Rafed English

Interpretation of Sura al-Furqan - Verses 12-13

12. " When it sees them from a far place, they will hear its raging and roaring."

13. " And when they are cast, coupled in fetters, into a narrow place of that Fire, they will call out there for destruction.'

Commentary

The Qur'anic word /taqayyuz/ means declaring one's anger and intensity of wrath which is sometimes along with sound and voice. The Arabic word /zafir/ means the sound of breathing when the chest is constricted because of abundance of sorrow. The Qur'anic word /muqarranin/ means to fasten with fetter and chain. The word /oubur/ means to express woe and regret.

In this verse, a strange description is provided for this blazing fire. It says:

" When it sees them from a far place, they will hear its raging and roaring."

In this statement there are several clear meanings which show how severe the divine punishment is:

1. The verse does not say that they see the Fire from afar, but it says that Fire sees them, as if it has eye and ear and looks forward them and expects these wrongdoers!

2. It does not need that they come near it in order to be fermented, but it cries out of anger from a long distance. Some narrations say that the distance is as long as one year of walking.

3. The word /taqayyuz/ is used to describe this Fire, which is a status in which man expresses his fury by means of cry and clamour.

4. The word /zafir/ is used to describe the Fire. It is like the situation in which man inhales and the ribs come up, and this is usually when man is very angry.

All of the above explanations show that the blazing Fire is like a brutal beast that awaits its prey. This waiting drags this group, (we take refuge in Allah!)

That is the condition of Fire when it sees them from a long distance, but the next verse describes their condition when they are in the Hell Fire, by saying:

" And when they are cast, coupled in fetters, into a narrow place of that Fire, they will call out there for destruction."

This is not because the Hell is small, since, according to the 30th verse of Sura Qaf, No. 50, the Qur'an says: "On the Day (when) We say unto Hell: 'Are you filled up?' And it says: 'Are there any more?"

Thus, Hell is a very vast place but they are so confined in it that, in some narration we read that their entrance into the Hell is like entering a nail into a wall. 12

Meanwhile, the Qur'anic word /oubur/ originally means 'decay and destruction'. When a man fears from something terrible or horrific, he cries: /wa oabura/ which means: 'woe to me.'

Notes:

12. Majma'-ul-Bayan, following the verse

Adapted from the book: "Interpretation of Sura al-Furqan" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and A Group of Scholars"

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