11 - Hud

7 Tafsir(s) related to verse 11.1


Alif lām rā’: God knows best what He means by these [letters]; this is, a Book whose verses have been set clear, through marvellous arrangement and wonderful meanings, and then detailed, expounded, through rulings, stories and admonitions, from One Wise, Informed, that is, [from] God.


…then detailed from One Wise, Informed That is, He has made clear His promise [of reward] for obedience and His threat of punishment for disobedience and for persistence therein.His words:

Ibn Al Kathir

The Qur'an and its Call to (worship) Allah Alone

A discussion concerning the letters of the alphabet (which appear at the beginning of some chapters of the Qur'an) has already preceded at the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah. That discussion is sufficient without any need for repetition here. Concerning Allah's statement,

أُحْكِمَتْ ءايَـتُهُ ثُمَّ فُصِّلَتْ

(The Ayat whereof are perfect and then explained in detail) This means perfect in its wording, detailed in its meaning. Thus, it is complete in its form and its meaning. This interpretation was reported from Mujahid and Qatadah, and Ibn Jarir At-Tabari preferred it. Concerning the meaning of Allah's statement,

مِن لَّدُنْ حَكِيمٍ خَبِيرٍ

(from One (Allah), Who is All-Wise, Well-Acquainted.) This means that it (the Qur'an) is from Allah, Who is Most Wise in His statements and His Laws, and Most Aware of the final outcome of matters.

أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ اللَّهَ

((Saying) worship none but Allah.) This means that this Qur'an descended, perfect and detailed, with the purpose of Allah's worship alone, without any partners. This is similar to the statement of Allah, the Exalted,

وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ نُوحِى إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنَاْ فَاعْبُدُونِ

(And We did not send any Messenger before you but We revealed to him (saying): There is no God but I, so worship Me.) 21:25 It is similar to Allah's statement,

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الْطَّـغُوتَ

(And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): `Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid Taghut (calling false deities.)')16:36 In reference to Allah's statement,

إِنَّنِى لَكُمْ مِّنْهُ نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ

(Verily, I am unto you from Him a warner and a bringer of glad tidings.) This means, "Verily, I am unto you a warner of the punishment if you oppose Him (Allah), and a bringer of the good news of reward if you obey Him.'' This meaning has been recorded in the authentic Hadith which states that the Messenger of Allah ascended mount As-Safa and called out to his near relatives of the Quraysh tribe. When they gathered around him, he said,

«يَا مَعْشَرَ قُرَيْشٍ أَرَأَيْتُمْ لَوْ أَخْبَرْتُكُمْ أَنَّ خَيْلًا تُصَبِّحُكُمْ أَلَسْتُمْ مُصَدِّقِيَّ؟»

(O people of Quraysh, if I informed you that a cavalry was going to attack you in the morning, would you not believe me) They replied, "We have not found you to be a liar.'' He said,

«فَإِنِّي نَذِيرٌ لَكُمْ بَيْنَ يَدَي عَذَابٍ شَدِيد»

(Verily I am a warner unto you before a severe punishment.) Concerning His statement,

وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُمْ مَّتَاعًا حَسَنًا إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ

(And (commanding you): `Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding grace to every owner of grace.) This means, "I am commanding you to seek forgiveness from previous sins and to turn to Allah from future sins, and thereafter you abide by that.''

يُمَتِّعْكُمْ مَّتَاعًا حَسَنًا

(that He may grant you good enjoyment,) This is in reference to this worldly life.

إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ

(for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding grace to every owner of grace.) This refers to the Hereafter, according to Qatadah. "This is like the statement of Allah,

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَـلِحاً مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَوةً طَيِّبَةً

(Whoever works righteousness -- whether male or female -- while a true believer, verily to him We will give a good life.)16:97 Concerning Allah's statement,

وَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَإِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ كَبِيرٍ

(But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day.) This is a severe threat for whoever turns away from the commandments of Allah, the Exalted, and rejects His Messengers. Verily, the punishment will afflict such a person on the Day of Resurrection and there will be no escape from it.

إِلَى الله مَرْجِعُكُمْ

(To Allah is your return,) This is means your return on the Day of Judgement.

وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

(and He is able to do all things.) This means that He is capable of doing whatever He wishes, whether it be goodness towards His Awliya' (friends and allies), or vengeance upon His enemies. This also includes His ability to repeat the creation of His creatures on the Day of Resurrection. This section encourages fear, just as the previous section encourages hope.


Alif lām rāÌ: [This is] a Book: [the interpretation of] this has already been mentioned; whose verses have been set clear, that is, the individual entities and realities of which [have been set clear], within the universal world by being confirmed as enduring in those states, not liable to alteration, change or corruption, preserved from every deficiency and defect; and then detailed, in the world of particulars and was made clear outwardly and entified according to a predetermined (maʿlūm) measure, from One Wise: that is, the judgements and differentiations concerning these [entities] come from a Wise One who has based them on knowledge and wisdom so that there can be nothing better or more firmly set clear, [and One who is], Informed, of how these have been differentiated in the way that they ought to be according to the wise order in terms of their measure, their timing and their hierarchy.

Kashf Al-Asrar

Alif Lām RāÌ

Alif: He makes them “familiar” [alf] with blessings and He commands them to tawḤīd. Lām: He “blames” [lawm] them for their failings and commands them to disengagement. RāÌ: He is “kind” [rifq] to them with His bounty and carries them to solitariness.

Alif: He makes the creatures familiar with the blessings of the Patron of Blessings, then He calls them to the Patron of Blessings: “Why do you delight in blessings? Desire the mystery of the Patron of Blessings. Why do you take your ease in blessings? Seek the great ease of the heart. How long will you play the dice of perishing love? Seize hold of endless union!”

The Pir of the Tariqah said, “O God, sometimes You say, 'Come close!' Sometimes You say, 'Flee!' Sometimes You command, 'Come!' Sometimes You say, 'Keep back!' O Lord, is this a mark of proximity? Is this the resurrection itself? I had never seen good news mixed with threats. O clement and lovingly kind, O gentle and good Friend, I have come to Your Threshold. If You want, keep me in joy, if You want, keep me lowly.”

God knows that I'll find nothing

if I desire to replace your love.

Lām. He blames them: “Watch out! Do not busy yourselves with the picture-house and the scented garden, or you will fall behind the friends and not reach them.” In the report has come, “Travel! The solitary will be the preceders.” God says, “The preceders, the preceders-they are the proximate” [56:10-11].

RāÌ. This is an allusion to the deliverance [rahā] of the chevaliers from themselves, like the enraptured in the playing field of euphoria: When will they come to the end of the road? Where will they reach the shore of this drowning ocean? When will the night of their waiting come to an end? When will the dawn of good fortune appear from the horizon of felicity?

The Pir of the Tariqah said, “The reality of this work is all need. It is an endless longing, a congenital pain. In it there are both joy and melting, both a hidden resurrection and everlasting life. It is the unsettledness of the hearts of the finders, the trial of the spirits of the proximate, the bewilderment of the knowledge of the realizers, the incinerating passion of the recognizers, the euphoric striving of the friends, and the perplexity of the chevaliers.

Their perplexity in this road is like someone who falls into a bottomless well. The more he goes down in the well, the more it becomes bottomless, so his feet will never reach the ground. So also the travelers on this road are always traveling, falling and rising. They will never reach a halt, nor will they have any consolation in their grief, any bottom to this ocean, any end to this talk.”

Be a speedy traveler in this road and beware-

don't foolishly think you'll ever see its end. [DS 705]

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

The Arabic word (kitab) has been translated into "Edict" because of the context. For its meaning is not confined to "book" or "something written" but it includes "command" and "sovereign decree" as well and has been used in several places in the Qur'an in the same sense.

The contents of this "Edict" are firm, strong, and unchangeable: they are well-balanced and measured: there is no tinge of verbosity, pedantry. volubility, poetic fancy and rhetorical exaggeration. The truth has been stated accurately, and there is nothing more and nothing less than the truth. Moreover. the contents have been given in detail and everything has been made so clear and plain that there is neither confusion nor complication nor ambiguity in it.

The assurance that "He will provide you with good provisions of life... " has been given to remove the misunderstanding which Satan has imbued in the heart of every foolish worshiper of the world that piety ruins one's worldly life, though it might lead to one's success in the Hereafter. Allah has re-assured the true believers that He will shower His blessings on God-fearing people and they will live happy and peaceful lives and will be honored and respected everywhere. The same thing has been stated in a different manner in XVI: 97: "Whoso will do good deeds, whether a man or a woman, provided the one is a believer, We will surely make such a one lead a pure and clean life in this world." Allah has refuted this theory of Satan and his disciples that piety inevitably brings poverty, distress and affliction and ignominy to the person who adopts truth, righteousness and virtue. He has assured that He will make the life of the one who will believe in Him and adopt a righteous life truly successful both in this world and in the Hereafter. And it is common experience that only those people enjoy real peace of mind and are honored and respected who are God-fearing and possess a pure character; who are fair and generous in all their affairs and dealings and who are free from evil. For they are trusted by all and none fears any wrong or wickedness from them.

According to the Qur'an, the provisions of life are either "good provisions" or "deceptive provisions." Here those, who return to Allah, have been assured that they will be given "good provisions" of life and not "deceptive ones". The provisions are "good" if their recipient becomes even more grateful to Allah than before and uses these for fulfilling His rights and the rights of mankind and of his own self. Such "good provisions" snake his life truly successful in this world and also in the Next World. On the contrary, the provisions are "deceptive", if they become a temptation for the recipient, and get him involved in the worship of the things of this world more than before. Though "the deceptive provisions" might appear to be a blessing and a "favor", these are, in fact, a curse and means of some future torment.

This verse enunciates a fundamental Divine Principle. The higher a person rises in character and conduct, the higher is the rank he obtains in the sight of Allah. That is to say that Allah does not let go waste the good deed of anyone. He does neither appreciate any evil deed, nor detracts from any good deed. Everyone will be given the honor which he deserves for his deeds.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said in explanation of the word of Allah (Alif. Lam. Ra.): '(Alif. Lam. Ra.) Allah says: I am Allah, I see; as it is said that this is an oath by which Allah swore. ((This is) a Scripture) i.e. the Qur'an (the revelations whereof are perfected) expositing the lawful and the prohibited, the commands and prohibitions (and then exposited) and then elucidated. ((It cometh) from One Wise) Who has ruled that none should be worshiped but He, (Informed) of he who worships and him who worships not,