(ENGLISH) COMMENTARY BY MUHAMMED ESED
( BY MUHAMMED ESED )
107 - AL-MAUN
In the name of god, the most gracious, The dispenser of grace: (1)

1 - According to most of the authorities, this invocation (which occurs at the beginning of every surah with the exception of surah 9) constitutes an integral part of "The Opening" and is, therefore, numbered as verse I. In all other instances, the invocation "in the name of God" precedes the surah as such, and is not counted among its verses. - Both the divine epithets rahman and rahrm are derived from the noun rahmah, which signifies "mercy", "compassion", "loving tenderness" and, more comprehensively, "grace". From the very earliest times, Islamic scholars have endeavoured to define the exact shades of meaning which differentiate the two terms. The best and simplest of these explanations is undoubtedly the one advanced by Ibn al-Qayyim (as quoted in Mandr I, 48): the term rahman circumscribes the quality of abounding grace inherent in, and inseparable from, the concept of God's Being, whereas rahrm expresses the manifestation of that grace in, and its effect upon, His creation-in other words, an aspect of His activity.

        
THE NAME of this surah, which was revealed in the early years of the Prophet's mission (probably after surah 102), is derived from the word al-maun occurring in the last verse. The view of some commentators that verses 4-7 were revealed at Medina lacks all historical or textual evidence and may, therefore, be disregarded.
1. HAST THOU ever considered [the kind of man] who gives the lie to all moral law? (1)

1 - I.e., who denies that there is any objective validity in religion as such and, thus, in the concept of moral law (which is one of the primary connotations of the term din - cf. note 3 on 109:6). Some commentators are of the opinion that in the above context din signifies "judgment", i.e., the Day of Judgment, and interpret this phrase as meaning "who calls the Day of Judgment a lie".

2. Behold, it is this [kind of man] that thrusts the orphan away,
3. and feels no urge (2) to feed the needy.

2 - Lit., "does not urge", i.e., himself.

4. Woe, then, unto those praying ones
5. whose hearts from their prayer are remote (3)

3 - Lit., "who are [knowingly] unmindful of their prayers".

6. those who want only to be seen and praised,
7. and, withal, deny all assistance [to their fellow-men]! (4)

4 - The term al-maun comprises the many small items needed for one's daily use, as well as the occasional acts of kindness consisting in helping out one's fellow-men with such items. In its wider sense, it denotes "aid" or "assistance" in any difficulty.