The Quran

Commentaries for 77.21

Al Mursalat (The emissaries) - المرسلات

77.21 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Which We laid up in a safe abode) in the woman's womb.
77.21 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
then lodged it in a secure abode, that is, the womb,
77.16-28 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Call to contemplate the various Manifestations of Allah's Power
Allah says,
أَلَمْ نُهْلِكِ الاٌّوَّلِينَ
(Did We not destroy the ancients) meaning, those who rejected the Messengers and opposed what they came to them with.
ثُمَّ نُتْبِعُهُمُ الاٌّخِرِينَ
(So shall We make later generations to follow them.) meaning, from those who are similar to them. Thus, Allah says,
كَذَلِكَ نَفْعَلُ بِالْمُجْرِمِينَ وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ
(Thus do We deal with the criminals. Woe that Day to the deniers!) Ibn Jarir said this. Then Allah reminding His creatures of His favor, and using the beginning of creation to support the idea of repeating it, He says:
أَلَمْ نَخْلُقكُّم مِّن مَّآءٍ مَّهِينٍ
(Did We not create you from a despised water) meaning, weak and despised in comparison to the power of the Creator. This is similar to what has been reported in the Hadith of Busr bin Jahhash (that Allah says),
«ابْنَ آدَمَ أَنْى تُعْجِزُنِي وَقَدْ خَلَقْتُكَ مِنْ مِثْلِ هَذِهِ؟»
("(O) Son of Adam ! How can you think that I am unable, and yet I created you from something like this (i.e., semen)'')
فَجَعَلْنَـهُ فِى قَرَارٍ مَّكِينٍ
(Then We placed it in a place of safety,) meaning, `We gathered him in the womb, where the fluid of the man and the woman settles. The womb has been prepared for this, as a protector of the fluid deposited in it. Allah said:
إِلَى قَدَرٍ مَّعْلُومٍ
(For a known period) meaning, for a fixed period of time, which is from six months to nine months. Thus, Allah says,
فَقَدَرْنَا فَنِعْمَ الْقَـدِرُونَ وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ
(So We did measure; and We are the best to measure. Woe that Day to the deniers!) Then Allah says,
أَلَمْ نَجْعَلِ الاٌّرْضَ كِفَاتاً - أَحْيَآءً وَأَمْوتاً
(Have We not made the earth Kifat for the living and the dead) Ibn `Abbas said, "Kifat means a place of shelter.'' Mujahid said, "It holds the dead so that nothing is seen of it.'' Ash-Sha`bi said, "Its interior is for your dead and its surface is for your living.'' Mujahid and Qatadah also said this.
وَجَعَلْنَا فِيهَا رَوَاسِىَ شَـمِخَـتٍ
(And have placed therein fixed towers,) meaning, the mountains. The earth is held in place with them so that it does not shake and sway.
وَأَسْقَيْنَـكُم مَّآءً فُرَاتاً
(and have given you Furat water) meaning, cold and delicious water from the clouds or from what He causes to gush forth from the springs of the earth.
وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ
(Woe that Day to the deniers!) meaning, woe to whoever reflects upon these created things which demonstrate the greatness of their Creator, then after that continues to reject Him and disbelieve in Him.
77.20-24 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
"A secure place": the mother's womb in which the child is so firmly lodged as soon as it has been conceived and where such arrangements are made for its security and nourishment that abortion cannot take place unless there is a disaster, and even for artificial abortion extraordinary devices have to be adopted, which are both risky and harmful in spite of modern developments in medical science.
The words qadar im-malum do not only mean that the term is appointed and fixed but they also contain the sense that it is known to Allah alone. About no child can man know by any means how many months, days, hours, minutes and seconds it will remain in the mothers womb and what will be its exact and precise time of birth. Allah alone has fixed a specific term for every child and He alone knows it.
This is an express argument for the possibility of the life-after-death What is meant to be said is: "When We had the power to shape and develop you into a perfect and complete man from insignificant sperm-drop, how shall We be helpless to re-create you in some other way ? Our this creation in consequence of which you exist as a living being, is a proof that We are excellent Possessors of power; We cannot be so helpless as to be unable to re-create you after having created you in the first instance.
This sentence here gives the meaning that in spite of the express argument for the possibility of life-after-death, the people who are denying it, may mock it as they may and look down upon its believers as people of antiquated ideas and whims, but when the Day comes which they are denying today, they will themselves know that it is a Day of their own ruin and disaster.