This page contains all verses of surah Ar-Ra'd in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah الرعد ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.
This Surah is Makki and it has a total of forty three verses. Mentioned in this Surah too there are subjects such as the truth and veracity of the Holy Qur'an, Tauhid (Oneness of Allah), Risalah (Prophethood) and answers to doubts raised about them.
The first group of letters: المر (Alif, Lam, Meem, Ra) are isolated Letters (Al-Huruf al-Muqattaat) the meaning of which are known to Allah Ta’ ala alone. The Ummah has not been informed of its meaning. It is not appropriate for the Muslim Ummah at large to indulge in investigations about them.
The first verse says that the Holy Qur'an is Divine Word, and that it is true. The word, الْكِتَابِ (Al-Kitab: The Book) means the Qur’ an, and it is possible that the expression which follows it, that is, الَّذِي أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ (And what has been sent down to you from your Lord) might as well mean the Qur’ an itself. But, the connective (the waw of ` atf translated as 'And' ) obviously requires that الْكِتَابِ (Al-kitab: The Book) and الَّذِي أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ (what has been sent down to you) should be two separate things. In that case, Al-Kitab or The Book would signify the Qur'an and (what has been sent down to you) would mean the revelation (Wahy), other than that of the Qur’ an, which has been sent down to the Holy Prophet ﷺ - because, it goes without saying, that the revelation sent to the Holy Prophet ﷺ is not restricted to the Qur'an alone. The Qur'an itself says وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ (53:3) It means: Whatever the Holy Prophet ﷺ says, he does not say on his own, out of some desire of his; instead, it is a message revealed to him from Allah Ta'ala. It proves that the orders given by the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، other than those appearing in the Qur’ an, are also no other but those sent from Allah. The only difference between the two is that the Qur’ an is recited (matluww) while the later is not (ghayr matluww). The rationale for this difference is that the meanings and the words of the Qur’ an are both from Allah Ta’ ala, while, in the case of the rules of conduct (Ahkam) given by the Holy Prophet ﷺ in Hadith - in addition to those in the Qur'an - their meanings too are, no doubt, revealed from Allah Ta’ ala, but their words are not revealed from Him. Therefore, they cannot be recited in Salah.
Thus, the verse comes to mean that the Quran and its injunctions sent down to the Holy Prophet ﷺ are all true and in them there is no room for doubt. But, most people, due to their lack of concern and deliberation, do not come around to believe in them.
That Allah Ta` ala exists and that He is One has been emphasized in the second verse. The proof stands obvious. Look at what has been created and ponder over the matchless mastery with which everything was created. One can come to only one conclusion that their maker has abso-lute power over everything and that He controls all creations and universes as the master.
It was said:
اللَّـهُ الَّذِي رَفَعَ السَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا
Allah is the One who raised the heavens without pillars. You see them.
On Seeing the Sky
It is generally said that the blue colour we see up is the colour of the sky. But physicists say that we see it so because of the intermingling of light and dark. Below, there is the light from the stars, and above, it is dark. As a result, the onlooker outside sees it as blue, similar to the reflection of light on deep water which appears blue. There are verses of the Qur'an where seeing the sky has been mentioned, as has been done in this very verse which says: تَرَوْنَهَا (You see them), and the words appearing in another verse (88:18) are: وَإِلَى السَّمَاءِ كَيْفَ رُفِعَتْ ' (And do you not see) towards the sky as to how it has been raised - 88:18.) ' First of all, the scientific determination of physicists does not stand counter to it because it is possible that the colour of the sky might as well be bluish, or may have some other colour, but it is sighted as blue due to the admixture of the dark behind and the light in between. Moreover, the possibility that the colour of the sky is a component of the atmosphere cannot be rejected as supported by valid proof. Then, it is also possible that places where 'seeing the sky' has been mentioned in the Qur’ an, the expression employed there may be legal and figurative aiming to establish that the existence of the sky stands proved under decisive arguments and is as good as seen. (Ruh al-Ma’ ani)
After that, it was said:
ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ
Then He positioned Himself on the Throne ...
This mode of taking over the Seat of Power is beyond human comprehension. Understanding it is impossible. Here, it is sufficient to believe that this state of Istiwa' or positioning on the Arsh' or Throne is something matching with the Divine Status as due, and that is what is meant here.
In the next sentence: وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ ۖ كُلٌّ يَجْرِي لِأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى (and subjugated the sun and the moon, each one running to an appointed time), the word: سَخَّرَ : translated as 'subjugated' means that they both are constantly doing what they have been assigned to do. Thousands of years have gone by but there never has been the least increase or decrease in their movement, nor do they get tired, nor do they ever start doing something else contrary to what they have been programmed to do. As for their 'running to an appointed time,' it could also mean that both of them are moving on to the same appointed time which stands determined as the final term called Qiyamah or Doomsday for this entire world of our experi-ence. Once they reach that stage in time, this whole system of theirs will reach its end.
And it could also mean that Allah Ta’ ala has determined a particular speed and orbit for every planet. It always keeps moving on its orbit at the speed set for it. The Moon completes its orbit in one month and the Sun does it in a year.
Certainly mind-boggling is the very presence of these great planets. Then, no less astonishing is the phenomena of their flawless functioning. Here they are moving on a particular orbit maintaining a particular speed precisely and perfectly for thousands of years in a state that their machinery faces no wear and tear or breakage, nor does it require any kind of greasing or servicing. Think of the revolutionary advancements of science in human technology in our day. Can any human invention around match this model? The truth is that it is impossible to locate even a thousandth part of it anywhere in the world despite human ingenuity being at its highest pinnacle. This great system of nature is delivering a message, very loud and very clear. It is telling us that there certainly is some Being who has made, moved and maintained this system, a Being far beyond the reach of human perception and intelligence.
In Reality, It is Allah who Makes Things Work for Human Beings while Their Role in It is Nominal
After that comes the powerful statement: يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ (He manages all matters). If man so pleased with the ways and means which help make things work for him were to open his eyes, he would realize that his plans and measures could neither create nor make things in the real sense. The outcome of all his efforts and workings is no more than getting to learn how to make the best use of what has been created by Allah Ta’ ala.
Besides, even the system of harnessing what is universally available for use is outside the ambit of power exercised by human beings. The reason is that human beings depend on hundreds and thousands of others like him, and on animals, and on many other live and inert members of Divine creation. These they cannot put on their jobs just by dint of their plans and efforts. This is the function of the Divine power. It has linked up everything, as if in a chain, and in a way that everything gets to be drawn into the desired action. You need to build a house. You find a whole range of servers from the architect to the builder and the finisher, hundreds of human beings offering their career and craft all set to answer your call. You need building materials. They lie stacked in stores and shops ready to be delivered where you want them. Was it within your power and control to assemble all these things on your own just by the brute force of your money or measures and, on top of it, commission all those human beings into your service? Let us part with your individual example at this point. The fact is that this system cannot be established and activated through the force of law, even by the mightiest of the mighty government anywhere in the world. There is no doubt about the fact that the logistic support of this viably running universal system is the work of Allah Ta` ala alone, the Ever-Living, the Self-Sustaining Sustainer of all (Al-Haiyy, Al-Qaiyyum). If human beings still hasten to claim that all this comes from their plans and workings, there is not much that can be said about their claim, for ignorance shall remain what it is.
The next sentence in the verse is: يُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ (making the signs plain). It may mean the verses of the Qur’ an which have been revealed by Allah Ta’ ala in details and then, it was through the Holy Prophet ﷺ that He elaborated and explained them.
And the word, الْآيَاتِ (al-ayat) could also mean the 'signs' of the most perfect power of Allah Ta` ala which are spread out in the heavens and the earth, even in the very existence of human beings themselves. These are before human sight all the time and everywhere, so many and so plain.
Said in the last sentence of the verse was: لَعَلَّكُم بِلِقَاءِ رَبِّكُمْ تُوقِنُونَ (so that you may be sure of meeting your Lord). This means that Allah Ta` ala has initiated and activated this whole universe and its astonishing system of operation so that by pondering over it you may come to believe in and become certain of the Hereafter ('Akhirah) and the Doomsday (Qiyamah). The reason is that once you have pondered over the creation of this universe and its wonderous system, any likelihood of doubting that it may be beyond the power of Allah Ta’ ala to resurrect human beings in the Hereafter simply cannot be entertained. And once we realize that it is within His power, and possible, and that it has been reported by no less a person than the one about whom it is universally settled that he never said anything in his whole life which was not the truth - then, there remains no room for doubt that this phenomena is real, actual and proven.
In the next verse (3), it was said:
وَهُوَ الَّذِي مَدَّ الْأَرْضَ وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَأَنْهَارًا
And He is the One who spread out the earth and made mountains and rivers therein.
The expression: 'spread out the earth' is not contradictory of its being round - because each part of something very big and round appears to be, when looked at separately, nothing but a surface spread out - and the Qur’ an addresses common people in terms of their view of things. Since a common onlooker sees it as a spread-out surface, therefore, it was identified as such. Then, to keep it balanced and make it full of other benefits, high and heavy mountains were placed on it. Besides providing weight and balance, these mountains store and supply water for the whole creation. To accomplish this, an unimaginably big storage of water is placed on their peaks in the form of a frozen sea. This snow has no re-servoir and certainly needs no monolithic structures, overhead or under-ground, to hold this supply of water. And the water thus stored cannot go bad or made impure. Then, nature has its own pipelines under the ground through which water is distributed all over the world. Some-where they show up in the form of rivers flowing freely along with their tributaries; and at other places, wells are dug to tap water from these hidden pipelines.
In the next sentence of verse 3, it was said: وَمِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ جَعَلَ فِيهَا زَوْجَيْنِ اثْنَيْن (and of all the fruits, He created therein the pairs of two). It means that Allah has created fruits of many kinds from this earth and made each one of two kinds: small and big, red, white, sweet and sour. It is also possible that the meaning of 'zawjayn' (pairs) is not restricted to only two. Instead, it may be referring to several kinds the least number of which is two, therefore, it was termed as 'the pairs of two.' And it is not so unlikely that 'pairs' refers to the male and female, as we know about many trees which have males and females, for example, the date-palm and the papayah. Possibility of this being the case with other trees as well does exist, though not yet proved by relevant research about all of them.
The next sentence of the verse declares: يُغْشِي اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ (He makes the night cover the day). It means that He brings the night after the light of the day, as if something bright has been totally screened off from sight.
The last sentence of the verse: إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ translated as 'surely, in that there are signs for a people who think,' means that there is no doubt about the fact that many signs of the most perfect power of Allah Ta’ ala are present all over for those who care to think about and deliberate in the arrangement and system of this whole universe.
In the fourth verse it was said:
وَفِي الْأَرْضِ قِطَعٌ مُّتَجَاوِرَاتٌ وَجَنَّاتٌ مِّنْ أَعْنَابٍ وَزَرْعٌ وَنَخِيلٌ صِنْوَانٌ وَغَيْرُ صِنْوَانٍ يُسْقَىٰ بِمَاءٍ وَاحِدٍ وَنُفَضِّلُ بَعْضَهَا عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ فِي الْأُكُلِ
And in the earth there are tracts of land neighboring each other and gardens of grapes and farms and date-palms, having twin or single trunks, watered with one water. And We make some better than others in taste. Surely, in that there are signs for a people who understand.
Being pointed out here is that many tracts of land, despite being joined together, are different in their inherent properties. Some are good and soft, others are saline or hard. Some are good for farming while others grow gardens, of grapes and dates. Of the date-palms, some grow to have two trunks like other trees while others have only one.
Then, all these fruits, though they come out of the same land and are watered by the same water and are touched by the rays of the sun and the glow of the moon and the draft of different winds in a uniform manner, yet there remains among them the difference of colour and taste and size.
Despite their being in such proximity with each other, the varied difference among them is a strong and clear proof of the fact that this whole system of creation is operating under the command of someone who is wise and knows how to plan, manage and run His creation. This has nothing to do with the postulates of the theory of evolution, as some ignorant people would like to believe. If these were the outcome of the stages of material development, how could we explain the element of difference among them despite all matter being common? One fruit grows on a tract of land in one season while another grows in the other. On one single branch of one tree, the fruits could be different in kinds, sizes and tastes!
Said in the last sentence of the verse (4) was: إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ (Surely, in that there are signs for a people who understand). It means that there are in it, absolutely without doubt, many signs of the power and greatness of Allah Ta’ ala which go on to prove that He is One and that He alone is worthy of worship. By saying that these signs are 'for a people who understand,' the hint released is that those who do not think about these things are not the people of understanding, no matter how highly they are rated and advertized for their intellect and intelligence.
Contained in the first three verses cited above (5-7) there is a refutation of the doubts expressed by the disbelievers about prophethood. Along with it, added there is a warning of punishment for deniers.
1. The first of the three doubts they had was about people returning to life after having been dead and according to them, the whole idea of accounting and retribution on the Day of Resurrection was improbable and irrational. On this basis, they used to belie the prophets and rejected their claim to prophethood. This doubt of theirs has been mentioned in the following verse of the Holy Qur’ an: هَلْ نَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَىٰ رَجُلٍ يُنَبِّئُكُمْ إِذَا مُزِّقْتُمْ كُلَّ مُمَزَّقٍ إِنَّكُمْ لَفِي خَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ (34:7). Here, to ridicule the prophets, it has been said by the disbelievers: 'Come, we shall introduce you to a man who tells you that you, once dead, shall be shredded into pieces and the molecules of the earth you are made of shall also spread out all over the earth, then, at that time, you shall be created anew - Saba, 34:7.'
The Proof of Rising Again After Death
The answer to this doubt of theirs has been given in the first of the present verses cited above (5) by saying: وَإِن تَعْجَبْ فَعَجَبٌ قَوْلُهُمْ أَإِذَا كُنَّا تُرَابًا أَإِنَّا لَفِي خَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ Here, the address is to the Holy Prophet ﷺ . He is being told that he may be wondering about the attitude of the disbelievers who refuse to believe in him as a prophet of Allah despite having seen clear signs of his being a prophet, and strangely enough, at the same time, they go about believing in lifeless rocks which have neither sense nor consciousness, and who do not have the power to bring benefit to or loss on their own selves, therefore, they could hardly be expected to grant any benefit to anyone.
Certainly, far more surprising is their statement: 'Is it that, once we are dead, we shall be created anew?' The Holy Qur’ an has not spelled out the reason for this 'wonder' explicitly because, in the previous verses, by describing the wondrous manifestations of the most perfect power of Allah Ta` ala, it has been proved that He is the master of absolute power.
It is He who brought the entire creation from the state of non-being into the state of being. Then, He endowed into the being of everything so many varied elements of wisdom which human beings cannot even comprehend fully. From this it is obvious that the Being who can make something come into existence for the first time from total nothingness shall hardly have any difficulty in making it come into existence once again. When human beings try to make something new, they do have to remove some difficulties the first time they do it. But, when they wish to make the same thing again, things become easy.
Thus, what is really surprising is that these disbelievers do seem to believe that the Creator has created the whole universe with limitless wisdom. How then, can they consider its recreation as improbable and irrational?
Perhaps, the big problem before the deniers is what happens after death. After death, when dust returns to dust, whatever human beings are composed of gets spread out all over the earth. Winds carry them far and wide besides other causes, agents and means helping human remains get dispersed universally. Then, there will come that promised Day of Doom, the Qiyamah. Then, they wonder, how could all that scattered dust be put together, and how, even if gathered together, can they be made to rise again (as they were)?
But, what they fail to see is that the form in which they exist at that time holds the key to their problem with comprehension. Is it not that particles from all over the world lie gathered together in them while they exist? Particles brought by water and wind from the far and near corners of the world get mingled with human intake and become part of a person's body. Most of the time the poor soul is not even aware of the fact that the morsel of food going down his or her throat comes from God knows how many areas of the world, Africa, America, or the countries of the Asian continent. Is it not that there is only One such Being who, through His wondrous wisdom and mastery of management, has made every single human being, and animal, stand to exist by assembling together scattered particles from all over the world? Now, if He can do that today, how can this become difficult for him tomorrow? Why would he not be capable of reassembling all those scattered particles back into the form they were? Specially so, when all powers of the world, the wind and water and the rest, are subservient to Him and obey His command. If He elects to beckon the wind, the water and the atmosphere to come forth and deposit all particles they contain, would they not but obey? Why would this be any problem and why would its impossibility bother anyone?
The truth of the matter is that the disbelievers have simply failed to recognize the power of Allah Ta’ ala. They think of His Power on the analogy of their own power - though everything in the heavens and the earth and in what lies in between them does possess a comprehension and consciousness of their relative status in the scheme of the Divine arrangement of things, and they pointedly move under Divine command.
In short, what is a matter of surprise is the refusal of the disbelievers to believe in the truth of prophethood. And what is still more surprising is their refusal to believe in rising again on the day of Judgment and in having to stand to account for their deeds on that day!
After that, mention has been made of the punishment of hostile deniers of the truth. It has been said that these people not simply that they refuse to accept a prophet of Allah as such; rather what they do in reality is that they deny the very existence of their Lord. Their punishment will be that shackles will be placed round their necks and they shall live in Hell for ever.
2. The second doubt expressed by the deniers of the Holy Prophet ﷺ was: 'If you are, in reality, the prophet and messenger of Allah, then, the warnings of punishments you announce against the opponents of prophets should materialize - why is it that this punishment would not come? The answer given appears in the next verse in the following words: