SURA 89. Fajr, or The Break of Day
1. By the break of Day
2. By the Nights twice five;
3. By the even and odd [contrasted];
4. And by the Night when it passeth away;-
5. Is there [not] in these an adjuration [or evidence] for those who understand?
6. Seest thou not how thy Lord dealt with the ‘Ad [people],-
7. Of the [city of] Iram, with lofty pillars,
8. The like of which were not produced in [all] the land?
9. And with the Thamud [people], who cut out [huge] rocks in the valley?-
10. And with Pharaoh, lord of stakes?
11. [All] these transgressed beyond bounds in the lands,
12. And heaped therein mischief [on mischief].
13. Therefore did thy Lord pour on them a scourge of diverse chastisements:
14. For thy Lord is [as a Guardian] on a watch-tower.
15. Now, as for man, when his Lord trieth him, giving him honour and gifts, then
saith he, [puffed up], “My Lord hath honoured me.”
16. But when He trieth him, restricting his subsistence for him, then saith he
[in despair], “My Lord hath humiliated me!”
17. Nay, nay! but ye honour not the orphans!
18. Nor do ye encourage one another to feed the poor!-
19. And ye devour inheritance – all with greed,
20. And ye love wealth with inordinate love!
21. Nay! When the earth is pounded to powder,
22. And thy Lord cometh, and His angels, rank upon rank,
23. And Hell, that Day, is brought [face to face],- on that Day will man
remember, but how will that remembrance profit him?
24. He will say: “Ah! Would that I had sent forth [good deeds] for [this] my
25. For, that Day, His Chastisement will be such as none [else] can inflict,
26. And His bonds will be such as none [other] can bind.
27. [To the righteous soul will be said:] “O [thou] soul, in [complete] rest and
28. “Come back thou to thy Lord,- well pleased [thyself], and well-pleasing unto
29. “Enter thou, then, among My devotees!
30. “Yea, enter thou My Heaven!
1. Allah sees, records, holds to account and rewards according to a strict and accurate measure which neither errs nor exceeds the limits of justice. It is never deceived by appearances because it judges the essence of things. Human measures and standards are liable to all sorts of errors. Man sees nothing beyond appearances unless he adopts the divine measure.
2. Such is man’s thinking about the various forms of trial God may set for him, be it comfort or hardship, abundance or scarcity. God may test him with comfort, honour, wealth or position but he does not realize the probationary nature of what he is given. Rather he considers the gesture as proof that he deserves to be honoured by God and as evidence that He has chosen him for a special honour. It is a line of thinking which mistakes trial for reward and test for result. It imagines honour in the sight of God to be measured by worldly comforts.
3. God may also try man by stinting his means, and man again mistakes trial for reward and imagines the test to be a retribution. He feels that God has made him poor in order to humiliate him.
4. In both situations the human concept is faulty. Wealth and poverty are two forms of a test which God sets for His servants. A test with abundance reveals whether a man is humble and thankful to his Lord or arrogant and haughty, while a trial of the opposite kind reveals his patient acceptance or his irritability and fretfulness.
5. A man’s reward is given according to what he proves himself to be. What he is given or denied of worldly comforts is not his reward, and a man’s standing in the sight of God is in no way related to his possessions, for He gives and denies worldly comforts regardless of whether a man is good or bad.
6. A man devoid of faith cannot comprehend the wisdom behind God’s action of giving or denying worldly comforts. However, when his mind is enlightened with faith and truth becomes apparent to him, he realizes the triviality of worldly riches and the value of the reward after the test. So he works for this reward whether he is tried with worldly abundance or scarcity. As he disregards the hollow considerations of wealth and poverty, he is reassured about his fate and his position in God’s sight.
source: Sayyid Qutb – In the shade of the Quran