VERSES
69
PAGES
396-404

Name

The Surah takes its name from verse 41 in which the word Ankabut (Spider) has occurred.

Period of Revelation

Verses 56 to 60 clearly show that this Surah was sent down a little before the migration to Habash, and this is supported by the internal evidence of the subject matter as well. Some commentators have opined that since it mentions the hypocrites, and hypocrisy appeared in Madinah, the first ten verses of this Surah were revealed at Madinah and the rest of it at Makkah; whereas the people whose hypocrisy has been mentioned here are those who had adopted a hypocritical way of life because they were afraid of the oppression and extreme physical torture to which the Muslims were being subjected by the disbelievers. Evidently, this kind of hypocrisy could be there only at Makkah and not at Madinah. Similarly, some other commentators, seeing that in this Surah the Muslims have been exhorted to migrate, have regarded it as the last Surah to be revealed at Makkah, whereas the Muslims had migrated to Habash even before their migration to Madinah. These opinions are not based on any tradition but on the internal evidence of the subject matter, and this internal evidence, when considered against the subject matter of the Surah as a whole, points to the conditions prevailing in the time of the migration to Habash and not to the last stage at Makkah.

Theme and Subject matter

A perusal of the Surah shows that the period of its revelation was the period of extreme persecution of the Muslims at Makkah. The disbelievers were opposing and fighting Islam tooth and nail and the new converts were being subjected to the severest oppression. Such were the conditions when Allah sent down this Surah to strengthen and encourage the sincere Muslims as well as to put to shame those who were showing weakness of the faith. Besides, the disbelievers of Makkah have been threatened and warned not to invite for themselves the fate that the antagonists of the Truth have been experiencing in every age.

In this connection, the questions that some young men answered. For instance, their parents were urging them to abandon Muhammad (may Allah's peace be upon him), and return to their ancestral religion, for they argued: "The Qur'an in which you have put your faith, regards the rights of the parents as the uppermost; therefore, listen to what we say; otherwise you will be working against the dictates of your own Faith." This has been answered in verse 8.

Similarly, the people of some clans said to the new converts to Islam, "Leave the question of punishments, etc., to us. Listen to us and abandon this man. If God seizes you in the Hereafter, we will come forward and say, 'Lord, these people are innocent: we had forced them to give up the Faith; therefore, seize us'." This has been dealt with, in vv. 12-13.

The stories mentioned in this Surah also impress the same point mostly, as if to say, "Look at the Prophets of the past: they were made to suffer great hardships and were treated cruelly for long periods. Then, at last they were helped by Allah. Therefore, take heart: Allah's succor will certainly come. But a period of trial and tribulation has to be undergone." Besides teaching this lesson to the Muslims, the disbelievers also have been warned, as if to say, "If you are not being immediately seized by Allah, you should not form the wrong impression that you will never be seized. The signs of the doomed nations of the past are before you. Just see how they met their doom and how Allah succored the Prophets."

Then the Muslims have been instructed to the effect: "If you feel that the persecution has become unbearable for you, you should give up your homes, instead of giving up your Faith: Allah's earth is vast: seek a new place where you can worship Allah with the full peace of mind." Besides all this, the disbelievers also have been urged to understand Islam. The realities of Tauhid and the Hereafter have been impressed with rational arguments, shirk have been refuted, and drawing their attention towards the signs in the universe, they have been told that all these Signs confirm the teachings that the Prophet is presenting before them.

Source: Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Quran

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29:4

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Do those who practise evil think that they will get the better of Us? Evil is their judgment!

29:5

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For those whose hopes are in the meeting with Allah (in the Hereafter, let them strive); for the term (appointed) by Allah is surely coming and He hears and knows (all things).

29:6

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And if any strive (with might and main), they do so for their own souls: for Allah is free of all needs from all creation.

29:7

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Those who believe and work righteous deeds,- from them shall We blot out all evil (that may be) in them, and We shall reward them according to the best of their deeds.

29:8

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We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not. Ye have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did.

29:9

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And those who believe and work righteous deeds,- them shall We admit to the company of the Righteous.

29:10

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Then there are among men such as say, "We believe in Allah"; but when they suffer affliction in (the cause of) Allah, they treat men's oppression as if it were the Wrath of Allah! And if help comes (to thee) from thy Lord, they are sure to say, "We have (always) been with you!" Does not Allah know best all that is in the hearts of all creation?

29:11

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And Allah most certainly knows those who believe, and as certainly those who are Hypocrites.

29:12

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And the Unbelievers say to those who believe: "Follow our path, and we will bear (the consequences) of your faults." Never in the least will they bear their faults: in fact they are liars!

29:13

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They will bear their own burdens, and (other) burdens along with their own, and on the Day of Judgments they will be called to account for their falsehoods.

29:14

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We (once) sent Noah to his people, and he tarried among them a thousand years less fifty: but the Deluge overwhelmed them while they (persisted in) sin.

29:15

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But We saved him and the companions of the Ark, and We made the (Ark) a Sign for all peoples!

29:16

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And (We also saved) Abraham: behold, he said to his people, "Serve Allah and fear Him: that will be best for you- If ye understand!

29:17

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"For ye do worship idols besides Allah, and ye invent falsehood. The things that ye worship besides Allah have no power to give you sustenance: then seek ye sustenance from Allah, serve Him, and be grateful to Him: to Him will be your return.

29:18

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"And if ye reject (the Message), so did generations before you: and the duty of the messenger is only to preach publicly (and clearly)."

29:19

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See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it: truly that is easy for Allah.

29:20

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Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.

29:21

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"He punishes whom He pleases, and He grants Mercy to whom He pleases, and towards Him are ye turned.

29:22

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"Not on earth nor in heaven will ye be able (fleeing) to frustrate (his Plan), nor have ye, besides Allah, any protector or helper."

29:23

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Those who reject the Signs of Allah and the Meeting with Him (in the Hereafter),- it is they who shall despair of My Mercy: it is they who will (suffer) a most grievous Penalty.

29:24

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So naught was the answer of (Abraham's) people except that they said: "Slay him or burn him." But Allah did save him from the Fire. Verily in this are Signs for people who believe.

29:25

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And he said: "For you, ye have taken (for worship) idols besides Allah, out of mutual love and regard between yourselves in this life; but on the Day of Judgment ye shall disown each other and curse each other: and your abode will be the Fire, and ye shall have none to help."

29:26

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But Lut had faith in Him: He said: "I will leave home for the sake of my Lord: for He is Exalted in Might, and Wise."

29:27

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And We gave (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob, and ordained among his progeny Prophethood and Revelation, and We granted him his reward in this life; and he was in the Hereafter (of the company) of the Righteous.

29:28

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And (remember) Lut: behold, he said to his people: "Ye do commit lewdness, such as no people in Creation (ever) committed before you.

29:29

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"Do ye indeed approach men, and cut off the highway?- and practise wickedness (even) in your councils?" But his people gave no answer but this: they said: "Bring us the Wrath of Allah if thou tellest the truth."

29:30

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He said: "O my Lord! help Thou me against people who do mischief!"

29:31

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When Our Messengers came to Abraham with the good news, they said: "We are indeed going to destroy the people of this township: for truly they are (addicted to) crime."

29:32

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He said: "But there is Lut there." They said: "Well do we know who is there : we will certainly save him and his following,- except his wife: she is of those who lag behind!"

29:33

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Yusuf Ali

And when Our Messengers came to Lut, he was grieved on their account, and felt himself powerless (to protect) them: but they said: "Fear thou not, nor grieve: we are (here) to save thee and thy following, except thy wife: she is of those who lag behind.

29:34

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"For we are going to bring down on the people of this township a Punishment from heaven, because they have been wickedly rebellious."

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