Surah Al A'raf
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Surah Al A'raf
Tafsir of Ayah
We mentioned before the explanation of the letters (such as, Alif-Lam, that are in the beginning of some Surahs in the Qur'an).
كِتَابٌ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ ...
(This is the) Book (the Qur'an) sent down unto you (O Muhammad),
from your Lord,
... فَلاَ يَكُن فِي صَدْرِكَ حَرَجٌ مِّنْهُ ...
so let not your breast be narrow therefrom,
According to Mujahid, Qatadah and As-Suddi,
meaning, having doubt about it.
It was also said that the meaning here is:
`do not hesitate to convey the Qur'an and warn with it,'
فَاصْبِرْ كَمَا صَبَرَ أُوْلُواْ الْعَزْمِ مِنَ الرُّسُلِ
Therefore be patient as did the Messengers of strong will. (46:35)
Allah said here,
... لِتُنذِرَ بِهِ ...
that you warn thereby,
meaning, `We sent down the Qur'an so that you may warn the disbelievers with it,'
... وَذِكْرَى لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٢﴾
and a reminder unto the believers.
Allah then said to the world,
اتَّبِعُواْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ...
Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord,
meaning, follow and imitate the unlettered Prophet, who brought you a Book that was revealed for you, from the Lord and master of everything.
... وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاء ...
and follow not any Awliya', besides Him (Allah),
meaning, do not disregard what the Messenger brought you and follow something else, for in this case, you will be deviating from Allah's judgment to the decision of someone else.
... قَلِيلاً مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿٣﴾
Little do you remember!
is similar to,
وَمَآ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ
And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly. (12:103)
وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ
And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah's path. (6:116)
وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللَّهِ إِلاَّ وَهُمْ مُّشْرِكُونَ
And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him. (12:106)
Nations that were destroyed
وَكَم مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَاهَا ...
And a great number of towns We destroyed.
for defying Our Messengers and rejecting them. This behavior led them to earn disgrace in this life, which led them to disgrace in the Hereafter.
Allah said in other Ayat,
وَلَقَدِ اسْتُهْزِىءَ بِرُسُلٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَحَاقَ بِالَّذِينَ سَخِرُواْ مِنْهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ
And indeed (many) Messengers before you were mocked at, but their scoffers were surrounded by the very thing that they used to mock at. (6:10)
فَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَـهَا وَهِىَ ظَالِمَةٌ فَهِىَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَى عُرُوشِهَا وَبِئْرٍ مُّعَطَّلَةٍ وَقَصْرٍ مَّشِيدٍ
And many a township did We destroy while they were given to wrongdoing, so that it lie in ruins (up to this day), and (many) a deserted well and lofty castle! (22:45)
وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍ بَطِرَتْ مَعِيشَتَهَا فَتِلْكَ مَسَـكِنُهُمْ لَمْ تُسْكَن مِّن بَعْدِهِمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً وَكُنَّا نَحْنُ الْوَرِثِينَ
And how many a town have We destroyed, which was thankless for its means of livelihood! And those are their dwellings, which have not been inhabited after them except a little. And verily, We have been the heirs. (28:58)
... فَجَاءهَا بَأْسُنَا بَيَاتًا أَوْ هُمْ قَآئِلُونَ ﴿٤﴾
Our torment came upon them by night or while they were taking their midday nap.
means, Allah's command, torment and vengeance came over them at night or while taking a nap in the middle of the day. Both of these times are periods of rest and leisure or heedlessness and amusement.
Allah also said
أَفَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُم بَأْسُنَا بَيَـتاً وَهُمْ نَآئِمُونَ
أَوَ أَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا ضُحًى وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ
Did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment by night while they were asleep! Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment in the forenoon while they were playing! (7:97-98)
أَفَأَمِنَ الَّذِينَ مَكَرُواْ السَّيِّئَاتِ أَن يَخْسِفَ اللَّهُ بِهِمُ الاٌّرْضَ أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ
أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ فِى تَقَلُّبِهِمْ فَمَا هُم بِمُعْجِزِينَ
أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ عَلَى تَخَوُّفٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرَؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Do then those who devise evil plots feel secure that Allah will not sink them into the earth, or that the torment will not seize them from directions they perceive not! Or that He may catch them in the midst of their going to and from, so that there be no escape for them! Or that He may catch them with gradual wastage.
Truly, Your Lord is indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful. (16:45-47)
فَمَا كَانَ دَعْوَاهُمْ إِذْ جَاءهُمْ بَأْسُنَا إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَالِمِينَ ﴿٥﴾
No cry did they utter when Our torment came upon them but this: "Verily, we were wrongdoers.''
This means, when the torment came to them, their cry was that they admitted their sins and that they deserved to be punished.
Allah said in a similar Ayah,
وَكَمْ قَصَمْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍ كَانَتْ ظَـلِمَة
How many a town given to wrongdoing, have We destroyed, (21:11), until, خَـمِدِينَ (Extinct). (21:15)
فَلَنَسْأَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ ...
Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it (the Book) was sent,
is similar to the Ayat,
وَيَوْمَ يُنَـدِيهِمْ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَآ أَجَبْتُمُ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
And (remember) the Day (Allah) will call them, and say: "What answer gave you to the Messengers!'' (28:65)
يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُ اللَّهُ الرُّسُلَ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَآ أُجِبْتُمْ قَالُواْ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلَّـمُ الْغُيُوبِ
On the Day when Allah will gather the Messengers together and say to them: "What was the response you received!''
They will say: "We have no knowledge, verily, only You are the Knower of all that is unseen.'' (5:109)
Allah will question the nations, on the Day of Resurrection, how they responded to His Messengers and the Messages He sent them with. He will also question the Messengers if they conveyed His Messages.
So, Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas, who said commenting on the Ayah: فَلَنَسْأَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَنَسْأَلَنَّ الْمُرْسَلِينَ (Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it (the Book) was sent and verily, We shall question the Messengers). He said;
"About what they conveyed.''
فَلَنَقُصَّنَّ عَلَيْهِم بِعِلْمٍ وَمَا كُنَّا غَآئِبِينَ ﴿٧﴾
Then surely, We shall narrate unto them (their whole story) with knowledge, and indeed We have not been absent.
Ibn Abbas commented on Allah's statement,
"The Book will be brought forth on the Day of Resurrection and it will speak, disclosing what they used to do.''
... وَمَا كُنَّا غَآئِبِينَ ﴿٧﴾
and indeed We have not been absent.
meaning, On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will inform His servants about what they said and did, whether substantial or minor. Certainly, He witnesses to everything, nothing escapes His observation, and He is never unaware of anything. Rather, He has perfect knowledge of what the eyes are deluded by and what the hearts conceal,
وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلاَّ يَعْلَمُهَا وَلاَ حَبَّةٍ فِى ظُلُمَـتِ الاٌّرْضِ وَلاَ رَطْبٍ وَلاَ يَابِسٍ إِلاَّ فِى كِتَـبٍ مُّبِينٍ
Not a leaf falls, but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record. (6:59)
The Meaning of weighing the Deeds
وَالْوَزْنُ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحَقُّ فَمَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ ﴿٨﴾
وَمَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُواْ أَنفُسَهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا يِظْلِمُونَ ﴿٩﴾
And the weighing on that Day will be the true (weighing). So, as for those whose scale (of good deeds) will be heavy, they will be the successful (by entering Paradise). And as for those whose scale will be light, they are those who will lose themselves for their wrongful behavior with Our Ayat.
وَالْوَزْنُ (And the weighing),
of deeds on the Day of Resurrection,
الْحَقُّ (will be the true (weighing)),
for Allah will not wrong anyone.
Allah said in other Ayat,
وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَزِينَ الْقِسْطَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ فَلاَ تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئاً وَإِن كَانَ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ أَتَيْنَا بِهَا وَكَفَى بِنَا حَـسِبِينَ
And We shall set up the Balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it. And Sufficient are We to take account. (21:47)
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَـعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِن لَّدُنْهُ أَجْراً عَظِيماً
Surely, Allah wrongs not even the weight of a speck of dust, but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward. (4:40)
فَأَمَّا مَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَزِينُهُ فَهُوَ فِى عِيشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَزِينُهُ فَأُمُّهُ هَاوِيَةٌ وَمَآ أَدْرَاكَ مَا هِيَهْ نَارٌ حَامِيَةٌ
Then as for him whose scale (of good deeds) will be heavy. He will live a pleasant life (in Paradise). But as for him whose scale (of good deeds) will be light. He will have his home in Hawiyah (pit, Hell). And what will make you know what it is (It is) a fiercely blazing Fire! (101:6-11)
فَإِذَا نُفِخَ فِى الصُّورِ فَلاَ أَنسَـبَ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَلاَ يَتَسَآءَلُونَ
فَمَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَزِينُهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
وَمَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَزِينُهُ فأُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ فِى جَهَنَّمَ خَـلِدُونَ
Then, when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no kinship among them that Day, nor will they ask of one another. Then, those whose scales (of good deeds) are heavy, they are the successful. And those whose scales (of good deeds) are light, they are those who lose themselves, in Hell will they abide. (23:101-103)
As for what will be placed on the Balance on the Day of Resurrection, it has been said that;
the deeds will be placed on it, even though they are not material objects. Allah will give these deeds physical weight on the Day of Resurrection.
Al-Baghawi said that this was reported from Ibn Abbas.
It is recorded in the Sahih that;
Al-Baqarah (Surah 2) and Al Imran (Surah 3) will come on the Day of Resurrection in the shape of two clouds, or two objects that provide shade, or two lined groups of birds.
It is also recorded in the Sahih that;
the Qur'an will come to its companion (who used to recite and preserve it) in the shape of a pale-faced young man. He will ask (the young man), "Who are you?''
He will reply, "I am the Qur'an, who made you stay up sleeplessly at night and caused you thirst in the day.''
The Hadith that Al-Bara' narrated about the questioning in the grave states,
فَيَأْتِي الْمُؤْمِنَ شَابٌّ حَسَنُ اللَّوْنِ طَيِّبُ الرِّيحِ فَيَقُولُ: مَنْ أَنْتَ؟
فَيَقُولُ: أَنَا عَمَلُكَ الصَّالِح
A young man with fair color and good scent will come to the believer, who will ask, `Who are you?'
He will reply, `I am your good deeds'.
The Prophet mentioned the opposite in the case of the disbeliever and the hypocrite.
It was also said that;
the Book of Records that contains the deeds will be weighed.
A Hadith states that;
a man will be brought forth and ninety-nine scrolls containing errors and sins will be placed on one side of the balance each as long as the sight can reach. He will then be brought a card on which `La ilaha illallah' will be written. He will say, "O Lord! What would this card weigh against these scrolls?''
Allah will say, "You will not be wronged.''
So the card will be placed on the other side of the Balance, and as the Messenger of Allah said,
فَطَاشَتِ السِّجِلَّاتُ وَثَقُلَتِ الْبِطَاقَة
Behold! The (ninety-nine) scrolls will go up, as the card becomes heavier.
At-Tirmidhi recorded similar wording for this Hadith and said that it is authentic.
It was also said that the person who performed the deed will be weighed.
A Hadith states,
يُؤْتَى يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِالرَّجُلِ السَّمِينِ فَلَا يَزِنُ عِنْدَ اللهِ جَنَاحَ بَعُوضَة
On the Day of Resurrection, a fat man will be brought forth, but he will not weigh with Allah equal to the wing of a mosquito.
He then recited the Ayah,
فَلاَ نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَزْناً
And on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign no weight for them. (18:105)
Also, the Prophet said about Abdullah bin Mas`ud,
أَتَعْجَبُونَ مِنْ دِقَّةِ سَاقَيْهِ وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَهُمَا فِي الْمِيزَانِ أَثْقَلُ مِنْ أُحُد
Do you wonder at the thinness of his legs? By He in Whose Hand is my soul! They are heavier on the Balance than (Mount) Uhud.
It is also possible to combine the meanings of these Ayat and Hadiths by stating that all this will truly occur, for sometimes the deeds will be weighed, sometimes the scrolls where they are recorded will be weighed, and sometimes those who performed the deeds will be weighed.
Allah knows best.
All Bounties in the Heavens and Earth are for the Benefit of Mankind
وَلَقَدْ مَكَّنَّاكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ وَجَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ فِيهَا مَعَايِشَ قَلِيلاً مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ ﴿١٠﴾
And surely, We gave you authority on the earth and appointed for you therein livelihoods. Little thanks do you give.
Allah reminds of His favor on His servants in that He made the earth a fixed place for dwelling, placed firm mountains and rivers on it and made homes and allowed them to utilize its benefits. Allah made the clouds work for them (bringing rain) so that they may produce their sustenance from them. He also created the ways and means of earnings, commercial activities and other professions. Yet, most of them give little thanks for this.
Allah said in another Ayah,
وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ لاَ تُحْصُوهَا إِنَّ الإنْسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ
And if you count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily, man is indeed a wrongdoer, an ingrate. (14:34)
Prostration of the Angels to Adam and Shaytan's Arrogance
Allah informs the Children of Adam about the honor of their father and the enmity of Shaytan, who still has envy for them and for their father Adam. So they should beware of him and not follow in his footsteps.
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ صَوَّرْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلآئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ ...
And surely, We created you and then gave you shape; then We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves to Adam,'' and they prostrated,
This is like His saying,
وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَـئِكَةِ إِنِّى خَـلِقٌ بَشَرًا مِّن صَلْصَـلٍ مِّنْ حَمَإٍ مَّسْنُونٍ
فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِى فَقَعُواْ لَهُ سَـجِدِينَ
And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "I am going to create a man from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud. So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him the soul (which I created for him), then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him.'' (15:28-29)
After Allah created Adam with His Hands from dried clay of altered mud and made him in the shape of a human being, He blew life into him and ordered the angels to prostrate before him, honoring Allah's glory and magnificence. The angels all heard, obeyed and prostrated, but Iblis did not prostrate.
... إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ لَمْ يَكُن مِّنَ السَّاجِدِينَ ﴿١١﴾
except Iblis (Shaytan), he refused to be of those who prostrated.
We explained this subject in the beginning of Surah Al-Baqarah. Therefore, the Ayah (7:11) refers to Adam, although Allah used the plural in this case, because Adam is the father of all mankind.
Similarly, Allah said to the Children of Israel who lived during the time of the Prophet,
وَظَلَّلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْغَمَامَ وَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَنَّ وَالسَّلْوَى
And We shaded you with clouds and sent down on you manna and the quail, (2:57)
This refers to their forefathers who lived during the time of Moses. But, since that was a favor given to the forefathers, and they are their very source, then the offspring have also been favored by it. This is not the case in:
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الإِنْسَـنَ مِن سُلَـلَةٍ مِّن طِينٍ
And indeed We created man out of an extract of clay (water and earth). (23:12)
For this merely means that Adam was created from clay. His children were created from Nutfah (mixed male and female sexual discharge).
This last Ayah is thus talking about the origin of mankind, not that they were all created from clay, and Allah knows best.
قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ قَالَ أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ ﴿١٢﴾
(Allah) said: "What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you''
Iblis said: "I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.''
... مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ ...
(Allah) said: What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate!
According to Ibn Jarir, meaning,
what stopped and hindered you from prostrating after I ordered you to do so,
This meaning is sound, and Allah knows best.
Iblis, may Allah curse him, said, أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ (I am better than him (Adam)),
and this excuse is worse than the crime itself! Shaytan said that he did not obey Allah because he who is better cannot prostrate to he who is less.
Shaytan, may Allah curse him, meant that he is better than Adam, "So how can You order me to prostrate before him!'' Shaytan said that he is better than Adam because he was created from fire while, "You created him from clay, and fire is better.'' The cursed one looked at the origin of creation not at the honor bestowed, that is, Allah creating Adam with His Hand and blowing life into him. Shaytan made a false comparison when confronted by Allah's command, فَقَعُوا لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ (Then you fall down prostrate to him) (38:72). Therefore, Shaytan alone contradicted the angels, because he refused to prostrate. He, thus, became `Ablasa' from the mercy, meaning, lost hope in acquiring Allah's mercy. He committed this error, may Allah curse him, due to his false comparison.
His claim that the fire is more honored than mud was also false, because mud has the qualities of wisdom, forbearance, patience and assurance, mud is where plants grow, flourish, increase, and provide good. To the contrary, fire has the qualities of burning, recklessness and hastiness. Therefore, the origin of creation directed Shaytan to failure, while the origin of Adam led him to return to Allah with repentance, humbleness, obedience and submission to His command, admitting his error and seeking Allah's forgiveness and pardon for it.
Muslim recorded that Aishah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
خُلِقَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ مِنْ نُورٍ وَخُلِقَ إِبْلِيسُ مِنْ مَارِجٍ مِنْ نَارٍ وَخُلِقَ آدَمُ مِمَّا وُصِفَ لَكُم
The angels were created from light, Shaytan from a smokeless flame of fire, while Adam was created from what was described to you.
Iblis was the First to use Qiyas (Analogical Comparison)
Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Hasan commented on Shaytan's statement, خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ ("You created me from fire, and him You created from clay).''
"Iblis used Qiyas (analogy), and he was the first one to do so.''
This statement has an authentic chain of narration.
Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Sirin said,
"The first to use Qiyas was Iblis, and would the sun and moon be worshipped if it was not for Qiyas''
This statement also has an authentic chain of narration.
Allah ordered Iblis;
قَالَ فَاهْبِطْ مِنْهَا ...
(Allah) said: "Get down from this,
because you defied My command and disobeyed Me. Get out,
... فَمَا يَكُونُ لَكَ أَن تَتَكَبَّرَ فِيهَا ...
it is not for you to be arrogant here."
in Paradise, according to the scholars of Tafsir.
It could also refer to particular status which he held in the utmost highs.
Allah said to Iblis,
... فَاخْرُجْ إِنَّكَ مِنَ الصَّاغِرِينَ ﴿١٣﴾
Get out, for you are of those humiliated and disgraced.
as just recompense for his ill intentions, by giving him the opposite of what he intended (arrogance).
This is when the cursed one remembered and asked for respite until the Day of Judgment,
قَالَ فَأَنظِرْنِي إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ ﴿١٤﴾
قَالَ إِنَّكَ مِنَ المُنظَرِينَ ﴿١٥﴾
(Iblis) said: "Allow me respite till the Day they are raised up (the Day of Resurrection).''
(Allah) said: "You are of those respited.''
It is like His statement;
قَالَ رَبِّ فَأَنظِرْنِى إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ
قَالَ فَإِنَّكَ مِنَ الْمُنظَرِينَ
Then allow me respite till the Day they are raised up. (Allah) said: "Then you are of those respited.'' (15: 36-37)
Allah gave Shaytan what he asked for out of His wisdom, being His decision and decree, that is never prevented or resisted. Surely, none can avert His decision, and He is swift in reckoning.
Allah said that after He gave respite to Shaytan, إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ (till the Day they are raised up (resurrected)) and Iblis was sure that he got what he wanted, he went on in defiance and rebellion.
قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ ﴿١٦﴾
"Because You have `Aghwaytani', surely, I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your straight path.''
meaning, as You have sent me astray.
Ibn Abbas said that `Aghwaytani' means,
"As You caused my ruin, I will sit in wait for Your servants whom You will create from the offspring of the one you expelled me for.''
He went on, صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ (Your straight path), the path of truth and the way of safety. I (Iblis) will misguide them from this path so that they do not worship You Alone, because You sent me astray.
Mujahid said that the `straight path', refers to the truth.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Saburah bin Abi Al-Fakih said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying,
إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ قَعَدَ لِابْنِ آدَمَ بِطُرُقِهِ، فَقَعَدَ لَهُ بِطَرِيقِ الْإِسْلَامِ، فَقَالَ: أَتُسْلِمُ وَتَذَرُ دِينَكَ وَدِينَ آبَائِكَ؟ قَالَ: فَعَصَاهُ وَأَسْلَم
Shaytan sat in wait for the Son of Adam in all his paths. He sat in the path of Islam, saying, `Would you embrace Islam and abandon your religion and the religion of your forefathers!' However, the Son of Adam disobeyed Shaytan and embraced Islam.
قَعَدَ لَهُ بِطَرِيقِ الْهِجْرَةِ فَقَالَ: أَتُهَاجِرُ وَتَدَعُ أَرْضَكَ وَسَمَاءَكَ؟
So Shaytan sat in the path of Hijrah (migration in the cause of Allah), saying, `Would you migrate and leave your land and sky!'
وَإِنَّمَا مَثَلُ الْمُهَاجِرِ كَالْفَرَسِ فِي الطِّوَلِ، فَعَصَاهُ وَهَاجَرَ،
But the parable of the Muhajir is that of a horse in his stamina So, he disobeyed Shaytan and migrated.
ثُمَّ قَعَدَ لَهُ بِطَرِيقِ الْجِهَادِ وَهُوَ جِهَادُ النَّفْسِ وَالْمَالِ، فَقَالَ: تُقَاتِلُ فَتُقْتَلُ فَتُنْكَحُ الْمَرْأَةُ وَيُقْسَمُ الْمَالُ،
So Shaytan sat in the path of Jihad, against one's self and with his wealth, saying, `If you fight, you will be killed, your wife will be married and your wealth divided.'
قاَلَ: فَعَصَاهُ وَجَاهَد
So he disobeyed him and performed Jihad.
The Prophet peace be upon him then said;
ثُمَّ لآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَآئِلِهِمْ وَلاَ تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ ﴿١٧﴾
"Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them to be thankful.''
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented on: ثُمَّ لآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ (Then I will come to them from before them),
Raising doubts in them concerning their Hereafter,
وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ (and (from) behind them),
making them more eager for this life,
وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ (from their right),
causing them confusion in the religion,
وَعَن شَمَآئِلِهِمْ (and from their left),
luring them to commit sins.''
This is meant to cover all paths of good and evil. Shaytan discourages the people from the path of good and lures them to the path of evil.
Al-Hakam bin Abban said that Ikrimah narrated from Ibn Abbas concerning the Ayah,
ثُمَّ لآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَآئِلِهِمْ ...
Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left,
"He did not say that he will come from above them, because the mercy descends from above.''
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said,
... وَلاَ تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ
and You will not find most of them to be thankful.
"means, those who single Him out (in worship).''
When Shaytan said this, it was a guess and an assumption on his part. Yet, the truth turned out to be the same, for Allah said,
وَلَقَدْ صَدَّقَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِبْلِيسُ ظَنَّهُ فَاتَّبَعُوهُ إِلاَّ فَرِيقاً مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
وَمَا كَانَ لَهُ عَلَيْهِمْ مِّن سُلْطَـنٍ إِلاَّ لِنَعْلَمَ مَن يُؤْمِنُ بِالاٌّخِرَةِ مِمَّنْ هُوَ مِنْهَا فِى شَكٍّ وَرَبُّكَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ حَفُيظٌ
And indeed Iblis (Shaytan) did prove true his thought about them, and they followed him, all except a group of true believers. And he had no authority over them, except that We might test him who believes in the Hereafter, from him who is in doubt about it. And your Lord is Watchful over everything. (34:20-21)
This is why there is a Hadith that encourages seeking refuge with Allah from the lures of Shaytan from all directions.
Imam Ahmad narrated that Abdullah bin Umar said,
"The Messenger of Allah used to often recite this supplication in the morning and when the night falls,
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَافِيَةَ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ،
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَفْوَ وَالْعَافِيَةَ فِي دِينِي وَدُنْيَايَ وَأَهْلِي وَمَالِي،
اللَّهُمَّ اسْتُرْ عَوْرَاتِي وَآمِنْ رَوْعَاتِي،
اللَّهُمَّ احْفَظْنِي مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيَّ وَمِنْ خَلْفِي وَعَنْ يَمِينِي وَعَنْ شِمَالِي وَمِنْ فَوْقِي وَأَعُوذُ بِعَظَمتِكَ أَنْ أُغْتَالَ مِنْ تَحْتِي
O Allah! I ask You for well-being in this life and the Hereafter.
O Allah! I ask You for pardon and well-being in my religion, life, family and wealth.
O Allah! Cover my errors and reassure me in times of difficulty.
O Allah! Protect me from before me, from behind me, from my right, from my left and from above me. I seek refuge with Your greatness from being killed from below me.''
Waki` commented (about being killed from below),
"This refers to earthquakes.''
Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim collected this Hadith, and Al-Hakim said, "Its chain is Sahih.''
قَالَ اخْرُجْ مِنْهَا مَذْؤُومًا مَّدْحُورًا ...
(Allah) said (to Iblis): "Get out from this (Paradise), Madh'uman Madhura. Whoever of them (mankind) will follow you, then surely, I will fill Hell with you all.''
Allah emphasized His cursing, expelling, banishing and turning Shaytan away from the uppermost heights, saying;
Ibn Jarir said,
"As for Madh'um, it is disgraced.''
And he said,
"Madhur is the distanced, that is, he is banished and expelled.''
Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said,
"We do not know of any who is Madh'uh and Madhmum except for one.''
Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated from Abu Ishaq from At-Tamimi from Ibn Abbas, اخْرُجْ مِنْهَا مَذْؤُومًا مَّدْحُورًا (Get out from this (Paradise), Madh'uman Madhura,
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented on, اخْرُجْ مِنْهَا مَذْؤُومًا مَّدْحُورًا (Get out from this (Paradise), Madh'uman Madhura),
"Belittled and despised.''
"Hateful and expelled.''
"Cursed and despised.''
"Expelled and banished.''
Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that;
`Madh'um' means banished, while, `Madhura' means belittled.
... لَّمَن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ لأَمْلأنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿١٨﴾
Whoever of them (mankind) will follow you, then surely, I will fill Hell with you all.
This is similar to Allah's saying;
قَالَ اذْهَبْ فَمَن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ فَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ جَزَآؤُكُمْ جَزَاءً مَّوفُورًا
وَاسْتَفْزِزْ مَنِ اسْتَطَعْتَ مِنْهُمْ بِصَوْتِكَ وَأَجْلِبْ عَلَيْهِم بِخَيْلِكَ وَرَجِلِكَ وَشَارِكْهُمْ فِى الاٌّمْوَلِ وَالاٌّوْلَـدِ وَعِدْهُمْ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمُ الشَّيْطَـنُ إِلاَّ غُرُورًا
إِنَّ عِبَادِى لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَـنٌ وَكَفَى بِرَبِّكَ وَكِيلاً
(Allah) said: "Go, and whosoever of them follows you, surely, Hell will be the recompense of you (all) an ample recompense. And gradually delude those whom you can among them with your voice, make assaults on them with your cavalry and your infantry, share with them wealth and children, and make promises to them.''
But Shaytan promises them nothing but deceit.
"Verily, My servants -- you have no authority over them. And All-Sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian.'' (17:63-65)
Shaytan's Deceit with Adam and Hawwa' and Their eating from the Forbidden Tree
وَيَا آدَمُ اسْكُنْ أَنتَ وَزَوْجُكَ الْجَنَّةَ فَكُلاَ مِنْ حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا وَلاَ تَقْرَبَا هَـذِهِ الشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُونَا مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿١٩﴾
فَوَسْوَسَ لَهُمَا الشَّيْطَانُ لِيُبْدِيَ لَهُمَا مَا وُورِيَ عَنْهُمَا مِن سَوْءَاتِهِمَا ...
"And O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in Paradise, and eat thereof as you both wish, but approach not this tree otherwise you both will be of the wrongdoers.Then Shaytan whispered suggestions to them both in order to uncover that which was hidden from them of their private parts (before);
Allah states that He allowed Adam and his wife to dwell in Paradise and to eat from all of its fruits, except one tree.
We have already discussed this in Surah Al-Baqarah.
Thus, Shaytan envied them and plotted deceitfully, whispering and suggesting treachery. He wished to rid them of the various favors and nice clothes that they were enjoying.
... وَقَالَ ...
He (Shaytan) said,
uttering lies and falsehood,
... مَا نَهَاكُمَا رَبُّكُمَا عَنْ هَـذِهِ الشَّجَرَةِ إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَا مَلَكَيْنِ ...
"Your Lord did not forbid you this tree save you should become angels...''
meaning, so that you do not become angels or dwell here for eternity.
... أَوْ تَكُونَا مِنَ الْخَالِدِينَ ﴿٢٠﴾
or become of the immortals.''
Surely, if you eat from this tree, you will attain both, he said.
In another Ayah,
قَالَ يـَادَمُ هَلْ أَدُلُّكَ عَلَى شَجَرَةِ الْخُلْدِ وَمُلْكٍ لاَّ يَبْلَى
Shaytan whispered to him, saying: "O Adam! Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that will never waste away.'' (20:120)
Here, the wording is similar, so it means, `so that you do not become angels,' as in;
يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ أَن تَضِلُّواْ
(Thus) does Allah make clear to you (His Law) lest you go astray. (4:176)
meaning, so that you do not go astray,
وَأَلْقَى فِى الاٌّرْضِ رَوَاسِىَ أَن تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ
And He has affixed into the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you; (16:15)
that is, so that the earth does not shake with you.
And he Qasamahuma,
swore to them both by Allah, saying,
... إِنِّي لَكُمَا لَمِنَ النَّاصِحِينَ ﴿٢١﴾
"Verily, I am one of the sincere well-wishers for you both.''
for I was here before you and thus have better knowledge of this place.
It is a fact that the believer in Allah might sometimes become the victim of deceit.
Qatadah commented on this Ayah,
"Shaytan swore by Allah, saying, `I was created before you, and I have better knowledge than you. Therefore, follow me and I will direct you.'''
فَدَلاَّهُمَا بِغُرُورٍ فَلَمَّا ذَاقَا الشَّجَرَةَ بَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْءَاتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَقِ الْجَنَّةِ وَنَادَاهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا أَلَمْ أَنْهَكُمَا عَن تِلْكُمَا الشَّجَرَةِ وَأَقُل لَّكُمَا إِنَّ الشَّيْطَآنَ لَكُمَا عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٢٢﴾
So he misled them with deception. Then when they tasted of the tree, that which was hidden from them of their shame (private parts) became manifest to them and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise.
Ubayy bin Ka`b said,
"Adam was a tall man, about the height of a palm tree, and he had thick hair on his head. When he committed the error that he committed, his private part appeared to him while before, he did not see it. So he started running in fright through Paradise, but a tree in Paradise took him by the head. He said to it, `Release me,' but it said, `No, I will not release you.' So his Lord called him, `O Adam! Do you run away from Me!'
He said, `O Lord! I felt ashamed before You.'''
Ibn Jarir and Ibn Marduwyah collected this statement using several chains of narration from Al-Hasan from Ubayy bin Ka`b who narrated it from the Prophet. However, relating the Hadith to Ubayy is more correct.
Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah, وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَقِ الْجَنَّةِ (And they began to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise).
"Using fig leaves.''
This statement has an authentic chain of narration leading to Ibn Abbas.
Mujahid said that they began to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise,
"Making them as a dress (or garment).''
Commenting on Allah's statement, يَنزِعُ عَنْهُمَا لِبَاسَهُمَا (Stripping them of their raiment) (7:27) Wahb bin Munabbih said,
"The private parts of Adam and Hawwa' had a light covering them which prevented them from seeing the private parts of each other. When they ate from the tree, their private parts appeared to them.''
Ibn Jarir reported this statement with an authentic chain of narration.
Abdur-Razzaq reported from Qatadah,
"Adam said, `O Lord! What if I repented and sought forgiveness!'
Allah said, `Then, I will admit you into Paradise.' As for Shaytan, he did not ask for forgiveness, but for respite. Each one of them was given what he asked for.''
Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim commented,
"These are the words that Adam received from his Lord.''
Sending Them All Down to Earth
قَالَ اهْبِطُواْ بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ ...
(Allah) said: "Get down, one of you an enemy to the other.
It was said that,
اهْبِطُواْ ("Get down), was addressed to Adam, Hawwa, Iblis and the snake.
Some scholars did not mention the snake, and Allah knows best.
The enmity is primarily between Adam and Iblis, and Hawwa follows Adam in this regard.
Allah said in Surah Ta Ha,
اهْبِطَا مِنْهَا جَمِيعاً
"Get you down (from the Paradise to the earth), both of you, together...'' (20:123)
If the story about the snake is true, then it is a follower of Iblis.
Some scholars mentioned the location on earth they were sent down, but these accounts are taken from the Israelite tales, and only Allah knows if they are true. If having known these areas was useful for the people in matters of religion or life, Allah would have mentioned them in His Book, and His Messenger would have mentioned them too.
... وَلَكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُسْتَقَرٌّ وَمَتَاعٌ إِلَى حِينٍ ﴿٢٤﴾
On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time.
means, on earth you will have dwellings and known, designated, appointed terms that have been recorded by the Pen, counted by Predestination and written in the First Record.
قَالَ فِيهَا تَحْيَوْنَ وَفِيهَا تَمُوتُونَ وَمِنْهَا تُخْرَجُونَ ﴿٢٥﴾
He (Allah) said: "Therein you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out (resurrected).''
This Ayah is similar to Allah's other statement,
مِنْهَا خَلَقْنَـكُمْ وَفِيهَا نُعِيدُكُمْ وَمِنْهَا نُخْرِجُكُمْ تَارَةً أُخْرَى
Thereof (the earth) We created you, and into it We shall return you, and from it We shall bring you out once again. (20:55)
Allah states that He has made the earth a dwelling place for the Children of Adam, for the remainder of this earthly life. On it, they will live, die and be buried in their graves; and from it, they will be resurrected for the Day of Resurrection. On that Day, Allah will gather the first and last of creatures and reward or punish each according to his or her deeds.
Bestowing Raiment and Adornment on Mankind
يَا بَنِي آدَمَ قَدْ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ لِبَاسًا يُوَارِي سَوْءَاتِكُمْ وَرِيشًا وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَىَ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ ذَلِكَ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللّهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ ﴿٢٦﴾
O Children of Adam! We have bestowed Libas (raiment) upon you to cover yourselves with, and as Rish (adornment); and the Libas (raiment) of Taqwa, that is better. Such are among the Ayat of Allah, that they may remember.
Allah reminds His servants that He has given them Libas and Rish.
Libas refers to the clothes that are used to cover the private parts, while Rish refers to the outer adornments used for purposes of beautification. Therefore, the first type is essential while the second type is complimentary.
Ibn Jarir said that;
Rish includes furniture and outer clothes.
Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam commented on the Ayah, وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَىَ (and the Libas (raiment) of Taqwa...),
"When one fears Allah, Allah covers his errors. Hence the `Libas of Taqwa' (that the Ayah mentions).''
Warning against the Lures of Shaytan
يَا بَنِي آدَمَ لاَ يَفْتِنَنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ كَمَا أَخْرَجَ أَبَوَيْكُم مِّنَ الْجَنَّةِ يَنزِعُ عَنْهُمَا لِبَاسَهُمَا لِيُرِيَهُمَا سَوْءَاتِهِمَا إِنَّهُ يَرَاكُمْ هُوَ وَقَبِيلُهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ تَرَوْنَهُمْ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا الشَّيَاطِينَ أَوْلِيَاء لِلَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٢٧﴾
O Children of Adam! Let not Shaytan deceive you, as he got your parents out of Paradise, stripping them of their raiment, to show them their private parts. Verily, he and his tribe see you from where you cannot see them. Verily, We made the Shayatin friends of those who believe not.
Allah warns the Children of Adam against Iblis and his followers, by explaining about his ancient enmity for the father of mankind, Adam peace be upon him. Iblis plotted to have Adam expelled from Paradise, which is the dwelling of comfort, to the dwelling of hardship and fatigue (this life) and caused him to have his private part uncovered, after it had been hidden from him. This, indeed, is indicative of deep hatred (from Shaytan towards Adam and mankind).
Allah said in a similar Ayah,
أَفَتَتَّخِذُونَهُ وَذُرِّيَّتَهُ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِى وَهُمْ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ بِئْسَ لِلظَّـلِمِينَ بَدَلاً
Will you then take him (Iblis) and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me, while they are enemies to you! What an evil is the exchange for the wrongdoers. (18:50)
Disbelievers commit Sins and claim that Allah commanded Them to do so!
"The idolators used to go around the House (Ka`bah) in Tawaf while naked, saying, `We perform Tawaf as our mothers gave birth to us.'
The woman would cover her sexual organ with something saying, `Today, some or all of it will appear, but whatever appears from it, I do not allow it (it is not for adultery or for men to enjoy looking at!).'''
Allah sent down the Ayah,
وَإِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً قَالُواْ وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهَا آبَاءنَا وَاللّهُ أَمَرَنَا بِهَا ...
And when they commit a Fahishah (sin), they say: "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded it for us.''
I say, the Arabs, with the exception of the Quraysh, used to perform Tawaf naked. They claimed they would not make Tawaf while wearing the clothes that they disobeyed Allah in. As for the Quraysh, known as Al-Hums, they used to perform Tawaf in their regular clothes. Whoever among the Arabs borrowed a garment from one of Al-Hums, he would wear it while in Tawaf. And whoever wore a new garment, would discard it and none would wear it after him on completion of Tawaf. Those who did not have a new garment, or were not given one by Al-Hums, then they would perform Tawaf while naked.
Even women would go around in Tawaf while naked, and one of them would cover her sexual organ with something and proclaim, "Today, a part or all of it will appear, but whatever appears from it I do not allow it.''
Women used to perform Tawaf while naked usually at night. This was a practice that the idolators invented on their own, following only their forefathers in this regard. They falsely claimed that what their forefathers did was in fact following the order and legislation of Allah. Allah then refuted them, Allah said, وَإِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً قَالُواْ وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهَا آبَاءنَا وَاللّهُ أَمَرَنَا بِهَا (And when they commit a Fahishah, they say: "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded it for us'').
Allah does not order Fahsha', but orders Justice and Sincerity
Allah replied to this false claim,
... قُلْ ...
Say, (O Muhammad, to those who claimed this),
... إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاء ...
"Nay, Allah never commands Fahsha'...,''
meaning, the practice you indulge in is a despicable sin, and Allah does not command such a thing.
... أَتَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٢٨﴾
"Do you say about Allah what you know not!''
that is, do you attribute to Allah statements that you are not certain are true.
Allah said next,
قُلْ أَمَرَ رَبِّي بِالْقِسْطِ ...
Say: "My Lord has commanded justice, (fairness and honesty),''
... وَأَقِيمُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَادْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ ...
"And that you should face Him only, in every Masjid, and invoke Him only making your religion sincere to Him...''
This Ayah means, Allah commands you to be straightforward in worshipping Him, by following the Messengers who were supported with miracles and obeying what they conveyed from Allah and the Law that they brought. He also commands sincerity in worshipping Him, for He, Exalted He is, does not accept a good deed until it satisfies these two conditions: being correct and in conformity with His Law, and being free of Shirk.
The Meaning of being brought into Being in the Beginning and brought back again
... كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ ﴿٢٩﴾
فَرِيقًا هَدَى وَفَرِيقًا حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الضَّلاَلَةُ ...
As He brought you in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being again. A group He has guided, and a group deserved to be in error;
There is some difference over the meaning of: كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ (As He brought you in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being again).
Ibn Abi Najih said that Mujahid said that it means,
"He will bring you back to life after you die.''
Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented,
"As He made you begin in this life, He will bring you back to life on the Day of Resurrection.''
Qatadah commented on:
"He started their creation after they were nothing, and they perished later on, and He shall bring them back again.''
Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said,
"As He created you in the beginning, He will bring you back in the end.''
This last explanation was preferred by Abu Jafar Ibn Jarir and he supported it with what he reported from Ibn Abbas,
"The Messenger of Allah stood up and gave us a speech, saying,
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّكُمْ تُحْشَرُونَ إِلَى اللهِ حُفَاةً عُرَاةً غُرْلًا
O people! You will be gathered to Allah while barefooted, naked and uncircumcised,
كَمَا بَدَأْنَا أَوَّلَ خَلْقٍ نُّعِيدُهُ وَعْدًا عَلَيْنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ
As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it. (It is) a promise binding upon Us. Truly, We shall do it. (21:104)
This Hadith was collected in the Two Sahihs.
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah,
... كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ ﴿٢٩﴾
فَرِيقًا هَدَى وَفَرِيقًا حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الضَّلاَلَةُ ...
As He brought you in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being again. A group He has guided, and a group deserved to be in error;
"Allah, the Exalted, began the creation of the Sons of Adam, some believers and some disbelievers, just as He said, هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ فَمِنكُمْ كَافِرٌ وَمِنكُم مُّؤْمِنٌ (He it is Who created you, then some of you are disbelievers and some of you are believers) (64:2). He will then return them on the Day of Resurrection as He started them, some believers and some disbelievers.
I say, what supports this meaning, is the Hadith from Ibn Mas`ud that Al-Bukhari recorded, that the Prophet said:
فَوَالَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ غَيرُهُ إِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا إِلَّا بَاعٌ أَوْ ذِرَاعٌ، فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ فَيَدْخُلُهَا،
وَإِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا إِلَّا بَاعٌ أَوْ ذِرَاعٌ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ، فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّة
By He, other than Whom there is no god, one of you might perform the deeds of the people of Paradise until only the length of an arm or a forearm would separate him from it. However, that which was written in the Book takes precedence, and he commits the work of the people of the Fire and thus enters it.
And one of you might perform the deeds of the people of the Fire until only the length of an arm or a forearm separates between him and the Fire. However, that which was written in the Book takes precedence, and he performs the work of the people of Paradise and thus enters Paradise.
We should combine this meaning -- if it is held to be the correct meaning for the Ayah -- with Allah's statement:
فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفاً فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِى فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا
So set you your face towards the religion, Hanifan. Allah's Fitrah with which He has created mankind, (30:30), and what is recorded in the Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah who said that the Messenger of Allah said:
كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ، فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ وَيُنَصِّرَانِهِ وَيُمَجِّسَانِه
Every child is born upon the Fitrah, it is only his parents who turn him into a Jew, a Christian or a Zoroastrian.
Muslim recorded that Iyad bin Himar said that the Messenger of Allah said,
يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالـى: إِنِّي خَلَقْتُ عِبَادِي حُنَفَاءَ، فَجَاءَتْهُمُ الشَّيَاطِينُ فَاجْتَالَتْهُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِم
Allah said, `I created My servants Hunafa (monotheists), but the devils came to them and deviated them from their religion.
The collective meaning here is, Allah created His creatures so that some of them later turn believers and some turn disbelievers. Allah has originally created all of His servants able to recognize Him, to single Him out in worship, and know that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him. He also took their covenant to fulfill the implications of this knowledge, which He placed in their consciousness and souls. He has decided that some of them will be miserable and some will be happy, هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ فَمِنكُمْ كَافِرٌ وَمِنكُم مُّؤْمِنٌ (He it is Who created you, then some of you are disbelievers and some of you are believers). (64:2)
Also, a Hadith states,
كُلُّ النَّاسِ يَغْدُو فَبَائِعٌ نَفْسَهُ فَمُعْتِقُهَا أَوْ مُوبِقُهَا
All people go out in the morning and sell themselves, and some of them free themselves while some others destroy themselves.
Allah's decree will certainly come to pass in His creation. Verily, He it is وَالَّذِي قَدَّرَ فَهَدَى (Who has measured (everything); and then guided) (87: 3), and, الَّذِي أَعْطَى كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلْقَهُ ثُمَّ هَدَى (He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright). (20:50)
And in the Two Sahihs:
فَأَمَّا مَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَهْلِ السَّعَادَةِ فَسَيُيَسَّرُ لِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ السَّعَادَةِ، وَأَمَّا مَنْ كَانَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الشَّقَاوَةِ فَسَيُيَسَّرُ لِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الشَّقَاوَة
As for those among you who are among the people of happiness, they will be facilitated to perform the deeds of the people of happiness. As for those who are among the miserable, they will be facilitated to commit the deeds of the miserable.
This is why Allah said here, فَرِيقًا هَدَى وَفَرِيقًا حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الضَّلاَلَةُ (A group He has guided, and a group deserved to be in error;),
Allah then explained why,
... إِنَّهُمُ اتَّخَذُوا الشَّيَاطِينَ أَوْلِيَاء مِن دُونِ اللّهِ وَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ ﴿٣٠﴾
(because) surely, they took the Shayatin as supporters instead of Allah, and think that they are guided.
Ibn Jarir said,
"This is one of the clearest arguments proving the mistake of those who claim that Allah does not punish anyone for disobedient acts he commits of deviations he believes in until after knowledge of what is correct reaches him, then he were to obstinately avoid it anyway. If this were true, then there would be no difference between the deviations of the misguided group - their belief that they are guided - and the group that is in fact guided. Yet Allah has differentiated between the two in this noble Ayah, doing so in both name and judgement.''
Allah commands taking Adornment when going to the Masjid
This honorable Ayah refutes the idolators' practice of performing Tawaf around the Sacred House while naked.
Muslim, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Jarir, (the following wording is that of Ibn Jarir) recorded that Shu`bah said that Salamah bin Kuhayl said that Muslim Al-Batin said that Sa`id bin Jubayr said that Ibn Abbas said,
"The idolators used to go around the House while naked, both men and women, men in the day and women by night. The woman would say, "Today, a part or all of it will be unveiled, but whatever is exposed of it, I do not allow.''
Allah said in reply,
يَا بَنِي آدَمَ ...
O Children of Adam!
... خُذُواْ زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ ...
Take your adornment to every Masjid,
Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas commented:
"There were people who used to perform Tawaf around the House while naked, and Allah ordered them to take adornment, meaning, wear clean, proper clothes that cover the private parts. people were commanded to wear their best clothes when performing every prayer.''
Mujahid, Ata', Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Ad-Dahhak and Malik narrated a similar saying from Az-Zuhri, and from several of the Salaf. They said that;
this Ayah was revealed about the idolators who used to perform Tawaf around the House while naked.
This Ayah, as well as the Sunnah, encourage wearing the best clothes when praying, especially for Friday and `Id prayers.
It is also recommended (for men) to wear perfume for prayer, because it is adornment, and to use Siwak for it is part of what completes adornment.
The best color for clothes is white, for Imam Ahmad narrated that Ibn Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,
الْبَسُوا مِنْ ثِيَابِكُمُ الْبَيَاضَ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ خَيْرِ ثِيَابِكُمْ، وَكَفِّنُوا فِيهَا مَوْتَاكُمْ وَإِنَّ خَيْرَ أَكْحَالِكُمُ الْإثْمَدُ فَإِنَّهُ يَجْلُو الْبَصَرَ وَيُنْبِتُ الشَّعَر
Wear white clothes, for it is among your best clothes, and also wrap your dead with it. And Ithmid (antimony) is among the best of your Kuhl, for it clears the sight and helps the hair grow.
This Hadith has a sound chain of narration, consisting of narrators who conform to the conditions and guidelines of Imam Muslim.
Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah also recorded it, and At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.''
... وكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ وَلاَ تُسْرِفُواْ...
And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance,
Al-Bukhari said that Ibn Abbas said,
"Eat what you wish and wear what you wish, as long as you avoid two things: extravagance and arrogance.''
Ibn Jarir said that Muhammad bin Abdul-A`la narrated to us that Muhammad bin Thawr narrated to us from Ma`mar from Ibn Tawus from his father who said that Ibn Abbas said,
"Allah has allowed eating and drinking, as long as it does not contain extravagance or arrogance.''
This chain is Sahih.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miqdam bin Ma`dikarib Al-Kindi said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying,
مَا مَلَأَ ابْنُ آدَمَ وِعَاءً شَرًّا مِنْ بَطْنِهِ بِحَسْبِ ابْنِ آدَمَ أَكَلَاتٍ يُقِمْنَ صُلْبَهُ فَإِنْ كَانَ فَاعِلًا لَا مَحَالَةَ فَثُلُثٌ طَعَامٌ وَثُلُثٌ شَرَابٌ وَثُلُثٌ لِنَفَسِه
The Son of Adam will not fill a pot worse for himself than his stomach. It is enough for the Son of Adam to eat a few bites that strengthens his spine. If he likes to have more, then let him fill a third with food, a third with drink and leave a third for his breathing.
An-Nasa'i and At-Tirmidhi collected this Hadith, At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan'' or "Hasan Sahih'' according to another manuscript.
Ata Al-Khurasani said that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah,
... وكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ وَلاَ تُسْرِفُواْ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ ﴿٣١﴾
And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not the wasteful.
"With food and drink.''
إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ
Certainly He (Allah) likes not the wasteful.
Ibn Jarir commented on Allah's statement,
"Allah the Exalted says that He does not like those who trespass the limits on an allowed matter or a prohibited matter, those who go to the extreme over what He has allowed, allow what He has prohibited, or prohibit what He has allowed. But, He likes that what He has allowed be considered as such (without extravagance) and what He has prohibited be considered as such. This is the justice that He has commanded.''
Allah refutes those who prohibit any type of food, drink or clothes according to their own understanding, without relying on what Allah has legislated,
O Muhammad, to the idolators who prohibit some things out of false opinion and fabrication,
... مَنْ حَرَّمَ زِينَةَ اللّهِ الَّتِيَ أَخْرَجَ لِعِبَادِهِ وَالْطَّيِّبَاتِ مِنَ الرِّزْقِ ...
Who has forbidden the adornment with clothes given by Allah, which He has produced for His servants and At-Tayyibat (good things) of sustenance!''
... قُلْ هِي لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا خَالِصَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ...
Say: "They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) exclusively for them (believers) on the Day of Resurrection.''
meaning, these things were created for those who believe in Allah and worship Him in this life, even though the disbelievers share in these bounties in this life. In the Hereafter, the believers will have all this to themselves and none of the disbelievers will have a share in it, for Paradise is prohibited for the disbelievers.
... كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٣٢﴾
Thus We explain the Ayat in detail for people who have knowledge.
Fahishah, Sin, Transgression, Shirk and Lying about Allah are prohibited
Allah says to His prophet (peace be upon him);
قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ ...
Say: "(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are the Fawahish (immoral deeds) whether committed openly or secretly,
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,
لَا أَحَدَ أَغْيَرُ مِنَ اللهِ فَلِذَلِكَ حَرَّمَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ، وَلَا أَحَدَ أَحَبُّ إِلَيْهِ الْمَدْحُ مِنَ الله
None is more jealous than Allah, and this is why He prohibited Fawahish, committed openly or in secret. And none likes praise more than Allah.
This was also recorded in the Two Sahihs.
In the explanation of Surah Al-An`am, we explained the Fahishah that is committed openly and in secret.
Allah said next,
... وَالإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ ...
and Ithm, and transgression without right,
"Al-Ithm means, `disobedience'. As for unrighteous oppression, it occurs when you transgress against people without justification.''
"Ithm includes all types of disobedience. Allah said that the oppressor commits oppression against himself.''
Therefore, the meaning of, Ithm is the sin that one commits against himself, while `oppression' pertains to transgression against other people, and Allah prohibited both.
... وَأَن تُشْرِكُواْ بِاللّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا ...
and joining partners with Allah for which He has given no authority,
prohibits calling partners with Allah in worship.
... وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٣٣﴾
and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.
such as lies and inventions, like claiming that Allah has a son, and other evil creeds that you -- O idolators -- have no knowledge of.
This is similar to His saying:
فَاجْتَنِبُواْ الرِّجْسَ مِنَ الاٌّوْثَـنِ
So shun the abomination (worshipping) of the idols. (22:30)
وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ ...
And every Ummah has,
meaning, each generation and nation,
... أَجَلٌ فَإِذَا جَاء أَجَلُهُمْ ...
its appointed term; when their term comes,
which they were destined for,
... لاَ يَسْتَأْخِرُونَ سَاعَةً وَلاَ يَسْتَقْدِمُونَ ﴿٣٤﴾
neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment).
يَا بَنِي آدَمَ إِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِّنكُمْ يَقُصُّونَ عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِي ...
O Children of Adam! If there come to you Messengers from among you, reciting to you My Ayat,
Allah then warned the Children of Adam that He sent to them Messengers who conveyed to them His Ayat.
Allah also conveyed good news, as well as warning,
... فَمَنِ اتَّقَى وَأَصْلَحَ ...
then whosoever has Taqwa and becomes righteous,
by abandoning the prohibitions and performing acts of obedience,
... فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ﴿٣٥﴾
وَالَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا وَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ عَنْهَا ...
on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. But those who reject Our Ayat and treat them with arrogance,
meaning, their hearts denied the Ayat and they were too arrogant to abide by them,
... أُوْلَـَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿٣٦﴾
they are the dwellers of the Fire, they will abide therein forever.
without end to their dwelling in it.
Idolators enjoy Their destined Share in This Life, but will lose Their Supporters upon Death
فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللّهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ ...
Who is more unjust than one who invents a lie against Allah or rejects His Ayat,
meaning, none is more unjust than whoever invents a lie about Allah or rejects the Ayat that He has revealed.
... أُوْلَـئِكَ يَنَالُهُمْ نَصِيبُهُم مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ ...
For such their appointed portion will reach them from the Book,
Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi said that,
it refers to each person's deeds, allotted provisions and age.
Similar was said by Ar-Rabi bin Anas and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam.
Allah said in similar statements,
قُلْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ لاَ يُفْلِحُونَ
مَتَـعٌ فِى الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ إِلَيْنَا مَرْجِعُهُمْ ثُمَّ نُذِيقُهُمُ الْعَذَابَ الشَّدِيدَ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْفُرُونَ
Verily, those who invent a lie against Allah, will never be successful. (A brief) enjoyment in this world! And then unto Us will be their return, then We shall make them taste the severest torment because they used to disbelieve. (10:69-70)
وَمَن كَفَرَ فَلاَ يَحْزُنكَ كُفْرُهُ إِلَيْنَا مَرْجِعُهُمْ فَنُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا عَمِلُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ
And whoever disbelieves, let not his disbelief grieve you. To Us is their return, and We shall inform them what they have done. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts (of men). We let them enjoy for a little while. (31:23-24)
Allah said next,
... حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا يَتَوَفَّوْنَهُمْ ...
until when Our messengers come to them to take their souls.
Allah states that when death comes to the idolators and the angels come to capture their souls to take them to Hellfire, the angels horrify them, saying,
... قَالُواْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ ...
they (the angels) will say: "Where are those whom you used to invoke and worship besides Allah,''
"Where are the so-called partners (of Allah) whom you used to call in the life of this world, invoking and worshipping them instead of Allah Call them so that they save you from what you are suffering.''
However, the idolators will reply,
... قَالُواْ ضَلُّواْ عَنَّا ...
they will reply, "They have vanished and deserted us.''
meaning, we have lost them and thus, we do not hope in their benefit or aid,
... وَشَهِدُواْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ ...
And they will bear witness against themselves,
they will admit and proclaim against themselves,
... أَنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ كَافِرِينَ ﴿٣٧﴾
that they were disbelievers.
People of the Fire will dispute and curse Each Other
Allah mentioned what He will say to those who associate others with Him, invent lies about Him, and reject His Ayat,
قَالَ ادْخُلُواْ فِي أُمَمٍ ...
(Allah) will say: Enter you in the company of nations,
who are your likes and similar to you in conduct,
... قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِكُم ...
Who passed away before you,
from the earlier disbelieving nations,
... مِّن الْجِنِّ وَالإِنسِ فِي النَّارِ ...
Of men and Jinn, into the Fire.
Allah said next,
... كُلَّمَا دَخَلَتْ أُمَّةٌ لَّعَنَتْ أُخْتَهَا ...
Every time a new nation enters, it curses its sister nation (that went before),
Al-Khalil (Prophet Ibrahim), peace be upon him, said,
ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يَكْفُرُ بَعْضُكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ
"But on the Day of Resurrection, you shall deny each other. (29:25)
Also, Allah said,
إِذْ تَبَرَّأَ الَّذِينَ اتُّبِعُواْ مِنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُواْ وَرَأَوُاْ الْعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الاٌّسْبَابُ
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُواْ لَوْ أَنَّ لَنَا كَرَّةً فَنَتَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُمْ كَمَا تَبَرَّءُواْ مِنَّا كَذَلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللَّهُ أَعْمَـلَهُمْ حَسَرَتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ وَمَا هُم بِخَـرِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ
When those who were followed declare themselves innocent of those who followed (them), and they see the torment, then all their relations will be cut off from them. And those who followed will say: "If only we had one more chance to return (to the worldly life), we would declare ourselves as innocent from them as they have declared themselves as innocent from us.''
Thus Allah will show them their deeds as regrets for them. And they will never get out of the Fire. (2:166-167)
... حَتَّى إِذَا ادَّارَكُواْ فِيهَا جَمِيعًا ...
until they are all together in the Fire,
means, they are all gathered in the Fire,
... قَالَتْ أُخْرَاهُمْ لأُولاَهُمْ ...
The last of them will say to the first of them,
that is, the nation of followers that enter last will say this to the first nations to enter.
This is because the earlier nations were worse criminals than those who followed them, and this is why they entered the Fire first. For this reason, their followers will complain against them to Allah, because they were the ones who misguided them from the correct path, saying,
... رَبَّنَا هَـؤُلاء أَضَلُّونَا فَآتِهِمْ عَذَابًا ضِعْفًا مِّنَ النَّارِ ...
"Our Lord! These misled us, so give them a double torment of the Fire.''
multiply their share of the torment.
Allah said in another instance,
يَوْمَ تُقَلَّبُ وُجُوهُهُمْ فِى النَّارِ يَقُولُونَ يلَيْتَنَآ أَطَعْنَا اللَّهَ وَأَطَعْنَا الرَّسُولاَ
وَقَالُواْ رَبَّنَآ إِنَّآ أَطَعْنَا سَادَتَنَا وَكُبَرَآءَنَا فَأَضَلُّونَا السَّبِيلاْ
رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِهِمْ ضِعْفَيْنِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ
On the Day when their faces will be turned over in the Fire, they will say: "Oh! Would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger.'' And they will say: "Our Lord! Verily, we obeyed our chiefs and our great ones, and they misled us from the (right) way. Our Lord! Give them a double torment.'' (33:66-68)
Allah said in reply,
... قَالَ لِكُلٍّ ضِعْفٌ وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٣٨﴾
He will say: "For each one there is double (torment) but you know not.''
We did what you asked, and recompensed each according to their deeds.'
Allah said in another Ayah,
الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَصَدُّواْ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ زِدْنَـهُمْ عَذَابًا
Those who disbelieved and hinder (men) from the path of Allah, for them We will add torment. (16:88)
Furthermore, Allah said,
وَلَيَحْمِلُنَّ أَثْقَالَهُمْ وَأَثْقَالاً مَّعَ أَثْقَالِهِمْ
And verily, they shall bear their own loads, and other loads besides their own. (29:13)
وَمِنْ أَوْزَارِ الَّذِينَ يُضِلُّونَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ
And also (some thing) of the burdens of those whom they misled without knowledge. (16:25)
وَقَالَتْ أُولاَهُمْ لأُخْرَاهُمْ ...
The first of them will say to the last of them,
meaning, the followed will say to the followers,
... فَمَا كَانَ لَكُمْ عَلَيْنَا مِن فَضْلٍ ...
"You were not better than us. ..''
meaning, you were led astray as we were led astray, according to As-Suddi.
... فَذُوقُواْ الْعَذَابَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْسِبُونَ ﴿٣٩﴾
"So taste the torment for what you used to earn.''
Allah again described the condition of the idolators during the gathering (of Resurrection), when He said;
قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُواْ أَنَحْنُ صَدَدنَـكُمْ عَنِ الْهُدَى بَعْدَ إِذْ جَآءَكُمْ بَلْ كُنتُمْ مُّجْرِمِينَ
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُواْ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ بَلْ مَكْرُ الَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ إِذْ تَأْمُرُونَنَآ أَن نَّكْفُرَ بِاللَّهِ وَنَجْعَلَ لَهُ أَندَاداً وَأَسَرُّواْ النَّدَامَةَ لَمَّا رَأَوُاْ اْلَعَذَابَ وَجَعَلْنَا الاٌّغْلَـلَ فِى أَعْنَاقِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ هَلْ يُجْزَوْنَ إِلاَّ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ
And those who were arrogant will say to those who were deemed weak: "Did we keep you back from guidance after it come to you! Nay, but you were criminals.''
Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: "Nay, but it was your plotting by night and day, when you ordered us to disbelieve in Allah and set up rivals to Him!''
And each of them (parties) will conceal their own regrets, when they behold the torment. And We shall put iron collars round the necks of those who disbelieved. Are they requited aught except what they used to do! (34:32-33)
Doors of Heaven shall not open for Those Who deny Allah's Ayat, and They shall never enter Paradise
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا وَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ عَنْهَا ...
Verily, those who belie Our Ayat and treat them with arrogance,
... لاَ تُفَتَّحُ لَهُمْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاء ...
for them the gates of the heavens will not be opened,
According to Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Ibn Abbas, as Al-`Awfi and Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from him,
meaning, their good deeds and supplication will not ascend through it,
Ath-Thawri narrated that, Layth said that Ata narrated this from Ibn Abbas.
According to Ad-Dahhak who reported this from Ibn Abbas that it was also said that;
the meaning here is that the doors of the heavens will not be opened for the disbelievers' souls,
As-Suddi and several others mentioned this meaning.
What further supports this meaning, is the report from Ibn Jarir that Al-Bara' said that the Messenger of Allah mentioned capturing the soul of the `Fajir' (wicked sinner or disbeliever), and that his or her soul will be ascended to heaven. The Prophet said,
فَيَصْعَدُونَ بِهَا، فَلَا تَمُرُّ عَلَى مَلَأٍ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ إِلَّا قَالُوا مَا هَذِهِ الرُّوحُ الْخَبِيثَةُ؟
فَيَقُولُونَ: فُلَانٌ بِأَقْبَحِ أَسْمَائِهِ الَّتِي كَانَ يُدْعَى بِهَا فِي الدُّنْيَا،
حَتَّى يَنْتَهَوا بِهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَيَسْتَفْتَحُونَ بَابَهَا لَهُ فَلَا يَفْتَحُ لَه
So they (angels) ascend it and it will not pass by a gathering of the angels, but they will ask, who's wicked soul is this?'
They will reply, `The soul of so-and-so,' calling him by the worst names he was called in this life.
When they reach the (lower) heaven, they will ask that its door be opened for the soul, but it will not be opened for it.
The Prophet then recited, لاَ تُفَتَّحُ لَهُمْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاء (For them the gates of heaven will not be opened).
This is a part of a long Hadith which was also recorded by Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.
Ibn Jurayj commented on the Ayah, لاَ تُفَتَّحُ لَهُمْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاء (for them the gates of heaven will not be opened),
"(The gates of heaven) will not be opened for their deeds or souls.''
This explanation combines the two meanings we gave above, and Allah knows best.
... وَلاَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّى يَلِجَ الْجَمَلُ فِي سَمِّ الْخِيَاطِ ...
and they will not enter Paradise until the Jamal goes through the eye of the needle.
refers to the male camel.
Ibn Mas`ud said it is a male camel from the she camel.
In another narration it refers to the spouse of the she camel.
Mujahid and Ikrimah said that Ibn Abbas used to recite this Ayah this way,
"Until the Jummal goes through the eye of the needle,'' whereas `Jummal' is a thick rope.
... وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُجْرِمِينَ ﴿٤٠﴾
Thus do We recompense the criminals.
لَهُم مِّن جَهَنَّمَ مِهَادٌ ...
Theirs will be Mihad from the Fire,
means, beds, while;
... وَمِن فَوْقِهِمْ غَوَاشٍ ...
and over them Ghawash,
According to Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi,
Similar was said by Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim and As-Suddi.
Allah said next,
... وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿٤١﴾
Thus do We recompense the wrongdoers.
Destination of Righteous Believers
After Allah mentioned the condition of the miserable ones, He then mentioned the condition of the happy ones, saying,
وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ ...
But those who believed, and worked righteousness,
Their hearts have believed and they performed good deeds with their limbs and senses, as compared to those who disbelieved in the Ayat of Allah and were arrogant with them.
Allah also said that embracing faith and implementing it are easy, when He said,
وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ لاَ نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا أُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿٤٢﴾
وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ ...
But those who believed, and worked righteousness -- We burden not any person beyond his scope -- such are the dwellers of Paradise. They will abide therein. And We shall remove from their breasts any Ghill;
meaning, envy and hatred.
Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said that the Messenger of Allah said,
إِذَا خَلَصَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ مِنَ النَّارِ حُبِسُوا عَلَى قَنْطَرَةٍ بَيْنَ الْجَنَّةِ وَالنَّارِ فَاقْتُصَّ لَهُمْ مَظَالِمَ كَانَتْ بَيْنَهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا حَتَّى إِذَا هُذِّبُوا وَنُقُّوا أُذِنَ لَهُمْ فِي دُخُولِ الْجَنَّةِ فَوَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ إِنَّ أَحَدَهُمْ بِمَنْزِلِهِ فِي الْجَنَّةِ أَدَلُّ مِنْهُ بِمَسْكَنِهِ كَانَ فِي الدُّنْيَا
After the believers are saved from entering the Fire, they will be kept in wait by a bridge between Paradise and Hellfire. Then, transgression that occurred between them in the life of this world will be judged. Until, when they are purified and cleansed, they will be given permission to enter Paradise. By He in Whose Hand is my soul! One of them will be able to find his dwelling in Paradise more so than he did in the life of this world.
وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهِمُ الأَنْهَارُ ...
And We shall remove from their breasts any Ghill; rivers flowing under them,
"When the people of Paradise are taken to it, they will find a tree close to its door, and two springs from under the trunk of that tree. They will drink from one of them, and all hatred will be removed from their hearts, for it is the cleansing drink. They will take a bath in the other, and the brightness of delight will radiate from their faces. Ever after, they will never have messy hair or become dirty.''
An-Nasa'i and Ibn Marduwyah (this being his wording) recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
كُلُّ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ يَرَى مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ، فَيَقُولُ: لَوْلَا أَنَّ اللهَ هَدَانِي، فَيَكُونُ لَهُ شُكْرًا، وَكُلُّ أَهْلِ النَّارِ يَرَى مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَقُولُ: لَوْ أَنَّ اللهَ هَدَانِي، فَيَكُونُ لَهُ حَسْرَة
Each of the people of Paradise will see his seat in the Fire and he will say, `Had not Allah guided me! And this will cause him to be grateful. Each of the people of the Fire will see his seat in Paradise, and he will say, `Might that Allah had guided me!' So it will be a cause of anguish for him.
... وَقَالُواْ ...
and they will say:
This is why when the believers are awarded seats in Paradise that belonged to the people of the Fire, they will be told,
... وَنُودُواْ أَن تِلْكُمُ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٤٣﴾
And it will be cried out to them: "This is the Paradise which you have inherited for what you used to do.''
This means, because of your good deeds, you earned Allah's mercy and thus entered Paradise and took your designated dwellings in it, comparable to your deeds.
This is the proper meaning here, for it is recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Prophet said,
وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَنْ يُدْخِلَهُ عَمَلُهُ الْجَنَّة
And know that the good deeds of one of you will not admit him into Paradise.
They said, "Not even you, O Allah's Messenger!''
وَلَا أَنَا إِلّا أَنْ يَتَغَمَّدَنِيَ اللهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِنْهُ وَفَضْل
Not even I, unless Allah grants it to me out of His mercy and favor.
People of Hellfire will feel Anguish upon Anguish
وَنَادَى أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ أَصْحَابَ النَّارِ ...
And the dwellers of Paradise will call out to the dwellers of the Fire (saying):
Allah mentioned how the people of the Fire will be addressed, chastised and admonished when they take their places in the Fire,
... أَن قَدْ وَجَدْنَا مَا وَعَدَنَا رَبُّنَا حَقًّا فَهَلْ وَجَدتُّم مَّا وَعَدَ رَبُّكُمْ حَقًّا قَالُواْ نَعَمْ ...
"We (dwellers of Paradise) have indeed found true what our Lord had promised us; have you (dwellers of Hell) also found true what your Lord promised (warned)!''
They shall say: "Yes.''
In Surah As-Saffat, Allah mentioned the one who had a disbelieving companion,
فَاطَّلَعَ فَرَءَاهُ فِى سَوَآءِ الْجَحِيمِ
قَالَ تَاللَّهِ إِن كِدتَّ لَتُرْدِينِ
وَلَوْلاَ نِعْمَةُ رَبِّى لَكُنتُ مِنَ الْمُحْضَرِينَ
أَفَمَا نَحْنُ بِمَيِّتِينَ
إِلاَّ مَوْتَتَنَا الاٍّولَى وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ
So he looked down and saw him in the midst of the Fire. He said: "By Allah! You have nearly ruined me. Had it not been for the grace of my Lord, I would certainly have been among those brought forth (to Hell).''
(The dwellers of Paradise will say!) "Are we then not to die (any more) Except our first death, and we shall not be punished.'' (37:55-59)
Allah will punish the disbeliever for the claims he used to utter in this life. The angels will also admonish the disbelievers, saying,
هَـذِهِ النَّارُ الَّتِى كُنتُم بِهَا تُكَذِّبُونَ
أَفَسِحْرٌ هَـذَا أَمْ أَنتُمْ لاَ تُبْصِرُونَ
اصْلَوْهَا فَاصْبِرُواْ أَوْ لاَ تَصْبِرُواْ سَوَآءٌ عَلَيْكُمْ إِنَّمَا تُجْزَوْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
This is the Fire which you used to belie. Is this magic or do you not see! Taste you therein its heat and whether you are patient of it or impatient of it, it is all the same. You are only being requited for what you used to do. (52:14-16)
The Messenger of Allah admonished the inhabitants of the well at Badr:
يَا أَبَا جَهْلِ بْنَ هِشَامٍ وَيَا عُتْبَةَ بْنَ رَبِيعَةَ وَيَا شَيْبَةَ بْنَ رَبِيعَةَ وَسَمَّى رُؤُوسَهُمْ هَلْ وَجَدْتُمْ مَا وَعَدَ رَبُّكُمْ حَقًّا فَإِنِّي وَجَدْتُ مَا وَعَدَنِي رَبِّي حَقًّا
O Abu Jahl bin Hisham! O Utbah bin Rabi`ah! O Shaybah bin Rabi`ah (and he called their leaders by name)! Have you found what your Lord promised to be true (the Fire)! I certainly found what my Lord has promised me to be true (victory).
Umar said, "O Allah's Messenger! Do you address a people who have become rotten carrion!''
وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ مَا أَنْتُمْ بِأَسْمَعَ لِمَا أَقُولُ مِنْهُمْ وَلَكِنْ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ أَنْ يُجِيبُوا
By He in Whose Hand is my soul! You do not hear what I am saying better than they do, but they cannot reply.
... فَأَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ بَيْنَهُمْ ...
Then a crier will proclaim between them,
will herald and announce,
... أَن لَّعْنَةُ اللّهِ عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿٤٤﴾
The curse of Allah is on the wrongdoers.
meaning, the curse will reside with the wrongdoers.
Allah then described them by saying,
الَّذِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَيَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا ...
Those who hindered (men) from the path of Allah, and would seek to make it crooked,
meaning, they hindered the people from following Allah's path, His Law, and what the Prophets brought. They sought to make Allah's path appear crooked and winding, so that no one would follow it.
... وَهُم بِالآخِرَةِ كَافِرُونَ ﴿٤٥﴾
and they were disbelievers in the Hereafter.
They disbelieved in the Meeting with Allah in the Hereafter, They used to deny this will ever occur, not accepting it nor believing in it. This is why they used to discount the seriousness of the evil deeds and statements that they committed, because they did not fear any reckoning or punishment. Therefore, they were and are indeed the worst people in statement and action.
The People of Al-A`raf
وَبَيْنَهُمَا حِجَابٌ ...
And between them will be a (barrier) screen,
After Allah mentioned that the people of Paradise will address the people of the Fire, He stated that there is a barrier between Paradise and the Fire, which prevents the people of the Fire from reaching Paradise.
Ibn Jarir said, "It is the wall that Allah described,
فَضُرِبَ بَيْنَهُم بِسُورٍ لَّهُ بَابٌ بَاطِنُهُ فِيهِ الرَّحْمَةُ وَظَـهِرُهُ مِن قِبَلِهِ الْعَذَابُ
So a wall will be put up between them, with a gate therein. Inside it will be mercy, and outside it will be torment. (57:13)
It is also about Al-A`raf that Allah said,
... وَعَلَى الأَعْرَافِ رِجَالٌ ...
and on Al-A`raf will be men.''
Ibn Jarir recorded that As-Suddi said about Allah's statement, وَبَيْنَهُمَا حِجَابٌ (And between them will be a screen),
"It is the wall, it is Al-A`raf.''
"Al-A`raf is a barrier between Paradise and the Fire, a wall that has a gate.''
Ibn Jarir said,
"Al-A`raf is plural for Urf, where every elevated piece of land is known as Urf to the Arabs.''
"Al-A`raf is so named because its residents recognize (Ya`rifun) the people. Al-A`raf's residents are those whose good and bad deeds are equal, as Hudhayfah, Ibn Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud and several of the Salaf and later generations said.''
Ibn Jarir recorded that Hudhayfah was asked about the people of Al-A`raf and he said,
"A people whose good and bad deeds are equal. Their evil deeds prevented them from qualifying to enter Paradise, and their good deeds qualified them to avoid the Fire. Therefore, they are stopped there on the wall until Allah judges them.''
... يَعْرِفُونَ كُلاًّ بِسِيمَاهُمْ ...
who would recognize all, by their marks.
... وَنَادَوْاْ أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ أَن سَلاَمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَمْ يَدْخُلُوهَا وَهُمْ يَطْمَعُونَ ﴿٤٦﴾
And they will call out to the dwellers of Paradise, "Peace be on you!'' and at that time they will not yet have entered it (Paradise), but they will hope to enter (it).
Ma`mar said that Al-Hasan recited this Ayah, لَمْ يَدْخُلُوهَا وَهُمْ يَطْمَعُونَ (and at that time they will not yet have entered it (Paradise), but they will hope to enter (it), Then he said,
"By Allah! Allah did not put this hope in their hearts, except for an honor that He intends to bestow on them.''
"Those who hope are those among you whom Allah informed of their places.''
Allah said next,
وَإِذَا صُرِفَتْ أَبْصَارُهُمْ تِلْقَاء أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ قَالُواْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تَجْعَلْنَا مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿٤٧﴾
And when their eyes will be turned towards the dwellers of the Fire, they will say: "Our Lord! Place us not with the people who are wrongdoers.''
Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn Abbas said,
"When the people of Al-A`raf look at the people of the Fire and recognize them, they will supplicate, `O Lord! Do not place us with the people who are wrongdoers.'''
وَنَادَى أَصْحَابُ الأَعْرَافِ رِجَالاً يَعْرِفُونَهُمْ بِسِيمَاهُمْ قَالُواْ ...
And the men on Al-A`raf will call unto the men whom they would recognize by their marks, saying:
Allah states that the people of Al-A`raf will admonish some of the chiefs of the idolators whom they recognize by their marks in the Fire,
... مَا أَغْنَى عَنكُمْ جَمْعُكُمْ ...
"Of what benefit to you was your gathering...''
meaning, your great numbers,
... وَمَا كُنتُمْ تَسْتَكْبِرُونَ ﴿٤٨﴾
"...and your arrogance!''
This Ayah means, your great numbers and wealth did not save you from Allah's torment. Rather, you are dwelling in His torment and punishment.
أَهَـؤُلاء الَّذِينَ أَقْسَمْتُمْ لاَ يَنَالُهُمُ اللّهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ ...
Are they those, of whom you swore that Allah would never show them mercy,
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas,
refers to the people of Al-A`raf who will be told when Allah decrees:
... ادْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ لاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلاَ أَنتُمْ تَحْزَنُونَ ﴿٤٩﴾
(Behold! It has been said to them): "Enter Paradise, no fear shall be on you, nor shall you grieve.''
The Favors of paradise are Prohibited for the People of the Fire
Allah emphasizes the disgrace of the people of the Fire. They will ask the people of Paradise for some of their drink and food, but they will not be given any of that.
وَنَادَى أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ أَنْ أَفِيضُواْ عَلَيْنَا مِنَ الْمَاء أَوْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللّهُ ...
And the dwellers of the Fire will call to the dwellers of Paradise: "Pour on us some water or anything that Allah has provided you with.''
"That is food''.
Ath-Thawri said that Uthman Ath-Thaqafi said that Sa`id bin Jubayr commented on this Ayah,
"One of them will call his father or brother, `I have been burned, so pour some water on me.'
The believers will be asked to reply, and they will reply,
... قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ حَرَّمَهُمَا عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿٥٠﴾
They will say: "Both Allah has forbidden to the disbelievers.''''
Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that, إِنَّ اللّهَ حَرَّمَهُمَا عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ ("Both Allah has forbidden to the disbelievers).''
"Refers to the food and drink of Paradise.''
الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَهُمْ لَهْوًا وَلَعِبًا وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا ...
"Who took their religion as amusement and play, and the life of the world deceived them.''
Allah describes the disbelievers by what they used to do in this life, taking the religion as amusement and play, and being deceived by this life and its adornment, rather than working for the Hereafter as Allah commanded,
... فَالْيَوْمَ نَنسَاهُمْ كَمَا نَسُواْ لِقَاء يَوْمِهِمْ هَـذَا ...
So this Day We shall forget them as they forgot their meeting of this Day,
meaning, Allah will treat them as if He has forgotten them. Certainly, nothing escapes Allah's perfect watch and He never forgets anything.
Allah said in another Ayah,
فِى كِتَـبٍ لاَّ يَضِلُّ رَبِّى وَلاَ يَنسَى
In a Record. My Lord neither errs nor forgets. (20:52)
Allah said -- that He will forget them on that Day -- as just recompense for them, because,
نَسُواْ اللَّهَ فَنَسِيَهُمْ
They have forgotten Allah, so He has forgotten them. (9:67)
كَذَلِكَ أَتَتْكَ آيَـتُنَا فَنَسِيتَهَا وَكَذلِكَ الْيَوْمَ تُنْسَى
Like this: Our Ayat came unto you, but you disregarded them, and so this Day, you will be neglected. (20:126)
وَقِيلَ الْيَوْمَ نَنسَاكُمْ كَمَا نَسِيتُمْ لِقَآءَ يَوْمِكُمْ هَـذَا
And it will be said: "This Day We will forget you as you forgot the meeting of this Day of yours.'' (45:34)
Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas commented on, فَالْيَوْمَ نَنسَاهُمْ كَمَا نَسُواْ لِقَاء يَوْمِهِمْ هَـذَا (So this Day We shall forget them as they forgot their meeting of this Day),
"Allah will forget the good about them, but not their evil.''
And Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said,
"We shall forsake them as they have forsaken the meeting of this Day of theirs.''
"We shall leave them in the Fire.''
"We shall leave them from any mercy, just as they left any action on behalf of the meeting on this Day of theirs.''
It is recorded in the Sahih that Allah will say to the servant on the Day of Resurrection:
أَلَمْ أُزَوِّجْكَ ؟
أَلَمْ أُكْرِمْكَ ؟
أَلَمْ أُسَخِّرْ لَكَ الْخَيْلَ وَالْإِبِلَ وَأَذَرْكَ تَرْأَسُ وَتَرْبَعُ ؟
فَيَقُولُ: أَظَنَنْتَ أَنَّكَ مُلَاقِيَّ ؟
فَيَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى: فَالْيَوْمَ أَنْسَاكَ كَمَا نَسِيتَنِي
"Have I not gotten you married?
Have I not honored you?
Have I not made horses and camels subservient for you and allowed you to become a leader and a master?''
He will say, "Yes.''
Allah will say, "Did you think that you will meet Me?''
He will say, "No.''
Allah the Exalted will say, `Then this Day, I will forget you as you have forgotten Me.''
... وَمَا كَانُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا يَجْحَدُونَ ﴿٥١﴾
and as they used to reject Our Ayat.
The Idolators have no Excuse
وَلَقَدْ جِئْنَاهُم بِكِتَابٍ ...
Certainly, We have brought to them a Book (the Qur'an) which,
Allah states that He has left no excuse for the idolators, for He has sent to them the Book that the Messenger came with, and which is explained in detail,
كِتَابٌ أُحْكِمَتْ ءايَـتُهُ ثُمَّ فُصِّلَتْ
(This is) a Book, the Ayat whereof are perfected (in every sphere of knowledge), and then explained in detail. (11:1)
Allah said next,
... فَصَّلْنَاهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ ...
We have explained in detail with knowledge,
meaning, `We have perfect knowledge of what We explained in it.'
Allah said in another Ayah,
He has sent it down with His Knowledge, (4:166)
The meaning here is that after Allah mentioned the loss the idolators end up with in the Hereafter, He stated that He has indeed sent Prophets and revealed Books in this life, thus leaving no excuse for them.
Allah also said;
وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولاً
And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning). (17:15)
... هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٥٢﴾
a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe.
Allah said here,
هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلاَّ تَأْوِيلَهُ ...
Await they just for the final fulfillment of the event,
in reference to what they were promised of torment, punishment, the Fire; or Paradise, according to Mujahid and several others.
... يَوْمَ يَأْتِي تَأْوِيلُهُ ...
On the Day the event is finally fulfilled,
According to Ibn Abbas,
on the Day of Resurrection,
... يَقُولُ الَّذِينَ نَسُوهُ مِن قَبْلُ ...
those who neglected it before will say,
those who ignored it in this life and neglected abiding by its implications will say,
... قَدْ جَاءتْ رُسُلُ رَبِّنَا بِالْحَقِّ فَهَل لَّنَا مِن شُفَعَاء فَيَشْفَعُواْ لَنَا ...
"Verily, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth, now are there any intercessors for us that they might intercede on our behalf!''
so that we are saved from what we ended up in.
... أَوْ نُرَدُّ ...
"Or could we be sent back,''
to the first life,
... فَنَعْمَلَ غَيْرَ الَّذِي كُنَّا نَعْمَلُ ...
"So that we might do (good) deeds other than those (evil) deeds which we used to do.''
This part of the Ayah is similar to Allah's statement,
وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذْ وُقِفُواْ عَلَى النَّارِ فَقَالُواْ يلَيْتَنَا نُرَدُّ وَلاَ نُكَذِّبَ بِـَايَـتِ رَبِّنَا وَنَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
بَلْ بَدَا لَهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ يُخْفُونَ مِن قَبْلُ وَلَوْ رُدُّواْ لَعَـدُواْ لِمَا نُهُواْ عَنْهُ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَكَـذِبُونَ
If you could but see when they will be held over the (Hell) Fire! They will say: "Would that we were but sent back! Then we would not deny the Ayat of our Lord, and we would be of the believers!''
Nay, it has become manifest to them what they had been concealing before. But if they were returned (to the world), they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars. (6:27-28)
Allah said here,
... قَدْ خَسِرُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ...
Verily, they have lost themselves,
meaning, they destroyed themselves by entering the Fire for eternity,
... وَضَلَّ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ ﴿٥٣﴾
And that which they used to fabricate has gone away from them.
What they used to worship instead of Allah abandoned them and will not intercede on their behalf, aid them or save them from their fate.
The Universe was created in Six Days
إِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ اللّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ...
Indeed, your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days,
Allah states that He created the universe, the heavens and earth and all that is in, on and between them in six days, as He has stated in several Ayat in the Qur'an.
These six days are: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Friday, the entire creation was assembled and on that day, Adam was created. There is a difference of opinion whether these days were the same as our standard days as suddenly comes to the mind, or each day constitutes one thousand years, as reported from Mujahid, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, and from Ibn Abbas according to Ad-Dahhak's narration from him. As for Saturday, no creation took place in it since it is the seventh day of (of the week). The word `As-Sabt' means stoppage, or break.
Imam Ahmad recorded Abu Hurayrah saying:
Allah's Messenger told me:
خَلَقَ اللهُ، (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ)، التُّرْبَةَ يَوْمَ السَّبْتِ، وَخَلَقَ فِيهَا الْجِبَالَ يَوْمَ الْأَحَدِ، وَخَلَقَ الشَّجَرَ يَوْمَ الْاثْنَيْنِ، وَخَلَقَ الْمَكْرُوهَ يَوْمَ الثُّلَاثَاءِ، وَخَلَقَ النُّورَ يَوْمَ الْأَرْبِعَاءِ، وَبَثَّ فِيهَا الدَّوَابَّ يَوْمَ الْخَمِيسِ، وَخَلَقَ آدَمَ، عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ، بَعْدَ الْعَصْرِ مِنْ يَوْم الْجُمُعَةِ، فِي آخِرِ الْخَلْقِ، فِي آخِرِ سَاعَةٍ مِنْ سَاعَاتِ الْجُمُعَةِ، فِيمَا بَيْنَ الْعَصْرِ إِلَى اللَّيْل
Allah created the dust on Saturday, and He created the mountains on Sunday, and He created the trees on Monday, and He created the unpleasant things on Tuesday and He created the light on Wednesday and He spread the creatures through out it on Thursday and He created Adam after Asr on Friday. He was the last created during the last hour of Friday, between Asr and the night.
Meaning of Istawa
As for Allah's statement,
... ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ ...
and then He rose over (Istawa) the Throne.
the people had several conflicting opinions over its meaning. However, we follow the way that our righteous predecessors took in this regard, such as Malik, Al-Awza`i, Ath-Thawri, Al-Layth bin Sa`d, Ash-Shafi`i, Ahmad, Ishaq bin Rahwayh and the rest of the scholars of Islam, in past and present times.
Surely, we accept the apparent meaning of, Al-Istawa, without discussing its true essence, equating it (with the attributes of the creation), or altering or denying it (in any way or form). We also believe that the meaning that comes to those who equate Allah with the creation is to be rejected, for nothing is similar to Allah,
لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَىْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (42:11)
Indeed, we assert and affirm what the Imams said, such as Nu`aym bin Hammad Al-Khuza'i, the teacher of Imam Al-Bukhari, who said,
The Day and the Night are among the Signs of Allah
... يُغْشِي اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا ...
He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly,
meaning, the darkness goes away with the light, and the light goes away with the darkness. Each of them seeks the other rapidly, and does not come late, for when this vanishes, the other comes, and vice versa.
Allah also said;
وَءَايَةٌ لَّهُمُ الَّيْلُ نَسْلَخُ مِنْهُ النَّهَارَ فَإِذَا هُم مُّظْلِمُونَ
وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِى لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ لَّهَـا ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ
وَالْقَمَرَ قَدَّرْنَـهُ مَنَازِلَ حَتَّى عَادَ كَالعُرجُونِ الْقَدِيمِ
لاَ الشَّمْسُ يَنبَغِى لَهَآ أَن تدْرِكَ القَمَرَ وَلاَ الَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ وَكُلٌّ فِى فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ
And a sign for them is the night. We withdraw therefrom the day, and behold, they are in darkness. And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (appointed). That is the decree of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing. And the moon, We have measured for it mansions (to traverse) till it returns like the old dried curved date stalk. It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. They all float, each in an orbit. (36:37-40)
Allah's statement, وَلاَ الَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ (Nor does the night outstrip the day) (36:40) means,
the night follows the day in succession and does not come later or earlier than it should be.
This is why Allah said here,
... يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومَ مُسَخَّرَاتٍ بِأَمْرِهِ ...
seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His command.
meaning, all are under His command, will and dominion.
Allah alerted us afterwards,
... أَلاَ لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالأَمْرُ ...
Surely, His is the creation and commandment,
the dominion and the decision.
Allah said next,
... تَبَارَكَ اللّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٥٤﴾
Blessed is Allah, the Lord of the all that exists!
which is similar to the Ayah,
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِى جَعَلَ فِى السَّمَآءِ بُرُوجاً
Blessed be He Who has placed in the heaven big stars. (25:61)
Abu Ad-Darda' said a supplication, that was also attributed to the Prophet,
اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الْمُلْكُ كُلُّـهُ وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ كُلُّهُ وَإِلَيْكَ يُرْجَعُ الْأَمْرُ كُلُّهُ، أَسْأَلُكَ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ كُلِّهِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الشَّرِّ كُلِّه
O Allah! Yours is all the kingdom, all the praise, and Yours is the ownership of all affairs. I ask You for all types of good and seek refuge with You from all types of evil.
Encouraging supplicating to Allah
Allah commands His servants to supplicate to Him, for this will ensure their welfare in this life and the Hereafter.
ادْعُواْ رَبَّكُمْ تَضَرُّعًا وَخُفْيَةً ...
Invoke your Lord Tadarru`an and Khufyah,
meaning, in humbleness and humility.
Allah said in a similar Ayah,
وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ
And remember your Lord within yourself. (7:205)
It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari said,
"The people raised their voices with supplications but the Messenger of Allah said,
أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ ارْبَعُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ فَإِنَّكُمْ لَا تَدْعُونَ أَصَمَّ وَلَا غَائِبًا إِنَّ الَّذِي تَدْعُونَ سَمِيعٌ قَرِيب
O people! Take it easy on yourselves. Verily, you are not calling one who is deaf or absent, rather, the One you are calling is All-Hearer, Near (to His servants by His knowledge).
Ibn Jarir said that,
means obeying Him in humility and humbleness,
وَخُفْيَةً (and Khufyah),
with the humbleness in your hearts and certainty of His Oneness and Lordship not supplicating loudly to show off.
Forbidding Aggression in Supplications
... إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ ﴿٥٥﴾
He likes not the aggressors.
Ata Al-Khurasani narrated from Ibn Abbas, who said about Allah's statement,
"In the Du`a and otherwise.''
Abu Mijlaz commented on, إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ (He likes not the aggressors),
"Such (aggression) as asking to reach the grade of the Prophets.''
Imam Ahmad narrated that Abu Ni`amah said that Abdullah bin Mughaffal heard his son supplicating,
"O Allah! I ask you for the white castle on the right side of Paradise, if I enter it.''
So Abdullah said, "O my son! Ask Allah for Paradise and seek refuge with Him from the Fire, for I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,
يَكُونُ قَوْمٌ يَعْتَدُونَ فِي الدُّعَاءِ وَالطَّهُور
There will come some people who transgress in supplication and purification.''
Ibn Majah and Abu Dawud recorded this Hadith with a good chain that there is no harm in, and Allah knows best.
The Prohibition of causing Mischief in the Land
Allah said next,
وَلاَ تُفْسِدُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلاَحِهَا ...
And do not do mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order,
Allah prohibits causing mischief on the earth, especially after it has been set in order. When the affairs are in order and then mischief occurs, it will cause maximum harm to the people; thus Allah forbids causing mischief and ordained worshipping Him, supplicating to Him, begging Him and being humble to Him.
... وَادْعُوهُ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا ...
and invoke Him with fear and hope,
fearing what He has of severe torment and hoping in what He has of tremendous reward.
Allah then said,
... إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿٥٦﴾
Surely, Allah's mercy is (ever) near unto the good-doers.
meaning, His mercy is for the good-doers who obey His commands and avoid what He prohibited.
Allah said in another Ayah,
وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَسَأَكْتُبُهَا لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ
And My mercy envelopes all things. That (mercy) I shall ordain for those who who have Taqwa. (7:156)
Matar Al-Warraq said,
"Earn Allah's promise by obeying Him, for He ordained that His mercy is near to the good-doers.''
Ibn Abi Hatim collected this statement.
Among Allah's Signs, He sends down the Rain and brings forth the Produce
وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُرْسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرًا ...
And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings,
After Allah stated that He created the heavens and earth and that He is the Owner and Possessor of the affairs Who makes things subservient (for mankind), He ordained that He be invoked in Du`a, for He is able to do all things. Allah also stated that He is the Sustainer and He resurrects the dead on the Day of Resurrection.
Here, Allah said that He sends the wind that spreads the clouds that are laden with rain.
Allah said in another Ayah,
وَمِنْ ءَايَـتِهِ أَن يُرْسِلَ الرِّيَـحَ مُبَشِّرَتٍ
And among His signs is this, that He sends the winds with glad tidings. (30:46)
... بَيْنَ يَدَيْ رَحْمَتِهِ ...
going before His mercy,
means, before the rain.
Allah also said;
وَهُوَ الَّذِى يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُواْ وَيَنشُرُ رَحْمَتَهُ وَهُوَ الْوَلِىُّ الْحَمِيدُ
And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired, and spreads His mercy. And He is Al-Wali (the Guardian), Al-Hamid (the praiseworthy). (42:28)
فَانظُرْ إِلَى ءَاثَـرِ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ كَيْفَ يُحْىِ الاٌّرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَآ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ لَمُحْىِ الْمَوْتَى وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Look then at the results of Allah's mercy, how He revives the earth after its death. Verily, that (is the one Who) shall indeed raise the dead, and He is able to do all things. (30:50)
Allah said next,
... حَتَّى إِذَا أَقَلَّتْ سَحَابًا ثِقَالاً ...
Till when they have carried a heavy-laden cloud,
when the wind carries clouds that are heavy with rain, and this is why these clouds are heavy, close to the earth, and their color is dark.
... سُقْنَاهُ لِبَلَدٍ مَّيِّتٍ ...
We drive it to a land that is dead,
that is, a dry land that does not have any vegetation.
This Ayah is similar to another Ayah,
وَءَايَةٌ لَّهُمُ الاٌّرْضُ الْمَيْتَةُ أَحْيَيْنَـهَا
And a sign for them is the dead land. We give it life. (36:33)
This is why Allah said here,
... فَأَنزَلْنَا بِهِ الْمَاء فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ كَذَلِكَ نُخْرِجُ الْموْتَى ...
Then We produce every kind of fruit therewith. Similarly, We shall raise up the dead.
meaning, just as We bring life to dead land, We shall raise up the dead on the Day of Resurrection, after they have disintegrated.
Allah will send down rain from the sky and the rain will pour on the earth for forty days. The corpses will then be brought up in their graves, just as the seeds become grow in the ground (on receiving rain).
Allah often mentions this similarity in the Qur'an when He gives the example of what will happen on the Day of Resurrection, and bringing life to dead land,
... لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿٥٧﴾
so that you may remember or take heed.
وَالْبَلَدُ الطَّيِّبُ يَخْرُجُ نَبَاتُهُ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِ ...
The vegetation of a good land comes forth (easily) by the permission of its Lord;
meaning, the good land produces its vegetation rapidly and proficiently.
Allah said in another Ayah (about Maryam, mother of `Isa, peace be upon him);
وَأَنبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنًا
He made her grow in a good manner. (3:37)
The Ayah continues,
... وَالَّذِي خَبُثَ لاَ يَخْرُجُ إِلاَّ نَكِدًا ...
and that which is bad, brings forth nothing but with difficulty.
Mujahid, and others such as As-Sibakh, etc, also said this.
... كَذَلِكَ نُصَرِّفُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَشْكُرُونَ ﴿٥٨﴾
Thus do We explain variously the Ayat for a people who give thanks.
Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Musa said that the Messenger of Allah said,
مَثَلُ مَا بَعَثَنِي اللهُ بِهِ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ وَالْهُدَى كَمَثَلِ الْغَيْثِ الْكَثِيرِ أَصَابَ أَرْضًا فَكَانَتْ مِنْهَا نَقِيَّةٌ قَبِلَتِ الْمَاءَ فَأَنْبَتَتِ الْكَلَأَ وَالْعُشْبَ الْكَثِيرَ
The parable of the guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is that of an abundant rain falling on a land, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance.
وَكَانَتْ مِنْهَا أَجَادِبُ أَمْسَكَتِ الْمَاءَ فَنَفَعَ اللهُ بِهَا النَّاسَ فَشَرِبُوا وَسَقَوْا وَزَرَعُوا
And another portion of it was hard and held the rain water; and Allah benefited the people with it, they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it, and for irrigation of the land for cultivation.
وَأَصَابَ مِنْهَا طَائِفَةً أُخْرَى إِنَّمَا هِيَ قِيعَانٌ لَا تُمْسِكُ مَاءً وَلَا تُنْبِتُ كَلَأً،
And a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation.
فَذَلِكَ مَثَلُ مَنْ فَقُهَ فِي دِينِ اللهِ وَنَفَعَهُ مَا بَعَثَنِي اللهُ بِهِ فَعَلِمَ وَعَلَّمَ وَمَثَلُ مَنْ لَمْ يَرْفَعْ بِذَلِكَ رَأْسًا وَلَمْ يَقْبَلْ هُدَى اللهِ الَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِه
The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah's religion and gets benefit which Allah sent me with, by learning and teaching others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not accept the guidance Allah sent me with.
The Story of Nuh and His People
After Allah mentioned the story of Adam in the beginning of this Surah, He started mentioning the stories of the Prophets, the first then the latter of them.
Allah mentioned the story of Nuh, because he was the first Messenger Allah sent to the people of the earth after Adam. His name was Nuh bin Lamak bin Matushalakh bin Khanukh.
And Khanukh was, as they claim, the Prophet Idris. And Idris was the first person to write letters using pen, and he was the son of Barad bin Mahlil, bin Qanin bin Yanish bin Shith bin Adam, upon them all be peace.
This lineage is mentioned by Muhammad bin Ishaq and other Imams who document lineage.
Abdullah bin Abbas and several other scholars of Tafsir said that;
the first idol worship began when some righteous people died and their people built places of worship over their graves. They made images of them so that they could remember their righteousness and devotion, and thus, imitate them. When time passed, they made statues of them and later on worshipped these idols, naming them after the righteous people: Wadd, Suwa, Yaghuth, Ya`uq and Nasr.
After this practice became popular, Allah sent Nuh as a Messenger, all thanks are due to Him.
لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَى قَوْمِهِ فَقَالَ ...
Indeed, We sent Nuh to his people and he said:
Nuh commanded his people to worship Allah alone without partners, saying,
... يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ إِنِّيَ أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ ﴿٥٩﴾
"O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him. Certainly, I fear for you the torment of a Great Day!''
the torment of the Day of Resurrection, if you meet Allah while associating others with Him.
قَالَ الْمَلأُ مِن قَوْمِهِ ...
The leaders of his people said;
meaning, the general public, chiefs, commanders and great ones of his people said,
... إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي ضَلاَلٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴿٦٠﴾
"Verily, we see you in plain error.''
because of your calling us to abandon the worship of these idols that we found our forefathers worshipping.
This, indeed, is the attitude of evil people, for they consider the righteous people to be following misguidance. Allah said in other Ayat,
وَإِذَا رَأَوْهُمْ قَالُواْ إِنَّ هَـؤُلاَءِ لَضَآلُّونَ
And when they saw them, they said: "Verily, these have indeed gone astray!'' (83:32)
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَوْ كَانَ خَيْراً مَّا سَبَقُونَآ إِلَيْهِ وَإِذْ لَمْ يَهْتَدُواْ بِهِ فَسَيَقُولُونَ هَـذَآ إِفْكٌ قَدِيمٌ
And those who disbelieve say of those who believe: "Had it been a good thing, they (the weak and poor) would not have preceded us thereto!'' And when they have not let themselves be guided by it (this Qur'an), they say: "This is an ancient lie!'' (46:11)
There are several other Ayat on this subject.
قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ لَيْسَ بِي ضَلاَلَةٌ وَلَكِنِّي رَسُولٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٦١﴾
(Nuh) said: "O my people! There is no error in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists!''
meaning, there is nothing wrong with me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists, Lord and King of all things,
أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَالاَتِ رَبِّي وَأَنصَحُ لَكُمْ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٦٢﴾
"I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord and give sincere advice to you. And I know from Allah what you know not.''
This is the attribute of a Messenger, that he conveys using plain, yet eloquent words, offers sincere advice and is knowledgeable about Allah; indeed, no other people can compete with the Prophets in this regard.
In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that the Messenger of Allah said to his Companions on the Day of Arafah, when their gathering was as large as it ever was,
أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّكُمْ مَسْؤُولُونَ عَنِّي فَمَا أَنْتُمْ قَائِلُونَ ؟
O people! You will be asked about me, so what will you say?
They said, "We testify that you have conveyed and delivered (the Message) and offered sincere advice.''
So he kept raising his finger to the sky and lowering it towards them, saying,
اللَّهُمَّ اشْهَدْ اللَّهُمَّ اشْهَد
O Allah! Bear witness, O Allah! Bear witness.
Allah said that Nuh proclaimed to his people,
"Do you wonder...,''
do not wonder because of this.
... أَن جَاءكُمْ ذِكْرٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنكُمْ لِيُنذِرَكُمْ وَلِتَتَّقُواْ ...
...that there has come to you a Reminder from your Lord through a man from among you, that he may warn you, so that you may fear Allah,
Surely, it is not strange that Allah sends down revelation to a man among you as mercy, kindness and compassion for you, so that he warns you that you may avoid Allah's torment by associating none with Him,
... وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ ﴿٦٣﴾
"and that you may receive (His) mercy.''
But they belied him,
but they insisted on rejecting and opposing him, and only a few of them believed in him, as Allah stated in another Ayah.
Allah said next,
... فَأَنجَيْنَاهُ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ فِي الْفُلْكِ ...
So We saved him and those along with him in the Fulk, (the ark),
... وَأَغْرَقْنَا الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا ...
And We drowned those who belied Our Ayat.
Allah said in another Ayah,
مِّمَّا خَطِيئَـتِهِمْ أُغْرِقُواْ فَأُدْخِلُواْ نَاراً فَلَمْ يَجِدُواْ لَهُمْ مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَنصَاراً
Because of their sins they were drowned, then they were admitted into the Fire. And they found none to help them instead of Allah. (71:25)
... إِنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ قَوْماً عَمِينَ ﴿٦٤﴾
They were indeed a blind people.
meaning, blind from the Truth, unable to recognize it or find their way to it.
Here, Allah said that He has taken revenge from His enemies and saved His Messenger and those who believed in him, while destroying their disbelieving enemies. Allah said in a another Ayah,
إِنَّا لَنَنصُرُ رُسُلَنَا
Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers. (40:51)
This is Allah's Sunnah (way) with His servants, in this life and the Hereafter, that the good end, victory and triumph is for those who fear Him. For example, Allah destroyed the people of Nuh, and saved Nuh and his believing followers.
Ibn Wahb said that he was told that Ibn Abbas said that;
eighty men were saved with Nuh in the ship, one of them was Jurhum, who spoke Arabic.
Ibn Abi Hatim collected this statement, which was also narrated with a continuous chain of narration from Ibn Abbas.
The Story of Hud, Peace be upon Him, and the Lineage of the People of `Ad
وَإِلَى عَادٍ أَخَاهُمْ هُوداً قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ أَفَلاَ تَتَّقُونَ ﴿٦٥﴾
And to `Ad (the people, We sent) their brother Hud. He said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him. Will you then not have Taqwa!''
Allah says, just as We sent Nuh to his people, similarly, to the `Ad people, We sent Hud one of their own brethren.
Muhammad bin Ishaq said that the tribe of `Ad were the descendants of `Ad, son of Iram, son of `Aws, son of Sam, son of Nuh.
I say, these are indeed the ancient people of `Ad whom Allah mentioned, the children of `Ad, son of Iram who were living in the deserts with lofty pillars or statues.
أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِعَادٍ
إِرَمَ ذَاتِ الْعِمَادِ
الَّتِى لَمْ يُخْلَقْ مِثْلُهَا فِى الْبِلَـدِ
Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with `Ad (people). Of Iram like (lofty) pillars. The like of which were not created in the land. (89:6-8),
because of their might and strength.
Allah said in another instance,
فَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَقَالُواْ مَنْ أَشَدُّ مِنَّا قُوَّةً أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ الَّذِى خَلَقَهُمْ هُوَ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُمْ قُوَّةً وَكَانُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا يَجْحَدُونَ
As for `Ad, they were arrogant in the land without right, and they said: "Who is mightier than us in strength!''
See they not that Allah Who created them was mightier in strength than them. And they used to deny Our Ayat! (41:15)
The Land of `Ad
The people of `Ad lived in Yemen, in the area of Ahqaf, which means sand mounds.
Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated that Abu At-Tufayl Amir bin Wathilah said that;
he heard Ali (bin Abi Talib) saying to a man from Hadramawt (in Yemen), "Have you seen a red sand mound, where there are a lot of Arak and Lote trees in the area of so-and-so in Hadramawt?
Have you seen it?''
He said, "Yes, O Commander of the faithful! By Allah, you described it as if you have seen it before.''
Ali said, `I have not seen it, but it was described to me.''
The man asked, "What about it, O Commander of the faithful?''
Ali said, "There is the grave of Hud, peace be upon him, in its vicinity.''
Ibn Jarir recorded this statement, which gives the benefit of indicating that `Ad used to live in Yemen, since Prophet Hud was buried there. Prophet Hud was among the noble men and chiefs of `Ad, for Allah chose the Messengers from among the best, most honorable families and tribes.
Hud's people were mighty and strong, but their hearts were mighty and hard, for they were among the most denying of Truth among the nations.
Prophet Hud called `Ad to worship Allah alone without partners, and to obey and fear Him.
Debate between Hud and his People
قَالَ الْمَلأُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قَوْمِهِ ...
The leaders of those who disbelieved among his people said...
meaning, the general public, chiefs, masters and commanders of his people said,
... إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي سَفَاهَةٍ وِإِنَّا لَنَظُنُّكَ مِنَ الْكَاذِبِينَ ﴿٦٦﴾
"Verily, we see you in foolishness, and verily, we think you are one of the liars.''
meaning, you are misguided because you call us to abandon worshipping the idols in order to worship Allah Alone.
Similarly, the chiefs of Quraysh wondered at the call to worship One God, saying,
أَجَعَلَ الاٌّلِهَةَ إِلَـهاً وَحِداً
"Has he (Muhammad) made the gods (all) into One God!'' (38:5)
قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ لَيْسَ بِي سَفَاهَةٌ وَلَكِنِّي رَسُولٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٦٧﴾
(Hud) said: "O my people! There is no foolishness in me, but (I am) a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists!''
Hud said, I am not as you claim. Rather, I brought you the Truth from Allah, Who created everything, and He is the Lord and King of all things,
أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَالاتِ رَبِّي وَأَنَاْ لَكُمْ نَاصِحٌ أَمِينٌ ﴿٦٨﴾
"I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord, and I am a trustworthy adviser for you.''
These, indeed, are the qualities of the Prophets: conveying, sincerity and honesty,
أَوَعَجِبْتُمْ أَن جَاءكُمْ ذِكْرٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنكُمْ لِيُنذِرَكُمْ ...
"Do you wonder that there has come to you a Reminder from your Lord through a man from among you to warn you!''
Prophet Hud said, do not wonder because Allah sent a Messenger to you from among yourselves to warn you about Allah's Days (His torment) and meeting with Him. Rather than wondering, you should thank Allah for this bounty.
... وَاذكُرُواْ إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَاء مِن بَعْدِ قَوْمِ نُوحٍ ...
"And remember that He made you successors (generations after generations) after the people of Nuh...''
meaning, remember Allah's favor on you in that He made you among the offspring of Nuh, because of whose supplication Allah destroyed the people of the earth after they defied and opposed him.
... وَزَادَكُمْ فِي الْخَلْقِ بَسْطَةً ...
"and increased you amply in stature.''
making you taller than other people.
Similarly, Allah said in the description of Talut (Saul),
وَزَادَهُ بَسْطَةً فِي الْعِلْمِ وَالْجِسْمِ
And has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature. (2:247)
... فَاذْكُرُواْ آلاء اللّهِ ...
"So remember the graces (bestowed upon you) from Allah.''
in reference to Allah's favors and blessings
... لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ﴿٦٩﴾
"so that you may be successful.''
Allah mentions the rebellion, defiance and stubbornness of Hud's people, and their opposition to him, peace be upon him,
قَالُواْ أَجِئْتَنَا لِنَعْبُدَ اللّهَ وَحْدَهُ ....
They said: "You have come to us that we should worship Allah Alone,''
... وَنَذَرَ مَا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُنَا فَأْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَا إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ ﴿٧٠﴾
and forsake that which our fathers used to worship. So bring us that wherewith you have threatened us if you are of the truthful.''
The disbelievers of Quraysh said,
وَإِذْ قَالُواْ اللَّهُمَّ إِن كَانَ هَـذَا هُوَ الْحَقَّ مِنْ عِندِكَ فَأَمْطِرْ عَلَيْنَا حِجَارَةً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ أَوِ ائْتِنَا بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ
And (remember) when they said: "O Allah! If this (the Qur'an) is indeed the truth (revealed) from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky or bring on us a painful torment.''
Muhammad bin Ishaq said that the people of Hud used to worship several idols, such as Suda, Samud and Al-Haba.
This is why,
Hud, peace be upon him, said to them,
... قَدْ وَقَعَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ رِجْسٌ وَغَضَبٌ ...
"Rijs and wrath have already fallen on you from your Lord.''
you deserve `Rijs' from your Lord because of what you said.
Ibn Abbas said that,
`Rijs', means scorn and anger.
... أَتُجَادِلُونَنِي فِي أَسْمَاء سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنتُمْ وَآبَآؤكُم ...
"Dispute you with me over names which you have named -- you and your fathers.''
Hud said, do you dispute with me over these idols that you and your fathers made gods, even though they do not bring harm or benefit; did Allah give you authority or proof allowing you to worship them!
Hud further said,
... مَّا نَزَّلَ اللّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَانٍ فَانتَظِرُواْ إِنِّي مَعَكُم مِّنَ الْمُنتَظِرِينَ ﴿٧١﴾
"with no authority from Allah. Then wait, I am with you among those who wait.''
this is a threat and warning from the Messenger to his people.
The End of `Ad
So Allah said;
فَأَنجَيْنَاهُ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِّنَّا وَقَطَعْنَا دَابِرَ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا وَمَا كَانُواْ مُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٧٢﴾
So We saved him and those who were with him out of mercy from Us, and We severed the roots of those who belied Our Ayat; and they were not believers.
Allah mentioned several times in the Qur'an, the way the people of `Ad were destroyed stating that He sent a barren wind that destroyed everything it passed by.
Allah said in other Ayat,
وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُواْ بِرِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ
سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَـنِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُوماً فَتَرَى الْقَوْمَ فِيهَا صَرْعَى كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ
فَهَلْ تَرَى لَهُم مِّن بَاقِيَةٍ
And as for `Ad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind! They were subjected to it for seven nights and eight days in succession, so that you could see men lying overthrown (destroyed), as if they were hollow trunks of date palms! Do you see any remnants of them! (69:6-8)
When `Ad rebelled and transgressed, Allah destroyed them with a strong wind that carried them, one by one, up in the air and brought each one of them down on his head, thus smashing his head and severing it from its body. This is why Allah said,
كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ
as if they were hollow trunks of date palms! (69:7)
Muhammad bin Ishaq said that;
`Ad used to live in Yemen between Oman and Hadramawt. They also spread throughout the land and defeated various peoples, because of the strength that Allah gave them.
They used to worship idols instead of Allah, and Allah sent to them Prophet Hud, peace be upon him. He was from their most common lineage and was the best among them in status.
Hud commanded them to worship Allah Alone and associate none with him. He also ordered them to stop committing injustice against the people. But they rejected him and ignored his call. They said, `Who is stronger than us!'
Some of them, however, followed Hud, although they were few and had to conceal their faith. When `Ad defied the command of Allah, rejected His Prophet, committed mischief in the earth, became arrogant and built high palaces on every high place -- without real benefit to them -- Hud spoke to them, saying,
أَتَبْنُونَ بِكُلِّ رِيعٍ ءَايَةً تَعْبَثُونَ
وَتَتَّخِذُونَ مَصَانِعَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَخْلُدُونَ
وَإِذَا بَطَشْتُمْ بَطَشْتُمْ جَبَّارِينَ فَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ
"Do you build high palaces on every high place, while you do not live in them And do you get for yourselves palaces (fine buildings) as if you will live therein forever. And when you seize (somebody), seize you (him) as tyrants.
Have Taqwa of Allah, and obey me.'' (26:128-131)
قَالُواْ يَهُودُ مَا جِئْتَنَا بِبَيِّنَةٍ وَمَا نَحْنُ بِتَارِكِى ءالِهَتِنَا عَن قَوْلِكَ وَمَا نَحْنُ لَكَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ إِن نَّقُولُ إِلاَّ اعْتَرَاكَ بَعْضُ ءَالِهَتِنَا بِسُوءٍ
They said: "O Hud! No evidence have you brought us, and we shall not leave our gods for your (mere) saying! And we are not believers in you. All that we say is that some of our gods have seized you with evil.''
إِن نَّقُولُ إِلاَّ اعْتَرَاكَ بَعْضُ ءَالِهَتِنَا بِسُوءٍ قَالَ إِنِّى أُشْهِدُ اللَّهِ وَاشْهَدُواْ أَنِّى بَرِىءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ
مِن دُونِهِ فَكِيدُونِى جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ لاَ تُنظِرُونِ
إِنِّى تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللَّهِ رَبِّى وَرَبِّكُمْ مَّا مِن دَآبَّةٍ إِلاَّ هُوَ ءاخِذٌ بِنَاصِيَتِهَآ إِنَّ رَبِّى عَلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
He said: "I call Allah to witness, and bear you witness that I am free from that which you associate with Him. So plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature but He has the grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the straight path (the truth).'' (11:53-56)
Story of the Emissary of `Ad
Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Harith Al-Bakri said:
"I went to the Messenger of Allah to complain to him about Al-Ala bin Al-Hadrami. When I passed by the area of Ar-Rabdhah, I found an old woman from Bani Tamim who was alone in that area. She said to me, "O servant of Allah! I need to reach the Messenger of Allah to ask him for some of my needs, will you take me to him''
So I took her along with me to Al-Madinah and found the Masjid full of people. I also found a black flag raised high, while Bilal was holding a sword before the Messenger of Allah.
I asked, "What is the matter with the people?''
They said, "The Prophet intends to send Amr bin Al-`As (on a military expedition) somewhere.''
So I sat down. When the Prophet went to his house, I asked for permission to see him, and he gave me permission. I entered and greeted him. He said, "Was there a dispute between you and Bani Tamim?''
I said, "Yes. And we had been victorious over them. I passed by an old woman from Bani Tamim, who was alone, and she asked me to bring her to you, and she is at the door.''
So he allowed her in and I said, "O Allah's Messenger! What if you make a barrier between us and (the tribe of) Bani Tamim, such as Ad-Dahna' (Desert)?''
The old woman became angry and opposed me.
So I said, "My example is the example of a sheep that carried its own destruction. I carried this woman and did not know that she was an opponent. I seek refuge with Allah and His Messenger that I become like the emissary of `Ad.'"
So the Prophet asked me about the emissary of `Ad, having better knowledge in it, but he liked to hear the story again.
"Once, `Ad suffered from a famine and they sent an emissary (to get relief), whose name was Qayl. Qayl passed by Mu`awiyah bin Bakr and stayed with him for a month. Mu`awiyah supplied him with alcoholic drinks, and two female singers were singing for him. When a month ended, Qayl went to the mountains of Muhrah and said,
`O Allah! You know that I did not come here to cure an ill person or to ransom a prisoner. O Allah! Give `Ad water as You used to.'
So black clouds came and he was called, `Choose which one of them you wish (to go to `Ad)!'
So he pointed to one of the black clouds and he heard someone proclaiming from it, `Take it, as ashes that will leave none in `Ad.'
And it has been conveyed to me that the wind sent to them was no more than what would pass through this ring of mine, but it destroyed them.''
Abu Wa'il said,
"That is true. When a man or a woman would send an emissary, they would tell him, `Do not be like the emissary of `Ad (bringing disaster and utter destruction to them instead of relief).,''
Imam Ahmad collected this story in the Musnad.
At-Tirmidhi recorded similar wording for it, as did An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.
Thamud: Their Land and Their Lineage
Scholars of Tafsir and genealogy say that (the tribe of Thamud descended from) Thamud bin Athir bin Iram bin Sam bin Nuh, and he is brother of Jadis son of Athir, similarly the tribe of Tasm, and they were from the ancient Arabs, Al-Aribah, before the time of Ibrahim, Thamud came after `Ad. They dwelled between the area of the Hijaz (Western Arabia) and Ash-Sham (Greater Syria).
The Messenger of Allah passed by the area and ruins of Thamud when he went to Tabuk (in northern Arabia) during the ninth year of Hijrah.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Umar said,
"When the Messenger of Allah went to the area of Al-Hijr in Tabuk with the people, he camped near the homes of Thamud, in Al-Hijr and the people brought water from the wells that Thamud used before. They used that water to make dough and placed the pots (on fire) for cooking. However, the Prophet commanded them to spill the contents of the pots and to give the dough to their camels. He then marched forth with them from that area to another area, near the well that the camel (as will follow) used to drink from. He forbade the Companions from entering the area where people were tormented, saying,
إِنِّي أَخْشَى أَنْ يُصِيبَكُمْ مِثْلُ مَا أَصَابَهُمْ فَلَا تَدْخُلُوا عَلَيْهِم
I fear that what befell them might befall you as well. Therefore, do not enter on them.''
Ahmad narrated that Abdullah bin Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said while in the Hijr area,
لَا تَدْخُلُوا عَلَى هؤُلَاءِ الْمُعَذَّبِينَ إِلَّا أَنْ تَكُونُوا بَاكِينَ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُونُوا بَاكِينَ فَلَا تَدْخُلُوا عَلَيْهِمْ أَنْ يُصِيبَكُمْ مِثْلَ مَا أَصَابَهُم
Do not enter on these who were tormented, unless you do so while crying. If you are not crying, then do not enter on them, so that what befell them does not befall you, as well.
The basis of this Hadith is mentioned in Two Sahihs.
The Story of Prophet Salih and Thamud
وَإِلَى ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحًا ...
And to Thamud (people, We sent) their brother Salih.
meaning, to the tribe of Thamud, We sent their brother Salih,
... قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ ...
He said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him.''
All Allah's Messengers called to the worship of Allah alone without partners.
Allah said in other Ayat,
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ نُوحِى إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنَاْ فَاعْبُدُونِ
And We did not send any Messenger before you but We revealed to him (saying): "None has the right to be worshipped but I, so worship Me.'' (21:25)
وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الْطَّـغُوتَ
And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid Taghut (all false deities).'' (16:36)
Thamud asked that a Camel appear from a Stone, and it did
Prophet Salih said,
... قَدْ جَاءتْكُم بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ هَـذِهِ نَاقَةُ اللّهِ لَكُمْ آيَةً ...
"Indeed there has come to you a clear sign from your Lord. This she-camel of Allah is a sign unto you;''
meaning, a miracle has come to you from Allah testifying to the truth of what I came to you with.
Salih's people asked him to produce a miracle and suggested a certain solid rock that they chose, which stood lonely in the area of Hijr, and which was called Al-Katibah. They asked him to bring a pregnant camel out of that stone.
Salih took their covenant and promises that if Allah answers their challenge, they would believe and follow him. When they gave him their oaths and promises to that, Salih started praying and invoked Allah (to produce that miracle). All of a sudden, the stone moved and broke apart, producing a she-camel with thick wool. It was pregnant and its fetus was visibly moving in its belly, exactly as Salih's people asked. This is when their chief, Jundu bin `Amr, and several who followed him believed.
The rest of the noblemen of Thamud wanted to believe as well, but Dhu'ab bin `Amr bin Labid, Al-Habbab, who tended their idols, and Rabbab bin Sum`ar bin Jilhis stopped them.
One of the cousins of Jundu bin `Amr, whose name was Shihab bin Khalifah bin Mikhlat bin Labid bin Jawwas, was one of the leaders of Thamud, and he also wanted to accept the message. However, the chiefs whom we mentioned prevented him, and he conceded to their promptings.
The camel remained in Thamud, as well as, its offspring after she delivered it before them. The camel used to drink from its well on one day and leave the well for Thamud the next day. They also used to drink its milk, for on the days she drank water, they used to milk her and fill their containers from its milk.
Allah said in other Ayat,
وَنَبِّئْهُمْ أَنَّ الْمَآءَ قِسْمَةٌ بَيْنَهُمْ كُلُّ شِرْبٍ مُّحْتَضَرٌ
And inform them that the water is to be shared between (her and) them, each one's right to drink being established (by turns). (54:28)
هَـذِهِ نَاقَةٌ لَّهَا شِرْبٌ وَلَكُمْ شِرْبُ يَوْمٍ مَّعْلُومٍ
Here is a she-camel: it has a right to drink (water), and you have a right to drink (water) (each) on a day, known. (26:155)
The camel used to graze in some of their valleys, going through a pass and coming out through another pass. She did that so as to be able to move easily, because she used to drink a lot of water. She was a tremendous animal that had a strikingly beautiful appearance. When she used to pass by their cattle, the cattle would be afraid of her.
When this matter continued for a long time and Thamud's rejection of Salih became intense, they intended to kill her so that they could take the water for themselves every day. It was said that all of them (the disbelievers of Thamud) conspired to kill the camel.
Qatadah said that he was told that,
"The designated killer of the camel approached them all, including women in their rooms and children, and found out that all of them agreed to kill her.'' This fact is apparent from the wording of the Ayat,
فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَعَقَرُوهَا فَدَمْدمَ عَلَيْهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ بِذَنبِهِمْ فَسَوَّاهَا
Then they denied him and they killed it. So their Lord destroyed them because of their sin, and made them equal in destruction! (91:14)
وَءَاتَيْنَا ثَمُودَ النَّاقَةَ مُبْصِرَةً فَظَلَمُواْ بِهَا
And We sent the she-camel to Thamud as a clear sign, but they did her wrong. (17:59)
... فَذَرُوهَا تَأْكُلْ فِي أَرْضِ اللّهِ وَلاَ تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوَءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿٧٣﴾
so you leave her to graze in Allah's earth, and touch her not with harm, lest a painful torment should seize you.
وَاذْكُرُواْ إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَاء مِن بَعْدِ عَادٍ وَبَوَّأَكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ تَتَّخِذُونَ مِن سُهُولِهَا قُصُورًا وَتَنْحِتُونَ الْجِبَالَ بُيُوتًا فَاذْكُرُواْ آلاء اللّهِ وَلاَ تَعْثَوْا فِي الأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ ﴿٧٤﴾
And remember when He made you successors (generations) after `Ad and gave you habitations in the land, you build for yourselves palaces in plains, and carve out homes in the mountains. So remember the graces (bestowed upon you) from Allah, and do not go about making mischief on the earth.
قَالَ الْمَلأُ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ مِن قَوْمِهِ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُواْ لِمَنْ آمَنَ مِنْهُمْ أَتَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ صَالِحًا مُّرْسَلٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ قَالُواْ إِنَّا بِمَا أُرْسِلَ بِهِ مُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٧٥﴾
The leaders of those who were arrogant among his people said to those who were counted weak -- to such of them as believed: "Know you that Salih is one sent from his Lord.''
They said: "We indeed believe in that with which he has been sent.''
قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ إِنَّا بِالَّذِيَ آمَنتُمْ بِهِ كَافِرُونَ ﴿٧٦﴾
Those who were arrogant said: "Verily, we disbelieve in that which you believe in.''
Allah said here,
فَعَقَرُواْ النَّاقَةَ ...
So they killed the she-camel,
Therefore, these Ayat stated that the entire tribe shared in agreeing to this crime, and Allah knows best.
... وَعَتَوْاْ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِمْ وَقَالُواْ يَا صَالِحُ ائْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَا إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴿٧٧﴾
and insolently defied the commandment of their Lord, and said: "O Salih! Bring about your threats if you are indeed one of the Messengers (of Allah).''
فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الرَّجْفَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِي دَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ ﴿٧٨﴾
So the earthquake seized them, and they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes.
Thamud kills the She-Camel
Imam Abu Jafar Ibn Jarir and other scholars of Tafsir said that;
the reason behind killing the camel was that a disbelieving old woman among them named Umm Ghanm Unayzah, the daughter of Ghanm bin Mijlaz, had the severest enmity among Thamud towards Salih, peace be upon him. She had beautiful daughters and she was wealthy, and Dhu'ab bin `Amr, one of the leaders of Thamud, was her husband.
There was another noblewoman whose name was Saduf bint Al-Muhayya bin Dahr bin Al-Muhayya, who was of noble family, wealthy and beautiful. She was married to a Muslim man from Thamud, but she left him.
These two women offered a prize for those who swore to them that they would kill the camel.
Once, Saduf summoned a man called Al-Habbab and offered herself to him if he would kill the camel, but he refused. So she called a cousin of hers whose name was Musaddi bin Mihraj bin Al-Muhayya, and he agreed.
As for Unayzah bint Ghanm, she called Qudar bin Salif bin Jundu, a short person with red-blue skin, a bastard, according to them. Qudar was not the son of his claimed father, Salif, but the son of another man called, Suhyad. However, he was born on Salif's bed (and thus named after him).
Unayzah said to Qudar, "I will give you any of my daughters you wish, if you kill the camel.''
Qudar bin Salif and Musaddi bin Mihraj went along and recruited several mischievous persons from Thamud to kill the camel. Seven more from Thamud agreed, and the group became nine, as Allah described, when He said,
وَكَانَ فِى الْمَدِينَةِ تِسْعَةُ رَهْطٍ يُفْسِدُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَلاَ يُصْلِحُونَ
And there were in the city nine men, who made mischief in the land, and would not reform. (27:48)
These nine men were chiefs of their people, and they lured the entire tribe into agreeing to kill the camel. So they waited until the camel left the water well, where Qudar waited beside a rock on its path, while Musaddi waited at another rock.
When the camel passed by Musaddi he shot an arrow at her and the arrow pierced her leg. At that time, Unayzah came out and ordered her daughter, who was among the most beautiful women, to uncover her face for Qudar, encouraging Qudar to swing his sword, hitting the camel on her knee. So she fell to the ground and screamed once to warn her offspring. Qudar stabbed her in her neck and slaughtered her. Her offspring went up a high rock and screamed.
Abdur-Razzaq recorded from Ma`mar that someone reported from Al-Hasan Al-Basari that the offspring said,
"O my Lord! Where is my mother?''
It was said that her offspring screamed thrice and entered a rock and vanished in it, or, they followed it and killed it together with its mother. Allah knows best.
When they finished the camel off and the news reached Prophet Salih, he came to them while they were gathered. When he saw the camel, he cried and proclaimed, تَمَتَّعُواْ فِي دَارِكُمْ ثَلاَثَةَ أَيَّامٍ ("Enjoy yourselves in your homes for three days.'' (11:65)
The Wicked Ones Plot to Kill Prophet Salih, But the Torment descended on Them
The nine wicked persons killed the camel on a Wednesday, and that night, they conspired to kill Salih. They said,
"If he is truthful, we should finish him before we are finished. If he is a liar, we will make him follow his camel.''
قَالُواْ تَقَاسَمُواْ بِاللَّهِ لَنُبَيِّتَنَّهُ وَأَهْلَهُ ثُمَّ لَنَقُولَنَّ لِوَلِيِّهِ مَا شَهِدْنَا مَهْلِكَ أَهْلِهِ وَإِنَّا لَصَـدِقُونَ
وَمَكَرُواْ مَكْراً وَمَكَرْنَا مَكْراً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ
They said: "Swear one to another by Allah that we shall make a secret night attack on him and his household, and thereafter we will surely say to his near relatives: `We witnessed not the destruction of his household, and verily, we are telling the truth.'''
So they plotted a plot, and We planned a plan, while they perceived not. (27:49-50)
When they conspired to kill Salih and gathered at night to carry out their plot, Allah, to Whom belongs all might and Who protects His Messengers, rained down stones that smashed the heads of these nine people before the rest of the tribe.
On Thursday, the first of the three days of respite, the people woke up and their faces were pale (yellow), just as Prophet Salih had promised them.
On the second day of respite, Friday, they woke up and found their faces had turned red.
On the third day of the respite, Saturday, they woke up with their faces black.
On Sunday, they wore the fragrance of Hanut (the perfume for enshrouding the dead before burial) and awaited Allah's torment and revenge, we seek refuge with Allah from it.
They did not know what will be done to them or how and from where the torment would come. When the sun rose, the Sayhah (loud cry) came from the sky and a severe tremor overtook them from below; the souls were captured and the bodies became lifeless, all in an hour. فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِي دَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ (And they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes).
They became dead and lifeless and none among them, whether young, old, male or female, escaped the torment.
The scholars of Tafsir said that none from the offspring of Thamud remained, except Prophet Salih and those who believed in him.
A disbelieving man called Abu Righal was in the Sacred Area at the time and the torment that befell his people did not touch him. When he went out of the Sacred Area one day, a stone fell from the sky and killed him.
Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mar said that Isma`il bin Umayyah said that; the Prophet passed by the gravesite of Abu Righal and asked the Companions if they knew whose grave it was.
They said, "Allah and His Messenger know better.''
هَذَا قَبْرُ أَبِي رِغَالٍ رَجُلٍ مِنْ ثَمُودَ كَانَ فِي حَرَمِ اللهِ فَمَنَعَهُ حَرَمُ اللهِ عَذَابَ اللهِ، فَلَمَّا خَرَجَ أَصَابَهُ مَا أَصَابَ قَومهُ فَدُفِنَ هَاهُنَا وَدُفِنَ مَعَهُ غُصْنٌ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ، فَنَزَلَ الْقَوْمُ فَابْتَدَرُوهُ بِأَسْيَافِهِمْ فَبَحَثُوا عَنْهُ فَاسْتَخْرَجُوا الْغُصْن
This is the grave of Abu Righal, a man from Thamud. He was in the Sacred Area of Allah and this fact saved him from receiving Allah's torment. When he went out of the Sacred Area, what befell his people also befell him. He was buried here along with a branch made from gold.
So the people used their swords and looked for the golden branch and found it.
Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mar said that Az-Zuhri said that;
Abu Righal is the father of the tribe of Thaqif.