As-salaam wa-alaikum, brothers and sisters.
Today’s selection concludes Surah 46, Al-Ahqãf or the Winding Sand-Tracts, Verses 21-35. These verses discuss the ancient nation of the ‘Ad, who rejected Allah’s message and faced destruction. A story of a group of jinns is related, who heard the message of Allah and became preachers of his message. Lastly, believers are encouraged to keep on passing the message of God and be patient in the face of the disbelievers.
Tafseer for this Surah is an explanation of the meaning behind the phrase, “Al-Ahqãf”.
Bis-millahi ar-rahman, ar-raheem.
In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful.
Remember the story of the Prophet Hüd, one of the ‘Ad’s (own) brethren. Behold, he warned his people about the winding Sand-Tracts. But there have been warners before him and after him who said, “Worship none other than Allah.: truly I fear for you the penalty of a might day. They replied: “Have you come to turn us away from our gods? Bring us the torment that you threaten us with, if you are telling the truth.” The Prophet Hüd said: “The Knowledge of when it is going to come is only with Allah. I am only conveying the Message with which I have been sent, however, I can see that you are ignorant people.” Then when they saw the torment in the shape of a cloud coming towards their valleys, they said: “This cloud will bring us rain.” – “Nay! It is what you were asking for, a fierce wind bringing you a woeful torment. It is going to destroy everything by the command of its Lord. Consequently by the morning, there was nothing to be seen except the ruins of their dwellings. Thus did We reward those guilty people. 46:[21-25]
We had established them much better than We have established you, O Quraish of Makkah, and endowed them with the faculties of hearing, seeing, and intellect. Yet their faculties of hearing, sight and intellect availed them nothing since they denied the revelations of Allah; and they were completely hemmed in by the same thing that they used to mock at. 46:
We have destroyed the towns which once flourished around you – and We repeatedly sent them Our revelations so that they may turn to the Right Way. – Then Why did not those whom they worshiped besides Allah help them who they regarded as a means of attaining nearness to Him? But those deities utterly forsook them, because those were nothing but their lies and their false inventions. 46:[27-28]
Tell them how We brought to you a group of jinns, who when they reached the place where you were reciting and listened to the Qur’an, said to each other: “Be silent.” When the recitation was over, they returned to their people as warners. They said “O our people! We have just listened to a Book that has been revealed after Moses which is confirming that what came before it, and it guides to the truth and to the Right Way. O our people, answer the one who is calling you towards Allah and believe in him! Allah will forgive you your sins and save you from a painful punishment. He that does not answer the one who is calling towards Allah, shall neither escape in the earth, nor shall have any to protect from Him. Surely such people are in manifest error.” Do they not see that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth and was not wearied by their creation, has the power to raise the dead to life? Why not! Surely He has the power over everything. On the Day when the unbelievers will be brought before the fire, Allah will ask: “Is this not real?” “Yes, by our Lord!” They will answer. “Well, then taste the punishment now,” Will He reply, “in consequence of your disbelief.” 46:[29-34]
Therefore, bear with them with patience, as did the Messengers endowed with firmness of purpose before you, and do not be in haste about them. On the Day when they shall see that which they are being threatened with, their life on earth will seem to them as if they had lived no more than an hour of a day. The Message of forewarning has been conveyed. Shall any be destroyed except the transgressors? 46:
Concerning the meaning of “Al-Ahqaf”:
The Ahqãf (mentioned in verse 21) are the long and winding crooked tracts of sand-hills, characteristic of the country of the ‘Ad people, adjoining Hadramawt and Yemen. These people had, at the that time, probably a fertile irrigated country, ut their sins brought on the calamity mentioned in verses 24 and 25. The lesson of this Surah is that if the Truth is challenged, the challenge will be duly answered, and Truth vindicated.
This concludes today’s episode of the 17 Verses Podcast. I hope that this selection has helped increase your understanding of the holy Qur’an just a little bit.
Thank you and be well.
Photo Credit: Allison Outside