39. Az-Zumar (The Companions)

Revealed in the mid-Makkan period, when the persecutions of the believers had escalated, this sūrāh of 75 verses derives its name from the word zumar (companies) that occurs in verses 71 and 73. Az-Zumar (The Companions) expounds the signs of God’s Oneness in the natural world and emphasizes the absurdity of associating partners with Him. It hints at emigration for the believers who were suffering great difficulties in worshipping God in their homeland. It declares that there will be no reconciliation between believing in God’s Oneness and associating partners with Him. It also reminds us of the other world, where people will see the outcome of their deeds in this world.

In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.

1. (This is) the Book being sent down in parts from God, the All-Glorious with irresistible might, the All-Wise.

2. We have sent down to you the Book with the truth (embodying it, and with nothing false in it); so worship God, sincere in your faith in Him, and practicing the Religion purely for His sake.

3. Beware! It is to God alone that all sincere faith, worship, and obedience are due. Yet, those who take, apart from Him, others (angels, jinn, or humans) for guardians and confidants (to entrust their affairs to) say: “We worship them for no other reason than they may bring us nearer to God.” God will judge between them (between those who worship and obey God exclusively and those who associate partners with Him) concerning all on which they differ. God does not guide anyone who is a determined liar and ingrate.

4. Had God willed to take to Himself a child, He could certainly have chosen whatever He willed out of all that He has created. All-Glorified is He (in that He is exalted above having any children)! He is God, the One, the All-Overwhelming (with absolute sway over all that exists).

5. He has created the heavens and the earth with truth (meaningfully, and for definite purpose, and on solid foundations of truth). He wraps the night around the day, and He wraps the day around the night (until one covers the other completely).1 And He has made the sun and the moon subservient (to His command), each running its course for a term appointed (by Him). Be aware! He is the All-Glorious with irresistible might (able to punish those who oppose Him), the All-Forgiving (Who forgives those who turn to Him in repentance).

6. He has created you from a single human self, and then He has made from it its mate;2 and He has sent down for you eight in pairs of cattle.3 He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, one act and phase of creation after another,4 in three veils of darkness.5 This is God, your true Lord (Who creates, and sustains you): To Him belongs the sovereignty (absolute ownership and dominion of everything). There is no deity but He. How, then, are you turned about (to different kinds of belief)?

7. If you disbelieve in Him (in ingratitude), yet surely God is absolutely independent of you. He is not pleased with ingratitude and unbelief from His servants; whereas if you give thanks (and believe), He is pleased with it from you. And no soul, as bearer of burden, bears (and is made to bear) the burden of another. Then, to your Lord is your return, so that He will make you understand all that you were doing (and call you to account). Surely He has full knowledge of what lies hidden in the bosoms.

8. When an affliction befalls man, he calls upon his Lord turning to Him (in contrition); then when He bestows a favor upon him, he forgets what he prayed to Him for before, and sets up rivals to God so that he (himself goes astray and) misleads (others) from His way. Say (to such a one): “Enjoy life in your unbelief for a while! You are for sure one of the companions of the Fire.”

9. Is he who worships God devoutly in the watches of the night, prostrating and standing, who fears the Hereafter and hopes for the mercy of his Lord (to be likened to that other)? Say: “Are they ever equal, those who know and those who do not know?”6 Only the people of discernment will reflect (on the distinction between knowledge and ignorance, and obedience to God and disobedience,) and be mindful.

10. Say (quoting Me): “O My servants who believe: keep from disobedience to your Lord, in reverence for Him and piety. For those devoted to doing good in this world, aware that God is seeing them, there is good (by way of recompense). And God’s earth is vast (enabling worship).7 Those who are patient (persevering in adversity, worshipping God, and refraining from sins) will surely be given their reward without measure.”

11. Say: “I am commanded to worship God, sincere in faith in Him and practicing the Religion purely for His sake.

12. “And I am commanded to be the first and foremost in being Muslim (in faith in, and submission to, what I am commanded to convey to you).”

13. Say: “I fear, if I disobey my Lord, the punishment of an awesome Day.”

14. Say: “I worship God, sincere in my faith in Him and practicing the Religion purely for His sake.

15. “(As for those of you who reject my call,) worship then whatever you will apart from Him (you are forewarned of the consequences)!” Say: “Surely the losers are those who will ruin themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection.” Beware! This indeed is the obvious loss.

16. For them will be dark layers of the Fire above them, and dark layers below them. With this does God warn off His servants. O My servants, keep from disobedience to Me in reverence for Me and piety, and so deserve My protection.

17. As for those who keep away from false deities and powers of evil (who institute patterns of faith and rule in defiance of God) – away from worshipping them—and turn toward God in penitence, for them are glad tidings. So give the glad tidings to My servants,

18. Who, when they hear speech, follow the best of it (in the best way possible, and even seek what is better and straighter).8 Those are the ones whom God has guided, and those are the ones who are people of discernment.

19. Is he, against whom the word of (God’s) punishment has been justified and realized (to be likened to one who will be rewarded with Paradise)? Could you, then, deliver one who is in the Fire?

20. But those who keep from disobedience to God in reverence for Him and piety, for them are lofty mansions built one above another, beneath which rivers flow. (This is) God’s promise: God never fails to fulfill His promise.

21. Have you not considered that God sends down water from the sky, and leads it into springs in the earth to flow therein; then He causes to grow with it produce of various colors; then it withers so that you see it grow yellow; then He makes it break and fade away. In this, for sure, is a reminder for people of discernment.

22. Is he (who derives lessons from God’s acts in the universe, and so) whose breast God has expanded to Islam, so that he follows a light from his Lord (is such a one to be likened to one whose heart is closed up to any remembrance of God and, therefore, to Islam)? So woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of God (and who learn nothing from His signs and Revelations)! Those are lost in obvious error.

23. God sends down in parts the best of the words as a Book fully consistent in itself, and whose statements corroborate, expound and refer to one another. The skins of those who stand in awe of their Lord tingle at (the hearing and understanding of) it. Then, their skins and their hearts come to rest in the Remembrance of God (the Qur’ān). This is God’s guidance, by which He guides whomever He wills. And whoever God leads astray, there is no guide for him.9

24. Is he who (thrown into the Fire upon his face with his hands chained around his neck,) tries to guard himself with his face (by trying to keep it away) from the evil punishment on the Day of Resurrection (to be likened to one who will be safe from the punishment that Day)? It will be said to the wrongdoers: “Taste (this Day) what you used to earn (in the world)!”

25. Those before them denied (the Revelation), and so the punishment came upon them without their having perceived from where it came.

26. Thus, God made them taste disgrace in the life of this world, but the punishment of the Hereafter is greater. If only they had known!

27. Assuredly, We have struck for humankind in this Qur’ān all kinds of parables and comparisons, so that they may reflect and be mindful.

28. It is a Qur’ān in Arabic with no crookedness (free from any contradiction and anything offensive to truth, righteousness and reason), so that they may keep from disobedience to God in reverence for Him and piety, to deserve His protection.

29. God strikes a parable: a man in the employment of many partners who continuously dispute with one another, and another man employed by one person: are those two equal in likeness? All praise and gratitude are for God (the only Sovereign Lord of the creation). But most people have no knowledge (of the meaning of this truth).10

30. You will surely die (one day), and surely they (too) will die.

31. Then, on the Day of Resurrection, you will stand in the Presence of your Lord as litigants.

32. Who, then, is more in the wrong than he who fabricates falsehood against God, and denies the truth when it comes to him? Is there not in Hell a dwelling for the unbelievers?!

33. As for him who has come with the truth and him who has confirmed it, those are the God-revering, pious ones.

34. For them is whatever they desire in the Presence of their Lord.11 That is the reward of those devoted to doing good, aware that God is seeing them.

35. For God will blot out from them (even) the worst of what they once did, and pay them their reward in accordance with the best of what they used to do.12

36. Is not God sufficient for His servant? Yet they seek to frighten you with those (whom they deify and worship) apart from God. Whoever God leads astray, there is no guide for him.

37. And whomever God guides, there is no one who can lead him astray. Is not God All-Glorious with irresistible might, Able to Requite?

38. Indeed, if you ask them who has created the heavens and the earth, they will certainly say, “God.” Say: “Have you, then, ever considered what it is that you invoke apart from God? If God wills some harm for me, are they the ones that can remove His harm (from me); or if He wills for me a mercy, are they the ones that can withhold it?” Say: “God is sufficient for me. In Him do those who trust (and know the worth and meaning of putting one’s trust) put their trust.

39. Say: “O my people! Do all that may be within your power, surely I (too) am doing (the work asked of me). In time, you will come to know,

40. “Who they are upon whom (in the world) there will come a punishment that will abase them, and upon whom a lasting punishment will descend (in the Hereafter).”

41. Surely We have sent down the Book to you with the truth for humankind (embodying the truth, and with no falsehood in it). So, whoever chooses to go right, it is for his own soul’s good; and whoever chooses to go astray, goes astray but to its own harm. You are not one appointed as a guardian over them (to assume their responsibility for going right).

42. God takes the spirits at the time of the death of (the souls), and in their sleep those (of the ones) that have not died. He withholds (the spirits of) those for whom He has decreed death, and the rest He sends back (to their bodies to live on) for a term appointed by Him. Surely in that are signs (important lessons) for people who reflect and are mindful.13

43.  What! (Failing to recognize that God is the sole Authority over the universe in need of nothing) have they taken to themselves, apart from God, intercessors (whom they suppose capable of intervening for their souls or even in the operation of the universe)? Say: “Why – even though they have no share in the dominion of anything nor (like idols) any sense or intelligence?

44. Say: “To God exclusively belongs the whole authority to intercede (whether He grants any being permission to intercede with Him or not).14 To Him alone belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. Then, to Him you will be returned.”

45. When God as One (and only God) is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter recoil in aversion; but when those (whom they worship) apart from Him are mentioned, they are surely gladdened.

46. Say: “O God, Originator of the heavens and the earth, the Knower of the Unseen and the witnessed! You it is Who will judge among Your servants concerning that on which they differ.”

47. Even if those who do the greatest wrong (by associating partners with God and refusing to believe in the Hereafter) could possess all that is on the earth and its like besides, they would certainly offer it as ransom to escape from the evil punishment on the Day of Resurrection. Something will confront them from God, which they never reckoned.

48. The evil deeds they earned (to their account) will become obvious to them, and what they used to mock (God’s promised punishment) will overwhelm them.

49. When an affliction befalls human, he calls upon Us (to save him). Then, when We (from sheer grace) have bestowed a favor upon him from Us, he says: “I have been given this only by virtue of a certain knowledge that I have.” No, indeed. Rather, this (favor bestowed on human) is a trial, but most of them do not know.

50. Those who lived before them (and adopted the same attitude, and followed a similar way) said it (too);15 but all that they achieved (in the world) was of no avail to them.

51. The evil results of what they earned fell upon them. So also will the evil results of what they have earned fall upon these (new generations) that do wrong. And they will never be able to frustrate (Our will).

52. Do they still not know that God enlarges provision for whom He wills and straitens it (for whom He wills)? Surely in that are signs (of the clear truth) for people who will believe and who will deepen in faith.

53. Say: “(God gives you hope): ‘O My servants who have been wasteful (of their God-given opportunities and faculties) against (the good of) their own souls! Do not despair of God’s Mercy. Surely God forgives all sins. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, the All-Compassionate.’ ” 16

54. Turn to your Lord in penitence and submit to Him wholly before the punishment comes upon you (when it will be too late, and an acknowledgment of faith will no longer avail you); for after (that), you will not be helped.17

55. Follow in the best way possible what has been sent down to you from your Lord, before the punishment comes upon you all of a sudden, without your being aware (of its coming),

56. Lest any soul should say, “Alas for me for that I have fallen short of my duty to God, and I was indeed among those who used to mock (at the truth)!”

57. Or (lest it) should say (by way of invalid excuse): “If only God had guided me, I would surely have been among the God-revering, pious!”

58. Or (lest it) should say, when it sees the punishment, “If only I had a second chance (to live), so that I could be among those devoted to doing good, aware that God is seeing them!”

59. (But God will answer): “No, indeed! My Revelations and signs (of the truth) did come to you, but you denied them and grew in arrogance (so as not to confirm them), and you proved yourself to be one of the unbelievers.”

60. On the Day of Resurrection, you will see those who fabricated falsehood in attribution to God with their faces darkened by grief and ignominy. Is there not in Hell a dwelling for those (too) arrogant (for faith)?

61. But God will save (from Hell) those who keep from disobedience to God in reverence for Him and piety, by virtue of what they have achieved (in following God’s way). Evil will never touch them, nor will they grieve.18

62. God is the Creator of all things, and He is the Guardian (with power of disposition) over all things.

63. His are the keys of (the treasures of) the heavens and the earth. So those who disbelieve in God’s Revelations and signs (of the truth) – such are they who are the losers.19

64. Say: “(That being the truth) do you still call me to worship other than God, O ignorant ones?”

65. Indeed it has been revealed to you as well as to those (Messengers) sent before you: “Should you associate partners with God, your labor will most certainly come to nothing, and you will most certainly be among the losers.

66. Rather: worship God alone, and be among the thankful.”20

67. They have no true judgment of God as His right, such as His being God requires, and (such is His Power and Sovereignty that) the whole earth will be in His Grasp on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand.21 All-Glorified is He, and absolutely exalted above what they associate with Him.

68. The Trumpet will be blown, and so all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will fall dead, except those whom God wills to exempt. Then it will be blown for the second time, and see, they have all stood upright, looking on (in anticipation).22

69. And the earth (altered from what it was) will be bright and clearly visible throughout by the Light of its Lord,23 and the Record (of the deeds of responsible beings endowed with free will) will be laid out, and the Prophets and the Witnesses will be brought forward, and it will be judged among them (conscious, responsible beings) with truth (concerning that on which they used to differ),24 and they will not be wronged.

70. And every soul will be paid in full whatever (good or evil) it has done (in the world); and, indeed, He knows best all that they do.

71. Those who disbelieve (and die unbelievers) will be led to Hell in companies. When they finally arrive there, its doors will immediately be opened and its keepers will ask them: “Did there not come to you Messengers from among you, reciting to you the Revelations of your Lord and warning you of this Day that you were to encounter?” They will answer: “Yes, indeed!” But the word of (God’s) punishment upon the unbelievers25 is fulfilled.

72. They will be told: “Enter through the doors of Hell, to abide therein.” How evil is the dwelling of those (too) arrogant (to believe)!

73. Those who keep from disobedience to their Lord in reverence for Him and piety will be led to Paradise in companies. When they finally arrive there, its doors will be opened (as sheer grace from God), and its keepers will welcome them saying: “Peace be upon you! Well you have faired and are purified (from the foul residues of sin, and delivered from all suffering), so enter it (Paradise) to abide!”

74. And they say: “All praise and gratitude are for God, Who has fulfilled His promise to us, and has made us inheritors of this land (of bliss), so that We may dwell in Paradise as we please!” Then: how excellent is the reward of the doers (of good deeds in obedience and devotion to God)!

75. And you (O Messenger) will see the angels surrounding the Supreme Throne (of God), glorifying their Lord with His praise. It has been judged among them with truth and justice, and it will be said (by all the people of Paradise): “All praise and gratitude are for God, the Lord of the worlds!”

The Qur'an with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English

The Qur’an with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English

1. This is a very fine simile, which alludes to the earth’s being rounded and differences in the times of sunrise and sunset. Like a turban wrapped around the head until it is completely covered, God wraps lines of night and day around each other, round the earth, until one covers the other completely.

2. For an explanation, see 4: 1, note 1.

3. Eight in pairs (see 6: 143–144): two of sheep, two of goats, and, likewise, of camels there are two, and of oxen there are two. The phrase God“has sent them down” means that they are among the bounties of God that He has bestowed out of the treasures He maintains. Elsewhere (15: 21), He states: There is not a thing but the stores (for its life and sustenance) are with Us, and We do not send it down except in due, determined measure.

4. One act and phase of creation after another, refers to the stages an embryo passes through in the womb. These are explained in 22: 5: Then (We have created you) from a drop of seminal fluid, then from a clot clinging (to the womb wall), then from a lump in part shaped and in part not shaped, and differentiated and undifferentiated; and in 23: 14: Then We have created of the fertilized ovum a clot clinging (to the womb wall), and (afterwards in sequence) We have created of the clinging clot, a (chewed) lump, and We have created of the (chewed) lump bones, and We have clothed the bones in flesh. Then We have caused it to grow into another creation.

5. Three veils of darkness must be the anterior abdominal wall, the uterine wall, and the amniochorionic membrane. Although there are other interpretations of this statement, the one presented here seems the most logical to modern embryologists from an embryological point of view.

6. Though the verse declares the general truth that knowledge and ignorance cannot be alike, and those who know and those who do not know are never equal, here it draws particular attention to the fact that those who have true knowledge of God and act accordingly, and those who are devoid of knowledge of Him and, therefore, either disbelieve in Him or associate partners with Him, cannot be equal. Any knowledge based on knowledge of God is true knowledge, and in both worlds, it is beneficial to those who have it. However, anyone who lacks (true) knowledge of God, and cannot find a point of confirmation in his or her heart through which any knowledge that he or she obtains from the outer world and the inner world adds to or strengthens his or her faith, is ignorant. And even if he or she has absorbed thousands of branches of science, his or her ignorance is only compounded by that science. (Also see 33: 72, note 38.)

7. This statement exists in the Qur’ān to remind us of the importance of emigration for God’s sake, and to encourage the believers toward it, or to prepare their hearts for it. (See 4: 97; 29: 56.)

8. Humankind, by our primordial nature, seeks what is good and right. When a person encounters what is good and right and what is evil and wrong, he or she prefers what is good and right. And when one is between what is good and right, and what is better or righter, one tends to follow the latter. It is virtuousness to follow what is better or even the best, but one in a congregation or community should not criticize others who follow what is good and right just because they do not pursue what is better and more right.

9. Through its style, recitation, the issues it deals with, its promises, and its threats, the Qur’ān causes the person who reads or listens to it to tremble. It arouses in hearts a deep veneration for both itself and its Author – God the Almighty. In addition to this majesty, it is also so sweet that it inspires calm and serenity. It satisfies hearts and minds and solves all intellectual and spiritual problems. So, anyone unprejudiced and who has tendency toward belief in God cannot help but feel struck by the Qur’ān.

Like the Qur’ān and its Author, God’s nearest servants – the Prophets and the saints – also have some sort of majesty and grace, each according to their degree. However, their majesty, which first strikes others about them, envelops a welcoming grace. So, everyone feels awe in their first encounter with a Prophet or a saint, and then it is their grace that attracts them. This perception and feeling which is first struck by the Qur’ān, and our satisfaction with it, is a great favor and guidance of God. One who feels no awe or satisfaction in the face of the Qur’ān is the very one who has lost the innate capacity to believe.

10. If all things are not attributed to the Almighty in creation and administration, an infinite number of deities, all essentially opposite, but simultaneously identical, must be recognized. Due to the interrelation of all things and the essential quality of Divinity, their number would increase in proportion to the number of particles and compounds found in creation.

For example, a deity who creates a honeybee or a grape should be able to rule and influence all elements in the universe, as a honeybee or a grape is a miniature of creation. So there is only room for a Single Necessarily Existent One. If things are attributed to themselves, each minute particle would be a deity – a deity having all the Names and Attributes of God Almighty, for having these Names and Attributes is a requirement of being a deity.

A single fruit grown by many people requires as many tools as does growing a tree with abundant fruit. Similarly, the instruments, machines, and factories needed to equip an army would be the same if only a single soldier were to be equipped. The difference is only qualitative, and the difficulty that arises from being produced by many people will make its production almost impossible. So the universe rejects more than one Creator and Administrator, and its testimony to its Single Creator is more manifest, radiant, clearer, and expressive than its testimony to its own existence. Even if one were to deny the existence of the universe, as the Sophists did, the existence of the One, Who is powerful over all things, cannot be denied.

In short: if innumerably multiple things are not attributed to one source, then, in addition to having to attribute one thing to innumerably multiple things, there would be a multitude of difficulties (as many as there are things) in explaining the matter. So, the apparent, extraordinary ease of creating so many species distributed worldwide must, therefore, come from the Oneness of their Creator.

11. For an explanation, see 25: 16, note 5.

12. God will blot out their former unbelief or associating partners with God and reward them according to their best deeds in Islam.

God will blot out the major sins they may have committed before they attained true piety and righteousness and the consciousness of God’s constantly seeing them, and He will reward them for their best deeds that they do thereafter.

13. This verse draws our attention to a number of important facts, including the following:

    • It is not the human spirit but the human soul that dies. The soul (nafs) is, in one respect, the human being itself and, therefore, encompasses the spirit; and in another respect, it is the center or mechanism of worldly life. As for the spirit, it is the source of both bodily and spiritual life. It has an existence independent of the body, and it continues to live after death.
    • The human soul has various dimensions. These dimensions are mentioned by the scholars as the human spirit, the animal spirit, and the vegetable spirit. The human spirit also has dimensions which are described as the spirit that believes in and worships God (the spirits of the believers) and the spirit common to all people, which thinks, learns, loves, etc.
    • Death and sleep are identical in that during both, God takes the spirit. However, at death, God does not return the spirit to the body, thus causing the soul to die; while during sleep, He takes the spirit, but returns it if He has not ordained death for the soul. So, at death, the spirit leaves the body completely; but during sleep, it does not leave it completely and, therefore, continues its relation with the body. If the body still has some degree of animal life during sleep, it is because there is still a relation, however weak it is, between the body and the spirit during sleep.
    • Death is when the spirit leaves the body completely and begins another kind of life, which is called the intermediate life (of the grave) between this world and the Hereafter. The conditions of this life are determined by the person’s belief and deeds in the world. The spirit still has a relation with its body through the part of it that does not rot under the soil.

14. For a similar meaning of intercession, see sūrah 34: 23, note 13. Here there is also a reference to appealing to God to accept our prayers for some of His servants to be placed with Him.

15. This is a reference to Korah. See 28: 78, note 17.

16. This verse, first of all, contains great good tidings, in that it declares that there is no unforgivable sin. That is, even if one disbelieves in God or associates partners with Him, or whether one is an atheist or materialist, God forgives him or her provided one repents and comes to belief. Second, God forgives any sinful one He wills, unless one disbelieves in Him (or in any other pillar of faith), or associates partners with Him (4: 48). However, although He can forgive whom He wills, He has made His forgiving dependent on repentance and the mending of one’s ways, as will be pointed out in succeeding verses. So this verse, which contains the greatest promise in the Qur’ān, is followed by successive warnings. This is one of the most meaningful examples of the Qur’ānic method of warning and encouraging, and it admonishes people against abandoning themselves to evil ways while instilling confidence in them about God’s infinite Compassion.

17. The last two verses establish three essential principles concerning faith:

    • God may forgive whom He wills; but in effect, He has made forgiveness dependent on repentance and mending one’s ways.
    • For eternal salvation, belief and submission are both necessary. There is a difference between being a believer and being a Muslim. There are two aspects to being a Muslim. One is that if one sincerely confirms the essentials of faith, one is a believer and expected to live according to the rules of Islam. A true believer and Muslim is one who sincerely confirms the essentials of faith and fulfills the commandments of Islam. The other aspect is that one is a Muslim according to law if one does not pronounce anything contrary to faith and performs some Islamic acts, such as, in particular, performing the Jumu‘ah Prayer in a mosque and paying the Prescribed Purifying Alms (Zakāh). Although such a person may be a hypocrite, he or she must be treated as a Muslim by law.
    • The punishment mentioned in verse 54 may be either the punishment in the Hereafter, or one which will cause repentance to be of avail no longer (40: 85). When the decisive signs of death appear, or when God’s punishment, after many warnings (such as of the kind that came upon many bygone peoples), comes, repentance for unbelief or associating partners with God, and coming to belief, will not be acceptable.

18. There are both believers and unbelievers—that is, good and evil people, the righteous and sinful—side-by-side in the world. Similarly, good and evil are both intrinsic to humankind and exist together. So a true, fruitful education requires not only encouragement, arousing desire, and promises, but also discouragement, warning and threats. This is the way of the Qur’ān. It encourages humankind to do good and promises God’s reward, triumph, and eternal happiness, as well as warning and threatening the punishment of God. As seen in the verses that follow verse 53, the Qur’ān discourages people from sinning with the most powerful statements immediately after making them exuberant with the greatest hope and encouragement.

19. God has two different sets of laws: those that govern the universe, including the aspects of human life independent of humankind (which are God’s signs of the truth, and which we wrongly call the “laws of nature” – these are the subject matter of the natural sciences); and the other being the Religion. Both require obedience. Results for the latter usually are deferred to the Hereafter, while the returns of obedience or disobedience to the former usually come in this life. For example, the reward for patience is success, while the punishment for indolence is privation. Industry brings wealth, and steadfastness brings victory. So being a sincere believing Muslim requires obedience to both of these laws. When Muslims, in addition to their failures in the religious life, neglect to fulfill the requirements of obedience to God’s laws of life and the universe (God’s signs of the truth), they become losers in the world relative to those unbelievers who have obeyed them. However, those (unbelievers) who reject God’s Revelations (which are also God’s signs of the truth) will be eternal losers, as they will lose in the Hereafter.

20. Whatever we have is a favor from God, so true humanity requires being always thankful to Him. One’s humanity lies in thankfulness for any good one receives, and acknowledgment of one’s defects, failures, errors, and sins, and being repentant of them, trying to improve oneself. In Qur’ānic terminology, unbelief and thanklessness are derived from the same root word. So thanklessness leads to unbelief, while thankfulness gives rise to belief.

21. As it is clear in, And His is the Sovereignty on the day when the Trumpet is blown, the Knower of the Unseen and the witnessed. He is the All-Wise, the All-Aware (6: 73), the Grasp and Right Hand allude to God’s absolute power and dominion over the whole universe. God acts in the world from behind the nominal veil of causality out of wisdom, but He will exercise His absolute dominion over the whole universe on the Day of Judgment without any veil.

22. The Qur’ān mentions three results of blowing the Trumpet. (1) The Trumpet will be blown, and so all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will fall dead, except those whom God wills to exempt (39: 68). (2) Then it will be blown for a second time, and see, they have all stood upright, looking on (39: 68). (3) On the Day when the Trumpet is blown, all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will be stricken with shock and terror, except those whom God wills to exempt. All will come to His Presence, utterly humbled (27: 87). And the Trumpet will be blown, and see, out of the graves they rush forth to their Lord (36: 51).

If we consider the results of blowing the Trumpet, we might conclude that it will be blown three times. However, the second part of this verse says that it will be blown for the second time, and see, they have all stood upright, and verse 36: 51 states that upon blowing the Trumpet, the dead will rush forth to their Lord out of their graves. We learn from verse 27: 87 that when the Trumpet is blown, all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will be stricken with shock and terror, except those whom God wills to exempt, and all will come to His Presence, utterly humbled. So it is understood from verses 27: 87, 36: 51 and the second part of this verse (39: 68), that the dead will be raised from their graves, most of people will stricken with terror, and all will rush to their Lord upon the same blowing of the Trumpet. In conclusion, we can say that the Trumpet will be blown twice.

As for those whom God wills to exempt from falling dead as a result of the blowing of the Trumpet, it is not clear who they will be. However, if we take into account verses 37: 58–59 and 44: 56, which state that the believers taste death only once while the unbelievers taste it twice (40: 11), they may be the spirits of the believers who have already died. The true knowledge always rests with God, the All-Knowing.

23. On the Day of Resurrection, the earth is changed into another earth, and the heavens also; they all appear before God, the One, the All-Overwhelming (14: 48). That is, there will be nothing hidden, all truth will come to be known clearly, and everyone will clearly see the consequences of their deeds.

24. The Prophets will come forward to testify that they conveyed God’s Message and explain how their people responded to their call; and some pure and righteous ones (the witnesses) will be brought forward to testify concerning the communication of God’s Message by the Prophets and the people’s reaction to it. (See 4: 41; 7: 6.)

25. The word of punishment against the unbelievers, which the Qur’ān refers to in several of its verses (e.g. 27: 82, 85), is the word the Almighty pronounced when He decreed that humankind would live on the earth: But those who disbelieve and deny Our signs (the verses of the revealed Book of guidance, as well as the signs in both their inner world and the outer world, establishing My Existence and Unity, and other pillars of faith), they will be the companions of the Fire; they will abide therein (2: 39).

Leave a Reply