As-salaam wa-alaikum, brothers and sisters.
Today’s selection is from Surah 44, Adh-Dukhân or the Smoke, verses 30-42. These verses tell of the deliverance of the Children of Israel by God and how they were chosen above the nations of the world in spite of their weaknesses.
This is a very short series of verses so I also included some tafseer about the people of Tubba’ who are mentioned in verse 37 as well as an explanation of the “Day of Sorting Out” in verse 40.
Bis-millahi ar-rahman, ar-raheem.
In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful.
We did deliver the Children of Israel from a humiliating chastisement inflicted by Pharaoh who was the most arrogant among such inordinate transgressors, and We chose them, knowingly, above the nations of the world of their time.  We showed them signs in which there was a clear trial. 44:[30-33]
As to these (people of Quraysh) who say: “There is nothing beyond our first death and we shall not be raised again. Bring back our forefathers if you are truthful.” 44:[34-36]
Are these people better than the people of Tubba’ and those who were before them? We destroyed them all, only because they had become criminals. It was not for a sport that We created the heavens, the earth and all that lies between them. We have not created them except with the Truth, but most of them do not understand. 44:[37-39]
Surely, the Day of sorting out is the time appointed for the resurrection of them all. On that Day no one shall be able to protect his friend, nor shall they receive any help except those to whom Allah will show His Mercy: for it is He Who is the All-Mighty, the All Merciful. 44:[40-42]
Regarding the people of Tubba’:
Tubba’ is understood to be a title or family name of the Himyar kings in Yemen, of the tribe of Hamdan. The Himyar were an ancient race. At one time they seem to have extended their hegemony over all Arabia and perhaps beyond, to the East African Coast. Their earliest religion seems to have been Sabianism, or the worship of the heavenly bodies. They seem at different times, later on, to have professed the Jewish and the Christian religion. Among the Embassies sent by the Holy Prophet in A.H. 9-10 was one to the Himyar of Yemen, which led to their coming into Islam .This was of course much later than the date of this Surah.
In prehistoric times, the Himyar and Yemen seem to have played a large part in Arabia and even beyond. But when they were intoxicated with power, they fell into sin, and gradually they ceased to count, not only in Arabia, but even in Yemen.
Regarding the “Day of Sorting Out”:
Ignorance, prejudice, passion, spite, and selfishness, seem sometimes to flourish in this probationary life. In any case, they are mixed up with knowledge, justice, common sense, love and regard for others. But the good and the evil will be sorted out and separated at the Day of Judgment. There is a time appointed for it. In Allah’s good time, all will come right.
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.