Chapter Scripts

Surah Al-Jumu’ah 62:1-11

In The Name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace.

62:1 All that is in the heavens and all that is on earth extols the limitless glory of God, the Sovereign Supreme, the Holy, the Almighty, the Wise!


The term “unlettered people” (ummiyun) denotes a nation or community that had not previously had a revealed scripture of their own (Razi). The designation of the Prophet as a man “from among themselves” is meant, in this context, to stress the fact that he, too, was unlettered (ummi) in the primary sense of this word (cf. 7:157 and 158)., and could not, therefore, have “invented” the message of the Qur’an or “derived” its ideas from earlier scriptures.

62:2 He it is Who has sent unto the unlettered people an apostle from among themselves, to convey unto them His messages, and to cause them to grow in purity, and to impart unto them the divine writ as well as wisdom – whereas before that they were indeed, most obviously, lost in error.


i.e., to cause the message of the Qur’an to reach people of other environments and of future times through the medium of the Arabs and their language: thus stressing the universality and timeless validity of all that has been revealed to Muhammad.

62:3 And [to cause this message to spread] from them unto other people as soon as they come into contact with them, for He alone is Almighty, Truly Wise!


Or: “He grants it unto whomever He wills”. Both these formulations are syntactically correct; but since the bounty of God referred to in this passage relates to the divine guidance granted to man through the medium of the revelation bestowed upon God’s Apostle, the construction chosen by me seems to be more appropriate, expressing as it does the idea that the bounty of God’s guidance is always available to one who sincerely desires it.

62:4 Such is God’s bounty, He grants it to anyone who is willing [to receive it], for God is limitless in His great bounty.


Connecting with the idea – implied in the preceding passage – that God’s revelation is a sacred trust as well as a bounty, the discourse turns now to the problem of man’s betrayal of this trust, exemplified by the Jews of post-Biblical times. They had been entrusted by God with the task of carrying the message of His oneness and uniqueness to all the world: but they failed in this task inasmuch as they came to believe that they were “God’s chosen people” because of their descent from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and that, therefore, the divine message was meant for them alone and not for people of other nations. Hence, too, they came to deny the possibility of prophethood being bestowed on anyone who did not belong to the children of Israel (cf. 2:90 and 94, and the corresponding notes 75 and 79), and so they summarily rejected the idea of Muhammad’s prophethood despite the clear predictions of his advent in the Torah itself (see note 33 on 2:42). By thus corrupting the innermost purport of the divine writ bestowed on Moses, they themselves became unable to derive any real spiritual benefit from it and to live up to its teachings.

62:5 The parable of those who were graced with the burden of the Torah, and thereafter failed to bear this burden, is that of an ass that carries a load of books [but cannot benefit from them]. Calamitous is the parable of people who are bent on giving the lie to God’s messages – for God does not bestow His guidance upon such evildoing folk!


i.e., in its present form, estranged from the original purport of the Torah.

62:6 Say “O you who follow the Jewish faith! If you claim that you [alone] are close to God, to the exclusion of all other people, then you should be longing for death – if what you say is true!”


For this and the next verse, cf. 2:94-95.

62:7 But never will they long for it, because [they are aware] of what their hands have wrought in this world, and God has full knowledge of evildoers.


Lit., “of what their hands have sent ahead”.

62:8 Say “Behold, the death from which you are fleeing is bound to overtake you – and then you will be brought back unto Him who knows all that is beyond the reach of a created being’s perception as well as all that can be witnessed by a creature’s senses or mind, whereupon He will make you truly understand all that you were doing [in life].


An allusion to what is said in 2:96.

62:9 O You who have attained to faith! When the call to prayer is sounded on the day of congregation, hasten to the remembrance of God, and leave all worldly commerce, this is for your own good, if you but knew it.


See surah 6, note 65

62:10 And when the prayer is ended, disperse freely on earth11 and seek to obtain [something] of God’s bounty, but remember God often, so that you might attain to a happy state!


i.e., on Friday, when the congregational prayer at noon is obligatory. Nevertheless, as the
sequence shows, Friday is not a day of compulsory rest in Islamic Law.

62:11 Yet [it does happen that] when people become aware of [an occasion for] worldly gain or a passing delight, they rush headlong towards it, and leave thee standing [and preaching]. Say “That which is with God is far better than all passing delight and all gain! And God is the best of providers!”


i.e., “you may devote yourselves to worldly pursuits”.


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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