Thank you for the excellent video!
Surah 29. Al-‘Ankaboot – The Spider
[Author’s Note] This is the 29th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 69 verses. The weakest dwelling is that of the spider. Those who ignore the Divine System automatically choose ways of life that are as fragile as the home of a spider. This is an example for those who accept worldly masters and their parallel systems, and ignore the Divine Guidance. The Surah touches upon some history of human behavior and their reaction to Divine Revelation, and gives us Permanent Injunctions to reflect on and follow.
With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness
29:1 A.L.M. Alif-Laam-Meem. (Allah, Lateef the Unfathomable, Majeed the Magnificent, states),
29:2 Do people think that they will be left (at ease) simply because they say, "We believe", and will not be put to test?
[Mere belief will never suffice for salvation and success. 2:214, 3:141, 9:16, 33:10]
29:3 We did test those who lived before them. Thus, God knows those who are truthful and He knows those who are liars.
29:4 Do those who treat others unfairly think that they can escape Us (Our Laws)? Bad is their judgment! [Sayyeh = Harming others = Disrupting people’s lives = Treating them unfairly]
29:5 One who looks forward to meeting with God, should have conviction that the end is bound to come – and He is the Hearer, the Knower.
29:6 So, whoever strives (with wealth and persons), strives for the good of his own ‘self’. God is altogether Independent of His creation.
29:7 As for those who come to believe and help others, We shall blot out their previous misdeeds, and We shall certainly reward them generously for what they do.
29:8 We have enjoined upon the human being kindness to parents. But, if they strive to make you ascribe divinity besides Me, this will conflict with what you have learned. Then, do not obey them, for it is to Me that all of you must return, whereupon I shall truly make you understand what you used to do. [31:14-15]
29:9 Those who choose to believe and do acts of community service, We will admit them to the company of the righteous. [Saaliheen, 26:83]
29:10 Of mankind there are such who say, "We do believe in God." But when they are made to suffer for the sake of God, they think that persecution at the hands of people is God’s punishment. And if help comes from your Lord, they say, “We were with you all the while.” Is not God best Aware of what is in the hearts of all creation?
29:11 God knows those who have chosen to believe, and He knows the hypocrites.
29:12 Some deniers tell the believers, “Follow our way and we will bear your faults." Never in the least will they bear their faults. For sure, they are liars.
29:13 They will bear their own burdens, and in addition, the burden of misleading others. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will be held accountable for the lies they invented.
29:14 We sent Noah to his people and he lived among them a thousand years less fifty (his influence lasted 950 years.) The flood overwhelmed them, for they were violators of human rights. [Ancient texts and legends sometimes described the age of a great man according to how long his Message or influence had lasted]
29:15 And We saved him and his followers on the ship and We made this a lesson for all people.
29:16 (Abraham was sent more than a thousand years after Noah, at about the same location in Mesopotamia.) Abraham said to his people, “Serve God and be mindful of Him. That will be best for you if you know and understand.
29:17 You worship idols (Awthaan) instead of God and invent false news about their powers. Those you worship instead of God do not own your provision. So, seek provision from God (by establishing the Divine System). And serve Him alone and be grateful by sharing His bounties with others. Unto Him you will be brought back. [WATHN = Something that does not move = A stony idol. Awthaan, plural]
29:18 And if you reject (the Message), so did communities before you (and suffered the consequences). The duty of the Messenger is only to convey the Message clearly and publicly. [Balaaghil Mubeen = Convey clearly, openly, publicly]
29:19 Do they not see how God originates creation, and then repeats it? This is easy for God. [Think of the emergence of organic matter, its decay and the re-emergence of life]
29:20 Say, “Travel on earth and find out how He originated creation. And how afterward, God brings forth entirely new forms. God is the Supreme Designer of all things.”
29:21 He punishes individuals and communities according to His Laws, and bestows mercy according to His Laws. To Him you will be returned.
29:22 And never – not on earth and not in the heavens – you can hope to defy His Laws. And there is no protector or helper for you other than God. [In the context of change and evolution, the earth and the sky might also indicate the low and high state of communities]
29:23 Those who reject God’s Messages and the meeting with Him, it is those who will despair of My mercy. And for them is an awful doom. [They disbelieve in the Divine Plan and in the advanced form of life in the Hereafter. 56:61]
29:24 (Abraham explained these facts to his people) but their only answer was, "Slay him or burn him alive!" But God saved him from their fiery rage. In this history, there are lessons for believers (such as, when people have no sensible answers, they resort to threats and violence. 21:68, 37:96-97).
29:25 And he said, "You have chosen idols (and their priests) instead of God, out of regard for your social bonds in this worldly life. But on the Resurrection Day you will disown one another and curse one another. The fire will be your home, and there will be no helpers for you.
29:26 And Lot believed in him (Abraham) all along. Abraham said, “I will quit this domain of evil and migrate for the sake of my Lord, for He is Exalted in Might, and Wise." [From the kingdom of Nimrod Shaddad in Babylon, Abraham emigrated to Syria-Can’aan. Lot, Abraham’s nephew, was later commissioned as a Prophet and sent to Sodom and Gomorrah by the Dead Sea. 37:99]
29:27 And We bestowed upon Abraham (a son) Isaac, and (a grandson) Jacob, and caused Prophethood and Revelation to continue among his progeny. And We gave him his reward in this world and, in the life to come, he shall be among those who perfected their own ‘self’.
29:28 And Lot said to his people, "You commit such an abomination as no one in the world has done before you.
29:29 Do you not approach males, and cut off the way of Nature? Do you not commit highway robbery? And do you not commit shameful vices openly in your assemblies?” But his people’s only answer was, "Bring down upon us the punishment of God if you are a man of truth."
29:30 He prayed, "My Lord! Help me against people who spread corruption and disorder."
29:31 When Our Messengers brought the good news to Abraham (of a son Isaac), they also said, "We are appointed to herald the annihilation of that town, for its people are wrongdoers." [Abraham lived in Hebron, Palestine about 2000 BC. From the heights in Hebron he could see the Valley of Sodom by the Dead Sea]
29:32 Abraham said, "But Lot is also there." They said, "We know well who dwell there. We will certainly save him, his household and his followers; all but his wife who will stay behind (since she has stayed behind in belief)." [‘Ahl’ of a Prophet denotes his household and, especially, his followers. 7:80-84, 11:69-81, 15:59, 21:71-76, 26:160-169, 27:54-56, 66:10]
29:33 When Our Messengers came to Lot, he was grieved on their account, for he could not protect them. But they said, "Fear not, nor grieve! We are appointed to save you, your household and your followers, except your wife who will stay behind.
29:34 We are about to herald the heavenly requital upon the people of this town because of their drifting away from Permanent Values.”
29:35 And so it was. Therein We have left a clear sign for people who use their intellect. [The Dead Sea to this day is also known as Bahr Lut, the Sea of Lot, and it remains devoid of plant and animal life]
29:36 And to Midyan We sent their brother Sho’aib (Jethro). He said, "O My people! Serve God, and look forward to the Last Day, the life to come, and do not act wickedly on earth spreading disorder and corruption."
29:37 But they denied him. Thereupon a dreadful rainstorm and earthquake overtook them, and morning found them dead, prone in their homes. (26:189)
29:38 And (the Tribes of) ‘Aad and Thamud! Their fate is manifest to you from their ruined dwellings. Satan had made their doings seem goodly to them, and thus it had barred them from the right path. And yet, they were a people endowed with vision! [Their personal interests hindered them from coming to the right path. They were people of vision and high intellect, Mustabsireen. However, unjust systems wither away regardless of how smartly they are run. The capital of ‘Aad was the legendary Iram, the Town of Pillars that lies buried in the sand dunes of the second largest desert in the world after the African Sahara. Called Ruba’ al-Khali’ = The Empty Quarter, this desert covers much of the Southeastern Arabian Peninsula. Iram is mentioned in 89:7. The Tribe of Thamud had descended from ‘Aad and is, therefore, frequently referred to in history and ancient Arabic poetry as ‘Aad-e-thaani (Second ‘Aad). Inscriptions and records dating as far back as 715 BC refer to them as Thamudenes and Thamudaei (writings of Aristo, Ptolemy, Pliny). Rock inscriptions, dwellings and tombs decorated with animal sculptures still exist in the valley of Al-Hijr from Northern Hijaz to Syria. Recently, satellite images have discovered their castles built within the drilled mountains of Yemen as well!]
29:39 And such is the story of Qaroon (Korah) and Pharaoh and Haman! (They represented wealth, tyranny and priesthood, respectively that go hand in hand in exploiting people.) To them had come Moses with all evidence of the truth, but they remained arrogant in the land. But they could not escape. [28:6, 28:76]
29:40 For, every one of them We took to task for trailing behind in human virtue. And so, upon some of them We let loose a hurricane, some of them were overtaken by a sudden blast, some of them We caused to be swallowed by the earth, and some of them We caused to drown. It was not God Who wronged them, but it was they who wronged themselves. [The Law of Requital never discriminates between people, whether individuals or nations]
29:41 The likeness of those who choose patrons other than God, is that of the spider which makes for itself a house. The frailest of all houses is the spider’s house, if they reflect on what they know. [Its web easily traps the weak but cannot withstand the least bit of pressure]
29:42 God knows whatever they call upon instead of Him. He is Almighty, Wise.
29:43 Such are the examples We cite for mankind, but only men and women of science will make best use of their intellect. [‘Aalimoon = Scientists. 30:22-23, 35:27-28]
29:44 (It is they who can best understand that) God has created the heavens and the earth with a definite purpose. In this, is a sign for those who choose to believe.
29:45 (O Prophet) convey to people all that is revealed to you of the Book, and establish the Divine System. Establishment of the Divine System will shut off lewdness, stinginess, and bad conduct. This is so, because God’s Law is the Greatest Law that can give you eminence. And God knows whatever you people contrive on your own. [21:10, 21:24, 23:70, 43:43-44, 70:21-27. Fahasha includes miserliness, and Munkar is all behavior that goes against Permanent Values given in the Qur’an]
29:46 (The Divine System will be the Living truth in itself, so) argue not with the People of the Scripture except in a most kind manner. Tell those who adamantly relegate the truth, “We believe in what has been bestowed upon us, as well as (the truth in) what has been bestowed upon you. For, our God and your God is One, and to Him we surrender.” [2:79, 2:101, 3:78, 5:48. Zulm = To relegate the truth = Displace something from its rightful place = Oppression = Violation of human rights = Wrongdoing]
29:47 And thus it is! We have bestowed this Book upon you (O Prophet). And many of those whom We gave the previous Scriptures will come to believe in it (5:48). Also, many of your people will believe in it. And none could knowingly reject Our Messages except such as would preemptively reject an obvious truth.
29:48 (O Prophet) you were never able to read a book before this (Revelation), nor could you write anything with your own hand. Or else, those who try to disprove the truth might have some reason to doubt it. [2:23. Biyameenik = With your right hand = With your own hand]
29:49 Nay, here are Messages self-evident in the hearts of those endowed with knowledge. And none but the unjust will disregard Our Messages. [Zaalim = Unjust = Oppressor = Violator of human rights = One who relegates the truth = Displaces something from its rightful place]
29:50 And yet they say, “Why are not miracles bestowed upon him from his Lord?” Say, “These verses are in themselves miraculous signs concerning God and with Him are the miracles (that you can see in the Universe). As for me, I am but a plain warner (drawing your attention to His signs and to the consequences of your actions.)”
29:51 Why! Is this Book not enough for them that We have bestowed upon you and it is regularly conveyed to them? For, herein is Grace, a Reminder, and it is a giver of eminence to people who accept it.
29:52 Say, “God suffices as Witness between me and you. He knows all that is in the heavens and earth. Those who believe in falsehood and disbelieve in God, are the ultimate losers.” [6:135]
29:53 They challenge you to hasten the doom. If the term (of respite) had not been set for it, that requital would have come upon them immediately. Certainly, it will come upon them all of a sudden, while they perceive not.
29:54 They keep asking you to hasten the doom, but certainly the blazing fire is already surrounding the rejecters. [79:36, 82:16]
29:55 The Day will come when suffering overwhelms them from above them and from beneath their feet, and He will say, “Taste now the fruit of your own doings!”
29:56 O My servants who have chosen to be graced with belief! My earth is vast. Serve Me then, Me alone! [4:97. One can do good works anywhere on earth. Under extremely adverse circumstances, one can forsake the domain of evil, and migrate in the cause of God]
29:57 (To that noble end strive with all you have, even with your lives since) every person is bound to taste death. And then, all of you will be returned to Us.
29:58 Whereas to all those who attained belief, and worked for the betterment of humanity We shall certainly assign mansions in the Garden underneath which rivers flow, therein to abide. How excellent a reward for the workers! (25:75)
29:59 Those who are steadfast in adversity and in ease, and put their trust in their Lord.
29:60 How many are the creatures that do not carry their own sustenance? It is God Who provides for them and you, for He is the Hearer, the Knower. [Establishment of the Divine System ensures honorable provision for everyone. 6:152, 11:6]
29:61 And if you ask them, “Who has created the heavens and earth, and subjected the sun and the moon?” They will answer, “God". How, then, are they lost in the wilderness of thought! [The Supreme Creator must be the Law-giving Authority to mankind as He is in the entire Universe. 21:20-22, 23:84-88, 31:25, 39:38, 43:9]
29:62 God widens His provision to His servants (and societies) according to His Laws, and He restricts it accordingly. God is Knower of all things (including the best socio-economic Order for mankind).
29:63 And thus it is: If you ask them, “Who sends down water from the height, and with it gives life to the earth, after it has been dead?” They will answer, “God.” Say, “(Since this is so) all praise is due to God alone!” But the majority of people fail to use their intellect (and fail to realize that His guidance can revive the ‘living-dead’ and the ‘dead’ nations).
29:64 What is the life of this world but amusement and play? But the Home of the Hereafter; that is life indeed, if they but knew.
29:65 And so when they embark on a ship (and encounter danger), they call unto God, sincere in their faith in Him. But as soon as He has brought them safe ashore, they resume their idolatry (and fall for the superstition of Shirk calling upon ‘saints’ and religious men.)
29:66 And thus they show ingratitude for all that We have given them, and go on thoughtlessly enjoying life. But soon they will know.
29:67 Have they not considered that We have established a Sacred Sanctuary (in Makkah) as a source of peace and security and all the while people are being abducted all around them? Will they still believe in falsehood, and deny God’s blessing? [The Divine System frees people from fear and insecurity]
29:68 And who can be a greater wrongdoer than he who invents a lie and attributes it to God, or denies the truth when it comes to him? Is there not a home in Hell for those bent upon rejection?
29:69 As for those who sincerely strive for Us, We will guide them onto paths that lead to Us. (New channels keep opening for them leading them out of the spider’s web onto the straight path.) God is with the benefactors of humanity. [Muhsineen = Benefactors of humanity. ‘Subulana’ = Our roads joining the Highway of ‘Siraat-al-Mustaqeem’]