Quran 30:28 The Rejection Of Polytheism – Parable

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Background

Makkan verse (Mawdudi, and Dr. Muhammed Asad)

Analysing Verse

“He presents to you an example from yourselves. Do you have among those whom your right hands possess any partners in what We have provided for you so that you are equal therein [and] would fear them as your fear of one another [within a partnership]? Thus do We detail the verses for a people who use reason.” – Quran 30:28

This verse is a parable. God wants to make the people of Quraysh think, make them reject polytheism and accept Monotheism.

Commentaries

Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi:

148. (to condemn polytheism).
149. i.e., from your daily experience.
150. i.e., among yourselves.
151. i.e., in your wealth.
152. i.e., you and yourslaves.
153. i.e., the real owners of property and shares thereof.
154. i.e., the arguments of Our Oneness.
155. How aburd of you, on this analogy to raise God’s creatures to equality with God!” (Tafsir-Ul-Qur’an – Translation and Commentary Of The Holy Qur’an [Published By Darul Ishaat Urdu Bazaar Karachi: Pakistan] by Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi, volume 3, page 402)

Mawdudi:

“39 In the forgoing section, arguments have been given both for Tauhid and for the Hereafter; now the discourse turns to only Tauhid.
40 The mushriks, even after admitting that Allah is the Creator and Master of the earth and heavens and all that they contain, held some of His creatures as associates in His attributes and powers, and prayed to them, presented offerings and performed rites of worship before them. Their belief regarding their self-made associates is found in the words of the Talbih that they used to pronounce while going round the Ka’bah. They said: “Here I am, O Allah, here I am in Thy presence! Thou hast no partner except the partner who is Thy own. Thou art his owner as well as owner of what he owns.” (Tabarani on the authority Ibn ‘Abbas) Allah has refuted this kind of shirk in this verse. The argument is to this effect: “When you do not make your own slaves partners in your wealth, how do you think and believe that Allah will make His creatures partners in His Godhead?” (For further details, see E.N. 62 of An-Nahl).” Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi – Tafhim al-Qur’an – The Meaning of the Qur’an, online source http://www.englishtafsir.com/Quran/30/index.html#sdfootnote39sym )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn:

“He has struck, He has coined, for you, O idolaters, a similitude, that is [actually drawn], from yourselves, and it is [as follows]: do you have among those whom your right hands own, that is to say, among your servants, any partners, of yourselves, [who may share] in what We have provided for you, of property and so on, so that you, and they, are equal therein, fearing them as you fear your own [folk], [just as you fear] those free men like you? (the interrogative is meant as a negation) in other words, ‘your servants are not partners of yours in what you own, so how can you make some of God’s servants partners of His. So We detail the signs, [so] We explain them in such detail, for people who understand, [a people who] reflect.” (Tafsir al-Jalalayn – on surah 30:28, online source http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=30&tAyahNo=28&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2 )

Muhammad b. al-Sa’ib al-Kalbi (d. 146/763):

“(He coineth for you) O congregation of disbelievers (a similitude of yourselves) a human being like you. (Have ye, from among those whom your right hands possess) your slave boys and slave girls, (partners in the wealth We have bestowed upon you) on what We gave you of wealth, family and offspring, (equal with you) i.e. your slave boys and slave girls (in respect thereof) in that which We bestowed upon you, (so that ye fear them) you fear their rebuke (as ye fear each other) as you fear the rebuke of your fathers, sons and brothers were you not to fulfil their due rights in inheritance? They said: ” No! ” Allah said: ” Would you then accept for Me that which you do not accept for yourselves: you make My servants My partners but refuse to make your own slaves your partners? ” (Thus We display the revelations) the signs of My divine Oneness and power (for people who have sense) for people who believe in the similitudes of the Qur’an.”
(Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas – on surah 30:28, online source http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=30&tAyahNo=28&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2 )

Malik Ghulam Farid:

“2283. The verse purports to say that when a master and a slave are not equal though they are both human beings, and when the master would not share his wealth and property with his slave, how then could God, the sole Creator and Controller of all things, be regarded as sharing the control of the universe with anybody?” (The Holy Qur’an – Arabic Text With English Translation & Short Commentary By Malik Ghulam Farid, page 823)

Tafsir Ibn kathir:

“A Parable of Tawhid
This is the parable Allah makes of the idolators, those who worship others besides Him and attribute partners to Him, while at the same time admitting that these so-called partners — idols and false gods — are enslaved to and belong to Him. In their Talbiyah (during Hajj and `Umrah they used to say, “At Your service, You have no partner except the partner that You have, You own Him and whatever he owns.” (He sets forth for you a parable from yourselves) `something which you yourselves can see witness, and understand.’ (Do you have partners among those whom your right hands possess to share as equals in the wealth We have bestowed on you…) `None of you would like to have his servant as a partner in his wealth, each of them having an equal share.’ (whom you fear as you fear each other.) `You fear that they will have a share in your wealth with you.’ Abu Mijlaz said, “You do not fear that your servant will have a share in your wealth, because he has no such right; similarly, Allah has no partner.” The point is, that since any one of you would abhor such a thing, how can you attribute rivals to Allah from among His creation At-Tabarani recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “The people of Shirk used to say in their Talbiyah, `At Your service, You have no partner except the partner that You have, You own Him and whatever he owns.’ Then Allah revealed the words: (Do you have partners among those whom your right hands possess to share as equals in the wealth We have bestowed on you, whom you fear as you fear each other)” If humans have this characteristic, this parable shows that it is even less befitting for Allah to have a partner. (Thus do We explain the signs in detail to a people who have sense.) Then Allah points out that when the idolators worship others instead of Him, doing so out of their own folly and ignorance…” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir – on Surah 30:28, online source http://www.alim.org/library/quran/AlQuran-tafsir/TIK/30/28 )

Maulana Muhammad Ali:

“28a. If the master and the slave are not equal, how can inanimate objects, such as stones, from among His creatures be equal to the Creator, Who is the Intelligent Cause and Controller of all?
(The Holy Quran Arabic Text with English Translation, Commentary and comprehensive Introduction [Year 2002 Edition] by Maulana Muhammad Ali, page 803)

Dr. Muhammad Asad:

“20 Lit., “a parable (mathal) from yourselves”.
21 I.e., slaves or persons otherwise subject to one’s authority.
22 Lit., “yourselves” – i.e., “those who are equal to you in status”. The question is, of course, rhetorical, and must be answered in the negative. But if (so the implied argument goes) a human master would not willingly accept his slaves as full-fledged partners – even though master and slave are essentially equal by virtue of the humanness common to both of them (Zamakhshari) – how can man regard any created beings or things as equal to Him who is their absolute Lord and Master, and is beyond comparison with anything that exists or could ever exist? (Parables ‘with a similar purport are found in 16:75-76. (The Message of The Quran translated and explained by Dr. Muhammad Asad, page 865 – 866, online source
http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/private/cmje/religious_text/The_Message_of_The_Quran__by_Muhammad_Asad.pdf )

Maulana Mufti Mohammad Shafi:

“COMMENTARY
The subject of Oneness of Allah has been dealt with in these verses by giving various proofs in different styles which are appealing to all types of people. At first, the point is explained by an example that although your servants and slaves are identical with you in looks, appearance, their make up of limbs and other physical features, yet you do not permit them to share equally in your power and authority.
You are not willing to part with the slightest part of your wealth and power in favour of your subjects, let alone sharing your power and possessions equally. They can neither spend wealth nor time the way they like, as you do. Just as you are scared of your insignificant partners while spending without checking with them, you do not allow even this position to your servants.
So pause for a minute and ponder that human beings, angels, and all other things in the universe are created by Allah Ta’ala and they are all His creations and slaves, then how could you take them as His equals or partners.” (Maarif ul Qur’an, Quran Translation and Commentary [Translation by Prof. Muhammad Hasan Askari & Prof. Muhammad Shamim Revised by Justice Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani], by Maulana Mufti Mohammad Shafi, page 738 – 739)

Fi Dhilal Al Qur’an – Qutb:

“An Analogy Drawn from Human Life When the human heart has seen God’s great signs, gone over such horizons and looked at such a great variety of situations, the sūrah then changes the tone of its address: He sets you this comparison, drawn from your own life. Would you have some of those whom your right hands possess as partners in whatever We may have bestowed on you as sustenance, so that you all would have equal shares in it, and you would fear them just as you might fear one another? Thus clearly do We spell out revelations for people who use their reason. (Verse 28) This comparison is drawn for people who used to associate partners with God. All the more so when such alleged partners are part of His creation, be they jinn, angels, idols, trees, etc. People themselves do not accept that their slaves have any share in their property. Indeed, they will not treat their slaves as equal to them in any sense. Thus, this situation is singular indeed. They make some of God’s creatures partners with Him when He alone is the Creator and the Provider for all. Furthermore, they refuse to accept their slaves as partners in their property when their property is given to them by God who creates it. The contradiction in their attitude is stark indeed. This comparison is stated in detail, step by step: “He sets you this comparison, drawn from your own life.” You do not need to travel or make an effort to contemplate it. “Would you have some of those whom your right hands possess as partners in whatever We may have bestowed on you as sustenance, so that you all would have equal shares in it?” You do not accept that your slaves have even a small share of your provisions, let alone that they be equal to you. “And you would fear them just as you might fear one another?” You look at them in the same way as you look at partners who are free men, fearing that they might be unfair to you, or that you be unfair to them. Although none of this happens, you still suggest that it applies to God when His are the most sublime attributes in the heavens and the earth. It is a simple comparison that admits no contradiction or dispute because it is based on simple logic: “Thus clearly do We spell out revelations for people who use their reason.” (Verse 28) The surah now exposes the basic reason behind this anomaly. Essentially, it is due to following one’s own desires without reasonable basis or proper thought: “Nay, but the wrongdoers follow their own desires, without having any knowledge. Who could guide those whom God has let go astray? They shall have none to support them.” (Verse 29) Desire has no control, since it is merely based on people’s whims, fleeting passions, fears, hopes and cravings that have no rightful basis and no proper limit. This is a case of error that lacks any correcting guidance: “Who could guide those whom God has let go astray?” They go astray because they follow their own desires. “They shall have none to support them.” (Verse 29) (In The Shade Of The Quran (‘Fi Dhilal Al Qur’an’), by Sayyid Qutb, volume 13, page 294 – 295)

Shaykh Ashiq Ilahi Madni:

“ONENESS OF ALLAH (TAUHID) IS PROVEN BY A SIMPLE EXAMPLE
Allah asks the Polytheists whether they would like their slaves to be shareholders in their wealth, allowing them to spend it freely. Whereas slaves transport and care for the property of their masters, they have no authority to utilise the wealth. Allah asks the polytheists if they would be pleased with the idea that they would have to seek permission from their slaves to spend their own wealth, as they would have to do if their slaves were to be their partners.
When man dislikes having partners in his property, who are human like himself, how can he expect Allah to tolerate the behaviour of polytheists, who ascribe such partners to Him, who are incomparably inferior to Him? When others cannot be shareholders in their wealth. How can they assign shareholders in Allah’s right of worship? ‘This do We expound signs for people of understanding.’
‘However, the oppressors follow their whims without any knowledge.’ These people opt to go astray and ignorantly take any stone or brick as their god. Therefore, Allah asks, ‘Who can guide the one whom Allah has sent astray?’ They will be subjected to grievous punishment against which ‘They will have no helpers.’
(Illuminating Discourses on the Noble Quran – Tafseer Anwarul Bayan – by Shaykh Ashiq Ilahi Madni volume 4, page 158)

Scholar Abdullah Yusuf Ali:

“3535 One way in which we can get some idea of the things higher than our own plane is to think of Parables and Similitudes drawn from our own lives and experience. And such a Similitude or Parable is offered to us now about false worship. See next note.
3536 Allah is far higher above His Creation than any, the highest, of His creatures can be above any, the lowest, of His creatures. And yet would a man share his wealth on equal terms with his dependents? Even what he calls his wealth is not really his own, but given by Allah. It is “his” in common speech by reason merely of certain accidental circumstances. How then can men raise Allah’s creatures to equality with Allah in worship?
3537 Men fear each other as equals in a state of society at perpetual warfare. To remove this fear they appoint an authority among themselves-a King or sovereign authority whom they consider just-to preserve them from this fear and give them an established order. But they must obey and revere this authority and depend upon this authority for their own tranquillity and security. Even with their equals there is always the fear of public opinion. But men do not fear, or obey, or revere those who are their slaves or dependents. Man is dependent on Allah. And Allah is the Sovereign authority in an infinitely higher sense. He is in no sense dependent on us, but we must honour and revere Him and fear to disobey His Will or His Law. “The fear of Allah is the beginning of wisdom.”
3538 Cf. 6:55 , and 7:32 , 174, etc.
3539 The wrongdoers—those who deliberately reject Allah’s guidance and break Allah’s Law-have put themselves out of the region of Allah’s mercy. In this they have put themselves outside the pale of the knowledge of what is for their own good. In such a case they must suffer the consequences of the personal responsibility which flows from the grant of a limited free will. Who can then guide them or help them?” (The Meaning of The Noble Qur’an by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, page 276 – 277, online source http://www.ulc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/English-Quran-With-Commentaries.pdf )

Ali Unal:

“8. This comparison is highly significant. Basically, whatever we possess belongs to God, and our share in its acquisition is minimal. For example, in order to produce a single apple, there must be an apple seed, which the whole humankind would not be able to make even if we were to come together, and almost the whole universe (including the sun, air, water, and earth) must cooperate in a perfectly measured way. None of these are in our power to create or control. Our share in an apple is only our labor that we use to harvest it, and it is God Who has endowed us with the necessary power, ability, and with our body. Our share in any machine we make is no greater than this. The basic material we use in making it, and its utility in production or manufacturing, as well as the physical and/or chemical “laws” that are involved in its production, belong solely to God. Moreover, it is He Who has endowed us with the ability to learn and to make things. Despite this clear fact, we never accept that others have some share in our right to the possession and use of such machines or instruments. But God is the sole Creator and Owner of everything in the universe, including us, without anyone else having any partnership in their creation or ownership. However, by accepting many other powers, such as angels, or some important persons, or “nature,” or “natural powers and laws,” or even their own selves, many people associate partners with Him in Divinity or authority regarding the rule of the universe and the ordering of human life. This is the greatest of wrongdoings and injustices, and expressions of ignorance.” (The Qur’an With Annotated Interpretation in Modern English Ali Unal, page 784, online source http://mquran.org/content/view/3437/4/)

 

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