50 - Qaf

4 Tafsir(s) related to verse 50.4


We know what the earth diminishes, consumes, of them, and with Us is a preserving Book, namely, the Preserved Tablet (al-lawh al-mahfūz), which contains everything that has been ordained [by God].

Ibn Al Kathir


(Qaf.) which is one of the letters of the alphabet that are mentioned in the beginning of some Surahs, such as,


(Sad.) (38:1)


(Nun. ) (68:1)


(Alif Lam Mim.) (2:1),


(Ha Mim.) (40:1), and


(Ta Sin) (28:1) and etc., Mujahid and several others said this. We also discussed this in the beginning of the explanation of Surat Al-Baqarah, and therefore, it is not necessary to repeat it here.

The Disbelievers wonder at the Message and Resurrection Allah said,

وَالْقُرْءَانِ الْمَجِيدِ

(By the Glorious Qur'an.) means by the Honorable and Great Qur'an, which,

لاَّ يَأْتِيهِ الْبَـطِلُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلاَ مِنْ خَلْفِهِ تَنزِيلٌ مِّنْ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ

(Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it: (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise.)(41:42) The subject of the oath contained in this Ayah is specified afterwards, even though it does not appear by word, emphasizing prophethood, resurrection and affirming that they are true. There are similar kinds of oaths in the Qur'an, whose subject is included in the meaning but not by word, such as,

ص وَالْقُرْءَانِ ذِى الذِّكْرِ - بَلِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فِى عِزَّةٍ وَشِقَاقٍ

(Sad. By the Qur'an full of reminding. Nay, those who disbelieve are in false pride and opposition.)(38:1-2) Allah said here,

ق وَالْقُرْءَانِ الْمَجِيدِ - بَلْ عَجِبُواْ أَن جَآءَهُمْ مُّنذِرٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَقَالَ الْكَـفِرُونَ هَـذَا شَىْءٌ عَجِيبٌ

(Qaf. By the Glorious Qur'an. Nay, they wonder that there has come to them a warner from among themselves. So the disbelievers say: "This is a strange thing!'') They wondered at the wisdom behind sending a Messenger who is a human being. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said in another Ayah

أَكَانَ لِلنَّاسِ عَجَبًا أَنْ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنْهُمْ أَنْ أَنذِرِ النَّاسَ

(Is it a wonder for mankind that We have sent Our revelation to a man from among themselves (saying): "Warn mankind.'') (10:2), meaning, this is not strange, for Allah chooses Messengers from angels and humans. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored mentioned that the disbelievers also wondered about the Resurrection and discounted its coming,

أَءِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَاباً ذَلِكَ رَجْعُ بَعِيدٌ

(When we are dead and have become dust. That is a far return.) They said, `after we die, disintegrate, with our organs torn apart and we become dust, how can we be brought back to our original shape and bodies,'

ذَلِكَ رَجْعُ بَعِيدٌ

(That is a far return.) `it is not likely that it will ever occur.' They thought that Resurrection was far from happening and will never occur. Allah the Exalted responded to their statement by saying,

قَدْ عَلِمْنَا مَا تَنقُصُ الاٌّرْضَ مِنْهُمْ

(We know that which the earth takes of them.) meaning, `We know what the earth consumes of their dead bodies.' Where and how the bodies disintegrated, what they turned into and how they have become, all of this is never absent from Allah's knowledge.

وَعِندَنَا كِتَـبٌ حَفِيظٌ

(and with Us is a Book preserved,) `that keeps all records. Therefore, Our knowledge is encompassing and the Book of decrees has everything precisely recorded in it. Al-`Awfi narrated that `Abdullah bin `Abbas commented on the statement of Allah the Exalted,

قَدْ عَلِمْنَا مَا تَنقُصُ الاٌّرْضَ مِنْهُمْ

(We know that which the earth takes of them,) "It refers to what the earth consumes of their flesh, skin, bones and hair.'' A similar view was recorded from Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and several others. Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, explained the reason behind their disbelief, rebellion and discounting the possibility of what is truly possible,

بَلْ كَذَّبُواْ بِالْحَقِّ لَمَّا جَآءَهُمْ فَهُمْ فِى أَمْرٍ مَّرِيجٍ

(Nay, but they have denied the truth when it has come to them, so they are in a Marij state.) This is the state of all those who defy the Truth: whatever they say and utter after denying the Truth, is utterly false. Marij means, in disarray, in a confused state and defying the characteristics of the Truth. Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,

إِنَّكُمْ لَفِى قَوْلٍ مُّخْتَلِفٍ - يُؤْفَكُ عَنْهُ مَنْ أُفِكَ

(Certainly, you have different ideas. Turned aside therefrom is he who is turned aside.)(51:8-9)

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

The word "majid" is used for expressing two meanings in Arabic: for expressing the high rank, status, honor and dignity of a person, and for saying that somebody is highly generous, charitable and beneficent. This word has been used for the Qur'an in both these meanings. The Qur'an is great and glorious in the sense that no book of the world can be brought up against it. It is a miracle both in its language and literary excellence and in its teaching and wisdom. Humans were helpless to produce the like of it at the time when it was sent down and are likewise helpless even today. Nothing of it could ever be proved wrong in any age, nor can anything of it be proved wrong in the present age. Falsehood can neither attack it from the front nor from the rear, and defeat it. And it is generous and beneficent in the sense that the more a man goes on trying to gain guidance from it, the more of guidance it goes on giving him, and the more he follows and obeys its commands and instructions the more he continues to be blessed with good, things of the world and the Hereafter. There is no limit to its benefits and advantages where a man may become independent of it, and where it may cease to be beneficial and useful for him.

This sentence is a unique example of eloquence. In it a vast subject has been compressed into a few brief words. The object for which an oath has been sworn by the Qur'an has not been mentioned. In stood, a subtle gap has been left and the sentence is resumed with "nay". If one thinks a little and also keeps in view the background in which this has been said, one comes to know what-is the subject of the gap that has been left between the oath and "nay". In fact, what has been sworn of is this: "The people of Makkah have not refused to acknowledge the Prophet hood of Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) for any sound reason but for the highly unsound reason that a member of their own kind and an individual of their own nation has conic to them as a Warner from God and this is something highly surprising for them; whereas what would actually be surprising was if God had remained unconcerned about the well-being and adversity of His servants and made no arrangement whatever to warn them; or had sent a non-human to warn the human beings; or a Chinese to warn the Arabs. Therefore, this basis of the denial is absolutely unsound, and a reasonable person cannot but admit that there must exist some arrangement from God to warn the servants, and in the form that the Warner himself should be a person from among the people to whom he is sent." As for the question whether Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) is the person whom God has sent on this mission, no other evidence is needed to settle it but this glorious and beneficent Qur'an, which he is presenting; this is by itself enough to provide a proof of it. This explanation shows that in this verse an oath has been sworn by the Qur'an to impress the point that Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) is really the Messenger of Allah and the disbelievers' surprise and wonder about his apostleship is misplaced, and the fact of the Qur'an's being "majid" is a proof of this claim.

This was the second cause of their surprise, the first being that a member of their own kind and clan had arisen with the claim that he had come as a warner to them from God. They were further surprised that the person was warning them to the effect that all men will be raised back to life after death and they will be produced all together in the Court of Allah where their deeds will be subjected to accountability and they will be rewarded and punished accordingly.

That is, "If it cannot be comprehended by intellect, it is their own narrow mind to blame. It does not mean that Allah's knowledge and power also should be narrow. They think that it is in no way possible to collect the scattered particles of the bodies of the countless human beings who have died since the beginning of creation and will die till Resurrection. But the fact is that Allah directly knows each of those particles in whatever form and in whichever place they are. Furthermore, a full record of this is being maintained in the Register of Allah, which has not left out any particle un-recorded. Then, as soon as Allah commands, His angels will forthwith take out every particle from wherever it is with the help of this record, and will make up the same bodies once again in which human beings had lived and worked in the world."

This verse also is one of those verses which point out that the lift hereafter will not only be a physical lift as it is in this world, but the body of every person also will be the same which he had in this world. If it were not so, it would be meaningless to tell the disbelievers: "We know very well whatever the earth consumes of their bodies and We have a Book which preserves everything. " (For further explanation, sec E.N. 25 of Surah Ha Mim As-Sajdah)  "

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

Allah, Exalted is He, said: (We know that which the earth taketh of them) We know that which the earth devours of their flesh after they die and that which it leaves, (and with Us is a recording Book) and with Us is a Book preserved from Satan. This is the Guarded Tablet wherein is recorded their death, stay in the grave and resurrection on the Day of Judgement.