Chapter Scripts

Surah Al-An’am: 6:51-60

6:51 And Warn hereby those who fear lest they be gathered unto their Sustainer with none to protect them from Him or to intercede with Him so that they might become [fully] conscious of Him.


Lit., “therein” – referring to the daytime. The polarity of sleep and wakefulness contains an allusion to life and death (cf. 78:9-11).

6:52 Hence, repulse not [any of] those who at morn and evening invoke their Sustainer, seeking His countenance. Thou art in no wise accountable for them – just as they are in no wise accountable for thee – and thou hast therefore no right to repulse them: for then thou wouldst be among the


Lit., “sends forth guardians over you”

6:53 For it is in this way that We try men through one another – to the end that they might ask, “Has God, then, bestowed His favour upon those others in preference to us? Does not God know best as to who is grateful [to Him]?  


Lit., “brought back [or “referred”] to God” – i.e., placed before Him for judgment.

6:54 And when those who believe in Our messages come unto thee, say: “Peace be upon you. Your Sustainer has willed upon Himself the law of grace and mercy- so that if any of you does a bad deed out of ignorance, and thereafter repents and lives righteously, He shall be [found] much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.”


Lit., “the darknesses” or “the deep darkness”.

6:55 And thus clearly do We spell out Our messages: and [We do it] so that the path of those who are lost in sin might be distinct [from that of the righteous].


Le., from any direction or by any means whatsoever.

6:56 Say [to the deniers of the truth]: “Behold, I have been forbidden to worship those [beings] whom you invoke instead of God.” Say: “I do not follow your errant views – or else I should have gone astray, and should not be among those who have found the right path.”


Or: “the violence of one against another” – inner disintegration, fear, violence, and tyranny being the inevitable consequences of a society’s departure from spiritual truths.

6:57 Say: “Behold, I take my stand on clear evidence from my Sustainer – and [so] it is to Him that you are giving the lie! Not in my power is that which [in your ignorance] you so hastily demand: judgment rests with none but God. He shall declare the truth since it is He who is the best judge between truth and falsehood.”


i.e., the unbelieving compatriots of the Prophet and, by implication, all who deny the truth.

6:58 Say: “If that which you so hastily demand were in my power, everything would indeed have been decided between me and you. But God knows best as to who is doing wrong.”


Lit., “until they immerse themselves in a talk other than this”.

6:59 For, with Him are the keys to the things that are beyond the reach of a created being’s perception: none knows them but He. And He knows all that is on land and in the sea; and not a leaf falls but He knows it; and neither is there a grain in the earth’s deep darkness, nor anything: living or dead, but is recorded in [His] clear decree.


This is a paraphrase of the elliptic expression wa-lakin dhikra (“however, an admonition”).

6:60 And He it is who causes you to be [life] dead at night, and knows what you work in daytime; and He brings you back to life each day in order that a term set [by Him] be fulfilled. In the end, unto Him you must return: and then He will make you understand all that you were doing [in life].


The phrase attakhadhu dinahum la’iban wa-lahwan can be understood in either of two ways: (1) “they have made their religion [an object of] play and fun”, or (2) “they have made a play and fun [or “passing delights”] their religion” – i.e., the main goal of their lives. To my mind, the latter reading is definitely preferable inasmuch as it brings out the fact that many of those who are “beguiled by the life of this world” devote themselves to the pursuit of what the Qur’an describes as “passing delights” – including the pleasures which money and power can provide – with something akin to religious fervor: an attitude of mind which causes them to lose sight of all spiritual and moral values. 


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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