Surah Al-Furqan Ayat 1-77 (end)

Surah Al-Furqan

Chapter 25

Which was revealed in Makkah

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

{1. Blessed be He Who sent down (Nazzala) the criterion to His servant that he may be a warner to all nations. 2. He to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and Who has begotten no son and for Whom there is no partner in the dominion. He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements.}

Blessed be Allah

Here Allah praises Himself for the Noble Qur’an He has revealed to His noble Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. This is like the Ayat: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has sent down to His servant the Book, and has not placed therein any crookedness. (He has made it) straight to give warning of a severe punishment from Him, and to give glad tidings to the believers, who do righteous deeds…” (18:1-2) Here Allah says: “Blessed be He.” The verbal form used here implies an ongoing, permanent, eternal blessing. “Who sent down the criterion” The verb Nazzala is a form which implies something done a great deal and often. This is like the Ayah:“And the Book which He (Nazzala) sent down to His Messenger, and the Scripture which He (Anzala) sent down to those before (him)” (4:136). Each of the previous Books was sent down at one time, but the Qur’an was revealed gradually, in stages, Ayat after Ayat, rulings after rulings, Surahs after Surahs. This is more eloquent and indicative of greater care for the one to whom it is revealed, as Allah says later in this Surah: “And those who disbelieve say: “Why is not the Qur’an revealed to him all at once?” Thus, that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages. And no example or similitude do they bring, but We reveal to you the truth, and the better explanation thereof.” (25:32-33) This Surah was named Al-Furqan, because it is the criterion that decides between truth and falsehood, guidance and misguidance, right and wrong, lawful and unlawful. “to His servant” This description is one of praise and commendation, because here Allah is connecting him to Himself, describing him as His servant. Allah also described him in this manner when referring to the noblest of events, the Night of the Isra’, as He said: “Glorified be He Who took His servant for a journey by night” (17:1). Allah also described him in this way when He described how he stood and called to Him: “And when the servant of Allah stood up invoking Him in prayer they (the Jinn) just made round him a dense crowd as if sticking one over the other (in order to listen to the Prophet’s recitation).” (72:19) This description is also used here when Allah describes how the Book is revealed to him and how the angel comes down to him: “Blessed be He Who sent down the criterion to His servant that he may be a warner to all nations.” “that he may be a warner to all nations.” means, he alone has been blessed with this great, detailed, clear Book which,“Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise (Allah).” (41:42) The One Who made it the mighty criterion, singled him out to convey it to those who seek the shade of trees and to those who live on the land (i.e., to all of mankind, nomad and settled alike), as the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“I have been sent to the red and the black.” (Ahmad 5:145)

And he said:

“I have been given five things which no Prophet before me was given.”

Among them he mentioned:

“[Before me] a Prophet was sent only to his own people, but I have been sent to all of mankind.” (Fath Al-Bari 1:634) 

And Allah says: “Say: “O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah…” (7:158), meaning, the One Who has sent me is the Sovereign of the heaven and the earth, who merely says to a thing “Be!” and it is. He is the one who gives life and causes death. Allah says here: “He to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and Who has begotten no son and for Whom there is no partner in the dominion.” Allah states that He is above having any offspring or partner. Then He tells us: “He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements.”  meaning, everything apart from Him is created and subject to Him. He is the Creator, Lord, Master and God of all things, and everything is subject to His dominion, control and power.

{3. Yet they have taken besides Him other gods who created nothing but are themselves created, and possess neither harm nor benefit for themselves, and possess no power (of causing) death, nor (of giving) life, nor of raising the dead.}

The Foolishness of the Idolators

Allah tells us of the ignorance of the idolators in taking other gods instead of Allah, the Creator of all things, the One Who controls the affairs of all things; whatever He wills happens and whatever He does not will does not happen. In spite of that, they still worshipped others besides Him, idols who could not even create the wing of a gnat, but were themselves created. They could neither do harm nor bring benefit to themselves, so how could they do anything for their worshippers “and possess no power (of causing) death, nor (of giving) life, nor of raising the dead.” means, they could not do any of that at all; that power belongs only to Allah, Who is the One Who gives life and death, and is the One Who will bring all people, the first and the last, back to life on the Day of Resurrection. “The creation of you all and the resurrection of you all are only as (the creation and resurrection of) a single person” (31:28). This is like the Ayat; “And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye.” (54:50) “But it will be only a single Zajrah. When behold, they find themselves on the surface of the earth alive after their death” (79:13-14) “It will be a single Zajrah, and behold, they will be staring!” (37:19) “It will be but a single Sayhah, so behold they will all be brought up before Us!” (36:53). He is Allah besides Whom there is no other God and besides Whom there is no other Lord. No one should be worshipped except Him because whatever He wills happens and whatever he does not will does not happen. He has no offspring nor progenitor, nor equal nor likeness nor rival nor peer. He is the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.

{4. Those who disbelieve say: “This is nothing but a lie that he has invented, and others have helped him in it.” In fact, they have produced an unjust wrong and a lie. 

5. And they say: “Tales of the ancients which he has written down, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon.” 

6. Say: “It has been sent down by Him Who knows the secret of the heavens and the earth. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”}

What the Disbelievers said about the Qur’an

Allah tells us about the foolishness of the disbelievers’ ignorant minds, when they said about the Qur’an:“This is nothing but a lie”, meaning an untruth.“that he has invented,” meaning the Prophet . “and others have helped him in it.” means, he asked other people to help him compile it. So Allah said: “In fact, they have produced an unjust wrong and a lie.” meaning, they are the ones who are telling a lie, and they know that it is false, for their own souls know that what they are claiming is not true. “And they say: “Tales of the ancients which he has written down…” meaning, the ancients wrote them down, and he has copied it. “and they are dictated to him” means, they are read or recited to him. “morning and afternoon.” at the beginning and end of the day. Because this idea is so foolish and is so patently false, everyone knows that it is not true. It is known through Mutawatir reports and is a common fact that Muhammad the Messenger of Allah never learned to read or write, either at the beginning or the end of his life. He grew up among them for approximately forty years, from the time he was born until the time when his mission began. They knew all about him, and about his honest and sound character and how he would never lie or do anything immoral or bad. They even used to call him Al-Amin (the Trustworthy One) from a young age, until his mission began, because they saw how truthful and honest he was. When Allah honored him with that which He honored him, they declared their enmity towards him and came up with all these accusations which any reasonable person would know he was innocent of. They were not sure what to accuse him of. Sometimes they said that he was a sorcerer, at other times they would say he was a poet, or crazy, or a liar. So Allah said: “See what examples they have put forward for you. So they have gone astray, and never can they find a way.” (17:48) In response to their stubbornness, Allah says here: “Say: “It has been sent down by Him Who knows the secret of the heavens and the earth”.) meaning, He has revealed the Qur’an which includes true information about the earlier and later generations, information which concurs with the realities of the past and future.

 “Who knows the secret” means, Allah is the One Who knows the unseen in the heavens and on the earth; He knows their secrets just as He knows what is visible therein.“Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

This is an invitation to them to repent and turn back to Allah, telling them that His mercy is vast and His patience is immense. Whoever repents to Him, He accepts his repentance. Despite all their lies, immorality, falsehood, disbelief and stubbornness, and saying what they said about the Messenger and the Qur’an, He still invites them to repent and give up their sin, and to come to Islam and true guidance. This is like the Ayat:“Surely, disbelievers are those who said: “Allah is the third of the three.” But there is no god but One God. And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them. Will they not turn with repentance to Allah and ask His forgiveness For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (5:73-74) “Verily, those who put into trial the believing men and believing women, and then do not turn in repentance, then they will have the torment of Hell, and they will have the punishment of the burning Fire.” (85:10)

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: “Look at this kindness and generosity! They killed His friends and He is calling them to repentance and mercy.”

{7. And they say: “Why does this Messenger eat food, and walk about in the markets. Why is not an angel sent down to him to be a warner with him?” 

8. “Or (why) has not a treasure been granted to him, or why has he not a garden whereof he may eat?” And the wrongdoers say: “You follow none but a man bewitched.” 

9. See how they coin similitudes for you, so they have gone astray, and they cannot find a path. 

10. Blessed be He Who, if He wills, will assign you better than (all) that – Gardens under which rivers flow and will assign you palaces.  

11. Nay, they deny the Hour, and for those who deny the Hour, We have prepared a flaming Fire. 

12. When it sees them from a far place, they will hear its raging and its roaring. 

13. And when they shall be thrown into a narrow place thereof, chained together, they will exclaim therein for destruction. 

14. Exclaim not today for one destruction, but exclaim for many destructions.}

What the Disbelievers said about the Messenger, refutation of Their Words, and Their ultimate Destiny

Allah tells us about the disbelievers’ stubborn resistance to and rejection of the truth, with no proof or evidence for doing so. Their excuse was, as they said: “Why does this Messenger eat food?”  meaning, ‘as we eat, and why does he need food as we need it’ “and walk about in the markets.” means, he walks around and goes there often seeking to trade and earn a living. “Why is not an angel sent down to him to be a warner with him” They were saying: why doesn’t an angel come down to him from Allah, to be a witness that what he is claiming is true This is like when Fira`wn said: “Why then are not golden bracelets bestowed on him, or angels sent along with him” (43:53). These people had a similar mentality and said the same kind of thing. They said: “Or (why) has not a treasure been granted to him” meaning, treasure that he could spend on his needs and wants. “or why has he not a garden whereof he may eat” meaning, a garden that would go with him wherever he went. All of this is easy for Allah, but He had a reason for not doing any of these things, and with Him is the perfect proof and argument. “And the wrongdoers say: “You follow none but a man bewitched.” Allah said: “See how they coin similitudes for you, so they have gone astray,” meaning, they accused you and belied you when they said that you were a sorcerer or bewitched or crazy or a liar or a poet, but all of these are false ideas. Everyone who has the slightest understanding will recognize that they are lying. Allah says: “so they have gone astray”  from the path of guidance. “and they cannot find a path.” Everyone who steps outside of the way of truth and guidance has gone astray, no matter what direction he takes, because the truth is one and its methodology is unified, parts of it confirming other parts.

Then Allah tells His Prophet that if He willed, He could bestow on him in this world something far better than what they were saying. He said: “Blessed be He Who, if He wills, will assign you better than (all) that…” Mujahid said, “This means in this world.” And he said: “The Quraysh used to call every house that was made of stone a ‘palace’, whether it was large or small.” (At-Tabari 19:243)

“Nay, they deny the Hour,” means, they say this in stubborn disbelief, not because they are seeking insight and guidance, but because their disbelief in the Day of Resurrection makes them say what they say. “And We have prepared” means, `We have made ready,’“for those who deny the Hour, a flaming Fire.” means, an unbearably hot and painful torment in the fire of Hell. “When it sees them” means, when Hell sees them, “from a far place,” means from the place of gathering “on the Day of Resurrection”“they will hear its raging and its roaring.” means, “it will make those sounds” out of hatred towards them. This is like the Ayah, “When they are cast therein, they will hear the (terrible) drawing in of its breath as it blazes forth. It almost bursts up with fury” (67:7-8), which means that parts of it almost separate from other parts because of its intense hatred towards those who disbelieved in Allah.

Imam Abu Ja`far bin Jarir narrated that Ibn `Abbas said: “A man will be dragged towards Hell, which will be expanding and contracting, and Ar-Rahman will say to it: `What is the matter with you?’ It will say: `He is seeking refuge from me.’ So Allah will say, `Let My servant go.’ Another man will be dragged towards Hell and he will say, `O Lord, I never expected this from You.’ Allah will say, ‘What did you expect?’ The man will say, `I expected that Your mercy would be great enough to include me.’ So Allah will say, `Let My servant go.’ Another man will be dragged towards Hell, and Hell will bray at him like a donkey braying at barley. Then it will give a moan that will instill fear in everyone.” (At-Tabari 9:370) Its chain of narrators is Sahih.

“they will hear its raging and its roaring.” `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that `Ubayd bin `Umayr said: “Hell will utter a moan such that there will be no angel who is close to Allah and no Prophet sent to mankind, but he will fall on his face, shaking all over. Even Ibrahim, peace be upon him, will fall to his knees and say: `O Lord, I do not ask You for salvation this Day except for myself.” (Abdur Razzaq 3:67) “And when they shall be thrown into a narrow place thereof, chained together,” Qatadah narrated from Abu Ayyub that `Abdullah bin `Amr said: “Like the point of a spear, i.e., in its narrowness.” (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 6:240) “chained together,” Abu Salih said, “This means, tied from their shoulders.” “they will exclaim therein for destruction.” means, they will utter cries of woe, regret and sorrow.“Exclaim not today for one destruction…”

{15. Say: “Is that better or the Paradise of Eternity which is promised to those who have Taqwa?” It will be theirs as a reward and final destination. 

16. For them there will be therein all that they desire, and they will abide (therein forever). It is upon your Lord a Wa`dan Mas’ula.}

Is the Fire better, or Paradise?

Here Allah says: `O Muhammad, this that We have described to you about the state of those who are doomed, who will be dragged on their faces to Hell, which will receive them with a scowling face, with hatred and moans. There they will be thrown into their constricted spaces, tied up to their shoulders, unable to move or call for help, and unable to escape their plight – is this better, or the eternal Paradise which Allah has promised to the pious among His servants, which He has prepared for them as a reward and ultimate destiny in return for their obedience to Him in this world’ “For them there will be therein all that they desire,” of delights such as food, drink, clothing, dwellings, means of transportation and scenery, and other things that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor the heart of anyone can comprehend. They will abide therein forever; it will never cease or come to an end, and they will never leave it. This is what Allah has promised to those whom He has blessed and to whom He has shown His favor. He says: “It is a upon your Lord a Wa`dan Mas’ula” meaning, it must inevitably come to pass. Abu Ja`far bin Jarir reported from some of the scholars of the Arabic language that the words “Wa`dan Mas’ula” mean: a binding pledge.(At-Tabarani 19:247)

In this Surah Allah mentions Hell, then refers to the situation of the people of Paradise. This is similar to the passage in Surat As-Saffat where Allah mentions the status of the people of Paradise, with its beauty and joy, then He says: “Is that better entertainment or the tree of Zaqqum? Truly, We have made it a trial for the wrongdoers. Verily, it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hellfire, The shoots of its fruit stalks are like the heads of Shayatin. Truly, they will eat thereof and fill their bellies therewith. Then on the top of that they will be given boiling water to drink so that it becomes a mixture. Then thereafter, verily, their return is to the flaming fire of Hell. Verily, they found their fathers on the wrong path. So they hastened in their footsteps!” (37:62-70)

{17. And on the Day when He will gather them together and that which they worship besides Allah. He will say: “Was it you who misled these My servants or did they stray from the path?” 

18. They will say: “Glorified be You! It was not for us to take any Awliya’ besides You, but You gave them and their fathers comfort till they forgot the warning, and became a lost people.” 

19. Thus they will deny you in what you say; then you can neither avert nor find help. And whoever among you does wrong, We shall make him taste a great torment.}

The gods of the Idolators will disown Them on the Day of Resurrection

Allah tells us about what will happen on the Day of Resurrection, when those whom the idolators used to worship instead of Allah, angels and others, will rebuke them. Allah says: “And on the Day when He will gather them together and that which they worship besides Allah.” Mujahid said, “This means `Isa, `Uzayr and the angels.”(At-Tabari 19:247)  “He will say: “Was it you who misled these My servants…” Allah will say to those who were worshipped: `Did you call these people to worship you instead of Me, or was it their own idea to worship you, without any call to that on your part’ This is like the Ayah, “And when Allah will say: “O `Isa, son of Maryam! Did you say unto men: `Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah’ ” He will say: “Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my innerself though I do not know what is in Yours; truly, You, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden. Never did I say to them aught except what You did command me to say.” (5:116-117)

Describing how those who were worshipped will respond on the Day of Resurrection, Allah says: “They will say: “Glorified be You! It was not for us to take (Nattakhidh) any Awliya’ besides You…” Most of the scholars recite a Fathah on the Nun of the word Nattakhidh in His saying: “…for us to take (Nattakhidh) any Awliya’ besides You,” meaning, `it is not right for any created being, neither us nor them, to worship anyone except You; we did not call them to do that, but they did it of their own accord, without us telling them to do it or accepting what they did. We are innocent of them and their worship.’ This is like the Ayah, “And (remember) the Day when He will gather them all together, then He will say to the angels: “Was it you that these people used to worship” They (the angels) will say: “Glorified be You!” (34:40-41) Other scholars understand this phrase to mean: ‘it is not proper for us to take anyone except You as protectors or helpers (Awliya’)’ meaning, ‘it is not proper for anyone to worship us, for we are Your servants and in need of You.’ This meaning is close to the first.

“but You gave them and their fathers comfort” means, `You made such a long period of time pass that they forgot the Reminder, i.e., they forgot what had been sent down to them through the Messengers, calling them to worship You alone with no partner or associate.’

“and became a lost people.” Ibn Abbas said, “This means, they were destroyed.” (At-Tabari 19:248) Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Malik narrated from Az-Zuhri: “There was no good in them.” (At-Tabari 19:248)

And Allah says:“Thus they will deny you because of what you say” meaning, `those whom you used to worship besides Allah will show you to be liars in your claims that they were your helpers and protectors bringing you closer to Allah.’ This is like the Ayat: “And who is more astray than one who calls on besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are unaware of their calls to them. And when mankind are gathered, they will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping.” (46:5-6) “then you can neither avert nor find help.” means: they will not be able to avert the punishment from themselves, nor will they be able to help themselves. “And whoever among you does wrong,” means by associating others in worship with Allah, “We shall make him taste a great torment.”