1. The words in parenthesis are from Ibn Jarir.
2. The great majority have read the text as it appears in all copies now. But Mujahid read “farad-naha” as “farrad-naha,” explaining the term as, “We have expounded it, and have sent down thereby commandments of various sort.” But most others, having read it as “farad naha,” understood it as meaning, “We have made obligatory the injunctions therein” (Ibn Jarir, Razi, Qurtubi, Alusi).
Al-Fard in Arabic is to break up a thing. Hence, “Fara’id al-Mirath,” i.e., “Breakup of the inherited property.”(Qurtubi)
Majid, and after him,Mawdudi, both stress on the emphatic form of the address here. In the simpler words of Mawdudi:
“(That is), whatever has been said in this Surah is not in the nature of ‘recommendations’ or ‘suggestions,’that may or may not be followed… They are, instead, categorical commands which must be followed… Further, far from being ambiguous, these commands are couched in terms which are both clear and categorical… No other Surah of the Qur’an has a more forceful preamble.”
3. Asad writes: “It would seem that the special stress on God’s having laid down this Surah ‘in plain terms’ is connected with the gravity of the injunctions spelt out in the sequence: in other words, it implies a solemn warning against any attempt at widening or re-defining those injunctions by means of deductions, inferences or any other considerations unconnected with the plain words of the Qur’an.”
(To be continued)