Chapter Scripts

Surah Al-Ahqaf 46:11-20

46:11 But they who are bent on denying the truth speak thus of those who have attained to faith “If this [message] were any good, these [people] would not have preceded us in accepting it!” And since they refuse to be guided by it, they will always say, “This is [but] an ancient falsehood!”

Explanation

i.e., “What will happen to all of us in this world” (Tabari, quoting with approval this interpretation of Al-Hasan al-Basri), or “both in this world and in the hereafter” (Baydawi): Either of these two interpretations implies a denial on the Prophet’s part of any foreknowledge of the future and, in a wider sense, any knowledge of “that which is beyond the reach of human perception” (al-ghayb): cf. 6:50 or 7:188.

46:12 And yet, before this there was the revelation of Moses, a guide and a [sign of God’s] grace, and this [Qur’an] is a divine writ confirming the truth [of the Torah] in the Arabic tongue, to warn those who are bent on evildoing, and [to bring] a glad tiding to the doers of good. 

Explanation

i.e., a prophet like himself. The “witness” spoken of here is evidently Moses: cf. the two Biblical passages relating to the advent of the Prophet Muhammad (Deuteronomy xviii, 15 and 18): “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me”; and “I will raise them up a Prophet from among thy brethren, like unto thee, and will put My words in his mouth.” (See in this connection note 33 on 2:42).

46:13 For, Behold, all who say, “Our Sustainer is God”, and thereafter stand firm [in their faith] – no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve. 

Explanation

Lit., “towards it”. Almost all of the classical commentators assume that this refers, specifically, to the contempt with which the pagan Quraysh looked down upon the early followers of Muhammad, most of whom came from the poorest, lowliest strata of Meccan society. However, the above “saying” has undoubtedly a timeless import inasmuch as the poor and lowly have always been among the first to follow a prophet. Moreover, it may also have a bearing on our times as well, inasmuch as the materially powerful nations, whom their technological progress has blinded to many spiritual verities, are increasingly contemptuous of the weakness of those civilizations in which religion still plays an important, albeit largely formalistic, role; and so, not realizing that this very formalism and the ensuing cultural sterility, and not religious faith as such, is the innermost cause of that weakness, they attribute it to the influence of religion per se, saying as it were, “If religion were any good, we would have been the first in holding on to it” – thus “justifying” their own materialistic attitude and their refusal to be guided by spiritual considerations.

46:14 It is they who are destined for paradise, therein to abide as a reward for all that they have done.

Explanation

i.e., the concept of divine revelation as such, as is evident from the subsequent reference to the revelation of Moses.

46:15 Now [among the best of the deeds which] We have enjoined upon man is goodness towards his parents. In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth, and her bearing him and his utter dependence on her took thirty months. And so, when he attains to full maturity and reaches forty years, he [that is righteous] prays “O my Sustainer! Inspire me so that I may forever be grateful for those blessings of Thine with which Thou hast graced me and my parents, and that I may do what is right [in a manner] that will meet with Thy goodly acceptance, and grant me righteousness in my offspring [as well]. Verily, unto Thee have I turned in repentance, For, Verily, I am of those who have surrendered themselves unto Thee!”

Explanation

Sc., in its original, uncorrupted form.

46:16 It is [such as] these from whom We shall accept the best that they ever did, and whose bad deeds We shall overlook, [they will find themselves] among those who are destined for paradise, in fulfillment of the true promise which they were given [in this world].

Explanation

Cf. 29:8 and 31:14. In the present instance, this connects with the reference to the “doers of good” at the end of verse 12 and in verses 13-14.

46:17 But [there is many a one] who says to his parents [whenever they try to imbue him with faith in God] “Fie upon both of you! Do you promise me that I shall be brought forth [from the dead], although [so many] generations have passed away before me?” And [while] they both pray for God’s help [and say], “Alas for thee! For, behold, God’s promise always comes true!” – he but answers, “All this is nothing but fables of ancient times!”

Explanation

See note 14 on 31:14.

46:18 It is [such as] these upon whom the sentence [of doom] will fall due, together with the [other sinful] communities of invisible beings and humans that have passed away before their time.  Verily, they will be lost. 

Explanation

i.e., the age at which man is supposed to attain full intellectual and spiritual maturity. It is to be borne in mind that the masculine noun insan (“man” or “human being”) appearing in the first sentence of this verse applies to both sexes alike.

46:19 For, [in the life to come] all shall have their degrees in accordance with whatever [good or evil] they did, and so, He will repay them in full for their doings, and none shall be wronged.

Explanation

Sc., “of whatever sin I may have committed”. See note 41 on the last sentence of 24:31.

46:20 And on the Day when those who were bent on denying the truth will be brought within sight of the fire, [they will be told] “You have exhausted your [share of] good things in your worldly life, having enjoyed them [without any thought of the hereafter], and so today you shall be requited with the suffering of humiliation for having gloried on earth in your arrogance, offending against all that is right, and for ill your iniquitous doings!”

Explanation

i.e., “whom We shall reward in accordance with the best that they ever did”: cf. 29:7.

Back to top button