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Surah Al-Qamar

Ayat/pg: 5 | 10 | 15 | 20 | All

Maududi's Commentry (Tafseer) on Surah Al-Qamar

Mecca Mecca (37)
55Total Ayat: 55
3Total Ruku: 3


The Surah takes its name from the very first verse Wan shaqq al-Qamar,thereby implying that it is a Surah in which the word al-Qamar hasoccurred.

Period of Revelation

The incident of the shaqq-al-Qamar (splitting of the moon) that hasbeen mentioned in it, determines its period of revelation precisely.The traditionists and commentators are agreed that this incident tookplace at Mina in Makkah about five years before the Holy Prophet'shijrah to Madinah.

Theme and Subject Matter

In this Surah the disbelievers of Makkah have been warned for theirstubbornness which they had adopted against the invitation of the HolyProphet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The amazing andwonderful phenomenon of the splitting of the Moon was a manifest signof the truth that the Resurrection, of which the Holy Prophet wasgiving them the news, could take place and that it had approached nearat hand. The great sphere of the Moon had split into two distinctparts in front of their very eyes. The two parts had separated andreceded so much apart from each other that to the on-lookers one parthad appeared on one side of the mountain and the other on the otherside of it. Then, in an instant the two had rejoined. This was amanifest proof of the truth that the system of the Universe wasneither eternal nor immortal, it could be disrupted. Huge stars andPlanets could split asunder, disintegrate, collide with each other,and everything that had been depicted in the Quran In connection withthe description of the details of Resurrection, could happen. Not onlythis : it was also a portent that the disintegration of the system ofthe Universe had begun and the time was near when Resurrection wouldtake place. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be uponhim) invited the people's attention to this event only with thisobject in view and asked them to mark it and be a witness to it. Butthe disbelievers described it as a magical illusion add persisted intheir denial. For this stubbornness they have been reproached in thisSurah.

At the outset it has been said: "These people neither believe inthe admonition, nor learn a lesson from history, nor affirm faithafter witnessing manifest signs with their eyes. Now they wouldbelieve only when Resurrection has taken place and they would berushing out of their graves towards the Summoner on that Day."

Then,the stories of the people of Noah and of 'Ad and Thamud and of thepeoples of Lot and the Pharaoh have been related briefly and they havebeen reminded of the terrible punishments that these nations sufferedwhen they belied and disregarded the warnings given by the Prophets ofGod. After the narration of each story the refrain that has beenprovided is : "This Qur'an is an easy means of admonition, which if anation takes to heart and thereby takes the Right Way, the tormentthat descended on the former nations could be avoided. But it wouldindeed be a folly if instead of heeding the admonition through thiseasy means, one persisted in heedlessness and disbelieved until onewas overtaken by the torment itself."

Likewise, after citingadmonitory precedents from the history of the former nations, thedisbelievers of Makkah have been addressed and warned to this effect:"If you too adopt the same attitude and conduct for which the othernations have already been punished, why will you not be punished forit?Are you in any way a superior people that you should be treateddifferently from others? Or, have you received a deed of amnesty thatyou will not be punished for the crime for which others have beenpunished?And if you feel elated at your great numbers, you will soonsee that these very numbers of yours are put to rout (on thebattlefield) and on the Day of Resurrection you will be dealt witheven more severely."

In the end, the disbelievers have been told thatAllah does not need to make lengthy preparations to bring aboutResurrection. No sooner does He give a simple command for it than itwill take place immediately. Like everything else the Universe andmankind also have a destiny. According to this destiny everythinghappens at its own appointed time. It cannot be so that wheneversomebody gives a challenge, Resurrection is brought about in order toconvince him. If you adopt rebellion because you do not see it coming,you will only be adding to your own distress and misfortune. For yourrecord which is being prepared by Divine agents, has not left anymisdeed of yours, great or small, unrecorded.

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