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Tafsir Surah Al-Muzammil (The Enshrouded One)

By: Ayatullah al-Uzma Nasir Makarim Shirazi in Tafsir Namuneh
Translated from Farsi into English by: Fatima Zabeth Beenesh

Surat Al-Muzzammil (The Enshrouded One) -
This Sura is descended in Mecca and had 20 ayaat.

On the behalf of its descent
In a narration it is defined about the sura is that when the prophet received the divine message for the first time, came to the Khadija his wife anxiously (He was feeling uneasy physically) and said: Cover me with a cloth, here the jibril alaihis salam descended and brought the;


(73:1)
73:1 O you who wraps himself [in clothing],
While in the other narrations it is told this happened when the prophet peace be upon him invited the people towards Islam evidently and openly and Qureish gathered in the Daarun Nudveh to consider over the matter of the prophet peace be upon him and to resist him they wanted to select a slogan and a name for him. Some said kahan a fortune teller but a group of them opposed it. Some of them suggested that he is Majnun insane again, a group of them disagreed that too. Some selected the title of sahir magician. Here as well as a group did not accept it.
At last they said: whatever may be is he? He created the separation between the friends. On that basis he is a magician then the polytheist dispersed.
This information reached the prophet peace be upon him he wrapped himself in his dress and went to relax and take a break. At this moment Jibril alaihis salam arrived and recited the and
Consequently as we indicated that this surah is obviously descended in Mecca, Any way the content of it can be divided in five parts.
The first part: In the beginning the ayaat invites the prophet peace be upon him to up rise for prayers in the midnight and read the Quran and to make him to get prepared for the profound responsibility.
The second part: encourages the prophet to be patient, tolerant, have the resistance power and be lenient with the opponent s while calling them towards the specific ground of Islam.
The third part: Discussed about the Judgement day and the prophecy of Musa Bin Imran alaihis salam before Firaun and his rebellious attitude. And then describes his agonizing punishment.
The fourth part: The fixed rules in the beginning of the surah about the midnight prayers which for the hectic schedule of the Muslims got reduced.
The fifth part: That is the last part of the surah once again provokes to read the noble Quran, praying namaz, paying zakat and spending in the way of Benevolent God and asking for the forgiveness before the Merciful God.

The virtues of reading the Surah of Muzammil
It is quoted in a narration by the prophet: Who ever reads the surah of Muzammil the entire hardship of the world and hereafter of this person will get disappeared.
In another hadis we read: Anybody who recites sura e Muzammil in the namaz of isha night fall or in the end of the night. The surah will be his witness on the Day of Judgment. The Compassionate God will provide him clean life and sparkling death. Certainly these great virtues is when one is practising upon the contents of the surah, day and night by reading the Quran being persistent and patience being practical in sacrifice and spend in nourishing the poor not only the reading without practise.


Al-Muzzammil (Folded in Garments)
(73:1

O you wrapped in garments (i.e. Prophet Muhammad SAW)!
(73:2

Stand (to pray) all night, except a little.
(73:3

Half of it - or subtract from it a little
(73:4

Or a little more; and recite the Quran (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style.
(73:5

Verily, We shall send down to you a weighty Word (i.e. obligations, legal laws, etc.).
Stand up! O the one who wrapped around himself the cloth
As it is indicating by its tone that in the beginning it is divine invitation to be persistent and to be ready for accepting the big and heavy duty which is impossible without disciplining the real self, before hand, it is said:
O you wrapped in garments
(73:1

Stand (to prayer) by night, but not all night, except a little,
(73:2

Half of it,-or a little less,
(73:3

Or a little more; and recite the Qur'an in slow, measured rhythmic tones.
(73:4

Soon we shall send down to thee a weighty Message
(73:5

Or add to it [at will];

And recite the Qur'an in slow, measured rhythmic tones
(73:4

Interestingly the one who is addressed in the ayaat here is the prophet peace be upon him. Not by the title and but he was addressed by the name
it is not the period to wrap yourself in the clothes and sit in the isolation. But it is the time that you stand firmly, give discipline to yourself and get ready to confer the great message.
And the selection of night for this matter, first of all for the purpose that the eyes and ears of enemies are slept. Secondly the affairs of life are standstill. Or for this reason the man is more prepared for the thinking, meditation, education and development of real self.
And the selection of noble Quran for the basic text of this programme is for the purpose that includes the essential lessons in it. And it is the best means for the empowering the faith, piety, perseverance and nurturing of real self.
The meaning of tartil is to standardize and systematize (the reading of quran) flawlessly. Here it means to read the ayaat systematically according the essential rules and to utter the words rightly and clearly, to concentrate upon its meanings and judging upon its results.
It is quite apparent that to read Quran in this manner soon creates spiritual development in the man and promotes courage, piety and virtuousness in his character. And if some of the interpreters obtain the meaning to perform the namaz, it is because the part of the namaz mostly consists of reading the Quran.
Here the meaning of Qiyam in the sentence means to get up from the sleep for prayers. It is not to stand up on the feet.
And by the various terms to determine the level of the awaken nights, these ayaat defined, in fact God provided free choice to the prophet to be awake for half of the night or a little lesser or more and read the Quran. In the first step it mentioned the whole night except little, then reduced to half and made it less than mid night.

Also from this last ayat it is concluded that the prophet was not alone in this midnight prayers but a group of Muslims were with him in this programme of self building, educating and preparation who were stepping along with the prophet peace be upon him and accepted him as their role model in the virtues character.
Then the ultimate and difficult purpose of the rule describes like this manner: Soon a hard word will be inspired to you.

Though the interpreters in the description of the each and every body stated different proclamations which indicates a part of the matter. But it seems that by the heavy word it certainly means the noble Quran with its different angles, weighty in the content and its meaning.
Hard on the hearts to tolerate where the Quran says: Al-Hashr (The Gathering)

59:21
If we had sent down this Qur'an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of Allah.
Heavy by means of promises, warnings, duties and explanations,
Heavy by means of propagation and the hardships in the invitation towards Islam,
Heavy in the scale of the practice and the difficulties in the way of the judgment day, heavy in the way of programming and its perfect enforcement, Yea its reading is easy, convenient, beautiful and charming but to bring it to the reality it is hard and difficult. Specifically the beginning of the prophets invitation and his rising in the city of Mecca, as the dark clouds of ignorance, superstition and polytheism were prevailed all over the sky of Mecca. The stubborn, heartless, fanatic enemies were encircled him tightly, hand in hand, to oppose him. But the prophet peace be upon him and his meagre companions with help of the noble Qurans instructions and the support of the midnight prayers and by the assistance of the Almightys nearness were able to overcome the sufferings so that they could carry on their shoulders the intense burden of the and bring it to the goal.
(73:1

O you wrapped in garments (i.e. Prophet Muhammad SAW)!
(73:2

Stand (to pray) all night, except a little.
(73:3

Half of it - or subtract from it a little
(73:4

Or a little more; and recite the Quran (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style.
(73:5

Verily, We shall send down to you a weighty Word (i.e. obligations, legal laws, etc.).
Rising in the mid night to read the Quran and ask the prayers
As we mentioned, though in these ayaat the addressee is the prophet peace be upon him.
But below, the surah indicates the believers who were also in this programme with the prophet peace be upon him. Now the matter is that this rising up in the midnight and keeping oneself awake was it obligatory wajib or not upon everybody in the beginning of the invitation?
Some of the interpreters believe, that the matter was obligatory wajib, later the last ayat of the Surah transformed the command. The distance of its period was one year back.
Even some believe that this rule was before the implementation of the five times prayers of namaz. After the carrying out of the five times of namaz this rule transformed and changed.
This custom was emphatically and strictly recommended but it never had the aspect of compulsion except about the person of prophet peace be upon him. According to some ayat of noble Quran made the midnight prayers compulsory for him.
Therefore in the beginning, this rule was recommended strictly and later it was made light and convenient. As in the beginning of the great revolution, it needs more strength and energy. It was not a matter of surprise that such an order was imposed upon the prophet peace be upon him and the Muslims, to rise up a great part of the night to get well acquainted with the rules of their new religion and its revolutionary education, apart from knowing more about it, spiritually to build up their inner self.

The meaning of tartil
Whatever in the above ayat is stressed it is not only the way of reading the Quran but its matter of tartil. In the definition of the tartil there are narrations quoted from the fourteen infallibles, each one pointed out about its each wide dimension.
In a hadis we read: describe clearly what is tartil . It is not like poetry to recite it fast and do not disperse them like sand particles too but read in such a way that powerfully pounds and awakens the hard hearts. Your aim must not be to reach the end of the surah what important matter is to realize the content and meaning of the ayaat.
In another hadis from imam Sadiq alaihis salam in the description of tartil we read: When you are going through a hadis in which there is description about the heaven, pause for a while and plead the Merciful God for the heaven (prepare yourself for that) and when you are passing through the ayaat defining the Hell, seek refuge to the Benevolent God ( and keep yourself away from it).
In the other narration from the same imam in the definition of the tartil who said: tartil is that in between the ayaat one pauses and began to think and to read them with a beautiful accent and pronunciation.
In another hadis from the same imam it is quoted in such a way: One must not read the noble Quran hastily. But read it with the tartil whenever you going through the ayaat which is relating about the Hell, pause for while and take refuge from the fire of Hell.
Finally in the conditions of the prophet peace be upon him it is quoted that his majesty used to set apart the ayat and elongates his voice.
This explanation and other descriptions entirely explain the fact that one must not recite the noble Quran just in words without thinking about any meaning and depth but leaving the effect into hearer and the reader of Quran in its total matters. We must not forget that this is divine message and the aim is to fulfil its entire contents.
But unfortunately today most of the Muslims take the distance from that fact and in the matter of the Quran they had limited themselves to its words only, just merely its reading and bringing it to the point of finishing its reading as soon as possible. Without finding that for what purpose these ayaat were descended and presents which message. It is true that the words of Quran are respectful and reading it had its own virtues. But we must not forget that the reading of these words ayaat had some meaning and it is explaination about its contents.

The virtues of the midnight prayers
These ayaat once again presents the importance of rising up and being engaged in the midnight prayer. And reading Quran in that period of time when the heedless people are drowned deep into their sleep. Hence we mentioned before prayers in the midnight particularly near the dawn and day break. It has tremendous effects and particularly in the purification of the soul which refines the inner self, trains the human beings spiritually and creates the purity and wakefulness of heart, the strengthens the faith and the intentions, fortifies the foundation of faiths in the hearts of man which by a single test, a man can obviously feels its effects in his inner self.
For this reason beside the ayaat of Quran, in its narration also it is stressed upon that matter.
It is said in one of the narration of imam Sadiq alaihis salam: there are three thing which have the amazing blessings from the Generous God. 1 The midnight prayers 2 providing iftar food for those who fast 3 he meetings of Muslim brothers.
In another hadis from same imam we read in the definition of the ayaat: The good deeds removes the evils
He said: The midnight prayers vanishes away the sins of the day.
In the Sura Asra too we discussed in detail about this topic in the interpretation of the ayat 79 and we quoted there ten interesting narrations about the importance of the midnight prayers.
Al-Isra (The Journey by Night)

(17:79

And in some parts of the night (also) offer the Salat (prayer) with it (recite the Quran in the prayer), as an additional prayer (Tahajjud optional prayer Nawafil) for you (O Muhammad SAW). It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqaman Mahmuda (a station of praise and glory, the highest degree in Paradise
.
(73:6

Verily, the rising by night (for Tahajjud prayer) is very hard and most potent and good for governing (the soul), and most suitable for (understanding) the Word (of Allah).
(73:7

Verily, there is for you by day prolonged occupation with ordinary duties,
(73:8)
73:8
And remember the Name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him with a complete devotion.
(73:9

(He Alone is) the Lord of the east and the west, La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). So take Him Alone as Wakil (Disposer of your affairs).
(73:10

And be patient over what they say and avoid them with gracious avoidance.

The effect of the prayers in the mid night
These ayaat the same way continued and discussed about the midnight prayers, the spiritual instructions in the shadow of reading Quran in the middle of night. In fact it is presenting the proves that came in the previous ayaat and said: This command of worship and the midnight recitation of Quran is to programme the worship and instruction for the night, made them stand more firmly with perseverance in their cause.

(73:6)
is taken from the word which means the accident, it have three definitions to understand its meaning.
First of al, the meaning of the hours of night as it is created one after another or particularly they are the hours at the end of night or the dawn.
As in a hadis from imam Baqir alaihis salam it is quoted: It means to get up from the bed in the last hours of the night for namaz of late night.
In another hadis by imam Sadiq alaihis salam in the definition of that ayat it is said: By getting up from the bed in the late night means its purpose of worshiper must not be other than God The Great Forgiver.
Thirdly in these particular hours of the night the spiritual and pious conditions and divinely pleasure and eagerness upraises in the heart of man which had great, deep and long lasting effect upon the human soul.
means to step same way to accord too.
hard work and toil which the midnight prayers have or which mean firm and steady effect in the shadow of this prayers, one achieve in his soul and inner self.
It had the presumption that it has utmost accord between the heart, eyes and the ears. And their mobilization is created in the way of prayers.
is taken from the word standing which means to stand firm and candidly.
to say something, here it means to remember the Almighty Lord and reciting the Quran.
Altogether this ayat is among the ayaat with the meanings, full of contents is the most expressive words about the midnight worship, the prayers of daybreak, expressing fondness of heart with the lover in the moments when all the means of calmness of soul is more available than the other moments. Same way its effects is mentioned in taming of real self, nurturing the soul and human life. It shows that the human soul, at those hours is well prepared for the remembering, thinking, praising and admiring the Beloved God.
In the next ayat it adds: This is for the purpose that you may continue your efforts and struggles in the day hours.
(73:7

Persistently guide the people and confer the message of Sovereign Lord and solve the social and individual problems, you spare no enough time for the prayers and the praise of the Majestic God. As a result bring this midnight worship at the place of it.
The another possibility in the definition of the ayat and in every way which is interesting and co ordinates with the above and alter ayat which said: As around the day you have upon your shoulders the heavy duties, a lot of endeavours and strivings, you have to make yourself powerful with the midnight prayers and prepare yourself for these extensive and enormous activities from that raising up in the night.
means movement. As if it resembles the human society with the widespread ocean and a large group is going to drown in it and the thundering waves moves them everywhere and the ships are wandering and seeking the refuge. The prophet of Islam is the only saviour of those who are drowning in this ocean and the noble Quran is the only ship to save in this vast ocean.
This perfect swimmer must get prepared for conferring daily this great duty of prophecy.
Then after the command to stand for worship in the night and short indication towards its profound effects described the five complete rules and said: remember the names of your Lord.

It is quite apparent that by the term remember the lords name is to concentrate upon its meaning as the remembrance by the words is the beginning of the tribute by the depth of heart. And this hearty recollection bestows glowing purity to the life and soul and waters the plant of piety and thoughtfulness in the heart.
Here the word indicating that whenever you recite his holy name concentrate upon his endless blessings and how he continuously nurturing you.
One of the interpreters described the stages about the recitation of the Providers name as follows: In The first stage to recite his name the above ayat mentioned about it.
The next stage comes to remembrance of his clean and pure existence in the heart as reveal in the sura e Araf ayat 205

7:205 And remember your God the Provider in your heart with sincerity and fear.
Finally the third stage reaches and in this stage from the status of the sovereign lordship attained the phase which is the status of the total qualities of the beauty and glory of the God that is accumulated in Allah. Hence in the ayat 41 of the Sura e Ahzab it is said:

Al-Ahzab (The Confederates)

(33:41)
33:41 O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance
Like this way this remembrance continues and stage by stage proceeds towards perfection and take the person to the height of the excellence.
In the second decree it is said: get attached the heart towards Honourer God and break all the hopes from the others and stand to worship him sincerely

means to break up hence to the hazrat maryam it is said batul as she did not selected a husband for her and she was alone. If the bibi Fatima Zahra alaihis salam the lady of Islam too is called it is for reason that she was superior and different from the women of that period in the acquaintance and insight of God and she reached such a status towards the God which departed her from others.
However means that the human being whole heartedly get himself attached to Merciful God and whatever is besides the Great God he should split his heart away from that. His entire deeds have to be for all Powerful God and have to drown his existence in the devotion of the Supreme God.
And if it is quoted from the narration of the prophet peace be upon him: there is no monastic life and break off with others in Islam. It indicates that leaving the world which was customary among the Christian mystics it is not allowed in Islam. For leaving the worldly thing they avoid to marry and separate from the social activities but a true Muslim living in the heart of the society his heart and attention have to be with the Provider God.
In some of the narrations from the 14 infallibles alaihumus salam by it means to raise the hands in the namaz. It is one of the signs of devotion and sincerity. But in fact it is evident that it indicates one of the signs of loyalty and to engrave oneself towards the Eternal God.
However the remembrance of the Originator God , being sincere and devoted to him is the great wealth of the divinely men in the way of the guidance of the people.
Then it mentioned the third rule and added: the Provider Lord of the east and west and there is no God except him. And select him as your solicitor, protector and supporter.
(73:9

Here after the phase of the remembrance of Almighty, devotion to him then the stage revolve towards the reliance and trust upon the Exalted God. And all the affairs turn towards the Generous God. The God who rules over the east and west of the universe that is the entire cosmos and under his command provides sustenance for all of them. And that able creator is to be worshiped.
In fact this meaning confirms a reason of trusting the Dominant God. How a man does not rely upon him and how he does not leave his affairs to him? When in the infinite world of existence there is no one who rules, commands, provides sustenance, instructs the man except the Only one God.
Finally in the fourth and fifth instructions said: Whatever the enemy says, be patient and have tolerance and keep a distance with them but in a decent and suitable manner.
(73:10

Like this manner here the status of patience and keeping distance reaches as in the way of invitation towards truth, there is lot of back biting of the enemies and the infliction of torture. If a gardener wants to pluck a flower he must have toleration and endurance before the thorn tongue of the spike.
Apart from that keeping distance and showing oneself careless is necessary to keep ourselves safe from their wickedness. It gives them a lesson too that the keeping distance must not disrupt the programme of their training, propagation and invitation towards God the source of all Goodness.
Like this way the above ayat presents the complete and faultless procedure to the prophet and to those who are stepping in his way. To seek help from God by the midnight prayers and praise of God in the day break. Then water this sapling with the remembrance of God, being devoted to him, trusting him, keeping distance fairly and having patience. What an interesting and complete procedure.
The meaning of the Provider of the east and the west:

It is signifying the sovereignty and providence of the Sustainer God upon the entire existing world. As in the day to day life we say: So and so person bring under his command the east and the west that means whatever on the earth not only east and west.
(keeping distance and get split in a decent manner) as we mentioned the meaning of keeping the distance along with sympathy, invitation and prophetic mission. It is the conduct of guidance in the particular measurements and invitation and propagation the truth of True God and it never go against the Jihad in the other grounds as every matter is concerned to a particular place and every point has its status.
In other words the maintaining of distance is not carelessness but at its own place indicating the carefulness. However some say that it is going against the ayat of jihad,
The late tabrisi in his book Majamual Bayan in the definition of the ayat said: This ayat proves that the propagators of Islam, inviting towards the Quran, one must keep patience in front of their harshness and with the kind attitude and leniency, socialise with the people so that immediately they accept them.
(73:11

And leave Me with [the matter of] the deniers, those of ease [in life], and allow them respite a little.
(73:12

Indeed, with Us [for them] are shackles and burning fire
(73:13

And food that chokes and a painful punishment -
(73:14

On the Day the earth and the mountains will convulse and the mountains will become a heap of sand pouring down.
(73:15

Indeed, We have sent to you a Messenger as a witness upon you just as We sent to Pharaoh a messenger.
(73:16

But Fir'aun (Pharaoh) disobeyed the Messenger [Musa (Moses)], so We seized him with a severe punishment.
(73:17

Then how can you fear, if you disbelieve, a Day that will make the children white- haired?
(73:18

The heaven will break apart [and] His promise [of resurrection] fulfilled? -
(73:19

Verily, this is a reminder, therefore whosoever will, let him take a Path to His Lord!

Leave the account of these arrogant sinners to me
In the last ayat of the previous ayaat pointed out the obstructionism, torture, injuries and unjust words of the opponents of Islam. The concerning ayaat bombarded with the warning including the punishment of the world and hereafter. And invited to revive upon their inauspicious plans and consoled the Muslims of the initial period of Islam upon the fierce attack of the enemies and bestowed them support.
In the beginning it is said: Leave these rich and well to do liars to me and give them respite and grace time.

(73:11

Means one who is opposite them is not you but me. Leave their punishment to me and give them respite, So that to deliver them the ultimatum and make them reveal their character and to burden their backs by the sins, then my punishment will suffocate them.
We know that in a short period of time when the Muslims got influential, they inflicted the neck breaking hard blows upon the stature of enemy in the wars of Badr Hunain and Ahzab and likewise, when a short period had passed these stubborn people vanished away from this world. And entangled them in the captivity of the divine punishment in the vague state of limbo Barzakh and the chastisement of the judgment day too is not far away from them.
The meaning of those who possess the luxuries demonstrating their arrogance and ignorance which is created by the excess of wealth, prosperity and affluence, it mostly stuck the owners of the riches. For this reason in the extent of history as the Quran is the eyewitness and the spectator the prophets, this group of people were always present in the first row of the opposition.
In fact this ayat is similar to the ayat 34 of Sura e Saba who said: Saba' (Sheba)
(34:34

And we did not send a warner to a township, but those who were given the worldly wealth and luxuries among them said: "We believe not in the (Message) with which you have been sent."
While this kind of people previous to the others have to accept the invitation of True God and like this way thank the blessings of the Benevolent God.
Then in the continuation of the warning declares apparently: we have chains, cuffs and Hell fire.
(73:12)
is the plural of which means the heavy chains and basically it is from the word which means weakness and fainting. When the chains fastened to the hands, Feet and neck it cease the mans movement and make him weak. This term is used as the meaning of chain. Yea before the freedom without the terms and conditions, the blessings which they enjoyed in this world but there their share is captivity and fire.
And again it added: throat sticking and suffocating food and the painful punishment
(73:13

Their foodstuff contrary to the worldly sweet, pleasant and luxurious dishes which they used to gulp down comfortably and the painful living as the gift in the place of abundant worldly comforts for these proud and selfish people of this world.
As the throat sticking food is an agonizing punishment in itself, then it mentioned the painful chastisement separately. It is showing that nobody besides the Supreme God knows the agonizing punishment of the judgment day.
Hence we read in a narration: once a Muslim was reciting these ayaat and the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was hearing them. Suddenly a man screamed and fell down unconscious.
In another hadis it is mentioned: the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was reciting these ayaat and this situation afflicted him.
How this food is not throat sticking? As in the ayat 6 of Sura e Gashiya we read: they have the heart rending food of thorns.

Al-Ghashiyah (The Overwhelming)

(88:6

For them there will be no food except from a poisonous, thorny plant
And in the ayaat 43 an 46 of Dukhan we read:

Ad-Dukhan (The Smoke)

(44:43

Verily, the tree of deadly fruit zaqqum
(44:44

Is the food for the sinful.
(44:45

Like boiling oil, it will boil in the bellies,
(44:46

Like the boiling of steaming water.
Then describes the day in which these punishments occurs and said: it will happen on the day when the land the mountains severely shake and the mountains will be scrambled and crash down and they will transform into soft piles of sand.
(
(73:14
means heaped up sands. means the down pour of the soft thing like soft sand and flour upon something. Here it means the sand which is not stagnant. Therefore it means on the judgment day the mountains disperse in such a way that they change into soft sand, if one steps the foot upon it will be submerged.
About the fate of the mountains on the resurrection day there are various interpretations in the holy Quran that entirely explains about their destruction and their transformation into the soft sand. About it is written in the ayat 105 Sura e Taha:

Ta-Ha

(20:105

And they ask you about the mountains, so say, "My Lord will blow them away with a blast.
Then compared to the prophetic mission of the messenger of Islam and the opposition of the powerful Arabs to the rise of prophet Musa bin Imran alaihis salam before the Firaun and his people and said: we send the prophet towards you who is a witness upon you as we had send a messenger towards the pharaoh Firaun.
His purpose was your guidance and to organize and control you same as the cause of prophet hazrat Musa ibn Imaran alaihis salam was to guide the Firaun and his people and to bring them in order.
But Firaun rose against the prophet and we caught him and punished him severely.
(73:16

Either his huge army was unable to stop the divine punishment from him in his vast country, administrable power, wealth or affluence of the rich people could prevent the chastisement of the greatest God. Finally all of them drowned in the river Nile which they were overconfident of it. While you are going through the least possible status of life compared to them. You are the most weaker in the line of reputation and number of people matched up to Firaun and his people. What are you thinking about yourself? How can you become arrogant to such meagre wealth and the number of people is not worth mentioning?
means the intense and heavy rainfall and then it is applied to anything which is profound and severe particularly regarding the punishment. In the ayat under discussion too the hint is towards the severe chastisement as if bursted upon the people like the heavy rains.
Then turned the attention towards the infidels belonged to the period of prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and warned them and said: If you become unbelievers then how you will be protected from the unsympathetic Divine punishment, the day which converts the children into an old age person.
(73:17

Yea the punishment of that day is so much excessive, profound, horrifying, extreme and catastrophic which transforms the children into the old man. It is pointing towards the severity of it as it is fast passing and transient.
How the punishment of the hereafter is easy? Some quote that in this fast passing and transient worldly life where, some time the man when inflicted by the immense crisis feels that in a short period of time his hairs changed into grey.
Anyhow the above ayat pointed out with the example: if you may not be inflicted by the divine destroying punishment like imposed upon the Firaun and his people in this world then how will you deal with the punishments of the judgment day.
In the next ayat it is defined more about that horrific day and added: On that day the celestial bodies will split up and the divine promise will be proved true.
(73:18

Most of the ayat of judgement day and the events at the threshold of the worlds closing stages and the beginning of the resurrection day and the narratives of the huge explosions, the immense earthquakes and the rapid change in the ayat under discussion only indicate upon a single angle of judgment day.
When the sky and entire the celestial bodies with all their magnitude and greatness could not defend against the enormous events of that day then how this fragile, helpless and vulnerable man is able to deal with the event ?
In the end of the discussions pointing towards all the warnings and cautions of the past and said: What it is said, it is just a reminder.

You are free in the selection of the path, the one who wants to acquire the guidance and endeavours to find the happiness and he selects the path of his God the Sovereign Lord.
(73:19

If to navigate this path is by means of compulsion and reluctance, it is not an honour and virtues attainment. The excellence is that the man has to select this path with his free will and own choice and search in it.
In short the Compassionate God had illustrated the evils and good qualities and put into your possession, the sight for the eyes and the bright sunlight and made the people to follow his command to enter the practical life with all the free will, intention and decision.
In the sentence (it is to remind you) what it is signifying? There are many suppositions by the interpreters. Sometimes they stated: they are sermons which is mentioned in the previous ayaat and sometimes they assumed: it is indicating the entire Surah or the complete Quran.
Some believed: May be it is the method of namaz and the midnight prayers which talked in the initial ayat of surah and addressed the prophet. This sentence made it widespread for the whole nation of Islam. Therefore by the term path in the next sentence it is about the midnight prayer which is one of the important sources towards the God the Provider. As it is said in the ayat 26 of Sura e Dahar
Al-Insan (Man)
(76:26

And during some of the night, prostrate before Him and exalt His limitless glory a long [part of the] night
After the instruction of the midnight prayers which is under the discussion.

Four stages of the divine chastisement
In the above ayaat the proud denier, intoxicated in their pleasures are warned with the four punishments: The chains and cuffs
The intense fire of hell
The throat sticking, coarse and deadly food
And the various painful punishments which the man cannot think of it
These punishments are in fact the opposite points of their condition in this world.
In one manner they were having extreme and unlimited freedom.
In other method they were having extremely luxurious life.
In other way they were relishing very much tasty food.
And they possessed various comforts.
As all these things they acquired by tyranny and grabbing the rights of the others entirely with pride and arrogance. They gained all these things by ignoring the Merciful God and they will face with these kinds of situation on the Day of Judgment.

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