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Surah Al-Gashiya

Ayat/pg: 5 | 10 | 15 | 20 | All

Maududi's Commentry (Tafseer) on Surah Al-Gashiya

Mecca Mecca (68)
26Total Ayat: 26
1Total Ruku: 1


The Surah takes its name from the word al-ghishiyah in the first verse.

Period of Revelation

The whole subject matter of the Surah indicates that this too is one ofthe earliest Surahs to be revealed; but this was the period when theHoly Prophet (upon whom be peace) had started preaching his messagepublicly, and the people of Makkah were hearing it and ignoring itcarelessly and thoughtlessly.

Theme and Subject Matter

To understand the subject matter well one should keep in view the factthat in the initial stage the preaching of the Holy Prophet (upon whombe peace) mostly centered around two points which he wanted to instilin the people's minds: Tauhid and the Hereafter: and the people ofMakkah were repudiating both. Let us now consider the subject matterand the style of this Surah.

At the outset, in order to arouse thepeople from their heedlessness, they have been plainly asked:"Do youhave any knowledge of the time when an overwhelming calamity willdescend?" Immediately after this details of the impending calamity aregiven as to how the people will be divided into two separate groupsand will meet separate ends. One group of the people will go to Helland they will suffer punishment; the second group will go to thesublime Paradise and will be provided with, blessings.

After thusarousing the people the theme suddenly changes and the question isasked: Do not these people, who frown and scorn the teaching ofTauhid and the news of the Hereafter being given by the Qur'an, observethe common things which they experience daily in their lives?Do theynever consider how the camels, on whom their whole life activity inthe Arabian desert depends, came into being, endowed precisely withthe same characteristics as were required for the beast needed intheir desert life? When they go on their journeys, they see the sky,the mountains, or the earth. Let them ponder over these threephenomena and consider as to how the sky was stretched above them, howthe mountains were erected and how the earth was spread beneath them?Has all this come about without the skill and craftsmanship of an All-Powerful, All Wise Designer? If they acknowledge that a Creator hascreated all this with great wisdom and power and that no one else isan associate with Him in their creation, why then do they refuse toaccept Him alone as their Lord and Sustainer? And if they acknowledgethat that God had the power to create all this, then on what rationalground do they hesitate to acknowledge that that God also has thepower to bring about Resurrection, to recreate man, and to make Helland Heaven?

After making the truth plain by this concise and rationalargument, the address turns from the disbelievers to the Holy Prophet(upon whom be peace) and he is told: "If these people do notacknowledge the truth, they may not; you have not been empowered toact with authority over them, so that you should coerce them intobelieving: your only task is to exhort, so exhort them. Ultimatelythey have to return to Us; then We shall call them to full account andshall inflict a heavy punishment on those who do not believe."

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