Chapter Scripts

Surah Qaf 50:21-30

50:21 And every human being will come forward with [his erstwhile] inner urges and [his] conscious mind.

Explanation

i.e., man’s evil impulses and appetites cannot gain ascendancy unless his conscious mind goes astray from moral verities: and this explains the purport, in the present context, of verses 24-25 above.

50:22 [And will be told] “Indeed, unmindful hast thou been of this [Day of Judgement], but now We have lifted from thee thy veil, and sharp is thy sight today!”

Explanation

Lit., “brought near to”.

50:23 And one part of him will say “This it is that has been ever-present with me!”

Explanation

See the last sentence of 24:31 and the corresponding note 41.

50:24 [Whereupon God will command] “Cast, cast into hell every [such] stubborn enemy of the truth. 

Explanation

Lit., “the Day of Abiding”.

50:25 [Every] withholder of good [and] sinful aggressor of distrust [between man and man – everyone]. 

Explanation

This connects with verses 12-14 above. It should be borne in mind that in ancient Arabic usage the term qarn – here rendered as “generation” – often denotes “a period of time succeeding another”: hence, a “century”, or “people of one and the same period” and, finally, a “civilization” in the historical sense of this word, That this last significance is intended here becomes evident from the sequence.

50:26 Who has set up another deity beside God, cast him, then, cast him into suffering severe!”

Explanation

Lit., “they wandered searching (naqqabu) in the lands: Is there any place of refuge?” – implying that after the destruction of their civilization they could do no more than striving for bare survival.

50:27 Man’s other self will say, “O our Sustainer! It was not I that led his conscious mind into evil –  [nay] but it had gone far astray [of its own accord]!”

Explanation

Thus Zamakhshari; literally, the phrase reads, “who has a heart”.

50:28 [And] He will say “Contend not before Me, [O you sinners] for I gave you a forewarning [of this Day of Reckoning).

Explanation

Lit., “or lends ear and is withal a witness (wa-huwa shahid)”, which latter phrase Zamakhshari explains as meaning “is present with his intellect”, i.e., with a conscious mind. (Cf. the same use of the term shahid in verse 21.) The conjunctive particle “or” (aw) which precedes the above clause does not signify an alternative but has – as is often the case in Qur’anic usage – an explanatory function, similar to phrases like “that is” or “in other words”, followed by an amplification of what was said before.

50:29 The judgment passed by Me shall not be altered, but never do I do the least wrong unto My creatures!”

Explanation

The whole of this passage (verses 36-38) stresses God’s omnipotence, which can be perceived by “anyone whose heart is wide-awake”. The above reference to God’s having created the universe in six aeons’ is the oldest in the chronology of Qur’anic revelation. In this connection it is to be noted that in ancient Arabic usage the term yawm does not always denote the twenty-four hours of the earthly “day”, but is also applied to any period of time, however long or short. In the cosmic sense in which it is used here and elsewhere in the Qur’an, the plural ayyam is best rendered as “acons”. The mention of the impossibility of God’s ever being “wearied” by the process of creation connects the present passage with verse 15 of this surah and, thus, alludes to God’s power to resurrect the dead.

50:30 On that Day We will ask hell, “Art thou filled?” – and it will answer, “[Nay] is there yet more  [for me]?”

Explanation

Sc., “regarding the alleged ‘impossibility’ of resurrection”.

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