The English translation of the introduction to chapters of the Holy Quran as given by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IVrh is being presented for the benefit of our readers. Insha-Allah, in the coming issues, we will endeavour to publish the introduction to all chapters of the Holy Quran.
81. Surah at-Takwir
This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 30 verses.
Once again, the Holy Quran discloses the great events yet to take place in the world, which will be a testimony to the Hour of Resurrection. The sun has been presented as a witness for when it will be covered, i.e., the enemies of that age will prevent the light of the Holy Prophetsa from reaching mankind, which was meant for their betterment. And their nefarious propaganda will obstruct it. And when the light of the Companionsra will also be made turbid by the opponents. And as in the absence of the sun, the stars give light to some extent, similarly, the light of the Companionsra will be made to vanish from the scene. This will be the time when massive mountains will be made to move, viz., mountain-like massive ships and aeroplanes will be used for travelling and transporting loads; and as compared to them, she-camels will be abandoned like something useless. This will be the time when zoos will be made in abundance. Obviously, zoos did not exist in the time of the Holy Prophetsa, and the present-day zoos also testify that huge animals are transported to them by ships and aeroplanes, and the man of that age could not have even thought of it.
Further, our attention has been drawn probably to naval warfare when ships will be made to sail in abundance. And as a result, people from long distances will be connected together. That is to say, not only beasts but also mankind will be joined. That will be the age of the rule of law, i.e., law will reign over the world so much so that man will not have the authority to wrong even his own children. Ostensibly, law reigns all over the world, but as a result of defiance toward the Divine Law, the law of the world cannot eradicate mischief and disorder from any country. This will be an age of publication of books and magazines in large numbers. And the researchers of space secrets will as if remove the skin of the heavens. On that day, hellfire will be set ablaze, which will be the hell of warfare as well as of heavenly wrath. In spite of this, Paradise will be brought close to those who will abide by the teachings of Allah the Almighty and will adhere to them. Every soul will know what it has produced for the morrow.
In verses 16 and 17, those ships have been presented as witnesses that will recede after their activities and hide in their specified docks. The reason behind this repetition is that it is also a reference to such satanic thoughts that assault the human soul and vanish after the attack. That night has also been cited as a witness that it will finally come to an end and signs of dawn will appear. And finally, this dark night will certainly end at the dawn of Islam.
82. Surah al-Infitar
This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 20 verses.
This Surah also starts with the discussion of stars, but mentions their breaking off instead of losing their light; in that man will be completely deprived of the light of stars in the darkness of night too. And talking about oceans, it has been repeated that it is not only in oceans that ships will sail in large numbers, and to find out their secrets, oceans will be pierced, but on land also archaeologists will excavate the tombs of buried past civilizations. On that day, man will know as to what the earlier people had been sending forth, and what the latter ones are going to send forth.
Discussing the Day of Judgement at the end of the Surah, a subject has been raised in a verse that says that temporary masters in the world are not the real ones, but the real Master is Allah the Almighty, to whom the possession of everything will be returned on the Day of Judgement. And every other soul will be rendered bereft of any possession at all.
83. Surah al-Mutaffifin
This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 37 verses.
In this Surah, once again, man’s attention has been drawn towards ميزان (weight), indicating that they can succeed only when they adhere to justice; not that their measure to take should be different from their measure to give. Through this, an analysis of present-day trade has also been made. Whenever the powerful and richer nations do business with the poorer nations, the latter ones invariably suffer a loss. Allah says, these people do not consider that they will be gathered on a great day of accountability, wherein their business dealings in the world will also be accounted for. This is the Day of Judgement, which was mentioned at the end of the preceding Surah.
In the next verses, a warning has been issued by clearly mentioning the Day of Judgement, in that the disbelievers of the Judgement Day were destroyed in past ages, and will also meet an evil end in the Latter Days as well.
A comparison has been drawn between the inmates of Hell and the inmates of Paradise in the next verses, and they have been warned that on that day those who were deemed disbelievers and were laughed at, jeered at, and winked at mockingly, will laugh at the disbelievers, and they will ask them as to how they fare now.
84. Surah al-Inshiqaq
This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 26 verses.
Continuing with the pattern of the preceding Surahs, once again, great revolutions in the world have been presented as a witness to the Hereafter. Once again, the bursting asunder of heaven is related, which in one sense signifies that various types of calamities will befall.
Next follows the mention of the earth’s spreading out. Apparently, the earth does not seem to be spread out in this world; but at the time of the revelation of the Quran, only half of the earth was known to man, and the rest, by the discovery of the Americas, was intrinsically spread out. And this is the age when the earth will cast out most of her buried secrets; in other words, it will become empty. This new age of scientific development started with the discovery of America.
Next follows the prophecy that when the day will be turning into darkness and then the night will prevail, once again the moon of Islam will rise; that day you will be attaining the final destinations of your stage-by-stage progress.
85. Surah al-Buruj
This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 23 verses.
Its connection with the preceding Surah is that the preceding Surah discussed the new advent of the moon of Islam. When will it take place, and what will be its objective? A point to note is that there are twelve mansions of stars in the heavens; in other words, this prophecy will take twelve hundred years to be fulfilled. And as the moon invokes the witness of the sun, similarly, a coming witness will invoke the witness for whom the witness is borne, i.e., the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. And his devout followers will also join him in bearing this testimony. Their only offence will be that they believed in the one whose advent has taken place. In spite of this, they will be severely persecuted, so much so that they will be burnt in fire, and the onlookers will see it happening without any worry. All these incidents are continuously taking place as it is against devoted Ahmadis in Pakistan.
Towards the end of the Surah it has been emphatically warned that when the earlier peoples also perpetrated such cruelties, they were encompassed by their own cruelties. Thus, by that Quran, which is in a well-guarded tablet, you too are going to face punishment for your crimes.
86. Surah at-Tariq
This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 18 verses.
This Surah further elaborates on the subject of Surah Al-Buruj, and a prophecy has been made that in that dark night, Allah the Almighty will appoint His heavenly guards who will help those persecuted servants. Why man fails to consider that they can only rejoice and boast? So, finally, they will assuredly be seized for their own evil doing. The Holy Prophetsa and his followers of this age are exhorted to let these people play mischief for some more time; finally, they will be seized. Thus, wait and give them some respite.
87. Surah al-A‘la
This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 20 verses.
A glad tiding has been given at the very beginning of this Surah that the name of Allah the Almighty and His chosen ones will emerge victorious. Thus, you are exhorted to keep on admonishing. An admonition may appear to be frustrated in the beginning, but surely it is indeed profitable. Further, addressing man, (Allah) says: You are deprived of admonition because you have given precedence to temporal life over the life after death, whereas the Hereafter is the only abode of welfare and is more lasting.
88. Surah al-Ghashiyah
This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 27 verses.
This Surah gives a description of such regular calamities that will cover, and on that day, faces will be in extreme fear, and toiling and weary. They will enter a blazing fire, and they will have no food save that of dry, thorny herbage, which will neither nourish them nor satisfy their hunger. This is a similitude that refers to the effects of an apparently sweet fruit that grows on a cactus plant and which extremely bothers those who take it.
Next, the entire Surah discusses the events that are to take place in the Hereafter, and finally, it makes mention of the accountability for which man will have to present himself before Allah the Almighty.
At the concluding verse of the Surah, following the practice of the Holy Prophetsa, all the followers behind an imam in prayer invoke, in a relatively loud voice, ‘O Allah! make our accountability easy for us’.
89. Surah al-Fajr
This Surah was revealed in the early period of Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 31 verses.
This Surah is called al-Fajr, and ten nights have been cited as witnesses for dawn, and further two and one more have been cited as witnesses, which makes a total of thirteen. These thirteen years are a reference to the early period of Mecca, after which the dawn of migration was to break.
Numerous other explanations have also been presented for these verses, which include a dawn to break in the Latter Days. But the description of the first dawn is conclusive; therefore, its description is sufficient.
In the rest of the verses of this Surah, mankind has been motivated again and again that whoever will endeavour for the freedom of deprived and oppressed peoples for him is a glad tiding of a great reward. And the greatest glad tidings given in the concluding verse is that he will die in a state in which Allah the Almighty will call him to Himself by saying: O soul! Who was completely satisfied with Me, was not only well-pleased with Me but was مَّرۡضِيَّةً , i.e., I was also well-pleased with him. Now enter among My chosen servants, and enter the Garden which is specifically for My chosen servants.
90. Surah al-Balad
This Surah was revealed in the early period of Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 21 verses.
The nights of Mecca, which have been cited as witnesses in the preceding Surah, the mention of the same Mecca has been started again. Addressing the Holy Prophetsa, Allah the Almighty says that ‘I cite this town as a witness as long as you are in it; once they oust you from this town, it will not remain anymore a town that provides peace.’
Next, future generations have been cited as witnesses to the fact that man has been decreed to toil regularly. Once he is invested with the light of Prophethood, two avenues of worldly and spiritual progress are opened before him. But instead of adopting an avenue of struggle that leads to worldly and spiritual heights, they adopt the easy way of going downhill and go into decline. The subject matter of height has been elaborated here in that it is not a reference to ascending a hill. But when poor peoples are starve-stricken and they are enslaved, at that time, if someone struggles to liberate them and endeavours to help the starving and low people stand on their feet, they are the ones who are to ascend heights. But this goal cannot be achieved in a couple of days. To attain this, one has to continue exercising patience and exhorting patience, and, while continuously being compassionate, they have to exhort compassion.
(Translated from the original introduction of chapters as presented in the Urdu translation of the Holy Quran by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IVrh. Translated into English by Shahid Mahmood Ahmad, missionary in Ghana)