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Surah Al-Mulk

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

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

Mecca Mecca (77)
30Total Ayat: 30
2Total Ruku: 2


The Surah takes its name al-Mulk from the very first sentence.

Period of Revelation

It could not be known from any authentic tradition when this Surah wasrevealed, but the subject matter and the style indicate that it is oneof the earliest Surahs to be revealed at Makkah.

Theme and Subject Matter

In this surah, on the one hand, the teachings of Islam have beenintroduced briefly, and, on the other, the people living inheedlessness have been aroused from their slumber in a most effectiveway. A characteristic of the earliest surahs of the Makkan period isthat they present the entire teachings of Islam and the object of theHoly Prophet's mission, not in detail, but briefly, so that they areassimilated by the people easily. Moreover, they are particularlydirected to make the people shun heedlessness, to make them think, andto arouse their dormant conscience.

In the first five verses man hasbeen made to realize that the universe in which he lives is a mostwell organized and fortified Kingdom in which he cannot detect anyfault, any weakness or flaw, how ever hard he may try to probe. ThisKingdom has been brought from nothing into existence by Allah AlmightyHimself and All the powers of controlling, administering and ruling itare also entirely in Allah's hand and His power is infinite. Besides,man has also been told that in this wise system he has not beencreated without a purpose, but he has been sent here for a test and inthis test he can succeed only by his righteous deeds and conduct.

Invv. 6-11, dreadful consequences of disbelief which will appear in theHereafter have been mentioned, and the people told that Allah, bysending His Prophets, has warned them of these consequences in thisvery world, as if to say "Now, if you do not believe in what theProphets say and correct your attitude and behavior accordingly, inthe Hereafter you will yourself have to admit that you really deservedthe punishment that was being meted out to you."

In vv. 12-l4, thetruth that has been impressed on the minds is that the Creator cannotbe unaware of His creation, as if to say: "He is aware of each openand hidden secret of yours, even of the innermost ideas of your hearts.Hence, the right basis of morality is that man should avoid evil,fearing the accountability of the unseen God, whether in the worldthere is a power to take him to task for this or not, and whether inthe world there is a possibility of being harmed by such a power ornot. Those who adopt such a conduct in the world alone will deserveforgiveness and a rich reward in the Hereafter."

In vv. 15-23, makingallusions, one after the other to those common truths of dailyoccurrence, which man does not regard as worthy of much attention, hehas been invited to consider them seriously. It has been said: "Look:the earth on which you move about with full satisfaction and peace ofmind, and from which you obtain your sustenance has been subdued foryou by Allah; otherwise this earth might at any time start shakingsuddenly so as to cause your destruction, or a typhoon might occur,which may annihilate you completely. Look at the birds that fly aboveyou; it is only Allah Who is sustaining them in the air. Look at yourown means and resources: if Allah wills to inflict you with a scourge,none can save you from it; and if Allah wills to close the doors ofsustenance on you, none can open them for you. These things are thereto make you aware of the truth, but you see them like animals, whichare unable to draw conclusions from observations, and you do not useyour sight, hearing and minds which Allah has bestowed on you as men;that is why you do not see the right way."

In vv. 24-27, it has beensaid: "You have ultimately to appear before your God in any case. Itis not for the Prophet to tell you the exact time and date of theevent. His only duty is to warn you beforehand of its inevitableoccurrence. Today you do not listen to him and demand that he shouldcause the event to occur and appear prematurely before you; but whenit does occur, and you see it with your own eyes, you will then beastounded. Then, it will be said to you "This is the very thing youwere calling to be hastened."

In vv. 28-29 replies have been given towhat the disbelievers of Makkah said against the Holy Prophet (uponwhom be peace) and his Companions. They cursed the Holy Prophet andprayed for his and the believers destruction. To this it has beensaid: "Whether those who call you to the right way are destroyed, orshown mercy by Allah, how will their fate change your destiny? Youshould look after yourselves and consider who would save you if youwere overtaken by the scourge of God?You regard those who believe inGod and put their trust in Him as the misguided. A time will come whenit will become evident as to who was misguided in actual truth.

Inconclusion, the people have been asked this question and left toponder over it "If the water which has come out from the earth at someplace in the desert or hill country of Arabia and upon which dependsyour whole life activity, should sink and vanish underground, whobeside Allah can restore to you this life giving water?"

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67. Al-Mulk
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114. An-Nas
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