Chapter Scripts

Surah Ar-Rum: 30:21-30

30:21 And among His wonders is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you might incline towards them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you: in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think!


i.e., slaves or persons otherwise subject to one’s authority.

30:22 And among his wonders is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your tongues and colours, for in this, Behold, there are messages indeed for all who are possessed of [innate] knowledge!


Lit., “yourselves” – i.e., “those who are equal to you in status”. The question is, of course, rhetorical, and must be answered in the negative. But if (so the implied argument goes) a human master would not willingly accept his slaves as full-fledged partners – even though master and slave are essentially equal by virtue of the humanness common to both of them (Zamakhshari) – how can man regard any created beings or things as equal to Him who is their absolute Lord and Master, and is beyond comparison with anything that exists or could ever exist? (Parables ‘with a similar purport are found in 16:75-76.

30:23 And among His wonders is your sleep, at night or in the daytime, as well as your [ability to go about in] quest of some of His bounties, in this, Behold, there are messages indeed for people who farewelling to] listen!


In this instance, the phrase alladhina zalamu (“they who are bent on evildoing”) relates to those who deliberately ascribe divinity or divine powers to anyone or anything besides God, thus yielding to a desire for divine or semi-divine “mediators” between themselves and Him. Inasmuch as such a desire offends against the concept of God’s omniscience and omnipresence, its very existence shows that the person concerned does not really believe in Him and, therefore, does not have the least knowledge of the truth.

30:24 And among His wonders is this, He displays before you the lightning, giving rise to [both] fear and hope, and sends down water from the skies, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless, in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who use their reason!


For an explanation of God’s “letting a man go astray”, see note 4 on the second sentence of 14:4, as well as note 7 on 2:7.

30:25 And among His wonders is this: the skies and the earth stand firm at His behest. [Remember all this, for] at the end, when He will call you forth from the earth with a single call – lo! you will [all] emerge [for judgment].


i.e., “surrender thy whole being”; the term “face” is often used metonymically in the sense of one’s “whole being”.

30:26 For, unto Him belongs every being that is in the heavens and on earth, all things devoutly obey His will.


For this rendering of hanif, see note 110 on 2:135.

30:27 And He it is who creates [all life] in the first instance and then brings it forth anew, and most easy is this for Him, since His is the essence of all that is most sublime in the heavens and on earth, and He alone is almighty, truly wise.


See 7:172 and the corresponding note 139. The term fitrah, rendered by me as “natural disposition”, connotes in this context man’s inborn, intuitive ability to discern between right and wrong, true and false, and, thus, to sense God’s existence and oneness. Cf. the famous saying of the Prophet, quoted by Bukhiri and Muslim: “Every child is born in this natural disposition; it is only his parents that later turn him into a ‘Jew’, a ‘Christian’, or a ‘Magian’.” These three religious formulations, best known to the contemporaries of the Prophet, are thus contrasted with the “natural disposition” which, by definition, consists in man’s instinctive cognition of God and self-surrender (islam) to Him. (The term “parents” has here the wider meaning of “social influences or environment”).

30:28 He propounds unto you a parable drawn from your own life: Would you [agree to) have some of those Whom your right hands possess as [full-fledged] partners in whatever We may have bestowed upon you as sustenance, so that you [and they] would have equal shares in it, and you would fear [to make use of it without consulting] them, just as you might fear [the more powerful of] your equals? Thus clearly do We spell out these messages unto people who use their reason.


Lit., “no change shall there be [or “shall be made”] in God’s creation (khalq)”, i.e., in the natural disposition referred to above (Zamakhshari). In this context, the term tabdil (“change”) obviously comprises the concept of “corruption”.

30:29 But nay – they who are bent on evildoing follow but their own desires, without having any knowledge [of the truth] – And who could guide those whom God has [thus] let go astray, and who [thereupon] have none to succour them?


See 6:159, 21:92-93 and 23:52-53, as well as the corresponding notes.

30:30 And So, set thy face steadfastly towards the [one ever-true] faith, turning away from all that is false, in accordance with the natural disposition which God has instilled into man [for] not to allow any change to corrupt what God has thus created – this is the [purpose of the one] ever true faith, but most people know it not.


See note 61 on 16:54.


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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