Surah 25. Al-Furqan (45-77)
 
 

Surah 25. Al-Furqan (45-77)

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى رَبِّكَ كَيْفَ مَدَّ الظِّلَّ وَلَوْ شَاء لَجَعَلَهُ سَاكِنًا ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا الشَّمْسَ عَلَيْهِ دَلِيلًا﴿25:45﴾ 
(25:45) Have you not seen how your Lord lengthens out the shadow? Had He willed, He would have made it constant, but We have made the sun its pilot; *58
*58 The word dalil has been used in the sense of the "pilot", who is a person trained to take ships safely in or out of a harbour, or along a waterway. The sun has been trade the pilot of the shadow because the lengthening out of the shadow and its being rolled up depends on the rising, declining and setting of the sun.
 
ثُمَّ قَبَضْنَاهُ إِلَيْنَا قَبْضًا يَسِيرًا﴿25:46﴾ 
(25:46) then (as the sun climbs up), We roll it up little by little towards Ourselves. *59
*59 "We roll it up......Curselves": "We annihilate it or cause it to disappear", for everything which is annihilated returns to Allah, because everything comes from Elim and returns to Him.
The Qur'an has used the phenomenon of the shadow caused by the sun for two purposes. (fit is taken literally, it is meant to warn the disbelievers that they should learn a lesson from this and should not behave like cattle, as if to say, "If you had considered the benefits of the shadow in regard to your everyday experience, you would have accepted without any hesitation the Doctrine of Tauhid. Had the shadow been constant, there would have been no life en earth, for life depends on the light and heat of the sun. On the other hand, if there had been no shadow at all, the constant heat and light of the sun would have made life impossible. Besides this, if there had been sudden changes in the sun and the shadow, they would not have been able to endure it for long; therefore you should reflect on this phenomenon and understand it well that it has been so ordained by the AII-Wise and the AII-Powerful Creator so that it always increases or decreases gradually in accordance with fixed natural laws. Thus it is obvious that it could not have come into existence by itself nor produced by blind mechanisms nor functioned so regularly and continuously under many independent gods."
But if it is taken in the metaphorical sense, there is between the lines a subtle suggestion, and it is this: Just as the shadow dces not remain in one and the same state, likewise the shadow of disbelief and shirk, which appears to have spread far and wide, will begin to shorten as the "Sun" of Guidance gradually rises; but it requires patience, for Allah never brings about sudden changes.
 
وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ لِبَاسًا وَالنَّوْمَ سُبَاتًا وَجَعَلَ النَّهَارَ نُشُورًا﴿25:47﴾ 
(25:47) And it is Allah Who has ordained the night as a garment *60 for you, and the sleep as a repose of death, and the day as the time of return to life. *61
*60 The night is a "garment" in the sense that it covers and hides things.
*61 This verse has three objects:
(1) It provides a proof of Tauhid,
(2) It furnishes a proof of the possibility of life-after-death from everyday human experience, and
(3) It bears the good news that the night of ignorance has come to an end and now the bright day of Knowledge and Guidance has dawned. It is therefore inevitable that those who were sleeping the sleep of ignorance, will sooner or later wake up, but those who have slept the sleep of death, will not wake up and will themselves be deprived of life, while the business of the day will go on thriving even without them.
 
وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرًا بَيْنَ يَدَيْ رَحْمَتِهِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء طَهُورًا﴿25:48﴾ 
(25:48) And it is He, Who drives the winds to be the harbingers of His mercy: then He sends down pure water *62 from the sky
*62 That is, such water as is pure and free from alI sorts of impurities, germs and poison, which cleanses and washes away filth and becomes a source of life for men, beasts as well as all kinds of plant life.
 
لِنُحْيِيَ بِهِ بَلْدَةً مَّيْتًا وَنُسْقِيَهُ مِمَّا خَلَقْنَا أَنْعَامًا وَأَنَاسِيَّ كَثِيرًا﴿25:49﴾ 
(25:49) so that He may revive the dead land, and quench the thirst of many of His creatures from among beasts and men. *63
*63 This verse also gives proofs of the Doctrine of Tauhid and the Hereafter. Besides, it contains a subtle suggestion that the period of the "drought" of ignorance has been replaced through Allah's mercy by the "blessed rain" of Prophethood, which is showering the life-giving knowledge of Revelation from which many servants of AIlah will certainly benefit, if not all .
 
وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَاهُ بَيْنَهُمْ لِيَذَّكَّرُوا فَأَبَى أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ إِلَّا كُفُورًا﴿25:50﴾ 
(25:50) We present the same phenomenon over and over again before them *64 so that they may learn a lesson from it; but most people decline to adopt any other attitude than of disbelief and ingratitude. *65
*64 "We present...before them" may have three meanings: (1)"We have cited the phenomenon of rainfall over and over again in the Qur'an in order to make plain to them the Reality."
(2) "We are time and again showing them the wonderful phenomenon of the heat and drought, seasonal winds and clouds, rainfall and its lifeproducing effects."
(3) "We go on changing the system of the distribution of rainfall throughout the , world year after year, so that the same place does not receive the same amount of rainfall every time: sometimes a place is left completely dry, another has more or less of rainfall than usual, while some other is flooded with rain water. They see all these different phenomena with their countless different results in their daily life."
*65 The verse means to impress that the wonderful system of rainfall is by itself a proof of the existence of Allah, of One Lord of the universe, and of His attributes. Its wonderful distribution during the year and over different parts of the earth is a clear proof that there is an All-Wise Designer. But the obdurate disbelievers do not learn any lesson from it, and persist in their ingratitude, though this has been cited in the Qur'an repeatedly for this purpose.
It is also a proof of the life-after-death, for the disbelievers themselves see and again that rainfall brings to life dead land year after year. This clearly that Allah has the power to bring the dead back to life, but the disbelievers it time proves do not learn any lesson from it and persist in their irresponsible ways .
If verse 48 is taken in the metaphorical sense, the "pure water" of rain will mean the blessings of Prophet hood. Human history shows that whenever this blessing as been sent down, ignorance has been replaced by knowledge, injustice by justice and wickedness by righteousness. The coming of Prophets has always proved to be the harbinger of a moral revolution. But only those who accepted their guidance benefited from it. This is the lesson of history, yet the disbelievers reject it because of their ingratitude.
 
وَلَوْ شِئْنَا لَبَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ قَرْيَةٍ نَذِيرًا﴿25:51﴾ 
(25:51) Had We willed, We would have raised up a separate Warner in each habitation. *66
*66 That is, "If We had willed, We could have sent a separate Prophet to every habitation but We did not do so, because like the sun, Our Last Prophet suffices to enlighten the whole world."
 
فَلَا تُطِعِ الْكَافِرِينَ وَجَاهِدْهُم بِهِ جِهَادًا كَبِيرًا﴿25:52﴾ 
(25:52) So, O Prophet, do not yield to the disbelievers, but wage a Jihad against them with this Qur'an. *67
*67 The Arabic words Jihad-i-Kabir imply three meanings:
(1) To exert one's utmost for the cause of Islam,
(2) To dedicate all one's resources to this cause, and
(3) To tight against the enemies of Islam on all possible fronts with all one's resources in order to raise high the "Word of Allah". This will include jihad with one's tongue, pen, wealth, life and every other available weapon .
 
وَهُوَ الَّذِي مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ هَذَا عَذْبٌ فُرَاتٌ وَهَذَا مِلْحٌ أُجَاجٌ وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخًا وَحِجْرًا مَّحْجُورًا﴿25:53﴾ 
(25:53) And it is He, Who has let loose the two seas, one palatable and sweet, the other bitter and saltish, and there is a partition between them, which is an insurmountable barrier. *68
*68 This phenomenon has been perceived in many places in the sea and on the land that sweet water and bitter water has existed side by side. Turkish Admiral Syedi Ali Ra'is, in his book Mir 'at-al-Mamalik, written in the 16th century, has mentioned a place in the Persian Gulf, where springs of sweet waver exist under the bitter waters of the sea, where he could get drinking water for his fleet. The American Oil Company at first obtained water from the same springs in the Persian Gulf, before they dug up wells near Dhahran for supply of drinking water. Near Bahrain also there exist springs of sweet water at the sea bed from which people have been taking water until quite recently. Besides this apparent meaning which gives a rational proof of Allah's being the One and the only Lord of the universe, the verse contains a subtle suggestion as well: When Allah wills, He can raise up a righteous community from among a large wicked society just as He can cause springs of palatable and sweet water to gush out from under the salty waters of the sea.
 
وَهُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ مِنَ الْمَاء بَشَرًا فَجَعَلَهُ نَسَبًا وَصِهْرًا وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ قَدِيرًا﴿25:54﴾ 
(25:54) And it is He, Who created man from water: then from him He caused two kinds of kindred, by blood and by marriage : *69 your Lord is AI I-Powerful .
*69 Here the miracle of the birth of man from a mere sperm drop and the procreation of his offspring from man and woman have been cited as a proof of Tauhid. Though both man and woman belong to the same genus, they are two species, having important common human characteristics but different physical structures and psychological traits. It is a proof of Tauhid that the All-Powerful Allah has used this "difference" for making the two as complements and not antagonists. ' It is also the design of the All-Powerful Creator that He is creating sons and daughters in the world in due proportion Then the sons marry and create blood relationships, and the daughters are married and become means of forming new relaticnships. This process goes on widening to produce families, tribes and nations belonging to the same race and bound by the same civilization. The verse has also a subtle suggestion: The whole of life is being run on the principle of "differenc", for example, the difference between the night and the day, the summer and the winter, etc. Therefore, " O Muslims, you should patiently endure the differences you are having with your opponents for these are certain to produce good results."
 
وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنفَعُهُمْ وَلَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَكَانَ الْكَافِرُ عَلَى رَبِّهِ ظَهِيرًا﴿25:55﴾ 
(25:55) Yet they worship, instead of Allah, those who can neither benefit them nor harm them: more than this, the disbeliever has become a helper of every rebel against his Lord. *70
*70 This is a characteristic of the typical disbeliever: he is a helper and defender of all those who are rebels against AIIah and an enemy of aII those who may he striving to raise Allah's Word and enforce His Law in the world; he is associated directly or indirectly with all the works of Allah's disobedience and opposes and resists in one way or the other every effort that is made to bring people to the path of Allah's obedience and service.
 
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا مُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا﴿25:56﴾ 
(25:56) O Muhammad, We have sent you only to proclaim good tidings and to give warning. *71
*71 This verse (56) was meant to comfort the Holy Prophet and to warn the disbelievers who opposed him and obstructed his work, as if to say, "Your duty is only to convey the Message of good news to the people and to warn them of the consequences of disbelief: you are not responsible as to whether they accept .your Message or reject it, or to reward the Believers and punish the disbelievers."
Such words occur in the Qur'an at other places also and are obviously directed to the disbelievers, as if to say, "The Message of the Prophet is meant to reform the people without any tinge of selfishness. As he does not force the people to accept his Message, there is no reason why you should feel offended. If you accept the Message, it will be for your own good, and if you reject it, you will be harming yourselves alone. For after conveying the Message, he is relieved of his duty and responsibility; then the matter will be between you and Us."
Although this is a very simple and clear interpretation of verse 56 (and of similar other verses), yet some people erroneously conclude from it that the only duty and responsibility of the Prophet is to convey the Message and nothing else. They forget that the Qur'an has stressed over and over again that the Prophet is not only a giver of good news to the Believers but he is also their teacher, their lawgiver, judge and guide, a purifier of their morals and a model of life for them, and that every word which he utters is law which they have to obey and follow willingly in all walks of life and for all times to come.
 
قُلْ مَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ إِلَّا مَن شَاء أَن يَتَّخِذَ إِلَى رَبِّهِ سَبِيلًا﴿25:57﴾ 
(25:57) Tell them, "I do not ask of you any recompense for this work: I only ask of the one, who will, to adopt the way of his Lord.
71a. For explanation, see E.N. 70 of Al-Mu'minun.
 
وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى الْحَيِّ الَّذِي لَا يَمُوتُ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِهِ وَكَفَى بِهِ بِذُنُوبِ عِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا﴿25:58﴾ 
(25:58) O Muhammad trust in that Allah Who is Ever-Living and will never die' Glorify Him with His praise, for He alone is sufficient to be aware of the sins of His servants.

 
الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ الرَّحْمَنُ فَاسْأَلْ بِهِ خَبِيرًا﴿25:59﴾ 
(25:59) In six days He created the earth and the heavens and all that is between them; then He established Himself on the "Throne" (of the Kingdom of the uriverse). *72 (He is) the Merciful: as to His Glory, ask the one who knows .
*72 For explanation of "Throne", see E.N.'s 41, 42 of Al-A'raf, E.N. 4 of Yunus, and E.N. 7 of Hud. It is difficult to say what exactly is mean by "six days" Here a "day" thay mean a period of time or an ordinary day of this world. For explanation of the "day", see E.N.'s 11 to 15 of Surah Ha Mim Sajdah.
 
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اسْجُدُوا لِلرَّحْمَنِ قَالُوا وَمَا الرَّحْمَنُ أَنَسْجُدُ لِمَا تَأْمُرُنَا وَزَادَهُمْ نُفُورًا﴿25:60﴾ 
(25:60) When it is said to them. "Prostrate yourselves before the Merciful," they retort, "What is the Merciful? Would you have us prostrate ourselves before whomsoever you will?" *73 And this invitation only helps to increase their hatred all the more. *74
*73 This they said due to their arrogance and stubbornness just as Pharaoh had said to Prophet Moses: "What is the Lord of the universe?" For the disbelievers of Makkah were not unaware of the Merciful (Rahman), nor was Pharaoh unaware of the "Lord of the universe". The wording of the verse itself chows that their question about the "Merciful" was not the result of their ignorance of Him but was due to their rebelliousness; otherwise Allah would not have punished them for this but would have informed them politely that He Himself is "Merciful". Besides this, it is well known istorically that the word Rahman (Merciful) for Allah had been in common usage in Arabia since the ancient times. Please see also E.N. 5 of As-Sajdah and E.N. 35 of Saba.
*74 All scholars are agreed that here a `Prostration of Recital' (Sajdah Talawat) has been enjoined, which means that every reader and every hearer must prostrate himself on reciting or hearing the recital of this verse. According to traditions, the one who hears this verse being recited should say: Zadan Allahu, khudu an-anima zada, lil-a`daa-i nufura: "May Allah increase us in humility even as the enemies are increased in their hatred."
 
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ فِي السَّمَاء بُرُوجًا وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا سِرَاجًا وَقَمَرًا مُّنِيرًا﴿25:61﴾ 
(25:61) Highly blessed is He, Who has made fortified spheres *75 in the heavens and has set in it a "lamp" *76 and a shining moon.
*75 See E.N.'s 8 to 12 of A1 Hijr.
*76 That is, the sun, as mentioned clearly in Surah Nuh: 16: "... and made the sun a lamp. "
 
وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ خِلْفَةً لِّمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يَذَّكَّرَ أَوْ أَرَادَ شُكُورًا﴿25:62﴾ 
(25:62) He it is Who caused the night and the day to succeed each other so that everyone who desires may learn a lesson or become grateful. *77
*77 The observation and deep consideration of the wonderful phenomenon of the alternation of the day and night is a proof of Tauhid and His Providence so that man may feel grateful to Him and prostrate himself before Him in all humility.
 
وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا﴿25:63﴾ 
(25:63) The (true) servants of the Merciful are those *78 who walk humbly on the earth *79 who, when the ignorant people behave insolently towards them, say,"Peace to you" *80
*78 That is, "Though all human beings are by birth the servants of the Merciful before Whom you have been invited to prostrate yourselves, and which you disdain, his true servants are those who adopt the way of His obedience consciously and develop such desirable characteristics. Then the natural consequences of the prostration are those found in the lives of the Believers and the evil results of rejecting the invitation, those found in your lives." Here attention is being drawn to the two patterns of character and life: first of those who had accepted the Message of the Holy Prophet and were following it, and the second of those who persisted in the ways of ignorance. Here only the prominent characteristics of the true Believers have been cited, and for contrast, the characteristics of the disbelievers have been left to every discerning eye and mind which could see them all around in society and make its own decision.
*79 That is; "They do not walk haughtily and arrogantly like the tyrants and mischief-makers, but their "gait" is of a gentle, right-thinking and goodnatured person." "Walking humbly" does not mean walking like a weak or sick person, nor does it imply the gait of a hypocrite who walks ostentatiously to show humility or fear of God. According to Traditions, the Holy Prophet himself used to walk with firm, quick steps. One day Caliph `Umar saw a young man walking slowly like a weak, sick person, and asked him, "Are you ill?" When the man replied in the negative, the Caliph raised his whip, rebuked him and told him to walk like a healthy man. This shows that the "humble gait" is the natural gait of a noble and gentle person and not a gait which shows weakness and undue humility. In this connection, the first characteristic of the true servants of Allah to which attention has been drawn, is their "gait" This is because the gait indicates the character of an individual. If a man walks in a humble and dignified way, as opposed to a haughty, vain and proud manner, it shows that he is a noble and gentle person. Thus the different "gaits" of the different types of people show what sort of characters they possess. The verse means to imply that the true servants of the Merciful can be easily recognized by their "gait" among the people. Their attitude of Allah's worship and obedience has changed them so thoroughly that it can "be seen at first sight from their "gate that they are noble, humble and good natured people, who cannot be expected to indulge in any mischief. For further explanation, see E.N.43 of Bani Isra'il and L.N 33 of Luqman
*80 "Ignorant people": Rude and insolent people and not uneducated and illiterate ones. The true servants of the "Merciful" do not believe in "vengeance", even though they may have to deal with the ignorant people who behave rudely and insolently towards them. If they happen to come across such people, they wish them peace and turn away. The same thing has been expressed in AI-Qasas: 55, thus: "And when they hear something vain and absurd they turn away from it, saying, `Our deeds are for us and your deeds are for you: peace be to you: we have nothing to do with the ignorant'." For details see E.N.'s 72 to 78 ul AI-Qasas.
 
وَالَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّدًا وَقِيَامًا﴿25:64﴾ 
(25:64) who pass their nights in prostrating themselves and standing before their Lord: *81
*81 That is, they neither spend their nights in fun and merry-making nor in gossips and telling tales, nor in doing wicked deeds, for these are the ways of the ignorant people. The true servants of Allah pass their nights in worshipping and remembering Him as much as they can. This characteristic of theirs has been brought out clearly at several places in the Qur'an, thus: "their backs forsake their beds and they invoke their Lord in fear and in hope." (As-Sajdah: 16). "These people (of Paradise) slept but little at night, and prayed for their forgiveness in the hours of the morning." (Az-Zariyat: 17, 18). And: "Can the end of the one, who is obedient to AIlah, prostrates himself and stands before Him during the hours of the night, fears the Hereafter and places his hope in the mercy of his Lord, be like that of a mushrik;'" (Az-Zumar: 9).
 
وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اصْرِفْ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا﴿25:65﴾ 
(25:65) who pray, "Our Lord, save us from the torment of Hell, for its torment is killing:

 
إِنَّهَا سَاءتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا﴿25:66﴾ 
(25:66) it is an evil abode and an evil resting place": *82
*82 That is, their worship has not made them vain and proud to presume that they are the beloved ones of AIIah and that the Fire of Hell will not touch them. On the other hand, in spite of all their worship and good deeds, they are so tilled with the fear of the torment of Hell that they pray to their Lord to save them from it, for they do not depend upon their own work for success in the Hereafter but upon the mercy of Allah.
 
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ قَوَامًا﴿25:67﴾ 
(25:67) who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor miserly but keep the golden mean between the two (extremes): *83
*83 The true servants of Allah adopt "the golden mean" between the two extremes in spending their money. They neither go beyond prudence and necessity in expenditure nor live in wretched 'circumstances in order to save and hoard money but are frugal. This was the characteristic of the followers of the Holy Prophet, which distinguished them from the well-to-do people of Arabia, who were either spend-thrifts in regard to the gratific ation of their own lusts or niggardly in spending their money on good works. According to Islam extravagance is: (1) To spend even the smallest amount of money in unlawful ways, (2) to go beyond one's own resources in expenditure even in lawful ways, or to spend money for one's own pleasure, and (3) to spend money in righteous ways not for the sake of Allah but for mere show. On the other hand, one is miserly if one dces not spend money for one's own needs and requirements and those of one's family in accordance with one's resources and position, or if one dces not spend money for good works. The way taught by Islam is the golden mean between the two extremes. The Holy Prophet has said, "It is a sign of wisdom to adopt the "golden mean" in one's living." (Ahmad, Tabarani).
 
وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ وَلَا يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَلَا يَزْنُونَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ يَلْقَ أَثَامًا﴿25:68﴾ 
(25:68) who do not invoke any god but Allah nor kill a soul, which Allah has forbidden, unjustly, nor commit adultery. *84 -He who does this shall be punished for his sin,
*84 The true servants refrain from three great sins: Shirk, murder and adultery. The Holy Prophet himself warned of their gravity. According to 'Abdullah bin Mas`ud, when some one asked him about the worst sins, he replied, (1) "It is to set up someone as equal in rank with Allah, Who has created you, (2) to kill your own child for fear of its sustenance, and (3) to commit adultery with the wife of your neighbour." (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi, Nasa`i, Ahmad). Obviously this is not a complete list of the "heinous sins". But these three instances have been cited because they were most prevalent in the Arab society of those days .
As regards the inclusion of refraining from shirk among the excellences of the true servants, one may ask why it should be presented as virtue before the disbelievers who did not regard shirk as a vice. It is because the Arabs had doubts about the doctrine of shirk even though they appeared to be deeply involved in it. This is amply supported by their history. For instance, when Abraha invaded Makkah, the Quraish did not invoke their idols to save the Ka`bah from him, but they begged Allah to save it. Their contemporary poetry bears sufficient evidence that they regarded the destruction of the "people of the elephant" due to Allah's power and supernatural interference and not due to any help of their idols. The Quraish and the polytheists of Arabia had also come to know that when Abraha reached Ta`if on his way to Makkah, the people of Ta`if had offered him their services to destroy the Ka`bah and had even provided him guides to take him safely to Makkah through the hills, for fear that he might also destroy the temple of "Lat", their chief deity. This event so much offended the Arabs that for years after this they continued , pelting the grave of the chief guide with stones for retaliation. Moreover, the Quraish and the other Arabs attributed their creed to Prophet Abraham and looked upon their religious and social customs and their Hajj rites as part of Abraham's religion. They knew that Prophet Abraham was a worshipper 'of Allah and not of idols. They also had traditions to show as to when they had started idol-worship, and which idol had been brought from where, when and by whom. The fact is that the common Arab did not have much of reverence for his idols. He would even speak insultingly of it and withheld his offerings when it failed to fulfil his wishes and prayers. For instance, there is the story of an Arab who wanted to avenge the murder of his father. He went to the temple of his idol, Zul-Khalasah, and wanted to take an omen. The response came that he should abandon his intention. At this the Arab became furious and cried out: 'O Zul-Khalasah! Had you been in my place, and your father was murdered, you would not have said that the murderers should not be punished." Another Arab took his herd of camels to the shrine of his god, named Sa'd, for seeking its blessings. It was a tall idol which had been smeared with sacrificial blood. On seeing it, the camels became terrified and started running in all directions. The Arab was so filled with rage that he started pelting the idol with stones, shouting, "May God destroy you ! I had come to you to seek blessings for my camels, but you have deprived me of all of them." There were certain idols about whose origin filthy stories were current. For instance, the story about Asaf and Na'ilah whose images had been placed at Safa and Marwa, was that they were actually a man and a woman, who had committed adultery inside the Holy Ka`bah and had been turned into stone by God as a punishment. When the deities had such reputation, no worshipper could cherish any reverence for them in his heart. From this one can easily understand that the Arabs did recognize the value of true God-worship deep in their hearts, but, on the one hand, it had been suppressed by ancient customs and ways of ignorance, and on the other, the priestly class among the Quraish had vested interests, who were busy creating prejudices against it among the people. They could not give up idol-worship because such a step would have brought to an end their supremacy in Arabia. That is why, refraining from shirk and worship of One AIlah has been mentioned as a mark of superiority of the followers of the Holy Prophet without any fear of contradiction by the disbelievers, for even they in their heart of hearts knew that it was a weighty argument against them.
 
يُضَاعَفْ لَهُ الْعَذَابُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَيَخْلُدْ فِيهِ مُهَانًا﴿25:69﴾ 
(25:69) and his torment shall be doubled on the Day of Resurrection, *85 and he shall abide in a state of ignominy,
*85 This can have two meanings: (1) His punishment will never come to an end, but it will continue being inflicted relentlessly over and over again; and (2) the person who in addition to the sins of disbelief, shirk and atheism, would have committed murders, adultery and other sins, will get separate punishment for rebellion and for each other sin. He will be accountable for each of his major and minor sins none of which will be pardoned. For instance, for each murder and for each act of adultery he will be given a separate punishment, and likewise, there will be a separate punishment for every sin committed by him.
 
إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا فَأُوْلَئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا﴿25:70﴾ 
(25:70) except the one who may have repented (after those sins) and have believed and done righteous works, *86 for then Allah will change his evil deeds into good deeds, and He is very Forgiving and Merciful.
*86 This is a good news for those people who repented and reformed themselves, for they will have the benefit of the "general amnesty" contained in verse 70. This was regarded as a great blessing by the true servants because very few of those who embraced Islam had been free from those vices during their 'ignorance', and were terrified by the threat contained in vv. 63-69, but this amnesty not only redeemed them but filled them with hope.
Many instances of such people, who sincerely repented and reformed their lives, have been related in the traditions. For instance, Ibn Jarir and Tabarani have related an incident from Hadrat Abu Hurairah, who savs, "One day when 1 returned home after offering the 'lsha prayer in the Prophet's Mosque, I saw a woman standing at my door. I saluted her and walked into my room, closed the door and busied myself in voluntary worship. After a while she knocked at the door. I opened the door and asked what she wanted. She said that she had come with a problem: She had committed zina, had become pregnant, given birth to a child and then killed it. She wanted to know if there was any chance of her sin being forgiven. I replied in the negative. She went back grief-stricken, exclaiming, "Ah! this beautiful body was created for the fire!" The next morning, after the prayer, when I related the night's incident before the Holy Prophet, he said, "You gave a very wrong answer, Abu Hurairah: Haven't you read the Qur'anic verse which says: '(Those) who do not invoke any other deity than Allah...except the une who may have repented (after those sins) and have believed and done righteous deeds' `?" Hearing this from the Holy Prophet, I went out in search of the woman, and had her traced again at the `Isha time. I gave her the good news and told her what the Holy Prophet had said in reply to her question. She immediately tell prostrate on the ground and thanked Allah, Who had opened a way for her forgiveness. Then she offered repentance and set a slave-girl, along with her son, tree." A similar incident about an old man has been related in the traditions. He came before the Holy Prophet and said, "O Messenger of AIIah, aII my life has passed in sin: there is no sin which I have not committed; so much so that if my sins were to be distributed over the people of the whole world, they would alI be doomed. Is there any way out for my forgiveness?" The Holy Prophet asked him, "Have you embraced Islam?" He said, "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah." The Holy Prophet said, "Go back, Allah is All-Forgiving and has the power to change your evil deeds into good deeds." He asked,"Is it about alI my crimes and errors?'' The Holy Prophet replied, "Yes, it is about aII your crimes and errors." ( Ibn Kathir) .
 
وَمَن تَابَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَإِنَّهُ يَتُوبُ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَتَابًا﴿25:71﴾ 
(25:71) In fact, the one *87 who repents and does righteous deeds, returns to Allah as one ightly should. *88 -
*87 It has two meanings: (1) When he has repented sincerely, he will start a new life of belief and obedience to Allah and by His grace and help will start doing good deeds instead of evil deeds that he used to do in his life of unbelief, and his evil deeds will be replaced by good deeds; and (2) Not only will his evil deeds done in the past be written off, but it will also be recorded in his conduct register that he was the servant who gave up rebellion against his Lord and adopted the way of His obedience. Then, as he will feel more and more sorry for his past sins and offer repentance, more and more good deeds will be credited to him; for repenting of one's wrong doing and seeking forgiveness is in itself a good deed. Thus, good deeds will supersede all his evil deeds in his conduct register, and he will not only escape punishment in the Hereafter but, in addition, he will also be blessed with high favours by Allah.
*88 That is. ultimately everyone has to return to AIIah for AIIah alone is man's last and real refuge: He alone can reward one for his good deeds or punish une for his evil deeds: He alone is All-Merciful and AlI Compassionate, Who receives the penitent with forgiveness and Who dces not rebuke him for his past errors provided that he has repented sincerely, and adopted the right attitude and reformed himself.
 
وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا﴿25:72﴾ 
(25:72) (And the servants of the Merciful are those:) who do not bear witness to falsehood *89 and who; if they have ever to pass by what is vain, pass by like dignified people: *90
*89 This also has two meanings: (1) They do not give evidence ( in a law court etc.) in regard to a false thing in order to prove it right, when in tact it is a falsehood, or at best a doubtful thing; and (2) they have no intention to witness any thing which is false, evil or wicked as spectators. In this sense, every sin and every indecency, every sham and counterfeit act is a falsehood. A true servant of AIlah recognizes it as false and shuns it even if it is presented in the seemingly beautiful forms of "art" .
*90 The Arabic word laghv implies aII that is vain, useless and meaningless and it also covers "falsehood". The true servants pass by in a dignified manner if ever they come across "what is vain", as if it were a heap of tilth. They do not tarry there to enjoy the "filth" of moral impurity, obscenity or foul language, nor do they intentionally go anywhere to hear or see or take part in any sort of "filth". For further details, see E.N. 4of AI-Mu"minun.
 
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ لَمْ يَخِرُّوا عَلَيْهَا صُمًّا وَعُمْيَانًا﴿25:73﴾ 
(25:73) who do not behave like the blind and the deaf, when the Revelations of their Lord are recited to them for admonition ; *91
*91 The true servants of Allah do not behave like the blind and the deaf towards the Revelations of Allah, when they are recited to them for their admonition. They do not turn a deaf ear to their teachings and Message and do not deliberately close their eyes to the Signs that they are asked to observe, but are deeply moved by them. They follow and practise what they are enjoined and retrain from what is forbidden.
 
وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا﴿25:74﴾ 
(25:74) who pray, "Our Lord, bless us with wives and children, who may be the comfort of our eyes *92 , and make us leaders of the righteous. " *93 -
*92 The most distinctive characteristic of the true servants is their eagerness for prayer to Allah. In verse 65 their "prayer" for their own salvation and in verse 74 their prayer for their wives and children have been cited: "Our Lord, make our wives and children true believers so that they should practise righteousness and become a source of comfort for us." Their prayer shows that the true servants of Allah are more concerned about the salvation of their beloved ones in the Hereafter than the enjoyment of the world. It should be noted that this characteristic has been cited here to show that the true servants had sincerely believed in the Message. That is why they were so concerned about the "Faith" of their beloved ones. It should also be kept in mind that many of the near and dear ones of the Believers had not as yet embraced Islam. If a husband had embraced Islam, the wife was still an unbeliever, and if a youth had accepted Islam, his parents and brothers and sisters were still involved in disbelief, and vice versa. Therefore, the true servants wept and prayed for them, whenever the picture of their horrible state in Hell came before their mind's eyes.
*93 That is,"We should excel in piety, righteousness and good works; nay, we should become the leaders of the pious people so that we may lead them in the propagation of virtue and piety in the world. " Incidentally, this characteristic of the true servants was in great contrast to that of the disbelievers, who strove in competition and rivalry with one another for superiority in worldly power and wealth. But it is a pity that some people in our time have misinterpreted this verse as containing sanction for seeking candidature for political leadership. According to them, the verse means: "Our Lord, make us rulers over the pious people."
 
أُوْلَئِكَ يُجْزَوْنَ الْغُرْفَةَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا وَيُلَقَّوْنَ فِيهَا تَحِيَّةً وَسَلَامًا﴿25:75﴾ 
(25:75) Such are the people who will be rewarded with high palaces for their fortitude, *94 , *95 wherein they will be welcomed with due respect, honour and salutations
*94 The word sabr (fortitude) has been used here in its most comprehensive sense. The true servants courageously endured their persecution by the enemies of the Truth; they remained firm and steadfast in their struggle to establish Allah's way in the land; they carried out their duties enjoined by Allah sincerely and tearlessly without any concern for the worldly losses and deprivation; and they withstood all temptations held out by Satan and all the lusts of the flesh.
*95 "Ghurfah " is a high mansion and the word is generally used for the "upper chamber" of a double-storeyed house. But the reality is that the highest buildings made by tnan in this world, even the Taj Mahal of India and the skyscrapers of New York, are an ugly imitation of the "excellent abodes" in Paradise. They are so magnificent, grand and beautiful that human imagination cannot form any picture of their grandeur.
 
خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا حَسُنَتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا﴿25:76﴾ 
(25:76) and wherein they will live for ever: what an excellent abode and what an excellent resting place!

 
قُلْ مَا يَعْبَأُ بِكُمْ رَبِّي لَوْلَا دُعَاؤُكُمْ فَقَدْ كَذَّبْتُمْ فَسَوْفَ يَكُونُ لِزَامًا﴿25:77﴾ 
(25:77) O Muhammad, tell the people, "MyLord does not care at all if you do not invoke Him. Now that you have denied (His Revelation), you will soon be awarded such a punishment which you will never be able to avoid."