Lecture 2- Surat An-Naba (Part II)

05-16-2024 10:36 AM Comment(s) By AIIM

Community in Crisis: A Culture of Doubt and the Undermining of Faith

Makki Quranic Discourse Affirms Beliefs and Refutes Doubts


Since Allah created human beings and knows what is best for their well-being, the Quranic discourse is perfectly tailored to the human psyche. "Does He not know who created? And He is the Subtle, the All-Aware" (Surah Al-Mulk, 67:14). The Quran provides guidance, offering solutions to our spiritual, emotional, and moral struggles because it comes from the One who knows us inside and out.

Its teachings nurture our inner needs and speak directly to the soul, offering certainty amidst uncertainty, hope amidst despair, and clarity amidst confusion. The Quran acknowledges our deepest fears, doubts, and aspirations while providing the necessary answers. It brings reassurance, empowering us to overcome challenges and elevate our moral compass.

In a confusing and tumultuous world, the Quran remains a source of unwavering guidance that aligns perfectly with our intrinsic nature. Its divine wisdom resonates because it originates from the Creator, who understands us better than we know ourselves. Our role is to open our hearts and minds to this divine message, allowing it to transform us from within and bring us closer to the purpose for which we were created.

Some Muslims wonder why the Quran does not change or affect them as profoundly as they hope. The reason often lies not with the sender or the content but with the reception. For the Quranic message to touch and transform our lives, the heart must be prepared to receive it, like soil ready for planting. The seeds cannot take root if the soil is barren or resistant.

It's akin to medication—you must have the condition for which the medicine is prescribed for it to work. Likewise, the heart must be open to the Quran's message. This concept is captured in the experiences of notable early Muslims. When Umar ibn al-Khattab heard a verse from Surah Al-Imran, he felt he was hearing it for the first time, despite his deep familiarity with it. Similarly, Jubayr ibn Mut’im said that his heart was about to fly out of his chest when he heard the words of the Quran.

These examples illustrate the importance of receptivity and reflection. An open heart lets the Quran penetrate, bringing forth transformation, peace, and a profound sense of connection to its divine wisdom. Such openness is necessary for the message to resonate fully, leaving one unmoved and unchanged. Therefore, preparing the heart to receive the Quran is essential to inspire and guide us toward growth and righteousness.

Characteristics of the Makki Quranic Discourse:

The Quranic discourse is intricately crafted to resonate with the human psyche, making it profoundly effective. As a divine text, it offers guidance and wisdom closely aligned with the inner workings of the mind and soul. This alignment allows it to affirm beliefs with unwavering authority and refute doubts decisively, distinguishing it from human discourse.

Our world has fields dedicated to understanding mental and psychological well-being. Psychiatry and psychology delve into the complexities of the mind, exploring its functions and the effects of environmental factors. These disciplines address mental challenges by interpreting behaviors and cognitive processes through diverse schools of thought. Similarly, the Quran engages deeply with the psyche, transcending ordinary understanding by providing divine insights that have guided humanity for centuries.

Discoveries about the human psyche—depth, resilience, and vulnerabilities—emerge daily. These revelations frequently affirm the wisdom embedded within the Quranic discourse, which provided sophisticated insights into human nature long before modern psychology.

The Quranic discourse remains incredibly relevant as it speaks directly to the core of human existence. It tackles the eternal struggle between certainty and doubt, offering answers that satisfy both the heart and mind. It does not merely address the human condition; it speaks from a place of divine knowledge, providing a message reflecting God's infinite wisdom and a direct response to humanity's quest for understanding.

Below is a list of characteristics that distinguish Quranic discourse from human discourse:

The Unwavering Certainty of the Quranic Discourse: A discourse of certainties, not theories—the Holy Quran: While human authors revise and republish their work countless times, the Quranic discourse stands firm, embodying certainties without a doubt. Though some claim no absolute truth, the Quran unequivocally affirms that absolute truth exists. This unwavering certainty instills a sense of security and confidence in us.

Embracing Our Destiny: The Quranic Discourse on Certainty and the Future: The Quranic discourse directly addresses our destinies, offering a message of certainty that profoundly concerns our fate and should, therefore, be taken seriously. It answers fundamental existential questions and speaks of an uncertain future we are internally compelled to contemplate.

The Quranic Discourse Beyond Human Emotions: The Quranic discourse is a transcendent message outside the human psyche, unlike the expressions that arise from within us. When people speak, they convey their emotions—sorrow, joy, fear, and more. In contrast, the Quranic discourse comes from a speaker unaffected by temporal events, delivering a message rooted in certainty and authority.

Poets and writers' words reflect the timeless meanings within the human psyche, which constantly shifts between strength and weakness, joy and fear, and peace and anxiety. However, the Quranic discourse encompasses these dimensions rather than emerging from them. This is why it expresses every aspect of the human psyche with such depth and insight. For instance, reading the Meccan verses reveals how the Quran addresses people at the height of their vulnerability while simultaneously providing certainty in the promise of victory.

The Authority of the Quranic Discourse: Guiding the Psyche Toward Certainty or Denial: The Quran presents an all-encompassing discourse that the human psyche recognizes as confident, decisive, transcendent, and comprehensive. As a result, it guides the psyche toward one of two states: certainty and faith or denial despite recognizing the truth. "And they rejected them, while their souls were convinced thereof, out of injustice and arrogance." The Quran profoundly influences the psyche, leading it to wholehearted faith without hypocrisy or willful rejection despite knowledge.

Transcendent Across Time: The Timeless Message of the Quranic Discourse: The Quranic discourse transcends the boundaries of the unseen and the seen, seamlessly encompassing the past, present, and future. It offers a timeless message that remains relevant across ages and circumstances, guiding humanity through life's temporal challenges while reminding us of the eternal realities.

Challenging Nature of the Quranic Discourse: The Quranic discourse is certain, decisive, transcendent, comprehensive, compelling, and unapologetically challenging. It confronts those who doubt its divine origin, inviting them to "Bring ten surahs like it or even a single surah." Its unwavering certainty is reflected in the command, "Say, 'By my Lord, it will surely come to you.'" This challenge establishes the Quran's authority and unparalleled nature, emphasizing its unmatched eloquence and profound wisdom while affirming its divine origin beyond human capacity.

The Coherence of the Quranic Discourse: Consistency in Guiding to Servitude to Allah: The Quranic discourse remains focused and consistent. As the verse states, "Do they not reflect upon the Quran? Had it been from other than Allah, they would have found in it much contradiction." This signifies that those who read the Quran see a coherent discussion of various topics. Unlike poetry, which "wanders in every valley," the Quran maintains coherence while addressing diverse subjects, all leading to a singular goal: achieving servitude to Allah.

In contrast, human discourse often drifts through various topics and contradictory paths. For instance, Jablah ibn al-Ayham asked a poet to "Criticize wine for me" and "Make me love wine," both praising and condemning the same thing. However, the Quran upholds a consistent standard across all topics, guiding us to "Be devoted servants because you have been teaching the Book and because you have been studying it."

The Manifest Signs:Creation as Evidence for Resurrection (78:6-16)

As committed believers in the Day of Judgment, we must confront skepticism with determined responses, leaving no room for indecision or passivity. This is exemplified by the Prophet's response to Al-As ibn Wail Al-Sahmee, a status quo brokering community member, who brought decayed bones to illustrate his skepticism about resurrection. The Prophet informed him that Allah would indeed resurrect him, admit him into Hellfire, and punish him there.


Yet, the Quran acknowledges the pervasive influence of skepticism campaigns, particularly on the innocent, vulnerable, and weak segments of society. It is in response to this that verses 6-16 in Surah An-Naba` are dedicated to dispelling any misconceptions they may have acquired. These verses present creation as tangible evidence for resurrection, affirming the power and capability of Allah to resurrect the dead and underscoring the certainty of the Day of Judgment.


In Surat An-Naba, the Quran presents a pivotal series of verses 6 through 16 that offer rhetorical questions and statements highlighting the wonders of creation. These verses are a testament to Allah's power, wisdom, and authority, directly challenging those who question the reality of resurrection and affirming Allah's right to legislate and be worshipped. They negate any notion of weakness in Allah and emphasize His absolute power to resurrect, dismissing the ideas of nonsense, futility, or playfulness while confirming His divine wisdom.

Moreover, these verses challenge the intellect of those who reject and deny resurrection. If they can refute the resurrection, they should similarly cancel out these observable creational phenomena like rain giving life to the dead earth, mountains providing stability to the land, and more. These creational signs illustrate Allah's might and provide illustrative examples of resurrection, as seen in the union of husband and wife, resulting in a new life.

To complement the concept of creation as evidence for the resurrection, consider the earlier example of the professor challenging students who deny the legitimacy of final exams. The professor would present his case by pointing to the school's establishment, the hiring of teachers, and the carefully designed curriculum. He'd say, "Did we build this school, hire these educators, and create this curriculum for no purpose?" 

This rhetorical challenge highlights that the entire educational system is structured with a clear objective: the final exams.

Similarly, Allah reminds those who deny the resurrection of the purposefulness of His creation. The wonders of the universe—the earth, the mountains, the heavens, and the day and night cycle—are not aimless but serve a divine purpose, pointing to the reality of resurrection and accountability. Thus, creation becomes a compelling argument for the legitimacy of Allah's promise of resurrection.

Verse 6 starts with a profound observation: " Have we not made the earth as a bed?" This suggests the earth's perfect conditions for sustaining life, akin to a bed that offers rest and stability. Following this, verse 7 describes "the mountains as pegs," emphasizing their role in stabilizing the earth's crust, akin to pegs that secure a tent. This imagery conveys the physical attributes and underlying stability these natural features provide.

The creation of life in pairs, as mentioned in verse 8, highlights the diversity and balance essential to life's continuation. This extends beyond mere biological pairs to encompass opposite and complementary forces that maintain equilibrium in the universe.

Verses 9 to 11 shift our focus from the grandeur of the natural world to the intimate human experience. They remind us of the cyclical and purposeful nature of time, with sleep as restoration, the night as a veil of tranquility, and the day as an opportunity for earning one's livelihood. These verses paint a picture of a world designed to cater to human needs and activities, a world that is part of a larger, divine plan.

The construction of "seven strong (heavens)" in verse 12 and the placement of a "shining lamp (sun)" in verse 13 further illustrate the meticulous design of the universe, serving not only as a canopy protecting the earth but also as sources of light and energy essential for life.

Verse 14 speaks of the rain sent from clouds, leading to the growth of crops and vegetation, as mentioned in verses 15 and 16. These verses encapsulate the cycle of sustenance prepared by Allah, which supports all forms of life and the ecosystems around them. The mention of "gardens of thick growth" symbolizes abundance and the continuous provision provided by Allah to His creations.

By illustrating these creational signs, the Quran challenges the skeptics and those in denial. It directs them to reflect on the world around them—as every element of creation testifies to Allah's sovereignty, meticulous planning, and the reality of resurrection. Through these verses, the Quran argues for the divine origin of the laws that govern life and reinforces the promise of resurrection, reminding humanity of the meticulous care with which they are created and sustained, mirroring the care they can expect in the life to come.

The verses from Surat An-Naba (6-16) beautifully illustrate two crucial points about the divine design and purpose of the universe.

1. Harmonious Dependency and Divine Unity: These verses highlight the intricate and interdependent relationships among the elements of the universe, pointing to the unity and sovereignty of their Creator. The earth is described as a bed, providing stability and comfort, while the mountains, likened to pegs, serve a crucial role in stabilizing the earth's crust. This stability is essential for human life and the various ecosystems on the planet. The creation in pairs, mentioned in verse 8, exemplifies the balance and harmony inherent in all living things, each complementing the other in fulfilling life's functions. The strong heavens built above, the shining sun, and the cycle of rain demonstrate a system in perfect harmony and reflect the singular control and coordination of one Divine Entity overseeing and sustaining all.

2. Beneficial Design for Human Interaction: The verses also emphasize how these elements of creation are tailored to benefit humanity, ensuring that our interaction with the natural world is advantageous rather than burdensome. Sleep is granted as a restorative process; the darkness of the night offers cover and a break from the day's labor, while daylight provides the opportunity to work and earn a livelihood. The rain is sent to nourish the earth, enabling the growth of crops and lush gardens, which are sources of sustenance and beauty. This design is not accidental but deliberate facilitation of human needs, showing that these universal elements are made to serve us and integrated into our lives in essential yet beneficial ways.

These points underscore a universe crafted with meticulous care and profound wisdom. Every component serves a purpose, supporting life and ensuring its continuity. This systemic harmony and the intentional benefits we derive from these elements testify to the unity and benevolence of the Creator, encouraging reflection on our place within this divine order and our relationship with the Creator who orchestrates it all.

This commentary thus highlights how the physical and observable realities of the universe serve as evidence of divine craftsmanship and a call to recognize and submit to the Creator's authority, fulfilling the purpose for which they were mentioned in Surat An-Naba.


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