- By the dawn (89:1). And the ten nights (89:2). And the even and the odd (89:3). And the night as it passes (89:4). In this oath, (there is a lesson) for the one who possesses intelligence (89:5).
Note: God often gives us assurance by taking oath indicating His creations including universal truth and significant events to confirm His subsequent statements to be as true as the elements included in His oath. There are 4 items in this oath: (1)the dawn, (2) the ten nights, (3) the even and odd, and (4) the night that passes. The dawn is not only the appearance of first light but it is significant to the believers as the first prayer is to observe before this time period (11:114) and the recitation of the Quran at dawn is witnessed by God (17:78). The ten nights is significant to us being related to the appointment of Moses with God, which was completed by adding ten to the initial term of thirty nights (7:142). The even and odd is important to us being related to the annihilation of Ad with a persistent and violent storm for seven nights and eight days (69:6-7). In addition, both even and odd numbers are mentioned in the Quran and the sum of these 30 unique numbers is a multiple of 19 => 162146 = 19x8534. The night is designed for us for taking rest but what is important for us that has reflected in the oath is the alternation of night and day as it passes wherein there is a sign of God (2:164, 3:190, 10:6, 45:5). We also see many other significances of night such as the whole Quran was revealed in a blessed night (44:3), one of the five prayers is decreed by name at night (24:58) and the meditation at night is more effective (73:6). God Himself has also confirmed how awesome His oath is!
Three ancient prosperous communities and their consequences
- Have you noted what your Lord did with `Ãd? Iram; the town with tall buildings (89:7). There was nothing like it anywhere (89:8). And (with) Thamud, who carved the rocks in their valley (89:9). And (with) Pharaoh who possessed might (89:10).
Note: In the earlier revelation the people are introduced to the short history of 3 ancient communities while their history is detailed out and repeated in many later revelations. They were prosperous in different areas. The people of Ad were famous for tall building in the city of Iram while those of Thamud carved the rock in their valley. Pharaoh was well known for having power and a great force.
It is also noteworthy that the rock towers of Iram was discovered 4800 years after the destruction and the disappearance of the city of Iram in Umman. The Challenger spaceship equipped with SIR-B radars that could see under the sand made this discovery possible in 1992.
- They all transgressed in the land (89:11). They made many corruptions therein (89:12). Consequently, your Lord poured upon them a whipping retribution (89:13).
Note: Those communities were prosperous but wicked and made many corruptions. Consequently, they were punished for their evil work. Their evil behavior and punishment are described in later revelations. However, thepunishment as mentioned to be the whipping retribution is symbolic as the people were aware of whipping and stoning to be a severe punishment at that time. However, the punishment has been clearly specified for each of these communities in the later revelations.
Your Lord is ever watchful
- Your Lord is surely ever watchful (89:14). When the human being is tested by his Lord, through plenty and favor, he says, “My Lord is generous towards me” (89:15). But when he is tested by Him through lowering in provisions, he says, “My Lord is humiliating me!” (89:16). No, it is you: you are not fair with the orphan (89:17). And you do not feel obligation to feed the poor (89:18). And you consume other’s inheritance greedily (89:19). And you love wealth too much (89:20).
Note: This earthly life is a test for the human being while the Hereafter is our real life. Thus, we are constantly being observed by our Lord. We might be tested with plenty or less but at all circumstances we must lead our life based on criteria as set by Him. We must establish and maintain our good moral standing such as to be fair when we handle the orphans and their properties, we feel obligation to help the poor, we are careful not to consume others’ properties being greedy and we are not to love money too much.These behaviors will help us to establish the basic elements of our moral values: integrity, honesty and sincerity so that we can lead a righteous life and fulfill our God given religious rites as well.
Judgment followed by the destruction of the world
- Indeed, when the earth is leveled with repeated crushing (89:21). And your Lord comes, together with the angels in row after row (89:22).
Note: The earth will be leveled on the Day of Destruction where the final judgment will take place.Our Lord will come down accompanied by His innumerable number of angels. It is expected that all will be set and the judgment will be done in a short time as God is efficient in reckoning.
Requital on our return to our Lord
- On that day, Hell will be presented. On that day, the human being will remember but how will the remembrance benefit him (89:23)? He will say, “Oh, I wish I had sent forth for my life” (89:24). On that day, no retribution is worse than His retribution (89:25). And no confinement is as protective as His confinement (89:26).
Note: Those who failed to develop their souls can remember their mistakes but their remembrance would not help them anyway. On earthly life, those who thought they had prepared them for the Hereafter but when they see Hell will realize that what they had done did not meet the God given requirements. As consequence, they have to suffer severe retribution in Hell and there is no exit out of it.
- O you content soul (89:27). Your return to your Lord is pleased and pleasing (89:28). Get into My servants (89:29). And enter My Paradise (89:30).
Note: Those who developed their souls sufficiently will have greeting from their Lord, which is a great honor for the righteous. He will be pleased with them and allow them to get into the rows of His servants. Finally, they will be allowed to enter Paradise with the groups.
Al-Fajr is one of the short suras revealed in Mecca. So, it is an earlier revelation which covers our primary concern about the earthly life as well as the life of Hereafter. There are 30 verses in the sura out of which 5 verses cover the God’s oath including the awesomeness of His oath. The most important events that are stated in it are: (1) a profound oath, (2) a brief history of 3 ancient prosperous nations, (3) God is ever watchful, (4) the Day of final Judgment followed by the Destruction of the World and (5) our requital on return to our Lord.
The sura begins with God’s oath consisting of four items: (1) the dawn, (2) the ten nights, (3) the even and odd and (4) the night that passes confirming that it is an awesome oath which can only understood by the intelligent. God’s words are always true as He does not tell lies but still He has presented certain things to the humans by taking oath. It should anchor firm confidence in our hearts how true are the events that follow this oath! The events are: (1) short history of 3 ancient prosperous nations, (2) God is ever watchful, (3) the Final Day of Judgment followed by the Destruction of the World and (4) our requital on return to our Lord, which are nothing but the truth.
The generations of Ad, Thamud and Pharaoh were prosperous but wicked. They made many corruptions. Consequently, they were punished for their evil behavior. However, the punishment mentioned as the whipping retribution is symbolic as the people were familiar with whipping and stoning to be severe punishment at that time. However, their evil behavior and punishment have been clearly specified for each of these communities in the later revelations. What God teaches us in the history that this might be a good lesson for us so that we can avoid such behavior being a more advanced nation.
We are under constant observation of our Lord. We are being tested by Him with plenty or less but we are required to lead our life based on criteria as set by Him at all circumstances. He has encouraged us to build and maintain our good moral character, and if we can do that, it would help us find the truth and fulfill our obligations as prescribed by our Creator. Thus, the integrity, honesty and sincerity suppressing our greediness can only serve as a tool to successfully return to our Lord and enter His Paradise as both Hell and Paradise await the people.
Once the earth is leveled, the judgment will take place when God comes down with His innumerable number of angels. Hell is to be presented. Both the unrighteous and the righteous will see Hell. The unrighteous will feel the retribution of Hell while the righteous will be spared from it. Those who failed to develop their souls will be confined in Hell to suffer painful retribution and there is no exit out of it while those who developed their souls be allowed to enter Paradise with other righteous wherein they will live forever and enjoy the peace.
However, those who were failed to develop their souls when they see Hell on the Day of Judgment, either will lie claiming them believers or will say, “We wish! we had sent forth for our life”. To avoid such dreadful situations we must confirm before leaving this world that what we believe and practice is in accordance with God’s religion given by Him as He has confirmed no more chance and He is strict in enforcing His retribution. Hence, the God’s oath consisting of visual things and significant events may serve as an undoubted reminder and warning to use the valid source made available on behalf of the Most Merciful God to do so without being deceived for following other sources.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.