This Surah is the first Surah in the Mufassal section of the Qur'an, according to the correct view. It is said that the Mufassal starts with Surat Al-Hujurat. Some common people say that the Mufassal starts with Surah `Amma An-Naba, (chapter 78), however, this is not true because none of the respected scholars ever supported this opinion. Aws (bin Hudhayfah) said; "I asked the Companions of Allah's Messenger () how they divided the Qur'an. They said; `Three, five, seven, nine, eleven, thirteen, and the Mufassal section as one.' '' This was recorded by Ibn Majah and Imam Ahmad. If one counts forty-eight Surahs, the next Surah will be Surah Qaf. The details are as follows: The ﴿first﴾ three Surahs are Al-Baqarah (chapter 2), Al `Imran (3), then An-Nisa' (4). The five are Al-Ma'idah (5), Al-An`am (6), Al-A`raf (7), Al-Anfal (8) and Bara'ah (or At-Tawbah) (9). The seven next Surahs are Surah Yunus (10), Hud (11), Yusuf (12), Ar-Ra`d (13), Ibrahim (14), Al-Hijr (15) and An-Nahl (16). The nine next Surahs are, Subhan (or Al-Isra' (17)﴾, Al-Kahf (18), Maryam (19), Ta Ha (20), Al-Anbiya' (21), Al-Hajj (22), Al-Mu`minun (23), An-Nur (24) and Al-Furqan (25). The next eleven Surahs are Surat Ash-Shu`ara (26), An-Naml (27), Al-Qasas (28), Al-`Ankabut (29), Ar-Rum (30), Luqman (31), Alif Lam Mim As-Sajdah (32), Al-Ahzab (33), Saba' (34), Fatir (35) and Ya Sin (36). The next thirteen are Surat As-Saffat (37), Sad (38), Az-Zumar (39), Ghafir (40), Ha Mim As-Sajdah (or Fussilat) (41), Ash-Shura (42), Az-Zukhruf (43), Ad-Dukhan (44), Al-Jathiyah (45), Al-Ahqaf (46), Al-Qital (or Muhammad) (47), Al-Fath (48) and Al-Hujurat (49). After that comes the Mufassal section, according to the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all. Therefore, Surah Qaf (chapter 50) is the first of the Mufassal, just as we stated, and all praise is due to Allah and all favors are from Him.
Imam Ahmad recorded that `Umar bin Al-Khattab asked Abu Waqid Al-Laythi, "What did the Prophet recite during the `Id Prayer'' Abu Waqid said, "Surah Qaf and Surat Iqtarabat (i.e. Surat Al-Qamar (54)).'' Muslim and the Four Collectors of the Sunan collected this Hadith. Imam Ahmad recorded that Umm Hisham bint Harithah said, "For around two years, or a year and a part of another year, our oven and the oven of the Prophet was one and the same. I memorized Surah,
(Qaf. By the Glorious Qur'an.) from the tongue of the Messenger of Allah who used to recite it every Friday while standing on the Minbar delivering the Friday sermon to the people.'' Muslim collected this Hadith. Abu Dawud also recorded that the daughter of Al-Harith bin An-Nu`man said, "I only memorized Surah Qaf from the mouth of the Messenger of Allah who used to recite it in every Friday Khutbah. Our oven and the oven of the Messenger was one and the same.'' Muslim and An-Nasa'i collected this Hadith. Therefore, the Messenger of Allah used to recite this Surah during large gatherings such as the `Ids and during Friday sermons. He did so because this Surah contains news of the beginning of creation, Resurrection, the Return, Standing (before Allah), the Reckoning, Paradise, the Fire, Allah's reward and punishment, lessons of encouragement, and lessons of discouragement. Allah knows best.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
(1. Qaf. By the Glorious Qur'an.) (2. Nay, they wonder that there has come to them a warner from among themselves. So the disbelievers say: "This is a strange thing!'') (3. "When we are dead and have become dust. (Shall we be resurrected) That is a far return.'') (4. We know that which the earth takes of them, and with Us is a Book preserved.) (5. Nay, but they have denied the truth when it has come to them, so they are in a Marij state.)
(Qaf.) which is one of the letters of the alphabet that are mentioned in the beginning of some Surahs, such as,
(Nun. ) (68:1)
(Alif Lam Mim.) (2:1),
(Ha Mim.) (40:1), and
(Ta Sin) (28:1) and etc., Mujahid and several others said this. We also discussed this in the beginning of the explanation of Surat Al-Baqarah, and therefore, it is not necessary to repeat it here.
(By the Glorious Qur'an.) means by the Honorable and Great Qur'an, which,
(Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it: (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise.)(41:42) The subject of the oath contained in this Ayah is specified afterwards, even though it does not appear by word, emphasizing prophethood, resurrection and affirming that they are true. There are similar kinds of oaths in the Qur'an, whose subject is included in the meaning but not by word, such as,
(Sad. By the Qur'an full of reminding. Nay, those who disbelieve are in false pride and opposition.)(38:1-2) Allah said here,
(Qaf. By the Glorious Qur'an. Nay, they wonder that there has come to them a warner from among themselves. So the disbelievers say: "This is a strange thing!'') They wondered at the wisdom behind sending a Messenger who is a human being. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said in another Ayah
(Is it a wonder for mankind that We have sent Our revelation to a man from among themselves (saying): "Warn mankind.'') (10:2), meaning, this is not strange, for Allah chooses Messengers from angels and humans. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored mentioned that the disbelievers also wondered about the Resurrection and discounted its coming,
(When we are dead and have become dust. That is a far return.) They said, `after we die, disintegrate, with our organs torn apart and we become dust, how can we be brought back to our original shape and bodies,'
(That is a far return.) `it is not likely that it will ever occur.' They thought that Resurrection was far from happening and will never occur. Allah the Exalted responded to their statement by saying,
(We know that which the earth takes of them.) meaning, `We know what the earth consumes of their dead bodies.' Where and how the bodies disintegrated, what they turned into and how they have become, all of this is never absent from Allah's knowledge.
(and with Us is a Book preserved,) `that keeps all records. Therefore, Our knowledge is encompassing and the Book of decrees has everything precisely recorded in it. Al-`Awfi narrated that `Abdullah bin `Abbas commented on the statement of Allah the Exalted,
(We know that which the earth takes of them,) "It refers to what the earth consumes of their flesh, skin, bones and hair.'' A similar view was recorded from Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and several others. Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, explained the reason behind their disbelief, rebellion and discounting the possibility of what is truly possible,
(Nay, but they have denied the truth when it has come to them, so they are in a Marij state.) This is the state of all those who defy the Truth: whatever they say and utter after denying the Truth, is utterly false. Marij means, in disarray, in a confused state and defying the characteristics of the Truth. Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,
(Certainly, you have different ideas. Turned aside therefrom is he who is turned aside.)(51:8-9)
(6. Have they not looked at the heaven above them, how We have made it and adorned it, and there are no Furuj in it) (7. And the earth! We have spread it out, and set thereon Rawasi standing firm, and We planted in it every lovely (Bahij) pair.) (8. An insight and a Reminder for every servant who turns to Allah in repentance.) (9. And We send down blessed water (rain) from the sky, then We produce therewith Jannat and grain that are reaped.) (10. And date palms Basiqat, with arranged clusters.) (11. A provision for the servants. And We give life therewith to a dead land. Thus will be the Resurrection.)
Allah the Exalted notifies the servants of His infinite power, which He demonstrated by creating what is bigger than that which they wondered about and whose possibility they discount,
(Have they not looked at the heaven above them, how We have made it and adorned it,) with lamps;
(and there are no Furuj in it) i.e., clefts, according to Mujahid. Others said that Furuj means, rifts, or cracks. All these meanings are close to one another. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,
(Who has created the seven heavens one above another; you can see no fault in the creation of the Most Gracious. Then look again: "Can you see any rifts'' Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you in a state of humiliation and worn out.) (67:2-4) fatigued, unable to discover any imperfection or shortcomings. The statement of Allah the Exalted, the Blessed,
(And the earth! We have spread it out, ) means, `We made it spacious and spread it out,'
(and set thereon Rawasi standing firm.) which are the mountains to save the earth from shaking along with its inhabitants,
(and We planted in it every lovely (Bahij) pair.) every kind and species of plant, fruit and vegetation,
(And of everything We have created pairs that you may reflect.)(51:49) Allah's saying `Bahij', meaning a beautiful scene,
(An insight and a Reminder for every servant who turns to Allah in repentance.) Allah says that observing the creation of the heavens and earth and all the great things that He has placed in them provides insight, proof and a lesson for every penitent servant who submits in humbleness and repentance to Allah feeling fear, in awe of Him. Allah the Exalted said,
(And We send down blessed water from the sky,) meaning beneficial,
(then We produce therewith Jannat), means special and public parks, gardens, etc.
(and grain that are reaped) grains that are harvested for food and for storage for later use,
(And date palms Basiqat,) meaning, tall and high, according to the explanation reported from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and As-Suddi. Allah said,
(with arranged clusters.) producing fruits arranged in clusters,
(A provision for (Allah's) servants.) for (Allah's) creation,
(And We give life therewith to a dead land.) this is the land that was barren. However, when rain falls upon it, it is stirred to life; it swells and produces all of the lovely pairs such as flowers and the like -- amazing on account of their beauty. All of this comes into existence after the land was without greenery, yet it was stirred back to life and became green. Indeed, this should provide proof of Resurrection after death and disintegration; thus Allah resurrects the dead. This sign of Allah's ability that is seen and witnessed is greater than the denial of those who discount the possibility of Resurrection. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said in other Ayat,
(The creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind;) (40:57),
(Do they not see that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and was not wearied by their creation, is able to give life to the dead Yes, He surely is Able to do all things.)(46:33) and,
(And among His signs (is this), that you see the earth barren; but when We send down water to it, it is stirred to life and growth. Verily, He Who gives it life, surely is able to give life to the dead. Indeed He is Able to do all things.)(41:39)
(12. Denied before them the people of Nuh, and the Dwellers of Rass, and Thamud,) (13. And `Ad, and Fir`awn, and the brethren of Lut,) (14. And the Dwellers of Al-Aykah, and the people of Tubba`. Everyone of them denied (their) Messengers, so My threat took effect.) (15. Were We then tired with the first creation Nay, they are in confused doubt about a new creation.)