42 - Ash Shura (The council)

2 Tafsir(s) related to verse 42.53

Ibn Al Kathir

How the Revelation comes down

This refers to how Allah sends revelation. Sometimes He casts something into the heart of the Prophet, and he has no doubt that it is from Allah, as it was reported in Sahih Ibn Hibban that the Messenger of Allah said:

«إِنَّ رُوْحَ الْقُدُسِ نَفَثَ فِي رُوعِي أَنَّ نَفْسًا لَنْ تَمُوتَ حَتْى تَسْتَكْمِلَ رِزْقَهَا وَأَجَلَهَا، فَاتَّقُوا اللهَ وَأَجْمِلُوا فِي الطَّلَب»

(Ar-Ruh Al-Qudus i.e., Jibril breathed into my heart that no soul will die until its allotted provision and time have expired, so have Taqwa of Allah and keep seeking in a good (and lawful) way.)

أَوْ مِن وَرَآءِ حِجَابٍ

(or from behind a veil) -- as He spoke to Musa, peace be upon him. He asked to see Him after He had spoken to him, but this was not granted to him. In the Sahih, it recorded that the Messenger of Allah said to Jabir bin `Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him:

«مَا كَلَّمَ اللهُ أَحَدًا إِلَّا مِنْ وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ، وَإِنَّهُ كَلَّمَ أَبَاكَ كِفَاحًا»

(Allah never speaks to anyone except from behind a veil, but He spoke to your father directly.) This is how it was stated in the Hadith. He Jabir's father was killed on the day of Uhud, but this refers to the realm of Al-Barzakh, whereas the Ayah speaks of this earthly realm.

أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولاً فَيُوحِىَ بِإِذْنِهِ مَا يَشَآءُ

(or (that) He sends a Messenger to reveal what He wills by His leave.) as Jibril, peace be upon him, and other angels came down to the Prophets, peace be upon them.

إِنَّهُ عَلِىٌّ حَكِيمٌ

(Verily, He is Most High, Most Wise.) He is Most High, All-Knowing, Most Wise.

وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ رُوحاً مِّنْ أَمْرِنَا

(And thus We have sent to you Ruh of Our command.) means, the Qur'an.

مَا كُنتَ تَدْرِى مَا الْكِتَـبُ وَلاَ الإِيمَـنُ

(You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith.) means, `in the details which were given to you in the Qur'an.'

وَلَـكِن جَعَلْنَـهُ

(But We have made it) means, the Qur'an,

نُوراً نَّهْدِى بِهِ مَن نَّشَآءُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا

(a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our servants We will. ) This is like the Ayah:

قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ هُدًى وَشِفَآءٌ وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ فِى ءَاذَانِهِمْ وَقْرٌ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِمْ عَمًى

(Say: "It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness (deafness) in their ears, and it (the Qur'an) is blindness for them.'') (41:44).


(And verily, you) means, `O Muhammad,'

لَتَهْدِى إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

(are indeed guiding to a straight path.) means, the correct behavior. Then Allah explains this further by saying:

صِرَطِ اللَّهِ

(The path of Allah) meaning, His Laws which He enjoins.

الَّذِى لَهُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ

(to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth.) means, their Lord and Sovereign, the One Who is controlling and ruling them, Whose decree cannot be overturned.

أَلاَ إِلَى اللَّهِ تَصِيرُ الاٍّمُورُ

(Verily, all matters at the end go to Allah.) means, all matters come back to Him and He issues judgement concerning them. Glorified and exalted be He far above all that the evildoers and deniers say. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Ash-Shura

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

In conclusion, the same theme with which the discourse began has been reiterated. To understand it fully, please see the first verse of this Surah and the E.N. on it.

Here, wahi means to inspire somebody with something, or to show something to somebody in a vision as were the Prophets Abraham and Joseph shown, (Yusuf: 4, 100; As-Saaffat: 102).

That is, "One may hear a voice without seeing the speaker, just as it happened in the case of the Prophet Moses when he suddenly began to hear a voice from a tree on Mount Tur, while the Speaker was hidden from him." (Ta Ha: 11-48, An-Naml: 8-12, Al-Qasas: 30 35).

This is the form of wahi by which all Divine Scriptures have actually reached the Prophets of Allah. Some people have misinterpreted this sentence and given it this meaning Allah sends a messenger who by His Command conveys His message to the common people." But the words of the Qur'an fa-yuhiya biidhni-hi ma yasha'u (then He reveals by His Command whatever He wills) show that this interpretation is absolutely wrong. The Prophets' preaching before the common people has neither been called wahi anywhere in the Qur'an, nor is there any room in Arabic for describing a man's speaking to another man openly by the word wahi'. Lexically, wahi means secret and swift instruction. Only an ignorant person will apply this word to the common preaching by the Prophets.

That is, He is far above that He should speak to a man face to face, and His wisdom is not helpless that He may adopt another method of conveying His instructions to a servant of His than of speaking to him face to face.

"Even so" does not refer only to the last method of wahi, but to all the three methods as mentioned in the preceding verses, and a "Spirit" implies wahi (Revelation), or the teaching given to the Holy Prophet by revelation. Both the Qur'an and the Hadih confirm that the Holy Prophet was given instruction by all these three methods:

(1) Ina Hadith Hadrat 'A'ishah has stated that Revelation in the beginning came to the Holy Prophet in the form of true visions. (Bukhari, Muslim) This continued in later life also. Traditions mention many visions in which he was given some teaching or informed of something and in the Qur'an also a vision of his has been clearly mentioned (Al Fath: 27). Besides, several Traditions also mention that the Holy Prophet said, "I have been inspired with such and such a thing. or I have been informed of this and this or I have been enjoined this, or I have been forbidden this." All such things relate to the first kind of the wahi and the Divinely inspired Traditions (Ahadith Qudsi) mostly belong to this category of the Traditions.

(2) On the occasion of the Mi'raj (Ascension) the Holy Prophet was honored with the second kind of the wahi also. In several authentic Traditions the way mention has been made of the Commandment of the Salat five times a day and the Holy Prophet's making submissions in that regard again and again clearly shows that at that time a similar dialogue took place between Allah Almighty and His servant Muhammad (upon whom be His peace and blessings) as had taken place between Allah and the Prophet Moses at the foot of Mount Tur. As for the third kind, the Qur'an itself testifies that it was conveyed to the Holy Prophet through Angel Gabriel, the Trustworthy. (Al-Baqarah: 97, Ash-Shu'ara' :192-195).

That is, "Before his appointment to Prophet hood, the Holy Prophet had never had any idea that he was going to receive a Book, or that he should receive one, but he was wholly unaware of the heavenly Books and the subjects they treated. Likewise, although he believed in Allah, intellectually he was not. aware of the requirements of the Faith in Allah, nor did he know that along with that belief it was also necessary that he should believe in other things-the angels, the Prophet hood, the Divine Books and the Hereafter. Both these things---were such as were not hidden even from the disbelievers of Makkah. No one belonging to Makkah could bear witness that he had ever heard anything pertaining to a Divine Book from the Holy Prophet before his sudden proclamation of the Prophet hood, or any such thing that the people should believe in such and such things. Obviously if a, person had already been looking forward to becoming a prophet, it could not be that the people who remained socially associated with him day and night for 40 years should not have even so much as heard the word Book and the Faith from him, and after 40 years he should suddenly have started making fiery speeches on the same themes.

This is the final warning that has been given to the disbelievers. It means: "The Prophet said something and you heard and rejected it. The matter would not end there. Whatever is happening in the world, will be presented before Allah, and ultimately He Himself will decide what should be the end of each and every person."