Surah al-Qiyamah (The Resurrection ) 75 : 36

أَيَحْسَبُ ٱلْإِنسَٰنُ أَن يُتْرَكَ سُدًى

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
Does the human being think that he will be left neglected?

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Those people used to think that life was merely a process that takes place, having neither cause nor goal. Women get pregnant and give birth, and graves take the dead away! In between, there is nothing other than idle play, putting on some adornments, competing for good things, and enjoyment that is not much different from animals. To think that it all goes according to an elaborate law, serving a definite goal and purpose; that man's arrival in this life is according to a deliberate will and a set plan; that it all ends with accountability and requital, and that the journey of life is a test before the final requital was far beyond people's thoughts. Few could recognise in all this the wisdom of God, that He does everything for a clear purpose and towards a pre-willed end.

What distinguishes man from animals is man's recognition of the link between time, events and objectives and that human life has a definite purpose linked to that of the universe around him. The greater and broader this feeling is in man's consciousness and the more refined is his concept of the law that links things and events, the higher he rises in his humanity. Thus, he does not live his life one minute or one event after another. On the contrary, time, place, the past, present and future are all connected in his consciousness. They are all related to the existence of the great universe and its laws. These are the result of a higher will that creates, plans and designs. This higher will does not create people and leave them to a life without purpose.

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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Although there is no tradition to indicate its period of revelation, yet there is in the subject matter of this Surah an internal evidence, which shows that it is one of the earliest Surahs to be sent down at Makkah. After verse 15 the discourse is suddenly interrupted and the Prophet told: “Do not move your tongue to remember this Revelation hastily. It is Our responsibility to have it remembered and read. Therefore, when We are reciting it, listen to its recital carefully. Again, it is Our responsibility to explain its meaning.” Then, from verse 20 onward the same theme which was interrupted at verse 15, is resumed. This parenthetical passage, according to both the context and the traditions, has been interposed here for the reason that when the Angel Gabriel was reciting this Surah to the Prophet, the Prophet, lest he should forget its words later, was repeating them at the same moment. This in fact happened at the time when the coming down and receipt of Revelation was yet a new experience for him and he was not yet fully used to receiving it calmly. There are two other instances also of this in the Qur’an. First, in Surah 20: Ta Ha, the Prophet has been told: “And see that you do not hasten to recite the Qur’an before its revelation is completed to you.” (v. 114). Then, in Surah al-A’la, it has been said: “We shall enable you to recite:, then you shall never forget.” (v. 6). Later, when the Prophet became fully used to receiving the Revelation well, there remained no need to give him any such instruction. That is why except for these three, there is no other instance of this in the Qur’an.

8. Reasons for Revelation

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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

 

Overview

(Verses 36 - 40)

Can it be Without Purpose?

As the surah draws to its conclusion, it presents another truth from this world that carries a clear pointer to God's design of human life as also to the life to come:

Does man think that he will be left without purpose? Was he not a mere drop of emitted sperm? It then became a clinging cell mass, and
then God created and shaped it, fashioning out of it the two sexes, male and female. Is He not then, able to bring the dead back to lift? (Verses 36-40)

This last section strikes powerful notes and points to great truths, which those who were addressed by the Qur'an at the time of its revelations could never imagine. The first of these refers to the deliberate design and planning in man's life: "Does man think that he will be left without purpose?" (Verse 36) Those people used to think that life was merely a process that takes place, having neither cause nor goal. Women get pregnant and give birth, and graves take the dead away! In between, there is nothing other than idle play, putting on some adornments, competing for good things, and enjoyment that is not much different from animals. To think that it all goes according to an elaborate law, serving a definite goal and purpose; that man's arrival in this life is according to a deliberate will and a set plan; that it all ends with accountability and requital, and that the journey of life is a test before the final requital was far beyond people's thoughts. Few could recognise in all this the wisdom of God, that He does everything for a clear purpose and towards a pre-willed end.

What distinguishes man from animals is man's recognition of the link between time, events and objectives and that human life has a definite purpose linked to that of the universe around him. The greater and broader this feeling is in man's consciousness and the more refined is his concept of the law that links things and events, the higher he rises in his humanity. Thus, he does not live his life one minute or one event after another. On the contrary, time, place, the past, present and future are all connected in his consciousness. They are all related to the existence of the great universe and its laws. These are the result of a higher will that creates, plans and designs. This higher will does not create people and leave them to a life without purpose.

The Qur'an put this profound concept in people's minds so long ago. It was a great departure from the concepts that prevailed at the time. It remains greatly removed from all concepts about the universe that philosophers of olden and modern times have advanced.

"Does man think that he will be left without purpose?" (Verse 36) This is a fine touch, which the Qur'an uses to alert the human mind to think and reflect, looking at bonds, goals, causes and effects that link his existence to that of the universe and to the will that conducts everything in that universe.

In a clear and simple manner, the surah cites clear evidence confirming that man will not be left without purpose. These are taken from man's first origins: "Was he not a mere drop of emitted sperm? It then became a clinging cell mass, and then God created and shaped it, fashioning out of it the two sexes, male and female." (Verses 37-39) What is man? How does he come into existence? What are his origins? How does he grow into his present status? What journey did he make before arriving on this planet? Was he not a mere drop of a certain emitted fluid? Did not this one-celled drop transform into a cell mass that clung to the wall of the uterus to survive and be nourished? Who guided it to do this, and who gave it this ability?

Then again, who made out of it an embryo with perfectly shaped organs, composed of millions and millions of cells, when it only originated as a single cell that fertilised an egg? Its journey from one cell to a fully-shaped embryo is far longer than man's journey from birth to death. The changes and transformations it goes through during the embryonic journey are much more varied and wider than all that a man encounters through his life journey from the moment of birth to the moment of death. Who guided his long eventful journey while he was a helpless creature without an intellect, perception and experience?

Ultimately, who brought out of the single cell the two types, male and female? What will did this cell have to develop into a male while the other developed into a female? Or, who indeed can claim to have intervened to guide their different routes to make this choice in the dark depths of the uterus?

There is no escape! Everyone admits the presence of the gentle hand that guided the emitted drop of fluid along its long way and brought it to its final shape, according to an elaborate plan: "Fashioning out of it the two sexes, male and female." (Verse 39)

As this truth imposes itself on our human senses, the surah concludes with a note that brings together the truths outlined through its verses:

"Is He not, then, able to bring the dead back to lifer (Verse 40) Yes, indeed! God Almighty is able to bring the dead back to life. Yes, indeed! Limitless is He in His glory, God is able to bring about the second life. Yes, without doubt. Man can say nothing to this, other than submit to its truth.

Thus the surah concludes, with such a powerful and decisive note that allows the truth of human existence and the elaborate planning behind it to fill our minds.


12. External Links

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