if we do not follow the spiritual laws, God will take away that life and we shall be again as dead. We may die many deaths. The keys of life and death are in God's hands. Neither Life nor Death are fortuitous things. Behind them both is the Cause of Causes, -and only He. (6.95)

6:125 - Those whom Allah (in His Plan) willeth to guide He openeth their breast to Islam; those whom He willeth to leave straying He maketh their breast close and constricted as if they had to climb up to the skies: thus doth Allah (heap) the penalty on those who refuse to believe. 947

7:8 - The balance that day will be true (to a nicety): those whose scale (of good) will be heavy will prosper.

7:9 - Those whose scale will be light will find their souls in perdition for that they wrongfully treated our signs.

7:128 - Said Moses to his people: "Pray for help from Allah and (wait) in patience and constancy: for the earth is Allah's to give as a heritage to such of his servants as He pleaseth; and the end is (best) for the righteous. 1085

1085 Notice the contrast between the arrogant tone of Pharaoh and the humility and faith taught by Moses. In the end the arrogance was humbled, and humility and faith were protected and advanced. (7.128)

7:148 - The people of Moses made in his absence out of their ornaments the image of a calf (for worship): it seemed to low: did they not see that it could neither speak to them nor show them the way? They took it for worship and they did wrong. 1112 1113 1114

1112 The making of the golden calf and its worship by the Israelites during the absence of Moses on the Mount were referred to in ii. 51, and some further details are given in xx. 95-97. Notice how in each case only those points are referred to which are necessary to the argument in hand. A narrator whose object is mere narration, tells the story in all its details, and is done with it. A consummate artist, whose object is to enforce lessons, brings out each point in its proper place. Master of all details, he does not ramble, but with supreme literary skill, just adds the touch that is necessary in each place to complete the spiritual picture. His object is not a story but a lesson. Here notice the contrast between the intense spiritual communion of Moses on the Mount and the simultaneous corruption of his people in his absence. We can understand his righteous indignation and bitter grief (vii. 150). The people had melted all their gold ornaments, and made the image of a calf like the bull of Osiris in the city of Memphis in the wicked Egypt that they had turned their backs upon. (7.148)

7:176 - If it had been Our will We should have elevated him with our signs; but he inclined to the earth and followed his own vain desires. His similitude is that of a dog: if you attack him he lolls out his tongue or if you leave him alone he (still) lolls out his tongue. That is the similitude of those who reject our signs; so relate the story; perchance they may reflect. 1150 1151

1149 Notice the contrast between the exalted spiritual honours which they would have received from Allah if they had followed His Will, and the earthly desires which eventually bring them low to the position of beasts and worse. (7.176)

7:178 - Whom Allah doth guide he is on the right path: whom He rejects from His guidance such are the persons who perish. 1152

7:192 - No aid can they give them nor can they aid themselves!

7:193 - If ye call them to guidance they will not obey: for you it is the same whether ye call them or ye hold your peace! 1166

7:194 - Verily those whom ye call upon besides Allah are servants like unto you: call upon them and let them listen to your prayer if ye are (indeed) truthful! 1167

7:198 - If thou callest them to guidance they hear not. Thou wilt see them looking at thee but they see not. 1169

8:50 - If thou couldst see when the angels take the souls of the unbelievers (at death) (how) they smite their faces and their backs (saying): "Taste the penalty of the blazing fire. 1219

1219 In contrast to the taunt against those who trust in Allah, "that their religion has misled them," is shown the terrible punishment, after death, of those who laughed at Faith. (8.50)

9:105 - And say: "Work (righteousness): soon will Allah observe your work and His apostle and the believers: soon will ye be brought back to the knower of what is hidden and what is open: then will He show you the truth of all that ye did." 1353

1353 The repentant should be encouraged, after their repentance, to amend their conduct. The kindly interest of their brethren in them will strengthen them in virtue and blot out their past. When they go back into Eternity, they will understand the healing grace which saved them, just as the evil ones will then have their eyes opened to the real truth of their spiritual degradation (ix. 94). The similar words, in verse 84 and here, clench the contrast. (9.105)

9:109 - Which then is best? he that layeth his foundation on piety to Allah and His good pleasure? or he that layeth his foundation on an undermined sand-cliff ready to crumble to pieces? And it doth crumble to pieces with him into the fire of Hell. And Allah guideth not people that do wrong. 1359

1359 A man who builds his life on Piety (which includes sincerity and the purity of all motives) and his hopes on the Good Pleasure of Allah, builds on a firm foundation of rock that will never be shaken. In contrast to him is the man who builds on a shifting sand-cliff on the brink of an abyss, already undermined by forces which he does not see. The cliff and the foundations all crumble to pieces along with him, and he is plunged into the Fire of misery from which there is no escape. (9.109)

10:25 - But Allah doth call to the Home of Peace: He doth guide whom He pleaseth to a way that is straight. 1413

1413 In contrast with the ephemeral and uncertain pleasures of this material life, there is a higher life to which Allah is always calling. It is called the Home of Peace. For there is no fear, nor disappointment nor sorrow there. And all are called, and those will be chosen who have sought, not material advantages, but the Good Pleasure of Allah. Salam, Peace, is from the same root as Islam, the Religion of Unity and Harmony. (10.25)

11:9 - If We give man a taste of mercy from Ourselves and then withdraw it from him behold! he is in despair and (falls into) blasphemy. 1506

11:10 - But if We give him a taste of (Our) favors after adversity hath touched him He is sure to say "All evil has departed from me;" Behold! he falls into exultation and pride. 1507

11:11 - Not so do those who show patience and constancy and work righteousness; for them is forgiveness (of sins) and a great reward. 1508

11:77 - When Our Messengers came to Lut he was grieved on their account and felt himself powerless (to protect) them. He said: "This is a distressful day." 1574

1574 The story of Lot, as referred to in vii. 80-84, laid emphasis on the rejection of Lot's mission by men who practised unnatural abominations. See n. 1049 to vii. 80. Here the emphasis is laid on Allah'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. (11.77)

13:19 - Is then one who doth know that that which hath been revealed unto these from thy Lord is the Truth like one who is blind? It is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition 1834

1834 In this section the contrast between Faith and Righteousness on the one hand and Infidelity and Evil on the other is set out. The righteous man is known as one who (1) receives admonition; (2) is true to his covenants; (3) follows the universal Religion of Faith and Practice joined together; (4) is patient and persevering in seeking Allah; and in practical matters he is known to be; (5) regular in prayer; (6) generous in true charity, whether open or secret; and (7) not revengeful, but anxious to turn off evil with good, thus breaking the chain of evil which tends to perpetuate itself. (13.19)

13:25 - But those who break the Covenant of Allah after having plighted their word thereto and cut asunder those things which Allah has commanded to be joined and work mischief in the land on them is the Curse; for them is the terrible Home! 1838 1839

1839 This is in contrast to the state of the blessed, described in xiii. 22-24 above, The Curse is the opposite of the Bliss, and the Terrible Home is the opposite of the Eternal Home, the Gardens of perpetual bliss. (13.25)

13:35 - The parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised! beneath it flow rivers: perpetual is the enjoyment thereof and the shade therein: such is the End of the Righteous; and the End of Unbelievers is the Fire. 1854 1855 1856

1856 In this, as in other places, the Fire is contrasted with the Garden, as Misery is contrasted with Bliss. We can also imagine other incidents in contrast with those of the Garden, e.g., with the Fire will be drought, aridity, thirst, instead of beautiful rivers; pain and suffering, instead of perpetual delight; no protection against the fierceness of the heat, as contrasted with the cool shades ever deepening as you proceed in the Garden. (13.35)

14:24 - Seest thou not how Allah sets forth a parable? a goodly Word like a goodly tree whose root is firmly fixed and its branches (reach) to the heavens 1900

14:25 - It brings forth its fruit at all times by the leave of its Lord. So Allah sets forth parables for men in order that they may receive admonition. 1901

14:26 - And the parable of an evil Word is that of an evil tree. It is torn up by the root from the surface of the earth: it has no stability. 1902

1902 The evil tree is the opposite of the goodly tree. The parallelism of contrast can be followed out in all the details of the last note. (14.26)

16:30 - To the righteous (when) it is said "What is it that your Lord has revealed?" they say "All that is good." To those who do good there is good in this world and the Home of the Hereafter is even better. And excellent indeed is the Home of the righteous 2053 2054

2053 The contrast and parallelism is with xvi. 24, where the ungodly in their levity and their deliberate rejection of guidance find no profit from Allah's Revelation. (16.30)

17:19 - Those who do wish for the (things of) the Hereafter and strive therefor with all due striving and have Faith they are the ones whose striving is acceptable (to Allah). 2198 2199

2198 This is in contrast to the last verse. Those who wish for mere earthly good sometimes get it and misuse it. Those whose eyes are fixed on the Hereafter, they too share in their Lord's bounty provided they fulfil the conditions explained in the next note; but their wishes and endeavours are more acceptable in the sight of Allah. (17.19)

17:82 - We send down (stage by stage) in the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe: to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss. 2282

17:91 - "Or (until) thou have a garden of date trees and vines and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst carrying abundant water; 2293

2293 This ill-assorted and crude jumble of the sort of miracles which the Unbelievers wanted is in very appropriate contrast to the sober and reasoned argument which has begun in the last sentence of verse 93 and continued in sections 11 and 12, which close this Sura. It is throughout reminiscent of the materialistic imagination of Jewish sceptics, which was mainly responsible for the fall of the Jewish nation (see verse 104 below). For a thirsty people sojourning in a dry land, the finding of a spring of water as in the story of Moses or of the well of Zamzam is an appropriate miracle. But miracles are not for faithless crowds to gape at. A beautiful well-watered Garden is a symbol of Felicity: but a sceptic cannot order Allah to produce it for his pleasure. The same may be said about a house adorned with gold, except that its symbolism is even more materialistic. The fall of the sky or producing Allah face to face or climbing to the skies by a ladder, or bringing down a book of parchment which men could handle, are all irreverent suggestions that make no distinction between spiritual and material things. (17.91)

17:92 - "Or thou cause the sky to fall in pieces as thou sayest (will happen) against us; or thou bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face; 2294 2295

2294 Contrast the sublime passages like the beginning with lxxxii. 1 or that in xxv. 25, where the final breaking up of the firmaments as we know them is referred to in the world's catastrophe, with the ridiculous demand that it should be done for the sport of the sceptics! (17.92)

18:1 - Praise be to Allah Who hath sent to His Servant the Book and hath allowed therein no Crookedness: 2325 2326

2326 Some people's idea of a Sacred Book is that it should be full of mysteries-dark corners, ambiguous expressions, words so far removed from human speech that they cover anything or nothing. Pagan oracles were couched in language which suggested one meaning to the hearer and claimed to have the very opposite meaning in the light of events which actually happened subsequently. They were distinctly crooked, not straight. In the next verse the word "Straight" (qaiyim) is used to characterize the Qur-an, in contrast to this word "crooked" ('iwaj). See also xix. 36 n. 2488. (18.1)

18:2 - (He hath made it) Straight (and Clear) in order that He may warn (the godless) of a terrible Punishment from Him and that He may give Glad Tidings to the Believers who work righteous deeds that they shall have a goodly Reward. 2327

2327 Qaiyim: straight, that which has no bends and no corners to mystify people, that which speaks clearly and unambiguously, that which guides to the right path. Cf. ix. 36, where the adjective is used for a straight usage, in contrast to usages, which tend to mystify and deceive people. The Qur-an is above all things straight, clear, and perspicuous. Its directions are plain for everyone to understand. Any book that deals with the highest mysteries of spiritual life must necessarily have portions whose full meaning is clearer to some minds than to others not so well prepared. But here there is nowhere any mystification, any desire to wrap up things in dark sayings repugnant to human reason. Allah's purpose is to give clear warning of spiritual dangers and lead up to the highest bliss. (18.2)

18:31 - For them will be Gardens of Eternity; beneath them rivers will flow; they will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and they will wear green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade; they will recline therein on raised thrones. How good the recompense! How beautiful a couch to recline on! 2373 2374

2373 Heaven is figured by all the pictures of ease and comfort which we can imagine in our present state: Gardens: perpetual springs of crystal water, which we can see as in a landscape from above; the finest and most costly ornaments; the most beautiful clothes to wear; green is the colour mentioned, because it is the most refreshing to the eye, and fits in well with the Garden; the wearer takes the choice of fine silk or heavy brocade; and for rest and comfort, high thrones of dignity on which the blessed ones recline. (18.31)

2374 This picture is in parallel contrast to the picture of Misery in the last verse. (18.31)

18:32 - Set forth to them the parable of two men: for one of them We provided two gardens of grapevines and surrounded them with date-palms: in between the two We placed corn-fields. 2375

2375 Here is a simple parable of the contrast between two men. One was purse-proud, and forgot that what he had was from Allah, by way of a trust and a trial in this life. The other boasted of nothing: his trust was in Allah. The worldly wealth of the first was destroyed, and he had nothing left. The second was the happier in the end. (18.32)

18:109 - Say: "If the ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the words of my Lord sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord even if we added another ocean like it for its aid." 2453

19:86- And We shall drive the sinners to Hell like thirsty cattle driven down to water 2528

2528 Note the contrast between the saved and the doomed. The one march with dignity like honoured ones before a king, and the other rush in anguish to their punishment like a herd of cattle driven down by thirst to their watering place. Note the metaphor of the water. They rush madly for water but are plunged into the Fire! (19.86)

21:80 - It was We Who taught him the making of coats of mail for your benefit to guard you from each others violence: will ye then be grateful? 2734 2735

2734 The making of coats of mails is attributed to David. It is defensive armour, and therefore its discovery and supply is associated with deeds of righteousness in xxxiv. 10-11, in contrast with the deadly weapons which man invents for offensive purposes. Indeed, all fighting, unless in defence of righteousness, is mere "violence." (21.80)

21:101 - Those for whom the Good (Record) from Us has gone before will be removed far therefrom. 2756

2756 In contrast to the misery of those who rejected Truth and Right, will be the happiness of those who accepted it. The good will not hear the least sound of the groans of evil. Their true soul's desires will be fulfilled-not temporarily as in this world, but in a permanent form. (21.101)

23:117 - If anyone invokes besides Allah any other god he has no authority therefor; and his reckoning will be only with his Lord! And verily the Unbelievers will fail to win through! 2951 2952

2952 See the same word used in describing the contrast with the Believers, in the first verse of this Sura. Righteousness must win and all opposition to it must fail. Thus the circle of the argument is completed. (23.117)

24:35 - Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a lamp: the Lamp enclosed in Glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star: lit from a blessed Tree an Olive neither of the East nor of the West whose Oil is well-nigh luminous though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light! Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light. Allah doth set forth Parables for men: and Allah doth know all things. 2996 2997 2998 2999 3000 3001 3002 3003

24:38 That Allah may reward them according to the best of their deeds and add even more for them out of His Grace: for Allah doth provide for those whom He will without measure. 3009

24:39 - But the Unbelievers their deeds are like a mirage in sandy deserts which the man parched with thirst mistakes for water; until when he comes up to it he finds it to be nothing: but he finds Allah (ever) with him and Allah will pay him his account: and Allah is swift in taking account. 3010 3011 3012

24:40 - Or (the Unbelievers' state) is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean overwhelmed with billow topped by billow topped by (dark) clouds: depths of darkness one above another: if a man stretches out his hand he can hardly see it! for any to whom Allah giveth not light there is no light! 3013 3014 3015

3014 A contrast to "Light upon Light" in xxiv. 35 above. (24.40)

24:51 - The answer of the Believers when summoned to Allah and His Apostle in order that He may judge between them is no other than this: they say "We hear and we obey": it is such as these that will attain felicity. 3027 3028

3027 Cf. ii. 285. Contrast with it the attitude of the Unbelievers or Hypocrites, who say aloud, "we hear", but intend in their hearts to disobey (ii. 93). (24.51)

25:1 - Blessed is He Who sent down the Criterion to His servant that it may be an admonition to all creatures 3052 3053 3054

3053 That by which we can judge clearly between right and wrong. Here the reference is to the Qur-an, which has already been symbolised by light. This symbol is continued here, and many contrasts are shown, in the midst of which we can distinguish between the true and the false by Allah's Light, especially the contrast between righteousness and sin. (25.1)

25:10 - Blessed is He Who if that were His will could give thee better (things) than those Gardens beneath which rivers flow; and He could give thee Palaces (secure to dwell in). 3064 2065

3064 Cf. above, xxv. 1. The reminiscent phrase shows that the first argument, about the Revelation and Prophethood, is completed, and we now pass on to the contrast, the fate of the rejecters of both. (25.10)

25:34 - Those who will be gathered to Hell (prone) on their faces they will be in an evil plight and as to Path most astray. 3090 3091

3091 This verse may be compared and contrasted with xxv. 24 above. Here the argument is rounded off about the distinction between the Good and Evil in their final Destiny. The Good are to have "the fairest of places for repose", and in contrast, the Evil are, "as to Path, most astray". They have no repose, and their wanderings lead nowhere. (25.34)

25:47 - And He it is Who makes the Night as a Robe for you; and Sleep as Repose and makes the Day (as it were) a Resurrection. 3103

3103 It is still the contrast between Light and Shade; but the shade of Night is as a Robe to cover and screen us and give us Repose from activity; and the Light of Day is for striving, work, activity. Or again, the Night is like Death, our temporary Death before Judgment, the time during which our senses are as sealed in Sleep; and the Day is like the renewal of Life at the Resurrection. (25.47)

25:48 - And He it is Who sends the Winds as heralds of glad tidings going before His Mercy and We send down purifying water from the sky 3104 3105

3104 Cf. vii. 57. The Winds are heralds of Joy, ushering in Rain, which is one form of Allah's Mercy. Again, the symbolism presents a fresh point of view. Heat (which is connected with light) sets up currents in the atmosphere, besides sucking up moisture from the seas, and distributing it by means of Winds over wide surfaces of the earth. In the physical world we know the beneficent action of heat on life, and by contrast, we also know how intolerable high temperatures may become, and how the cloud-bearing Winds come as welcome heralds of rain. (25.48)

3105 Rain water (in pure air) is not only pure water distilled in air and sky, but it is the best purifying and sanitating agent on the largest scale known to US. (25.48)

25:50 - And We have distributed the (water) amongst them in order that they may celebrate (Our) praises but most men are averse (to aught) but (rank) ingratitude. 3107 3108

3108 In contrast to Allah's abounding Mercy is man's base ingratitude. (25.50)

25:55 - Yet do they worship besides Allah things that can neither profit them nor harm them: and the Misbeliever is a helper (of Evil) against his own Lord! 3115

3115 Here is the highest contrast of all-material things which are inert, and Allah, Whose goodness and power are supreme; Faith and Unfaith, meriting glad tidings and admonition; the selfish man who is self-centred, and the man of God, who works for others without reward. (25.55)

26:62 - (Moses said: "By no means! my Lord is with me! Soon will He guide me! 3171

3171 Guide me: i.e., show me some way of escape from danger. This actually happened for Pharaoh's host was drowned. The faith of Moses stands in strong contrast to the fears of his people. (26.62)

26:77 - "For they are enemies to me; not so the Lord and Cherisher of the Worlds; 3177

3177 The things that you worship are enemies to mankind: let me testify from my own personal experience: they are enemies to me: they can do me no good, but would lead me astray. Contrast with their impotence or their power of mischief the One True God Whom I worship: He created me and all the Worlds: He cherishes me and guides me; He takes care of me; and when I die, He will give me new life; He will forgive me and grant me final Salvation. Will you then come to this true worship? How can you doubt, after seeing the contrast of the one with the other? Is it not as the contrast between Light and Darkness?' (26.77)

26:88 - The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail 3180

3180 Now we have a vision of the Day of Judgment. Nothing will then avail except a pure heart; all sorts of the so-called "good deeds" of this world, without the motive of purity, will be useless. The contrast of the Garden of Bliss with the Fire of Misery will be plainly visible. Evil will be shown in its true colours,-isolated, helpless, cursing and despairing; and all chances will then have been lost. (26.88)

26:90 - "To the righteous the Garden will be brought near 3181

3181 The Good will only see good (the Garden of Bliss), and the Evil will only see evil (the Fire of Hell). The type of this contrast is shown to us in the world of our spiritual sense even in this life. (26.90)

28:61 - Are (these two) alike? one to whom We have made a goodly promise and who is going to reach its (fulfillment) and one to whom we have given the good things of this life but who on the Day of Judgment is to be among those brought up (for punishment)? 3392

3392 The two classes of people are: (1) those who have faith in the goodly promise of Allah to the righteous, and who are doing everything in life to reach the fulfilment of that promise, i.e., those who believe and work righteousness, and (2) those who are ungrateful for such good things in this life as Allah has bestowed on them, by worshipping wealth or power or other symbols or idols of their fancy, i.e., those who reject Faith and lead evil lives, for which they will have to answer in the Hereafter. The two classes are poles asunder, and their future is described below. (28.61)

28:66 - Then the (whole) story that day will seem obscure to them (like light to the blind) and they will not be able (even) to question each other. 3396

3396 In their utter confusion and despair their minds will be blank. The past will seem to them unreal, and the present unintelligible, and they will not even be able to consult each other, as every one's state will be the same. (28.66)

28:84 - If any does good the reward to him is better than his deed; but if any does evil the doers of evil are only punished (to the extent) of their deeds. 3414

3414 A good deed has its sure reward, and that reward will be better than the merits of the doer. An evil deed may be forgiven by repentance, but in any case will not be punished with a severer penalty than justice demands. (28.84)

28:85 - Verily He Who ordained the Qur'an for thee will bring thee back to the Place of Return. Say: "My Lord knows best who it is that brings true guidance and who is in manifest error." 3415 3416 3617

3415 That is: order in His wisdom and mercy that the Qur-an should be revealed, containing guidance for conduct in this life and the next, and further ordered that it should be read out and taught and its principles observed in practice. It is because of this teaching and preaching that the holy Prophet was persecuted, but as Allah sent the Qur-an, He will see that those who follow it will not eventually suffer, but be restored to happiness in the Place of Return, for which see next note. (28.85)

3416 Place of Return: (1) a title of Makkah; (2) the occasion when we shall be restored to the Presence of our Lord. It is said that this verse was revealed at Juhfa, on the road from Makkah to Madinah, a short distance from Makkah on the Hijrat journey. The Prophet was sad at heart, and this was given as consolation to him. If this was the particular occasion, the general meaning would refer the Place of Return to the occasion of the Resurrection, when all true values will be restored, however they may be disturbed by the temporary interference of evil in this life. (28.85)

3617 Allah's greatness and infinitude are such that He can create and cherish not only a whole mass, but each individual soul, and He can follow its history and doings until the final Judgment. This shows not only Allah's glory and Omniscience and Omnipotence: it also shows the value of each individual soul in His eyes, and lifts individual responsibility right up into relations with Him. (28.85)

29:1 - Alif Lam Mim. 3422

3422 We are asked to contrast, in our present life the real inner life against the outer life, and learn from the past about the struggles of the soul which upholds Allah's Truth, against the environment of evil, which resists it, and to turn our thoughts to the Ma'ad, or man's future destiny in the Hereafter. (29.1)

30:36 - When We give men a taste of Mercy they exult thereat: and when some evil afflicts them because of what their (own) hands have sent forth behold they are in despair! 3548

3548 Cf xxx. 33. In that passage the unreasonable behavior of men in sorrow and in affluence is considered with reference to their attitude to Allah: in distress they turn to Him, but in prosperity they turn to other things. Here the contrast in the two situations is considered with reference to men's inner psychology: in affluence they are puffed up and unduly elated, and in adversity they lose all heart. Both attitudes are wrong. In prosperity men should realize that it is not their merits that deserve all the Bounty of Allah, but that it is given out of Allah's abundant generosity; in adversity they should remember that their suffering is brought on by their own folly and sin, and humbly pray for Allah's grace and mercy, in order that they may be set on their feet again. For, as the next verse points out, Allah gives opportunities, gifts, and the good things of life to every one, but in a greater or less measure, and at some time or other, according to His All-Wise Plan, which is the expression of His holy and benevolent Will. (30.36)

31:32 - When a wave covers them like the canopy (of clouds) they call to Allah offering Him sincere devotion. But when He has delivered them safely to land there are among them those that halt between (right and wrong). But none reject Our Signs except only a perfidious ungrateful (wretch)! 3621 3622

3622 They halt between two opinions. They are not against good, but they will not eschew evil. They are a contrast to those who "constantly persevere and give thanks". But such an attitude amounts really to "perfidious ingratitude". (31.32)

33:22 - When the Believers saw the Confederate forces they said: "This is what Allah and His Apostle had promised us and Allah and his Apostle told us what was true." And it only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience. 3696

3696 This is in contrast to what the Hypocrites said in verse 12 above. The divine promise of help and success is contigent upon our striving and faith. Nothing comes to the poltroon and the sceptical idler. Dangers and difficulties, and conflict with Evil, are foretold us, and we must meet them with fortitude and courage. (33.22)

34:14 - Then when We decreed (Solomon's) death nothing showed them his death except a little worm of the earth which kept (slowly) gnawing away at his staff: so when he fell down the Jinns saw plainly that if they had known the unseen they would not have tarried in the humiliating Penalty (of their Task). 3808 3809

3808 This statement illustrates three points: (1) however great and glorious human power and grandeur may be, it is only for a time, and it may fade away even before people know of its decline; (2) the most remarkable events may be brought to light, not by a flourish of trumpets, but by a humble individual, unknown and unseen, who works imperceptibly and undermines even so strong a thing as staff, on which a great man may lean; (3) work done by men merely on the basis of brute Strength or fear, as in the case of the Jinns, will not endure. This is brought up in strong contrast against the Power and Majesty of Allah, which will endure, which cannot be sapped, and which can only be fully appreciated by a training of the will and heart. In the same way, in David's story above, his mighty strength as a warrior (see ii. 251) and his skill in making armour are only to be valued when used, as it was used, in the service of Allah, in righteous works (xxxiv. 1 1). (34.14)

35:22 - Nor are alike those that are living and those that are dead. Allah can make any that He wills to hear; but thou canst not make those to hear who are (buried) in graves. 3905

3905 The final contrast is between the Living and the Dead; those whose future has in it the promise of growth and fulfilment, and those who are inert and on the road to perish. With Allah everything is possible: He can give Life to the Dead. But the human Teacher should not expect that people who are (spiritually) dead and buried will by any chance hear his call. (35.22)

34:35 - They said: "We have more in wealth and in sons and we cannot be punished." 3842

3842 Their arrogance is openly based on their worldly power and position, their family influence, and the strength of their man-power. Turn back again to the contrast drawn between the arrogant ones and those whom they despised, in verses 31-33. (34.35)

35:32 - Then We have given the Book for inheritance to such of Our servants as We have chosen: but there are among them some who wrong their own souls; some who follow a middle course; and some who are by Allah's leave foremost in good deeds; that is the highest Grace. 3919 3920

3919 The force of "then" is that of finality. The Qur-an is that last Book revealed. Or it may be here to point the contrast between "to thee" in the last verse, i.e., the holy Prophet, in contradistinction to the People of Islam, who inherited the Book after him. (35.32)

37:62 - Is that the better entertainment or the Tree of Zaqqum? 4072

4072 Cf. xvii. 60, n. 2250. This bitter tree of Hell is in contrast with the beautiful Garden of heaven with its delicious fruits. (37.62)

38:28 - Shall We treat those who believe and work deeds of righteousness the same as those who do mischief on earth? Shall We treat those who guard against evil the same as those who turn aside from the right? 4180

4180 The reference to the Hereafter at the end of verse 26 above is of a piece with the whole tenor of this Sura, which deals with the superiority of the spiritual kingdom and the Hereafter. If there were no Hereafter, how could you reconcile the inequalities of this world? Would not the Unbelievers be right in acting as if all Creation and all life were futile? But there is a Hereafter and Allah will not treat the Good and Evil alike. He is just and will fully restore the balance disturbed in this life. (38.28)

38:55 - Yea such! But for the wrongdoers will be an evil place of (final) Return! 4211

4211 This is in parallel contrast to the state of the Blessed in xxxviii. 49 above. (38.55)

38:56 - Hell! They will burn therein an evil bed (indeed to lie on)! 4212

4212 Cf. xiv. 29. This continues the parallel contrast to the state of the Blessed already described. (38.56)

38:66 - "The Lord of the heavens and the earth and all between Exalted in Might Able to enforce His will forgiving again and again." 4220 4221

4220 In n. 2818 to xxii. 40, I have explained the full import of 'Aziz as a title applied to Allah, and I have expressed two of the leading ideas involved, in the two lines here. The argument in this Sura turns upon the contrast between earthly Power and the Divine Power: the one is impotent and the other is supreme. (38.66)

39:19 - Is then one against whom the decree of Punishment is justly due (equal to one who eschews evil)? Wouldst thou then deliver one (who is) in the fire? 4270

4270 If a man is already steeped in sin and has rejected Allah's Grace, how can we expect Revelation to work in his soul? (39.19)

39:22 - Is one whose heart Allah has opened to Islam so that he has received enlightenment from Allah (no better than one hard-hearted)? Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against celebrating the praises of Allah! They are manifestly wandering (in error)! 4274 4275

4274 Those who listen to Allah's Message find at each stage Allah's Grace helping them more and more to expand their spiritual understanding and to receive Allah's light, so that they travel farther and farther to their Goal in the Path of Truth and Righteousness. They are not to be compared to those who shut out Allah's Light from their hearts. See next note. (39.22)

4275 spiritual progress for those who seek Allah, so there is more and more spiritual retrogression for those who close their hearts to Allah. Their hearts get hardened, and they allow less and less Allah's Grace to penetrate within. But it is obvious that they flounder on the Way, and cannot walk with the firm steps of those of assured Faith. (39.2)

39:23 - Allah has revealed (from time to time) the most beautiful message in the form of a Book consistent with itself (Yet) repeating (its teaching in various aspects): the skins of those who fear their Lord tremble thereat; then their skins and their hearts do soften to the celebration of Allah's praises. Such is the guidance of Allah: He guides therewith whom He pleases but such as Allah leaves to stray can have none to guide. 4276 4277 4278 4279

4278 The skin is the outer integument of the body. It receives the first shock from the impact of anything unusual, and it trembles and its hair stands on end under excitement. So in spiritual matters the first stimulation from Allah's Message is external. Those who receive Faith do it as it were with tremor and not with apathy. But the next stage is that it penetrates their outer nature and goes right into their hearts. Their whole nature is "softened" to receive the beneficent Message, and it transforms them through and through. (39.23)

4279 "Whom He pleases" and "leaves to stray" are explained fully in n. 2133 to xvi. 93. See also xiv. 4 and n. 1875. (39.23)

39:45 - When Allah the One and Only is mentioned the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust and horror; but when (gods) other than He are mentioned behold they are filled with joy! 4313

4313 To evil ones, the mention of the exclusive service of Good is hateful: they only rejoice when other motives are added, e.g., personal indulgence, ancestral custom, and numerous things in life which compete with Allah's Law in this world. (39.45)

39:24 Is then one who has to fear the brunt of the Penalty on the Day of Judgement (and receive it) on his face (like one guarded therefrom)? It will be said to the wrongdoers: "Taste ye (the fruits of) what ye earned!" 4280 4281

4280 The unrepentant Sinners will receive the full Penalty on the Day of Judgment. They will receive it full in the face, i.e., their whole being will be affected by it. Their hands will be tied, and they cannot therefore use their hands to ward off the Penalty of the Fire: in any case their hands will not have the power to ward it off. Are such helpless people to be compared for a moment with people who have received Grace and are therefore guarded from all harm and danger? Certainly not. To the evil the fruit of their deed, and to the good the grace of their Lord! (39.24)

4281 That is, of all their misdeeds, all the evil which they did in the world. (39.24)

39:29 - Allah puts forth a Parable a man belonging to many partners at variance with each other and a man belonging entirely to one master: are those two equal in comparison? Praise be to Allah! But most of them have no knowledge. 4287 4288

4287 The difference between the creed of Polytheism and the Gospel of Unity is explained by the analogy of two men. One belongs to many masters; the masters disagree among themselves, and the poor man of many masters has to suffer from the quarrel of his many masters; it is an impossible and unnatural position. The other serves only one master, his master is good, and does all he can for his servant; the servant can concentrate his attention on his service; he is happy himself and his service is efficiently performed. Can there be any doubt as to (1) which of them is the happier, and (2) which of them is in a more natural position? No man can serve two, still less numerous, masters. (39.29)

4288 Allah is praised that He has put us, not under gods many and lords many, but has, out of Hiis infinite Mercy, allowed us direct approach to Him, the One, the True, the Eternal. (39.29)

39:32 - Who then doth more wrong than one who utters a lie concerning Allah and rejects the truth when it comes to him? Is there not in Hell an abode for blasphemers? 4291 4292

4291 When the creature deliberately adopts and utters falsehoods against his own Creator, in spite of the Truth being brought, as it were, to his very door by Allah's Signs, what offence can we imagine more heinous than this? In Christian theology this is the blasphemy "against the Holy Ghost" spoken of in Matt. xii. 31-32: "whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man", (Christ), "it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come". (39.32)

4292 Cf. iii. 151; xvi. 29. (39.32)

39:33 - And he who brings the Truth and he who confirms (and supports) it such are the men who do right. 4293

4293 This is true of the Prophet, and all Prophets of God and all righteous persons. Any one who preaches the Truth and brings home Allah's Signs to men is performing the duty of a right and noble life. In this he confirms the teaching of all previous Prophets of Allah. Any one who supports and confirms such a teacher is also doing his duty and on the right way. (39.33)

39:41 - Verily We have revealed the Book to thee in Truth for (instructing) mankind. He then that receives guidance benefits his own soul: but he that strays injures his own soul. Nor art thou set over them to dispose of their affairs. 4304 4305

4304 Revelation is sent by Allah through His messenger, but it is for all. It is given in order that men and women may be taught Righteousness. It is given in Truth: there is no pretence about it. It is for their own good. If they reject it and follow Evil, the loss is their own. (39.41)

4305 Allah's messengers do all they can to teach mankind. But they cannot force men's wills. If men reject their teaching, the account of the rejecters is with Allah Cf. vi. 107 and n. 935. (39.41)

39:73 - And those who feared their Lord will be led to the Garden in crowds: until behold they arrive there; its gates will be opened: and its Keepers will say: "Peace be upon you! Well have ye done! Enter ye here to dwell therein." 4351 4352

4351 The righteous ones will also go in crowds, and not be alone. There is now a true sorting out. Verses 73-75 are parallel in contrast to verses 71-72 above. (39.73)

40:38 - The man who believed said further: "O my People! follow me: I will lead you to the Path of Right. 4411

4411 Note the contrast between the earnest beseeching tone of the Believer here and the hectoring tone of Pharaoh in using similar words in xi. 29 above. (40.38)

40:39 - "O my people! This life of the present is nothing but (temporary) convenience: it is the Hereafter that is the Home that will last. 4412

40:58 - Not equal are the blind and those who (clearly) see: nor are (equal) those who believe and work deeds of righteousness and those who do evil. Little do ye learn by admonition! 4432

41:30 - In the case of those who say "Our Lord is Allah" and further stand straight and steadfast the angels descend on them (from time to time): "Fear ye not!" (they suggest) "nor grieve! but receive the Glad Tidings of the Garden (of Bliss) the which ye were promised! 4499

4499 The people who succeed in eternal Life are those who recognise and understand the one and only Eternal Reality, that is Allah, and further shape their probationary Life firmly and steadfastly on the principles of that Truth and Reality. They will have their friends and protectors in the good angels, in contrast to the evil ones, who will have no friendship or protection, but only the reproaches of the Satan. (41.30)

41:34 - Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate! 4504 4505

41:46 - Whoever works righteousness benefits his own soul; whoever works evil it is against his own soul: nor is thy Lord ever unjust (in the least) to His servants.

42:6 - And those who take as protectors others besides Him Allah doth watch over them; and thou art not the disposer of their affairs. 4532

4532 We now come to the contrast, the folly and ingratitude of man. But that cannot escape its final doom in the Universal Plan of Allah. Only Judgment rests with Allah. A Prophet is not responsible for the conduct of men, in a system which permits some limited free-will and personal responsibility. (42.6)

42:7 - Thus have We sent by inspiration to thee an Arabic Qur'an: that thou mayest warn the Mother of Cities and all around her and warn (them) of the Day of Assembly of which there is no doubt: (when) some will be in the Garden and some in the Blazing Fire. 4533 4534 4535

4535 The contrast is again emphasised, as explained in the Summary. (42.7)

42:22 - Thou wilt see the wrongdoers in fear on account of what they have earned and (the burden of) that must (necessarily) fall on them. But those who believe and work righteous deeds will be in the luxuriant meads of the Gardens: they shall have before their Lord all that they wish for: that will indeed be the magnificent Bounty (of Allah). 4557 4558

4558 In contrast with the withering terror of the wrong-doers is the ease and rational happiness of those who do good. "On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve" (ii. 38). Their wills will have been purified, and they shall have all that they shall desire, "before their Lord". That is, their highest Bliss will be the sight of their Lord. No higher Bounty can they wish for. (42.22)

42:51 - It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration of from behind a veil or by the sending of a Messenger to reveal with Allah's permission what Allah wills: for He is Most High Most Wise. 4597 4598 4599 4600

4597 This leads us on to the higher spiritual meaning of verses 49-50, as leading up to verses 51-53. Man is but a speck in Allah's creation. His growth and family relationships are not by any means comparable to Allah's creative acts, whose various stages are referred to in n. 120 to ii. 117, n. 916 to vi. 94, and n. 923 to vi. 98. That being so in the mysteries of man's daily life, how much more profound is the contrast between man and Allah in the apprehension of the higher spiritual problems concerned with Revelation? How can man be fit to speak to Allah? He is not fit. But there are three ways in which Allah, in His infinite Mercy, communicates with man, as described in verses 51-53. (42.51)

43:15 - Yet they attribute to some of His servants a share with Him (in His godhead)! Truly is man a blasphemous ingrate avowed! 4620

4620 As a contrast to the men of true understanding are the ungrateful blasphemous creatures, who offer a share to others besides Allah! They imagine sons and daughters to Allah, and forget the true lesson of the whole of Creation, which points to the Unity of Allah. This theme is further developed in the following Section. (43.15)

44:17 - We did before them try the people of Pharaoh: there came to them and apostle most honorable 4700 4701

4701 Most honourable: this epithet is specially applied to Moses here, as expressing the truth, in contrast to the Pharaoh's false characterisation of him as "a contemptible wretch". (xliii. 52). (44.17)

45:14 - Tell those who believe to forgive those who do not look forward to the Days of Allah: it is for Him to recompense (for good or ill) each People according to what they have earned. 4748 4749 4750

4750 "People" here may be taken to be a group of common characteristics, e.g., the righteous in contrast with the unrighteous, the oppressed in contrast with the oppressors, and so on. (45.14)

45:19 - They will be of no use to thee in the sight of Allah: it is only Wrongdoers (that stand as) protectors one to another: but Allah is the Protector of the Righteous. 4757

46:17 - But (there is one) who says to his parents "Fie on you! Do ye hold out the promise to me that I shall be raised up even though generations have passed before me (without rising again)? " And they two seek Allah's aid (and rebuke the son): "Woe to thee! have Faith! For the promise of Allah is true." But he says "This is nothing but tales of the ancients!" 4793

4793 A godly man often has an ungodly son, who flouts all that the father held sacred, and looks upon his father himself as old-fashioned and unworthy of respect or regard. The contrast in an individual family may be matched by the contrast in the passing and the rising generations of mankind. All this happens as a passing phase in the nominal evolution of mankind, and there is nothing in this to be despondent about. What we have to do is for the mature generations to bring up their successors in godly ways, and for the younger generations to realise that age and experience count for something, especially in the understanding of spiritual matters and other matters of the highest moment to man. (46.17)

46:18 - Such are they against whom is proved the Sentence among the previous generations of Jinns and men that have passed away; for they will be (utterly) lost. 4794

4794 Cf. xli. 25 and n. 4494, Each individual, each generation, and each people is responsible for its own good deeds or misdeeds. The law of actions and their fruits applies: you cannot blame one for another. The only remedy lies in seeking for Allah's Grace and Mercy, not only for ourselves but for others in brotherly or fatherly love. This verse is in balanced contrast to verse 16 above. (46.18)

47:1 - Those who reject Allah and hinder (men) from the Path of Allah their deeds will Allah render astray (From their mark). 4817

47:2 - But those who believe and work deeds of righteousness and believe in the (Revelation) sent down to Muhammad-for it is the Truth from their Lord He will remove from them their ills and improve their condition. 4818

47:7 -O ye who believe! if ye will aid (the cause of) Allah He will aid you and plant your feet firmly.

47:8 - But those who reject (Allah) for them is destruction and (Allah) will render their deeds astray (from their mark). 4827

48:29 - Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers (but) compassionate amongst each other. Thou wilt see them bow and prostrate themselves (in prayer) seeking Grace from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. On their faces are their marks (being) the traces of their prostration. This is their similitude in the Torah; and their similitude in the Gospel is: like a seed which sends forth its blade then makes it strong; it then becomes thick and it stands on its own stem (filling) the sowers with wonder and delight. As a result it fills the Unbelievers with rage at him. Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds Forgiveness and a great Reward. 4913 4914 4915 4916 4917 4918

4918 I construe the particle "li" as expressing not the object, but the result. The result of the wonderful growth of Islam in numbers and strength was that its enemies were confounded, and raged furiously within their own minds, a contrast to the satisfaction, wonder, and delight of the Prophet and his Companions. The pronoun in "rage at them" of course refers to the Prophet and his Companions, and goes back to the earlier words, "on their faces" etc. (48.29)

51:7 - By the Sky with (its) numerous Paths 4993

4993 The study of the numerous regular orbits of the planets and irregularly regular orbits of comets, and the various motions, visible or invisible, of the fixed stars or revolving stars, form in themselves a network of knowledge or science, of a highly technical nature; the highest astronomy or mathematics can only barely reach its fringe. But these have all a fixed Plan and Purpose under Allah's Dispensation. In them variety leads to Unity. In contrast look at the confused medley of doctrines, views, and dicta put forward by the Sceptics, as described in the next verse. (51.7)

51:8 - Truly ye are in a doctrine discordant 4994

54:24 - For they said: "what! a man! a solitary one from among ourselves! shall we follow such a one? Truly should we then be straying in mind and mad! 5146 5147

5146 The psychology of the Thamud is more searchingly analysed here than in xli. 17, to show up the contrast between shallow men's ideas about Revelation, and the real sanity, humanism, social value, and truth of Revelation. To them the Revelation was brought by Salih. (54.24)

54:25 – "Is it that the Message is sent to him of all people amongst us? Nay he is a liar an insolent one!" 5148

5148 Pure abuse, as a contrast to Salih's expostulation! See xxvi. 141-158, and notes. (54.25)

54:50 - And Our command is but a single (Act) like the twinkling of an eye. 5164

5164 While in the life of created things there is "proportion and measure", and a lag of time or distance or circumstance, in Allah's Command, the Design, the Word, the Execution, and the Consequences are but a single Act. The simile given is that of the twinkling of an eye, which is the shortest time that a simple man can think of: the cause which occasions the twinkling, the movement of the muscles connected with it, the closing of the eyelids, and their reopening, are all almost like a simultaneous act. By way of contrast take an illustration like that of a man writing a book. He must form the design in his mind; he must prepare himself by research, collection of knowledge, or of personal experience; he must use or acquire the art of writing; he must collect the materials for writing, viz., paper, ink, pen, etc., and this will connect with a chain of manufacturing processes in which he is dependent upon other people's work and experience; then his book may have to be printed or lightographed or bound, and sold, or taken to a library, or presented to a friend, which will bring into play numerous other chains of processes, and dependence upon other people's work or skill; and the lag of Time, Space, and Circumstance will occur at numerous stages. In Allah's Command, the word "Be" (kun) includes everything, without the intervention, of or dependence upon any other being or thing whatever. And this is also another phase of the philosophy of Unity. (54.50)

56:42 - (They will be) in the midst of a fierce Blast of Fire and in Boiling Water 5242

5242 Notice the parallelism in the contrast between those in Bliss and those in Misery. The description in each case pursues the idea of contrast. The fierce Blast of Fire and the Boiling Water are in contrast to the happy Lote-tree and the flowers and fruits in verses 28-29 above. (56.42)

56:43 - And in the shades of Black Smoke: 5243

5243 Even the Shades get a different quality in the Abode of Misery: shades of black smoke in contrast to the cool and refreshing long extended shades of trees by brooks in verses 30-31 above. (56.43)

56:55 - "Indeed ye shall drink like diseased camels raging with thirst! 5248

5248 A terrible picture of Misery in contrast to the Companionship of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, on raised couches, for the Companions of the Right Hand, in verses 34-38 above. (56.55)

69:25 - And he that will be given his Record in his left hand will say: "Ah! would that my record had not been given to me! 5657

5657 This is in contrast to the righteous ones who will receive their record in their right hand. Cf. lxix. 19, n. 5652. The righteous are glad when they remember their past: their memory is itself a precious possession. The unjust are in agony when they remember their past. Their memory is itself a grievous punishment. (69.25)

70:1-A questioner asked about a Penalty to befall 5675

70:2 - The Unbelievers the which there is none to ward off

70:6 - They see the (Day) indeed as a far-off (event):

70:7 - But We see it (quite) near. 5680

70:8 - The Day that the sky will be like molten brass 5681

70:9 - And the mountains will be like wool 5682

70:10- And no friend will ask after a friend 5683

70:11 - Though they will be put in sight of each other the sinner's desire will be: would that he could redeem himself from the Penalty of that Day by (sacrificing) his children 5684

70:12 - His wife and his brother

70:13 - His kindred who sheltered him.

70:14 - And all all that is on earth so it could deliver him: 5685

70:15 - By no means! For it would be the Fire of Hell!

70:16 - Plucking out (his being) right to the skull! 5686

70:17 - Inviting (all) such as turn their backs and turn away their faces (from the Right) 5687

70:18 - And collect (wealth) and hide it (from use)!

70:19 - Truly man was created very impatient 5688

70:20 - Fretful when evil touches him;

70:21 - And niggardly when good reaches him 5689

70:22 - Not so those devoted to Prayer 5690

70:23 - Those who remain steadfast to their prayer;

70:24 - And those in whose wealth is a recognized right

70:25 - For the (needy) who asks and him who is prevented (for some reason from asking); 5691

70:26 - And those who hold to the truth of the Day of Judgment;

70:27 - And those who fear the displeasure of their Lord 5692

70:28 - For their Lord's displeasure is the opposite of Peace and Tranquillity 5693

70:29 - And those who guard their chastity

70:30 - Except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess for (then) they are not to be blamed 5694

70:31 - But those who trespass beyond this are transgressors

70:32 - And those who respect their trusts and covenants; 5695

70:33 - And those who stand firm in their testimonies; 5696

70:34 - And those who guard (the sacredness) of their worship 5697

70:35 - Such will be the honored ones in the Gardens of (Bliss).

74:9 - That will be that Day a Day of Distress 5783

5783 The Sinner's course is now shown in contrast to the Seeker's. The Sinner may be self-complacent now: but what will be his position when the Reckoning comes? Not easy, indeed a Day of Distress! (74.9)

77:41 - As to the Righteous they shall be amidst (cool) shades and springs (of water). 5883

5883 This is in contrast to the triple shade of smoke and sin for the sinners, which neither gives them coolness nor protects them from the Blazing Fire. The Shade, i.e. Covering, of Allah's Good Pleasure, will be the greatest Boon of all, and the Spring of Allah's Love will be inexhaustible. (77.41)

79:2 - By those who gently draw out (the souls of the blessed); 5918

5918 The second point is that in contrast with the wicked, the souls of the blessed will be drawn out gently to their new fife. They will be ready for it. In fact death for them will be a realease from the grosser incidents of bodily sense. To them the approach of Judgment will be welcome. (79.2)

80:40 - And other faces that Day will be dust-stained; 5968

5968 The dust on the faces of the sinners will be in contrast to the beaming light on the faces of the righteous; and the blackness in contrast to the "laughing, rejoicing" faces of the righteous. But the dust also suggests that being Rejecters of Allah, their faces and eyes and faculties were choked in dust, and the blackness suggests that being Doers of Iniquity they had no part or lot in Purity or Light. Another contrast may possibly be deduced: the humble and lowly may be "in the dust" in this life, and the arrogant sinners in sunshine, but the roles will be reversed at Judgment. (80.40)

83:18 - Nay verily the Record of the Righteous is (preserved) in `Illiyin. 6019

6019 'Illiyin: the oblique form of the nominative Illiyun, which occurs in the next verse. It is in contrast to the Sijjin which occurs in verse 7 above, where see n. 6213. Literally, it means the 'High Places'. Applying the reasoning parallel to that which we applied to Sijjin, we may interpret it as the Place where is kept the Register of the Righteous. (83.18)

85:17 - Has the story reached thee of the Forces 6063

6063 In contrast to the real, all-embracing, and eternal power of Allah, what are the forces of man at their best? Two examples are mentioned. (1) Pharaoh was a proud monarch of a powerful kingdom, with resources and organisation, material, moral, and intellectual, as good as any in the world. When he pitted himself against Allah's Prophet, he and his forces were destroyed. See lxxix. 15-26. (2) The Thamud were great builders, and had a high standard of material civilization. But they defied the law of Allah and perished. See vii. 73-79, and n. 1043. (85.17)

88:9 - Pleased with their Striving 6100

: you cannot blame one for another. The only remedy lies in seeking for Allah's Grace and Mercy, not only for ourselves but for others in brotherly or fatherly love. This verse is in balanced contrast to verse 16 above. (46.18)

6100 Notice the parallelism in contrast, between the fate of the Wicked and that of the Righteous. In the one case there was humiliation in their faces; in the other, there is joy; where there was labour and weariness in warding off the Fire, there is instead a healthy Striving, which is itself pleasurable, -a Striving which is a pleasant consequence of the spiritual Endeavour in the earthly life, which may have brought trouble or persecution from without, but which brought inward peace and satisfaction. (88.9)

88:10 - In a Garden on high 6101

6101 The most important point is their inward state of joy and satisfaction, mentioned in verses 8-9. Now are mentioned the outer things of bliss, the chief of which is the Garden. The Garden is in contrast to the Fire. Its chief beauty will be that they will hear there nothing unbecoming, or foolish, or vain. It will be a Garden on high, in all senses,-fit for the best, highest, and noblest. (88.10)

89:1 - By the Break of Day 6108

6108 Four striking contrasts are mentioned, to show Allah's Power and Justice, and appeal to "those who understand". The first is the glory and mystery of the Break of Day. It just succeeds the deepest dark of the Night, when the first rays of light break through. Few people except those actually in personal touch with nature can feel its compelling power. In respect both of beauty and terror, of hope and inspiration, of suddenness and continuing increase of light and joy, this "holy time" of night may well stand as the type of spiritual awakening from darkness to Faith, from Death to Resurrection. (89.1)

89:2 - By the Nights twice five; 6109

6109 By the Ten Nights are usually understood the first ten nights of Zul-Hijja, the sacred season of Pilgrimage. From the most ancient times Makkah was the centre of Arab pilgrimage. The story of Abraham is intimately connected with it: see ii. 125-127 and notes, also n. 217 to ii. 197. In times of Paganism various superstitions were introduced, which Islam swept away. Islam also purified the rites and ceremonies, giving them new meaning. The ten days specially devoted to the Hajj introduce a striking contrast in the life of Makkah and of the pilgrims. Makkah, from being a quiet secluded city, is then thronged with thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the world. They discard their ordinary dress-representing every kind of costume-to the simple and ordinary Ihram (n. 217); they refrain from every kind of fighting and quarrel; they abstain from every kind of luxury and self-indulgence; they hold all life sacred, however humble, except in the way of carefully-regulated sacrifice; and they spend their nights in prayer and meditation. (89.2)

89:3 - By the Even and Odd (contrasted); 6110

6110 The contrast between even and odd forms the subject of learned argument among those who deal with the properties of numbers. In any case, even and odd follow each other in regular succession: each is independent, and yet neither is self-sufficient. In ultimate analysis every even number is a pair of odd ones. And all things go in pairs: see xxxvi. 36, and n. 3981. In the animal world pairs are but two individuals, and yet each is a complement of the other. Both abstract and concrete things are often understood in contrast with their opposites. Why should we not, in spiritual matters, understand this life better with reference to the Hereafter, and why should we disbelieve in the Hereafter simply because we cannot conceive of anything different from our present life? (89.3)

89:4 - And by the Night when it passeth away 6111

6111 That is, the last part of the night, just before full day-light. Note the gradations: first, the turn of the night, when just the first rays of daylight break through; secondly, the social and institutional rites of religion, like those during the ten nights of Pilgrimage; thirdly, when the usual contrast between the Here and Hereafter vanishes, and we can see heaven even here; and lastly, when this world vanishes, the full light of Day arrives, and we see Reality face to face. (89.4)

89:5 - Is there (not) in these and adjuration (or evidence) for those who understand? 6112

6112 All these Signs draw our attention, like solemn adjurations in speech, to the profoundest mystery of our inner life, viz., how from utter depths of darkness-ignorance or even degradation-Allah's wonderful light or Revelation can lead us by contrast into the most beautiful sunshine of a glorious spiritual Day. But the contrast suggest also the opposite process as a corollary,-how resistance to Allah's fight would destroy us utterly, converting our greatness or glory to perdition, as happened with the peoples of Arab antiquity, the 'Ad and the Thamud, and the type of the powerful but arrogant and godless monarch, the Pharaoh of Egypt. Like a man with a bounded horizon, the average man does not understand these long-range mysteries of life, and we have need to pray that we may be of "those who understand". (89.5)

89:15 - Now as for man when his Lord trieth him giving him honor and gifts then saith he (puffed up) "My Lord hath honored me." 6119

6119 Contrast with Allah's justice and watchful care, man's selfishness and pettiness. Allah tries us both by prosperity and adversity: in the one we should show humility and kindness; and in the other patience and faith. On the contrary, we get puffed up in prosperity and depressed in adversity, putting false values on this world's goods. (89.15)

92:1 - By the Night as it conceals (the light); 6159

6159 The evidence of three things is invoked, viz., Night, Day, and Sex, and the conclusion is stated in verse 4, that men's aims are diverse. But similarly there are contrasts in nature. What contrast can be greater than between Night and Day? When the Night spreads her veil, the sun's light is hidden, but not lost. The sun is in his place all the time, and will come forth in all his glory again in his own good time. Cf. xci. 3, 4, and n. 6149. Man pursuing diverse aims may find, owing to his own position, Allah's light obscured from him for a time, but he must strive hard to put himself in a position to reach it in all its glory. (92.1)

93:1 - By the Glorious Morning Light. 6175

6175 The full morning light of the sun, when his splendour shines forth in contrast with the night which has passed. Cf. xci. 1. The growing hours of morning light, from sunrise to noon, are the true type of the growth of spiritual life and work, while the stillness of the night is, to those who know, only a preparation for it. We are not to imagine that the stillness or quiescence of the night is wasted, or means stagnation in our spiritual life. The stillness may seem lonely, but we are not alone, nor forsaken by Allah. Nor is such preparation, without immediate visible results, a sign of Allah's displeasure. (93.1)

95:3 - And this City of security 6197 6198

6197 "This City of security" is undoubtedly Makkah. Even in Pagan times its sacred character was respected, and no fighting was allowed in its territory. But the same City, with all its sacred associations, persecuted the greatest of the Prophets and gave itself up for a time to idolatry and sin, thus presenting the contrast of the best and the worst. (95.3)

98:6 - Those who reject (Truth) among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists will be in hell-fire to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures. 6231

6231 To be given the faculty of discrimination between right and wrong, and then to reject truth and right, is the worst folly which a creature endowed with will can commit. It must necessarily bring its own punishment, whether the creature calls himself one of the children of Abraham or one of the redeemed of Christ, or whether he goes by the mere light of nature and reason as a Pagan. Honour in the sight of Allah is not due to race or colour, but to sincere and righteous conduct (xlix. 13). (98.6)

98:7 - Those who have faith and do righteous deeds they are the best of creatures. 6232

6232 Contrast this with the preceding verse. Human beings who live a life of faith and good deed justify the purpose of their probation here. They attain the fulfilment of their highest hopes. (98.7)

99:7 - Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good see it! 6240

6240 Zarrat: the weight of an atom, the smallest living weight an ordinary man can think of. Figuratively the subtlest form of good and evil will then be brought to account, and it will be done openly and convincingly: he "shall see it". (99.7)

99:8 - And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil shall see it.

100:6 - Truly Man is to his Lord ungrateful; 6246

6246 Man, i.e., unregenerate man, in contrast to those who receive guidance and wage unceasing war with Evil, is ungrateful to his Lord and Cherisher, Him Who created him and sustains him, and sends His blessings and favours at all times. The ingratitude may be shown by thoughts, words, and deeds,-by forgetting or denying Allah and His goodness, by misusing His gifts, or by injustice to His creatures. (100.6)

100:1 - By the (Steeds) that run with panting (breath) 6241

100:2 - And strike sparks of Fire 6242

100:3 - And push home the charge in the morning 6243

100:4 - And raise the dust in clouds the while 6244

100:5 - And penetrate forthwith into the midst (of the foe) en masse 6245

6241 The substantive proposition is in verses 6-8 below, and the metaphors enforcing the lesson are in verses 1-5 here. They have at least three layers of meaning: (1) Look at the chargers (mares or swift camels) panting for war on behalf of their masters. Off they go, striking fire with their hoofs by night at the behest of their riders; they push home the charge in the moming, chivalrously giving the enemy the benefit of daylight; and regardless of flashing steel or the weapons of their enemies they boldly penetrate into the midst of their foe, risking their lives for the Cause. Does unregenerate man show that fidelity to his Lord Allah? On the contrary he is ungrateful to Allah; he shows that by his deeds; he is violently in love with wealth and gain and things that perish. (2) By the figure of metonymy the brave fidelity of the war-horse may stand for that of the brave men and true who rally to the standard of Allah and carry it to victory, contrasted with the poltroonery and pettiness of unregenerate man. (3) The whole conflict, fighting, and victory, may be applied to spiritual warfare against those who are caught and overwhelmed in the camp of Evil. (100.1)

6242 With their hoofs. If we suppose the march to be in the dead of night, the sparks of fire would be still more conspicuous. (100.2)

6243 We may suppose a surprise attack, but yet a chivalrous attack by daylight. The foe is punished through his own lethargy and unpreparedness, apart from the strength, fire, and spirit of the forces of righteousness. (100.3)

6244 The clouds of dust typify the ignorance and confusion in the minds of those who oppose Truth. (100.4)

2:6 - As to those who reject Faith it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe. 30

30 Kafara kufr, kafr, and derivative forms of the word, imply a deliberate rejection of Faith as opposed to a mistaken idea of God or faith, which is not inconsistent with an earnest desire to see the truth. Where there is such desire, the grace and mercy of God gives guidance. But that guidance is not efficacious when it is deliberately rejected and the possibility of rejection follows from the grant of free will. The consequence of the rejection is that the spiritual faculties become dead or impervious to better influences. See also n. 93 to ii.88. (2.6)

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