This page contains all verses of surah Ash-Shu'araa in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah الشعراء ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.
لَعَلَّكَ بَاخِعٌ نَّفْسَكَ Seemingly you are going to let yourself collapse in grief - 26:3). The word بَاخِعٌ (bakhi" )is derived from بَخعٌ (bakh' ) which means to reach up to Bikha`, an artery of the neck, while slaughtering. In this verse baki` is used in the sense of putting oneself into trouble and toil. "Allamah ` Askari has said, ` Although at such places the sentence appears to be informative but in fact it means to prohibit or prevent'. What it conveys is that, ` O Messenger, do not be so despondent because of your people's disbelief and rejection of Islam that you cause yourself to collapse'. One learns from this verse that even if it is apparent that a disbeliever would not convert to Islam, still it is not right to stop preaching to him. The second thing one learns is that the efforts one makes for a certain objective must be balanced and moderate, and if someone is adamant not to be guided to the right path, one should not be over-grieved.
إِن نَّشَأْ نُنَزِّلْ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ آيَةً فَظَلَّتْ أَعْنَاقُهُمْ لَهَا خَاضِعِينَ
If We so will, We can send down to them a sign from the sky before which their necks will stay bent in submission. - 26:4
Allamah Zamakhshari has explained that the real intent of the text is to say that the disbelievers themselves will stay in submission, but the act of submission is attributed in the verse to their "necks", so that the initial object of submission is pinpointed, because yielding or bowing in humility initially appears on the neck. The substance of the message of this verse is that Allah Ta’ ala also has full authority and control to evince any sign of His Oneness and Omnipotence which brings forth the religious injunctions and the Divine Truth in such a self-evident manner that no one would have the ability to reject it. But the wisdom demands that these injunctions and the understanding of God are not made self-evident but remain visionary, so that they are dependent on deliberations and pondering. This pondering and deliberation is actually the test of man on which the reward and punishment is adjudged. Acceptance of self-evident things is a natural and involuntary phenomenon which lacks the quality of deliberate obedience. (Qurtubi)
زَوْجٍ كَرِيمٍ (noble pair - 26:7). The word زَوْجٍ (zawj) literally means a pair. That is why man and woman, and male and female are called Zawj. Many species of trees have male and female among them. On this basis they can also be called Zawj (زَوْجٍ ). Sometimes the word Zawj is also used for a special kind. On the basis of this meaning all species of trees can be called Zawj. The meaning of Karim is a nice and favourite thing.
Request for favourable conditions for obedience is not tantamount to making excuses
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي أَخَافُ أَن يُكَذِّبُونِ ﴿12﴾ وَيَضِيقُ صَدْرِي وَلَا يَنطَلِقُ لِسَانِي فَأَرْسِلْ إِلَىٰ هَارُونَ ﴿13﴾ وَلَهُمْ عَلَيَّ ذَنبٌ فَأَخَافُ أَن يَقْتُلُونِ ﴿14﴾
He (Musa) said, "My Lord, I fear they will belie me. [ 12] And my heart gets straitened and my tongue is not fluent; so send for Harun. [ 13] And they have a charge of offence against me and I fear they will kill me;" [ 14]
This verse indicates that Sayyidna Musa (علیہ السلام) requested Allah to provide him with some resources to help them in carrying out his mission. It leads to the principle that so far as the objective is to obey Allah's command, praying for some helping resources cannot be regarded as seeking ruses and excuses to escape from the required act. The request of Sayyidna Musa علیہ السلام was only to facilitate the implementation of Allah's command which is quite lawful.
The meaning of the word dalal used for Sayyidna Musa (علیہ السلام)
قَالَ فَعَلْتُهَا إِذًا وَأَنَا مِنَ الضَّالِّينَ
He said, "I did that at that time when I was one of the unaware people. (26:20)
This was the answer of Musa (علیہ السلام) to the objection of the Pharaoh that Musa (علیہ السلام) had killed an Egyptian. The gist of the answer is that it was not a deliberate murder; in fact the Egyptian was killed by mistake, because Musa (علیہ السلام) had only struck him with a blow which, by accident, caused his death. The word used, by the present verse, for this mistake is derived from ضَلَال (dalal) which is commonly used for intentional error. But the word is also used for 'unawareness' (which includes unintentional mistakes) It is this meaning that is intended here. This interpretation is supported by Qatdah and Ibn Zaid رحمۃ اللہ علیہم .
It is impossible for man to comprehend fully the entity and reality of the magnificence of Allah Ta’ ala
قَالَ فِرْعَوْنُ وَمَا رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Pharaoh said, "And what is the Lord of the worlds?" (26:23)
This verse proves that it is not possible to know the exact reality of Allah's Being. Since the Pharaoh had asked a question regarding Allah Ta’ ala's intrinsic-self and reality, Sayyidna Musa (علیہ السلام) instead of giving a direct answer to his query, described the attributes of Allah Ta’ ala in reply. He hinted in his reply that it is not possible for a man to perceive the essence and reality of Allah Ta’ ala. Hence, it was a futile question. (Ruh)
أَنْ أَرْسِلْ مَعَنَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ
That you must send the children of Isra'i1 with us". (26:17)
Bani Isra'il were the residents of Syria. They wanted to go back to their land but the Pharaoh would not let them. This way four hundred years had passed and they were living in his bondage like slaves. At that time they were six hundred and thirty thousand in number. Sayyidna Musa (علیہ السلام) when presented the message of Truth to the Pharaoh, he also asked him to stop all the cruelties he had perpetrated over Bani Isra'il and to let them go to their homeland. (Qurtubi)
An example of prophetic dialectic
Discussion and debate among two different persons or group of people having divergent views has been in vogue since the time immemorial. Such debates are called مُنَاظرہ munazarah (dialectics) in conventional terms. But such dialectics have been reduced to a game of win or lose. People regard the outcome of dialectics should be to come out winner, even though one knows that he is on the wrong. Despite the knowledge of being on the wrong one must keep on pressing his point of view, and use the intelligence to throw in all sorts of arguments to prove his point as correct. Similarly, even if the opponents point is correct, it must be rejected with full force. In contrast to this attitude Islam has given a middle of the road stance, and set out its rules and regulations, thus making it a useful tool for preaching and reform.
A simple example of this can be seen in the above verses. When Sayyidna Musa and Harun (علیہما السلام) conveyed the invitation of Truth to the mighty the Pharaoh, who was claimant of being god, in his court, he began the opposing conversation with two questions relating to the person of Musa's (علیہ السلام) . When a sharp opponent is not properly equipped with the correct arguments, he normally tries to switch the conversation towards the person of the addressee in order to find faults with him. This tactic is employed to embarrass the opponent and to make him look small before the audience. Hence, the Pharaoh also came out with two such points. First, ` We have brought you up in our household and have done so many favours to you. So, how can you have the face to speak before us. Second, ` You have killed an Egyptian for no fault of his. This is not only cruelty but also ingratitude toward those among whom you are raised to your manhood. You have killed one from among us.' Now see the prophetic reply of Sayyidna Musa (علیہ السلام) and how he handled the two subjects. In the first place he changed the sequence of the topics in that he brought up the case of the Egyptian first which the Pharaoh had raised latter. The wisdom in changing the sequence appears to be that in the Egyptian's case there was a weakness on his part, but he preferred to take that first, unlike present day tactics where one tries to avoid a direct reply to confuse the issue. But he, being the messenger of Allah, had nothing to hide, so while replying he accepted his weakness, and did not care at all what people in the opposition would think on acceptance of his mistake, and hence, might take it as acceptance of defeat. This course of action was totally contrary to present day tactics when people try to mix up their weakness in a manner that it is camouflaged.
Although Sayyidna Musa (علیہ السلام) had accepted his fault while replying to the Pharaoh that it was his misjudgment when he hit the Egyptian and as a result he died, yet he made it very clear that he did not intend to kill him. His intention was right which unfortunately resulted in the wrong. The purpose of his hitting the Egyptian was to prevent him from harming the Isra'ili but in the process he died, which was not the intention. This act of his, despite being wrong, does not conflict with his claim to be a prophet or contradicts its veracity. So, he said ` that he realized his mistake and left the city for the fear of being caught. Then Allah was kind to him and honoured him with the prophethood.
Now the point to ponder is that at that time Musa (علیہ السلام) could have adopted the simple and straightforward course and have claimed that the Egyptian deserved death, and would have charged him with such accusations for which his killing was the right action. There was no one present at the time of the incident, so no one could have contradicted him. Anyone else in his place would have certainly taken this course of action. But here it was the resolute messenger of Allah who was the truth personified and who regarded expression of truth and veracity and the declaration of fact as his victory. He accepted his guilt in the packed court of the foe and in doing that also countered any possibility of doubt on his prophethood.
After that he turned to the second point regarding his upbringing in the Pharaoh's house, upon which the Pharaoh had stressed to remind his favour to him. Musa (علیہ السلام) asked him to ponder over his position as, being an Israelite, he had no occasion to reach the royal place of the Pharaoh. It was the cruelty of the Pharaoh that compelled the mother of Musa I to throw her baby into the river, then it was by chance that the Pharaoh picked him up, and in reality it was a wise arrangement made by Allah, that the child for the fear of whom the Pharaoh had slaughtered thousands of children, was caused to be nourished by the same the Pharaoh. But in any case, the real cause of his upbringing in the home of the Pharaoh was the cruelty exercised by him against the Israelites. Musa (علیہ السلام) pointing out to this fact, invited the Pharaoh to ponder whether this was really a favour with which he was obliging him. It is obvious that this prophetic address left a positive and convincing impression on the minds of people present there, and they were convinced that Musa (علیہ السلام) was not the sort of person who would make excuses, and that he would say nothing but the truth. After that when they saw the miracles, their view was confirmed further. At that time although the Pharaoh did not admit the truth, yet he was so overwhelmed and apprehensive that just two persons without having the support of a third, would turn him and his people out of their land and country.
This is what is known as God gifted awe of truth, veracity and reality. The contentions and dialectics of Allah's messengers are also full of truth, veracity and wishing well for the addressee. That is how they become so appealing to people and convince the biggest defiant