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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 57 (Al-Hadid- Iron) > Section 4 (Verses 26 to 29)


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Section/Ruku 4 [Verses 26 to 29]: Double reward for believers:
Chapter 57: (Al-Hadid: Iron)
(Revealed at Madinah: 4 sections; 29 verses)

1. Translation:

26 And certainly We sent Noah and Abraham, and We gave prophethood and the Book to their offspring; so among them is he who goes aright, but most of them are transgressors.

27 Then We made Our messengers to follow in their footsteps, and We made Jesus son of Mary to follow, and We gave him the Gospel. And We put compassion and mercy in the hearts of those who followed him. And (as for) monkery, they innovated it — We did not prescribe it to them — only to seek Allah’s pleasure, but they did not observe it with its due observance.a So We gave those of them who believed their reward, but most of them are transgressors.

28 O you who believe, keep your duty to Allah and believe in His Messenger — He will give you two portions of His mercy,a and give you a light in which you shall walk, and forgive you. And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful —

29 That the People of the Book may know that they control naught of the grace of Allah, and that grace is in Allah’s hand. He gives it to whom He pleases. And Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.a

 2. Commentary:

27a. There is no monkery in Islam, is a well-known saying of the Holy Prophet, quite in accordance with this verse, which states that even among the Christians monkery is an institution which was introduced by themselves, not being a Divine ordinance. It is added, however, that their object in adopting this innovation was to seek Divine pleasure. The Muslims were now becoming a great nation, and as they were brought up in the utmost simplicity, and were also enjoined to disdain the gaiety of this life, they are told that their greatness as a nation depended upon the development of all their faculties, so that they, while retaining their simplicity of life, should not stoop to practices like that of monkery. They are thus first told that they should not run after the gaieties of the world and make the amassing of wealth the pursuit of their life (v. 20), and now they are reminded that they should neither go to the other extreme and give up worldly pursuits, and adopt such practices as monkery. They are thus required to keep the balance between the material and moral sides of life. [Back to verse 27]

28a. By the two portions of mercy are meant their portion in this world and their portion in the Hereafter. A Muslim is thus required to enjoy the worldly benefits but not to the neglect of his moral responsibilities, to take advantage of the material benefits without retarding his spiritual advancement. Islam offers a contrast with Christian civilisation, which started with monkery and has ended in engrossment in the world to the utter neglect of the spiritual side. The history of Islam on the other hand shows temporal and spiritual advancement going hand in hand from the days of the Prophet. And it is to this contrast that attention is called in these verses. In fact it is thus pointed out that the only lasting civilisation is the civilisation of Islam, which offers a middle course, and chalks out a way, by walking in which man can attain material along with spiritual advancement. Hence the next verse speaks clearly of the People of the Book. [Back to verse 28]

29a. The People of the Book or the Christians are here told that they do not control Allah’s grace. They wanted first to control Allah’s spiritual grace by their monkery, but failed. Later, they have tried to control the material grace or the temporal bounties of God by their entire engrossment in worldly pursuits, but even their material advancement is leading to their ruin, because it is not being balanced by spiritual progress. [Back to verse 29]

 

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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 57 (Al-Hadid- Iron) > Section 4 (Verses 26 to 29)


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