al-Ma`arij · Juz 29 · Qur'an Tafseer

Surah al-Ma’arij – An Overview

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Period of Revelation: Makkan

Theme and Subject Matter:

Surah al-Ma’arij admonishes and gives warning to the unbelievers who made fun about the coming of Resurrection and the Hereafter, the Heaven and the Hell. They challenged the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that if the Resurrection with which he threatened them is true then he should bring it on. They had become worthy of the punishment in Hell by denying it. This entire Surah is was revealed to answer their denial.

The Surah opens by stating that a demander has demanded a torment, the torment which must befall the deniers. When it takes place, there will be none to prevent it. But it will take place at its own appointed time. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has His own way of doing things, but He is not unjust. Therefore, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was told to have patience at what they said. They deniers think that the Resurrection is far off, but Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sees it as near at hand.

Resurrection which they desire to be hastened out of jest and fun is terrible and when it comes it will cause great distress to the culprits. At that time they will even be prepared to give away their wives and children, the ones for whom they sometimes neglects or disobeys Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and their nearest kinsfolk in ransom to escape the punishment, but they will not be able to escape it.

On that Day the destinies of men will be decided strictly on the basis of their belief and conduct. Those who turned away from the Truth in this world and amassed wealth and withheld it from the needy will be doomed to Hell. On the other hand, those who feared the punishment of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in this world, believed in the Hereafter, kept up their prayers, discharged the rights of the needy out of their wealth, strictly avoided immoral and wicked deeds, practiced honesty in all their dealings, fulfilled their pledges and trust and bore true witness will have a place of honor in Paradise. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala make us from the Ahlul Jannah, aameen.

The Surah ends with warning the unbelievers of Makkah who rushed in upon the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from every side as soon as they saw him to make fun of him. They are being told that if they did not believe, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will replace them with other people better than them. These ayaat also console the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam by saying not to take the mockery and jesting of his opponents to his heart. They should be left indulged in their idle talk and foolish conduct. If they were bent upon experiencing the disgrace and humiliation of the Resurrection then they will themselves see their evil end.   

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