51 - Adh Dhariyat (The scatterers)

4 Tafsir(s) related to verse 51.1


By the scatterers, the winds that scatter dust and other things, that scatter (dharwan is a verbal noun; one may also say, tadhrīhi dharyan, ‘it blows it [sweeping it] away’);

Kashf Al-Asrar

By the scatterers scattering.

This is an allusion to the dawn winds that carry the moaning of the yearners to the courtyards of exaltedness, then bring the breeze of proximity to the nostrils of the secret cores of the folk of love, letting them find ease from the overpowering force of rapture.

I will let the winds guide me to your breeze

when their blowing comes from your direction.

I will ask them to carry my greetings to you. If they arrive one day, respond to me!

When the announcers of the good news of dawn appear, the army of brightness breaks out of its ambush, and the east wind begins to blow love into the world's air, then a dawn wind is sent into the road like a messenger from the Gardens of Eden in order to convey the divine inbreathings to the nostrils of the secret cores of the friends. Exalted is the hour and great the moment when, on the carpet of We are nearer [50:16] in the seclusion of He is with you [57:4], He conveys the wine of "I am the sitting companion of him who remembers Me" to His friends, secret to secret, without the intrusion of others! In the attribute of clemency the caller of exaltedness calls out in the world of being so as to caress the poor: "Who will lend to one who is neither lacking nor wrongdoing?" What wonder if at that moment He says in the heart of the servant, "My servant, fear not, thou art among the secure" [28:31].

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

All the commentators are agreed that adh-dhariyat implies the winds that disperse and mist up the dust, and al-hamilat-i wiqran implies the winds that lift up millions of tons of water vapors from the oceans in the form of clouds. This same commentary has been reported from Hadrat `Umar, Hadrat `Ali, Hadrat 'Abdullah bin `Abbas, Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Umar, and also from Mujahid, Said bin Jubair, Hasan Basri, Qatadah, Suddi and other scholars.

The commentators have disputed the commentary of al-Jariyat-i yusran and al-muqassimat-i amran. One group has preferred the view, or held this meaning as admissible, that by these two also are meant the winds; that is, the same very winds then transport the clouds, and spreading over different parts of the earth, distribute the water as and where required according to Allah's command, The other group holds that al-ariyat-i yusran implies fast moving boats, and al-muqassimat-i amran implies the angels who distribute among the creatures their shares of the provisions according to Allah's command. According to a tradition, Hadrat `Umar explained this very meaning of these two sentences and said: "Had I not heard this from the Holy Prophet, I would not have mentioned it." On this very basis, `Allama Alusi has expressed the opinion that it is not permissible to take any other meaning of these sentences than this, and those who have taken any other meaning, have taken undue liberties. But Hafiz Ibn Kathir says that this tradition has weak links of the transmitters and on its basis it cannot be said with absolute certainty that the Holy Prophet might himself have given this commentary of these sentences. There is no doubt that from a good number of the Companions and their immediate followers only this second commentary has been reported, but a good number of the commentators have given the first commentary also, and it fits in better with the context. Shah Rafi`uddin, Shah 'Abdul Qadir and Maulana Mahmud-ul-Hasan also have preferred the first meaning in their translations of the Qur'an.

The word used in the original is to 'edun. If it is derived from we'd, the meaning would be: "That which you are being promised;" and if it is from wa'id, it would mean: "That which you are being threatened with." As regards the context, the second meaning is preferable, for the addressees are the people who were lost in disbelief, polytheism and sin, and were not prepared to believe that they would be held accountable some time in the future and would be rewarded or punished accordingly. That is why, we have taken to 'adun in the meaning of wa' id and not of wa'd (promise).

This is the thing for which the oath has been sworn. The oath implies this: The unique order and regularity with which the wonderful system of the rain is functioning before your eyes, and the wisdom and good reasons which clearly underlie it, testify to the reality that this world is not a meaningless and useless toy-house where the great drama of life is being presented at random since millions and millions of years. Hut, it is, in fact, a wise system of the highest order in which everything that happens has a purpose and reason behind it. In this system it is not possible that n creature like man should have been given intellect, sense and the powers to exploit things to advantage, should have been granted moral sense to distinguish the good and evil, right and wrong deeds and then might have ban left alone foolishly and meaninglessly in the world to behave as he pleased, and that he should never be questioned as to how he had used and employed the powers of the heart and mind and body, the vast means placed at his disposal w work in the world, and the power and authority granted to him to employ the countless creatures of God to advantage. In this system of the Universe where everything is purposeful, how can the creation of a unique being like man only be purposeless? In a system where everything is based on wisdom, how can the creation of man only be useless and futile? The purpose of the creation of those things which do not possess consciousness and intellect is fulfilled in this very physical world. Therefore, it would be right and reasonable if they were destroyed after they had reached the end of their life term, for they have not been granted any powers and authority for which they might have to be called to account. But a creature which possesses intellect and consciousness and authority, whose activities are not confined only to the physical world, but are also moral in nature, and whose actions entailing moral consequences do not take place only till the end of life, but continue to register their moral effects on it even after death, cannot be destroyed like plants and animals just after it has fulfilled the function of its physical existence. Whatever good or evil act he has committed by his own will and choice, he must get the reward 'or suffer the punishment for it justly and equitably, for this is the basic requirement of the factor under which, contrary to other creatures, he has been endowed with the freedom of choice and will. If he is not held accountable, if he is not rewarded or punished according to his moral acts, and if he also is destroyed at the conclusion of his physical life like the creatures which have been given no freedom of will and choice, his creation would inevitably be altogether futile, and a Wise Being cannot be expected to indulge in a futile exercise.

Besides, there is also another reason for swearing an oath by these four phenomena of the Universe regarding the occurrence of the Hereafter and the meting out of rewards and punishments. The ground on which the deniers of the Hereafter regard the life after death as impossible is this: When we are mixed up with dust after death and our particles have scattered away in the earth, how can it be possible that all these scattered particles of the body are reassembled and we are made to rise up again? The error of this apprehension is by itself removed when we consider deeply the four phenomena of the Universe, which have been presented as an argument for the Hereafter. The rays of the sun have their effect on all the collections of water on the surface of the earth, where their heat reaches. In this process countless drops of water evaporate from the collection, but they do not become extinct, and every drop remains preserved in the air as vapors. When Allah commands the same wind gathers the same vapors of the drops together, combines them into thick clouds, spreads those clouds on different parts of the earth and precisely at the time appointed by Allah causes each single drop to fall back to the earth in the form as it was in the beginning. This phenomenon that is occurring before the eyes of man daily testifies that the particles of the bodies of the dead men can also gather together at one command by Allah and the men can be raised up in the shape in which they lived before. Whether these particles are in the dust, or in the water, or in the air, in any case they remain preserved in this very earth and its atmosphere. Why should it be difficult for the God Who gathers together the vapors of water after they had dispersed in the air, by means of the same air, and then causes them to rain as water, to gather together the scattered particles of the human bodies from the air, water and earth and then combine them in their original form and shape?

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said in the interpretation of Allah's saying (By those that winnow with a winnowing): '(By those that winnow with a winnowing) He says: Allah swears by the blowing winds and that which they carry into the homes of people,