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Surah Al-Qalam

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

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

Mecca Mecca (2)
52Total Ayat: 52
2Total Ruku: 2


This Surah is called Nun as well as Al-Qalam, the words with which itbegins.

Period of Revelation

This too is one of the earliest surahs to be revealed at Makkah, butits subject matter shows that it was sent down at the time whenopposition to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) had grown veryharsh and tyrannical.

Theme and Subject Matter

It consists of three themes: Replies to the opponents objections,administration of warning and admonition to them, and exhortation tothe Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) to patience and constancy.

Atthe outset, the Holy Prophet has been addressed, to the effect: "Thedisbelievers call you a madman whereas the Book that you arepresenting and the sublime conduct that you practise, are bythemselves sufficient to refute their false accusations. Soon theywill see as to who was mad and who was sane; therefore, do not at allyield to the din of opposition being kicked up against you, for allthis is actually meant to cow you and make you resort to a compromisewith them."

Then, in order to enlighten the common people thecharacter of a prominent man from among the opponents, whom the peopleof Makkah fully well recognized, has been presented, without naminghim:At that time, the Holy Prophet's pure and sublime conduct wasbefore them, and every discerning eye could also see what sort ofcharacter and morals were possessed by the chiefs of Makkah, who wereleading the opposition against him.

Then, in vv. 17-33, the parable ofthe owners of a garden has been presented, who after having beenblessed by Allah turned ungrateful to Him, and did not heed theadmonition of the best man among them when it was given them.Consequently, they were deprived of the blessing and they realizedthis, when all they had lay devastated. With this parable the peopleof Makkah have been warned to the effect:"With the appointment of theHoly Prophet (upon whom be peace) to Prophethood, you, O people ofMakkah, too, have been put to a test similar to the one to which theowners of the garden had been put. If you do not listen to him, youtoo will be afflicted with a punishment in the world, and thepunishment of the Hereafter is far greater."

Then, in vv. 34-47continuously, the disbelievers have been admonished, in which theaddress sometimes turns to them directly and sometimes they are warnedthrough the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace). A summary of what hasbeen said in this regard, is this: Well being in the Hereafterinevitably belongs to those who spend their lives in the world in fullconsciousness of God. It is utterly against reason that the obedientservants should meet in the Hereafter the same fate as the guilty.There is absolutely no basis of the disbelievers misunderstanding thatGod will treat them in the manner they choose for themselves, whereasthey have no guarantee for this. Those who are being called upon tobow before God in the world and they refuse to do so, would be unableto prostrate themselves on the Day of Resurrection even if they wantedto do so, and thus would stand disgraced and condemned. Having deniedthe Qur'an they cannot escape Divine punishment. The rein they arebeing given, has deluded them. They think that since they are notbeing punished in spite of their denial, they must be on the rightpath, whereas they are following the path of ruin. They have noreasonable ground for opposing the Messenger, for he is a preacherwithout any vested interest: he is not asking any reward of them forhimself, and they cannot either make the claim that they know withcertainty that he is not a true Messenger, nor that what he says isfalse.

In conclusion, the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) has beenexhorted to the effect:"Bear with patience the hardships that you mayhave to face in the way of preaching the Faith till Allah's judgmentarrives, and avoid the impatience which caused suffering andaffliction to the Prophet Jonah (peace be on him)."

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