Chapter Scripts

Surah At-Tur 52:1-10

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

52:1 Consider Mount Sinai!

Explanation

For my rendering of the adjurative particle wa as “Consider”, see the first half of note 23 on 74:32. The expression at-tur (lit., “the mountain”) is used in the Qur’an exclusively to denote Mount Sinai, on which Moses received his decisive revelation. In the present context, it signifies, metonymically, revelation as such, to which the next verse calls attention.

52:2 Consider [God’s] revelation, inscribed. 

Explanation

i.e., always open to man’s understanding (Razi).

52:3 On wide-open scrolls.

Explanation

This is a metonym for the fact that ever since the dawn of human consciousness men have persistently – although often but dimly – realized the existence of God and have tried, spurred on by the continuous, direct revelation granted to His prophets, to come closer to Him through worship. Hence, Baydawi regards the expressional-bayt al-ma’mur as a metaphor for the heart of the believer.

52:4 Consider the long-enduring house [of worship]!

Explanation

i.e., “Consider the immensity and wonderful configuration of the visible universe as evidence of a conscious Creator.”

52:5 Consider the vault [of heaven] raised high!

Explanation

This is obviously the meaning of the term sihr in the present context (see surah 74, note 12).

52:6 Consider the surf-swollen sea!  

Explanation

i.e., “you will have to endure it in either case, for it is but a consequence of your own doings and attitudes”: a subtle allusion to the fact that the “punishments” and “rewards” in the life to come are but allegories of the logical consequences of the manner in which one acts or behaves in this life.

52:7 Verily, [O man] the suffering decreed by thy Sustainer [for the sinners] will indeed come to pass. 

Explanation

As explained by Razi in his comments on the above verse as well as on 18:31 and 55:54, the “reclining on couches” or “on carpets” in paradise is a symbol of inner fulfillment and peace of mind; and he points out that this is also alluded to in the identity of the verbal root sarra (“he was [or “became”] happy”) in both the nouns sarir (“happiness”) and sarir (“couch”).

52:8 There is none who could avert it.

Explanation

For an explanation of the expression hur ‘in, see surah 56, note 8.

52:9 [It will come to pass] on the Day when the skies will be convulsed in [a great] convulsion.

Explanation

Implying that the righteousness of their children increases the merit of the parents.

52:10 And the mountains will move with [an awesome] movement.

Explanation

i.e., the righteousness of the parents cannot absolve their offspring from individual responsibility.

President

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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