سورة الزخرف   

Surah Name: Az-Zukhuruf Meaning: The Gold Ornaments

  • Revealed at Makkah
  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 7
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 89
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 43
  • Rukū / Section 3 contains Āyāt / Parts 10
  • Siparah/ Volume 25


وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ إِنَّنِي بَرَاء مِّمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ

Waith qala ibraheemu liabeehi waqawmihi innanee baraon mimma taAAbudoon(a)

And recall when Ibrahim-AS said to his father and his people, verily I am quit of what you worship.


إِلَّا الَّذِي فَطَرَنِي فَإِنَّهُ سَيَهْدِينِ

Illa allathee fataranee fainnahu sayahdeen(i)

Save Him-SWT , who has created me and then He-SWT would guide me.


وَجَعَلَهَا كَلِمَةً بَاقِيَةً فِي عَقِبِهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

WajaAAalaha kalimatan baqiyatan fee AAaqibihi laAAallahum yarjiAAoon(a)

And Ibrahim-AS made it a word lasting among his posterity that perhaps they may return.


بَلْ مَتَّعْتُ هَؤُلَاء وَآبَاءهُمْ حَتَّى جَاءهُمُ الْحَقُّ وَرَسُولٌ مُّبِينٌ

Bal mattaAAtu haolai waabaahum hatta jaahumu alhaqqu warasoolun mubeen(un)

Aye! I let these and their fathers enjoy life, until there came unto them the truth, and a plain Messenger-AS.


وَلَمَّا جَاءهُمُ الْحَقُّ قَالُوا هَذَا سِحْرٌ وَإِنَّا بِهِ كَافِرُونَ

Walamma jaahumu alhaqqu qaloo hatha sihrun wainna bihi kafiroon(a)

And when the truth came to them, they say this is magic, and verily we are therein disbelievers.


وَقَالُوا لَوْلَا نُزِّلَ هَذَا الْقُرْآنُ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنَ الْقَرْيَتَيْنِ عَظِيمٍ

Waqaloo lawla nuzzila hatha alquranu AAala rajulin mina alqaryatayni AAatheem(un)

And they say, why has not this Quran, been revealed to a man of moment in the two cities?


أَهُمْ يَقْسِمُونَ رَحْمَةَ رَبِّكَ نَحْنُ قَسَمْنَا بَيْنَهُم مَّعِيشَتَهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَرَفَعْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِيَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُهُم بَعْضًا سُخْرِيًّا وَرَحْمَتُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

Ahum yaqsimoona rahmata rabbika nahnu qasamna baynahum maAAeeshatahum fee alhayati a(l)ddunya warafaAAna baAAdahum fawqa baAAdin darajatin liyattakhitha baAAduhum baAAdan sukhriyyan warahmatu rabbika khayrun mimma yajmaAAoon(a)

Shall they apportion their Rabb-SWT's Mercy? It is We-SWT Who-SWT have apportioned among them their livelihood in the life of the world and have raised some of them over others in degrees, so that one of them may take another as a serf, and the Mercy of your Rabb-SWT is better than what they amass.


وَلَوْلَا أَن يَكُونَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً لَجَعَلْنَا لِمَن يَكْفُرُ بِالرَّحْمَنِ لِبُيُوتِهِمْ سُقُفًا مِّن فَضَّةٍ وَمَعَارِجَ عَلَيْهَا يَظْهَرُونَ

Walawla an yakoona a(l)nnasu ommatan wahidatan lajaAAalna liman yakfuru bi(al)rrahmani libuyootihim suqufan min fiddatin wamaAAarija AAalayha yathharoon(a)

And were it not that the mankind would have become one community; We-SWT should make for those who disbelieve in the Compassionate roofs of silver for their houses and silver stairways whereby they ascend.


وَلِبُيُوتِهِمْ أَبْوَابًا وَسُرُرًا عَلَيْهَا يَتَّكِؤُونَ

Walibuyootihim abwaban wasururan AAalayha yattakioon(a)

And silver doors for their houses and silver couches whereon they recline.


وَزُخْرُفًا وَإِن كُلُّ ذَلِكَ لَمَّا مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةُ عِندَ رَبِّكَ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

Wazukhrufan wain kullu thalika lamma mataAAu alhayati a(l)ddunya wa(a)lakhiratu AAinda rabbika lilmuttaqeen(a)

And ornaments of gold. And yet all that would have been but a provision of the life of this world, and the Hereafter with your Rabb-SWT is for the Allaah-SWT fearing.


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

If the word of their forefathers was dear to them, they should have better accepted word of Prophet Ibrahim-AS, who had opted for the revealed religion rather than the rituals practised by his ancestors. He categorically told them that he had nothing to do with it. Rather, the Omnipotent, Who-SWT had created shall guide him as well and would not abandon him. Prophet Ibrahim-AS not only refuted polytheism of his ancestors but also forcefully preached the Unity of Allaah-SWT for the coming generation. His message was so effective that his successors stuck to it for centuries so much so that till the raising of the Holy Prophet-SW, some Arabs still believed in monotheism and looked down upon idolatry. Obviously, reforming only the beliefs is not enough, but refutation and practical boycott of ungodly rituals is also imperative. And one must exert to the hilt to uphold the Truth and combat rituals to ensure that it is passed down to the posterity as a legacy.


Beliefs and practice must be handed down to progeny

Shaikh ‘Abdul Wahab Sh'orani writes that a very effective way for the reformation of one’s children is to pray for them. The ancestors of these Arabs, however, gave up the teachings of Prophet Ibrahim-AS and reverted to rituals. Yet Allah-SWT  gave them respite and blessed them with wealth and progeny, but far from being grateful they became engrossed in this world. Out of His-SWT Mercy and Benevolence, He-SWT sent unto them the Message of Truth in the form of Quran through the Holy Prophet-SW. This indeed was a great favour but they declared it sorcery and refused to believe. They said that if Allaah-SWT had really revealed this Quran, why not unto a man of moment in Makkah or Taif, whose word was generally accepted by the masses. The Holy Prophet-SW was not rich enough. It is nothing but absolute ignorance to expect that the magnificent blessing of Prophethood will be bestowed in accordance with their whims. They aspire to distribute the special Divine Mercy at their discretion. But Allaah-SWT dispenses even His-SWT general Mercy, far less in status than the Prophethood, unto the believers and the non believers alike in the form of the resources of life as He-SWT wants. People around the globe excel one another in different qualities, a system designed for mutual benefit to help evolve a human society. When man cannot disburse even the worldly affluence His-SWT special Mercy is far too precious to be endowed as per the wishes of the infidels.

Islam’s Economic System

Islam has not entrusted the economy to human agencies to determine peoples’ needs and how to fulfil them. Or the resources of life are given under the Government control for equitable distribution amongst all, for this is practically impossible. Islam has assigned the rights to each individual commensurate to his ability and matched it by an equivalent burden of obligations. So human beings are inter-dependent; a skilled technocrat relies on a labourer and vice versa.


To illustrate the point, it is the architect who designs while the building is raised out of bricks and mortar by masons and labourers. All, in turn, depend on the of the building who finances it. The labourer toils the most, followed by the mason while the engineer simply draws a sketch. At tlie end of the day it is the engineer who is paid the highest followed by the mason and the labourer.


Socialism declared this system of distribution wrong but Islam gives an edge to the engineer in view of his life long toil in acquiring the knowledge, to a lesser degree to the mason who worked hard to attain his skill, and in contrast the labourer only puts in his physical strength for the day. So the right thing is that a person gets the return of his efforts commensurate to the burden of his responsibility. No matter how hard socialism tries, it cannot make an equitable distribution, because the individual capabilities, mental development and devotion to work cannot be measured. It is impossible to make people work against their natural inclinations and to give even individual a task commensurate to his aptitude. According to the law of nature, every individual chooses an occupation that suits his temperament and inborn capabilities. Thus a politician is happy in his own capacity, an office worker is glad in his lot and a farmer is proud of his labour.


Similarly, Islam rejects capitalism and prohibits collection of wealth through unfair means, like hoarding, gambling, speculative buying ,interest etc. Instead it enjoins the payment of Zakat, 'Usher and voluntary charity on lawful earnings to qualify for rewards in the Hereafter, thereby preventing the concentration of wealth into few hands. It gives a middle path, a happy balance between socialism and capitalism.


Concept of Equality in Islam

Islamic equality certainly does not mean that every person gets an equal share in wealth, nor is it practically possible. On the other hand, it emphasizes that his rights must match his obligations and responsibilities. And once he fulfils these, he must not face any let or hindrance in getting his rights. This indeed is the essence of Islamic equality. Islam emphatically disapproves that an influential citizen gets his rights easily while the common man has to run from pillar to post for the purpose. Equality in rights and duties is neither possible nor natural. There are other creations besides mankind enjoined lesser duties, and proportionately lesser rights. The animals, for instance, are not at all obliged to observe the limits of the forbidden and the permissible. So mankind benefits from them by employing some for transportation and slaughtering others for food. This does not mean that the animals have been wronged. However, anyone who takes service from them is obliged to feed them or let them free on Allah-SWT's land Who-SWT , as the real Owner, shall feed them. Similarly given the capabilities Allaah-SWT entrusted mankind with a load of obligations, failing an honest execution they will be held accountable in the Akhirah. Likewise rights are assigned and as all are equal in the discharge of obligations so is everyone equally entitled to his rights. And to ensure that this equality is enforced in every walk of life is the responsibility of the Governments.

These foolish pagans gave so much importance to temporal wealth that they take it as a prerequisite to Prophethood, whereas it is of no significance to Allaah-SWT . Had there been no risk of the masses going astray because of the inherent greed in human make up, Allaah-SWT would have given so much to the infidels that they would have made their abodes in gold and silver to be ultimately left behind regretfully. Mark that the provisions of this temporal world are temporary as against the permanent blessings of Akhirah to be availed by those who practise piety, obey Him-SWT and seek His-SWT nearness.