بسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ ۚ وَهُوَ الْحَكِيمُ الْخَبِيرُ {1}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:1]

This verse repudiates the polytheistic view of dividing the universe into separate regions each with a different god as ruler. Everything in the heavens and the earth and in between them belongs to none but the one and only creator Lord, Allah, hence praise of every kind and in any degree is His. This most important fact of faith has been mentioned many times in the Quran so as to enable every sensible human being to be ever mindful of the true and only benefactor. If a man believes and knows without doubt that Allah alone is the source of all good, he naturally does nothing except good, and necessarily avoids anything that displeases his Lord. He remains adoring Allah, celebrating His praise and offering all gratitude to Him.

 

يَعْلَمُ مَا يَلِجُ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَا يَخْرُجُ مِنْهَا وَمَا يَنْزِلُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَمَا يَعْرُجُ فِيهَا ۚ وَهُوَ الرَّحِيمُ الْغَفُورُ {2}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:2]

Everything hidden and manifest is known to Allah. Man in his ignorance thinks that whoever is dead and buried is lost. The water absorbed into the earth replenishes numerous streams and the seeds planted in the soil come out in various forms of vegetation and provide food to all living beings. It is a constant cycle of generation, decay and re-generation. Although ignorant men think of physical death as their end, outside the realm of space and time there are further countless realms for the soul of man to pass through. Good and virtue never perish, but rise up to Allah, the generator of all good, purity and perfection.

 

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَا تَأْتِينَا السَّاعَةُ ۖ قُلْ بَلَىٰ وَرَبِّي لَتَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ ۖ لَا يَعْزُبُ عَنْهُ مِثْقَالُ ذَرَّةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا أَصْغَرُ مِنْ ذَٰلِكَ وَلَا أَكْبَرُ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُبِينٍ {3}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:3]

See Anam: 59 and Yasin: 12.

Every human being must know that the law of cause and effect also governs human actions, good or bad, carried out during man’s life on earth. Good deeds earn mercy and bad deeds earn wrath. Allah’s mercy can be freely earned; but by straying away from the right path, mankind betrays the trust. Refer to Ahzab: 72.

 

لِيَجْزِيَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ مَغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ {4}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:4]

The unfailing law of cause and effect surely works in the case of good and evil. Good will be recompensed with good, and evil with evil, without exception. Everyone will bear his own burden (see Baqarah: 48, 123, 254;An-am: 165; Bani Israil: 15; Fatir: 18; Zumar: 7; Najm: 38).

The sustenance promised to the righteous is not the ordinary sustenance of worldly life, but an honourable, graceful and generous spiritual satisfaction .

 

وَالَّذِينَ سَعَوْا فِي آيَاتِنَا مُعَاجِزِينَ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مِنْ رِجْزٍ أَلِيمٌ {5}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:5]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Allah’s plan can never be frustrated (see Hajj;: 51). Those who oppose it or attempt to frustrate it, are punished and destroyed.

It also refers to those who attempt to explain all the natural phenomena of the universe in atheistic and materialistic terms.

 

وَيَرَى الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبِّكَ هُوَ الْحَقَّ وَيَهْدِي إِلَىٰ صِرَاطِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ {6}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:6]

Refer to the commentary of Ali Imran: 7 and 18; Nisa: 162, Ankabut: 49 and Rad: 43.

The Holy Prophet and his daughter Fatimah and the twelve holy Imams of the Ahl ul Bayt are those who never learnt anything from any mortal in this world, and yet were the fountainheads of knowledge and wisdom, given to them directly by Allah.

 

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا هَلْ نَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَىٰ رَجُلٍ يُنَبِّئُكُمْ إِذَا مُزِّقْتُمْ كُلَّ مُمَزَّقٍ إِنَّكُمْ لَفِي خَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ {7}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:7]

The Holy Prophet used to preach resurrection of man after physical death. This verse refers to the ignorance of the disbelievers, who obstinately refused to accept the truth the Holy Prophet preached to them, by relying on false conjectures.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

According to the theistic view of life, death is not the annihilation of life, but a transfer to a new state. This always appears strange to the atheists.

 

أَفْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا أَمْ بِهِ جِنَّةٌ ۗ بَلِ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ فِي الْعَذَابِ وَالضَّلَالِ الْبَعِيدِ {8}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:8]

أَفَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلَىٰ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ إِنْ نَشَأْ نَخْسِفْ بِهِمُ الْأَرْضَ أَوْ نُسْقِطْ عَلَيْهِمْ كِسَفًا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِكُلِّ عَبْدٍ مُنِيبٍ {9}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:9]

The spiritually blind or those whose hearts and minds are filled with falsehood laugh at the truth about the hereafter, because they are unable to observe the power of Allah in the nature surrounding them. In verses 77 to 83 of Ya Sin the disbelievers are asked whether He who created the heavens and the earth will be able to re-create the like of them or not? The same section contains the answer. Allah says: “When He wills a thing He only says: ‘Be’, and it is.”

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

A proper observation of the surrounding, terrestrial and celestial, proves that they are held by some power above the dimensional realm unexplainable in terms of the dimensions.

 

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ مِنَّا فَضْلًا ۖ يَا جِبَالُ أَوِّبِي مَعَهُ وَالطَّيْرَ ۖ وَأَلَنَّا لَهُ الْحَدِيدَ {10}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:10]

Refer to the commentary of Anbiya: 79 and 80.

Dawud had been gifted with an enchanting melodious voice, and whenever he sang the glory of Allah the mountains around him would echo his praise, and the birds would join him in chorus. Allah made iron, one of the hardest metals, soft and pliant in his hands, so that without heating the metal he was able to manufacture coats of mail. It is said that Dawud was the first to manufacture coats of mail. As a prophet of Allah he only manufactured armour which is the means of defence, and not swords, which are the implements of aggression.

 

أَنِ اعْمَلْ سَابِغَاتٍ وَقَدِّرْ فِي السَّرْدِ ۖ وَاعْمَلُوا صَالِحًا ۖ إِنِّي بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ {11}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:11]

Dawud was an impartial and just ruler. He used to ask everyone he met what they thought of him as a ruler. If anyone had been wronged he would arrange the necessary redress. Once when Dawud was passing a street of his town at midnight, he met an angel, sent by Allah, in the form of a man. He asked the angel his usual question, and the angel replied that the ruler was alright, except for the fact that he took his own sustenance from the public funds. On hearing this Dawud wept for forty days, and prayed to Allah to teach him some profession. It was then that Allah, in His mercy, made iron soft and pliant like wax in Dawud’s hands, and inspired him with the art of manufacturing coats of mail, and the other articles of defence. Dawud was therefore able to sell the articles and live upon his own earnings.

The concluding words indicate indirectly that a person should not spend all his time in earning a living, because the ultimate object of life is to do good actions with awareness of Allah.

 

وَلِسُلَيْمَانَ الرِّيحَ غُدُوُّهَا شَهْرٌ وَرَوَاحُهَا شَهْرٌ ۖ وَأَسَلْنَا لَهُ عَيْنَ الْقِطْرِ ۖ وَمِنَ الْجِنِّ مَنْ يَعْمَلُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِ ۖ وَمَنْ يَزِغْ مِنْهُمْ عَنْ أَمْرِنَا نُذِقْهُ مِنْ عَذَابِ السَّعِيرِ {12}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:12]

Refer to the commentary of Anbiya 81 and 82; and also Baqarah: 102, Nisa: 163, An-am: 85, and Naml: 15 to 44. For Sulayman’s navy see I Kings 9: 26. For the control over time and distance Sulayman could command see Naml: 38, 39. Regarding the jinn being made to serve under Sulayman see Naml: 17.

The jinn must naturally be uncontrollable, rebellious beings because the phrase be-idhni rabbihi indicates that some special control of Allah was needed to make them work submissively. The punishment mentioned to be waiting for the disobedient among them, implies that they were by nature liable to revolt and disobey the authority of man. The first being to disobey Allah in the matter of prostrating before Adam, while all the angels immediately did so, was neither an angel nor a human being, but a genie. It is said that Iblis was a genie, made of fire, and he opposed the very first man while the man was yet in his creation (Araf: 12).

Inspite of such clear statements, the Ahmadi commentator interprets the word jinn as “the aliens” quoting 2 Chronicles 2 : 12 to 18-“Solomon took a census of all the aliens, resident in Israil.” This interpretation is against the clear evidence of the Quran that jinn are other than human beings, and are made of fire. To console the materialists of the West, the Ahmadi commentator is consistently opposed to belief in any kind of supernatural powers having been granted to any prophet of Allah, and hence he interprets every miracle of the prophets in his own peculiar way. This is an outright denial of the special gifts bestowed by Allah on His prophets.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

In refutation of the materialistic view of life, verse 9 refers to the evidence afforded by the general and natural phenomena, while subsequent verses refer to the particular miracles given to the prophets.

 

 

يَعْمَلُونَ لَهُ مَا يَشَاءُ مِنْ مَحَارِيبَ وَتَمَاثِيلَ وَجِفَانٍ كَالْجَوَابِ وَقُدُورٍ رَاسِيَاتٍ ۚ اعْمَلُوا آلَ دَاوُودَ شُكْرًا ۚ وَقَلِيلٌ مِنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ {13}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:13]

A colossal musjid is said to be one of the structures erected by both men and jinn. It is said that Allah revealed knowledge to Dawud, saying: “I had covenanted with your father (ancestor) Ibrahim that I would bless his seed, (see Baqarah: 124) and multiply it, and make it a great nation, for he (Ibrahim) had offered the sacrifice of his son at My command. I have fulfilled my promise to him, but his seed has turned ungrateful to My grace and bounties and I shall send a chastisement on them.” Allah then afflicted them with a plague, which was withdrawn when Dawud invoked Allah to spare them. Allah said: O Dawud, tell my servants to offer their gratitude for the prayer I answered, by building a masjid where your progeny and other future generations may also pray to Me.” The construction of the masjid was commenced and the righteous Israelites and Dawud himself laboured to build it, carrying heavy stones and mud on their backs. When the walls of the masjid rose to a man’s height, Dawud was informed by Allah that his share in the building of the masjid was complete, because the remaining work had been designated to his son Sulayman. Dawud died in the one hundred and fortieth year of his age and Sulayman succeeded his father to the throne in the thirteenth year of his age, and completed the construction of themasjid.

The Holy Prophet, like Dawud and Sulayman, laboured to construct the first masjid in Madina, at Quba.

Maharib are the houses of defence during warfare, fortresses.

The concluding words of admonition to the children of Dawud to work, is a general injunction to every nation, and to the Muslims in particular indicating that if a people desire the blessings of Allah on them to be sustained, they must labour in the way of Allah for righteousness. Only a few adhered to the command while the remainder fell into luxury and ease, and suffered the natural consequences of their degradation and a miserable, ignominious life.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Maharib means huge temples, altars, arches, vast halls. Some of the jurists refer to the word tamathil (statues) in favour of the permissibility of making images, restricting the prohibitory traditions to those images which are meant for worship. For details refer to the books of fiqh.

Some critics attempt to slander the followers of the Ahlul Bayt by saying that they have borrowed their views about the Ahl ul Bayt from the adoration of the family of Dawud by the Jews. In reply, firstly the Quran itself has given the exceptionally distinguished status to the Ahl ul Bayt, excluding all others (see Ali Imran: 61 and Ahzab: 33). Secondly, Nur: 55 expressly says that the method of the caliphate after the Holy Prophet will be the same as before. Thirdly, the Quran asserts that the families of Ibrahim and Imran are chosen by Allah to hold the book, the Wisdom and the authority (Ali Imran: 33 and 34)

 

فَلَمَّا قَضَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ الْمَوْتَ مَا دَلَّهُمْ عَلَىٰ مَوْتِهِ إِلَّا دَابَّةُ الْأَرْضِ تَأْكُلُ مِنْسَأَتَهُ ۖ فَلَمَّا خَرَّ تَبَيَّنَتِ الْجِنُّ أَنْ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ الْغَيْبَ مَا لَبِثُوا فِي الْعَذَابِ الْمُهِينِ {14}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:14]

Imam Ali bin Musa Ar Ridha said:

“Once Sulayman told his courtiers: ‘Allah has blessed me with the greatest kingdom such as no other man ever possessed, and has favoured me with unique gifts of control over men, jinn, animals and birds, and has even taught me the language of the birds; but I have to give account of every moment of this great responsibility He has given me. I want to view the whole of Allah’s kingdom around me from the top of my palace, so let no one disturb me.’ He climbed to the top with his staff in his hand, and while he stood viewing the kingdom around him a beautifully dressed young man appeared from a corner of the palace. Sulayman asked him: ‘Who are you? Who gave you permission to come here? I had ordered that none should be allowed to enter.’ The visitor replied: ‘The owner has given me permission.’ Sulayman said: ‘I am the owner.’ The stranger said: ‘Allah is the owner of the universe. I am the angel of death and I have been sent to take your soul from your body.’ Sulayman said: ‘Then go ahead, and fulfill the duty for which the Lord has sent you.’ While Sulayman stood leaning on his staff, his soul left his body, but the staff supported the body in that posture a full year. The people below could see him standing and thought him to be alive. When some considerable time had passed many people began to worship him as a god. Some people said that he was a magician, with the power of control over their perception, so as to make them see him standing there. Allah commanded the white ants to chew his staff, then it collapsed, and the body of Sulayman fell on the ground, and at that time the people came to know that he was dead. Until that moment they had believed him to be living and therefore continued to perform the duties entrusted to them by him.”

The event has several factors of guidance for mankind which are given below:

No amount of power, however great, possessed by anyone in this world, is permanent, and power and glory, however great, enjoyed by man comes to an end.

None, not even the prophets of Allah, are exempted from undergoing the reality of death.

Great events like the death of Sulayman could be manifested by unseen agencies as commanded by Allah.

Even the smallest creatures can destroy strong, hard structures like Sulayman’s staff, which had born the weight of his body for a long time.

A man, who unconditionally submits himself to Allah’s will, like Sulayman, could have control over all Allah’s creatures in order to fulfill His will. Any body can survive and remain stationary, for any period beyond the ordinary limits of our limited knowledge in accordance with Allah’s will. The forces of nature are always subservient to the chosen servants of Allah.

Things people regard impossible to achieve, Allah effects with ease through His will.

A true and godly responsibility to control men, materials and matters is given to a chosen individual endowed with divine wisdom, not to ordinary men who are either elected by the people or usurp the authority by force.

The knowledge of the unknown is with Allah only and not with men or jinn.

The greatest and most magnificent structures designed by men or jinn decay and ultimately perish.

Death is decreed by Allah and could not be avoided or delayed. It is effected immediately as Allah wills.

 

لَقَدْ كَانَ لِسَبَإٍ فِي مَسْكَنِهِمْ آيَةٌ ۖ جَنَّتَانِ عَنْ يَمِينٍ وَشِمَالٍ ۖ كُلُوا مِنْ رِزْقِ رَبِّكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لَهُ ۚ بَلْدَةٌ طَيِّبَةٌ وَرَبٌّ غَفُورٌ{15}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:15]

Refer to the commentary of Naml: 20 to 44. The town referred to is Ma-rib, near Yemen, amply irrigated by the great dam Sadd Ma-rib, wherein lived the people of Saba or Sheba mentioned in the Bible-I Kings 10, and 2 Chronicles 9.

The soil of Saba was very rich and there was an abundant water supply. The whole area flourished with profoundly yielding fruit gardens and was free from venomous serpents and insects. The climate was very pleasant. Each of the twelve townships of Saba had its own prophet of Allah. Each of the prophets called their people to correct belief in Allah, the true Lord of the universe, and to righteous living. They preached: “Eat of what Allah from His grace and mercy has provided to you, and be thankful and grateful to Him who is the most merciful.”

It was a happy and prosperous country, amply supplied with canals and roads, and skirted by gardens to the right and left, but the people became arrogant of their prosperity, their skills and the achievements of their ancestors. Allah therefore punished them by destroying their habitations, gardens and cultivated fields. A mighty flood came and the dam burst.

The French traveller T.J. Arnaud saw the town and ruins of the dam of Ma-arib in 1874, and described its gigantic works and its inscriptions in Journal Asiatique for January 1874. The dam as measured by Arnaud was two miles long and 120 feet high. The date of destruction was somewhere about 120 A.D. The flourishing land was converted into a waste.

 

فَأَعْرَضُوا فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَيْلَ الْعَرِمِ وَبَدَّلْنَاهُمْ بِجَنَّتَيْهِمْ جَنَّتَيْنِ ذَوَاتَيْ أُكُلٍ خَمْطٍ وَأَثْلٍ وَشَيْءٍ مِنْ سِدْرٍ قَلِيلٍ {16}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:16] (see commentary for verse 15)

ذَٰلِكَ جَزَيْنَاهُمْ بِمَا كَفَرُوا ۖ وَهَلْ نُجَازِي إِلَّا الْكَفُورَ {17}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:17]

The old Frankincense route was the great highway between Arabia and Syria. Through Syria it connected with great and flourishing kingdoms of the Euphrates and Tigris (Furat and Dajlah) valleys on the one hand and Egypt on the other, and with the great Roman empire round the Mediterranean. At the other end, through Yemen coast, the route was connected, by sea transport, with India, Malaysia and China. The route was studded, in the days of prosperity, with many cities close to each other. The close proximity of the cities prevented the inroads of highway men.

 

وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ الْقُرَى الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا قُرًى ظَاهِرَةً وَقَدَّرْنَا فِيهَا السَّيْرَ ۖ سِيرُوا فِيهَا لَيَالِيَ وَأَيَّامًا آمِنِينَ {18}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:18] (see commentary for verse 17)

فَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا بَاعِدْ بَيْنَ أَسْفَارِنَا وَظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ فَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَحَادِيثَ وَمَزَّقْنَاهُمْ كُلَّ مُمَزَّقٍ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِكُلِّ صَبَّارٍ شَكُورٍ {19}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:19]

The people of Saba became increasingly covetous and selfish, departing from the path of righteousness and envying their neighbour’s prosperity and happiness. In order to make more profit the distance between two towns had to be extended, because a few stations which they could monopolise would bring more money. Their grasping nature put aside the moral standards of righteousness. Monopoly in trade and industry not only spreads poverty among people but also destroys the moral fabric of the society. They fell into the snare of Shaytan, therefore fell from divine grace and declined. They gradually passed out of history, and became only a name in a story. Prosperity is only a snare unless used for the highest service of Allah and His servants, an nas (common people).

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The people of Saba neglected the bounties of Allah and invited the miseries on themselves. This is true of the material, as well as the spiritual life of man. Thus Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq quotes this verse to illustrate that the trouble which engulfed the Muslims (and will continue until the reappearance of Imam Al Mahdi al Qa-im) was due to the ingratitude shown by the people concerning Ghadir Khum. They neglected to pay attention to the covenant of Ghadir (see commentary of Ma-idah: 67). For a similar example among the chadren of Israil see Ma-idah: 20 to 26.

 

وَلَقَدْ صَدَّقَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِبْلِيسُ ظَنَّهُ فَاتَّبَعُوهُ إِلَّا فَرِيقًا مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ {20}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:20]

Shaytan had prayed for a respite and said that he would lead the children of Adam astray and bring them under his influence, all except a few (Bani Israil: 62). The people of Saba, by their own conduct, proved the challenge of Shaytan true. Only a small group of sincere believers in Allah remained steadfast in their faith and righteousness. The same waywardness has occurred among the followers of every prophet of Allah, and also among the Muslims. Except the holy Ahl ul Bayt and those who follow them faithfully, the others have been led astray by the agents of Shaytan who appeared in the guise of the false leaders of the faith. All these false leaders who ruled after the Holy Prophet were like devils in human form, worse than the brutes of the jungle. (Please refer to the books of history written by Muslim scholars on the personal characters of some of the Umayyid and Abbasid caliphs, particularly Yazid, who posed as the rightful successors of the Holy Prophet, while actually living quite against the teachings of the Quran and the Holy Prophet. The very few who remained steadfast in their faith and righteousness are those about whom Allah has said that Iblis will never ever have any authority over them. Refer to the commentary of Bani Israil: 65; Hijr: 42; Ibrahim: 22.

 

وَمَا كَانَ لَهُ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ سُلْطَانٍ إِلَّا لِنَعْلَمَ مَنْ يُؤْمِنُ بِالْآخِرَةِ مِمَّنْ هُوَ مِنْهَا فِي شَكٍّ ۗ وَرَبُّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَفِيظٌ{21}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:21] (see commentary for verse 20)

قُلِ ادْعُوا الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ ۖ لَا يَمْلِكُونَ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَا لَهُمْ فِيهِمَا مِنْ شِرْكٍ وَمَا لَهُ مِنْهُمْ مِنْ ظَهِيرٍ {22}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:22]

This verse refers to the false, imaginary deities the people believed in. These gods possess no power or authority whatsoever to help themselves; and, more so, they are completely impotent to help their votaries during times of distress.

 

وَلَا تَنْفَعُ الشَّفَاعَةُ عِنْدَهُ إِلَّا لِمَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ ۚ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا فُزِّعَ عَنْ قُلُوبِهِمْ قَالُوا مَاذَا قَالَ رَبُّكُمْ ۖ قَالُوا الْحَقَّ ۖ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْكَبِيرُ{23}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:23]

Refer to the commentary of Baqarah: 48 and 255; Nisa: 85; Yunus: 3; Maryam: 87; Ta Ha : 109 and Anbiya: 28.

 

قُلْ مَنْ يَرْزُقُكُمْ مِنَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ قُلِ اللَّهُ ۖ وَإِنَّا أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَىٰ هُدًى أَوْ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ {24}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:24]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

This verse asserts that right and wrong, good and evil, are incompatible, one with another. There is no compromise. It refutes the theosophist point of view about religions that: “All are subjectively true.” The Quran asserts that the religions should be valued objectively, and both the opposites cannot be true.

 

قُلْ لَا تُسْأَلُونَ عَمَّا أَجْرَمْنَا وَلَا نُسْأَلُ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ {25}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:25]

قُلْ يَجْمَعُ بَيْنَنَا رَبُّنَا ثُمَّ يَفْتَحُ بَيْنَنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَهُوَ الْفَتَّاحُ الْعَلِيمُ {26}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:26]

قُلْ أَرُونِيَ الَّذِينَ أَلْحَقْتُمْ بِهِ شُرَكَاءَ ۖ كَلَّا ۚ بَلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ {27}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:27]

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا كَافَّةً لِلنَّاسِ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ {28}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:28]

Refer to the commentary of Araf: 158 and Anbiya: 107.

Allah’s revelation, through the Holy Prophet, was not meant for one family or tribe, one race or set of people. It was meant for all mankind, to whom, if they turn to Allah, it is a message of the glad tidings of His mercy, and if they do not turn to Him, it is a warning against disobedience and the inevitable punishment. The Holy Prophet is a bashir (bearer of glad tidings) as well asnadhir (warner).

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

It means that most of the people do not appreciate the universality of the mission of the Holy Prophet, who was the last of the prophets. Even among the Muslims there are some narrow-minded historians who value the Islamic teachings as something having developed specifically out of the conditions in pagan Arabia at that time. Quran says that it was revealed to bestow on man the awareness of his full dynamic potential.

 

وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَىٰ هَٰذَا الْوَعْدُ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ {29}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:29]

Refer to the commentary of Ali Imran : 145; Araf: 34; Yunus: 49; Hajj: 15; Nahl:61; Muminun: 43. When the appointed hour comes, the respite automatically ends.

 

قُلْ لَكُمْ مِيعَادُ يَوْمٍ لَا تَسْتَأْخِرُونَ عَنْهُ سَاعَةً وَلَا تَسْتَقْدِمُونَ {30}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:30] (see commentary for verse 29)

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَنْ نُؤْمِنَ بِهَٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ وَلَا بِالَّذِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ ۗ وَلَوْ تَرَىٰ إِذِ الظَّالِمُونَ مَوْقُوفُونَ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ يَرْجِعُ بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ الْقَوْلَ يَقُولُ الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا لَوْلَا أَنْتُمْ لَكُنَّا مُؤْمِنِينَ {31}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:31]

The reference is to the people who not only rejected the Quran, but also corrupted the other previous scriptures which contained the prophecies about the advent of the last prophet of Allah, who is the universal teacher for the whole of mankind. The people of the book, in their proud assumption of being on the right path, and superior to all others, disbelieved in the prophecies of their own scriptures, and also prevented others from accepting what had been revealed in the Quran. On the day of judgement each would accuse the other of having been misled, but nothing shall be of any avail to the unjust.

 

قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا لِلَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا أَنَحْنُ صَدَدْنَاكُمْ عَنِ الْهُدَىٰ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَكُمْ ۖ بَلْ كُنْتُمْ مُجْرِمِينَ {32}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:32]

There will be mutual reproaches and accusations between the false leaders and the misled but none of them would be uttering the truth .

 

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا بَلْ مَكْرُ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ إِذْ تَأْمُرُونَنَا أَنْ نَكْفُرَ بِاللَّهِ وَنَجْعَلَ لَهُ أَنْدَادًا ۚ وَأَسَرُّوا النَّدَامَةَ لَمَّا رَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ وَجَعَلْنَا الْأَغْلَالَ فِي أَعْنَاقِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ۚ هَلْ يُجْزَوْنَ إِلَّا مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ {33}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:33]

The more intelligent who exploit the less intelligent are constantly plotting night and day to keep the latter under their thumb. To remain in power the intelligent among men, who also become arrogant, show the ways of evil to the ignorant.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Asarru has been interpreted by some commentators to mean: “they expressed”; and by others to mean: “they hid their regret.” Both interpretations are justified in the sense that by throwing the blame on each other their regret is exposed without any individual directly expressing his fault.

The “shackles” are their own deeds which shall hang around their necks weighing them down.

 

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِنْ نَذِيرٍ إِلَّا قَالَ مُتْرَفُوهَا إِنَّا بِمَا أُرْسِلْتُمْ بِهِ كَافِرُونَ {34}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:34]

The vested interests of the people always stood against every prophet of Allah.

 

وَقَالُوا نَحْنُ أَكْثَرُ أَمْوَالًا وَأَوْلَادًا وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ {35}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:35]

People became infatuated with worldly power and position.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Verses 34 to 39 refer to the general tendency of people to attach importance to abundance of wealth and children, while through the Quran Allah reveals that it is people’s faith and good deeds which are the means of approach to Allah.

 

قُلْ إِنَّ رَبِّي يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ {36}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:36]

Man is assured that he need not yield to anyone other than Allah out of anxiety for his sustenance because it is Allah alone who provides each of His creatures with all their needs.

 

وَمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُمْ بِالَّتِي تُقَرِّبُكُمْ عِنْدَنَا زُلْفَىٰ إِلَّا مَنْ آمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَأُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ جَزَاءُ الضِّعْفِ بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَهُمْ فِي الْغُرُفَاتِ آمِنُونَ {37}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:37]

The criterion for judging man’s personal merit will not be based on any material possessions, or any influence, other than spiritual excellence and manifested righteousness in practical life. All worldly goods are nothing but a passing cloud that casts a shadow, running away with them. Real self-development needs correct faith and righteousness in daily life. The reward for righteousness will be manifold.

 

وَالَّذِينَ يَسْعَوْنَ فِي آيَاتِنَا مُعَاجِزِينَ أُولَٰئِكَ فِي الْعَذَابِ مُحْضَرُونَ {38}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:38]

قُلْ إِنَّ رَبِّي يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَقْدِرُ لَهُ ۚ وَمَا أَنْفَقْتُمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَهُوَ يُخْلِفُهُ ۖ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ {39}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:39]

وَيَوْمَ يَحْشُرُهُمْ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ يَقُولُ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ أَهَٰؤُلَاءِ إِيَّاكُمْ كَانُوا يَعْبُدُونَ {40}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:40]

قَالُوا سُبْحَانَكَ أَنْتَ وَلِيُّنَا مِنْ دُونِهِمْ ۖ بَلْ كَانُوا يَعْبُدُونَ الْجِنَّ ۖ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِهِمْ مُؤْمِنُونَ {41}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:41]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

This is a refutation of the claims of the pagans and all others who consider themselves as following a course of angelical practices and enchantments. In reality these people follow the satanic forces of the lower spheres. This includes the modern ways of attempting to recall dead spirits.

 

فَالْيَوْمَ لَا يَمْلِكُ بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ نَفْعًا وَلَا ضَرًّا وَنَقُولُ لِلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا ذُوقُوا عَذَابَ النَّارِ الَّتِي كُنْتُمْ بِهَا تُكَذِّبُونَ {42}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:42]

وَإِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُنَا بَيِّنَاتٍ قَالُوا مَا هَٰذَا إِلَّا رَجُلٌ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَصُدَّكُمْ عَمَّا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَقَالُوا مَا هَٰذَا إِلَّا إِفْكٌ مُفْتَرًى ۚ وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِلْحَقِّ لَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ إِنْ هَٰذَا إِلَّا سِحْرٌ مُبِينٌ {43}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:43]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

This verse refers to those who, feeling the fascinating force of the Quran, termed it as sorcery.

 

وَمَا آتَيْنَاهُمْ مِنْ كُتُبٍ يَدْرُسُونَهَا ۖ وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ قَبْلَكَ مِنْ نَذِيرٍ {44}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:44]

No book was ever revealed, nor any prophet ever sent, to any people in the world, that preached polytheism.

 

وَكَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَمَا بَلَغُوا مِعْشَارَ مَا آتَيْنَاهُمْ فَكَذَّبُوا رُسُلِي ۖ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ نَكِيرِ {45}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:45]

Allah says in this verse that the material wealth and worldly power that made the Quraysh so arrogant and proud, was not even one tenth of what was bestowed on earlier peoples. Even so, the earlier peoples were destroyed when they defied Allah’s authority and lived wicked lives.

 

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَعِظُكُمْ بِوَاحِدَةٍ ۖ أَنْ تَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ مَثْنَىٰ وَفُرَادَىٰ ثُمَّ تَتَفَكَّرُوا ۚ مَا بِصَاحِبِكُمْ مِنْ جِنَّةٍ ۚ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ لَكُمْ بَيْنَ يَدَيْ عَذَابٍ شَدِيدٍ {46}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:46]

It is an exhortation which only an intelligent person would grasp. The Holy Prophet is commanded by Allah to invite the people to independent thinking about Allah, and his prophethood. The suggestion is to use individual reflection over the matter, because crowd mentality would not serve the purpose of perceiving or realising the finer and higher spiritual truths. Each person should earnestly and sincerely communicate to himself. During times of need, the promise of the Lord to guide the sincere ones is there. (Ankabut: 69; Nahl 43; Anbiya: 7). The essential prerequisite for such realisation is a heartfelt reflection free from any preconceived notion or prejudice.

 

قُلْ مَا سَأَلْتُكُمْ مِنْ أَجْرٍ فَهُوَ لَكُمْ ۖ إِنْ أَجْرِيَ إِلَّا عَلَى اللَّهِ ۖ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ {47}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:47] Refer to the commentary of Anam: 91 and Yunus: 72.

The Holy Prophet had no other motive except to guide mankind on the right path. In Shura: 23 Allah commanded the Holy Prophet to say: “I demand not of you any recompense for it (the toils of prophethood) save the love of (my) relatives.” This verse makes it clear that the purpose and meaning of the prophet’s demand, as a return for the completion of the duties of prophethood, was for the people’s own benefit. If they love his nearest of kin, who are the ones thoroughly purified by Allah (Ahzab: 33), they would always be on the right path to salvation by following the example of the Ahl ul Bayt (see commentary of Shura: 23).

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

This verse asserts that the Holy Prophet had asked for a recompense, as an exception to the general course followed by the preceding prophets, but the recompense requested was only in the people’s interest, as explained in the commentary of Sad: 86 and 87.

 

قُلْ إِنَّ رَبِّي يَقْذِفُ بِالْحَقِّ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ {48}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:48]

What Allah reveals is Islam, the right way for the salvation of mankind.

 

قُلْ جَاءَ الْحَقُّ وَمَا يُبْدِئُ الْبَاطِلُ وَمَا يُعِيدُ {49}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:49]

Refer to the commentary of Bani Israil: 81.

 

قُلْ إِنْ ضَلَلْتُ فَإِنَّمَا أَضِلُّ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِي ۖ وَإِنِ اهْتَدَيْتُ فَبِمَا يُوحِي إِلَيَّ رَبِّي ۚ إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ قَرِيبٌ {50}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:50]

Allah knows the truth because He is nearer to man than his own self, and He hears everything uttered, whether loudly, in whisper or in mind. Allah is the knower of everything.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

This is in reply to verse 43. It does not mean that the Holy Prophet ever erred, because Quran expressively says in Najm: 2 to 4: “Errs not your companion, nor is he led astray, nor he speaks of (his own) desire. It is naught but a revelation revealed (unto him).” It means the prophet was infallible. In several other places the Quran asserts that the Holy Prophet only followed the divine revelation under every circumstance. For further clarification see Duha: 7. The statement in this verse is used to signify that without the divine guidance, the prophet would have been subject to error. On this subject Imam Ali says:

“Since his birth, the Holy Prophet was under divine guidance through the greatest angelical entity.”

 

وَلَوْ تَرَىٰ إِذْ فَزِعُوا فَلَا فَوْتَ وَأُخِذُوا مِنْ مَكَانٍ قَرِيبٍ {51}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:51]

‘From a nearby place’ refers to the battle of Badr, or it may refer to the time of death.

 

وَقَالُوا آمَنَّا بِهِ وَأَنَّىٰ لَهُمُ التَّنَاوُشُ مِنْ مَكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ {52}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:52]

“From a place so far away”-death removes every man far away from this world. The opportune place and time to believe in the truth, is in this world, at this time. On the day of judgement repentant believing would be of no avail whatsoever, to anyone.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

When the guilty are sentenced, and their punishment comes nearest to them, they will be far away from their earthly life, where faith held no importance for them. While they were in the state of worldly existence, and had opportunity to believe, they disbelieved, and considered the unseen world as something far beyond imagination.

 

وَقَدْ كَفَرُوا بِهِ مِنْ قَبْلُ ۖ وَيَقْذِفُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ مِنْ مَكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ {53}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:53]

The people disbelieved in the Holy Prophet and rejected his message, imagining themselves to be as safe in the hereafter as they were in this world, but they were conjecturing about something unseen and distant. The Quran asserts that they could never understand the reality of the unseen because of its immense distance from them.

 

وَحِيلَ بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ مَا يَشْتَهُونَ كَمَا فُعِلَ بِأَشْيَاعِهِمْ مِنْ قَبْلُ ۚ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا فِي شَكٍّ مُرِيبٍ {54}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 34:54]

The disbelievers will meet disappointment, for they would never achieve their desires, nor realise their conjectures.
Source:quran.al-islam.org


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