|(1-5) Qaf. By the Glorious Qur’an! Yet they are amazed that a warner, one of their own, has come to them. The disbelievers exclaim, ‘How bizarre is this! When we have died and become dust . . . ? That would be a most unlikely return!’ We know exactly how the earth decays their bodies and We keep a Book that preserves all. But they denied the truth when it came to them. They are, therefore, in a state of extreme confusion.|
|(6-11) Have they not looked at the sky above them: how We structured it and decked it out, devoid of rifts and flaws? And the earth: We stretched it out, cast firmly embedded mountains onto it and caused luxuriant species of every kind to grow in it. An instruction and reminder (is this) for every penitent servant. From the sky We sent down blessed water by which We made gardens grow, grain for harvesting, and soaring palms with thick clusters of dates, all as provision for the servants. With it We revived a land that was dead, thus will be the Emergence.|
|(12-15) Before them the people of Noah denied (the truth), as did the Companions of Rass and Thamud, so too `Ad, Pharaoh and the brethren of Lot, and the Forest Dwellers and the people of Tubba`. Each one denied the Messengers and so My threat proved true. Were We incapable of the first creation? Yet they are in a quandary about a new creation.|
|(16-22) We created man and We know what his own soul whispers to him: We are closer to him than his jugular vein, with the two Receiving (Angels) recording, one sitting on the right, the other on the left: he does not utter a single word without a watcher by him, alert and ready! The throes of death come revealing the truth: ‘This is what you were evading!’ The Trumpet will be blown: ‘This is the Day of the Threat!’ Every soul will come together with a driver [urging it along] and a witness [to his deeds]: ‘You were heedless of this (Day); We have now removed your covering and today your sight is sharp as steel.’|
|(23-29) His inseparable attendant will say, ‘This is what I have, [your record] made ready.’ ‘You two, hurl into Hell every obdurate disbeliever: hinderer of good, aggressor, fomenter of doubt, who adopted another god along with Allah. Hurl him into the terrible punishment.’ His inseparable attendant will say, ‘Our Lord, I did not make him overstep the mark, he had already gone far astray himself.’ He will say, ‘Do not argue in My presence seeing that I forewarned you of the Threat. (My) Word, once given, cannot be changed and I am not one to wrong (My) servants.’|
|(30-35) On the Day We will say to Hell, ‘Are you full?’ and it will ask, ‘Are there any more?’ Paradise will be brought close to those mindful of Allah, not far at all: ‘This is what you were promised. It is for every penitent person who upkeeps (his covenant): those who fear the All-Merciful, though He is unseen, and come with a penitent heart. Enter it in peace. This is the Day of Eternity.’ They will have all that they wish there and We have more besides.|
|(36-45) How many generations before them, even mightier than them, have We destroyed? They scoured [many] lands but was there any escape? Truly there is a reminder in this for anyone who has a heart, or who listens attentively with presence of mind. We created the heavens, the earth and everything between them in six days and no weariness whatsoever touched Us. So bear what they say with patience and glorify your Lord, all the while praising Him, before the rising of the sun and before it sets, and glorify Him during the night, so too after prostration. Listen out for the Day when the Crier shall call out from a nearby place: the Day they hear the Blast in reality; that is the Day of Emergence. It is We who give life and cause death and the final return will be to Us - the Day when the earth shall split open around them as they come rushing out, that is a rounding up easy for Us to accomplish. We know best what they say and you are not one to coerce them, so remind, with this Qur’an, whoever fears My threat.|
 In response to the admonition of the warner that the Last Day is nigh – Baqa`i
 The people of Shu`ayb (AS)
 or: ‘You were unable to evade this.’ – Ibn Kathir
 The Recording Angel
 i.e. the driver and the witness, or the witness alone with the dual form being used as a tool for emphasis, the translation then being, “Hurl, hurl into Hell...” – Ibn Kathir, Baqa`i
 or: ‘Doubter’ - Qurtubi
 The devil appointed over him, inciting him to evil. He will say this when the person accuses his inseparable companion of misguiding him. – Ibn Kathir
 or, “those who fear the All-Merciful when alone, in private...” – Ibn Kathir
 There are two main interpretations to this verse i) They scoured the lands desperately seeking a means of escape and refuge but were unable to ii) They scoured the lands, taking everything of worth they could from them, trading and conquering, but at the end, there was no escape from Allah’s decree. – Qurtubi, ibn Kathir
This chapter covers such tenants of faith that totally eliminate the need of delving into the words of the theological rhetoricians (Ahl al-Kalam) or the ramblings of the thinkers of the day. It mentions the beginning of creation, the final return, monotheism, prophethood, faith in the Angels, the division of man into the wretched (the destroyed) and the blissful (the successful) and the qualities of both, affirmation of the Perfect Attributes of Allah and His being absolved of all deficiency and imperfection. It mentions the Lesser and Greater Days of Rising, and the two worlds: the Greatest (the Hereafter) and the Lesser (this world). It mentions the creation of man, his death and his return, his condition at the time of death and his condition on the day of his return. It mentions how Allah encompasses man in every way, even knowing what his own soul whispers to him. It mentions the recording Angels standing over him writing every single word that he utters, that he will be recompensed on the Day of Rising, that there will be a driver driving him to the judgement, and a witness who will bear testimony against him. It mentions that when the driver brings him to the appointed place, he will say,
|“this is what I have, made ready,”|
meaning: ‘Here is the person You ordered to be brought forward,’ and then the command will issue forth,
|“You two, hurl into Hell every obdurate disbeliever.”|
This is similar to the case of a criminal being forced into the court of a king who then passes sentence on him, ordering that he be imprisoned and punished as warranted by his crime.
Ponder how this chapter clearly proves that the Allah, Glorious is He, will restore this very body that obeyed or disobeyed Him. He will either bless it or punish it, just as He will bless or punish the very soul that believed in Him or disbelieved in Him. He, Glorious is He, will not create a new soul and a completely new body and bless or punish them as postulated by those who have no understanding of the reality of the Resurrection. In their view the soul is an accidental property that forms part of the body. This understanding contravenes the teaching of all the Messengers and contradicts the Qur’an, the Sunnah and all revealed scripture. In reality this position constitutes a rejection of the resurrection and such a person has agreed with the position of the obstinate deniers. These deniers never rejected Allah’s ability to create new bodies which He would bless or punish, how could they possibly reject this when they witness mankind as a species promulgating through the ages! In every instant Allah creates new bodies and souls different from those that have passed away, so why be shocked at something they witness everyday with their own eyes? What shocked them was that they themselves would be restored and recompensed; this is why they said,
|“How bizarre! When we are dead and turned to dust and bones, will we then be raised up again alive?”|
|“That would be a most unlikely return!”|
If the recompense was to take place on bodies different to these, it would not be a resurrection or a return, instead it would the beginning of a new creation; in such a case there would no salient point in His saying,
|“We know exactly how the earth decays their bodies.”|
Allah, Glorious is He, stated this in response to an unstated question, ‘How is He able to differentiate the various parts of the body that have decomposed to their base elements?’ This is the reply: He knows exactly how the earth consumes their flesh, their bones and their hair, and He is also fully able to reconstitute the component parts of the human body into a new creation.
Therefore, Allah, Glorious is He, establishes the Resurrection by affirming His perfect knowledge, His omnipotence and His perfect wisdom. This is because the doubts of the deniers all revolve around three matters:
The proofs of the Resurrection as mentioned in the Qur’an revolve around three principles:
|“Say, ‘He who made them in the first place will bring them back to life. He has total knowledge of each created thing…’.”|
|“The Hour is certainly coming, so turn away graciously. Your Lord, He is the Creator, the All-Knowing,”|
|“We know exactly how the earth decays their bodies.”|
|“Does He who created the heavens and the earth not have the power to create the same again?”|
|“…on the contrary! We are well able to reshape his fingers”|
|“That is because Allah is the Real and gives life to the dead and has power over all things.”|
Allah, Glorious is He, mentions both of these with His words,
|“Does He who created the heavens and the earth not have the power to create the same again? He is the Creator, the All-Knowing.”|
|“We did not create the heavens and the earth and everything between them as a game”|
|“We did not create heaven and earth and everything between them with no purpose”|
|“Does man reckon he will be left to go on unchecked?”|
|“Do you suppose that We created you for amusement and that you would not return to Us? Exalted be Allah, the King, the Real”|
|“Or do those who perpetrate evil deeds suppose that We will make them like those who have faith and righteous actions, so that their lives and deaths will be the same? How bad their judgement is!”|
This is why the correct position is that the truth of the Resurrection can be apprehended by the intellect as well as the Divine Law. Additionally, the perfection of the Lord’s Names and Attributes demand that it occur. He, Glorious is He, is absolved of what the deniers surmise in the same way that that His perfection is absolved of all deficiency and imperfection.
Then He, Glorious is He, informed us that the deniers, because of their denying the truth, are perplexed,
|“they are, therefore, in a state of extreme confusion,”|
unable to achieve anything.
Then He invited man to look at the heavenly world: its construction, its elevation, its uniformity and beauty; and, moreover, to look at the earth, how it has been spread out, how it has been prepared to fulfil its purpose, how it has been made firm with mountains, the many types of benefits that are found in it, all the useful plants that grow in it with their various hues, shades, shapes, sizes and qualities. In all this lies an instruction and reminder for every penitent human being was he but to reflect and ponder. Such a person will take heed of the proof that they contain of Allah’s monotheism and the Resurrection, exactly as the Messengers informed him that he would. Hence, the person who is reflecting takes instruction from all he sees, and then takes heed; this cannot come about except for a person who is penitent, turning to Allah with his heart and limbs.
Then He invited man to ponder the source of his provision, food, clothing, animals and gardens: the blessed water which He brings down from the sky. Through this water grow gardens with a variety of vegetation and fruits: the white, black, red, yellow, bitter and sweet and everything in between. Through it sprout all the various types of grain for harvesting in their different shapes and sizes, with their diverse benefits. Then He specifically mentioned the date-palm tree because of the lessons and proofs that it contains which are not hidden to any who care to ponder. Concerning water, Allah says,
|“by which He brings the earth to life when it was dead,”|
and He says,
|“thus will be the Emergence!”|
i.e. you will emerge from the earth after you have decomposed much the same way as fruit, vegetation and seeds of harvest sprout from the earth.
We have expounded upon this analogy and others like it that are mentioned in the Qur’an in our book, Ma`alim, explaining some of the lessons derived from them and some of the subtleties found in them.
Then Allah, Glorious is He, proceeds to establish prophethood using concise and lucid words which do not admit any ambiguity or doubt whatsoever. He informs us that He sent messengers to the people of Noah, `ªd, Thamùd, and the people of Pharoah all of whom denied them and were punished in different ways. The threat that had been conveyed to them by His Messengers were they to disbelieve proved to be true and this in turn demonstrated their veracity and the veracity of the one who told us this about them (SAW). He told us their narratives in detail, in conformity to the accounts found with the People of the Book, this without his being taught by anyone or having read it in a book. None rejects the occurrence of these events except someone who is a liar or one who arrogantly rejects what is undeniable, the same applies to those who claim that it was only natural disasters that afflicted them. Such a person knows within himself that he his lying and obstinately rejecting what has been witnessed by the eye and passed down from generation to generation, he is like someone who rejects the existence of famous kings, scholars and ancient lands.
Then Allah, Glorious is He, returns to proving the resurrection with His saying,
|“Were We incapable of the first creation?”|
One says to everyone who is unable to do something, ‘he was incapable (`ayiya) of it’ or, ‘such and such a person was unable to do this matter.’ The poet said,
|They were unable to fulfil their affairs Like the pigeon, worn out by its egg.|
|“…and was not incapable of creating them.”|
Ibn `Abbas and Maqatil explained [the original verse to] mean, ‘Were We debilitated by creating them?’ This explanation really furnishes us with one implication of the word; the actual meaning of this word is more general. The Arabs say, ‘I a`ya from knowing such and such a matter’ when he cannot understand it, its purpose, or is unable to acquire it, the implication of which is being worn out by doing so. The line of poetry they used as proof [that this word means weariness] is actually a proof for this more general meaning. This is because the pigeon is not debilitated by laying its egg; rather it is bewildered, unable to determine where to lay the egg. It flies here and there, finally laying the egg only to be further confounded, not knowing where to store it safely; hence it continuously moves it from place to place in utter confusion, unable to determine the best place to keep it. This is the same condition as the person who is `ayiya of his affairs, he does not know what is demanded of him and neither does he know how to fulfil it. Therefore, the meaning of the word in this verse is not weariness or exhaustion, as stated by some who do not know Qur’anic exegesis, (rather it is more general) and, additionally, Allah, Glorious is He, explicitly negates weariness from Himself at the end of this chapter with his words,
|“…and no weariness touched us.”|
 Qaf (50): 24
 al-Saffat (37): 16
 Qaf (50): 3
 Qaf (50): 4
 Ya Sin (36): 78-79
 al-Hijr (15): 85
 Qaf (50): 4
 Ya Sin (36): 81
 al-Qiyamah (75): 4
 al-Hajj (22): 6
 Ya Sin (36): 81
 al-Dukhan (44): 38
 Sad (38): 27
 al-Qiyamah (75): 36
 al-Mu’minun (23): 115-116
 al-Jathiyah (45): 21
 Qaf (50): 5
 al-Baqarah (2): 164
 Qaf (50): 15
 I`lam al-Muwaqqi`in, vol. 1, pp. 150-195
 Qaf (50): 15
 `Ubayd ibn al-Abras, Diwan, pg. 138
 al-Ahqaf (46): 33
 Qaf (50): 38, i.e. because fatigue has been explicitly negated at the end of the chapter, this is further proof that the meaning of the word in this verse is more general.
Then Allah, Glorious is He, informs us that they are
|“in a quandary about the new creation,”|
 i.e. they are dubious about the fact that they will be resurrected again. To prove the resurrection and monotheism, He pointed them to one of the greatest signs of His ability, power and lordship: the creation of man. What evidence is clearer than the composition of this human body? Its limbs, its strength, its physical makeup of meat, bones, nerves, veins, tendons and orifices, its senses, desires and abilities – all of this from a single sperm! Were the servant to be true and just towards his Lord, thinking deeply about himself would be sufficient and he would see that the very fact of his existence is proof of all that the Messengers informed about Allah, His Names and His Attributes.
Then He, Glorious is He, informs us of His all-encompassing knowledge. He knows what man’s own self whispers to him and is so close in His knowledge that He is closer to him that his own jugular vein. He is closer to him with respect to power over him and knowledge than that life vein. Our Shaykh said that His saying, “We” refers to the Angels just as He says,
|“so when We recite it, follow its recitation,”|
i.e. when our messenger, Jibr»l, recites it to you, follow its recitation; this is further proven by His saying,
|“with the two Receiving (Angels) recording”|
thereby restricting the aforementioned closeness to the recording of the two Angels. If the meaning of the verse was that Allah Himself is close, there would have been no need to immediately restrict the meaning by mentioning the two recording Angels, hence there is no evidence in the verse for the incarnationist or the nullifier.
Then He, Glorious is He, informed us that there are two Angels on our right and left recording our deeds and words. He told us that our words are being accounted and recorded, and thereby pointed us to the fact that our deeds too are recorded, deeds being less frequent than words and of greater impact, deeds being the conclusions of words.
Then He, Glorious is He, informed us of the Lesser Judgment, the throes of death and that they come revealing the truth which is none other than the meeting with Him and the reward or punishment that precedes the Greater Judgement.
Then He informed us of the Greater Judgement with his words,
|“the Trumpet will be blown, that is the Day of Threat!”|
He then proceeded to detail the state of creation on that day, that everyone will come before Allah, Glorious is He, being driven by a driver and accompanied by a witness to testify against him. This witness is other than the witness of the limbs, the witness of the earth, the witness of His Messenger and the witness of the believers. Know that Allah will bring forward the recording Angels, the Prophets, the places on which men performed their deeds and the very skins with which they disobeyed Him as witnesses against them. He will not judge them merely by what He knows, rather based upon their own confessions and after the submission of clear evidence; indeed how else can a judge pass sentence?!
Then He informed us that man is oblivious of this reality, a reality that should never be ignored,
|“you were heedless of this,”|
using the word min rather than `an just as He says,
|“they are indeed in grave doubt about it,”|
again using the word min rather than fi; such a usage is permissible when employing the verbal noun rather than the verb itself and lends the meaning of man himself being the source of this heedlessness and doubt. Then He informed us that the veil of heedlessness and stupor would be removed from him that Day just like the veil of sleep lifting off the heart, awakening it, eyes opening. Therefore, this servant will see clearly on that Day in just the same way that the sleeping person becomes conscious upon awakening.
Then He, Glorious is He, informed us that man’s inseparable companion, the Angel who accompanied him in this world, would bring him into the divine presence and say, ‘Here is the person You entrusted me with in the worldly life, I have brought him to You.’ This is the opinion of Mujahid; ibn Qutaybah said that he will say, ‘Here, present with me are his sayings and acts that I recorded and accounted.’ The correct opinion is that the verse admits both opinions, i.e. he will say, ‘Here is the person You entrusted me with and here are his deeds that I have recorded.’ At this point it will be said,
|“You two, hurl into Hell every obdurate disbeliever,”|
this order [in the dual form] is either addressed to the driver and witness, or addressed to the Angel consigned to his punishment even if he be one; in this latter case the dual address is commonly used by the Arabs when addressing a single person. Another interpretation is that the alif  is actually put in place of the nùn of emphasis after which the place of nexus was made a place of halting.
Then He mentions six characteristics of the person thrown in the Fire:
|“I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you responded to me.”|
Therefore, according to this explanation, the companion here is his devil, and these two will argue amongst themselves before Allah. Other exegetes postulated that the companion here is the Angel; the person will claim that the Angel added things to his record and thereby oppressed him, that he is innocent of what is recorded in his book, or that the Angel hastily scribbled things down without giving him a chance to repent. The Angel will then say, ‘I have not added anything to his record and neither was I hasty,
|“he had already gone far astray himself.”|
’ The Lord, Most High, will then say,
|“Do not argue in My presence…”|
Allah, Glorious is He, has informed us of the dispute between the disbelievers and the devils in Surahs al-Saffat and al-A`raf. He informed us of man disputing before Him in Surah al-Zumar and informed us of the argumentation of the denizens of the Fire in Surahs al-Shu`ara’ and Sad.
Then He, Glorious is He, informed us that His word, once given, is not subject to change. It is said that this refers to His saying,
|“I will fill up Hell with jinn and man altogether,”|
and His promising the believers Paradise; this truth cannot be changed, nor will it be contravened. Ibn `Abbas said that the verse means, ‘My promise will not be broken, neither to the obedient nor the sinners,’ and Mujahid said that it means, ‘I have judged all that I had to judge’; these are the two most correct explanations of this verse. Another explanation, preferred by Farra’ and ibn Qutaybah, says that it means, ‘Words are not changed in My presence, lies cannot be uttered and deception cannot work as it did previously with worldly kings and rulers.’ So the meaning of “word” here would be the words of the disputers. Farra’ said, ‘No lie will be said in My presence because I know the unseen,’ and ibn Qutaybah said, ‘Words will not be distorted in My presence, neither added to nor decreased, because I know the unseen.’ Ibn Qutaybah reasoned that this interpretation was the correct one because He said, “the word in My presence” and not ‘My word.’ So according to the first opinion, His words,
|“and I am not one to wrong My servants”|
complete His words,
|“(My) Word, once given, cannot be changed”|
i.e. ‘What I say and promise must occur and it is pure justice, admitting no possibility of wrongdoing.’ According to the second opinion, He has described Himself as having two qualities: perfect knowledge and seeing which prevents anything that is said in His presence from being distorted, and perfect justice and richness-beyond-need which prevents His wronging His servants.
|He then informed us of the vastness of Hell and that each time someone is hurled in it, it will ask, “Are there any more?” The opinion of those who said that this verse means, ‘I have no more room!’ is wrong, and the authentic ¯ad»th repudiates this position.|
Next, He mentions that Paradise will be brought close to those mindful of Allah. He highlights that the people of Paradise have four qualities:
Then He mentioned the reward of those who bear these qualities, “Enter it in peace. This is the Day of Eternity.’ They will have all that they wish there and We have more besides.”
He then frightens man by stating that they could meet the same fate met by nations of the past, mightier and more powerful than them but still unable to avert their destruction. They scoured the lands, searching high and low for a way to escape Allah’s punishment but failed to do so. Qatadah said, ‘Allah’s enemies tried to escape His punishment, but met with it anyway.’ Zajjaj said, ‘They travelled everywhere, undertaking a minute examination but were unable to escape death.’ They sought to escape death but were unable to. Then He, Glorious is He, tells us,
|“Truly there is a reminder in this for anyone who has a heart, or who listens attentively with presence of mind.”|
He tells us that He created the heavens and the earth and everything between then in six days and no weariness or fatigue touched Him thereby belying the claims of His enemies, the Jews, who said that He rested on the seventh day!
Allah then orders His Prophet to look to Him for comfort and to bear what his enemies say with patience; alluding to the fact that just as Allah is patient at the Jews’ blasphemy, so too should he be patient. There is none who surpasses Allah in showing patience at hearing blasphemy.
Then Allah commands him to do something that will help him to be patient: glorifying Allah before the rising of the sun and before it sets, during the night and after prostration. It is said that this refers to the witr prayer as stated by ibn `Abbas in one narration, or the two units after the Maghrib prayer as stated by `Umar, `Ali, Abu Hurayrah, al-Hasan ibn `Ali, and ibn `Abbas in a second narration. There is also a third narration from ibn `Abbas in which he said that it was to glorify Allah after the obligatory prayers.
The chapter closes by mentioned the Resurrection and the Crier calling out, summoning the souls to return to their bodies in preparation for the final gathering. He told us that this call will come from a place close by and will be heard by all,
|“the Day they hear the Blast in reality,”|
heralding the resurrection and the meeting with Allah,
|“the Day when the earth shall split open around them”|
just like it does for plants as they sprout
|“as they come rushing out,”|
without any delay. That is a rounding up that is easy for Allah.
He then mentions that He knows full well what His enemies say thereby implying that He will requite them for their words. He mentions His knowledge and power to drive home the reality of the recompense. Finally, He tells the Prophet (SAW) that he is not a tyrant or one to compel them. He was not sent to force them into accepting Islam, instead he is commanded to remind, using His words, whoever fears His threat because it is only such a person who will benefit, not someone who does not believe in meeting Him, and does not fear His threat or look forward to His reward.
 As Allah says, “…and in yourselves as well, do you not see?” [al-Dhariyat (51): 21]
 In His saying, “We are nearer to him than his jugular vein” [Qaf (50): 16]
 Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu` al-Fatawa, vol. 5, pp. 234-235
 al-Qiyamah (75): 18
 Qaf (50): 17
 Qaf (50): 20
 Bukhari #2458 and Muslim #1713 from Umm Salamah
 Qaf (50): 22
 Hud (11): 110
 Qaf (50): 24
 i.e. at the end of the word alqiya
 nun al-tawkid, in which case a tanwin is placed on the alif.
 al-waqf, and thereby effectively removing the tanwin
 Ibrahim (14): 22
 Qaf (50): 27
 Qaf (50): 28
 Hud (11): 119
 cf. Tabari and ibn Kathir to this verse.
 Farra’, Ma`ani al-Qur’an, vol. 3, pg. 79
 Ibn Qutaybah, Ta’wil Mushkil al-Qur’an, pg. 423
 The opinion of ibn `Abbas and Mujahid.
 Qaf (50): 29
 Bukhari #4848 and Muslim #2848 from Anas that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “Hellfire will keep saying, ‘Are there any more?’ until the Lord of Might, Blessed and Exalted, will place His foot in it and it will cry out, ‘Enough! Enough!’”
 Zajjaj, Ma`ani al-Qur’an, vol. 5, pg. 48
 Bukhari #6099 and Muslim #2804 from Abu Musa al-Ash`ari.
 cf. Tabari, ibn Kathir