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|Notes on surah al-Mulk: Introduction|
|12/01/00 at 16:49:47|
SURAH AL-MULK: PART 1
INTRODUCTION TO THE SURAH AND SUMMARY
The Surah takes its name al-Mulk from the very first sentence, meaning dominion or kingdom.
Theme and Subject Matter
Like the other Makkan Surahs, it holds the same stature and similarly is on the topic of the major origins of Aqeeda (establishing Islamic beliefs). This surah is comprised of 3 main goals and they are:
1- The establishment of the extent of the greatness of Allah and His Absolute Dominion and Power over all. Among these things revealed in this Surah which show His unquestionable Sovereignty are that:
* He created life and death and tests mankind with them
* He created the heavens and decorated them with lamps (planets and stars) and made them "rujuman for the Shayaateen", that is, He made them as
objects with which to stone the devils when they try to go up to the heavens and hear any "news" of what is about to happen.
* He prepared Hell (Jahannam) and describes it, its surroundings or and its guards
* He knows what is hidden as well as what is made apparent.
* He made the earth subservient (literally humble) for mankind and brought down punishment for past nations (because of their disbelief).
* He holds up the birds in the sky.
* He will raise up mankind (again after death) and will gather them all together on the Last Day.
* He bestowed upon them the gift of hearing and sight and "al-af'edah" - faculties (which includes the other senses and intelligence.
2- The establishment of "adila wal uraaheen"[from burhaan] proof and clear evidence of the Oneness of the Lord of the worlds.
3- Then clarification of the end of those who deny the Resurrection and return to the Lord.
In this surah, on the one hand, the teachings of Islam have been introduced briefly, and, on the other, the people living in heedlessness have been aroused from their slumber in a most effective way. A characteristic of the earliest surahs of the Makkan period is that they present the entire teachings of Islam and the object of the Holy Prophet's mission, not in detail, but briefly, so that they are assimilated by the people easily.
Moreover, they are particularly directed to make the people shun heedlessness, to make them think, and to arouse their dormant conscience. In the first five verses man has been made to realize that the universe in which he lives is a most well organized and fortified Kingdom in which he cannot detect any fault, any weakness or flaw, how ever hard he may try to probe.
This Kingdom has been brought from nothing into existence by Allah Almighty Himself and all the powers of controlling, administering and ruling it are also entirely in Allah's hand and His power is infinite. Besides, man has also been told that in this wise system he has not been created without a purpose, but he has been sent here for a test and in this test he can succeed
only by his righteous deeds and conduct.
In vv. 6-11, dreadful consequences of disbelief which will appear in the Hereafter have been mentioned, and the people told that Allah, by sending His Prophets, has warned them of these
consequences in this very world, as if to say "Now, if you do not believe in what the Prophets say and correct your attitude and behaviour accordingly, in the Hereafter you will yourself have to admit that you really deserved the punishment that was being meted out to you."
In vv. 12-14, the truth that has been impressed on the minds is that the Creator cannot be unaware of His creation, as if to say: "He is aware of each open and hidden secret of yours, even of the innermost ideas of your hearts.
Hence, the right basis of morality is that man should avoid evil, fearing the accountability of the unseen God, whether in the world there is a power to take him to task for this or not, and whether in the world there is a possibility of being harmed by such a power or not. Those who adopt such a conduct in the world alone will deserve forgiveness and a rich reward in the
In vv. 15-23, making allusions, one after the other to those common truths of daily occurrence, which man does not regard as worthy of much attention, he has been invited to consider them seriously. It has been said: "Look: the earth on which you move about with full satisfaction and peace of mind, and from which you obtain your sustenance has been subdued for you by Allah;
otherwise this earth might at any time start shaking suddenly so as to cause your destruction, or a typhoon might occur, which may annihilate you completely. Look at the birds that fly above you; it is only Allah Who is sustaining them in the air. Look at your own means and resources: if Allah wills to inflict you with a scourge, none can save you from it; and if Allah wills to close the doors of sustenance on you, none can open them for you. These things are there to make you aware of the truth, but you see them like
animals, which are unable to draw conclusions from observations, and you do not use your sight, hearing and minds which Allah has bestowed on you as men; that is why you do not see the right way."
In vv. 24-27, it has been said: "You have ultimately to appear before your Lord in any case. It is not for the Prophet to tell you the exact time and date of the event. His only duty is to warn you beforehand of its inevitable
occurrence. Today you do not listen to him and demand that he should cause the event to occur and appear prematurely before you; but when it does occur, and you see it with your own eyes, you will then be astounded. Then, it will
be said to you "This is the very thing you were calling to be hastened."
In vv. 28-29 replies have been given to what the disbelievers of Makkah said against the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) and his Companions. They cursed the Holy Prophet and prayed for his and the believers destruction. To this it has been said: "Whether those who call you to the right way are destroyed, or shown mercy by Allah, how will their fate change your destiny? You should look after yourselves and consider who would save you if you were overtaken by the scourge of God? You regard those who believe in God and put their trust in Him as the misguided. A time will come when it will become evident
as to who was misguided in actual truth.
In conclusion, the people have been asked this question and left to ponder over it: "If the water which has come out from the earth at some place in the desert or hill country of Arabia and upon which depends your whole life activity, should sink and vanish underground, who beside Allah can restore to you this life-giving water?"
[Courtesy of sister Umm Zubair]
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