44 - Ad Dukhan (Drought)

4 Tafsir(s) related to verse 44.1


Hā mīm: God knows best what He means by these [letters].

Ibn Al Kathir

The Qur'an was revealed on Laylatul-Qadr

Allah tells us that He revealed the Magnificent Qur'an on a blessed night, Laylatul-Qadr (the Night of Decree), as He says elsewhere:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَـهُ فِى لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

(Verily, We have sent it down in the Night of Al-Qadr) (97:1). This was in the month of Ramadan, as Allah tells us:

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِى أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ

(The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an) (2:185). We have already quoted the relevant Hadiths in (the Tafsir of) Surat Al-Baqarah, and there is no need to repeat them here.

إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ

(Verily, We are ever warning.) means, telling them what is good for them and what is harmful for them, according to Shari`ah, so that the proof of Allah may be established against His servants.

فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ

(Therein (that night) is decreed every matter, Hakim.) means, on Laylatul-Qadr, the decrees are transferred from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz to the (angelic) scribes who write down the decrees of the (coming) year including life span, provision, and what will happen until the end of the year. This was narrated from Ibn `Umar, Mujahid, Abu Malik, Ad-Dahhak and others among the Salaf.


(Hakim) means decided or confirmed, which cannot be changed or altered. Allah says:

أَمْراً مِّنْ عِنْدِنَآ

(As a command from Us.) meaning, everything that happens and is decreed by Allah and the revelation that He sends down -- it all happens by His command, by His leave and with His knowledge.

إِنَّا كُنَّا مُرْسِلِينَ

(Verily, We are ever sending,) means, to mankind, sending Messenger who will recite to them the clear signs of Allah. The need for this was urgent.

رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ رَّبُّ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا

((As) a mercy from your Lord. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. The Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them,) means, the One Who sent down the Qur'an is the Lord, Creator and Sovereign of the heavens and the earth and everything in between them.

إِن كُنتُمْ مُّوقِنِينَ

(if you (but) have a faith with certainty.) Then Allah says:

لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ يُحْىِ وَيُمِيتُ رَبُّكُمْ وَرَبُّ ءَابَآئِكُمُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ

(La ilaha illa Huwa. He gives life and causes death -- your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers.) This is like the Ayah:

قُلْ يَأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا الَّذِى لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ يُحْىِ وَيُمِيتُ

(Say: "O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah -- to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. La ilaha illa Huwa. He gives life and causes death...) (7:158)

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

The meaning of taking an oath by "the lucid Book" has been explained in E.N. 1 of Surah Zukhruf. Here also what has been sworn by is that Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) is not the author of this Book but "We", and this Book by itself is enough to provide a proof of this. Furthermore, it has been said chat the night in which it was sent down was full of blessings. That is, the foolish and ignorant people, who have no idea of their own well-being or otherwise, regard the revelation of this Book as a disaster for themselves and are deeply anxious as how to get rid of it. But, as a matter of fact, the Hour when "We" decided to send down this Book to arouse the heedless, was highly blessed for them and for all mankind

Some commentators have expressed the opinion that the meaning of sending down the Qur'an in that night is that its revelation began during that night, and some others think that the whole of the Qur'an was transferred from Umm alKitab and entrusted to the bearers of Revelation (angels), and then revealed to the Holy Prophet as and when required and demanded by the occasion and circumstances during 23 years. As to what actully happened Allah alone has the best knowledge.

The night implies the same night which has been called lailat-ul-qadr in Surah Al-Qadr (97), There it has been said: `We sent it down in a Night of Glory," and here: `We sent it down in a blessed Night." Then the Qur'an itself has told that it was a night of the month of Ramadan (Al-Baqarah).

The word amr-in-,hakim as used in the Text has two meanings:

(1) That the Command is wholly based on wisdom: there is no likelihood of any error or weakness in it; and

(2) that it is a firm and stable decision: it lies in no one's power to change it.

In Surah AI-Qadr, this same thing has been expressed thus: `The angels and the Spirit (Angel Gabriel) descend in it with every decree, by the leave of their Lord." This shows that it is such a Night in the Divine administration of Allah in which He decides the destinies of the individuals and nations and countries and entrusts His decisions to His angels, who then implement them accordingly. Some commentators among whom Hadrat `Ikrimah is most prominent, have been involved in the misunderstanding that this is the 15th night of Sha'ban, for in some traditions it has been said that the destinies of people are decided during that night. But Ibn 'Abbas, Ibn `Umar, Mujahid, Qatadah, Hasan Basri, Sa' id bin Jubair, Ibn Zaid, Abu Malik, Dahhak and many other commentators are agreed that this is the same night of Ramadan, which has been called lailat-ul-qadr, for the Qur'an itself has stated this, and where any Qur'anic statement exists, no other view can be formed on the basis of random reports. Ibn Kathir says, "The traditions that Imam Zuhri has related from 'Uthman bin Muhammad that destinies are decided from one Sha`ban to the next Sha`ban is an indirect tradition and such traditions cannot be cited as against the clear texts of the Qur'an. " Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn al-`Arabi says: "No Hadith in respect of the 15th of Sha'ban is reliable, either in respect of its merit, or about this that decisions with regard to the destinies are taken in it; therefore, they do not merit attention, (Ahkam ul-Qur'an).

That is, "It was not only a demand of wisdom to send a Messenger with. this Book but also of Allah's mercy, for He is the Providence, and Providence requires that not only should arrangements be made for nourishing the servants' bodies but they should also be afforded right guidance by knowledge, that they should be made aware of the distinction between right and wrong and that they should not be left wandering in darkness."

The object of mentioning these two attributes of Allah in this context is to warn the people of the truth that He alone can give correct knowledge for He alone knows all the realities. Not to speak of one man, even if all men join to determine a way of lift for themselves, there can be no guaranty of its being the right way, for even the whole of mankind together cannot become all-hearing and all-knowing. It does not lie in its power to comprehend all those realities whose knowledge is essential for determining a correct way of life. This knowledge is only with Allah: He alone is All-Hearing and AII-Knowing. Therefore, He alone can tell what is guidance for Man and what is falsehood, what is the Truth and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil.

The Arabs themselves admitted that Allah alone is the Lord (Master and Providence) of the Universe and of everything in it. Therefore, it has been said to them: "If you arc not admitting only verbally but are really conscious of His being the Providence and are convinced of His being the Master, you should admit that: (1) It is the very demand of His Mercifulness and Providence that He should send a Hook and a Messenger for the guidance of man; and (2) it is His right as the Master and your duty as His servants that you should obey every Guidance and submit to every Command that comes from Him. "

The real God Who alone has the right that He should be worshiped and served.

That is, "There is no god other than Allah, nor can there be. Therefore, it is against reason that you should disdain the worship of Him Who breathed life into dead matter and made you a living man, and Who possesses full powers to keep you alive as long as He likes and bring your life to an end whenever He likes, or you serve any other than Him, or start worshiping others besides Him."

There is a subtle allusion in it to this: "He was also Lord of those of your ancestors who took other gods besides Allah; they had not done the right thing by giving up their real Lord and serving others that you should be justified in imitating them and regard their conduct as an argument for the soundness of your creed. They ought to have served only Him, because He alone was their Lord.

In this brief sentence an allusion has been made to an important truth. Even atheists or polytheists do come across occasions when their bean from within says; There is somewhere some weakness in the creed that you have adopted. The atheist may apparently be very firm in his denial of God, his heart at one or the other time does bear the testimony that this wonderful and wise system which extends from the particle of dust to the galaxies and from a blade of grass to the creation of man, could not come into existence without an All-Wise Designer. Likewise, a polytheist may be deeply submerged in his polytheism, his heart also sometimes cries out: Those whom you have adopted as deities cannot be God. But this testimony of the heart neither leads the atheist and the polytheist to the conviction about, the existence and Oneness of God, nor to conviction and satisfaction about their creed of atheism and polytheism itself. Instead, their religion, in fact, is based on doubt, no matter how convinced they might appear to be of its truth. As for the question: Why doesn't this doubt make them restless, and why don't, they seek the truth seriously so as to obtain a satisfactory ground for their convictions? the answer is: they lack seriousness in religious matters. W hat they really regard as important are the worldly earnings and acquisitions and their enjoyment, in search of which they expend all their powers and abilities of the heart and mind and body. As for the religious matters, they are in fact no more than fun, a mere pastime, amusement, or a mental diversion for them, for which they cannot spare even a few moments of serious study. Religious rites are being performed as an entertainment; discussions about denial and atheism are being engaged in as an amusement; no one can spare a few moments from his worldly pursuits to consider whether he has turned away from the Truth, and if so, what would be its consequences.

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 (Ha. Mim.): '(Ha. Mim.) He says: He has already decreed that which will happen, i.e. He has shown it.