Tafsir Surah Al-Ma’arij (The Ways of Ascent)

By: Nasir Makarim Shirazi in Tafsir Namuneh
Translated from Farsi into English by: Fatima Zabeth Beenesh

Al-Ma’arij (The Ways of Ascent)

سَأَلَ سَائِلٌ بِعَذَابٍ وَاقِعٍ(70:1)

70:1

A questioner asked concerning a torment about to happen

لِّلْكَافِرينَ لَيْسَ لَهُ دَافِعٌ(70:2)

70:2

Those who deny the truth. [Know, then, that] nothing can ward it off.

مِّنَ اللَّهِ ذِي الْمَعَارِجِ(70:3)

70:3

[It is] from Allah, the Lord of the ways of ascent.

 

Instant torment

The Sura of Ma’arij starts from here and said: a claimer demanded the torment which occurred.

سَأَلَ سَائِلٌ بِعَذَابٍ وَاقِعٍ

70:1

This claimer was No’man bin Haris or Nazar bin Haris at the moment when Hazrat Ali alaihis salam was appointed at the status of the successor of prophet peace be upon him and the guardianship of Muslims at Gadeer Khum and by the spread of this news in the cities, he got infuriated and came to the prophet peace be upon him and said: Is it from the Almighty or issued by you. At this the prophetpeace be upon him clearly stated: This is from Mighty God. He became more furious and said: O God if this is true and from you then throw upon me a stone from the sky. At this moment a stone descended upon him and hit his head which killed him.

Before this interpretation there is another explanation which is more general according to that description is that the one who asked the prophet peace be upon him: the punishment which you mentioned upon whom it is going to happen? And the next ayat replies: It will be for the infidels and atheists.

According to the third interpretation this claimer is the prophet peace be upon him who claimed a punishment for the infidels. But the first interpretation coordinates with the ayaat.

In the next ayat it adds: This punishment is specific for the infidels and nobody can prevent it.

لِّلْكَافِرينَ لَيْسَ لَهُ دَافِعٌ(70:2

And the next ayat indicates the one who send the punishment and said: This chastisement is from the Powerful God who is the lord of the heavens where the angels ascend.

مِّنَ اللَّهِ ذِي الْمَعَارِجِ(70:3)

معارج is the plural of معرج it is the staircase or the place where one go upwards. The Majestic God established the various stages for the angels according to their closeness with the Benevolent God. He is defined as The Lord of Ascensions.

Yea these are the angels who have the duty to punish the infidels and the criminals. They were those who descended upon the hazrat Ibrahim alaihis salam The friend of Merciful Allah and informed him that they are appointed to destroy the people of the prophet Lut alaihis salam and in the early hours of morning uprooted their dirty and shameful cities. They treated the other criminals in the same manner.

Some translated the معارج as the divine virtues and favours and some express it as the angels of but the first meaning is adequate and it is agreeable with the concept of the accurate meaning of sentence.

 

The imaginary critics of those who bring excuses

Generally about the ayaat of Quran or its narratives which defines the specific virtues of the commander of the faithful Ali alaihis salam They emphasise to avoid the matter as much they can or deviate the justification and pursue the matter with much accuracy and minuteness. Whereas if the virtues are for some another person they easily overlook it.

 

The virtues of reading the Sura e Ma’arij

n a narration we read, one who recites the Sura e Ma’arij he is bestowed the rewards of those who protect their vows, promises and those who protect and watchful towards the namaz.

It is mentioned in another hadis from imam Baqir alaihis salam who said: One who recites consistently the Sura of سَأَلَ سَائِلٌ the Forgiver God will not interrogate regarding his sins on the judgment day and resides him in the paradise with prophet Muhammad sallallaho alaihi va ala alehi.

The same content is quoted from imam Jafar e Sadiq alaihis salam.

It is quite obvious that the men acquires such a great divine rewards, it is the recitation with full faith and believe and then to practise upon it. Not that to read the ayaat and Sura which does not reflect in his soul and deed.

َ

عْرُجُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ إِلَيْهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ(70:4)

70:4

The angels and the Spirit the [Ruh – Jibrael (Gabriel)] will ascend to Him during a Day the extent of which is fifty thousand years.

فَاصْبِرْ صَبْرًا جَمِيلًا(70:5)

70:5

So be patient (O Muhammad SAW ), with a excellent patience.

إِنَّهُمْ يَرَوْنَهُ بَعِيدًا(70:6)

70:6

Indeed, men look upon that [reckoning] as something far away

وَنَرَاهُ قَرِيبًا(70:7)

70:7

But We see it (quite) near.

 

A day equal to fifty years

After stating the worldly punishment, for the one who demanded the torment, we entered in the discussion of judgment day and the sufferings of the criminals on that day hereafter.

At first it said: The angels and the soul ascend towards Him (Allah), the day whose length is fifty thousand years.

تَعْرُجُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ إِلَيْهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ

(70:4

Certainly the ascension of the angel is not the physical but it is spiritual that is to say, they make hurry for the nearness to Sovereign God. In the hours of resurrection day they get ready to follow the commands and obey it. Similarly it is mentioned in the Sura e Haqqah ayat 17:

Surat Al-H^a-qqah (The Reality) – سورة الحاقة

وَالْمَلَكُ عَلَى أَرْجَائِهَا وَيَحْمِلُ عَرْشَ رَبِّكَ فَوْقَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ ثَمَانِيَةٌ

 

(69:17)

69:17

And the angels will be on its sides, and eight angels will, that Day, bear the Throne of your Lord above them.

It is on that day they stand around the skies and ready to perform every command. By Ruh روح it means the same روح الامين the chief of angels who is indicated in the Sura e Qadr where it is said:

Surat Al-Qadr (The Power) – سورة القدر

تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ

 

(97:4)

97:4

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

Of course the word روح had the different meanings in every situation it may be possible according to the present manifestations too. And give it a meaning such as روح انسان the soul of man, روح means Quran, روح means Ruhul Qodos روح القدس angel of revelation, they entirely gives the meaning of روح soul . The other ayat of Quran too pointed this term.

But the phrase fifty years is to reveal that day is lengthy according to the proportion of the worldly years or as in the ayat 5 of the Sura e Sijdeh it is mentioned the length of that day is one thousand years does not contradict it.

Surat As-Sajdah (The Prostration) – سورة السجدة

يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ مِنَ السَّمَاء إِلَى الْأَرْضِ ثُمَّ يَعْرُجُ إِلَيْهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ مِّمَّا تَعُدُّونَ

 

(32:5)

32:5

He arranges [each] matter from the heaven to the earth; then it will ascend to Him in a Day, the extent of which is a thousand years of those which you count.

Fifty years indicates the location and stage. Every stage is equal to one thousand years long.

Some guessed it that the number fifty thousand years is expressing the excessiveness they do not mean the number, it means that day is the lengthiest day.

Any way it is for the criminals, tyrants and the infidels. Hence, in a narration from Abu Sayeed Khadri, it is described: Somebody asked: O Prophet of Allah, how much is the duration of that day. He replied: I swear by the One, in whose hands is the life of Muhammad sallallaho alaihi va ala alehi that day for the believer is light and convenient easier than the single obligatory namaz which he performs in this world.

In the next ayat addressed the holy messenger of God and said: tolerate with the best patience and be persistent before their mockery, denials and tortures.

فَاصْبِرْ صَبْرًا جَمِيلًا(70:5)

صَبْرًا جَمِيلًا means the pleasant and kind patience and long lasting persistence and must not give way to the hopelessness and depression accompanied by complains, uneasiness, sighing , groaning, getting into anxiety else it is not called pleasant patience. Then it adds: For the reason that they are seeing the judgment day very much far distance.

إِنَّهُمْ يَرَوْنَهُ بَعِيدًا

(70:6

And we see it quite near and close.

وَنَرَاهُ قَرِيبًا

(70:7

They never believe that such a day is going to appear for them in which the deeds of all the people from first to last will be checked and counted and their smallest act and single uttered word is calculated too on the day which has a length of fifty years. But in fact they did not recognise the Majestic God there is no doubt in his power and might.

They presume and say: Is it possible that the rotten bones which get soiled and dispersed around, once again can be gathered and wear the attire of life. (As the noble Quran in its ayaat quoted the same terms) and then, is it possible, the day with a duration of fifty thousand years?

The most interesting thing is that today’s knowledge define that the extent of the day of every planet is different from another planet as it is following the period which revolving around its own axis and hence one day of the moon is equal to the two weeks of planet earth. Even it is said: Possibly by the passage of time the speed of earth will decrease. One day will become equal to a month or a year and a century.

We are not telling the Day of Judgment in such a way equal to fifty thousand years even with the worldly assessments it is not a strange matter to analyse it.

يَوْمَ تَكُونُ السَّمَاء كَالْمُهْلِ(70:8)

70:8

The Day that the sky will be like the boiling filth of oil, (or molten copper or silver or lead, etc.).

وَتَكُونُ الْجِبَالُ كَالْعِهْنِ

70:9

And the mountains will be like tufts of wool,

وَلَا يَسْأَلُ حَمِيمٌ حَمِيمًا(70:10)

70:10

and [when] no friend will ask about his friend,

يُبَصَّرُونَهُمْ يَوَدُّ الْمُجْرِمُ لَوْ يَفْتَدِي مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمِئِذٍ بِبَنِيهِ(70:11)

70:11

They will be shown each other. The criminal will wish that he could be ransomed from the punishment of that Day by his children

وَصَاحِبَتِهِ وَأَخِيهِ(70:12)

70:12

And his wife and his brother

وَفَصِيلَتِهِ الَّتِي تُؤْويهِ(70:13)

70:13

And his relatives who sheltered him,

وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ يُنجِيهِ(70:14)

70:14

And all that are in the earth, so that it might save him.

كَلَّا إِنَّهَا لَظَى(70:15)

70:15

No! Indeed, it is the Flame [of Hell],

نَزَّاعَةً لِّلشَّوَى(70:16)

70:16

Tearing away his skin!

تَدْعُو مَنْ أَدْبَرَ وَتَوَلَّى(70:17)

70:17

It invites he who turned his back [on truth] and went away [from obedience]

وَجَمَعَ فَأَوْعَى(70:18)

70:18

In addition, collect (wealth) and hide it (from spending it in the Cause of Allah).

 

The day when no intimate friend comes to the rescue

In these ayaat, it is continuing the past discussions with more descriptions and explanations and said: The day when the skies melt like a metal.

يَوْمَ تَكُونُ السَّمَاء كَالْمُهْلِ

(70:8)

The mountains are like the clusters of colored woolen,

وَتَكُونُ الْجِبَالُ كَالْعِهْنِ(70:9)

مُهْلِ means the melted metal and by the عِهْنِ means the beaten wool .

Yea that day the skies will melt and collapse, the mountains will crush and crumble down and then the hurricanes disperse them in the space just like the wool lifted by the gust of wind. And after this destruction, a new world will come into existence and the human being will start their new life again.

When the resurrection in that world established, the situation of the deeds accounts and settlements are so much terrifying that everybody is thoughtful about themselves only. Not a single person is bothering about the other person and not a close and dear friend is enquiring about his friend.

وَلَا يَسْأَلُ حَمِيمٌ حَمِيمًا

 

(70:10)

Everybody is engaged in his own self, every person is anxious to rescue his own self. As told in the ayat 37 of Sura e Abasa:

لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مِّنْهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ شَأْنٌ يُغْنِيهِ(80:37)

80:37

That Day everyman will have enough to make him careless of others.

They did not even recognize their friends, particularly when their friends are shown to them yet every entity is tied up in his own confusions.

يُبَصَّرُونَهُمْ

 

The real matter is that the horror and the fear are worst to such extent that nobody is able to think about another.

In the continuation of this subject and sketching the terrible scene it adds: The condition is such that the sinner wants to sacrifice his own children before the torment of that day.

يَوَدُّ الْمُجْرِمُ لَوْ يَفْتَدِي مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمِئِذٍ بِبَنِيهِ

(70:11

Not only his children but he is agreed to give his spouse and brother,

وَصَاحِبَتِهِ وَأَخِيهِ

(70:12

Same way the family and the tribe he belongs who were supporting him,

وَفَصِيلَتِهِ الَّتِي تُؤْويهِ

(70:13

Even if he sacrifice the entire people living in the world to save himself,

وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ يُنجِيهِ

(70:14

Yea this torment of Dominant God is so much horrible that the man wants to sacrifice for securing himself all his near and dear ones such as children, wife, brother and family members who were his supporters. Not only them, he is ready to sacrifice the total number of people to protect himself from the hell fire..

يَوَدُّ means to love يَفْتَدِي means to protect from the hardships and difficulties.

فَصِيلَتِهِ means kinsmen and family members and tribe from which the man is separated.

تُؤْويهِ means to annex one thing into another and then it means to give shelter as well.

But in the reply of this desires and wishes he said: it is never like this.

كَلَّا

إِنَّهَا لَظَى

 

They are the burning flames of fire

Incessantly it is blazing and burning anything coming across his way. It rips off hands, head skin and take it along with.

نَزَّاعَةً لِّلشَّوَى(70:16)

لَظَى means the pure unadulterated flames and one of the names of the hell too. Both the meanings are possible in the above ayat. Means the thing which separates perpetually

شو? means hands or around the body and often gives the meaning of roasting but here it gives the first meaning.

Some translated it as skin; a few as scalp and various interpreted it as the thigh flesh. Strangely, in spite of all these maladies there is no death and demise.

Then it is indicating towards the people who became the morsel of that fire and said: This blazing flame call those towards the fire who turned away from the command of God and refused to obey him.

تَدْعُو مَنْ أَدْبَرَ وَتَوَلَّى

 

(70:17

Those who gathered the wealth, hoarded, and did not spend it in the way of the Almighty.

وَجَمَعَ فَأَوْعَى

(70:18

Like this manner these roaring flames calling, with their specific magnetic expression, the criminals who were constantly engaged in the gathering of the dishonest money, without giving importance to the right of the poor and the disabled and without the knowing about.

إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ خُلِقَ هَلُوعًا(70:19)

70:19

Verily, man (disbeliever) was created very impatient;

إِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ جَزُوعًا(70:20)

70:20

whenever misfortune touches him, he is filled with self-pity;

وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الْخَيْرُ مَنُوعًا(70:21)

70:21

(Asad and whenever good fortune comes to him, he selfishly withholds it [from others].

إِلَّا الْمُصَلِّينَ(70:22)

70:22

Except those devoted to Salat (prayers)

الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَى صَلَاتِهِمْ دَائِمُونَ(70:23)

70:23

Those who remain constant in their Salat (prayers);

وَالَّذِينَ فِي أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ مَّعْلُومٌ

(70:24)

70:24

And those within whose wealth is a known right

لِّلسَّائِلِ وَالْمَحْرُومِ(70:25)

70:25

For the beggar who asks, and for the unlucky who has lost his property and wealth, (and his means of living has been straitened);

وَالَّذِينَ يُصَدِّقُونَ بِيَوْمِ الدِّينِ(70:26)

70:26

and who accept as true the [coming of the] Day of Judgment;

وَالَّذِينَ هُم مِّنْ عَذَابِ رَبِّهِم مُّشْفِقُونَ(70:27)

70:27

And those who are fearful of the punishment of their Lord –

إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّهِمْ غَيْرُ مَأْمُونٍ(70:28)

70:28

Verily! The torment of their Lord is that before which none can feel secure,

After mentioning a corner of the torments and the character of the unbelievers before the true Muslims to make the people know why a group of people are in chastisement and another group of people are saved from it.

First it describes: The man is created greedy with low stamina.

إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ خُلِقَ هَلُوعًا

(70:19

When the disasters reaches him he is very much restless in grieve and complaints.

إِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ جَزُوعًا

(70:20

When the blessings reach him he withholds and refrain himself ( from charity)

وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الْخَيْرُ مَنُوعًا

(70:21

Some of the interpreters translated the هَلُوعًا as the greedy and several of them described as little stamina. May be in the ayat it is giving the meaning of both as they both are inseparable. As the greedy people are mostly miser and in facing the disasters they have less patience and stamina.

There is a question here and it is that if the Mighty God created the man to the last height of perfection and prosperity, then why he created in his nature, the evils and the unfavorable things?

Is it possible first creating anything or any character and then criticizing it?

Apart from this the Quran in the ayat 4 of Sura e Teen clearly defined:

Surat At-Ti-n (The Fig) – سورة التين

لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ فِي أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ

(95:4)

95:4

We have certainly created man in the best of stature;

Certainly it does not means that the outward appearance of the man is righteous and his inner self is ugly and evil but the man as a whole is the best entity أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ. We created the man in his excellent face and build up. Same way the other ayaat which are praising the prominent and eminent status of man.

The answer to all these clear questions, by paying attention at one point and that the Glorious God created powers, instincts and qualities in the man and these powers are the means for the man to reach the perfection to acquire the progress and prosperity. Therefore these above mentioned qualities and instincts are not bad naturally but it is an intermediary and a means to help the person to reach the perfection. But these qualities when stepped in the deviated path they are misused and it may cause the evils, disasters, corruptions, misfortunes.

For example this same greed is the power which does not permit the man to give up soon and stop his struggle and strive for reaching the goal and get satiated. This is a burning thirst that captured the existence of the man and if this characteristic is used in the line of gaining the education and knowledge as the man in greed of learning, in other words restless thirsty and lover of knowledge, truly reaches to perfection. However if these talents are used in the way of materialism it will cause iniquity, hardships and miserliness in the society.

In the other interpretations: This quality (greed) is the branch of the self love, we know that this adoration of the own self brings the man towards the perfection and excellence. But going astray it creates the wretchedness of loading the money, jealousy and monopoly (the exclusive possession or control of something.) and the other similar things. Regarding the other divine favors, the matter is also alike.

Then it exceptionally described the distinguished features of the deserving people. While mentioning their nine salient and main characteristics said: But those who perform namaz.

إِلَّا الْمُصَلِّينَ

(70:22

Those who perform namaz and they are persistent in its establishment.

الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَى صَلَاتِهِمْ دَائِمُونَ

(70:23

It is their prime pursuit as they have continues contact with their Sovereign God and this is only possible with the help of namaz. The namaz which obstructs them from perversions and unlawful deeds. The namaz which nurture the soul and life of man. Always grant him remembrance of the Benevolent God this perpetual attention towards the God, The Guardian of Faith hinders ignorance, pride, sinking in the ocean of lusts and the captivity in the grip of the devil and the desires and passions.

It is quite clear by the term perseverance in the namaz , does not mean that they should always be in the namaz. But it indicates that they must perform it at its own specified time.

Basically every virtues act leaves positive effect on man which is constant and perpetual. Hence in a narration from the holy prophet Muhammad sallallaho alaihi va ala alehi the most excellent deeds near the Merciful God are perpetuity in act even if it is a lesser amount.

The most interesting thing is mentioned, regarding this ayat, in a hadis by imam Baqir alaihis salam: it means that when the man initiate compulsory all the Supererogatory namaz نوافل upon himself and continue it always.

In an another hadis from the same fifth imam Muhammad Baqir alaihis salam it is quoted: this ayat is pointing towards the Supererogatory namaz نوافل. After some ayat in this sura the ayat which is mentioned, it is about the obligatory prayers and namaz.

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَى صَلَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ(70:34)

70:34

And who guard their prayers [from all worldly intent].

This difference may give the meaning that the obligatory namaz must be performed punctually at its fixed time. But the meaning of continuation of namaz is suited to the supererogatory namaz نوافل as the man can pray them and sometimes can leave them too.

Any way after referring about the namaz which is the excellent deed and the state of the believers, turned towards their second pursuit and mentioned it: Those people out of their earnings and wealth leaves a part of income to meet the means of definite right.

وَالَّذِينَ فِي أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ مَّعْلُومٌ

(70:24

For the deprived and those who ask for the fulfillment of their requirements.

لِّلسَّائِلِ وَالْمَحْرُومِ

(70:25

Like this manner they saved their relationship with the Compassionate God and their link with the people of Benevolent God.

1. Some of the interpreters believe that by the term حَقٌّ مَّعْلُومٌ means the accurate right here it means زكات zakath that is the exact quantity. And the expenditure upon deprived and those who ask for the help to accomplish their needs. We know that this Sura e Maarij is Meccan and the duty of zakat is not descended in Mecca. Hence some others believe that by the definite right حَقٌّ مَّعْلُومٌ it gives the meaning other than zakat and it is to help the needful people. The witness of this definition is the narration, quoted by imam Sadiq alaihis salam (6th imam) when for the interpretation of this ayat, he was asked: Is this declaration is other than zakat? Sadiq alaihis salam replied: Yea, it is about the person to whom the GenerousGod bestowed prosperity and wealth from which he separated the amount of 1000, 2000, 3000 more or less and with that money solves the problem of his relatives that is called صله رحم si’le rehem. And provides for them relief from hardships.

The difference between the سائل and محروم is: One who asks somebody for the fulfillment of his requirements is called سائل and the محروم is the one who feels shy to ask someone for the fulfill of his needs.

In a narration from the imam Sadiq alaihis salam it is mentioned: محروم is one who works hard for his earnings but his life gets complicated because of his meager income.

محروم is the one who leaves an effect upon the morals of others and washes of their greed, miserliness and love towards the materialistic life.

The next ayat pointed towards their third characteristic and added: They are those who have faith in the judgement day.

وَالَّذِينَ يُصَدِّقُونَ بِيَوْمِ الدِّينِ

(70:26

And in their 4th feature it is said: They are those who fear God’ punishment.

وَالَّذِينَ هُم مِّنْ عَذَابِ رَبِّهِم مُّشْفِقُونَ

(70:27

As nobody finds himself secure from the torment of God. From one side they have faith in the judgment day as the word يُصَدِّقُونَ indicates and proves the continuation of the act and they are always careful about their accounts, books, rewards and punishments of their deeds. And practice upon the duties and stay away from the illegal acts always feels dutiful.

In a narration from the commander of the faithful Ali alaihis salam who gave advice to his son and said: Be fearful to the God in such a way that if you bring before Him even all the good deeds still you presume that He may not accept it. And be hopeful in him in such a way that if you possess all the sins of the people of earth still he will forgive you.

Even the prophet Muhammad sallallaho alaihi va ala alehi said: No body enters the heaven by his acts. They asked him: Not even you O prophet of Allah? He replied: Yea even me but by the kindness of Merciful God.

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ(70:29)

70:29

And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts from illegal sexual acts).

إِلَّا عَلَى أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ(70:30)

70:30

Except with their wives and the (women slaves and captives) whom their right hands possess, for (then) they are not to be blamed,

فَمَنِ ابْتَغَى وَرَاء ذَلِكَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ(70:31)

70:31

But whoever seeks beyond that, then they are the transgressors

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَاعُونَ(70:32)

70:32

And who are faithful to their trusts and to their pledges –

وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِشَهَادَاتِهِمْ قَائِمُونَ(70:33)

70:33

and who stand firm whenever they bear witness;

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَى صَلَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ(70:34)

70:34

And who guard their prayers [from all worldly intent].

أُوْلَئِكَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ مُّكْرَمُونَ(70:35)

70:35

These it is who in the gardens [of paradise] shall be honoured!

The next part of the specific qualities of the heavenly people

In the above ayath four qualities of the true believers are mentioned that they are those who on the judgment day are the heavenly people.

70:22

1-Except those devoted to Salat (prayers)

70:24

2-Those who are share within their wealth is a known right;70:25 For the beggar who asks, and for the unlucky who has lost his property and wealth, (and his means of living has been straitened);

70:26

3 -and who accept as true the [coming of the] Day of Judgment;

4-And fearful of the punishment of their Lord –

The next ayat described the other five virtues, altogether becomes 9 virtues. First it indicated: They are those who protect their private parts from the unchaste acts

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ

(70:29

But from the wives and the female slaves they have no regrets and reproach to take satisfaction.

إِلَّا عَلَى أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ

(70:30

Certainly the sexual instinct is one of the uncontrollable natural feelings of man and it is the fountainhead of the most of sins. To that extent that some believe that in all the significant criminal files this basic instinct exhibits its effects. Hence it’s controlling and preventive measures for bringing it into limitation is the chief sign of the piety and for this reason after describing the 1namaz and 2help to the needy and 3believe in resurrection day and 4fear of the Almighty God’s punishment then5Controling the sexual instinct is counted.

Exceptionally It shows below that the moral of Islam never allows totally abolishing and eliminating this instinct and to follow the footsteps of the monks and the clerics which is against the law of creation this is the act which is almost impossible. Or in case of its possibility the monk s too commits it illogically and hence the monks are also unable to eradicate this instinct from the outlook of life. And if they do not marry officially, most of them when reached to the isolation and private place they commit it.

The disgrace and shame which it created in this way is not meagre. The historians of Isa Masih alaihis salam like Will Durant and others exposed it.

The meaning of the marriage consists of both the permanent and the temporary marriage. Some supposed that this ayat is against the temporary marriage as they do not know that this temporary marriage too is one of a kind of marriage.

After insisting upon the same subject it adds: Those who demand beyond this they are transgressors and expelled from the divine frontiers.

فَمَنِ ابْتَغَى وَرَاء ذَلِكَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ

(70:31

Like this way Islam plans a society which responds both to the natural instincts of man and it is not polluted in the sexual perversions, the prostitution and in its evil causes.

Certainly the female slaves in the view of Islam possess many conditions like a wife and the regulations relating to her, though this subject is cancelled in our period and age.

Then pointed towards the second and third qualities and said: Those who are honest in the matter of trusteeships أَمَانَاتِ and covenants;

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَاعُونَ

(70:32

Though the trusteeships have a vast meaning it is not only materialistic deposited things of the people but every meaning can be received from it. However it includes all the divine, prophet and the infallible spiritual leader’s deposits.

Every divine blessing that trusted to man, his social status and duties specifically his role in the administration is one of the key role of trust. Hence in a narration from imam Baqir alahis salam and imam Sadiq alaihis salam it is clearly expressed.

An-Nisa (The Women)

إِنَّ اللّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَن تُؤدُّواْ الأَمَانَاتِ إِلَى أَهْلِهَا

4:58

Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts (Amaanaat) to those, to whom they are due or owed;

It is clearly mentioned here that hand over the guardianship and administration to those who own it.

In the ayat 72 of Sura e Ahzab we read too that;

Surat Al-‘Ah^za-b (The Combined Forces) – سورة الأحزاب

Al-Ahzab (The associates)

إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنسَانُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ

ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا

(33:72

Basit –

33:72

Truly, We did offer AlAmanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah’s Torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).

Above all in the divine laws, book and Quran Sovereign Lord the God entrusted the important thing to man they have to be protected.

عهد means promise and covenant with the Holy God it too has the vast meaning includes the vow regarding the people or the Protector God as well.

As the عهد means every type of being bound over and the vow which the man confers to other. Certainly one who brings faith in the Majestic God and his prophet, he had accepted an enormous number of covenants.

Islam gave importance for the security of trusteeship and covenant, to great extent and to be devoted to them. It is introduced as the most essential sign of the faith.

In describing the other character of believers it added: those who rise and revolt for giving the witness of the truth.

وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِشَهَادَاتِهِمْ قَائِمُونَ

(70:33

As the institution of the just witness and not concealing it, is the most important base of the establishment of the Justice in the human society.

Those who tell why to fabricate the enmity, by giving witness against this or that person and create headache for ourselves. They are the people who are careless to the human rights, lacking the social spirit and irresponsible in the organization of the justice.

Hence the noble Quran in the various ayat invites the Muslims to provide witness for the truth and counted its concealment, a sin. The religious jurisprudence in Islam too contains the specific importance to give the witness and it is the most basic pillar of the individual and social rights and it has particular rule and regulations.

The last quality which is ninth characteristic in this summary and the subject turns towards the namaz once again and said: Those who protects the namaz;

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَى صَلَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ

(70:34

As according to some of the indications mentioned above, about the namaz, they are the obligatory namaz and the previous ayat which are mentioned in the Sura are the supererogatory (prayer) namaz.

Here in this ayat it is mentioning to protect the formalities, terms, conditions, pillars and features of the namaz. The rules of namaz which protects the outward appearance of the namaz from the grounds of its defects. And empowers the spirit of namaz that is the presence of the heart before Elevated God. And the immoral hurdles obstructing the acceptance of its prayers. About namaz, It is repeated twice but it is not counted as repetition as they have their own basic meaning.

From the beginning to the end of this chapter stated, all these qualities the concentrates upon the most important of them all. It should be similar to that as the namaz is the best school of the civility, education and training. And the stands for refinement of the real self and purify of the society.

In the end of the discussion defined the last destination of the people who posses these qualities, same way in the past ayaat it interpreted the ultimate path of the criminals. Here in a very short sentence it is uttered: Those who have these kinds of qualities, their abode is in the gardens of heaven and they will be bestowed with the respectful status.

أُوْلَئِكَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ مُّكْرَمُونَ

(70:35

They ought to be dear as they are the guests of the Honourer God. And the powerful and Merciful God provides every kind of the means to host and welcome them.

فَمَالِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا قِبَلَكَ مُهْطِعِينَ(70:36)

70:36

So what is the matter with those who disbelieve that they hasten to listen from you (O Muhammad SAW), in order to contradict you and to laugh at you, and at Allah’s Book (this Quran).

عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ عِزِينَ(70:37)

70:37

To sit on [your] right and [your] left in separate groups?

أَيَطْمَعُ كُلُّ امْرِئٍ مِّنْهُمْ أَن يُدْخَلَ جَنَّةَ نَعِيمٍ(70:38)

70:38

Does every person among them wish to enter a garden of pleasure?

كَلَّا إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُم مِّمَّا يَعْلَمُونَ(70:39)

70:39

No, that is not like that! Verily, We have created them out of that which they know!

فَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِرَبِّ الْمَشَارِقِ وَالْمَغَارِبِ إِنَّا لَقَادِرُونَ(70:40)

70:40

So I swear by the Lord of all [the three hundred and sixty (360)] points of sunrise and sunset in the east and the west that surely We are Able

عَلَى أَن نُّبَدِّلَ خَيْرًا مِّنْهُمْ وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمَسْبُوقِينَ(70:41)

70:41

To replace them with [people] better than they are; for there is nothing to prevent Us [from doing what We will].

 

For which virtuous deed are they gluttonous & greedy for the heaven

Some defined these ayat are descended about the groups of the unbelievers, in the Mecca when the prophet was reciting the ayaat of resurrection day to the Muslims. They were approaching from every nook and corner and forcefully telling: If there is a judgment day, that day our condition is better than those who brought faith in you, as our circumstances in this world is far better than you.

The noble Quran in their reply said: What is wrong with these unbelievers that they are coming to you in such a hurry?

فَمَالِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا قِبَلَكَ مُهْطِعِينَ

(70:36

From the left and right they are coming in groups with the greed of heaven.

عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ عِزِينَ

(70:37

Are they eagerly craving to enter the heaven, full of blessings?

أَيَطْمَعُ كُلُّ امْرِئٍ مِّنْهُمْ أَن يُدْخَلَ جَنَّةَ نَعِيمٍ

(70:38

Which deed and act they are hoping to deserve such a status for themselves.

مُهْطِعِينَ is the plural of مُهْطِع means the one who walks straight swiftly in proud with the neck held high and searching for something. Or sometimes it denotes that walks in proud with the neck held high to obtain some information.

عِزِينَ is the plural of the عِزِت means the disperse groups, as every group is in pursuit of its own aim and purpose.

Any way the egotistic and self centered polytheists were intensely declaring these baseless statements. Being well to do in their materialistic life, by the money which mostly achieved illegally by plundering the mankind. Having been successful in the materialistic life does not mean that he has a high status before the Merciful God and dear to Him. They believe that only by their meaningless judgment and think that they will possess an elevated position on the judgment day.

May be they were believing in the resurrection day but not according to the definition of the noble Quran. Sometimes they were discussing upon it, as a possibility that, if there is a judgment day then our position will going to be there in such and such way. Probably by telling this they may be thinking that they are making mockery of the believers.

Here the dignified Quran responded them and said: It never will happen like this that they are entering the gardens of the heaven overflowing with the blessings. As we have created them from a matter which they themselves distinguish what ( a worthless thing) it is.

In fact the Mighty God wants to crush down their pride and as it said: You know better that with what kind of matter we had formed you. From a putrid and low-quality water, valueless semen, then why to such a large extent there is overconfidence and pride in human being.

Secondly it is an answer to the ridiculers of the judgement day and said: if you have any doubt about the resurrection day, go and search the condition of the semen and observe how from a single valueless drop of water, we have created an extraordinary creature which every day by the evolutions of the foetus had become a new living thing.

Does the creator of the human being by the semen, is unable to wear a man the fresh apparel of life after his getting perished in the earth?

Thirdly how they have the greed of heaven when their book of deeds is filled with their evil acts? For the reason that he is the individual who is created by the worthless semen which not even have the materialistic importance. If they possess any worth, it is because of their right believe and the virtuous deeds. But they were devoid of such endeavour, then how they are expecting to step in the gardens of heaven?

Again to stress upon the matter it adds: I swear to the God of east and west. We are powerful.

فَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِرَبِّ الْمَشَارِقِ وَالْمَغَارِبِ إِنَّا لَقَادِرُونَ

(70:40

To change their place by the other people who are better than them and in this affair no one can overpower us.

Possibly this sentence may be indicating: we are not only dominant to bring them to the life after they had altered into the soil and give them a new life. But we can amend them into more perfect and better creatures and nothing can prevent us.

Or it may be pointing that there is no obstacle before us to destroy you in the punishment of your deeds and create the new true believers as your inheritor so that to be the supporters of our prophet peace be upon him.

Therefore if we are insisting upon you for bringing the faith, it is not for satisfying any need or weakness. But it is in the interest of the fulfilment of education and guidance of the mankind. The meaning of the “God of east and west” possibly illustrates that the Sovereign God is able to move the magnificent sun every day in a fresh mode from east to west. This function is accurate in such a manner that since millions of years it can travel without getting more or less. Likewise He is able to return again the man to life and bestow him a new existence or can destroy a group of people and make their inheritors a group of the capable people.

 

The God of the east and the west

In the ayaat of the noble Quran, sometimes east and west mentioned as singular like ayat 115 of Sura e Baqara:

وَلِلّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ

2:115

And to God belongs the east and the west.

And at times it is stated as dual similarly as it is revealed in the ayat 17 of Rahman:

رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقَيْنِ وَرَبُّ الْمَغْرِبَيْنِ(55:17)

55:17

[He is] Lord of the two sunrises and Lord of the two sunsets.

And sometimes in the form of plural as it is mentioned in the ayat under discussion of Sura e Maarij.

بِرَبِّ الْمَشَارِقِ وَالْمَغَارِبِ

 

Some of the narrow minded people explain them as these terms oppose each other, whereas all of them are harmonious and each of them indicating a point. Defining that every day the sun rises from a new peak and sets into a fresh end. Therefore according to the number of days in the year we have the east and the west.

From other side in between so many east and west only two east and two wests are distinguished. One in the beginning of the summer that means the maximum height of the sun in the northern orbit another in the winter that is minimum down cast of the sun in the southern orbit. Apart from this there are other two easts and wests, they are called moderate east and west. (In the first of spring season and first of the autumn season when the day and night in the entire world is equal). The above mentioned different terms each of them have its own point and bring the attention of the man towards various changes in the sunset and sunrise in the systematic orbits around the sun.

فَذَرْهُمْ يَخُوضُوا وَيَلْعَبُوا حَتَّى يُلَاقُوا يَوْمَهُمُ الَّذِي يُوعَدُونَ(70:42)

70:42

So leave them to plunge in vain talk and play about, until they meet their Day which they are promised.

يَوْمَ يَخْرُجُونَ مِنَ الْأَجْدَاثِ سِرَاعًا كَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَى نُصُبٍ يُوفِضُونَ(70:43)

70:43

The Day when they will come out of the graves quickly as racing toward an erected idol.

خَاشِعَةً أَبْصَارُهُمْ تَرْهَقُهُمْ ذِلَّةٌ ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمُ الَّذِي كَانُوا يُوعَدُونَ(70:44)

70:44

With their eyes lowered in fear and humility, disgrace covering them (all over)! That is the Day which they were promised!

 

As if they are running towards their idols

These are the last ayaat of the Sura e Maarij as a warning and prediction to the obstinate, adamant and scornful unbelievers and said: Leave them on their own to sink in their vain desires and get engaged in their amusements till they meet the Day of Judgment.

فَذَرْهُمْ يَخُوضُوا وَيَلْعَبُوا حَتَّى يُلَاقُوا يَوْمَهُمُ الَّذِي يُوعَدُونَ

(70:42

They do not need the preaching more than this interpretation. They do not understand the logic and the reasons and they are never prepared to get wide awake. Let them plunge in their useless false rumours as the children who are active in their playing, till the promised resurrection day reaches them. Then they will sight everything with their own eyes.

Then to introduce that promised event, defined the signs of that horrific and dreadful day and said: The day when they come out from the graves in haste as if they are running toward their idols.

يَوْمَ يَخْرُجُونَ مِنَ الْأَجْدَاثِ سِرَاعًا كَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَى نُصُبٍ يُوفِضُونَ

(70:43

What a strange Interpretation. Their condition on the day of resurrection when they move swiftly towards the divine court of justice, it is compared to the floods of the people on the day of festival or the occasion of mourning running towards their idols. But there is a lot of difference between these two occasions. In fact this hopeless belief is ridiculing which they were boasting in their worldly life.

أَجْدَاثِ is the plural of جدث that means the grave.

سِرَاعًا is the plural of the سريع means the thing or person which is moving swiftly.

نُصُبٍ is the plural of نصيب it is a thing which is erected in place and the idols of stones installed and worshiped them, sacrificing for it and the blood of the sacrifice was pouring on them. Sanam is an idol which has a specific face and figure but the نُصُبٍ are the idols without any face, they are only in the form of the stone, worshiping them for some reason as it is said in the ayat 3 of Maideh Like the unlawful haram meat of the animal which is sacrificed before these idols.

Al-Ma’idah (The Table Spread)

!وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ(

يُوفِضُونَits mother word is افاضه means the swift movement like the rapid flow of the river water from its fountain head.

Then it turned towards another sign and added: It is when their eyes are cast down by the extreme shock and horror and they watch submissively.

خَاشِعَةً أَبْصَارُهُمْ

 

Insult and disgrace covers their entire existence.

تَرْهَقُهُمْ ذِلَّةٌ

 

In the end of the ayat it said: This is the day which was constantly promised to them.

ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمُ الَّذِي كَانُوا يُوعَدُونَ

(70:44

Yea this is the same promised day which they we fully making fun of it and repeatedly they were telling: Possibly if by chance this day exists then at that time our condition will be better than believers. Whereas on that day they do not dare to rise their heads out of horror, fear and shame. The dust of humiliation and miserable worthlessness cover all over them. They get submerged in the ocean of sorrow and regrets. Certainly that day they are repentant and penitent.

O Merciful Lord! On that horrifying day cover us with the apparel of your kindness.

O Lord the Provider! The trap of devil is unbreakable and the desires and the dreams are prevailing upon us. The extended necessities and wishes are deceitful. You are wakeful and all aware; bless us not to deviate from the path.

O Sovereign Lord! Grant us the status of those believers who are faithful upon their vows and dutifully obeying you.

Source: www.alhassanain.com

 


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