Surah Abasa  - Dream Tafseer Notes - Nouman Ali Khan
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Connection of Previous Surah [Nazi'at 79] to this Surah [Abasa]:
In the previous surah of Nazi'aat - we found 2 types of contrasting people near the end.
فَأَمَّا مَن طَغَىٰ وَآثَرَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا فَإِنَّ الْجَحِيمَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَىٰ
As for him who was rebellious, [who] disbelieved,and preferred the life of this world, Then indeed, Hellfire will be [his] refuge. [Nazi'at 79: 37-39]
وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِ وَنَهَى النَّفْسَ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ فَإِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَىٰ
But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination, Then indeed, Paradise will be [his] refuge. [Nazi'at 79: 40-41]
In this surah too there are 2 types of people;
1 - The one who doesn't care [Istaghnaa].
2 - The one who fears and comes to the Messenger of Allah running.
Believer and disbeliever.
We see such characters - from the previous surah's descriptions - being enacted within this surah.
Respecting Allah's Messenger:
This Surah discusses a really sensitive topic, so we should be careful about what we say when talking about Allah's Messenger (sal Allah alaihi wasalam.)
In Madani Qur'an (Qur'an revealed in Madinah) - we see that Allah criticizes the bedouins for just talking casually with the Messenger of Allah like they talk to other people.
They would say when Allah's Messenger was within his home;
يا محمد أخرج علينا
(O Muhammad, come outside to us!)
They would talk to Allah's Messenger like they spoke to each other - with no disrespect intended either. But Allah disliked what he saw of them - of not respecting His Messenger, so He said;
لَا تَجْهَرُوا لَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ أَن تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ -
...nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds may be rendered fruitless while you perceive not.
[al Hujurat 49:2]
وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ فِيكُمْ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ۚ لَوْ يُطِيعُكُمْ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ لَعَنِتُّمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ حَبَّبَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْإِيمَانَ وَزَيَّنَهُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ وَكَرَّهَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكُفْرَ وَالْفُسُوقَ وَالْعِصْيَانَ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الرَّاشِدُونَ
And know that, among you there is the Messenger of Allah (SAW). If he were to obey you (i.e. follow your opinions and desires) in much of the matter, you would surely be in trouble, but Allah has endeared the Faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts, and has made disbelief, wickedness and disobedience (to Allah and His Messenger SAW) hateful to you. These! They are the rightly guided ones,
[al Hujurat 49:7]
It began with honoring the Messenger of Allah, and then led to Eman (faith/belief in Allah) being mentioned next to it. This shows how important it is to honour Allah's Messenger - it is a matter of Eman.
There are 2 extremes in regard to how Muslims relate to the Messenger of Allah:
1 - Those who have almost no respect for him or his Sunnah. I.e. These people say things like; "Its only a hadith", "its not in the Qur'an," "his job was to deliver the message and we don't have to follow every small detail he did."
2 - They have so much love for Allah's Messenger that they almost, or sometimes actually commit shirk (association of partners with Allah). Or they make different interpretations of the aayaat of the Qur'an which are percieved as critical to Allah's Messenger, - giving them interpretations which isn't true to the Arabic language.
Allah says about the Qur'an: بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِيٍّ مُّبِينٍ([it is] in clear/clarified arabic speech) [Shu'ara 26:195]
So you can't say Allah said this, but He meant something else.
So we have to follow the middle way - the way the companions and salaf (earliest generations of Muslims) honoured the Messenger of Allah. Following his teachings sincerely without distortion.
Golden Standards which we should not Cross:
The Messenger of Allah is free from sin, he does not disobey Allah or commit sin. This is pretty much Ijma' (consensus amongst the scholars), that Allah has purified his heart and
made it firm, and he is the Golden Standard for human character, so Allah has protected him from sin [= Ma'soom].
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
abasa wa tawal-laa
he frowned and turned away.
The Messenger of Allah was giving dawah (invitation to Islam) to the high ranked of the Quraysh. Some say 'Utba bin Rabi'a, or Abu Jahl, etc. These people were the high class elite in Makkah, and they're actually talking to him (sal Allah alaihi wasalam). Compare this to the other surahs' where they are either making fun of him, or being sarcastic, but it seems they were having a conversation with him this time. So it seems he's achieving something in da'wah now.
On the other hand, Abdullah ibn al-Maktoom is the cousin of Khadija. He is a blind man, and one of the earliest Muslims. So we don't disrespect him either since he is of the Sabiqoon (those closest to Allah for accepting Islam so early)..
Its known that when a blind person talks, they talk loud so they can put their point across. They have a loss of vision, they can't see how people react to their voice, and they might think this is the best method to recieve attention.
He comes to the Messenger of Allah and said:
يا محمدعلمني من ما علمك الله
(O Muhammad! teach me from what Allah has taught you).
Allah's Messenger was busy in calling these people to Islam. It's not common that all these leaders will sit together and actually engage in discussion with Allah's Messenger.
Since Abdullah ibn al-Maktoom did not hear a response clearly, he thought that Allah's Messenger may not have heard him. So he repeated his question repeatedly.
Throughout history, the elite have rejected Islam due to their pride. "Why should we accept Islam when the lower class; poor, weak, oppressed are with you, and if we were to become Muslims - we would lose our respect for being with such people as our companions." This was the mindset of the disbelieving leaders.
So this seems like the situation Allah's Messenger was in when this event occurred.
Allah's Messenger was conveying the message of Islam to them;
Da'wah = to invite someone to you.
Tableegh = to get the message out.
This work of Allah's Messenger is tableegh.
In this scenario: the elite of Quraysh will just about see Ibn-al-Maktoom coming close to Allah's Messenger, and they'll walk away - 'we don't want to be seen in the presence of this blind man.'
The Messenger of Allah is getting somewhere in the da'wah so the Ibn-al-Maktoom - who is already a believer, can wait and ask again later. Since this Golden opportunity of the elite listening to your message is not so easy to get.
So from the Messenger of Allah's situation - he didn't actually do anything wrong.
Ibn-al-Maktoom is blind, so he can't actually see any frown. And this probably why Allah said "a'maa" [the blind one] to describe the situation. And if he didn't see a frown - how is he going to feel insulted?
Uff - Allah tells us not to say Uff to our parents [see Israa' 17:23]. I.e. Don't make a noise to show them you're displeased. Yet Allah's Messenger never even made a sound of displeasure to the blind man, just a frown which couldn't even be seen.
Why did Allah send these Aayaat?
Allah has different standards based on someones ranks. The ranks rise as your standards with Allah rise;
- Muslim (one who submits to Allah)
- Mu'min (Believer who has stayed firm in Iman (belief) even after hard trials.)
- Muhsin/Muttaqi. (Perfection in Iman/Allah fearing).
- Messenger from Allah. The highest level.
Allah had the highest standard for His best Messenger. Allah is very sensitive to the smallest of actions of the Messenger of Allah.
Allah saw His Messenger once looking at the sky in sadness, so Allah said;
قَدْ نَرَىٰ تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَاءِ ۖ فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا ۚ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ ۚ
We have certainly seen the turning of your face, [O Muhammad], toward the heaven/skies, and We will surely turn you to a qiblah with which you will be pleased. So turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram [the sacred Mosque in Makkah].
[al Baqarah 2:144]
None of this is can really be blamed on Allah's Messenger.
Why? Let's see;
1) The blind man interrupted the conversation of Allah's Messenger and persisted in that. So really, it would be his error.
2) Allah's Messenger wanted to give dawah [invitation to Islam] to a noble from the Quraysh [elite] because they would hardly listen to his call beforehand, and now that someone's listening - they might accept Islam and influence many others to Islam too (since when an elite member of society accepts a truth, the masses look into that truth and more willingly accept it.)
3) The blind man persisted in asking when he had other times to ask too, which causes the listener - who is involved in an important project - to become annoyed when they're in a chance for huge success.
4) This leads to the 'frown' and turning away, which really - a blind person can't even notice. So is this really an insult to them?
5) Yet Allah would reveal aayaat/verses - which would be recited for many centuries by all people - about this scenario, to show the high level of expectations He has for His Messenger, and his followers. So that he should not even frown and turn away from a blind man (since Allah is still watching us), and that he should call the rich aswell as poor to Islam equally without biased precedence.
Now there are many words in Arabic to describe an angry face in the Arabic language. These are as follows:
Uboos عبوس [noun] -Abasa عبس [verb]. (Frown: Bulging of forehead only due to annoyance.)
Qalaha قله - Grinding Teeth due to anger.
Basar بسر - When the face becomes ugly due to Anger. [also see Surah Muddathir 74:22]
Basal بسل - The face made during extreme anger in war and fighting.
We see that the least minimum of just a frown [uboos] of slight frustration was just shown on the face of Allah's Messenger, yet Allah revealed aayaat/verses about it to forbid it and to raise the - already great - character of His Messenger to the next level.
Afterwards, whenever he [the blind man Ibn Um Maktum] came to him, the Prophet would say to him, (مرحبا بمن عاتبني فيه ربي ) ‘Greetings to him on whose account God reproached me!’, and would lay down his cloak for him. (Tafseer Jalalayn 80:2)
So we learn from this aayah/verse that Allah is watching even the smallest of things that we do, He is aware of the subtleties in our actions. And He will take us to account for them.
Allah Honouring the Companions of His Messenger:
Allah comments on this situation because His Messenger is a role model in many things. One of those roles is being a leader. When people follow a loving leader, they are firm in following him. If he makes them feel unimportant - the group breaks down gradually as a whole.
It is possible that another of the weak companions might have seen this situation from afar and felt that Allah's Messenger is giving more attention to the Quraysh instead of the weak believer. So Allah would correct such doubts for that companion by showing that the believing companions of the Prophet are better and more worthy of recieving the attention, and that they are better in the sight of Allah than the elite disbelievers of Quraysh.
(The scholars do say however that a Muslim can give attention to a non Muslim who is asking about Islam, in preference to a Muslim who might always have access to recieving Islamic knowledge - since the non Muslim may never come back if he is left alone without answers.)
لَا تَعْدُ عَيْنَاكَ عَنْهُمْ - don't turn your eyes away from them.. [al Kahf 18:28]
فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ اعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ ۖ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ - So by mercy from Allah , [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you.
So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah . Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].[aal Imraan 3:159]
So we see that Allah honors the companions and orders His Messenger to take care of them and be merciful to them and to pray for them, even though they err.
Keep in mind that Allah never says to His Messenger; O Muhammad! [ya Muhammad!] out of honour for him.
Whereas Ibn-al-Maktoom was saying "Ya Muhammad" repeatedly.
And Allah's Messenger didn't even want to offend him by saying "Wait." he just had some slight bulges on his forehead due to the tense situation, and Allah is revealing ayaat about it in the Qur'an.
Allah is so Merciful to His Messenger that He uses the 3rd person. Abasa (he frowned), not 'AbasTa (2nd person) - 'You frowned.'
In the arabic language, using the 3rd person implies going easy on that person.
When you reprimand them in the 2nd person - you are being harsh on them. So Allah is being Merciful.
Why did he turn away?
أَن جَاءَهُ الْأَعْمَىٰ
an jaa'ahu al a'maa.
Because there came to him the blind man, [interrupting].
'ataa and Jaa'a = both mean to come.
Jaa'a is a more heavy word in comparison to 'ataa.
He jaa'a came rushing in enthusiasm.
وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّهُ يَزَّكَّىٰ
But what would make you perceive, [O Muhammad], that perhaps he might be purified
wa maa yudreeka la'alahoo yazzakka
yudreeka - adreey - tadree/yadree (to know)
yudreeka - what tool do you have to know such information. You don't have any, you didn't know why/with what intent he had come to you.
Allah has not given his Messenger the permission/license to judge someones inside.
Repeatedly, this surah has similar themes of the previous surah Nazi'at.
i.e. Moses went to Pharoah, and after knowing that he kills, oppresses, and calls himself god, he still asked him;
فَقُلْ هَل لَّكَ إِلَىٰ أَن تَزَكَّىٰ
Do you have anything [good] inside of you which might want you to make you purify yourself (tazakkaa)?
zak-kaa - cleanse himself/purification. He wants to purify himself, and that's why he came to you - to better and cleanse himself.
So we learn that your aim in gaining knowledge isn't to know dates, names or timelines etc. Rather, you learn knowledge with the intent to purify yourself and to become a better person in the sight of Allah.
yaz-zakkaa - two letters merged [it should have really been yatazak-kaa] = he would have got atleast some purification.
yatazakkaa is how it should really be in perfect form. Purified himself fully.
But this isn't used, since he couldn't get it fully within such a short span of time. But yaz-zakkaa, atleast he would get some purification.
أَوْ يَذَّكَّرُ فَتَنفَعَهُ الذِّكْرَىٰ
Or be reminded and the remembrance would benefit him?
aw yadhak-karu fa tanfa'a-hudh-dhikraa
aw yadhakkaru - or he would have got some reminder for himself..
fa tanfa'ahu - it would have benefitted
adh-dhikra: mubalaghah of dhikr - remembrance, dhikrA = powerful reminder. The Qur'an itself is a powerful reminder for the one who seeks to benefit from it.
أَمَّا مَنِ اسْتَغْنَىٰ
As for he who thinks himself without need,
ama manistaghna- the one who is heedless and carefree.
ghina = independent from others / self-enriched.
the one who feels he is self sufficient - you turn to him.
the ISTighna - implies that this person THINKS he is self-sufficient without the need of another.
This refers to the elite of the Quraysh who Allah's Messenger was calling to Islam.
The word ISTighna also implies that the person does not really want to learn, they just wanted a philosophical debate (without actually intending or desiring to change.)
The blind man (ibn al Maktoom) came to purify himself from his sins and to benefit from the reminder of Qur'an.
The elite of Quraysh on the other hand never intended to change themselves, all they wanted to do is listen to the message and then pick faults to argue for no purpose.
فَأَنتَ لَهُ تَصَدَّىٰ
To him you give attention.
fa anta lahu tasadda.
then it is you who has sadda.
sadda (saad, daal,yaa) - from sadyun. sadda = echo - hits the wall and continues to bounce back - just like the sound comes back to your ears.
to go back to something over and over again just like the sound comes back to your ears.
You happened to go to them (the disbelievers of Quraysh), then this distraction came [of the blind man], and then you returned back to them again.
But He didn't say fa anta sadda.
He said; fa anta lahu [for him] tasadda.
anta = it is you who turns back to them. Why is it that they don't turn back to you? (ithbat 'ala ghayril fa'il). They have Istighna' - thinking they are self sufficient, thinking they don't have to come to you (O Messenger of Allah) - but why should it be this way?
Imagine a salesman who is selling a product and the person doesn't want it. Who will look lesser in the sight of others? The salesman, because he is selling something to someone who doesn't even want to buy it.
Allah does not like that His Messenger be percieved in such a way, He wants His Messenger to have the upper hand. So He is encouraging His Messenger to focus on those who want the guidance, and if the elite of Quraysh have heard the message and still reject it, then its not necessary for you to make yourself look like the lower one by repeatedly going to them.
Allah does not need them, His Messenger does not need them, and Islam does not need them. So don't make yourself look desperate in wanting them to be guided if they have rejected the message and firmly chosen that as their path.
وَمَا عَلَيْكَ أَلَّا يَزَّكَّىٰ
And not upon you [is any blame] if he will not be purified.
wa maa alayka allaa yaz-zakaa - it is not upon you. I.e. There is no sin on you if they are not guided.
It is not your responsibiltiy for them to purify themself. It is upon them alone to strive to purify themselves.
إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَعِبْرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَىٰ
Indeed in that is a warning for whoever would fear [ Allah ]. [Nazi'at 79:26]
Allah humiliates these elite disbelievers. By saying "Allaa" instead of il-laa - they're being humiliated.
The word Allaa is mentioned, although il-laa would usually used.
il-laa = it is not a sin upon you IF they DO NOT purify themselves.
but instead, allaa is used to mean;
Allaa = [statement of fact] it is not upon you (a sin) - that they WILL NOT purify themselves.
The people you are giving da'wah to have no inclination to purify themselves from their evil ways.
The same way Pharoah had no inclination to purify himself when Moses asked him;
فَقُلْ هَل لَّكَ إِلَىٰ أَن تَزَكَّىٰ... فَكَذَّبَ وَعَصَىٰ
say to him [Pharoah], 'Would you [be willing to] purify yourself... But Pharaoh denied and disobeyed.
[Al Nazi'at 79:18 & Nazi'at 79:21]
Pharoah had ighna' and thought himself rich and free of anyone else. Similarly, the characteristics are being made apparent in the disbelieving leaders of the Quraysh and other leaders throughout history.
وَأَمَّا مَن جَاءَكَ يَسْعَىٰ
But as for he who came to you striving [for knowledge]
wa amaa man jaa'aka yas'a
yas'a - (mentioned in Nazi'at 79:22) fastly walking but slower than running [same as sa'ee in hajj in safa wal marwah].
Pharoah was speedily walking to make his plans of evil, whereas in this surah - the one speedily walking is the [blind] one with intent for good. Both speedily walking in opposite directions.
wa huwa yakhshaa - and HE WHO fears (Allah). By mentioning huwa (he) = he (ibn al Maktoom) alone fears (Allah) in this picture, in comparison to the disbelieving leaders of Quraysh.
إِنَّمَا أَنتَ مُنذِرُ مَن يَخْشَاهَا
You are only to warn the one who yakhshaha - fears it. (Nazi'at 79:45)
إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَعِبْرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَىٰ
Indeed in that is a warning for whoever would fear [ Allah ].
takhsha - fear of something greater than yourself.
فَأَنتَ عَنْهُ تَلَهَّىٰ
From him you are distracted.
fa anta 'anhu Talahaa
talaha - Lahuw (Lam, ha waw) - to be busy with something when you could spend that time on something more important.
You are engaged in talaha - an activity which isn't as important as the blind companion Abdullah ibn al Maktoom. You are focusing on a disbelieving people whose hearts Allah has seen - and they have no fear, no intent to purify themselves, and who think they are independent of anyone elses guidance.
كَلَّا إِنَّهَا تَذْكِرَةٌ
No! Indeed, these verses are a reminder;
kal-laa inahaa tadhkirah
Kal-laa - No! Not at all!
Scolding/zajra: No! not you (o disbelievers), he doesnt need to waste his time on you.
No, (O Muhammad) they are not worth spending time on. He'd rather spend his time on the one who fears and does want to purify himself.
No doubt about it.
inaha tadhkirah. [surely this is a tadhkirah]
truly it is an incredible reminder,
dhikra (mentioned and explained in ayah 5) - a beneficial reminder which Allah's Messenger was going to give to Abdullah ibn al Maktoom.
tadhkeer (taf'eel) - a powerful form of a reminder, but less than tadhkirah.
tadhkirah (Hyperbolised) - the highest form of a reminder. This Qur'an is a powerfully incredible reminder.
tadhkirah - can't help but to remember it.
How is the Qur'an a Reminder if its revealed New?
Because it attracts the human fitrah [natural disposition of a human], Allah madeus bear witness that Allah is One and that we should ask Him for help.
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِن بَنِي آدَمَ مِن ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ ۖ قَالُوا بَلَىٰ ۛ شَهِدْنَا ۛ أَن تَقُولُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَٰذَا غَافِلِينَ
And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam - from their loins - their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], "Am I not your Lord?" They said, "Yes, we have testified." [This] - lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, "Indeed, we were of this unaware."
[al A'raf 7:172]
When you recieve the message, if you have any good fitrah left with you - it will be alight which guides you to the truthful religion which the soul is originally inclined to.
Who will benefit from the reminder?
The ones who have even a little amount of fitrah intact left within them. Since the fitrah [which is from Allah] inclines to the wahy/revelation [which is also from
Allah also shows that those who have heard the tadhkirah/greatestreminder and still don't benefit from its guidance - then there's no
help left for them, since they don't fear, they don't want to purifythemselves. So Leave them alone.
Don't think that there is something missing in your message, there isnothing wrong in your conveyance - since this is the greatest and
clearest of messages - its upto them if they will take benefit inthis reminder and internalise it, or if they will reject it.
It is not a human tadhkirah, but a Divine one from Allah.
فَمَن شَاءَ ذَكَرَهُ
So whoever wills may remember it.
fa man shaa'a dhakarahU
then whoever wants may take remembrance from it Masculine) - Hu = it = the entire qur'an.
فَذَكِّرْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مَن يَخَافُ وَعِيدِ
..remind by the Qur'an whoever fears My threat.
[al Qaf 50:45]
Whoever wants will take remembrance from it - so (O Muhammad) - your duty is only to convey the message and it is upto the people if they will remember or benefit from it.
فِي صُحُفٍ مُّكَرَّمَةٍ
[It is recorded] in honored sheets,
fee suhufin mukaramah.
this reminder is in suhuf - scriptures/sheets/scrolls.
suhuf - saheefah - spread out like paper scrolls and written on it.
mukaramah - takreem - honored
This Qur'an is preserved so high in the Lawh al Mahfoodh (The Guarded Tablet with Allah - containing information of EVERYTHING) - mukaramah - exalted in status and noble - then don't feel saddened [dhillah] that these people aren't benefitting from its Reminder. They are the ones in loss, not this lofty noble Book which is guarded so highly with Allah.
adh-dhillah - this feeling of humbleness after exhaustion in da'wah (calling to Islam) should not be shown to those who reject Islam. Rather, it should only be with other Muslim believers.
We should be powerless when dealing with Muslims, and we should show strength, confidence, integrity and self respect when dealing with non Muslims.
Exalted and purified,
marfoo'atin - raised / elevated
muttaharah - purified
Description of The scrolls with Allah - the Lawh al Mahfoodh where theRevelations are protected.
The disbelievers are listening to this Makkan Qur'an too - so the factthat you can hear this secure and high ranked message is great enough for a human
- but if this message isn't going to have an effect on you, then what will?
This is honoring the message and belittling their disbelief.
Before they would casually reject it and Allah's Messenger would bedesperate for them to accept it. Now Allah is honoring the messenger
and the message, while belittling those who reject it.
[Carried] by the hands of messenger-angels,
bi aydee safarah
in the hands/disposal of safarah/scribes.
Safarah - sifr - book that unveils things.
Scribes that take record from the Lawh al Mahfoodh and unveil it to the Messengers' through revelation. Others say it refers to the scribes of the Messenger of Allah - his
companions, who hear the Qur'an from Allah's Messenger and transcribeit.
Majority view is the Angels, based on the next ayah.
Noble and dutiful.
bararah - plural of barr بَرَرَ (without alif in the middle). = goodness andsomeone extremely good.
baar بَارَ [with alif in the middle] - someone who is good, but not as good as barr بَرَرَ.
The plural of baar بَارَ = abraar ابَرَارَ
More poweful plural of baar = bararahبَرَرَةٍ.
bararah بَرَرَةٍ - jam'u kathrah. (alot)
Abraar ابَرَارَ - jam'u qilah. (a few).
The Angels are grouped as bararah, and humans as abraar because thereare alot more angels who are good in comparison to few good humans.
Angels are Entirely righteous. The most noble and righteous of angels are the Qur'ans scribes. This is the same message [Qur'an] you [disbelievers] hear, and if you
don't benefit from it - you are in loss, not those who are better than you.
This is a reply of Allah to His Messenger who is always at extremegrief because they do notbelieve. Allah is continuously ensuring him that if they don't want tobelieve,
they are the ones at loss.
After giving the upper hand to the message itself, we return back tothe matter of the human being.
قُتِلَ الْإِنسَانُ مَاأَكْفَرَهُ
Cursed/Destroyed is man; how disbelieving is he!
qutil al insanu maa akfarah.
this is very sharp and scolding in critique.
may the human be destroyed - passive [fu'ila = it has happened], Past tense. Literally meaning'the human being was killed'. the human has destroyed himself.
how amazing his disbelief. How amazing his capacity to deny.
usloob at-ta'ajub. Showing amazement at something. How amazing hiskufr (ungratefulness and disbelief) is.
If it was Maa al mawsoolah = What made him disbelieve?
The majority is the first view: How amazing the humans denial and ungratefulness is.
The human has destroyed himself in his disbelief in ungratefulness.
In the previous surah, we saw how the ungrateful the human can get, with Pharoah calling himself a god [Nazi'at 79:24].
Allah gave the worst example of kufr (disbelief) in the previous surahand in this surah He explains how the worst of mankind follow in his
footsteps of disbelief and ungratefulness, just like he (Pharoah) didwhen the message came to them.
The Greatest Sign:
In Nazi'at - Moses showed Pharoah the ayat al kubra/the greatest sign [Nazi'at 79:20]. He saw the greatsigns but still did kufr/rejection (disbelief and ungratefulness).
In Abasa - Prophet Muhammad (sal Allah alaihi wasalam) showed thegreatest of signs (the honored, raised and purified Book) yet theungrateful still rejected it.
How amazing ungratefulness and disbelief the human has.
The people after seeing the clear proof only disbelieve due to arrogance.
So Allah replies to such an attitude:
مِنْ أَيِّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهُ
from what material was he created?
min aya shay'in khalaqahu?
مِن نُّطْفَةٍ خَلَقَهُ فَقَدَّرَهُ
From a sperm-drop He created him and destined for him;
min nuttfah khalaqah faqadarah
from that filthy fluid (that we wash off from our clothes inembarrassment).
khalaqa hu - He created him.
fa qadarah - taqdeer - make a projection based on extreme - precise calculation.
Its antonym/opposite is kharasa (wild projection/guess).
Qadarah - (what will you be, how will you look like, who will your children be,when will you die etc. All this was calculated while you were a
Allah is saying how amazing it is that you disbelieve while you wereplanned out and designed in specific detail, and everything you have
has been calculated for you, yet you still have the audacity todisbelieve and be ungrateful?
أَأَنتُمْ أَشَدُّ خَلْقًا أَمِ السَّمَاءُ ۚ بَنَاهَا
Are ye the harder to create, or is the heaven that He built?
ثُمَّ السَّبِيلَ يَسَّرَهُ
Then He eased the way for him;
thuma as-sabeela yas-sarah.
sabeel = path.
What path? The passage of the route through which youcame out of and were born. Look how weak you are (O human) - that you
couldn't even be born independently.
Then Allah made the path in life of going through lifes differentstages easy for him.
This path is also talking about the path to guidance being easy foryou: with your fitrah [natural disposition] inclining you to the truthfulness of the
message, the truthful Messenger, and the clear message with itswarnings and glad tidings. Allah made the path easy for you to benefit
from the message.
ثُمَّ أَمَاتَهُ فَأَقْبَرَهُ
Then He causes his death and provides a grave for him.
thuma amaatahu fa aqbarah
thuma amaatahu - then Allah caused him (the human being) to die.
fa aqbarahu - He had him placed in the grave.
qabr - to be placed into the earth (whether you are buried, burnt, or eaten by a shark) - you will end up in the Earth.
So you were made from Nutfah [fluid], and you will turn into dirt - boththings you try to wash off from your clothes. That's what you are made
ثُمَّ إِذَا شَاءَ أَنشَرَهُ
Then when He wills, He will resurrect him.
thuma idhaa shaa'a ansharahu
shaa'a - when He wants, not when you want (O human).
He will bring you back up quickly. We won't go through stages likethis life, rather we are brought back to life fully like we were in
this Earth without going through the gradual stages of this life.
3 words for Ressurection in Qur'an.
Ahya: Dead to life.
Ba'ath - raise something and sent it forward. (i.e. He will gather usand send us forward to the place He will judge us.)
Nasharah - to spread. (We will be gathered and then be spread out inthe court of Allah).
كَلَّا لَمَّا يَقْضِ مَا أَمَرَهُ
No! Man has not yet accomplished what He commanded him.
kal-laa lam-maa yaqddi maa amarah
kal-laa - No, not at all! Certainly man has not fulfilled what was fulfilled.
qaddaa - fulfilling a responsibiltiy, once its done the qaddaa - theresponsibility is finished.
the human being did not fulfill his duty, even uptill now.
lam-mAA = still not. But there is still HOPE.
After all these reminders, man still has not fulfilled what wascommanded of him. But he still has hope. [Positive reinforcement.]
فَلْيَنظُرِ الْإِنسَانُ إِلَىٰ طَعَامِهِ
Then let mankind look at his food -
fal yandhurul insanu 'ila ta'amih.
yandhur - nadhr - stare carefully at something in detail. Think aboutit. (to remind the human he has responsibilities).
ta'am طَعَامِ - food which is more suitable for human beings.
akl اكل - any type of food.
أَنَّا صَبَبْنَا الْمَاءَ صَبًّا
that We pour down water, from the clouds, plenteously;
in-naa sababnaa al-maa'a sabban
sabb = Water upon water. (also used for buckets of water.)
ثُمَّ شَقَقْنَا الْأَرْضَ شَقًّا
Then We broke open the earth, splitting [it with sprouts],
thuma shaqaqnaa al ardda shaqqa
shaq: rip/cut open something (shaq). Ie. Opening/cutting/tearsomething you wouldn't think of cutting i.e. Rocks, the sky, the earth etc.
These are not normally cut open by the people, so Shaq is for such cutting.
فَأَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا حَبًّا
And caused to grow within it grain
fa anbatna feehaa habban
anbata - nabat = something brought up meticuously and with care. I.e.Child who matures quickly due to care given to it. Same with plants
which are treated with care and grow well quickly.
habban = all sorts of grain (a source/staple food)
And grapes and herbage
wa 'inaban wa qaddban
inaba - grapes
qadb- foods which grow under the ground. So the animals eat what ison top of the ground and we eat the food grown underground.
zaytuna - olive.
Nakhl - dates
Luxuries. Moving from basic staple foods [grain] to luxurious foods [olives and dates].
وَحَدَائِقَ غُلْبًاAnd gardens of dense shrubbery
wa hada'iqqa ghulban
hada'iq. - well guarded gardens. (hada'ikan is not there because ithas an alif there: hadAA'ik so it has no Noon [tanween] there).
ghulban - plural of aghlab. - lots of thick full trees whose branchesare intertwined. Lush gardens.
And delicious fruits and pasture.
wa faaqihah - delicious fruits.
Faqiha - to be overjoyed [in classical arabic]. When someone eats a delicious fruit, they are overjoyed.
فَاكِهِينَ بِمَا آتَاهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ وَوَقَاهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ
Enjoying what their Lord has given them [in Jannah/Paradise], and their Lord protected them from the punishment of Hellfire. [at-Toor 52:18]
faqiha - linguistically excludes grapes, pomegranates and dates - thisis why they may have been mentioned earlier.]
abban = grass, pasture, general vegetables liked by all animals.
مَّتَاعًا لَّكُمْ وَلِأَنْعَامِكُمْ
[As] enjoyment for you and your cattle.
Mataa'alakum wa li an'aamikum
The Qur'an is extremely subtle:
Usually Zar'anذَرأَ = Animal food/crop.
When Allah mentions animal food (zar'an) - He will mention the animal1st and then us 2nd.
But now we humans are being discussed. =Our human food is being mentioned, so we are placed 1st and animals 2nd.
Provisions for you and your cattle.
This is part of the intricate details of the Qur'an.
Psychology to Incline the human to Islam:
The previous passage was;
- Negative reinforcement [ayah 17] (Allah's anger on how amazing the kufrthe human has!),
- then something to think about [ayah 23] (man has not fulfilledhis duty)
- then Positive reinforcement is given [ayah 24] (let man look at thefood he eats - you should have gratitude for the blessings you have.)
The Final Warning:
فَإِذَا جَاءَتِ الصَّاخَّةُ
But when there comes the Deafening Blast
fa idha jaa'atis-saakhah.
فَإِذَا جَاءَتِ الطَّامَّةُ الْكُبْرَىٰ
But when there comes the greatest catastrophe (i.e. the Day of Recompense, etc.),
In Nazi'at 79:34 - Pharoah had arrogance, Allah surrounded him withwater (and drowned him). Taama = a calamity which surrounds you from all sides.
That calamity on Judgment Day will surround people from all sides.
In this surah [Abasa] - people who listen, yet they don't really listen to the message (remember thedisbelievers of Quraysh?).
The saakhah = the deafening noise. You can avoid the message now, butyou will not be able to flee from it on that Day.
يَوْمَ يَفِرُّ الْمَرْءُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ
yawma yafirrul mar'u min akheehi.
The day when a man will flee/escape from his [own] brother.
Words describing Running:
Farra - running away from something that terrifies you.
min akheehi - from his brother.
A man can be called Rajul or Mar'u:
Rajl: related to bravery and manhood.
Mar'u & iMri'in - Mar' مَرْء- muru'a = chivalry, selflessness.
The one who was selfless in this life, trying to help others inpreference to himself - even he, on that Day - will be careless of others.
Why will you then run away from your family on this Day?
Family is the one you have contact with the most, so you have moreproblems in life with them. You might not have given them their full rights
in this life, so you flee from them before they say you were unjust tothem.
wa umihee wa abeehi:
And his mother and his father.
The parents might ask their child for their good deeds because oftheir care for their child and the favours they did for them in this life.
The one who he would share a bed with in this life, the one who hewould turn to for emotional support - he runs away from her.
the one who you would lookafter and spend your money on. The one whoyou would care for, thinking they always would need you.
When they need your deeds the most - you are fleeing from them.
In the beginning there was istighna (I don't need anyone else, I don'tcare about them) - but we gradually realise that this is a serious
matter, a Day when you realise the consequences of what you do, and how youdeal with your loved ones will affect your outcome on that Day.
يَوْمَ يَتَذَكَّرُ الْإِنسَانُ مَا سَعَىٰ
The Day when man shall remember what he strove for, [Nazi'at 79:35]
So manwill remember his striving and efforts (of this life) in full. Hewon't care about anyone else except his own self.
In this surah;
لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مِّنْهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ شَأْنٌ يُغْنِيهِ
Every person that day will have a matter to preoccupy him
li kuli amrin manhum yawma idhin sha'nun yughneeh
sha'nun - sha'n - a matter, an affair, a situation is so important toyou so it keeps you busy. Every person will have something to keep him
busy on that Day, that thing will be man remembering all that he didin this life.
yughneehi (same root as istighnaa mentioned earlier) - something so important that it preoccupies you and makes you forget anything else.
On that Day - people will be engaged in remembering their deeds ofthis life - that they won't have anything else to think about.
In the beginning of the Surah - some people (i.e. Quraysh leaders)were too pre-occupied (istaghna) to hear the message. Now on this Day,
man is too preoccupied (yughneeh) with what he spent his life on.
وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ مُّسْفِرَةٌ
[Some] faces, that Day, will be bright -
wujoohuy yawma idhin musfirah.
Some faces - especially on that Day - will be lit up (as though asmile was veiled up and has been unveiled).
musfirah - safara - to unveil.
Large books are called Safr because they unveil knowledge.
safeer - ambassador, he unveils the intent of his king/country.
Safr - travelling - unveiling new lands and territories.
Maybe he lived a life of difficulty in this life - so his smile was veiled in this life.
زُيِّنَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَيَسْخَرُونَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ۘ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا فَوْقَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
Beautified for those who disbelieve is the life of this world, and they ridicule those who believe. But those who fear Allah are above them on the Day of Resurrection. And Allah gives provision to whom He wills without account.
[al Baqara 2:212]
The worldly life is beautiful to the disbelievers, and theypoked fun at those who disbelieved.
وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِهِمْ يَتَغَامَزُونَ
And whenever they passed by them [the believers], used to wink one to another (in mockery); [al Mutaffifeen 83:30]
So the faces of the believers are usually veiled up in this life; dueto hardship they face from the disbelievers, and due to the fear ofwhere they will end up in the next life.
But on this Day - the smiles will be unveiled. No problem will be left for them, their worries have been removed.
Laughing, rejoicing at good news.
daahikatun - dahak - uncontrollable laughing. Teeth showing. Noise etc.
tabassum = smile.
In the previous Surah Nazi'at, hearts and eyes were mentioned.
قُلُوبٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَاجِفَةٌ أَبْصَارُهَا خَاشِعَةٌ
(Some) hearts that Day will shake with fear and anxiety. Their eyes cast down. [Nazi'at 79:8-9]
In this surah Abasa - Face and expressions. Laughing and rejoicing.
istabshirah - to be full of delight because of good news that comes to you.
bishr - skin. Also means to peel skin. I.e. Peeling orange skin.
So the sadness from the faces have been peeled off to unveil thehappiness and joy because of the good news given to them.
Unveiled and Unpeeled and happiness.
وَوُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَلَيْهَا غَبَرَةٌ
And [other] faces, that Day, will have upon them dust.
ghabara - dust that flies around and lands on something and is hard tocome off.
not physical dust, but because of the sadness and depression theirfaces have become black and dirty looking.
Names of Dust:
Naq'an = cloud of dust (see Aadiyat 100:4).
Habaa'an = minute dust which you can't see except in the sun rays. (i.e. dust particles floating are habaa'an).
Overcast, covered, with gloom, darkness and blackness.
Qatarah - climb over their affairs. Black smoke that comes from fire.
The arabs call a cheap person a Qaatir because when he invites you to his house, you only see the smoke from his oven but nothing else [they don't give you food].
The black smoke will climb on their faces.
أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَفَرَةُ الْفَجَرَةُ
Those are the worst deniers and worst disbelievers.
ulaa ika hum ul kafaratul fajara.
أَمَّا مَنِ اسْتَغْنَىٰ
As for him who thinks himself self-sufficient, [Abasa 80:5]
فَأَمَّا مَن طَغَىٰ .وَآثَرَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا. فَإِنَّ الْجَحِيمَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَىٰ
So as for he who transgressed. And preferred the life of the world. Then indeed, Hellfire will be [his] refuge. [al Nazi'at 79: 37-39]
al Fajara - the one who disbelieved in the worst and most violent rebellious way.
Fajr - tear through i.e. A sanctuary. Fajr is called fajr because thesun light tears through the night sky.
They sin openly and viciously, all the way in pride = al fajarah.
The humiliation of the face is the worst type of humiliation in the arabic language, so Allah humiliated them in the worst of ways due totheir fajarah.
The Beginning of the Surahs' Relation to its Ending.
We found the one in istighnaa [independentally and carefree] - laughing at the believers in this life.
We found the one in need for the truth - fearing and wanting to purify himself.
Allah's Messenger said;
الدنيا سجن المسلم و جنة الكافر
"The world is a prison to the Muslim and Paradise for the disbeliever." [Sahih Muslim]
The istighna [carefree] character laughed at the believers and is now - onthis Day - in fear, dread and worried about what he did.
The one who feared this Day - now - he is laughing uncontrollably. His purification has paid off. He has achieved the great success of Paradise.