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Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Surah Qadr - Miracle Dream Tafseer - Nouman Ali Khan

Asalaam alaikum warahmatulah wabarakatuh

Surah al Qadr- Miracle Dream Tafseer - Nouman Ali Khan

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The Relation of this Surah to the Previous Surah

1 - Surah'Alaq began explaining How revelation began.

This surah addresses When Revelation was sent down.

2 -
Surah 'Alaq started with - He taught man what he knew not. [Alaq 96:5]

Surah Qadr - What will make you know what the Night of Qadr is? [Qadr 97:2]

: You did not know what the Night of Qadr is. You only found out because Allah taught it to you.

3 -

The last ayah of Surah Alaq is;
وَاسْجُدْ وَاقْتَرِب wasjud waqtarib - prostrate and draw near (to Allah). [Alaq 96:19]

Surah Qadr - The best time to get close to Allah - in the whole year - is in the night of Qadr (which is in the last 10 nights of Ramadan).

4 - Surah 'Alaq: mentions - Iqra' - recite [the Qur'an.] [Alaq 96:1]

Surah Qadr
- mentions the Qur'an which should be recited.

When is the Night of Qadr

We're certain for sure that it is one of the 5 odd nights in the last 10 nights of Ramadan (21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, or 29th).

There are Only 5 aayaat in this surah - just like there are 5 odd nights in the last 10 days of Ramadan.

Ibn Abbas
had the opinion it is 23rd (based on his ijtihad/research).

In a later opinion he had the opinion was 27th.

The most often mentioned opinion by the scholars is the 27th.

It's interesting how when ibn Abbas explained his view of the 27th to Umar ibn al Khattab, he said;

Laylatul Qadr has 9 letters. [Lam, Ya, Lam, Ta (marboota). Alif, Lam. Qaf, Daal, Ra. = 9 Letters]

AndLaylatul Qadr is mentioned 3 times in this surah.

9 x 3 = 27.

So he had the opinion that it the Night of Qadr is on the 27th of Ramadan.

This method is not taken as a daleel/proof, but it is interesting how he formed this opinion.

He also had this view because;

This surah has 30 words in it (like 30 days in a month). But the 27th word is هِيَ hiyya [meaning 'it']. [in Ayah 5]

He then says that Hiyya/it - implies that this word is the 27th word out of the 30, the same way the 27th night is the night of Qadr out of the 30 nights.

The safest position to have is that it falls in one of the odd nights and we don't know which one.

Brother Nouman recommends that you take the last 11 nights really seriously because of the confusions and disagreements Muslims have over when Ramadan begins/ends etc. So focusing on the last 11 nights will allow us to catch it atleast once (even if this means sleeping through the day, to have enough energy for the night?)

We should save our energies and be balanced in our worship in the first 20 days, because alot of Muslims tire themselves out before the last 10 nights. So instead, use most of your energy for the last 10 nights since they are the most special and which contain the Night of Qadr.

We should pray Taraweeh prayer with the intent of remembering Allah;

إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي

Indeed, I am Allah.There is no god except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.
[Taha 20:14]

Ayah 1

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

in-naa anzalnaahu fee laylatil qadr

Indeed, We sent it down in the Night of Decree.

It is no doubt We have sent it down on the Night of Qadr.

inNa - surely We.

Why We

Allah is mentioned in 4 types of pronouns in the Qur'an;

Ana - I
Nahnu - We
Anta - You
Huwa - He

Only one of these is plural (nahnu), the rest are singular.

So if someone argued - you Muslims have alot of 'gods', they are mistaken, because;

1 - All the other pronouns are singularwhen referring to Allah (i.e. I, He, etc.)

2 -Nahnu was used in semitic languages to show power and strength. I.e. A king wouldn't say "I have forgiven you", he would say "We are letting you go." "We have decided" (even though he was talking about himself). A show of power, of royalty - a show of my strength being more than that of many men.

Allah says 'Nahnu' - when He sends down and gives water, food, and forms creations'. All majestic acts.
He especially does it when He mentions sending down water, maybe because water is a sign of giving life? Allah knows best.

Nahnu is also formal speech, more Majestic.

3 - There are Two instances of when Ana - I, is mentioned; Either when Allah is extremely angry, or when He is extremely merciful.

Ana - I, is informal speech. This makes it more; Personalised, closer to the slave.

4 - Whenever Nahnu is mentioned, Allah or Rabb is mentioned next to it(both are singular words [if they were plural, it would be Aaliha, and aRbaab). Which shows that the Royal We is referring to One King God.

Is this Night Blessed because the Qur'an came down within it, or was it already blessed before this

: This night was noble and majestic and dignified before the Qur'an was revealed, and when the Qur'an was revealed - it increased in its majesticness.

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ

Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind]. [Dukhan 44:3]


We sent it (hu)down.

You don't use a pronoun except if you know what 'it' is. Unless the audience already knows what 'it' is.

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

Allah says; innaa anzalnaaHu fee laylatil qadr - surely We have sent 'it' down in the Night of Qadr.

So it seems clear what 'it' is - the Qur'an.

This use of the word 'Hu' is used because when everybody knows something so universally, and it is deeply imbedded in their heart - the name does not need to be mentioned.

This 'Hu' came down with 2 extreme reactions;

The believer loving the Qur'an till death, and the disbeliever hating the Qur'an so much - that they were willing to kill others out of hate for it.

So both groups knew 'hu' (it) was referring to the Qur'an.

anzalNa - We sent down.

- (af'ala) sent down AT ONE TIME.
naz-zala - (fa'al-la) - sent down gradually.

The Qur'an was Nazala, and the Torah & Gospel were Anzala.

What's the Difference?

In Surah Aal 'Imraan, verse 3,
نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَأَنزَلَ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ
It is He Who has sent down the Book (the Quran) to you (Muhammad SAW) with truth, confirming what came before it. And he sent down the Torah and the Gospel.

Although the English translation reflects no difference in the original words that were used to convey the meaning of 'sent down', a look at the Arabic will show us that the form nazzala نزَّلَwas used in reference to the Qur'an while the form anzala أَنْزَلَwas used in reference to the Torah and the Gospel.

The reason for this goes back to the manner of revelation – the Qur'an was gradually revealed in a number of stages that spanned the 23 years of the Prophet Muhammad's (sallaa Allaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) Prophethood, as is reflected by the form nazzalawhich indicates repetition and graduality, while the Torah and the Gospel were revealed to the Prophets Musa (Moses) and 'Eesa (Jesus) at one time, as reflected by the form anzala.

This difference is more beautifully sealed when we look at the first verse of Surah al-Qadr,

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ
Verily! We have sent it (this Quran) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree)
In this verse, Allaah has used the verb anzala – which does not reflect graduality – to describe the revelation of the Qur'an, although He previously used nazzala! The reason for this is clear when the word is considered in it's context, as is explained by Ibn 'Abbas and others,
"Allah sent the Qur'an down all at one time from the Preserved Tablet to the House of Might (Bayt al-'Izzah), which is in the heaven of this world. Then it came down in parts to the Messenger of Allah based upon the incidents that occurred over a period of twenty-three years.''

Thus, it is clear that this verse is referring to Allaah sending the Qur'an down at one time to Bayt al-'Izzah on Laylat al-Qadr, and not to its gradual revelation to the Prophet; a concept so precisely and beautifully conveyed just through knowing the meaning of the forms used in the original Arabic.

Laylah - Night

al - the

Qadr -

Commonly translated as 'Night of Power'.

Because Qadr means Estimation and Determination.

Allah knows everything, so He informs His angels what He has decreed for the people for this upcoming year.

Qadr - nobility/honor/dignity - because of the Night's Dignity.

Qadr - to Appreciate - in this Night those who obey Allah, Allah really Appreciates it. He counts this night as more than 1000 months.

Qadr - constriction / congestion / to be stuck in something. [see al Fajr 89:16]

It's called this because SO many angels are sent down to the Earth on this Night, that the Earth is filled and congested / packed with angels on this Night.

Qadr - Power.

All these meanings are embedded within the one word; Qadr.

Ayah 2:

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ

wa maa adraaka maa laylatul qadr

And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree?

maa adraaka?

Maa - at-ta'ajjub (to surprise you and give you awe).

What in the world could possibly give you a clue to what the Night of Power is?

Gives takhfeem - (power/heaviness)

maa adraaka - past tense, what would ever tell you..?

So Allah tells us what the Night of Qadr is in the upcoming aayaat/verses.

wa Maa adraaka maa laylatul Qadr?

and what will make you know what the Night of Qadr is?

By Allah repeating the words 'Night of Qadr' again in the 2nd ayah, it shows the Night's strong importance.

Then for Allah to repeat the words; 'Night of Qadr' (Laylatul Qadr) in the 3rd ayah again, shows how extremely important and majestic this Night is in the sight of Allah.

Allah repeats things twice in other surahs'. i.e.

كَلَّا ۖ لَيُنبَذَنَّ فِي الْحُطَمَةِ
وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْحُطَمَةُ
نَارُ اللَّهِ الْمُوقَدَةُ

No! He will surely be thrown into the Hutama/Crusher.
And what can make you know what is the Hutama/Crusher?
It is the fire of Allah , [eternally] fueled,

[Surah Humazah 104: 4-6]

Similar is done in Surah Tariq [86:1-3]

But He does not repeat its name in the 3rd ayah.

The only time something is repeated for the 3rd time in a surah is in Surah Qadr. This gives the Night of Power a strong emphasis.

al Lata'if al isharaat - al Fushayri(in the 4th century) writ something beautiful:

A beautiful night which Allah decreed (qadra fee ha Rahmah li awliyaa'ihee) for His close friends.

The worshippers of Allah realise their worth (qadru nufoosihim) to Allah, through the quality of their worship in this Night. (so if you sleep through it, how much are we worth in the sight of Allah?)

And those who truly aim to seek and recognise Allah, they appreciate (qadra ma'buoodihim) their servitude to the One they are seeking (in this Night).


The wisdom behind not knowing when the Night of Qadr is;

- Laziness - people would only worship in this night and not in any of the other nights of the year.

- A hadith summarised: Allah's Messenger is with Ali, and a bedouin is asleep in the Masjid. It is time for salah/prayer, so Allah's Messenger tells Ali to wake the bedouin up from his sleep. So Ali wondered why Allah's Messenger never woke the bedouin up himself, since this is an act of worship, and Allah's Messenger is the first of people to do a good deed.

So he asked Allah's Messenger, why didn't you do this good deed?

Allah's Messenger replied that if he woke the bedouin up, and the bedouin didn't obey the Prophet - he would be in major sin for disobeying a command of Allah's Messenger. But if you (Ali) do it, then that's okay.

al-Aloosi comments
; The fact that we don't know the exact Night of Qadr - removes us from some blame, in comparison to if we knew when the Night of Qadr was, and if we were lazy then - that would bring us ALOT more blame.

(quote Tafseer ibn katheer surah Qadr, and hadeeth of sahaba disputing and Allah making the forgetting of the exact night).

Ayah 3

لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

laylatul qadri khayrun min alfi shahr

The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.

Deeds you do in this night is better than the deeds you do in more than 1000 months (around 83 years and 4 months).

The average lifespan in the USA at its peak is 80 for women, and 74 for men. So Allah is giving us a lifetime full of worships and reward within 1 night time.

What a great Night Allah has given us. In some parts of the Muslim world, the average lifespan is 40, in some places it is on average 33.

Allah is offering us a lifetime full of worship's reward, per every year.

So if we worshipped in the Night of Qadr for 50 years. 50 years dedicated to the Nights' of Power, multiplied by 80 [1000 months] = 4000years of worship's reward! It's like you worshipped Allah for 4000 years!

The surah began with
; What will give you a clue what the Night of Qadr is?

It is a night that has amazing rewards and extreme Mercy from Allah.

hadeeth; average age for my ummah 60-70 years.

ra'a 'amaara
fa khaafa an lan yablughu

The Messenger was afraid that the members of his ummah are going to have short lives, so they won't be able to catch up with the worship like previous nations (who had longer lifespans).

So Allah gifted to his Messenger the Laylah al Qadr. / Night of Qadr.

min alfi shahr;

Others say this Khayr - you can accomplish alot of good in this Night, not just in worship, but in doing good (khayr) with others.

So the scholars commented that if you have broken up with someone i.e. A relative, a Muslim friend etc. - then this is the best night to do the good/khayr of uniting with them and removing the hard feelings between each other.

Allah doesn't say;

Ka alfi shahr
- Like 1000 months.

He says; khayrun min alfi shahr - Better than 1000 months.

Alfi Shahr
- 1000 months

By Allah saying 1000 months = He meansall time.

1000 months meant hyperbolised, i.e. Better than Forever.

During the time of Allah's Messenger,The Arabs would say; "I will be your friend for 1000 months" = meaning, 'I will be your friend, always.'

So this could ayah could mean that The Night of Qadr is better than all times.

So aninfinity context is being implied.

Ayah 4:

تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ

tanazalul malaa'ikatu war-roohu fee haa bi idhni rabihim min kulli amr

The angels and the Spirit [Jibreel] descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter.

Ta nazalul mala'ikah..

The Qur'an is precise speech, all the way to the way a word is spelt.

A word in Arabic can be spelt fully, and partially. (i.e. In English, Maths is shortened for the longer word Mathematics etc.)

This is; Iddgham fis-sarf. الإدغام في الصرف

تَتَنَزَّلُ TaTanazalu is the actual Original word. There are 2 Ta's.

But you can say Tanazalu - تَنَزَّلُ

Other similar types of words used in the Qur'an;

Tatafakaru / Tafakaru (to ponder)
tatazakaru / tatazakaru (to remember)

The meaning is the same, both are correct - but in Classical Arabic, for the word to be fuller [with double Ta] - implies that it is more in meaning.

In this ayah, Allah says;

Tanazalul mala'ikah..
[1 Ta]

In Surah Fussilat, Allah says;

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ

Indeed, those who have said, "Our Lord is Allah " and then remained on a right course - the angels will descend [TaTanazal] upon them, [saying], "Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised.

[Fussilat 41:30]

Angels are coming down in both places, but When you add the Ta [2 Ta's as prefix] - there are more angels.

In the Surah Fussilat, more angels are coming down at the time of death. How often does death happen? Everyday, all the time - people are dying, so many angels are always coming to take the peoples' soul away. [So 2 Ta's are mentioned as a prefix.]

In the Night of Power, the Angels are coming down, but it is happening alot less [because it is only 1 night in the year] in comparison to the total amount of angels for death everyday of the year. [So 1 Ta is mentioned as a prefix.]

But even then, there are ALOT of angels coming in this night.

Tanazalu -

al Bica'i: The missing Ta also implies that the angels come down quickly and secretly in this night. Malaa'ikatu war-Roohu

The mala'ikah [angels] And ar-Ruh (the spirit - Jibreel/Gabriel). By Ijma' (consensus) - the Muslim scholars all agree that ar-Ruh is Angel Jibreel.

Mala'ikah and Ruh (Jibreel) is repeatedly mentioned in the Qur'an, with the angels [mala'ikah] being mentioned first - then the Ruh.

تَعْرُجُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ إِلَيْهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ

The angels and the Spirit [Jibreel] will ascend to Him during a Day the extent of which is fifty thousand years.

[Ma'arij 70:4]

The only time this order of sequence is shifted is in Surah Naba';

يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الرُّوحُ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ صَفًّا ۖ لَّا يَتَكَلَّمُونَ إِلَّا مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وَقَالَ صَوَابًا

The Day that the Spirit [Jibreel] and the angels will stand in rows, they will not speak except for one whom the Most Merciful permits, and he will say what is correct.

[Naba' 78:38]

Why is this? Why is the Ruh mentioned after the Mala'ikah, except in Surah Naba

We notice that Allah ascribes alot of movement with the angels. Them descending, ascending, doing some form of action etc.

But when Allah describes the Ruh - Jibreel, He usually describes him as stationary / still, or doing a specific action of responsibility. (ذِي قُوَّةٍ عِندَ ذِي الْعَرْشِ مَكِينٍ - [Who is] possessed of power and with the Owner of the Throne, secure [in position], [Takweer 81:20]

We see that in surah Naba' - Allah describes the Jibreel/ar-Ruh standing/yaqoom with the angels. The angels are not moving, so ar-Ruh/Jibreel is mentioned first.

In this surah - there is movement of the angels descending, so the Mala'ikah/angels are mentioned first, and then the Ruh/Jibreel is also descending with them.

This is part of the subtelty and beauty of the Qur'an.

Who brings the Qur'an down
? The Noble Angel Jibreel. So on this Night, this Angel - who revealed the Qur'an to Prophet Muhammad - descends every year in our world with other angels. What an honour.

He repeats his Sunnah every year, of coming down on the day the Qur'an was first revealed. idhni Rabihim..

by the permission of their Master.

Shaykh Salman ar-Ra'i
: It is said the angels are looking forward to seeing the believers on Earth. so they seek permission of their Master (Allah) to come down on this Night, and Allah allows them to descend, after which they meet and greet the believers who are in worship during that night with Salaam (peace and greetings).

This is why the surah ends with سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ - Salamun hiyya matla-il fajr - peace until the morning (ayah 5).

So we see that the angels are excited to meet Allah's obedient slaves.

..min kulli 'amr.

Min - means (from).

Min in classical arabic can also mean - 'because of'

because of every command

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ

فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ

أَمْرًا مِّنْ عِندِنَا ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُرْسِلِينَ

Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind].
On that night is made distinct every precise matter -
[Every] matter [proceeding] from Us. Indeed, We were to send [a messenger]

[Dukhan 44: 3-5]

Why is Allah's permission [idhn] mentioned

Because alot of polytheistic religions commit shirk with the Angels, making them into a deity which is worshipped. So Allah is implying that the angels can't do anything - except with His permission.

The polytheists would make the angels into gods, i.e. An angel which has power over the rain clouds might later be turned into a force, a 'god of the rain' etc. by future ignorant people.

So Allah is telling us that the angels descend by His permission.

al Bica'i - the angels come with the commands which Allah has given them to do for the whole year until the next year's Night of Qadr.

So the amount of deaths which will take place, who will die etc. All this information of commands is given to the angels in this night uptill the following year.

Ayah 5:

سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ

salaamun hiyya hat-taa mattla'-il fajr

Peace it is until the emergence of dawn [fajr].

On this night there is absolutlely no evil whatsoever. This night is entire peace (salamuN - tanween).

A night of absolute peace when there is no intervention of the devils.

Mujahid: this is the night when no human can embark upon any evil task.

ash-Sha'bi: Allah calls it the Salam because the angels are constantly sending peace and blessings upon the believers in the Masaajid/mosques.

From the setting of the sun till thr break of dawn.

The angels pass by the believers doing worship and give Salaam
[prayers of peace] to every single one of them individually.

a Hadeeth quoted by Ibn Katheer: A battalion of angels come down with Jibreel and they enter every Masjid, and approach every believer who is in worship and give him Salaam.
The long journey the angels and Jibreel take, just to give Salaam to the believers.
What an honour.

The Beginning of the Surah's Relation to it's End

The surah began with the descent of the Qur'an, then the angels, then peace. Till the time of Fajr.

What's the best time to recite Qur'an?

The last 3rd of the night, before Fajr.

أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur'an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.

[Israa' 17:78]

It starts with the Qur'an descending, and then it mentions the Night of Qadr being before the time of Fajr - hinting that this is the best time to recite it, especially within that Night.

Almost by consensus, this is a Makki surah (Revealed in Makkah).

When you read about the virtues of the Night of worship. But who doesn't benefit from the virtues? The disbelievers.
But in the Makkan context - the primary audience are the Disbelievers. So why is this a Makki surah?

The integrity of the Qur'an
. In the previous surah 'Alaq, Allah's Messenger is being attacked by Abu Jahl.

Da'wah is like sales, you give Islam and hope the other person buys it.

Allah's Messenger is desperate that the disbelievers become Muslim, and the disbelievers as a result feel they are in power.

Allah makes His Messenger know that he is the one in power, not the disbelievers. They are in loss, and the only reason the Messenger of Allah is desperate is because he fears for the disbelievers.

This Book is so Noble, it was sent down in the Night of Qadr - showing the Nobility of this Book/Qur'an. You do not need to worry about them, rather - if they are sincere - they will try to reach this High and Noble Book.

They missed out on 1000 months of worship, not you.
They are the ones who are losing out.

They should be the most grateful ones because they get to hear the word of Allah. They are not doing you a favour by becoming Muslims.

The previous Surah 'Alaq ended

waqtarib - get close.

This surah shows that you can get the closest to Allah in this Night of Qadr.

Both surahs' focus on Iqra' - Read [Alaq :1]. This surah focuses on us Reading the Qur'an (in salah/prayer) in this Night as one of the best forms of worship.

أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur'an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.

May Allah give us the blessing in seeing and following the Night of Qadr in the upcoming year, and give us love and understanding of the Qur'an, and its implementation. May Allah send peace and blessings upon His Messenger (sal Allah alaihi wasalam). Ameen.

This is the end of tafseer Surah Qadr, and the praise is for Allah.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Surah al Mutafiffeen [Fraudsters] - Miracle Dream Tafseer - Nouman Ali Khan

Asalaam alaikum warahmatulah wabarakatuh.

Surah Mutaffifeen (83) [the Defrauding]

Miracle Dream Tafseer
- Nouman Ali Khan

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A profound declaration against a criminal.
Al Mutaffifeen: Comes from ta-fafa, a doer of tafafa is a mutafif - when they're in business - when they sellsomething to someone, they want to get a little more than they deserve, but when they give - they give less than they should.

This can be in tangible and intangible things. I.e. in services - you might owe someone 5 hours at work, but you might just give 4hours and 58minutes. Or you owe someone 1kg of rice, so you put 990grams of rice in the scale - without measuring accurately. This is a mutaffif, so that the customer can't even come back and complain that he never got the exact right amount. So it's not about taking huge amounts unjustly, but it's about little amounts taken unjustly and unfairly.

Relation to Previous Surah [Surah Infitar]

This connects to alot of things in the previous surah;

كَلَّا بَلْ تُكَذِّبُونَ بِالدِّينِ

Nay! but you give the lie to the Recompense [Deen] (reward for good deeds and punishment for evil deeds)
(Infitar 82:9)

Deen is literally the 'exact portion'. In the previous surah, it implied the exact portion we are due for on Judgment Day.

In the tafsir of this surah, Deen may also refer to the portion which the mutaffif denies - of giving - in his worldly affairs.

We also see in the previous surah (Infitar) that Allah said;

يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنسَانُ مَا غَرَّكَ بِرَبِّكَ الْكَرِيمِ
O mankind, what has deceived you concerning your Lord, the Generous, (Infitar 82:6)

الَّذِي خَلَقَكَ فَسَوَّاكَ فَعَدَلَكَ
Who created you, proportioned you, and balanced you? (Infitar 82:7)

'Adalak - does not just refer to Him creating us in a balanced state, but it also means that He programmed you with a sense of balance.

A person who even cheats others - when he recieves something - doesn't he want his full amount? So they understand the sense of balance. They wouldn't want their relatives to get less than they deserve. But when they themselves deal with customers - they cheat with the people. It's because of this sense of balance they feel entitled to fair dealings from others to them. This shows that humans are created with an inclination to balance. But anyone who does not deal in this balanced state in their dealings with others is therefore, a Mutaffif.

Is this a Makki Surah or Madani?
[Revealed in Makkah or Medinah?]

Some people said that the beginning aayaat about the cheaters in business was about the Muslims in Medinah (Ansar) [and that these were Madani revealed aayaat]. However, brother Nouman disagrees and says that;

1- those narrations are not strong,
2- these aayaat are talking about the worst type of fujjaar (criminals), and the Muslims of Medinah were not fujjaar.
3 - the people of Medinah dealt in agriculture more than business, whereas the people of Makkah primarily did business and trading.

This is why the majority say this is a Makkan surah.

Ayah 1:

وَيْلٌ لِّلْمُطَفِّفِينَ

Waylun lilmutaffifeen

Woe to those who give less [than due],

Wayl = A curse. May destruction fall upon them (a harm
i.e. such as an illness etc.) It's an ugly kind of word. And it's been used for someone whose been totally ruined. I.e. some say "Ya waylanaa!" [meaning, Oh our destruction (has fallen on us).]

Waylun (tanween - a Nun placed at the end for further emphasis) = horrible destruction.

Waylun lilmutaffifeen - ultimate destruction / a horrible destruction, for those who engage in this kind of tafeef. They take just a little bit away without the customer realising it. Taking more then you should, or giving less than you should.

If you go further, you find Allah's Messenger explaining this Mutaffif and his effect on society;

Wa laa taffaf kayl, ilaa muni'un-nabaath, wa ukhidhu bi sineen.

Bukhari (Sahih). Chapter of Punishments. - They did not cheat a little bit in business, except;

1) The crops stopped growing.
2) They were seized by means of drought.

And Allah says in Surah Rum;

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness]. (Rum 30:41)

Ayah 2:

الَّذِينَ إِذَا اكْتَالُوا عَلَى النَّاسِ يَسْتَوْفُونَ

Allatheena itha iktalooAAala annasi yastawfoon

Who, when they take a measure from people, take in full.

They recieve weight from people, they going to get the full amount they can get.

Aladheena Idhaktaaloo 'alaa al naas(those who, when they measure 'upon' the people...)

Usually - in arabic language - the word 'min' [from] is used (i.e. Aladheena Idhaktaaloo min al naas - those who, when they measure 'from' the people...)

But by Allah saying 'alaa, He is implying that these people actually bully and pressurise the seller into giving him the full amount accurately... Even if he weighs it correctly, the mutaffif would want a slight bit more out of greed.

This is even common in todays time where we might 'muscle our way'/put pressure to get something extra out of a seller, when that might not be possible for him. Sometimes it is necessary, but you deep down know in your conscience when you are being a mutaffif (by being unfair).


Yutwafawna [they are infact given in full]. Yastawfoon (mentioned in this surah) - they try to get the full as possible (i.e. i want more, more, more!)

الَّذِينَ إِذَا اكْتَالُوا عَلَى النَّاسِ يَسْتَوْفُونَ

(those who, when they measure 'upon' the people (by pressurising them), want more, more, more!).

Ayah 3:

وَإِذَا كَالُوهُمْ أَو وَّزَنُوهُمْ يُخْسِرُونَ

Wa-itha kaloohum aw wazanoohum yukhsiroon

But if they give by measure or by weight to them, they cause loss.

And when they have to waive for others, and measure the product - in a specific weight - they make sure the other person leaves in loss (khusr). "I want to make sure I give him less than he deserves (even if its just by 1%!)".

In an average arabic sentence, it would be;
Wa idhaa [and when] Kaloo [give by measure] La [for] hum [them]...

And when they give by measure for them, they cause loss.(this is how it should be in an average arabic sentence.)

But in the Qur'anic aayah it is;

Wa idhaa [and when] Kaloo hum [give by measure (to) them] aw wazanoohum [or by weight (to) them] yukhsiroon [they cause loss] :

But if they give by measure or by weight to them, they cause loss. (this is how it is in this aayah of Qur'an).

By not mentioning 'La' (for), it implies there is some form of unnatural-ness in this transaction. It is not a fair transaction. This is due to their cheating nature. But why are they like this?

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ ۚ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا

afalaa yataDabarroon al Qur'an? Do they not reflect deeply on the Qur'an? (surah Nisa 4:82)

taDaburr - Dubur - to look behind something to see it's reality.

These people act in this cheating way, So what is the root cause of them cheating? Why do they have this cheating personality without feeling uncomfortable in doing it?

The next ayah let's us know;

Ayah 4:

أَلَا يَظُنُّ أُولَٰئِكَ أَنَّهُم مَّبْعُوثُونَ

Ala yathunnu ola-ikaannahum mabAAoothoon

Do they not think that they will be resurrected?

Have those people (ulaa/ik) - have they never thought they will be raised?

Allah doesn't speak to them, He doesn't even say 'Hum' (=them), He says ulaaa/ik - them people [this is a far distancing when referring to 'them'].

The first time this person does the sin, he is uncomfortable.
The second time this person is less uncomfortable.
Gradually they become experts in this evil and find ways to escape from the law. They then teach these illegal acts to others too.
They take pride in this - thinking they will always beat the law, and they don't feel guilty - because they don't believe they will be be taken to account for their evil.

Do they not think, that they might be ressurrected (on Judgment Day)?

Dhan - assumption
The thought of Ressurection does not even come to their mind.

mab'oothoon - ba'ath - dispatched/sent forward.

Ayah 5:

لِيَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ

Liyawmin AAadheem

For a tremendous Day -

Adheem (adhm/idhaam) commonly translated as great.

Adheem comes from Adhm, their plural is Idhaam.

Adhm is a bone, which is tough and strong. It is difficult to break.
When someone hits you with their body, i.e. a punch - the only way you recieve intense pain is if a tough bone hits you. I.e. the knuckles.

Li yawmin adheem - for a Tough Day.

Ayah 6:

يَوْمَ يَقُومُ النَّاسُ لِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Yawma yaqoomu annasu lirabbialAAalameen

The Day when mankind will stand before the Lord of the worlds?

In the previous surah, Allah tells us the great Day. - when the sky is ripped open, and the stars are falling off, the oceans are set on fire.

Even after hearing about such a Great Day, they still don't stop their evil ways?
We will see why as we go through the rest of the surah.

In the previous surah, Allah said;
'alimat nafsun maa qadamat wa akharat - the souls will know what they had left behind and put forward.

In this ayah, Allah is telling us - the Day when mankind will stand infront of the Master of the Aalameen (all things with an intellect).

So they will be ressurected with all their partner criminals on this Day, and even the ones they had cheated.

Ayah 7:

كَلَّا إِنَّ كِتَابَ الْفُجَّارِ لَفِي سِجِّينٍ

Kalla inna kitaba alfujjarilafee sijjeen

No! Indeed, the record of the wicked is in sijjeen.

Kal-laa - no! Not at all!
This is a negation.

Allah is silencing their thoughts and false wishes for no Judgment.
Allah is implying that even if you do not believe, even if you are in denial - No doubt - you will face this Day.

inna kitaab al fuj-jaara la fee sijjeen

In the previous surah (Infitar) we heard about angels of this world who write your actions. Documentation of what we and it being written was mentioned.

In this surah; Allah is telling us that the book of the criminals (fujjaar) is in preserved in the Sijjeen.

Fujjaar - Faajir - Fajr - to tear through

(i.e. Fajr/dawn is called Fajr because the morning light tears through the darkness).
Faajir = someone who is extremely rebellious and tears through the sanctities of Allah without fear of consequence from Allah.

Allah is telling that you might do all these forms of rebellion and tearing through Allah's forbidden boundaries - but everything you do has been written in kitaab al fujjaar.

This is like a register.

In the old days (and even in the present time secret dungeon prisons against Muslims) - there were dungeons and there was an office with a Roster - this Roster had information of which prisoner should recieve which punishment, and how long they would have to stay there for.

This Roster is kept right outside prison. And only the guards have access to it.

This is how some of the Salaf (early Muslim predecessors) commented about this book. They said that the souls of the evildoers are deep in the Earth where the souls of the criminals are kept. Allah knows best if this is correct.
This Roster is a record of what the criminals (fujjaar) have done in full detail.

The sinful soul - when it leaves this Earth - it goes to this Roster/book/record, and sees all the crimes it has committed.

Where is this Roster?

La fee Sijjeen. (no doubt - in the Sijjeen).

Sijjeen - Sijn - Prison.
Sijjeen - horrible Prison.

The nature of this Criminal (faajir) sins is recorded in a book, and that book is sent to the prison - which has a record of what punishments this criminal should recieve and how long for.

Surah al Kahf - maa li haadhal kitaab? Laa yughadiru sagheeratan aw kabeeratan il-laa ihsaaha? - what is with this book? it does not leave a big or small thing, except it has recorded it.

Everything has been thoroughly recorded.

Ayah 8:

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا سِجِّينٌ

Wa maa adraaka ma Sijjeen?

And what will make you know what Sijjeen is?

In the previous surah, Allah said; wa maa adraaka ma yawmu ad-deen? And what will make you know what the Day of Recompense is?

On the Day of Judgment, everybody will be worried.
Now, there is extra emphasis on the worst criminals.

You don't scare the criminal by the Court, you scare him by the extremely horrible Prison.

Ayah 9:

كِتَابٌ مَّرْقُومٌ

Kitabun marqoom

(It is) a Book imprinted.

This record is documented by noble trustworthy angels, as mentioned in previous surahs.
But this record is given further description;

Marqoom - to write Something in Thick, Clear writing.

to imprint it so it cannot be erased.

This is also used to stitch embroidery onto clothing (Raqqama) - because once it is stitched - it cannot be removed through washing.

This data won't just be written accurately by trustworthy angels, but it will also be unerasable - it cannot be removed.

: It's imprinted and written just like stitching - it will not be forgotten or erased.

You thought you had forgot your sin, you thought no-one saw it - but it has been sent forward like an email and you cannot prevent it once you have sent it forward.

Ayah 10:

وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ
Waylun yawma-idhin lilmukadhzibeen

Destruction that Day to the deniers!

Threat of Destruction is again mentioned in this surah, except it is specific to the deniers. But deniers of what?

Ayah 11:

الَّذِينَ يُكَذِّبُونَ بِيَوْمِ الدِّينِ

aladheena yukaziboona bi yawmi ad-deen

(those who lie against the Day of Recompense).

Ayah 10,11 and 12 of this surah all mention the word Kadhib (lying against the religion) in different forms. (mukadhibeen, yukadhibeen, yukadhibu)

So we see that the root cause of the people who cheat in business is due to their lying against the Day of Recompense. This is one of the reasons why Allah is cursing them (Wayl - Ultimate destruction.)

You lie against this Day of Recompense - and this is why you cheat people.

The things people deny the most - those are the things Allah mentions
the most. So Allah mentions them alot so the reminder stays in our minds.

This person who cheats in business is expecting full payment, and he will get his full punishment without any justice on that Day. But he wants to deny that, so he continues rebelling - yet that is continuously recorded against him.

Ayah 12:

وَمَا يُكَذِّبُ بِهِ إِلَّا كُلُّ مُعْتَدٍ أَثِيمٍ

Wama yukadhdhibu bihi illa kullu muAAtadin atheem

And who will lie against it, except Mu'tadin [violator of others rights], and Atheem [continuous sinner]

- I'tada - violating someones rights. Wronging the people.
A bully - one who crosses the limits.

Atheem - Ithm (commonly translated as 'sin') - in the original form - an attitude which prevents you from doing good things.

The worst of the worst. These people will deny the Day of Judgment.

The people of language/Lughah say that Ithm is primarily in the heart.
This person feels uncomfortable in doing good deeds.

فَإِنَّهُ آثِمٌ قَلْبُهُ - fa innahu aathimu qalbuh - then surely his has become Aathim/unable to inline to good. - [Baqarah 2:238]

Al birru matma'annat alayhin-nafs, wal ithmu maa haaka fee sadrik.

Goodness is what will satisfy/relax your self [nafs], and Ithm is what will eat away at your chest (your heart).

If you persist in the characteristics of Ithm, you will become AthEEm
. - this person is stuck in that state.

Every chance he gets to do evil - he does so. Every chance he gets to do good - he pushes it away.

This is the worst type of ma qadamat wa akhkharat - what he has left behind and put forward. Because he has done all evil.

bal-il insaanu 'ala nafsihee baseera
(no doubt man is upon his self a witness) - surah qiyamah

The shocking thing is that such business cheating occurs amongst our own relatives.

And when you warn them against this, they say;

Ayah 13:

إِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِ آيَاتُنَا قَالَ أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ

idha Tutlaa 'alayhim aayaatuhu, qaaloo asaateeru al awwaleen

When the aayaat/signs/verses are read to them they say - these are stories of old!

Talwan / tilawatan
talya - to follow and to read.

Tutlaa (plural - read to them many times)

Asaateer -


satr - lines

in the old times you had myths, fables and mythologies, so people would write down stories which are passed on through generations for fun and cultural purposes.
People knew that these stories are not true.

This makes him Faajir - making fun of the aayaat/signs of Allah and rejecting them.

So they are Fujjaar (criminals) because;
They cheat others.
They deny the Day of Recompense.
They lie against Allah's aayaat and say they are false mythological stories.

Ayah 14:

كَلَّا ۖ بَلْ ۜ رَانَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِم مَّا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ
Kalla bal rana AAalaquloobihim ma kanoo yaksiboon

Rather We place a Rust [Raan] on their hearts.

Raan - a rust imprint that covers their hearts.

Sin after sin after sin so the heart becomes black.

Hadith: this person does a sin and their heart gets a spot of black on it. If he repents - it is polished off. But if he continues - spots are added sin after sin. So the heart becomes black with filth.

Ibn Jarir, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nisa'i, and Ibn Majah all recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said,

«إِنَّ الْعَبْدَ إِذَا أَذْنَبَ ذَنْبًا كَانَتْ نُكْتَةٌ سَوْدَاءُ فِي قَلْبِهِ، فَإِنْ تَابَ مِنْهَا صُقِلَ قَلْبُهُ، قوَإِنْ زَادَ زَادَتْ، فَذلِكَ قَوْلُ اللهِ تَعَالَى:
[كَلاَّ بَلْ رَانَ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ مَّا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ ]»

(Verily, when the servant commits a sin, a black spot appears in his heart. If he repents from it, his heart is polished clean. However, if he increases (in the sin), the spot will continue to increase. That is the statement of Allah: ((Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (covering) which they used to earn.)) At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.'' The wording of An-Nasa'i says,

«إِنَّ الْعَبْدَ إِذَا أَخْطَأَ خَطِيئَةً نُكِتَ فِي قَلْبِهِ نُكْتَةٌ سَوْدَاءُ ، فَإِنْ هُوَ نَزَعَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ وَتَابَ صُقِلَ قَلْبُهُ ، فَإِنْ عَادَ زِيدَ فِيهَا حَتَّى تَعْلُو قَلْبَهُ فَهُوَ الرَّانُ الَّذِي قَالَ اللهُ تَعَالَى:
[كَلاَّ بَلْ رَانَ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ مَّا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ ]»

(Whenever the servant commits a wrong, a black spot is put in his heart. So, if he refrains from it, seeks forgiveness and repents, his heart is polished clean. But if he returns to the sin, the spot will increase until it overcomes his (entire) heart, and this is the Ran that Allah mentions when He says: (Nay, but on their hearts is the Ran (covering) which they used to earn.))

Surah Mutaffifeen - Ibn Kathir Tafseer
What rusted on their hearts? What they used to do. Just these small cheatings in businesses gradually added up spot by spot of black - until their heart was covered in dark filthy rust.

In the previous surah
, Allah said;
Yaa ayyuhal insaana ma gharraka ilaa Rabbika al kareem?
Oh forgetful human, what has distracted you from your Generous Lord?

what has? This surah explains - His stiff and rusted heart.

Ayah 15:

كَلَّا إِنَّهُمْ عَن رَّبِّهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَّمَحْجُوبُونَ

kal-laa innahum ar-Rabbihim yawma idhin la mahjooboon -

no! Not at all. Surely they will be blocked off from their Lord.

they won't be able to see Him (a barrier/hijab between them)

So on that Day they won't be able to see their Lord.

But they will only be able to see one thing; the hellfirewhich is staring at them.
Their eyes will be stuck on that.

This is really powerful when related to the previous surah when Allah said;
wa ma hum 'anha bi gha'ibeen
- and they will not be able to ever leave it (hell). (Infitar 82:16)

ash-Shafi'i said
; This ayah is a proof that the believers will see their Lord.

Malik; When the enemies are blocked off from seeing Allah, then He will show His full glory to the believers as they see Him.

This ayah is a punishment to the disbelievers, and a blessing to the believers.

Ayah 16:

ثُمَّ إِنَّهُمْ لَصَالُو الْجَحِيمِ

Thumma innahum lasaloo aljaheem

Then indeed, they will [enter and] burn in Hellfire.

The worst of the punishments was the sealing of the heart. But what was this for? Because they ridiculed Allah's signs.
Their heart was rusty, then they cannot see Allah, and finally - they are throwing themselves into the Jaheem - hellfire which is staring at them - ready to pounce at them.

Saaloo - Ism / Noun - a strong emphasis showing they will throw themselves into hellfire.

Ayah 17:

ثُمَّ يُقَالُ هَٰذَا الَّذِي كُنتُم بِهِ تُكَذِّبُونَ
Thumma yuqalu hadha alladheekuntum bihi tukadhdhiboon

Then it will be said [to them], "This is what you used to deny."

thumma Yuqaloo;

then it will be said (passive tense). Allah does not even mention Himself because He does not want to place His Majesty next to the evil of these rebellious slaves.

Allah has barricaded Himself in the previous aayaat, they cannot see Him on this Day. Now He has even distanced His voice from them.

haadha aladhee - this is the very thing

kuntum bihee tukadhiboon - you would lie against all along. This is what you would laugh at, and deny, and say it is fairytales/mythology.

In the previous surah there was a mention of denial in this life, this surah is more serious - if you don't change for the better - you will be thrown in hell and be told that this is what you lied against.

Suddenly Allah switches the scene, from disbelievers to believers.

Ayah 18:

كَلَّا إِنَّ كِتَابَ الْأَبْرَارِ لَفِي عِلِّيِّينَ

Kalla inna kitaba al-abrari lafee illiyyeen

Nay! Verily, the Record (writing of the deeds) of Al-Abrar (the pious who fear Allah and avoid evil), is (preserved) in 'Illiyyeen.

In the previous surah, Allah mentions that the righteous are fee Na'eem -

: wherever they look - they are always happy. They are always in a happy and pleasurale state.

In this surah we find more detail about the righteous;

- no doubt

Abraar (jam'u qilla / small plural) - because the people who are righteous are few.

their book is going to be in the Illiyeen;

Illiyeen - 'uluw - height.

This book will be in the company of the highest. The more higher the angels are - the more honorable they are.

A high position group of angels - they are holding the book of the Illiyeen.

: This is a very high and honored place in the highest place of Jannah.

; It could refer to a high place in Jannah/paradise, and also high positioned angels keep this book of records.

Some say; The book itself is called Illiyeen (ism/noun).

Many Muffassireen (scholars of Qur'an explanation) said; The soul of the believer is taken up to many high levels until it reaches under the throne / 'Arsh of Allah. Under that is the record of the Illiyyeen.

In this record - their punishment which they might have had for sins - they are saved from it. It also guarantees their entrance into Jannah. They see their contract, and then they return to their place (i.e. in the grave etc.) But they are given an early protection and sneak preview, with a condition of Safety from Allah before the Day of Judgment.

This is for the likes of the Shuhadaa' (those killed in Allah's way etc.)

The Shuhadaa' go straight to Paradise, so this explanation is in regard to the Muqaraboon (those really close to Allah in goodness).

Ayah 19:

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا عِلِّيُّونَ

Wama adraka maAAilliyyoon

And what can make you know what is 'illiyyun?

adra/yudri - what will give you a clue what this record is?

Ayah 20 and 21:

Ayah 20

كِتَابٌ مَّرْقُومٌ

Kitabun marqoom - (It is) a Book imprinted,

Ayah 21

يَشْهَدُهُ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ

Yashhaduhu almuqarraboon - Which is witnessed by those brought near [to Allah ].

The angels are witnessing the deeds of the righteous because it contains within it the safety of Allah from hellfire and entrance into Paradise.

: he said the same as above. But the closest of the angels are looking at the records in the high levels of Jannah.

The Ruh of the righteous person rises to Allah, and the angels look at his record of good. They then all witness it; (yash-hadu al muqarraboon), so on the Day of Judgment - many angels bear witness to this persons closeness and righteousness. This person also sees his record. So on the Day of Judgment, he is at peace whilst many are in a state of worry and distress.

Ayah 22:

إِنَّ الْأَبْرَارَ لَفِي نَعِيمٍ

Innal abraara la fee na'eem

Indeed, the righteous are in pleasure

This is an exact repetition of an ayah in surah Infitar with the same wording. [see Infitar 82:13]

But that ayah in surah Infitar was a counter argument to the ayah; wa inna al fujjaara la fee jaheem - and surely the criminals are in the staring predator, hell.

In an earlier part of this surah (ayah 7) - we found; kal-laa inna kitaab al fujjaara la fee sijjeen
. - no, surely the book of the criminals is in the Sijjeen (extremely horrible prison).

Allah just tells that the criminals' Rosters' are in a horrible Prison (Sijjeen), and we realise how bad their torture will really be, so Allah ignores them now and moves onto describing the bliss of the righteous. He gives them more attention.

Allah gave alot of description of the people of Paradise in this surah. Because we didn't hear much about the people of Paradise in the previous surah.

Now Allah will highlight the bliss of Paradise. So He will give a glimpse of Paradise to us.

Ayah 23:

عَلَى الْأَرَائِكِ يَنظُرُونَ

AAala al-ara-iki yandhuroon

On Thrones (of Dignity) will they command a sight (of all things):

Aareeka is singular of araa/ik. - a large couch full of cushions.

yandhuroon - looking around in detail.

When you sit down and relax - you can't look around. So Allah is saying that this is possible in Paradise.

They will be reclined, but also with the best view. Wherever you look - full bliss.

na'eem - in softness of pleasures.

Ayah 24:

تَعْرِفُ فِي وُجُوهِهِمْ نَضْرَةَ النَّعِيمِ

TaAArifu fee wujoohihim nadrata annaAAeem

You will recognise in their faces the radiance of delight.

naddrah - glow/glitter/joy/beauty/freshness


naddrah - when you have joy and freshness, happiness on your face.
This is also used for vegetables and fruit when they are fresh and ripe.

wujoohun yawma idhin naaddirah - surah qiyamah - faces on that Day will be fresh/happy.

These people are sitting on couches, with lit/bright, fresh, happy faces..

..Na'eem (iddaafa) - soft, blissful, relaxed. Whenever they see something - their face smiles again;

i.e. "Look at that!" "Wow, but look at that too!" i.e. Wherever they look - they find amazement and happiness and awe.

Ayah 25:

يُسْقَوْنَ مِن رَّحِيقٍ مَّخْتُومٍ
Yusqawna min raheeqin makhtoom

They will be given to drink [pure] wine [which was] sealed.

Room Service:

Yusqawna - they will be given to drink.

This shows that they will not even have to get up to get the drinks themselves, it will be given to them.

yasqoona would be that they will get a drink. But Yusqawna means 'they are given to drink'.
Whilst they are reclining on their couches.

..min Raheeq-il Makhtoom

Raheeq: -

as-Sabooni says it is: the purest possible wine or drink, which is not contaminated by age, it is crystal clear (see through), and it has great texture in colour and it never makes you drunk (no matter how much you drink), and it has a beautiful smell.

- (from Khatm/Seal) literally means Sealed after being filled to the rim.

(i.e. Allah's Messenger is called the Khatim an-Nabiyyeen - seal of the Prophets because ALL the Prophets have fulFilled their duties), and he has finally sealed and closed the Seal to Prophethood.)
These drinks have an original Seal, they are filled to the brim - and then sealed tightly waiting for the righteous to open them and drink from them.

Beautiful wine bottles are handed over to the believers - which are sealed.

The context when these aayaat of Jannah/paradise are being revealed

The muslims are being ridiculed in Makkah, and they are criticizing the big businesses, and saying that if you do this - it will throw you in hell.

The companions of Allah's Messenger would memorize these aayaat and convey them to these cheating business criminals.
And these criminals would insult the believers, laugh at them - "What are you going to do to stop me? You're a black slave (Bilal), you're a foreigner (Suhayb ar-Rumi), get lost."
This was the experience the Muslims would face against such people.
The disbelievers avoided the believers.

You can imagine continuous insults being thrown against the Messenger, the believers, and the Qur'an.

Allah therefore encourages them to continue in their good;

- He tells them that their record is in the Illiyyoon - an amazing record of your good deeds.
- You're going to have relaxation on high couches, looking at all the wonders around you.
- You're going to have special drinks in bottles, sealed, waiting just for you.
Compare this to the disbelievers at that time - who would drink from wells. They did not get served. Only kings would, and even kings had limited drinks they could drink from, and these drinks could intoxicate you.

Ayah 26:

خِتَامُهُ مِسْكٌ ۚ وَفِي ذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَتَنَافَسِ الْمُتَنَافِسُونَ
Khitamuhu miskun wafee thalikafalyatanafasi almutanafisoon

The last of it is musk. So for this let the competitors compete.

khitamuhu Misk - it's seal has a scent of Musk.
The seal has a beautiful smell of musk, whilst the drink has not even been opened yet!

..Then in that - let those who compete - compete in this.

If you want to compete with anyone in anything - then compete with them in this - in racing to these pleasures of Jannah/paradise.

ilaa maghfiratin min Rabbik - run towards forgiveness from your Lord.
saabiqoo - race

- Nafs:

Nafs - has many derivatives.
Anfaas - breaths.
Nafas - take a breath.

competing in the spirit of healthy competition.

All these derivatives have the basic idea of 'back and forth'. I.e. In a competition, you compete one against the other. When you breathe - you breathe in and out. Etc.

This is why Nafs is used to describe the human self; It is always going back and forth in different states, so once it is in a state of desire, if it fulfills that desire it might move into a state of embarrassment, then it might repent, then it might go back to a righteous character, then it might incline to a false desire once more.
So the state of the Nafs is continuously changing and moving.

A similar ayah;
Li mithli hadha fal ya'mal 'aamiloon - (surah Saffaat) - for this (Paradise) let the workers work.

: the word Tanaafis signifies - they are running towards something so high class and elegant.

I.e. Even though the believers are being tortured and humiliated by the disbelievers, they are racing each other to reach this comfort in Paradise.

The problems of the world - Allah has taken them away from the minds of the believers. So when the Muslims are tortured, they are happy because they are sacrificing for Allah's pleasure, and the disbelievers can't understand why they have this happiness.

Why is this person happy for being insulted, humiliated and tortured? Not just that - but why are these people competing in that?

This is what happens when a heart full of Emaan and certainty is filled with Qur'an and it's pure understanding.

O Allah, fill our hearts with Emaan and pure understanding of Your words.

The passage began with Abraar (the righteous), but then Allah takes our imagination to an even higher level.

Ayah 27

وَمِزَاجُهُ مِن تَسْنِيمٍ

Wamizajuhu min tasneem

It (that wine) will be mixed with Tasnim.

Meezaaj / Mazaja / Mizj - when you put a mix in your drink i.e. to mix flavours etc.

Tasneem - Sanaam (hump of a camel) - i.e. a very high place.

Tasneem also means to elevate something, i.e. Tasneem al quboor = to raise the graves above ground.

The mixture of this drink has come from a very high fountain/waterfall called Tasneem.
It is so nice, that people wonder where this mix came from.

When you taste that Tasneem - you want it in it's pure form because it's so tastey. So the people wonder where it came from?

So Allah explains in the next ayah:

Ayah 29:

عَيْنًا يَشْرَبُ بِهَا الْمُقَرَّبُونَ

Aynun yashrabu biha al muqqaraboon -

a spring by which drink those (who are) closest to Allah.

Classical arabic is especially very picturesque (graphical).

This is ikhtisaas - specificness to these people.

bi ha - (ddarf makaan - location) - they are sitting by it and drinking it [Tasneem].
min ha (from that) is not used, bi ha implies they are actually at the spring of Tasneem.

These people are in a higher level than the Abraar (the righteous) - who would get a mix of Tasneem.
These muqqariboon (closest to Allah) are at the spring of Tasneem and drink at where it is located.

This shows the different degrees of Paradise.
The scholars also comment that this Tasneem drink is very high, its origin is very high.

: Tasneem is a waterfall/spring from which the closest to Allah drink.
This shows that the rank of the Abraar (Righteous) who are sitting on high couches will be served with sealed musk drinks, with a mix of Tasneem.
But the ones higher - closest to Allah (muqqariboon) they will drink from the location of Tasneem itself.

So on one view, Allah spoke about the worst of the worst criminals (al fujjaar). And on the other view - He spoke about the best of the best (al Muqqaraboon).

as-Sabiqoon as-Sabiqoon - ulaa/ika al muqqarraboon - those who are foremost ahead (in good) - they are the closest (to Allah.) - surah al Waqi'ah.

Allah compensates those who race and are the foremost in goodness because they do believe and do good when others do not, and this requires the most sacrifice.

Ayah 29

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أَجْرَمُوا كَانُوا مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يَضْحَكُونَ
Inna alladheena ajramoo kaanoo min-alladheena amanoo yaddhakoon

No doubt those who engaged in Crime [ijraam] had been making fun and laughing at the believers.

Ijraam - have a crime and see its consequences.

Those people laughed at the believers, made fun of their beliefs. The comedian's main jokes were against Muslims.
They attempted to humiliate the believers and then laughed at them.

Kaanoo [used to
(in past tense)]:

The Qur'an is full of Iltifaat - transisions from past to future/future to past, 1st person to 2nd person, 3rd person etc.)

Allah was talking about Jannah/paradise in the future tense before, now he is bringing us back into the past (i.e. this worldly life).

These aayaat are now being said in the past tense, as if the believers are remembering what hardships they used to go through and how much ease they are in now (in Jannah).

Allah did not say; the disbelievers laugh at the believers. (present tense)

He said;the Disbelievers USED TO (Kanoo - past tense) used to laugh at the believers.

So Allah is showing this in a way as if it is a distant memory, and as if the people of Jannah are remembering their time of this world.

Ayah 30:

وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِهِمْ يَتَغَامَزُونَ

Wa-idha marroo bihim yataghamazoon

And when they (disbelievers) would pass by them (the believers) - they would wink at each other.

Ghamz - gesture with their eyes. I.e. Roll your eyes, wink, insulting.

Allah even shows the smallest of their bodily actions. Just the way they look at the believers.

Ayah 31

وَإِذَا انقَلَبُوا إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهِمُ انقَلَبُوا فَكِهِينَ
Wa-idha inqalaboo ila ahlihimu inqalaboo faakiheen

And when they returned to their people, they would return jesting.

Then they return to their families

(this is a repeated theme, even in surah Qiyamah 75:33 - ilaa ahlihee yatamattaaثُمَّ ذَهَبَ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهِ يَتَمَطَّىٰ - then he returned to his family with full pride of himself)

Faqiheen - joyed. From the word Faqiha - fruit.
Because when you eat a delicious fruit - you have a sense of joy on your face.

They enjoyed making funny of the believers so much - that it is like they are delighted at eating a tastey fruit.

They are so happy - it is like they can taste joy when insulting the believers. So they tell their family what they did against the believers.

This is a contrast - since the same disbelieving man will be running away from his family on Judgment Day.

Ayah 32:

وَإِذَا رَأَوْهُمْ قَالُوا إِنَّ هَٰؤُلَاءِ لَضَالُّونَ
Wa-itha ra/awhum qaaloo inna haa ola-iladdaaalloon

and when they saw them - they said these people are the truly lost/misguided (ddaaloon)

They want this Paradise, that's why they're acting like this. They look at the Muslims with pity, thinking they're wasting their lives away for an 'imaginary' Paradise.

Ayah 33:

وَمَا أُرْسِلُوا عَلَيْهِمْ حَافِظِينَ

Wama orsiloo AAalayhim hafidheen

and they had not been sent upon them as guardians.

The disbelievers were not sent to guard the believers, so what is your concern if the Muslim is trying to strive for Paradise? Why do you pity him or laugh at him, when it is his concern and not yours? He believes in this Paradise for a reason.

Another opinion

The criminals are looking at the believers and are saying; who made them (believers) as guards over our matters?
I.e. When the Muslim forbids the disbelievers from doing evil, the fujjaar (criminals who tear through Allah's forbidden matters) - they ask why are Muslims getting involved in our matters? 'Who gave you such an authority to control what I do in my life?'

The previous surah tells that the believers are not watchful over you.

Inna alaykum la hafidheen - surely upon you are guardians (angels - who are guarding/writing all the evil that you do).

Ayah 34:

فَالْيَوْمَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنَ الْكُفَّارِ يَضْحَكُونَ

Falyawma alladheena amanoo mina alkuffaari yad-hakoon

then on that Day, the believers will be laughing at those who disbelieved.

the scene goes back onto the future again.

Why will the believers laugh?

In surah al Baqarah 2:212; Allah says;

زُيِّنَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَيَسْخَرُونَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ۘ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا فَوْقَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ -

Zuyinna liladheena kaffaroo al-hayat ad-dunya, wa yaskhawna min aladheena aamanoo.

waladheena attaqaw fawqahum yawm al qiyyaamah

Beautified for those who disbelieve was the life of this world, and they made fun of those who believed.

But those who guarded against evil when remembering Allah - will be above them (the disbelievers) on the Day of Ressurection.

So Allah continues;

Ayah 35:

عَلَى الْأَرَائِكِ يَنظُرُونَ
'Alaa al-araa/iki yandhuroon

They will be on these high couches, reclining, having full view.

This description is given for the second time.

But now they are looking at the disbelievers, and laughing.

Didn't you find our belief in hellfire funny before? Because now I find your situation funny because of the hardships you caused me.

Ayah 36:

هَلْ ثُوِّبَ الْكُفَّارُ مَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ

Hal thuwwiba alkuffaru ma kanoo yafAAaloon

Are not the disbelievers paid (fully) for what they used to do?

Thawb - thawwaab - to get a good salary/payback. I.e. You do good work, so you get good salary.

Have those who disbelieved now got a good salary for what they used to do?

This might be sarcasm from Allah, or sarcasm from the believers in Paradise.
And these believers are not doing any injustice, because they recieved harsh treatment from these people in this worldly life.

Yaf'aloon - to do an action without intent.

Ya'maloon - do an act with intent.

These fujjaar do evil without even thinking that I am doing a criminal act against Allah. So they don't do 'aml, they do fi'l - evil actions without thought.

This Surah's Relationship of it's Beginning to it's End:

Ibn al Jawzi: Have these criminals (fujjaar) been given what they deserve when they belittled and made fun of Allah's Book, the Messenger, and the believers'? Yes, absolutely.

- This surah started with ultimate destruction for those who cheated in business (mutaffaf), because they wanted to make a small profit.

So Allah ends the surah with;

هَلْ ثُوِّبَ الْكُفَّارُ مَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ - Have those who disbelieved now got a good salary for what they used to do? (al Mutaffifeen 83:36)