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Surat At-Tīn (The Fig) - سورة التين

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    Period of Revelation: There are two different views relating to this Surah: first that it is a Makki Sürah, and second that it is Madani Sürah. The majority of scholars regard it as a Makki revelation, a manifest symbol of which is the use of the words 'Hadhal Baladil-Ameen' (this city of peace) for Makkah. Major Issue, Divine Law and Guidance: • Man is the best creature of all, except the disbelievers. The theme of this Surah is concerning the rewards and punishments in the Hereafter. For this purpose, first swearing an oath by the two food items, which are the nourishment to the body and the two sacred places (Mount of Tür and Makkah, where Allah revealed His message to the Prophet Musa (Moses) and the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them), which are nourishment to the Soul and the source for its Guidance. Then it is stated that Allah has created man in the most excellent of molds, therefore, he is expected to keep balance in the nourishment of the body and the soul, following the guidance received from his Creator, and not to associate anyone else with Him. This signifies that man has been blessed with such excellent capabilities that he can attain the highest position which has not been attained by any other creature. Then, two kinds of men are pointed out:         First kind are those who in spite of having been created in the finest of molds, become inclined to evil and their moral degeneration causes them to be reduced to the lowest of the low. Second kind are those, who by adopting the way of faith and righteousness, remain secure from degeneration and are consistent with the noble position, which is the necessary demand of their having been created in the best of molds. The existence among mankind of both these kinds is a factual thing, which no one can deny. It has been observed and experienced in society everywhere at all times. In conclusion, this reality of the two kinds of men, is used as an argument to prove that when among the people, there exist two separate and quite distinct kinds, how can one deny the judgement, and the reward and punishment for deeds. If the morally degraded people are not punished and the morally pure people are not rewarded (both end in the dust alike), it would mean that there is no justice in the Kingdom of Allah, whereas human nature and common sense demands that a judge should do justice. How then can one conceive that Allah, Who is the most just of all judges, would not do justice?

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    the surah opens with an affirmation that, as the fig and olive trees are real, and as Mount Sinai is real, and as Makkah, the city of peace and security, is real, man was created in the best physical and spiritual form (verses 1–4). Plants and trees, such as figs and olives, are natural phenomena that testify to God’s greatness and glory. Out of mud, peat, and earth grow such sweet, pure, and fragrant fruit. Some commentators are of the opinion that figs, olives, Mount Sinai, and Makkah are references to lands where some of God’s most senior and noble messengers had emerged. ¢Abd Allah ibn ¢Abb¥s is reported to have said that the fig is a symbol of the shrine Noah built on Mount J‰dÏ at the end of the Great Flood; olives are a reference to the shrine in Jerusalem erected by Abraham, after he had built the Ka¢bah in Makkah; Mount Sinai is where God spoke to Moses and commissioned him to be a messenger; and the city of peace is Makkah, the cradle of Islam. These splendid phenomena and noble and blessed lands are a testimony to a great universal truth: that man was created in the best form, not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually. Man’s intellect, wisdom, and intelligence have been the most distinguish- ing factors of his being. However, Prophet Muhammad was repor- ted to have said: “God does not give much weight to your looks or outward appearance, but to what is in your hearts.” The spirit that God had blown into man has made him a uniquely important creature. The surah indicates that man’s initial state is one surah 95 • Al-TÏn of wholesomeness, but the environment into which a person is born is liable to corrupt and demean his character and personality. Elsewhere in the Qur’an, we read: Turn your face steadfastly towards the true faith, the natural form in which God has created mankind. God’s creation shall not be cor- rupted. This is the universally true faith, though most people may not realize it. (al-R‰m: 30) When people abandon faith in God Almighty and allow their basic original nature to be corrupted, they sink to degrading levels of evil behavior, committing monstrous acts, such as infanticide, burning wives with their dead husbands, gratuitous torture, oppression, greed, and apostasy. Man’s basic pristine and righteous nature can be preserved with devotion to and fear of God; otherwise man’s faith withers away. The surah goes on to assert: “…and thereafter We reduce him to the lowest of the low, except the believers who do good works, their reward shall be everlasting” (5–6). Then it addresses man with a sharp and most profound question: “What then, in view of this, could make you [man] deny the faith? Is God not the Most Just of all judges?” (7–8). Why, the surah asks, having been shown the right path, should people turn, and divert others, away from it? Worse still, how could they replace God’s true religion with other false or inadequate ones? The Prophet taught that after reading the last verse of this surah, one should say: “Indeed! And I am a witness thereto.”

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    وَالتِّينِ وَالزَّيْتُونِ

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    وَطُورِ سِينِينَ

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    وَهَٰذَا الْبَلَدِ الْأَمِينِ

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    لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ فِي أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ

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    ثُمَّ رَدَدْنَاهُ أَسْفَلَ سَافِلِينَ

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    إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فَلَهُمْ أَجْرٌ غَيْرُ مَمْنُونٍ

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    فَمَا يُكَذِّبُكَ بَعْدُ بِالدِّينِ

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    أَلَيْسَ اللَّهُ بِأَحْكَمِ الْحَاكِمِينَ

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