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Sura Al-Ankaboot (Sura 29: Revelation Order 85)

  • Alif Laam Meem (29:1).

Note: The statement in 29:1 is an oath of God consisting of Arabic letters ‘Alif’ ‘Laam’ and ‘Meem’ known as the Quranic initials at the very beginning of the sura, which affirms subsequent statements. However, the quranic initials are also the lower level physical proofs of the numerical structure of Quran, and the total occurrence of theseletters ‘Alif’ ‘Laam’ and ‘Meem’ in the Arabic text of 6 suras: 2, 3, 29, 30, 31 and 32 is a multiple of 19 =>8944 (Alif with Hamza) + 6494 (Laam)+ 4436 (Meem) = 19874= 19 x 1046.

Test to expose the liars and the truthful

  • Do the people think that they will be left as they say, “We believe,” and they will not be tested? (29:2). We had certainly tested those before them, and God will certainly expose those who are truthful, and He will certainly expose the liars (29:3).
  • Do those who commit evil works think that theycan escape from us? Wrong! what is in their mind (29:4). Whoever is looking for meeting with God, then the appointed time with God is surely coming. And He is the Hearer, the Omniscient (29:5).Whoever strives, strives for his own good. God is in no need of us (29:6). Those who believe and do righteous works, we will certainly remit their sins, and will certainly reward them generously for what they did (29:7).

Note: Taking oath God has confirmed that the test is mandated for all generations of people to expose the liars and the truthful. The appointed time for the meeting with God is surely coming and there is no escape from God for those who committed evil works while for those who strived in the cause of God will be generously rewarded for their righteous works.

Avoid setting up partnerswith God at all circumstances

  • We enjoined the human being to honor his parents. But if they force you to set up partners with Meof what you have no knowledge with it, then do not obey them. To Me is your return, then I will inform you of what you had done (29:8). Those who have believed and have done righteous works, we will certainly admit them with the righteous (29:9).

Note: We must avoid idol worshipping even if our parents force us to do that when we do not have thorough knowledge about its consequence. The believers who have done righteous works will admit with the righteous.

Both hypocrites and disbelievers are exposed

  • Among the people there are those who say, “We believe in God,” but when they are afflicted in the cause of God, they consider the test to be the retribution of people from God. But if a victory comes from your Lord, they say: “We were with you!” Is God not fully aware of what is inside the chests of the people? (29:10). God will certainly expose those who believe, and He will certainly expose the hypocrites (29:11). Those who disbelieved said to those who believed, “Follow our way, and we will carry your sins.” But they cannot carry any of their sins. They are surely liars (29:12). They will surely carry their own burdens as well as burdens with their burdens, and they will certainly be asked on the Day of Resurrection of what they had invented (29:13).

Note: The hypocrites consider any affliction in the cause of God to be His retribution instead of test while they are only with Him when they have a blessing from Him. The disbelievers make efforts to divert others saying that we will carry your sins if you follow us. They will carry their sins as well as the sins of those who followed them, and will be punished for their invention.

History of Noah and Abraham

  • We sent Noah to his people, and he stayed with them one thousand yearsless fifty years. Then the flood overtook them while they were wicked (29:14). We saved him and the people on the ship, and we made it a sign for all the people (29:15). And Abraham when said to his people, “You shall worship God, and reverence Him. This is better for youif you knew (29:16).You only worship idols besides God idols, and you invent falsehood. Indeed, those whom you worship beside God do not possess any provisions for you. So, you shall seek the provisionfrom God. And you shall worship Him, and be appreciative to Him; to Him you will be returned” (29:17).

Note: Noah stayed with people for longer time but still they were wicked, eventually the flood overtook them. Abraham said to his people to worship God and reference Him as the worshipping of idols is nothing but falsehood and invention. He also said to them to seek provision from God and to be appreciative to Him as well as to Him you will be returned while the idols do not possess any provision.

God has no mercy for the disbelievers

  • If you reject, the generations before you have also rejected while the messenger is only responsible for the delivery of the enlightening message(29:18). Did they not seehow God initiates the creation, then repeats it? Surely, that is easy for God(29:19). Say, “Roam the earth and see how He has initiated the creation. Thus, God will create the final creation. God is able to do all things” (29:20). He punishes whomever He wills, and He shows mercy whomever He wills. To Him you will be returned (29:21). You cannot escape in the earth or in the sky, nor do you have any protector or helper besides God(29:22). Those who disbelieve in God’s revelations and meeting with Him, have despaired of My mercy, and they will have a painful retribution (29:23).

Note: The denial of God’s revelations is found in all generations of people while the sole mission of all messengers was to deliver the divine message. There is no escape for them and they will have no protectors or helpers. Thus, the disbelievers have been derived of God’ mercy and will have a painful retribution.

God saved and rewarded Abraham

  • The only response from his people was that they said, “Kill him, or burn him.” But God saved him from the fire. In that, there are signs for a people who believe (29:24). And he said, “You have taken idols besides God to maintain friendship among yourselves in this worldly life, then, on the Day of Resurrection, you will disown one anotherand curse one another. Your destiny is Hell, and you will have no helpers.” (29:25). Then, Lot believed with him and said, “I am emigrating to my Lord. He is the Almighty, the Most Wise.” (29:26). We granted him Isaac and Jacob, we entrusted among his descendants with the prophethood and the scriptures, and we gave him his reward in this life, and in the Hereafterhe will surely be with the righteous (29:27).

Note:The response of the people of Abraham was to kill and burn him when he said to them to worship God instead of idols but God saved him. He also said to them that you took idols besides God to maintain just to friendship but on the Day of Judgment you will disown and curse one another while just Lot believed him. God granted him Isaac and Jacob as well as gave many prophethood and scripture among his descendants.

Destruction of wicked people of past generations

  • And when Lot said to his people, “You commit such an abomination, no one in the world has ever done it before you (29:28).You practice sex with the men, you commit highway robbery, and you bring all kinds of vice in your society.” The only response from his people was that they said, “Bring us God’s retribution, if you are truthful.” (29:29). He said, “My Lord, grant me victory over the corrupted people.” (29:30). When our messengers came to Abraham with good news, they said, “We are going to destroy the people of this town, indeed, its people are wicked.” (29:31). He said, “But Lot is in it.” They said, “We are fully aware of who is in it. We will of course save him and his family, except his wife; she is among those who remain behind.” (29:32). When our messengers came to Lot, he was distressed and uncomfortable with them but they said, “Do not fear, nor do you grieve. Indeed, we will save you and your family, except your wife; she is among those who remain behind. (29:33). We will bring down upon the people of this town a punishment from the skyas they have been wickedly disobedient.” (29:34). We left thereof a clear sign for a people who understand (29:35).

Note: The people of Lot (Sodom) were destroyed except him and his family but not his wife with the punishment from the sky for practicing homosexuality and highway robbery.

  • And to Midyan their brother Shu`aib who said, “O my people, you shall worship God and expect the Last Day, and do not roam the earth being corrupters.” (29:36). But they denied him, so, the earthquake took them; then they were left dead in their homes(29:37).

Note: The people of Shuaib (Midyan) were destroyed with the earthquake for rejecting him when he said to them to worship God and expect the Last Day.

  • Also ‘Ad and Thamud. Thus, it has been manifested to you through their ruins. The devil had adorned their works in their eyesand had diverted them from the path, even though they could see (29:38).

Note: Also Ad and Thamud were destroyed as the devil had adorned their works in their eyes and diverted from the right path.

  • Also Qãroon, Pharaoh, and Hãmãn; Moses went to them with clear signs. But they became arrogant in the land, while they could not escape from us (29:39).

Note: The people of Moses were destroyed as they became arrogant when he went to the with clear signs

  • However, we took each by his sins. Some of them we sent upon him a violent wind, some of them were taken by the thunder, some of them we caused the earth to swallow, and some of them we drowned. God is not the One who wronged them; it is they who wronged themselves (29:40).

Note: The destruction of the people of the previous generations is the warning for the people of the subsequent generations. Hence, the Quran contains warnings for the disbelievers and guidance for the believers. Since the messengers deliver the warnings as well, they are often referred to warners in the Quran.

Allegory of spider’s house

  • The allegory of those who take protectors other than God is like the spider which makes a house and the weakest house is the house of the spider, if they only knew (29:41). God knows whatever they call upon besides Him is nothing, and He is the Almighty, the Most Wise (29:42).We cite these examples for the people,but none can understand them except the knowledgeable (29:43). God created the heavens and the earth with truth. In that there is a proof for the believers (29:44).

Note: Taking protectors other than God is like the weakest house of the spider and calling upon beside God is nothing as these practices contribute nothing to the souls while God has created the heavens and the earth with proofs for the believers.

Importance of studying Quran and practicing Salat

  • You shall recite what is revealed to you of the scripture, and observe the Contact Prayers. Indeed, the Contact Prayers prohibit evil and vice but the remembrance of Godis the greatest.God knows everything you do (29:45).

Note: This commandment is for the prophet but those who believe in God and Quran should study the Quran while they should give the topmost priority to practice Salat to remember God as well as to keep them away from the evil works as well.

Quran is clear in the chests of the blessed ones

  • And do not argue with the people of the scripture except in the best way, except those who are wicked amongst them, and say: “We believe in what was revealed to us and in what was revealed to you, and our god and your god is the One; and to Him we are submitters.”(29:46). And thus, we have revealed to you the scripture. So, those whom we have given the scripture believe in it, and some of your people also believe in it. But none deny our revelations except the disbelievers (29:47). And you did not recite the scripture before it, nor did you write that with your own hand. In that case, the rejecters would have had reason of doubting (29:48). In fact, it is a clear revelationin the chests of those who are given the knowledge, and none reject our revelations except the wicked (29:49). And they said, “If only miracles would come down to him from his Lord!” Say, “All miracles belong to God, and I am just a warner.” (29:50). Is it not enough that we sent down to you the scripture, which is recited to them? In that, there is indeeda mercy and a reminder for people who believe (29:51). Say, “God is enough as a witness between me and you. He knows what is in the heavens and the earth. But those who believe in falsehood and disbelieve in God, are the real losers.” (29:52).

Note: Here is an example for us how we should argue with the people of the scripture and also there is a hint in it how the authenticity of the Quran has been maintained.It has been confirmed that It is clear in the chests of those who are given knowledge and none reject it except the wicked. The disbelievers wished to see the miracle to believe in Quran while the Quran itself is the miracle as it is a mercy and a reminder for the people who believe. However, the believers in falsehood and the disbelievers in God are the great losers on the Day of Judgment.

Retribution will come according to its appointed term

  • They ask you to hasten the retribution! And had it not been an appointed term, the retribution would have come to them immediately. Certainly, it will come to them suddenly, when they do not expect it (29:53). They ask you to hasten the retribution! But Hell will surely surround the disbelievers (29:54). The day will come when the retribution overwhelms them, from above them and from beneath their feet; and He will say, “Taste for what you used to do.” (29:55). O My servants who believed, My earth is spacious, so worship Me alone (29:56).

Note: The disbelievers wanted to see the retribution but they would see it if its time could not be set to come. It will come as set by God when they have to taste the painful retribution for their disbelief while the believers who worship God alone will be saved.

Compensation for righteous works

  • Every soul will taste death, then to us you will be returned (29:57). Those who believe and do righteous work, we will surely settle them in Paradise, with mansions and flowing streams to abide therein forever. How excellent is the reward of the workers (29:58). They are the ones who are patient and put their trust in their Lord (29:59).

Note: Our return to God has been confirmed through death. The righteous will be rewarded and Paradise is their abode wherein they will live forever.

God provides for all creatures

  • There is many a creature that does not carry its provision, God provides for it, as well as for you. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient (29:60). And if you ask them, “Who created the heavens and the earth, and put the sun and the moon in service,” they will say, “God.” Why then did they deviate? (29:61). God increases the provision for whomever He chooses from among His servants, and withholds it. God is fully aware of all things (29:62). And if you ask them, “Who sends down water from the sky and gives life to the land after its death,” they will say, “God.” Say, “Praise God.” But most of them do not understand (29:63).

Note: We must work for our provision but should not worry too much about it as God provides for all creatures. Since He provides for all, and has created the heavens and the earthand put the sun and the moon in service, and sends down water from the sky and gives life to the land after its death,then we should not have any trace of doubt in our hearts that God is able to do and aware of all things.Thus, these should be sufficient proofs for us so that we do not deviate from His path.

Is Hell not a just place for the disbelievers?

  • This worldly life is no more than play and amusement, while the abode of the Hereafter is the real life, if they only knew (29:64). When they ride on a ship, they call on God, devoting their faith to Him. But as soon as He saves them to the shore, they set up partners (29:65). Let them deny what we have given them, and let them enjoy, but they will come to know (29:66). Do they not seethat we have made a secure sanctuary while all around them the people are in constant danger? Do they then believe in falsehood and disbelieve in God’s favor? (29:67). Who is more evil than one who fabricates lies and attributes them to God, or denies the truth when it comes to him? Is there not a just abode in Hell for the disbelievers? (29:68).

Note: The Hereafter is our real life, then we should use our worldly life to prepare ourselves for the Hereafter instead of just taking it to be a place of our play and amusement. The retaliation of the disbelievers is Hell wherein they will suffer the painful retribution because of their setting up partners with God, rejecting God’s revelations, believing in falsehood and disbelieving in God’s favor.Thus, the disbelievers are those who deny the truth when it comes to them.

God is with the pious

  • And those who strive for us, we will surely guide them in our paths. And God is certainly with the pious (29:69).

Note: Those who strive in the cause of God, He will guide them in His path as well as will be with them on the Day of Judgment.

Conclusion

The sura begins with a statement of God’s oath consisting of Arabic letters ‘Alif’ ‘Laam’ and ‘Meem’ known as the Quranic initials at the very beginning of the sura, which affirms that the test is mandated for all generations of people to expose the liars and the truthful. The appointed time for the meeting with God is surely coming and there is no escape from God for those who committed evil works while for those who strived in the cause of God will be generously rewarded for their righteous works.. However, the quranic initials are also the lower level physical proofs of the numerical structure of Quran, and the total occurrence of theseletters ‘Alif’ ‘Laam’ and ‘Meem’ in the Arabic text of 6 suras: 2, 3, 29, 30, 31 and 32 is a multiple of 19 =>8944 (Alif with Hamza) + 6494 (Laam) + 4436 (Meem) = 19874 = 19 x 1046

There are 69 verses in sura Al-Ankaboot (The Spider) and the most significant aspects that are covered in the sura under oath are: (1) test to expose liars and truthful, (2) avoid setting up partners with God, (3) affliction exposes hypocrites and disbelievers, (4) a short history of Noah and Abraham, (5) disbelievers will be derived of God’s mercy, (6) God saved and rewarded Abraham, (7) destruction of wicked people of previous generations, (8) allegory of spider’s house for those who take protectors other than God (9) importance of studying and practicing salat, (10) Quran is clear in the chests of the blessed ones, (11) retribution will come according to appointed term, (12) compensation for righteous works, (13) God provides for all creatures, (14) Hell is a just place for the disbelievers, (15) God is with the pious.

God has warned us citing the allegory of the spider’s house for those who take protectors other than God as well as mentioning of calling upon beside God is nothing which contribute nothing to the growth and development of souls while God has created the heavens and the earth with proofs for them to reflect to base their beliefs and practices on truth instead of such falsehood..

The Hereafter is the real life for the disbelievers and the retaliation of the disbelievers is Hell, the worst place wherein they will suffer the painful retribution because of their setting up partners with God, rejecting God’s revelations, believing in falsehood and disbelieving in God’s favor.

The Hereafter is the real life for the believers too and they need God’s guidance to ensure the best place therein, and they can only buy His guidance with the expense of striving in the cause of Him, which may be accepted from them as the advance payment for His Paradise.

Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.
Tafazzal (7/22/2016).