Sura 73
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The Enshrouded (Al-Muzzammil)

In the name of Allah, Gracious, Merciful.

1O you folded in garments!1

2Stand by night, but not all night.

3Half of it or a little less.

4Or a little more; and recite the Qur’an in slow measured rhythmic tones.

5Soon shall We send down to you a weighty message.

6Truly, the rising by night is most potent for governing and most suitable for the Word.

7True, there is for you by day prolonged occupation with ordinary duties:

8But keep in remembrance the name of the Lord and devote yourself to Him wholeheartedly.

9Lord of the East and the West: there is no god but He: take Him therefore for disposer of affairs.

Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim

1Ya ayyuhal muzam mil

2Qumil laila illa qalila

3Nishfahu awinqush minhu qalila

4Au zid alaihi wa ratili qurana taitila

5Inna sanulqi alaika qaulan tsaqila

6Inna nasyi atal laili hiya asyad du wath aw aqwamu qila

7Inna finahari sabhan thawi la

8Wazkurisma rabbika wa tabatal ilaihi tabtila

9Rabbul masyriqi wal maghribi la ila ha illa huwa tat takhidz hu wakila

1. This is in reference to Muhammad, after his first encounter with the spirit/Angel. He came home and asked his wife Khadijah to cover him up because he was shivering. Sahih Al-Bukhari’s Hadith 9.111, narrated by Aisha:

The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Apostle was in the form of good righteous (true) dreams in his sleep. He never had a dream but that it came true like bright day light. He used to go in seclusion to (the cave of) Hira where he used to worship (Allah Alone) continuously for many (days) nights. He used to take with him the journey food for that (stay) and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again for another period to stay, till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira.

The angel came to him in it and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, “I do not know how to read.” (The Prophet added), “The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, “I do not know how to read,” whereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and asked me again to read, but again I replied, “I do not know how to read (or, what shall I read?).” Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me and then released me and said, “Read: In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot. Read and Your Lord is Most Generous...up to...that which he knew not.” (96.15)

Then Allah’s Apostle returned with the Inspiration, his neck muscles twitching with terror till he entered upon Khadija and said, “Cover me! Cover me!” They covered him till his fear was over and then he said, “O Khadija, what is wrong with me?” Then he told her everything that had happened and said, ‘I fear that something may happen to me.” Khadija said, ‘Never! But have the glad tidings, for by Allah, Allah will never disgrace you as you keep good relations with your kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guest generously and assist the deserving, calamity-afflicted ones.” Khadija then accompanied him to (her cousin) Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin ‘Abdul ‘Uzza bin Qusai. Waraqa was the son of her paternal uncle, i.e., her father’s brother, who during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the Arabic writing and used to write of the Gospels in Arabic as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to him, “O my cousin! Listen to the story of your nephew.” Waraqa asked, “O my nephew! What have you seen?” The Prophet described whatever he had seen.

Waraqa said, “This is the same Namus (i.e., Gabriel, the Angel who keeps the secrets) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out.” Allah’s Apostle asked, “Will they turn me out?” Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said: “Never did a man come with something similar to what you have brought but was treated with hostility. If I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly.” But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while and the Prophet became so sad as we have heard that he intended several times to throw himself from the tops of high mountains and every time he went up the top of a mountain in order to throw himself down, Gabriel would appear before him and say, “O Muhammad! You are indeed Allah’s Apostle in truth” whereupon his heart would become quiet and he would calm down and would return home. And whenever the period of the coming of the inspiration used to become long, he would do as before, but when he used to reach the top of a mountain, Gabriel would appear before him and say to him what he had said before.

Ibn ‘Abbas said regarding the meaning of: “He it is that Cleaves the daybreak (from the darkness)” (6.96) that Al-Asbah. means the light of the sun during the day and the light of the moon at night.

Sahih Al-Bukhari’s Hadith 4.461 narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah:

...that he heard the Prophet saying, “The Divine Inspiration was delayed for a short period but suddenly, as I was walking, I heard a voice in the sky, and when I looked up towards the sky, to my surprise, I saw the angel who had come to me in the Hira Cave, and he was sitting on a chair in between the sky and the earth. I was so frightened by him that I fell on the ground and came to my family and said (to them), ‘Cover me! (with a blanket), cover me!’ Then Allah sent the Revelation: “O, You wrapped up (In a blanket)! (Arise and warn! And your Lord magnify And keep pure your garments, And desert the idols.” (74.1-5).

When God Almighty sends an angel to bring message to any human being, and the person is afraid, the angel would normally calm the nerves and then deliver the message. Luke 1:30, the angel said to Mary, “fear not”, Matthew 1:20, when the angel came to Joseph in relation to Jesus, the angel said to him, fear not. Both the Old and the New Testament is full of such stories. God does not cause us to fear and shiver, but calm and peacefulness accompanies the call of God in our lives. The fear, in this case, will come when one has sinned against God and as a result feels guilty. The story of Adam in Genesis 3 is typical.

10And have patience with what they say and leave them with noble dignity.

11And leave Me with those in possession of the good things of life who deny the truth; and bear with them for a little while.

12With Us are fetters and a fire to burn them.

13And food that chokes and a penalty grievous.

14One day the earth and the mountains will be in violent commotion and the mountains will be as a heap of sand poured out and flowing down.

15We have sent to you an apostle, to be a witness concerning you even as We sent an apostle to Pharaoh.

16But Pharaoh disobeyed the apostle; so We seized him with a heavy punishment.

10Washbir ala ma yaquluna wahjur hum hajran jamila         

11Wa zami wal mukaz zibina ulin namati wa mah hilhum qalila

12Inna ladaina ankalaw wa jahima

13Wa thaaman za qhush shatiw wa azaban alima

14Yauma tarjuful ardhu wal jibalu wa kanatil jibalu katsibam mahila

15Inna arsalna ilaikum rasulan sya hidan alaikum kama arsalna Firauna rasula

16Faasha Firaunur rasula fa akhaz nahu akhzaw wabila

[Commentary continues below.]

17Then how shall you if you deny, guard yourselves against a day that will make children hoary-headed?

18Whereon the sky will be cleft asunder? His promise must certainly be accomplished.

19Verily, this is an admonition: Therefore whoso will, let him take a straight path to his Lord!

17Fakaifa tataquna inkafartum yauma yajalul wildana syiha

18Asama u munfathirun bih kana waduhu mafula

19Inna hazihi tazkiratun faman syaatakhaza ila rabbihi sabila

[Commentary continues below.]

20The Lord does know that you stand forth nigh two-thirds of the night, or half the night, or a third of the night, and so does a party of those with you. But Allah does appoint night and day in due measure. He knows that you are unable to keep count thereof. So He has turned to you: read therefore of the Qur’an as much as may be easy for you. He knows that there may be some among you in ill health; others traveling through the land seeking of Allah’s bounty; yet others fighting in Allah’s cause. Read therefore as much of the Qur’an as may be easy for you; and establish regular prayer and give regular charity; and loan to Allah a beautiful loan. And whatever good you send forth for your souls, You shall find it in Allah’s presence, yea, better and greater in reward. And seek the grace of Allah: for Allah is often forgiving, most merciful.2

 20Inna rabbaka yalamu an naka taqu mu adna min tsulutsayil laili wa nish fahu wa tsulutsahu wa tha ifatum minal ladzina maak, wallahu yu qad dirul laila wan nahar alima al lan tuhshuhu fataba alaikum faqra u ma tayas sara minal quran alima an sayakunu minkum mardha wa a kharuna yadhribuna fil ardhi yabta qhuna min fadhlil lahi wa akharu na yuqatiluna fi sabilil lah faqra u ma taya sara minhu wa aqimush shalafa wa atu zakata wa aqridhul laha qardhan hasana wa ma tuqad dimu li anfusikum min khairin tajiduhu indal lahi huwa khairin wa azhama ajra wastagfirul lah innallaha ghafuru rahim

[Commentary continues below.]









2. What does Allah say in connection with how long Muhammad prays? The answer is not certain. If Muhammad cannot keep count and if Allah is not sure, then how is the record on this matter kept. In this Muhammad is told to read the Qur’an, but it did not exist in Muhammad’s lifetime, so what is Allah talking about? Othman, who commissioned the compilation, became a caliph in 644, Muhammad died in 632. This does not sound right. It would have been better if Allah had told Muhammad to read the portions of the recitation or revelation which he had with him. But because the Qur’an did not exist in his lifetime leaves a lot to be desired of both Allah and Muhammad.

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