This page contains all verses of surah As-Sajda in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah السجدة ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.
At this place, the word: نَّذِيرٍ (nadhir: warner) in: مَّا أَتَاهُم مِّن نَّذِيرٍ (to whom no warner has come.. -3)means a rasul or messenger.The sense is that no messenger had appeared amidst the Quraish of Makkah before the Holy Prophet t. This does not mean that the call of the messengers had just not reached them until that time, because it was clearly said in another verse of the Qur'an: وَإِن مِّنْ أُمَّةٍ إِلَّا خَلَا فِيهَا نَذِيرٌ (And there was no community without a warner having passed among them - 35:24). In this verse, (i.e. the verse 35:24) the word: نَّذِيرٍ (warner) appears in its general lexical sense, that is, one who calls people towards Allah, whether a messenger or prophet or one of their deputies, khali'fah or the ` alim of din. So, from this verse, it seems that the call of pure monotheism (tauhid) had reached all communities and groups. That is correct in its place and certainly the dictate of universal Divine mercy. Commentator Abu Hayyan says that the call to tauhid and 'iman has never ceased in any time or place or people. And wherever a long time passed after the appearance of a prophet, it resulted in the dearth of those having the knowledge of the legacy of prophethood. Thereupon, some new prophet or messenger was sent. This requires that the call to tauhid should have reached the Arab peoples definitely, and much earlier. But, for this it is not necessary that the call should have been brought in by some prophet or messenger in person. It is possible that it may have reached through the learned serving as deputies to the prophetic mission. Therefore, the verses of this Surah, Surah Ya Sin and others which prove that no nadhir (warner) had appeared amidst the Quraish of Arabia before the Holy Prophet ﷺ must be approached with the necessary consideration that the word: نَّذِيرٍ (nadhir) used there should mean a prophet and messenger in the technical sense denoting that no prophet and messenger had come amidst those people before the Holy Prophet ﷺ - even though, the call to tauhid and 'iman may have reached there too through other means.
Before the period of فَترَۃ fatrah, that is, before the appearance of the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، it stands proved about some blessed souls who firmly adhered to the faith of Sayyidna Ibrahim and Ismail (علیہما السلام) . They believed in the Oneness of Allah and were averse to the worship of and sacrifices for idols.
Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani reports from the Maghazi of Musa Ibn 'Uqbah about one such person whose name was Zayd Ibn ` Amr Ibn Nufayl. He had also met the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، before he was ordained as a prophet. But, it was still before his prophethood that he died in the year the Quraish had built the edifice of the Baytullah - and this happened five years prior to his prophethood. About him, Musa Ibn 'Uqbah says, ` He used to stop the Quraish from indulging in the worship of idols. He opposed the offering of sacrifices in the name of idols as an evil practice and would not eat the meat from animals slaughtered by the Mushriks.'
Abu Dawud Tayalisi has reported from Sayyidna Said Ibn Zayd Ibn Amr ؓ ، the son of Zayd Ibn ` Amr Ibn Nufayl, one of the celebrated ten (عَشرۃ مُبَشّرّۃ) among the noble Sahabah, that he had submitted before the Holy Prophet ﷺ saying: "You already know about my father that he adhered to pure monotheism and rejected idolatry. Can I, then, pray for his forgiveness?" The Holy Prophet ﷺ said, "Yes, for him the prayer of forgiveness is permissible. He will, on the day of Qiyamah, rise as a community of his own." (Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani)
Similarly, Warqah Ibn Nawfal ؓ who was present during the initial period of the prophethood and the revelation of the Qur'an was an adherent of pure monotheism (tauhid). He had expressed his resolve to help the Holy Prophet ﷺ but he died soon after. These examples prove that the people of Arabia were though not totally deprived of the Divine call to faith and monotheism, but that no prophet had appeared amidst them as such. Allah knows best.
All three verses cited above carry an affirmation of the veracity of the Qur'an and the Prophet of Islam.
The length of the day of Qiyamah
The text in verse 5 cited above says: فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ مِّمَّا تَعُدُّونَ (in a day the measure of which is a thousand years according to the way you count - 5). And it appears in a verse of Surah Al-Ma` arij:... (in a day the extent of which is fifty thousand years - 70:4).
A simple explanation of this is what appears in Bayan-ul-Qur'an - since this day will be horrendous, people would find it very long. Then, this length will be felt in terms of one's measure of faith and deeds. Big criminals will find the day longer while the small ones will find it comparatively shorter, so much so that the day some would feel to be of a thousand years, to others, it would appear as of fifty thousand years.
Tafsir Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani reports several other explanations from the ` Ulama' and Sufiya'. But, all these are nothing but conjectures. Something which can be traced back to a proved meaning of the Qur'an or something which can be believed in is just not there. Therefore, the most sound approach in this matter is the same as was taken by the early elders of Islam, the Sahabah and the Tabi` in: They had left the knowledge of this difference of one and fifty to Allah without explaining it on the basis of human whims and, on their part, they had found it sufficient to say, ` we do not know.'
About it, Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Abbas ؓ said:
ھُمَا یَومَانِ ذَکَرَھُما اللہُ تَعَالٰی فِی کِتَابِہٖ اللہُ تَعَالٰی اَعلَمُ بِھِمَا وَاَکرَہُ اَن اَقُولَ فِی کِتَابِ اللہِ مَالَا اَعلَمُ
They are two days mentioned by Allah Ta’ ala in His Book. Allah Ta’ ala knows best about them and I dislike to say in the matter of the Book of Allah that which I do not know.
Everything is good in this world. Evil comes through its wrong use.
In verse 7, it was said: الَّذِي أَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهُ "Who made well whatever He created good”. The reason is that Allah Ta’ ala has made whatever He has created in this world under the dictate of His wisdom, and under the essential consideration of what is beneficial for the whole system. Therefore, everything has a beauty of its own. And the most beautiful and better than all is the making of man as it was said: لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ فِي أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ (Surely, We did create man in the best of symmetry - 95:4).
Then there are creations other than man that may outwardly be taken as bad. In fact, dogs, pigs, snakes, scorpions and wolfs are commonly considered bad because they are either poisonous or beastly. But, in terms of the expedient benefits of the world as a whole, none of these is really bad. A proverbial poetic observation in Urdu puts it as:
نہیں ہے چیز نکمّی کوئی زمانے میں کوئی بُرا نہیں قدرت کے کارخانے میں
There is nothing useless in the world
There is no one bad in the workshop of nature.
The author of Bayan ul-Qur'an has said, 'the text's كُلَّ شَيْءٍ (whatever) includes all substances and accidents, that is, also things which have corporeal substance, such as, animals, plants and minerals etc. as well as incorporeal things which include even morals and deeds. So much so that morals which are identified as bad - anger, greed, desire and their likes - are not bad in themselves. The bad about them emerges when they are used out of place. If they stay in their proper place, there is nothing bad in them. But, the sense being driven home here relates to the objective of their creation ( takwin )and introduction of these things - for that is nothing but good according to divine wisdom. However, the qualities of 'good' and 'bad' are attached to them in relation to the human acts and their effects on individuals. We can call it one's right or choice employed in doing something. Then, in those terms, everything is not good, in fact, it is circumscribed by a little detail, that is, whatever has not been allowed by Allah Ta` Hla is not good, but is, rather bad.' Allah knows best.
The sentence that follows next reads: وَبَدَأَ خَلْقَ الْإِنسَانِ مِن طِينٍ (and started the creation of man from clay - 7). Earlier, it was said that Allah Ta’ ala has made everything 'good' in this world. Mentioned thereafter was man, the most beautiful of all. Then, to give expression to His most perfect power alongside, it was also said that the making of man as the most superior form of creation was not because the essential ingredient of his creation was most noble, elegant and superior, which may have made it so. In fact, as for the essential ingredient that went into his making, it was something as mean and lowly as the semen. Thereafter, the rest was a masterpiece of His perfect power and profound wisdom. It was this great combination that took something so low to such a height that man was rated as the most noble Divine creation.
In verse 11, it was said: قُلْ يَتَوَفَّاكُم مَّلَكُ الْمَوْتِ الَّذِي وُكِّلَ بِكُمْ (Say, "The angel of death who has been assigned for you will take you in full" -11). In the verse previous to it, the deniers of the Qiyamah were warned and an answer was given to their wondering as to how would they be brought back to life once again after they had died and become dust. In the verse cited above, such people are being reminded, 'Think of your death which is, in itself, a great manifestation of the perfect power of Allah Ta’ ala. Your heedlessness and ignorance make you think that one's death comes all by itself, just like that. This is not how it is. In fact, fixed for your death there is a time with Allah and for this there is a standing system run through angels. Sayyidna ` Izra'il (علیہ السلام) is the foremost among them, the one who is the master-manager of death throughout the world. Whenever and wherever a person is destined to die, it is precisely at that time that he draws out his soul from his body.' This is what has been stated in the cited verse. It should be noted that مَلَکُ المَوت (malakul maut: angel of death) has been mentioned in the singular form. It means Sayyidna ` Izra'il (علیہ السلام) . Please compare it with another verse where it is said: الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ (the ones to whom the angels brought death - 16:28).
Here, the word: مَلَائِكَةُ (mala'ikah: angels) has been used in the plural form. This releases the hint that Sayyidna ` Izra'il ill does not do this alone. Many angels under him take part in accomplishing this duty.
Some details about the Exacting of Soul and the Angel of Death
Tafsir authority, Mujahid has said, 'before the angel of death, the whole world is very much like an open tray before a human being sprinkled in which there are grains and he picks up whichever he wants.' The same subject has also appeared in a mar' hadith, that is, traceable to the Holy Prophet ﷺ . (As mentioned by al-Qurtubi in At-tadhkirah)
According to a hadith, once the Holy Prophet ﷺ saw the angel of death standing behind the head of an Ansari sahabi on his death bed. He said, 'make it easy on my sahabi.' The angel of death said, 'Rest assured. I make it easy on every believer,' then, he added, ` just imagine the number of people living in towns or villages and in forests, mountains or waters, I see every one of them five times a day, therefore, I am directly acquainted with everyone of them, young or old.' Then, he concluded by saying, '0 Muhammad t, all this I am telling you about is nothing but what happens with the will and command of Allah. Otherwise, if I wanted to take the life of even a mosquito, I do not have the power to do so - unless there comes the very command of Allah Ta’ ala that I have to do it.'
The soul of animals: Does the angel of death exact that too?
From the hadith report mentioned above, it seems that it is the angel of death who, subject to Divine permission, exacts the soul of a mosquito too. Imam Malik (رح) has also said this while answering a question. But, some other reports show that this exacting of the soul is particular to human beings - because of their nobility and distinction. As for the animals, they will die under Divine will without the medium of the angel. (Mentioned by Ibn ` Atiyyah from al-Qurtubi)
The same subject has been reported by Abu ash-Shaikh, ` Uqaili, Dailami and others on the authority of Sayyidna Anas i narrating it from the Holy Prophet ﷺ . According to this report, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said, "All animals and insects keep glorifying Allah (for this is their life). When this glorification stops, Allah Ta’ ala takes their soul. The death of animals has not been entrusted with the angel of death". Another related hadith has been reported from Sayyidna Ibn ` Umar ؓ . (Mazhari)
It appears in yet another hadith, 'when Allah Ta’ ala handed over to Sayyidna ` Izra'il (علیہ السلام) the charge of managing the death of everyone in the world, he pleaded, "0 my Lord, You have put such a service in my charge that the entire race of the children of 'Adam living in the world is going to give me a bad name to the extent that every time I am remembered, I shall be dubbed as evil." Allah Ta’ ala would say, "We have taken care of that by placing some obvious diseases and causes of death in the world due to which everyone will attribute death to these diseases and causes and you will remain safe from their adverse comments." (Al-Qurtubi in his Tafsir and A1-tadhkirah)
And Imam al-Baghawi reports on the authority of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ that the Holy Prophet ﷺ said, "All diseases, and things like pain and wound, are the universal message-bearers of death. They remind every human being of his or her death. After that, when comes the time of death, the angel of death turns towards the dying person and says, '0 servant of God, how many notices have I served on you and how many message-bearers have I sent to you one after the other! All these diseases and accidents delivered at your doors were simply to warn you that you should get ready for death. Now, here I am after whom no bearer of some message will come to you anymore. Now you have got to say yes to the order of your Lord necessarily, whether willingly or unwillingly." (Mazhari)
The angel of death does not know the time of anyone's death in advance - until he is ordered to exact the soul of a certain person. (Deduced by Ahmad and Ibn Abi ad-Dunya from Ma'mar, Mazhari)