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41.

Sura Ha Mim Sajda (or The Prostration)

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

This Sura is also known as Fassilat (or revealation well expounded).


This is the second of the series of seven Suras bearing the Abbreviated Letters
Ha-Mim. To prevent confusion with other Suras of the Ha-Mim series, the
word Sajda is added to the title, making it Ha-Mim Sajda, the double titled
being necessary as there is another Sura called Sajda (32). This sura is also
called Fussilat, from the occurrence of the word in verse 3 of the Sura.

The Sura commences with the declaration that this is a revelation from
the Compassionate, the Merciful: A Book the verses of which are well
explained, an Arabic Quran for men of understanding. It is good news and a
warning, yet most of them turn away, so they hear it not. The disbelievers say
that their hearts are wrapped up, closed to the Prophet’s teaching. Their ears
are deaf and there is a screen between them and the Prophet of Islam. They
said; “Why worry about us? You go your way, and we shall go ours”.

Allah then directed His Prophet to affirm to the infidels that he was no
more than a man like themselves. It was revealed to him that their Allah is one
Allah. Therefore, they should take the right path which lead to the Almighty
and implore Him to forgive their sins. Woe to those who associate others with
Him, who gave no alms and disbelieve in the life to come. For those who
believe and do good works, there is an everlasting reward.

Allah then discusses His Omnipotence as that He is the one who


created the earth within two days and set high above it the mountains. He
further blessed the earth with nourishments in due measures in four days
(including the two days of its creation and there is enough for those who
enquire. Then He turned to the sky, which was smoke, and to it and to the
earth He said: ‘come both of you willingly, or unwillingly.’ Both obeyed the
order willingly. Thereafter within two days He finalized the seven heavens,
and to each heaven He assigned its task. He decked the lowest with the stars
and guarded it. Such was the decree of the Mighty One, the All-Knowing.

If the infidels turn away, the Prophet was directed to warn them the
punishment like that of thunderbolt which overtook to Ad and the Thamud.
The apostles warned them to serve none but Allah alone. But they replied that
had it been Allah’s will, He would have sent down angels and thus rejected the
message.

As for Ad, they behaved arrogantly in the land and considered


themselves as the most mighty people on the earth. They did not observe that
Allah who created them, was Mightier than them. As such Allah sent on them
a furious howling gale for a few ominous days. That they might taste the
punishment of humiliation in this life; but more humiliation will be the
punishment of the life to come where they will not be helped. As for Thamud,
Allah offered them His guidance but they preferred to be blind. Therefore the
stunning punishment of humiliation seized them which they had earned. Allah
delivered the believers and those who feared Him.

On the Day when Allah’s apponents will be gathered together they will
be driven into the Fire. Their ears, eyes and their very skin will testify to their
deeds. They would ask their skins as to why did these testify against them. The
reply would be that Allah who gave speech to all things had made them to
speak their deeds. He created you the first time and unto Him (now) you have
been brought back. Now if they take it patiently, the Fire is their home; and if
they repent, their repentance shall not be accepted. They shall be provided
with bad company and shall assuredly be lost.

Allah then informs us the tactics of the infidels against the recitation of
the Quran. They used to tell their companions not to heed to this Quran.
Interrupt its reading with booing and laughter, so that they may gain the upper
hand. Allah condemned these practices of the Meccan Quresh and warned
them in strong terms that they were the enemies of Allah and they would
definitely be awarded the worst punishment in requital for the above
malpractices and rejection of the Quranic verses. Definitely Fire shall be their
immortal abode wherein they will remain forever. The infidels will then cry to
Allah to deliver to them those jinn and men who had led them astray so that
they might trample them under their feet.

On the other hand, those righteous believers, who did not only profess
that Allah is their Lord, but also remained steadfast in their devotion till death,
upon them angels shall visit at the time of their death and cheer them up. They
will not be afraid of the Hereafter nor grieved at parting from the world. But
will be rejoiced on the prospect of being admitted in Paradise, which Allah had
promised to them. A hospitable gift from One, Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Such a fortunate believer is described as the one whose speech is


spiritually sincere and advice sound. He calls people to Allah to submit to Him
and obey His orders. Performs righteous deeds, an all time fallower of
monotheism and happily professes Islam with actions based on Islamic
teachings. Further, he appreciates the distinction between goodness and evil.
He resorts to the former and avoids the latter. At this stage Allah draws a line
between goodness and evil and states that good and evil deeds are not equal.
Requite evil with good, and he, between whom and you is enmity, will become
your dearest friend. But none will attain this except those who exercise
patience and self-restraint. These are the persons of the greatest good fortune.
Allah says That if a malicious attempt is made by the devil to tempt you, seek
refuge in Allah. He hears all and knows all.

Further in the Sura, Allah mentions His Signs which are the symbols of
His Omnipotence. Among His Signs are the night and the day, the sun and the
moon. But do not prostrate yourselves before the sun or the moon, rather
prostrate yourselves before Allah who created them both. If they are arrogant,
let them remember that those who are in Allah’s presence glorify Him day and
night and are never wearied.
Among His signs is that the earth which is dry and barren. But when
He sends down rain upon it, it stirs and swells and germinates. Truly He who
enlivens it, can certainly enliven the dead mankind. Indeed Allah has power
over all things.

The Sura then reminds those who deny Allah’s revelations are not
hidden from His view. Allah then poses a question – Is he who is cast in the
Fire better than the one who emerges safe on the Day of Resurrection? The
Sura tells the infidels to do what they like to do. Surely, Allah observes what
they do. Those who reject the admonition (i.e. the Quran) are also not hidden
from Him. It is the revelation from the Wise, the Praiseworthy. Whatever is
said to the Prophet of Islam was also said to the previous apostles.

Had the Quran revealed in a foreign language they would have surely
objected to it. To the true believers the Quran is a guide and a means of
healing. But for those persons who disbelieve, there is deafness in their ears
and their eyes are blind.

Indeed, Allah gave Moses the Book, but differences arose concerning
it. Your Lord is never unjust to His servants. To Him is referred all knowledge
of the Hour of Doom. No fruit comes forth from his sheath, no female
conceives or delivered, but with His knowledge. On the Day He will call
mankind to Him. On that Day there shall be no escape for those who had set
up partners with Allah. Man never wearies of asking for good things. But
when evil befalls him he looses hope and grows despondent. And if Allah
gives him a test of mercy after affliction, he says that it is by his own merit.
They doubt that they will ever meet their Lord. But if at all they are brought
back to their Lord they had done much good work in this world. That is to say
they will escape from His punishment. Allah informs such persons that on the
Day they shall come to know the truth of all that they have done. They are
going to taste severe punishment. Men’s ingratitude and hypocrisy is such that
if they receive good, they go further away from Allah, instead of coming
nearer to Him. If they suffer ill, they call on Allah and offer prolonged prayers,
but it is not sincere devotion and therefore worthless.

An argument is now addressed of a most searching nature. The infidels


are told to examine their own souls if they could really find something unusual
in Allah’s Revelation. If they did, and yet rejected it, who could be more
foolish than such people! Allah would show them His Signs in all the regions
of the earth and in their own souls, until they clearly see that this was the truth.
Did it not suffice that their Lord was watching over all things? Yet they still
doubted that they would ever meet their Lord. Surely Allah compasses all
things.