Surah Al-Muzzammil: Reading and Tafsir and Download

This page contains all verses of surah Al-Muzzammil in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah المزمل ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.

Information About Surah Al-Muzzammil

Surah Al-Muzzammil
سُورَةُ المُزَّمِّلِ
Page 574 (Verses from 1 to 19)

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلْمُزَّمِّلُ قُمِ ٱلَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا نِّصْفَهُۥٓ أَوِ ٱنقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ ٱلْقُرْءَانَ تَرْتِيلًا إِنَّا سَنُلْقِى عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيلًا إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ ٱلَّيْلِ هِىَ أَشَدُّ وَطْـًٔا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا إِنَّ لَكَ فِى ٱلنَّهَارِ سَبْحًا طَوِيلًا وَٱذْكُرِ ٱسْمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلْ إِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيلًا رَّبُّ ٱلْمَشْرِقِ وَٱلْمَغْرِبِ لَآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَٱتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيلًا وَٱصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَٱهْجُرْهُمْ هَجْرًا جَمِيلًا وَذَرْنِى وَٱلْمُكَذِّبِينَ أُو۟لِى ٱلنَّعْمَةِ وَمَهِّلْهُمْ قَلِيلًا إِنَّ لَدَيْنَآ أَنكَالًا وَجَحِيمًا وَطَعَامًا ذَا غُصَّةٍ وَعَذَابًا أَلِيمًا يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ ٱلْأَرْضُ وَٱلْجِبَالُ وَكَانَتِ ٱلْجِبَالُ كَثِيبًا مَّهِيلًا إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَيْكُمْ رَسُولًا شَٰهِدًا عَلَيْكُمْ كَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ رَسُولًا فَعَصَىٰ فِرْعَوْنُ ٱلرَّسُولَ فَأَخَذْنَٰهُ أَخْذًا وَبِيلًا فَكَيْفَ تَتَّقُونَ إِن كَفَرْتُمْ يَوْمًا يَجْعَلُ ٱلْوِلْدَٰنَ شِيبًا ٱلسَّمَآءُ مُنفَطِرٌۢ بِهِۦ ۚ كَانَ وَعْدُهُۥ مَفْعُولًا إِنَّ هَٰذِهِۦ تَذْكِرَةٌ ۖ فَمَن شَآءَ ٱتَّخَذَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِۦ سَبِيلًا

Listen to Surah Al-Muzzammil (Arabic and English translation)

Tafsir of Surah Al-Muzzammil (Maarif-ul-Quran: Mufti Muhammad Shafi)

English Translation

O you who wraps himself [in clothing],

English Transliteration

Ya ayyuha almuzzammilu

The Holy Prophet ﷺ is addressed in this verse with reference to a particular style of wrapping himself in his clothes. The first event of this kind occurred when the Holy Prophet received first revelation in the cave of Hira'. Being his first experience, he felt it very hard, and was caught by, a shivery cold, and once he reached home, he asked his blessed wife Khadijah ؓ to wrap him in a blanket which she did. Some narrations have reported another event: When the Holy Prophet was accused, by the pagans of Makkah, of being a magician who separated between friends, he felt aggrieved, and wrapped himself in his clothes out of grief. Addressing him with reference to these events is a loving style _ adopted by Allah Ta'ala to console him. (Muhammad Taqi Usmani)


يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ '0 you wrapped up in clothes [ 73:1] '. The word muzzammil literally means 'one wrapped up in clothes' and its near-synonym 'muddaththir' comes in the next Surah. The Holy Prophet ﷺ is addressed in this verse with reference to a particular style of wrapping himself in his clothes. The first event of this kind occurred when the Holy Prophet received first revelation in the cave of Hira'. Being his first experience, he felt it very hard, and was caught by a shivery cold, and once he reached home, he asked his blessed wife Khadijah ؓ to wrap him in a blanket which she did. A detailed account of this event is reported by Bukhari in the very first chapter of his book. Then the revelation stopped for some time. Speaking of this temporary break in the revelation [ termed as fatrat-ul-wahy ], Sayyidna Jabir ؓ reports that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said in his narrative:

"Whilst I was walking along, I heard a voice from heaven and I raised up my eyes. Lo! The Angel that had appeared to me in Hira was sitting on a chair between heaven and earth, and I was struck with awe on account of him and returned home and said, Wrap me up, wrap me up [ zammiluni, zammiluni ]. Then Allah revealed the first five verses of Surah Al-Muddththir (chapter 74)." [ Bukhari and Muslim ]

According to this narrative, the Holy Prophet ﷺ is affectionately addressed as '0 you, enveloped in a mantle,' whereas in this Surah he is addressed as '0 you wrapped up in clothes'. Both forms of address are used affectionately and endearingly to console him. The latter title of address 'muzzammil' as it appears in this Surah could probably be connected to another incident (referred to in the footnote) but it, nonetheless, shows deep love and affection for the Holy Prophet ﷺ . [ Ruh-ul-Ma` ani ]. Having addressed him with this special title, the Holy Prophet ﷺ is told in the following verses that praying to Allah in the stillness of night [ salat-ut-tahajjud ] will prepare him for the heavy task entrusted to him. Some details of the night-prayer have also been set out.

English Translation

Arise [to pray] the night, except for a little -

English Transliteration

Qumi allayla illa qaleelan

Injunctions Pertaining to salat-ut-Tahajjud and its Abrogation

Reading into the titles muzzammil and muddaththir a consensus of scholarly opinion assigns the revelation of this Surah to the earliest period when the five daily prayers had not become obligatory. They were prescribed on the night of Holy Prophet's ﷺ Ascent to heavens. [ mi` raj ].

Imam Baghawl (رح) ، says, on the basis of Ahadith reported by Sayyidah ` A'ishah Siddigah ؓ and others, that 'night-prayer' was compulsory for the Holy Prophet ﷺ and the entire Muslim community until the five prayers were not prescribed.

This verse not only prescribes the night-prayer but it also prescribes to stand up in prayer from at least one quarter of the night, because the verse under comment basically commanded to stand up all night to pray except a little portion of it.

Imam Baghawi (رح) says, on the basis of narration of Ahadith, that the Holy Prophet ﷺ and the noble Companions ؓ in compliance with this command, spent the major portion of the night in tahajjud, so much so that their feet would swell and this exertion caused hardship and difficulty to them. This situation continued for a year. After that, towards the end of the Surah, the following injunction was revealed:

فَاقْرَ‌ءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ‌ مِنْهُ

'...Therefore, recite as much of it as is easy_[ 73:20] '

It repealed the obligation of staying up for a long time, and granted them concession and permission to stay up for prayer as much as they could easily manage. This is transmitted by Abu Dawud and Nasa'i on the authority of Sayyidah ` A'ishah ؓ ، Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ says that when the five prescribed prayers became obligatory on the night of mi` raj, the obligatory nature of tahajjud was abrogated. It was, however, retained as sunnah, because the Holy Prophet ﷺ performed it most regularly. Most of the blessed Companions ؓ were regular with their tahajjud as well. [ Mazhari ] Let us now analyze the wordings of the verses.

قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا 'stand at night (for prayer) except a little_[ 73:2] '. The word al-lail with the definite article 'al' connotes 'the entire night', signifying that he should stay up the whole night for prayer except a little portion of it. As the word 'little' is indefinite, the verse further clarifies:

نِّصْفَهُ أَوِ انقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا 'half of it, or make it a little less, [ 3] or أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ make it a little more [ 73:4] '. This is explicative of the exception 'except a little'. A question may be raised here that 'a little' cannot be 'half. The answer is that the earlier portion of the night is spent in the prayer at maghrib and ` isha'. 'Half then refers to the half of the rest of the night. Its total in relation to the whole night amounts to 'a little'. The verse permits to reduce it a little less than half and it also permits to add to it a little more than half. Thus it was compulsory to stay up at least for a little over one fourth of a night for prayer.

English Translation

Half of it - or subtract from it a little

English Transliteration

Nisfahu awi onqus minhu qaleelan

English Translation

Or add to it, and recite the Qur\'an with measured recitation.

English Transliteration

Aw zid AAalayhi warattili alqurana tarteelan

وَرَ‌تِّلِ الْقُرْ‌آنَ تَرْ‌تِيلًا '...and recite the Qur'an clearly with tartil (in a distinct and measured tone). [ 73:4] '. The word tartil , according to Imam Raghib as explicated in al-Mufradat, originally means 'to put together and arrange well the component parts of a word and speech and make it distinct'. The purport of the verse is to say that the Qur'an must not be recited in haste, but in a leisurely manner, distinctly, deliberately and in well-measured tone. At the same time, it is necessary to reflect on its meaning and message. [ Mazhari ]. The clause wa rattil is grammatically conjoined to qumil lail and signifies what is required to be done in tahajjud prayer. Although it comprises many components like tasbih, ruku ' (bowing), sujud (prostration) and so on, the verse indicates that the basic component of prayer is recitation of the Qur'an. The authentic Traditions bear testimony to the fact that the tahajjud prayer of the Holy Prophet ﷺ used to be prolonged very much. The noble Companions and their pupils followed the same pattern.

Ruling [ 1]

The verse under comment clarifies that the recitation of the Qur'an is required to be with tartil [ distinct recitation in well-measured tone ]. The Holy Prophet's ﷺ recitation fulfilled the requirements of tartil. Some people inquired from Sayyidah 'Umm Salamah ؓ about the Holy Prophet's ﷺ recitation of Qur'an in night-prayers. She emulated his recitation in which every single letter was clear and distinct. [ Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasal - as quoted by Mazhari ].

Ruling [ 2]

Tartil includes slow rhythmic recitation and beautification of the voice while reciting. Sayyidna Abu Hurairah ؓ narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: "Allah does not listen to any recitation as much as he listens to the recitation of a Prophet who recites with a beautiful voice." [ Mazhari ].

Sayyidna ` Alqamah ؓ saw a person reciting with a beautiful voice and he exclaimed:

لقد رتّل القراٰن فداہ ابی و اُمِّی

"He has recited the Qur'an with tartil: May my parents be sacrificed to him!" [ Quriubi ].

In short, tartil basically signifies that the letters and the words must be pronounced clearly and distinctly that will help understanding the Qur'an, and paying due care to its meaning. Hasan al-Basri (رح) reports that Allah's Messenger ﷺ passed by a person who was reciting a verse of the Qur'an and weeping. He said to the people, 'Have you heard of the command of Allah' وَرَ‌تِّلِ الْقُرْ‌آنَ تَرْ‌تِيلًا '...and recite the Qur'an clearly with tartil (in a distinct and measured tone). [ 73:4] '? This is tartil which this person is doing. [ Qurtubi ]

English Translation

Indeed, We will cast upon you a heavy word.

English Transliteration

Inna sanulqee AAalayka qawlan thaqeelan

إِنَّا سَنُلْقِي عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيلًا ('We are going to send down to you a weighty discourse... 73:5) ' The word thagil means 'heavy' and the phrase 'weighty discourse' refers to the Qur'an, because the Qur'anic teachings of lawful and unlawful are permanently binding and carrying them out is the weightiest task for human nature, except those for whom Allah makes it easier. According to oft-quoted Ahadith, whenever a revelation descended upon the Holy Prophet t, he went into a trance and felt a peculiar sensation, so that even on an extremely cold day drops of sweat fell from his forehead, and he felt his body has become heavier. The Qur'anic revelation being 'a weighty discourse', his paroxysm was due to this sensation. If the Holy Prophet ﷺ received revelation while he was on his riding animal, it would begin to move the bottom of its neck intensely. [ Bukhari and others ].

The verse under comment prescribes tahajjud prayer on man, so that he may become accustomed to the difficulty of waking at night. This is a struggle against excess sleep and comfort of the carnal self. This exercise will make it easier to abide by the injunctions contained in the 'weighty discourse', that is, the Holy Qur'an.

English Translation

Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence [of heart and tongue] and more suitable for words.

English Transliteration

Inna nashiata allayli hiya ashaddu watan waaqwamu qeelan

إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ اللَّيْلِ ('Truly, rising by night [ for prayer of tahajjud ] is the most effective way to subdue (one's self) and to make speech more upright.... 73:6). The word nashi'ah, on the grammatical measure of ` afiyah, is an infinitive noun which signifies 'to rise by night for prayer'. Sayyidah ` A'ishah ؓ said that nashi'at-ul-lail means 'to rise by night for night-prayer after sleeping'. According to this definition, nashi'at-ul-lail refers to tahajjud prayer. Furthermore, the word tahajjud itself, literally, means 'to sleep at night and then wake up to perform the prayer'. Ibn Kaisan (رح) has said that prayer at the later part of the night is called nashi'at-ul-lail. Ibn Zaid (رح) says that performing prayer at any part of the night is nashi'at-ul-lail. Hasan al-Basri (رح) says that any prayer after the ` Isha' prayer is nashi'at-ul-lail. Ibn Abi Mulaikah ؓ says that he asked Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas and Ibn Zubair u about the meaning of nashi'at-ul-lail, they replied as follows: الّیل کلّھا ناشٔۃ (The entire night is nashi'ah." - Mazhari)

There is no conflict in these interpretations. The point is that the terms nashi'ah of the night and qiyam of the night are general, and may refer to any hour of night. Thus the two terms apply equally to

performing night-prayer in any part of the night, especially the one performed after ` Isha' prayer as explained by Sayyidna Hasan al-Basri (رح) . However, the constant practice of the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، that of the overwhelming majority of the Companions and their pupils, and that of the righteous predecessors of the 'Ummah was that they performed this prayer in the later part of the night after waking from sleep, and therefore it is more virtuous, more meritorious and attracts more blessings. Performing any nafl [ voluntary ] prayer after ` Isha' prayer fulfills the sunnah requirement of nashi'ah of the night and qiyam of the night.

هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطْئًا ( the most effective way to subdue (one's self) and to make speech more upright... 73:6). The word wat'an, with the letter waw carrying fath [=a ], is an infinitive which means 'to subdue' or 'to suppress'. Given this meaning, the sense is that this time of night helps one to suppress his evil desires and keep them under, control. This meaning is adopted by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (رح) and the translation of the text is based on this interpretation. In another qira'ah (version), however, the word is pronounced 'wita'an'. It is an infinitive that means 'to conform'. On another occasion in the Qur'an, we come across the following verse wherein a verb derived from this root is contained. The word in that verse is used in the same sense, thus:

لِّيُوَاطِئُوا عِدَّةَ مَا حَرَّ‌مَ اللَّـهُ

' that they may conform (only) to the number of what Allah has sanctified - [ 9:37] '

Leading authorities on Tafsir, like Ibn Zaid and Ibn ` Abbas ؓ ، have interpreted the word in the same sense here. Ibn Zaid ؓ said that getting up in the night for prayer is the most effective means of making the heart, eye, ear and tongue to mutually correspond and conform. Ibn ` Abbas ؓ said that the phrase means that during this time there is the closest degree of conformity and harmony between the ear and the heart. This is because there is no noise at the time of night when most people are asleep and one will not be disturbed as one is during the daytime. At night time when the tongue recites the Qur'an, the ears will be conducive to listening to the recitation with due concentration, and the heart will be conducive to understanding and considering its meaning and message.

وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا (And to make speech more upright - 73:6) The word aqwam means 'more upright'. The verse signifies that the recitation of the Qur'an is more upright and concentrated, because during the night there are no noises and commotion to distract the heart or the mind.

In sum, the purport of the verse is to put forward the wisdom underlying the injunction of the 'night-prayer' for the common people. The preceding verse put forward its wisdom for the Holy Prophet ﷺ :

إِنَّا سَنُلْقِي عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيلًا

'We are going to send down to you a weighty discourse.[ 73:5] '.

The 'weighty discourse' was concerned specifically with the Holy Prophet ﷺ as it was revealed to him. But for common people, Night-Prayer has two characteristics: [ 1] bringing harmony between the heart and the tongue; and [ 2] peace of mind - making it easier to recite the Qur'an.

English Translation

Indeed, for you by day is prolonged occupation.

English Transliteration

Inna laka fee alnnahari sabhan taweelan

إِنَّ لَكَ فِي النَّهَارِ‌ سَبْحًا طَوِيلًا (Surely, in daytime, you have a lengthy work to do... 73:7). The word sabhun, literally means, 'to flow, walk or move about' from which we also get the sense 'of swimming in the water' because when a swimmer swims in the water, he moves about in it freely without any obstruction. Here the word signifies 'long chain of engagements in the day' which refers to multifarious duties to be performed with alacrity, such as educating the people, preaching to them, reforming humanity, performing domestic chores, discharging social responsibilities and moving about to many other tasks and obligations.

The current verse explicates the third point of wisdom as to why night-prayer was enjoined. This relates both to the Holy Prophet ﷺ and the general body of the Muslim community. During the day the Holy Prophet ﷺ as well as other people have a long chain of engagements for which they disperse and move about as explained in the foregoing paragraph. As a result, it is difficult for them to concentrate on their worshipping activity. The night should be reserved for this purpose. A person should sleep according to his need and perform his night-prayer as well.

A Special Note

Jurists have said that the verse under comment confirms that scholars

English Translation

And remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him with [complete] devotion.

English Transliteration

Waothkuri isma rabbika watabattal ilayhi tabteelan

وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلْ اِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيْلًا

(And remember the name of your Lord, and devote yourself to Him with exclusive devotion… 73:8). The word tabattul, literally, means 'to cut off oneself from entire creation to focus attention solely on the Creator to detach oneself from worldly things and devote oneself exclusively and sincerely to the service of Allah' The sentence: وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ (And remember the name of your Lord...73:8) is grammatically conjoined to the sentence: 1 (Stand at night [ for prayer ].... 73:2) which enjoins upon the Holy Prophet to perform the night-prayer, and incidentally his attention is drawn in the following verse to special devotional activities in the course of the day: اِنَّ لَكَ فِي النَّهَارِ سَبْحًا طَوِيْلًا

'Surely, in daytime, you have a lengthy work to do. [ 73:7] ' But the verse 8 enjoins a devotional activity (remembering Allah) that can be performed at any time of day or night. In fact, it can be performed at all times and under all circumstances. Since it is inconceivable that the Holy Prophet would never remember Allah, the purport of enjoining Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah) is to emphasise ' keeping to it consistently' in the sense that there should be no laxity in it. [ MazharI ]. This is possible only if 'remembering Allah' is taken in its widest possible sense to include 'Reciting His name with tongue', 'Remembrance by heart' and also 'keeping one's body engaged in complying with the commands of Allah'. A narration of Sayyidah ` A'ishah Siddiqah reports the following: کان یذکر اللہ علی کل حین

"The Holy Prophet used to remember Allah at all times."

This Hadith is correct in terms of the wider concept of 'rememberance of Allah' just explained above. Obviously, the Holy Prophet did not make dhikr by his tongue when answering the call of nature as Ahadith distinctly confirm this, but Dhikr by heart is possible at all times. There are, however, two types of Dhikr by heart: [ 1] It may be done through 'imagined words'; [ 2] by reflecting and pondering on the Divine attributes of perfection. [ Shaikh Thanawi ].

The next injunction in this verse is: تَبَتَّلْ اِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيْلًا

..and devote yourself to Him with exclusive devotion. [ 73:8] '.

In other words, the Holy Prophet is to detach himself from worldly things and devote himself exclusively and sincerely to Allah. The general import of the verse imparts the injunction that when worshipping Allah, no partners should be associated with Him and the total worship and devotion should be solely for Him. In all his actions and movements, he should single out Allah for reliance. He should not take any creature as possessing the power of benefit and harm or as possessing the power of granting wishes and solving problems. Sayyidna Ibn Zaid , said that tabattul signifies 'to abandon the world and what is in it and focus attention on what is with Allah'. [ Mazhari ]. The tabattul which this verse enjoins is completely different from the concept and practice of monasticism which the Qur'an denounces elsewhere, thus:

وَرَهْبَانِيَّةَۨ ابْتَدَعُوْهَا

'...As for monasticism, it was invented by them [ 57:271' and a Hadith denounces it thus: لارھبانیۃ فی الاسلام

"There is no monasticism in Islam."

Rahbaniyyah or 'monasticism', in the technical language of Shari` ah, signifies 'to abandon the world and sever all ties which involves the giving up of all pleasures and all lawful and pure things, believing that doing so is 'worship' and thinking that without avoiding them one would not be able to attain the good pleasure of Allah. It also means to sever human relationships in such a manner that human rights are not taken care of or they are violated. This verse enjoins a different type of tabattul or severance of relationship. It means that one's relationship with human beings should not overpower his relationship with Allah - whether in terms of belief or in terms of practice. Such a detachment is not contradictory to any business relations, or social contracts and transactions, like marriage and family ties. In fact, they can be combined. Tabattul, in this sense, is the characteristic of all Prophets especially that of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Their lives bear ample testimony to this type of tabattul which the pious elders alternatively term as Ikhlas (sincerity). [ Mazhari ]

An Important Note

In the matter of 'Allah's Remembrance' and 'detachment from the world', the venerable Sufis, whether belonging to the earlier generation or later generation, have always been forward. They said that there are only two steps with which they are exerting their effort to cover the distance and conquer the path day and night. The first step is to detach themselves from the creation and the second step is to reach Allah [ i.e. Their destination ]. The two steps are inseparable, in that where one is operational the other must operate; and if one does not operate, the other will not operate either. The two steps have been stated as two conjoined sentences, thus: وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلْ اِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيْلًا 'And remember the name of your Lord, and devote yourself to Him with exclusive devotion. [ 73:81'. In this context, dhikr Allah refers to constant Remembrance of Allah where there should be no failing, and at no time there should be forgetfulness. This maqam 'station' in Sufi terminology is referred to as wusul ila-Allah 'reaching out to Allah. The first statement states the second step and the second statement states the first step. Thus the statements state the order in reverse probably because in practice tabattul, in the sense given above, is prior to wusul ila-Allah which is achieved after the operation of the former. The main object of a salik (the spiritual traveller) is to achieve the second step, therefore the naturally occurring order has been changed and remembrance of Allah has been mentioned first. This also is meant to show the importance and virtue of remembrance of Allah. How well Shaikh Sa` di (رح) تعالیٰ has versified the two steps:

Worldly relationship is a barrier and brings no (eternal) benefit.

When you abandon these relations, you will be the one who reaches out to Allah.

Remembrance of Allah through Repetition of His Personal Name

The verse under comment whilst enjoining dhikrullah (remembrance of Allah) has referred to it as 'remembrance of the name of Allah by saying: And remember the name of your Lord - وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ [ 73:8] ' and

not 'd remember your Lord'.

This indicates that the repetition of Allah's personal name 'Allah, Allah' is also desired and required form of dhikr and worship. [ Mazhari ]. Some scholars say that such repetition of His personal name is an 'innovation' (bid'ah), but this opinion is not correct. And Allah knows best!

English Translation

[He is] the Lord of the East and the West; there is no deity except Him, so take Him as Disposer of [your] affairs.

English Transliteration

Rabbu almashriqi waalmaghribi la ilaha illa huwa faittakhithhu wakeelan

رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ لَآ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ فَاتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيْلًا (He is the Lord of the East and the West; there is no god but He; so take Him for [ your ] Guardian...73:9). The word wakil, lexicologically, refers to a 'person who has been given a task to do'. 'To take Allah as guardian' means that all matters and affairs should be entrusted to Allah. Technically, this is called tawakkul 'trust'.

The Holy Prophet ﷺ is given several injunctions in this Surah. This is the fifth injunction. Imam Ya` qub Karkhi says that from the beginning of the Surah up to this verse there is reference to the maqamat suluk 'journeying or a methodical travelling along the spiritual path through the various states and stations under the direction of a spiritual master or adept'. The references are as follows: [ 1] solitude at night to worship Allah; [ 2] preoccupation with Qur'an; [ 3] constant Remembrance of Allah; [ 4] severance of relationship with "everything-other-than-Allah, and [ 5] total trust in Allah. Preceding the last injunction about trust,

Allah's attribute is given, thus: رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ 'He is the Lord of the East and the West__[ 73:9] '. In other words, Allah is the Cherisher and Sustainer of the entire universe. He is responsible to fulfill the needs of all from the beginning to the end. He alone can assist in all matters. Just as He has been singled out for worship, so should He be singled out for reliance, and full trust must be put in Him. Anyone who trusts and relies on Allah will never be deprived of his needs as the Qur'an puts it:

'...And whoever places his trust in Allah, He is sufficient for him. _[ 65:3] '

The Correct Concept of Tawakkul [ Trust ]

Trust in Allah does not imply for anyone to avoid the apparent means of acquiring livelihood, or giving up the normal ways of saving oneself from any affliction. The ways and means that Allah has created for a particular purpose should not be abandoned while placing total trust in Allah. On the contrary, in order to achieve our purpose it is necessary for us to utilize the God-given power and causes at our disposal to the fullest extent, but we should not repose blind faith in material causes and means. But having adopted actions of choice, the result should then be left with Allah whose will is the Ultimate Cause of everything.

The Holy Prophet himself has explained tawakkul in this way. Imam Baghawi, in his Sharh-us-Sunnah, and Baihagi, in his Shu` ab-ul-'Iman, have cited the following Hadith:

ان نفسا لن تموت حتی تستکمل رزقھا، الا فاتقواللہ واجملوا فی الطلب۔

"Jibra'il (علیہ السلام) has inspired me with the thought that no person will ever die until he receives, in full, his sustenance that Allah has decreed for him. Therefore, fear Allah and be moderate in your search."

In other words, we should not be over-absorbed in quest for our needs so deeply that the attention of the heart is totally focused on the material causes and means. Instead, after adopting the ways and means to fulfill our needs, we should repose our total trust in and reliance upon Allah in the sense that without His will, no cause can bring any effect.

Tirmidhi transmits a Hadith on the authority of Sayyidna Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari that the Holy Prophet said: "Zuhd (Renunciation of the world) does not mean to turn lawful things into unlawful or squander the wealth Allah has given you. Renunciation of the world means to have more faith in the things that are in Allah's hands than what are in your hands." [ Mazhari ]

English Translation

And be patient over what they say and avoid them with gracious avoidance.

English Transliteration

Waisbir AAala ma yaqooloona waohjurhum hajran jameelan

وَاصْبِرْ عَلٰي مَا يَقُوْلُوْنَ وَاهْجُرْهُمْ هَجْرًا جَمِيْلًا

(And bear patiently what they say, and part with them in a beautiful manner...73:10). According to Imam Karkhi (رح) تعالیٰ ، this is the sixth injunction given to the Holy Prophet that he should bear with patience and fortitude the jibes, opposition and persecution of his enemies. Perfect patience is the supreme station of suluk (methodical travelling along the spiritual path). Spiritual reformers expend their entire strength, energy and life in reforming the deviant people. In return, they have to hear vile language, they are persecuted and wronged in many different ways. In return, they exercise sabr (patience) in a beautiful manner. In other words, they do not even entertain the thought of revenge. This is the supreme station, which in Sufi terminology, is attained only after fana' kamil: 'complete negation of selfish desires'.

وَاهْجُرْهُمْ هَجْرًا جَمِيْلًا and part with them in a beautiful manner...73:10). The word hajr, literally, denotes 'to give up something in a state of grief, anger and temper'. The verse means that rejecters of Truth utter words that hurt. He should not take revenge, but maintain no relations with them either. At the time of severing relations, it is natural for man to utter words of complaint and disgust. Therefore, Allah's Messenger is told to cut off relations with the rejecters of Truth, but he must maintain his dignity and integrity. Hence, the verse contains the grammatically restricted cognate accusative, hajran jamilan, 'in a beautiful manner'. The high status and the exalted standard of character require that the Holy Prophet should restrain himself from making any abusive remarks at the deniers of Truth.

Some scholars of Tafsir say that the injunction of this verse is repealed by verses of jihad which were revealed later on. But a careful analysis indicates that the injunction is not repealed. The above verses enjoin patience and steadfastness in the face of what the enemies say and cutting off from them courteously. This is not in conflict with verses that deal with reproof, punishment and armed struggle that were revealed subsequently. The injunction of this verse is applicable at all times and under all circumstances, whereas jihad is reproof and punishment, and is a specific injunction to be applied under specific conditions. Islamic jihad and armed struggle is not a matter of taking revenge or expression of anger, which could be in conflict with patience and fortitude or courteous severance. It is purely acting on the Divine command as is patience and courteous severance under general circumstances. Up to this point the Holy Prophet ﷺ was commanded to be steadfast and to abstain from revenge. The next verse, reprimands the deniers of Truth that instead of being grateful to Allah for "ease and plenty" provided for them, they reject the Divine Message:

English Translation

And leave Me with [the matter of] the deniers, those of ease [in life], and allow them respite a little.

English Transliteration

Watharnee waalmukaththibeena olee alnnaAAmati wamahhilhum qaleelan

وَذَرْنِيْ وَالْمُكَذِّبِيْنَ اُولِي النَّعْمَةِ وَمَهِّلْهُمْ قَلِيْلًا (And leave Me [ to deal ] with the deniers, the people of luxury, and give them respite for a while....73:11). The 'deniers' are referred to as 'the people of luxury'. The word na` mah', the first letter [ n ] bearing lath [=a ], signifies 'ease and plenty; abundance of wealth and children'. This indicates that people who live a life of ease, plenty and luxury can only be the ones who deny the Hereafter. These things do often fall to the lot of the believers, but they do not intoxicate them. Therefore, even when they live a life of luxury, their hearts are never, at any time, empty of the thought of the Hereafter. Only the deniers of the Hereafter will live a life of luxury that is neglectful of the Hereafter.

English Translation

Indeed, with Us [for them] are shackles and burning fire

English Transliteration

Inna ladayna ankalan wajaheeman

اِنَّ لَدَيْنَآ اَنْكَالًا وَّجَحِــيْمًا (Surely with Us are fetters and flaming fire, and food that chokes, and a painful punishment...73:12-13). The terrible punishment of the Hereafter is described in these verses. First, there is the mention of ankal which is the plural of nakal. It denotes 'fetter, chain, shackle'. Then, there is the mention of 'flaming fire'. Then, verse [ 13] describes the 'choking food' the inmates of Hell will be given to eat.

The word ghussah literally denotes 'a thing by which one is choked'. For example, a morsel may block the throat in such a way as it can neither be swallowed nor can it be brought up. The inmates of Hell will be given Bari` and zaqqum (thorny fruits) to eat. These fruits fit the description.

Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ said: "In it will be thorns of fire that will

choke." [ God save us!].

English Translation

And food that chokes and a painful punishment -

English Transliteration

WataAAaman tha ghussatin waAAathaban aleeman

The verse says in conclusion: وَّعَذَابًا اَلِـــيْمًا (...and a

painful punishment... 73:13).

Having described specific forms of punishment, this description is general - indicating that there will be many more horrible and terrible forms of punishment which man cannot even imagine. [ 0 Allah, save us from all forms of punishment!]

The Righteous Elders' Fear of the Hereafter

Imam Alhmad, Ibn Abi Dawud, Ibn ` Adiyy and Baihaqi record a narration that a person heard this verse and fell fainted. One day Hasan al-Basri (رح) تعالیٰ was fasting. When the food was brought to him at the time of iftar (ending the fast), this verse occurred in his mind and he could not eat. As a result, he sent it away. The following day he was fasting again. The same thing happened in the evening and he sent the food away. On the third day the same thing happened. So, his sons went to Thabit Bunani, Yazid Dabb, and Yahya Al-Bakka' and recounted the story. All three personalities went to Hasan and insisted on his eating something. At their insistence, the latter ate a little. [ Ruh-u1-Ma’ ani ]

English Translation

On the Day the earth and the mountains will convulse and the mountains will become a heap of sand pouring down.

English Transliteration

Yawma tarjufu alardu waaljibalu wakanati aljibalu katheeban maheelan

يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الْاَرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَكَانَتِ الْجِبَالُ كَثِيْبًا مَّهِيْلًا (on the Day when the earth and the mountains will quake, and the mountains will turn into a slipping heap of sand. [ 14] We have sent to you a messenger, as a witness over you, just as We sent a messenger to Fir'aun (the Pharaoh). [ 15] Then, Fir'aun disobeyed the messenger; so We seized him with a severe seizure. [ 16] So, if you disbelieve, how will you save yourself from a day that will turn the small boys into grey-headed old men...17).

These verses describe the horrors and terrors of the Day of Resurrection. Verse [ 14] describes that the punishment will take place on the Day when the earth and mountains will shake and the mountains will be reduced to a heap of dust or shifting dunes. Thereafter, reference is made to the story of Musa (علیہ السلام) and Fir'aun in order to threaten the pagans of Makkah. Allah sent a Messenger, Muhammad ﷺ ، to bear witness against the pagans of Makkah just as He sent a Messenger, Musa (علیہ السلام) to Fir'aun. But Fir'aun disobeyed Musa (علیہ السلام) and Allah seized him with terrible severity right in this world. Likewise, if the pagans of Makkah persist stubbornly in their pagan conduct, they too can be seized similarly with terrible severity in this very world. Towards the conclusion, the verse says that if no torment is inflicted in this world, no one can escape the horrors and terrors and length of the Day of Resurrection that will turn the children grey. This could be a metaphor for the most calamitous happenings which bring about disastrous changes. But some scholars say that this is a description of reality, in that the Day of Resurrection will be so long that a little child will grow old. [ Qurtubi and Ruh ].

English Translation

Indeed, We have sent to you a Messenger as a witness upon you just as We sent to Pharaoh a messenger.

English Transliteration

Inna arsalna ilaykum rasoolan shahidan AAalaykum kama arsalna ila firAAawna rasoolan

English Translation

But Pharaoh disobeyed the messenger, so We seized him with a ruinous seizure.

English Transliteration

FaAAasa firAAawnu alrrasoola faakhathnahu akhthan wabeelan

English Translation

Then how can you fear, if you disbelieve, a Day that will make the children white- haired?

English Transliteration

Fakayfa tattaqoona in kafartum yawman yajAAalu alwildana sheeban

English Translation

The heaven will break apart therefrom; ever is His promise fulfilled.

English Transliteration

Alssamao munfatirun bihi kana waAAduhu mafAAoolan

English Translation

Indeed, this is a reminder, so whoever wills may take to his Lord a way.

English Transliteration

Inna hathihi tathkiratun faman shaa ittakhatha ila rabbihi sabeelan