Meaning of the verse “And raise the dust in clouds the while” [al-‘Aadiyaat 100:4 – interpretation of the meaning]

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One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I would like to know the most accurate translation of one of the Quranic Ayah in English. The Surrah number is 100 and the Ayah number is 4. My questions are:
1. Is the Arabic words raised, dust, in, and clouds found in that Ayah?
2. If yes, then what are the words in Arabic that are used in Quran 100:4 as raised, dust, in, and clouds?
3. If there is any translator of the Quran who has translated Ayah 100:4 most accurately, what is his/her name?
4. Can you please list all the Arabic words that are used in Ayah 100:4 separately along with the English translation?
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Praise be to Allaah.

1 – The words “raise” and “dust” are present in the meaning of the verse. The word “in” is not present as such, but this meaning is indicated because dust can only be raised “in” the air. The word “clouds” is not present as such and is not implied by the wording. 

2 – The word “raise” has many synonyms in the Qur’aan, such as the following: 

(a)Al-Nash’ (bring up, originate, rise), as in the verses (interpretation of the meaning):

“And it is He Who brings up (or originates) [yunshi’] the clouds, heavy (with water)”

[al-Ra’d 13:12]

“Verily, the rising [naashi’ah] by night (for Tahajjud prayer) is very hard and most potent and good for governing oneself, and most suitable for (understanding) the Word (of Allaah)”

[al-Muzzammil 73:6]

(b)al-Hadab (mound, hill), as in the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“Until, when Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj (Gog and Magog people) are let loose (from their barrier), and they swoop down from every mound [hadab]”

[al-Anbiya’ 21:96]

Al-Farra’ said: (this means) from every hill and elevated place. 

(c)al-‘Urooj (ascent), as in the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“The angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] ascend [ta’ruju] to Him in a Day the measure whereof is fifty thousand years”

[al-Ma’aarij 70:4].

This means: ascending or rising up. 

(d)al-Mawj (wave), as in the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“So it (the ship) sailed with them amidst waves [mawj] like mountains”

[Hood 11:42]

Mawj refers to water rising above water. 

(e)al-Rabwah (high ground), as in the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“And We made the son of Maryam (Mary) and his mother as a sign, and We gave them refuge on high ground [rabwah], a place of rest, security and flowing streams”

[al-Mu’minoon 23:50]

The word rabwah refers to an elevated place. 

(f)al-Nashz (rising up), as in the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! When you are told to make room in the assemblies, (spread out and) make room. Allaah will give you (ample) room (from His Mercy). And when you are told to rise up [anshuzu] [for prayers, or Jihaad (holy fighting in Allaah’s Cause), or for any other good deed], rise up”

[al-Mujaadilah 58:11]

Nushooz means rising up 

With regard to the word dust, another word with the same meaning is also used in the Qur’aan, which is the word haba’, as in the verses (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And We shall turn to whatever deeds they (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust [haba’]”

[al-Furqaan 25:23]

With regard to the word “clouds”, several synonymous words are used in the Qur’aan, such as the following: 

(a)al-mu’siraat (rain clouds), as in the verses (interpretation of the meaning):

“And We have sent down from the rainy clouds [al-mu’siraat] abundant water”

[al-Naba’ 78:14]

(b)al-muzn (rain clouds), as in the verses (interpretation of the meaning):

“Is it you who cause it from the rain clouds [al-muzn] to come down, or are We the Causer of it to come down?”

[al-Waaqi’ah 56:69]

3 – One of the best commentaries on the Qur’aan in general, in the sense that it includes all kinds of tafseer (commentary) and is based on sound belief is the Tafseer of al-Tabari among the earlier scholars and the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer among the later scholars. 

In his commentary on the verse:

“And raise the dust in clouds the while”

[al-‘Aadiyaat 100:4 – interpretation of the meaning]

al-Tabari said: “Fa atharna bihi naq’an (translated here as ‘And raise the dust in clouds the while’)” means, they raise up dust (or dust clouds) in the valley. 

The ha’ in the word bihi alludes to a noun of place which is not mentioned specifically, because it is known that dust can only be stirred up from a place, and the listeners will understand that with no need to mention it specifically. 

The mufassireen said something similar to that which we have mentioned. 

Tafseer al-Tabari, 30/275, 276 

Ibn Katheer said in his commentary on the same verse:

 The word ghubaar means a battle ground where horses fight.

Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 4/542.

 The verse word-for-word is as follows:

Fa atharna bihi naq’an

 Fa atharna

Then they (the horses) raised in clouds


 In it (i.e., in the place where the horses are running) 


 The dust.

 And Allaah knows best.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

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