English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 25: Al-Furqan — The Criterion (Revealed at Makkah: 6 sections, 77 verses)

Section 5 (Verses 25:45–25:60): A Lesson from Nature

Translation:

25:45 Do you not see how your Lord extends the shade? And if He pleased, He would have made it stationary. Then We have made the sun an indication of it,
25:46 then We take it to Ourselves, taking little by little.1
25:47 And He it is Who made the night a covering for you, and sleep a rest, and He made the day to rise up again.
25:48 And He it is Who sends the winds as good news before His mercy; and We send down pure water from the clouds,
25:49 that We may give life with it to a dead land, and give it for drink to cattle and many people that We have created.2
25:50 And certainly We repeat this to them that they may be mindful, but most people only consent to denying.
25:51 And if We pleased, We could raise a warner in every town.3
25:52 So do not obey the disbelievers, and strive against them a mighty striving with it.4
25:53 And He it is Who has made the two seas to flow freely, the one sweet, very sweet, and the other saltish, bitter. And between the two He has made a barrier and inviolable obstruction.5
25:54 And He it is Who has created man from water, then He has made for him blood-relationship and marriage-relationship.6 And your Lord is ever Powerful.
25:55 And they serve besides Allah that which can neither benefit them, nor harm them. And the disbeliever is ever an aider against his Lord.7
25:56 And We have not sent you but as a giver of good news and as a warner.
25:57 Say: I ask of you no reward for it except that whoever wishes may take a way to his Lord.
25:58 And rely on the Ever-Living Who does not die, and celebrate His praise. And sufficient is He as being Aware of His servants’ sins,
25:59 Who created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six periods, and He is established on the Throne of Power, the Beneficent. So ask respecting Him one aware.8
25:60 And when it is said to them: Be submissive to the Beneficent, they say: And what is the Beneficent? Shall we be submissive to what you order us? And it adds to their aversion.Prostration

Commentary:

  1. This and the previous verse show that Allah deals mercifully with His servants. He would not destroy them all at once. The sun of righteousness had risen, and there were clear indications that the shadows of darkness would dis­appear, but, as in physical nature, they would not disappear suddenly, but gradually, dimini­shing little by little.
  2. The mercy of Allah, which appears in the form of rain in physical nature, comes spiritually in the form of revelation. As the pure water from the clouds gives life to a dead land, so does the pure water of revelation from Him raise the spiritually dead to life.
  3. The companions of the Holy Prophet no doubt had this in mind when they spread far and wide, taking his message and warning to every distant town. It should, however, be noted that the verse does not contradict the statement in 35:24, and elsewhere, that a prophet was raised among every nation. The chapter opens with the statement that the Prophet was a warner to all nations. The state­ment made here shows that, if God had pleased, He would have raised a warner in every town, but the oneness of humanity, which was a grand object following upon the Oneness of God, could not have thus been brought about. Hence the verse that follows requires a hard striving on the part of the Prophet and his follo­wers for this grand achievement.
  4. This verse affords a clear proof of the significance of the word jihād, as used in the Quran. Every exertion to spread the Truth is, according to this verse, a jihād; in fact, it is called the jihād kabīr (“mighty striving”) or the great jihād. Fighting in defence of religion received the name of jihād, because under the circumstances it became necessary for the Truth to live and prosper; if fight­ing had not been permitted, Truth would surely have been uprooted. The commen­tators all accept this significance of the word here. It should be noted that the greatest jihād which a Muslim can carry on is one by means of the Quran, to which the personal pronoun it at the end of the verse unquestionably refers, because such jihād must be carried on by every Muslim under all circumstances.
  5. Apparently the reference is to the sweet-water rivers flowing on earth or underground and to the saltish sea-water. But there is a deeper reference to the two lives which man leads on earth, a sweet life of faith and goodness, which brings satisfaction and peace to the mind, and a bitter life of faithlessness and wickedness, which ever increases the thirst for material gains and never brings satisfaction to the mind of man. Both existed in the world side by side, and so they would continue.
  6. The passage seems to hint at the flight to Madinah. The Prophet was related to the Makkans through his father, and to the Madinans through his mother. As his blood-relations had persecuted him and were bent upon killing him, he is now reminded of his relationship through marriage to another people. It was no doubt due to some such hint in the Divine revelation that the Prophet was searching, on the occasion of the pilgrimage, for adherents among the people of Madinah.
  7. The disbeliever aided the cause of untruth, as against his Lord, while the Prophet aimed at establishing the Truth in the world.
  8. The one aware is the Prophet, who possessed true knowledge of God.

Top