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:
Chapter 47: Surah Muhammad
This is a Medinite surah and including “Bismillah …”, it consists of 39 verses.
Though this surah is very small in terms of its verses, practically a summary of all the past surahs has been given in it, as the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa was a manifestation of all the past Prophets.
Verse 19 relates that all the signs of the approaching of the great spiritual turmoil for which the Holy Prophetsa was sent have appeared, so how will their adhering to advice avail them once this has taken place?
Chapter 48: Surah al-Fath
This surah was revealed on the way back from the Treaty of Hudaibiyya, and including “Bismillah …”, it consists of 30 verses.
Surah Muhammadsa precedes Surah al-Fath, which talks about the very high standing of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa mentioned in verse 11; that is, the status of Prophet Muhammadsa, the Chosen One, is so high that he had submitted himself completely to Allah. For this very reason, his coming was tantamount to the coming of Allah; to swear allegiance at his hand is equal to swearing allegiance at Allah the Almighty’s hand. As it states:
اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ يُبَايِعُوۡنَكَ اِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُوۡنَ اللّٰهَ ؕ يَدُ اللّٰهِ فَوۡقَ اَيۡدِيۡهِمۡ
That is, “Verily, those who swear allegiance to you indeed swear allegiance to Allah. The hand of Allah is over their hands.” [Ch.48: V.11]
The subject of allegiance to Allah the Almighty has been reiterated in verse 19, when, on the occasion of the Treaty of Hudaibiyya, the believers renewed their oath of allegiance at the hand of the Holy Prophetsa under a tree. Along with that, a promise was also made that the uneasiness the Companionsra experienced for not being able to perform Hajj was absolutely removed, and they were granted absolute comfort, and that which was taken to be a superficial defeat – i.e. the inability to enter Mecca – laid the foundation for all future triumphs, which included near triumph as well as triumphs later in future.
At the end, a promise has been given to the believers that the dream of the Holy Prophetsa would definitely come true with truth. And the Companionsra would testify to the fact that while performing the Hajj rites, they would enter the holy city of Mecca, and this triumph of Mecca would be a harbinger to the triumph of the whole of mankind.
After Surah Muhammadsa, the name of the Holy Prophetsa appears in the current surah as well. The prophecy of Hazrat Mosesas was also related wherein the advent of the Holy Prophetsa was mentioned with his name, Muhammad, and all those merits were mentioned that were destined for that great majestic Prophet and his Companions.
Next, a prophecy of the Gospels is also related. That is to say, the prophecy of the advent of the Holy Prophetsa was made not only in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament as well by Hazrat Jesusas, which is a manifestation of his beneficence. And its similitude has been given with a farmland which will not be ruined by the evil intentions of any arrogant person. And not one, but many زُرَّاع [farmers] would cultivate that farmland.
Chapter 49: Sura al-Hujurat
This surah was revealed at Medina after the Fall of Mecca, and including “Bismillah …”, it consists of 19 verses.
Having mentioned the ranks of majesty and loveliness of the Holy Prophetsa in the preceding surah, the current surah lays down the responsibilities of the Companionsra. That is, it does not behove them to talk to this great Prophet with their eyes raised, nor in a high tone. Thus, those who bothered the Holy Prophetsa to come out of his house by calling out to him from a distance have been severely reprimanded.
Thereafter, in verse 10, the best strategy has been outlined for the Muslim states in future in case of mutual disagreements. The point to be noted is that in the time of the Holy Prophetsa, there was no question of Muslim states fighting each other. Thus, in this noble verse, in fact, a wonderful charter for reconciliation has been proposed which is useful not only for the Muslims but for the non-Muslim nations as well in case of their mutual disagreements. Its main features are as follows:
1. In the case of two Muslim states fighting each other, it is the duty of other Muslim states that together they must stop them from fighting. If one of them fails to heed the advice, it should be forced to comply by military measures.
2. Once they desist fighting, then seek to bring about reconciliation between them.
3. But when you seek reconciliation, do it with full equity, and render justice to both the parties; because the final result thereof is that Allah the Almighty loves the just. And Allah Almighty does not allow His beloved ones to fail.
Once again, it has been admonished that though it is an address to the Muslims, the method outlined for them may be followed by all mankind.
Next, the main reason behind mutual disagreements and division declared is racism. When one nation derides the other, they do so on account of deeming themselves as of distinct and superior race.
Thereafter, various other social evils have been laid down which cause division.
Next, it has been explained as to why Allah the Almighty has created mankind in various colours and tribes. The philosophy behind this is not to express superiority over each other, but for convenience to know each other. For instance, when it is said that somebody is an American or German, it is not because the American nation or German nation is superior to all other nations, but it is only for identification.
Chapter 50: Surah Qaf
This surah was revealed in the early Meccan period and including “Bismillah …”, it consists of 46 verses.
This surah starts with the abbreviated letter ق [qaf]. Renowned scholars believe that ق is an abbreviation of the word قدير [Qadeer – the Mighty God], and the first word that follows it is “Quran”, which starts with the very letter ق [qaf].
Next, the statement of the deniers of the power of Allah is recorded, that how can Allah the Almighty have the power to bring them together once again on Judgment Day after they have become dust after death. For them, it was something far from possible, i.e. beyond comprehension. Allah the Almighty says, “We know how much the earth diminishes of them, but despite this, We have the power to bring their dispersed particles together. Their attention has been drawn towards the vastness of the sky that they will fail to point out even a single flaw in such a massive universe; then how can they deny the powers of its Creator?”
Next, Allah says, “We are fully aware of the misgivings that arise in their mind because We are nearer to man than even his jugular vein.”
Then, a prophecy is made: “Surely they will be raised, and along with them, there will be someone to drive them and someone as a witness.”
Discussing Hell, Allah says, “The faithless people are going to become the fuel of Hell one after the other, in groups; a Hell that will never be satiated.”
Metaphorically speaking, when Allah will ask it, “Have you been satisfied?”, Hell will reply, “Are there any more unfortunate ones? I have enough room for them as well.”
Contrary to this, Heaven will be brought nearer to the righteous. The words, غَيۡرَ بَعِيۡدٍ [“not far”] may also imply that it is not beyond imagination. Thus, the Holy Prophetsa was exhorted to bear their reproaches with patience. The prophecies made in the Noble Quran will definitely be fulfilled. “Thus, exhort the one who takes My warning seriously by the Holy Quran.”
It does not signify here that the Holy Prophetsa will exhort people by selecting only those who take the warning seriously. He is exhorting the whole of mankind, but only they will benefit those who fear the warning.
Chapter 51: Surah al-Dhariyat
This surah is one of the early Meccan surahs. Including “Bismillah …”, it consists of 61 verses.
In the very beginning of the current surah, the prophecies of the previous surahs, which include the prophecies about Hell and Heaven, have been stated as definitely as the addressees of the Quran talk to each other.
In this noble surah, future wars have been called to bear witness so that when mankind witnesses the certain fulfilment of these prophecies, they should have no doubt that the Messenger, to whom this secret was disclosed, was given information about life after death by God Who has the knowledge of the unseen.
It says, “By those that scatter the seeds”. This prophecy has seen word-for-word fulfilment in the literal sense as well. Indeed, seeds are scattered in this age by aeroplanes and helicopters. The planes fly carrying very huge loads; and in spite of these loads, they are swift. And by means of these planes, important information is delivered to various predominant as well as conquered and oppressed nations. Presenting them all as bearers of witness, it has been concluded that “the promise you have been given is certainly going to come true.” The day of reward and punishment, i.e. Judgment Day, for the worldly people in the world as well as for the mankind in general in the Hereafter will come.
Next, it is explained that those things that scatter seeds and carry loads are not entities that carry loads and traverse the earth; rather they are soaring entities. Thus, the sky with air routes has been presented as a witness. Accordingly, if you look at the sky, you will find air tracks everywhere. Thus, the conclusion reached is that “you have badly gone astray by denying the Hereafter.”
If these accounts which the Holy Prophetsa gave were mere conjecture, God forbid, then the conjecturers have all perished, but this Prophetsa is to stay forever.
This Word is a specimen of eloquence. After the mention of those that scatter seeds from the sky, attention has been drawn to the point that “all means of your sustenance descend from Heaven”. But there is another heavenly sustenance which is beyond the ken of man, and the angels also are provided with the same sustenance.
Thus, the account of the guests of Hazrat Abrahamas is given who were angels and appeared before him in human form. When Hazrat Abrahamas offered them the best food which is a means of sustenance for human life, they refused to eat it because the food which is provided to them is of a different type. The account of many other past Prophets has also been given after the account of Hazrat Abrahamas.
Next follows a verse that mentions that Heaven is ever-expanding, which no man in the time of the Holy Prophetsa had imagined. In this age, astronomers have presented this reality that space is ever-expanding and that having reached an اجل مسمّٰي [appointed term], it will again return back to its centre.
The subject of sustenance has been presented in this sense also that all human or heavenly bodies do require some kind of sustenance. Only one being does not stand in need of any sustenance, and that is Allah, Who is the Sustainer for everything.
Chapter 52: Surah al-Tur
This surah is one of the early Meccan surahs and including “Bismillah …”, it consists of 50 verses.
This surah also starts with heavenly testimonies. The testimony of the Tur [Mount] is first presented, whereon Hazrat Mosesas was informed about a much greater Prophet than him, i.e. the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. Next, a vow of such a composed book has been given which was written on wide parchments. In the olden times, people used to write on parchments, which is why about that book it has been stated that it was written on parchments. And this very book contains the prophecy about the House of Allah, which will be filled with the righteous and spiritual. And once again, the firmament with an elevated roof has been presented as a witness, as well as the surging sea between both of which water has been subjected, which supports life.
Having mentioned all these heavenly testimonies, Allah the Almighty warns that the day is nigh when Heaven will be in a state of terrific commotion, and world superpowers – who are like the mountains – will be uprooted and scattered all over the world, then those who reject the truth will be annihilated terribly that day.
Next, the culprits are promised of Hell, whereas the righteous are given the good news of Paradise. Thus, directing the Holy Prophetsa for continuous exhortation, Allah the Almighty testifies that “O Prophet! Neither your discourses are meaningless like that of a soothsayer, nor are you a madman because your personal discourse and the Word revealed to you absolutely deny both of these. Therefore, in order to deliver the command of your Lord, for His sake, wait patiently. You are before Our eyes, i.e. constantly you are under Our protection. And glorify Allah the Almighty with His praise, whether you rise up for day prayer or worship at night. And also keep busy in glorifying your Lord when the stars have set.”
(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 by Shahid Mahmood Ahmad, missionary in Ghana)