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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 56 (Al-Waqi‘ah- The Event) > Section 3 (Verses 75 to 96)


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Section/Ruku 3 [Verses 75 to 96]: Judgment is inevitable:
Chapter 56: (Al-Waqi‘ah: The Event)
(Revealed at Makkah: 3 sections; 96 verses)

1. Translation:

75 But nay, I swear by revelation of portions (of the Qur’an)!—
a

76 And it is a great oath indeed, if you knew —

77 Surely it is a bounteous Qur’an,

78 In a book that is protected,

79 Which none touches save the purified ones.a

80 A revelation from the Lord of the worlds.

81 Is it this announcement that you disdain?

82 And make your denial your means of subsistence.a

83 Why is it not then that when it comes up to the throat,

84 And you at that time look on —

85 And We are nearer to it than you, but you see not —

86 Why then, if you are not held under authority,

87 Do you not send it back, if you are truthful?a

88 Then if he is one of those drawn nigh (to Allah),

89 Then happiness and bounty and a Garden of bliss.

90 And if he is one of those on the right hand,

91 Then peace to thee from those on the right hand.

92 And if he is one of the rejecters, the erring ones,

93 He has an entertainment of boiling water,

94 And burning in hell.

95 Surely this is a certain truth.

96 So glorify the name of thy Lord, the Incomparably Great.

 2. Commentary:

75a. The meaning adopted is in consonance with the context. As to nujum, meaning portions of the Qur’an, see 53:1a, where this verse also is explained. Mawaqi‘ is the plural of mauqa‘, i.e., the time or place of the coming down of a thing, which is the revelation of the Qur’an in this case. V. 77 makes it clear that it is the revelation of the Qur’an, for it is to this that the personal pronoun it occurring there refers.

As already stated in 37:1a, the object of an oath in such cases is to draw attention to certain facts. The use of la ("nay") in such cases is explained in 75:2a. The significance is that every portion of the Qur’an bears evidence to its own truth. [Back to verse 75]

79a. Vv. 77, 78 and 79 contain three statements regarding the Qur’an. According to v. 77, it is bounteous. The word karim used here about the Qur’an means generous, liberal, noble or honoured (LL); and you say of land as karumat, meaning it yielded increase of its seed-produce (LL). And karam (the root-word, inf.) means, when used about the Divine Being (and the same is true of His Word and His Prophet), ihsan and in‘am, i.e., doing of good or conferring of benefit (R). The Qur’an is called karim on account of the benefit which it brought to humanity, and hence I render it as meaning bounteous or bountiful. V. 78 speaks of it as being protected, by which is meant not only that it will be protected against all attempts to destroy it, but also that it will be protected in all its purity in writing. V. 79 states that it can be touched only by those purified by God. This shows that an understanding of the Qur’an is granted only to those who are pure in heart. It also shows that the Qur’an should not be touched by one who is impure. Hence the companions were forbidden to carry the Qur’an to an enemy’s country (B. 56:129). Both the verses and this report further show that the Qur’an existed in a written form from the first, otherwise such injunctions as not to touch or travel with it to the enemy’s country would have been meaningless. [Back to verse 79]

82a. The meaning is that you are bent upon giving the lie to the Qur’an to such an extent as if to give it the lie were your means of subsistence, without which you could not live. [Back to verse 82]

87a. Sale and others translate ghaira madinina ("not held under authority") as meaning not to be rewarded or not to be judged, and call the passage obscure. But madinin means mamlukin, i.e., held under authority (LL). The meaning is that, if you are your own masters and not subject to the authority of a Higher Power, why can you not resist death when it comes to you? [Back to verse 87]

 

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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 56 (Al-Waqi‘ah- The Event) > Section 3 (Verses 75 to 96)


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