As-salaam wa-alaikum, brothers and sisters.
Today’s selection is from Surah 53, An-Najm or the Star, verses 26-32. These verses talk of the Angels of God and how they have no share in God’s divinity, nor can take action without permission. People are urged not to claim piety for themselves, for Allah knows who is God-fearing and pious.
Tafseer for this selection concerns the female names given to the Angels by the Arab unbelievers of the Prophet’s (pbuh) time in verse 26, the materialists vs those with a spiritual outlook in verses 29 and 30, and the nature and consequences of good and evil deeds mentioned in verse 31.
Bis-millahi ar-rahman, ar-raheem.
In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful.
How many are the angels in the heavens; yet their intercession can avail none unless Allah gives them permission in favor of whom He wants and is pleased with. Those who do not believe in the hereafter give the angels the female names of goddesses. But they have no knowledge of it. They follow mere conjecture; and surely conjecture does not avail against the truth at all. Therefore, neglect those who ignore Our warnings and seek only the life of this world. This is the sum of their knowledge. Surely your Lord knows who have strayed from His path, and who are rightly guided. 53:26-30
To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth, so that He may requite the evil-doers according to their deeds, and richly reward those who do good deeds. To those who avoid the major sins and shameful deeds and are guilty of only small offense, surely for them your Lord will have abundant forgiveness. He knew you well when He created you from earth and when you were just embryos in your mother’s wombs, therefore, do not claim piety for yourselves. He knows best who is really God-fearing and pious. 53:[31-32]
Concerning the female names of the Angels in verse 26:
The Pagan Quraysh had no firm belief in the Hereafter. Their prayers for intercession to angels and deities was on account of their worldly affairs. The three principal idols of Pagan Arab idolatry were the goddesses Lat, Uzza and Manat. Opnions differ as to their exact forms: one version is that Lat was in human shape. Uzza had its origins in a sacred tree, and Manat in a white stone.
Concerning materialists vs those with a spiritual outlook in verses 29-30:
Men with a materialist turn of mind, whose desires are bounded by sex and material things, will not go beyond those things. Their knowledge will be limited to the narrow circle in which their thoughts move. The spiritual world is beyond their ken. While persons with a spiritual outlook, even though they may fail again and again in attaining their full ideals, are on the right Path. They are willing to receive guidance and Allah’s Grace will find them out and help them.
Concerning the nature and consequences of good and evil deeds in verse 31:
All deeds have their consequences, good or ill. But this is not an iron law, as the Determinists in philosophy, or the preachers of bare Karma, would have us believe. Allah does not sit apart. He governs the world. And Mercy as well as Justice are His attributes. In His Justice, every deed or word or thought of evil has its consequence for the doer and speaker or thinker. But there is always in this life room for repentance and amendment. As soon as this is forthcoming, Allah’s Mercy comes into action. It can blot out our evil, and the “reward” which it gives is nearly always greater than our merits.
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.