It is derived frog the sentence, wa amru-hum shura baina hum,
of verse 38, implying thereby that it is a Surah in which the
word shura has occurred.
Period of Revelation
Although it could not be known from any authentic traditions,
yet one feels after a study of its subject matter that this
Surah might have been sent down consecutively after Ha-Miim
As Sajdah, for it seems to be, in a way, a supplement to it.
This will become clear to every person who first studies Surah
Ha-Mim As Sajdah carefully and then goes through this Surah.
He will see that in that Surah the Quraish chiefs had been
taken to tack for their deaf and blind opposition so that anyone
in Makkah and in its out-skirts, who had any sense of morality
and nobility left in him, should know how unreasonably the
chiefs of the people were opposing Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's
peace), and as against them, how serious he was in everything
he said, how rational was his standpoint and how noble his
character and conduct.
Immediately after that warning this Surah was sent down, which
did full justice to teaching and instruction, and made the
truth of the Holy Prophet's message plain in such an impressive
way that anyone who had any element of the love of the truth
in him and who had not been blinded by the errors of ignorance,
could not help being influenced by it.
Theme and Subject Matter
The discourse begins in a way as if to say:"Why are you expressing
surprise and amazement at what Our Prophet is presenting before
you?What he says is not new or strange, nor anything novel,
which might have been presented for the first time in history:
that Revelation should come down to a man from God and he should
be given instructions for the guidance of mankind. Allah has
been sending similar Revelations with similar instructions
to the former Prophets before this.
It is not surprising that the Owner of the Universe should
be acknowledged as Deity and Ruler, but what is strange is
that one should accept another as divine and deity in spite
of being His subject and slave. You are being angry with him
who is presenting Tauhid before you, where as the shirk that
you are practising with regard to the Master of the Universe
is such a grave crime as may cause the heavens to break asunder.
The angels are amazed at this boldness of yours and fear that
the wrath of Allah might descend on you any moment."
After this the people have been told that a person's being
appointed to Prophethood and his presenting himself as a Prophet
does not mean that he has been made master of the people's
destinies and he has come to the world with that very claim.
Allah has kept the destinies in His own hand.
The Prophet has come only to arouse the heedless and guide
the strayed ones to the Right Path. To call to account those
who do not listen to him and to punish or not to punish them
is Allah's own responsibility. and not part of the Prophet's
work. Therefore, they should take it out of their head that
the Prophet has come with a claim similar to those that are
made by their so called religious guides and saints to the
effect that he who would not listen to them, or would behave
insolently towards them, would be burnt to death: In this very
connection, the people have also been told that the Prophet
has not come to condemn them but he is their well wisher; he
is warning them that the way they are following will only lead
to their own destruction.
Then, an answer has been given to the question: Why didn't
Allah make all human beings righteous by birth, and why did
He allow the difference of viewpoint owing to which the people
start following each and every way of thought and action?The
answer given is this: Owing to this very fact has it become
possible for man to attain to the special mercy of Allah, which
is not meant for other dumb creatures, but is only meant for
those endowed with power and authority, who should take Allah
as Patron and Guardian not instinctively but consciously by
Allah supports the man who adopts this way and guides and helps
him to do good and right and admits him into His special mercy.
On the contrary, the man who misuses his option and makes his
patron those who are not, in fact, the guardians, and cannot
be, are deprived of divine mercy. In this connection, it has
also been made clear that only Allah is the Patron of man and
of all other creatures. Others are neither the patron nor have
the power to do full justice to patronage. Man's success depends
only on this that he should make no mistake in choosing a patron
for himself by the use of his free choice, and should take
only Him his Guide Who, in reality, is the real Patron.
After this, it has been explained what the Din being presented
by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) really
Its primary basis that as Allah Almighty is the Creator, Master
and real Patron of the Universe and Man, He alone is Man's
Ruler, He alone has the right to give Man Faith (Din) and Law
(system of belief and practice) and judge the disputes of man
and tell what is Truth and what is falsehood. No other being
has any right whatever to be man's lawgiver.
In other words, like the natural sovereignty, the sovereignty
with regard to lawmaking also is vested only in Allah. No man
or creature, apart from Allah, can be the bearer of this sovereignty.
And if a person does not recognize and accept this Divine rule
of Allah, it is merely futile for him to recognize the natural
sovereignty of Allah.
On this very basis has Allah ordained a Din (True Religion)
for Man from the very beginning. It was one and the same Religion
that was vouchsafed in every age to all the Prophets. No Prophet
ever founded any separate religion of his own. The same one
Religion has been enjoined by Allah for all Mankind since the
beginning of creation, and all the Prophets have been following
it and inviting others to follow it.
This Religion and Creed was not sent so that man may rest content
only with believing in it, but it was sent with the purpose
and intention that it alone should be introduced, established
and enforced in the world, and no man made religion be made
to prevail in Allah's earth apart from His Religion. The Prophets
had not been appointed only to preach this Religion but to
establish it particularly in the world.
This same was the original Religion of mankind, but after the
death of the Prophets, selfish people created new creeds by
creating schisms for vested interests due to selfconceit, vanity
and ostentation. All the different religions and creeds found
in the world today have resulted from corruption of the original
Now, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace,)
has been sent so that he may present before the people the
same and original Religion in place of the various practices
and artificial creeds and man made religions, and may try to
establish the same. On this, if instead of being grateful,
you feel angry and come out to fight him, it is your folly;
the Prophet will not abandon his mission only because of your
foolishness. He has been enjoined to adhere to his faith at
all costs and to carry out the mission to which he has been
appointed. Therefore, the people should not cherish any false
hope that in order to please thee he would cater to the same
whims and superstitions of ignorance which has corrupted Allah's
You do not understand how great an impudence it is against
Allah to adopt a man made religion and law instead of the Religion
and Law enjoined by Allah. You think it is an ordinary thing
and there is nothing wrong with it. But in the sight of Allah
it is the worst kind of shirk and a grave crime whose punishment
will be imposed on all those who enforced their own religion
on Allah's earth and those who adopted and followed their religion.
Thus, after presenting a clear and visible concept of Religion
it is said:"The best possible method that could be employed
for your instruction and for bringing you to the Right Path
has already been employed. On the one hand, Allah has sent
down His Book, which is teaching you the truth in a most impressive
way in your own language; and on the other, the lives of the
Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) aud his
Companions are present before you by which you can see for
yourselves what kind of men are prepared by the guidance given
in this Book.
Even then if you do not accept this guidance, nothing else
in the world can bring you to the Right Path. The only alternative,
therefore, is that you should be allowed to persist in the
same error in which you have remained involved for centuries,
and made to meet with the same doom which has been destined
by Allah for such wrongdoers."
While stating these truths, brief arguments have been given,
here and there, for Tauhid and the Hereafter, the world worshipers
have been warned of the evil consequences and their punishment
in the life hereafter, and the disbelievers have been criticized
for the moral weaknesses, which were the real cause of their
deviation from the truth. The Surah has been concluded with
two important themes.
First, that the Holy Prophet was wholly unaware of this concept
of the "Book" or the True Faith during the first forty years
of his life and then his sudden appearance before the people
with those two things, is a manifest proof of his being a Prophet.
Secondly, his presenting his own teaching as the teaching of
God does not mean that he claims to have spoken to God, face
to face, but God has conveyed to him this Guidance, as in the
case of all other Prophets, in three ways: He speaks to His
Prophets either through Revelation, or from behind a veil,
or He sends an angel with the message. This thing was clarified
so that the opponents did not have an opportunity of accusing
the Holy Prophet of claiming to have spoken to God, face to
face, and the lovers of the truth should know by what methods
Allah gave instruction to the man whom He had appointed to
the mission of Prophethood.