Surah Yunus (Jonah) 10 : 101

قُلِ ٱنظُرُوا۟ مَاذَا فِى ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۚ وَمَا تُغْنِى ٱلْءَايَٰتُ وَٱلنُّذُرُ عَن قَوْمٍ لَّا يُؤْمِنُونَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
Say, "Observe what is in the heavens and earth." But of no avail will be signs or warners to a people who do not believe.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

There are numerous signs and pointers to the truth all around us in the heavens and the earth, but none of these will benefit the unbelievers, because they have chosen to close their eyes and minds to them.
 
The community which was the first to be addressed by the Qur’ān had very little scientific knowledge of what exists in the heavens and earth. But the fact is that human nature communicates with the universe in which we live in a language that is both rich and subtle at the same time. When human nature is alert and receptive, the universe has much to tell it and it listens carefully.
 
The Qur’ānic approach to the formulation of an Islamic concept in human consciousness makes use of what exists in the heavens and earth. It derives inspiration from the universe, and directs the human faculties of vision, hearing, perception and understanding to its discourse, without trying to disturb the balance and harmony that exist in the universe. It does not make of the universe a deity directing human life, as narrow-minded materialists claim with their ‘scientific socialism’. True science and knowledge have nothing to do with all their nonsense.
 
Reflection on what exists in the heavens and earth gives the human heart and mind a wealth of feelings, responses and influences, as well as meaningful interaction with the universe. All this helps man to be receptive to everything in the universe that points to God’s existence, majesty, power, planning, wisdom and perfect knowledge.
 
With the passage of time, human knowledge of the universe increases. A human being who sees God’s light and follows His guidance benefits greatly from increased knowledge. He is better able to know the universe and interact with it. He joins the universe in glorifying God, for: “There is nothing that exists but celebrates His praises, although you may not understand their praises.” (17: 44) Only a person whose heart nurtures its bond with God understands such praises. When human knowledge is devoid of the light of faith, it increases human misery as it leads people further away from God and deprives them of the happiness that comes with faith.
 
“But of what benefit could all signs and warnings be to people who will not believe?” (Verse 101) What is the benefit of signs and warnings when hearts are hardened, minds are shut, receptive faculties are left idle and the whole human being is isolated from the universe, unable to listen to its glorification of God?
 
The Qur’ānic method of explaining the nature of God shows the universe and life generally as a great exhibition in which the truth of God’s existence is seen most vividly through its extensive action. Its presence overwhelms all human faculties. This method does not make of God’s existence a topic for debate. Indeed the way the Qur’ān looks at the universe and what we see in it fills our hearts with the fact of God’s existence so as to leave no room for arguing about it. The Qur’ān speaks directly of the results of this existence in the whole universe, and its influence on human conscience and human life in general.
 
In its method, the Qur’ān relies on a basic element in the make up of human beings. After all, it is God who has created man and He knows best what He has created: “It is We who have created man, and We know the promptings of his soul.” (50: 16) There is a basic need in human nature to have faith and to believe in a deity. In fact, when human nature is uncorrupted, it experiences a strong inner feeling directing it towards belief in a single God. The purpose of true faith is not to initiate this need to believe in God. That feeling is basic to human nature. True faith seeks to put man’s concept of God on a proper footing, and to make the true God, who is the only deity in the universe, known to man, with all His attributes. It is to know God properly, not to establish His existence, that the true faith works. For it also aims to make man aware of the effects on human life of God’s existence, i.e. His Lordship and Sovereignty. Indeed the mere doubt of God’s existence, let alone denying it altogether, is indicative of an imbalance in human nature, and a malfunctioning of its faculties of perception. Such malfunctioning is not rectified by argument and logic.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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We learn from hadith the Surah was revealed in Makkah. But there are some people who are of the opinion that some of its verses were revealed at Madinah. This is however a superficial view. The continuity of the theme clearly shows that this does not comprise isolated verses or discourses that were revealed at different times and on different occasions. On the contrary it is from the beginning to the end a closely connected discourse which must have been revealed at one sitting. Besides this the nature of its theme is itself a clear proof that the Surah belongs to the Makkan period. [Ref: Mawdudi]

Some consider it to have been revealed after Surah al-Isra [17] and before Hud [11] – which would place it around year 11 of Prophethood.[Ref: Ibn Ashoor, Tahrir wa Tanwir]

8. Reasons for Revelation

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We have no hadith in regard to the time of its revelation but its subject matter gives clear indication that it must have been revealed during the last stage of the Prophet’s residence at Makkah. For the mode of the discourse suggests that at the time of its revelation the antagonism of the opponents of the Message had become so intense that they could not tolerate even the presence of the Prophet and his followers among themselves and that things had come to such a pass as to leave no hope that they would ever understand and accept the Message of the Prophet. This indicates that the last stage of the Prophet’s life among the people had come and the final warning like the one in this Surah had to be given. These characteristics of the discourse are clear proof that it was revealed during the last stage of the Movement at Makkah. Another thing that determines more specifically the order of the Surahs of the last stage at Makkah is the mention (or absence) of some open or covert hint about emigration (Hijrah) from Makkah. As this Surah does not contain any hint whatsoever about this it is a proof that it preceded those Surahs which contain it. Now that we have specified the time of its revelation there is no need of repeating its historical background because that has already been stated in Surah 6: al-An’am (The Grazing Livestock) and  Surah 7: al-A’raf (The Elevations).

9. Relevant Hadith

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10. Wiki Forum

Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories…

11. Tafsir Zone

 

12. External Links

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