SURA 92. Layl, or The Night
1. By the Night as it conceals [the light];
2. By the Day as it appears in glory;
3. By [the mystery of] the creation of male and female;-
4. Verily, [the ends] ye strive for are diverse.
5. So he who gives [in charity] and fears [Allah],
6. And [in all sincerity] testifies to the best,-
7. We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Bliss.
8. But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient,
9. And gives the lie to the best,-
10. We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Misery;
11. Nor will his wealth profit him when he falls headlong [into the Pit].
12. Verily We take upon Ourselves to guide,
13. And verily unto Us [belong] the End and the Beginning.
14. Therefore do I warn you of a Fire blazing fiercely;
15. None shall reach it but those most unfortunate ones
16. Who give the lie to Truth and turn their backs.
17. But those most devoted to Allah shall be removed far from it,-
18. Those who spend their wealth for increase in self-purification,
19. And have in their minds no favour from anyone for which a reward is expected
20. But only the desire to seek for the Countenance of their Lord Most High;
21. And soon will they attain [complete] satisfaction.
1. He who is charitable, God-fearing and believes in an ideology which is synonymous with ultimate good has indeed done his best to purify himself, seeking right guidance. Hence, he deserves the help and grace which God has, by His own will, committed Himself to provide. For without this grace man finds himself absolutely helpless.
2. He who sacrifices nothing of himself or his wealth, professes that he is in no need of His Lord or His guidance and disbelieves in His message and religion, makes himself vulnerable to evil. When he eventually goes down to his grave, he can make no use of the wealth he has hoarded. It is that very wealth that has caused him to imagine himself in no need of God or His guidance. “What will his wealth avail him when he goes down [to his grave].” (Verse 11) Facilitating evil and sin is the same as facilitating the way to affliction, even though the sinful may be successful and prosperous in this life. For is there any
3. A person who fears God will be the happiest, in contrast to the most hapless wretch. The sūrah similarly gives a definition of such a person. He is the one “who gives away his money to purify himself” (Verse 18) He has no vain motive or need to satisfy any snobbery. He spends it voluntarily not out of any indebtedness, seeking gratitude from no one. His only objective is the pleasure of his Lord, the Most Exalted
4. What can the righteous person expect in return for spending his money in self- purification, and for seeking the pleasure of his Lord? The reward which the Qur’ān states is indeed surprising, and very unfamiliar: “He shall indeed be well pleased.” (Verse 21) It is the pleasure that fills the believer’s heart and soul, animates everything in his life, and radiates to all around him. What a reward, and what grace! “He shall indeed be well pleased.”
5. He will be satisfied with his religion, his Lord and his destiny. He will be content with whatever befalls him of comfort or discomfort, and whether he is poor or wealthy. He will be free of anxiety and hard feelings. He does not worry about his burden being too heavy or his goal being too far.
6. This satisfaction is in itself a reward, great beyond description. Only the person who sacrifices himself and his wealth for it and who seeks to purify himself and to win God’s pleasure deserves this reward.
7. It is God alone who can pour such a reward into those hearts which submit to Him with all sincerity and pure devotion. Having paid the price, the believer “shall indeed be well pleased.” At this point, the reward comes as a surprise, but it is a surprise awaited by the one who attains the standard of the righteous, whose main qualifications are spending for self-purification and seeking God’s pleasure. Such a person will be well pleased and well satisfied