Chapter Scripts

Surah Adh-Dhariyat 51:21-30

51:21 Just as [there are signs thereof] within your own selves: can you not, then, see?


Lit., “stones of clay” – the noun “clay” (tin) is, according to Zamakhshari, identical with the term sijjil mentioned in 11:82 and tentatively explained in the corresponding note 114 as signifying “chastisement pre-ordained”.

51:22 And in heaven is [the source of] your sustenance [on earth] and [of] all that you are promised [for your life after death]. 


For an explanation of this rendering of the term musrifin, see note 21 on 10:12.

51:23 For, by the Sustainer of heaven and earth, this [life after death] is the very truth – as true as that you are endowed with speech! 


Lit., “And then”, i.e., after the events described in 11:77 ff. and 15:61 ff.

51:24 And has the story of Abraham’s honored guests ever come within thy ken?


i.e., Lot’s family.

51:25 When those [heavenly messengers] came unto him and bade him peace, he answered, “[And upon you be) peace!” – [saying to himself,] “They are strangers.”


i.e., in the utter destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

51:26 Then he turned quietly to his household and brought forth a fat [roasted] calf. 


The above interpolations are based on the consensus of most of the classical commentators
regarding the phrase “And in Moses, too”.

51:27 And placed it before them, saying, “Will you not eat?”


This is an illustration of the Qur’anic doctrine that the suffering which is bound to befall an evildoer in this world or in the life to come, or in both, is but a consequence of his own doings.

51:28 [And when he saw that the guests would not eat, he became apprehensive of them, [but) they said, “Fear not” – and gave him the glad tiding of [the birth of] a son who would be endowed with deep knowledge.


See 69:6-8. For the story of the tribe of ‘Ad as such, see the second half of note 48 on 7:65.

51:29 Thereupon his wife approached [the guests] with a loud cry, and struck her face [in astonishment], and exclaimed “A barren old woman [like me]!”


Cf. 11:65. An outline of the story of the Thamud is given in 7:73-79.

51:30 They answered, “Thus has thy Sustainer decreed; and, Verily, He alone is truly wise, all-knowing!”          


Lit., “the sky” or “the heaven”, which in the Qur’an often has the connotation of “universe” or, in the plural (“the heavens”), of “cosmic systems”.


The divine scriptures are God’s beacons to the world. Surely God offered His trust to the heavens and the earth, and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man undertook it.
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