The Prophet PBUH said,
Tafsir ibn Kathir, is a classic Sunni Islam Tafsir (commentary of the Qur'an) by Imad ud Din Ibn Kathir. It is considered to be a summary of the earlier Tafsir al-Tabari. It is popular because it uses Hadith to explain each verse and chapter of the Qur'an 'Imad Ad-Din, Isma'il bin 'Umar bin Kathir, was born in 1301 in Busra, Syria and was taught by Ibn Taymiyya, Al-Mizzi, Ibn Al Firkah, Isa bin Al-Mutim, Ahmed bin Abi-Talib, Ibn Al-Hajjar, Baha Ad-Din Al-Qasim bin Muzaffar bin Asakir, Ibn Ash-Shirazi, Ishaq bin Yahya Al-Ammuddi, Zahriyyah Shaykh, and Muhammad bin Zarrad.
Surah Al Hijr
"The example of him (a believer) who recites the Qur'an is like that of a citron which tastes good and smells good.
And he (a believer) who does not recite the Qur'an is like a date which is good in taste but has no smell.
And the example of a dissolute wicked person who recites the Qur'an is like the Raihana (sweet basil) which smells good but tastes bitter.
And the example of a dissolute wicked person who does not recite the Qur'an is like the colocynth which tastes bitter and has no smell.
Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari: Bukhari
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The Disbelievers will someday wish that They had been Muslims
الَرَ تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ وَقُرْآنٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴿١﴾
These are Ayat of the Book and a plain Qur'an.
We have already discussed the letters which appear at the beginning of some Surahs.
رُّبَمَا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ...
How much would those who disbelieved wish,
Here Allah tells us that they will regret having lived in disbelief, and will wish that they had been Muslims in this world.
رُّبَمَا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ كَانُواْ مُسْلِمِينَ ﴿٢﴾
How much would those who disbelieved wish that they had been Muslims.
Sufyan Ath-Thawri reported from Salamah bin Kuhayl, who reported from Abi Az-Za`ra', from Abdullah, who said:
"This is about the Jahannamiyyun (the sinners among the believers who will stay in Hell for some time), when they (the disbelievers) see them being brought out of Hell.''
Ibn Jarir reported that Ibn Abbas and Anas bin Malik explained that;
this Ayah refers to the Day when Allah will detain the sinful Muslims in Hell along with the idolators.
"The idolators will say to them, `What you used to worship on earth has not helped you.'
Then by virtue of His mercy, Allah will be angry for their sake, and He will remove them (from it). That is when رُّبَمَا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ كَانُواْ مُسْلِمِينَ (How much would those who disbelieved wish that they had been Muslims).''
ذَرْهُمْ يَأْكُلُواْ وَيَتَمَتَّعُواْ ...
Leave them to eat and enjoy,
this is a stern and definitive threat for them, like His saying,
قُلْ تَمَتَّعُواْ فَإِنَّ مَصِيرَكُمْ إِلَى النَّارِ
Say: "Enjoy your brief life! But certainly, your destination is the Fire!'' (14:30)
كُلُواْ وَتَمَتَّعُواْ قَلِيلاً إِنَّكُمْ مُّجْرِمُونَ
(O disbelievers!) Eat and enjoy yourselves (in this worldly life) for a little while. Verily, you are the guilty. (77:46)
... وَيُلْهِهِمُ الأَمَلُ ...
let them be preoccupied with false hope.
i.e., distracted from repentance and turning to Allah, for,
... فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٣﴾
They will soon come to know!
that is, their punishment.
Every Township has its allotted Time
وَمَا أَهْلَكْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍ إِلاَّ وَلَهَا كِتَابٌ مَّعْلُومٌ ﴿٤﴾
مَّا تَسْبِقُ مِنْ أُمَّةٍ أَجَلَهَا وَمَا يَسْتَأْخِرُونَ ﴿٥﴾
And never did We destroy a township but there was a known decree for it. No nation can advance its term, nor delay it.
Allah is informing that He never destroys a township until He has established evidences for it and its allotted time has ended. When the time for a nation's destruction has come, He never delays it, and He never moves its appointed time forward.
This was a message and a warning to the people of Makkah, telling them to give up their Shirk, their stubbornness and disbelief for which they deserved to be destroyed.
The Accusation that the Prophet was a Madman and Demands for Him to bring down Angels
And they say:
Allah tells about the disbelief, arrogance and stubbornness of the disbelievers as reflected in their words:
... يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِي نُزِّلَ عَلَيْهِ الذِّكْرُ ...
O you (Muhammad) to whom the Dhikr (the Qur'an) has been revealed!
i.e., the one who claims to receive it.
... إِنَّكَ لَمَجْنُونٌ ﴿٦﴾
Verily, you are a mad man!
i.e., by your invitation to us to follow you and leave the way of our forefathers.
لَّوْ مَا تَأْتِينَا بِالْمَلائِكَةِ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ ﴿٧﴾
Why do you not bring angels to us if you are of the truthful!
i.e., to bear witness to the accuracy of what you have brought to us is true, if you are really telling the truth!
This is similar to what Pharaoh said:
فَلَوْلاَ أُلْقِىَ عَلَيْهِ أَسْوِرَةٌ مِّن ذَهَبٍ أَوْ جَآءَ مَعَهُ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ مُقْتَرِنِينَ
Why then are not golden bracelets bestowed on him, or angels sent along with him. (43:53)
And Allah said:
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ لاَ يَرْجُونَ لِقَآءَنَا لَوْلاَ أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا الْمَلَـئِكَةُ أَوْ نَرَى رَبَّنَا لَقَدِ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ فِى أَنفُسِهِمْ وَعَتَوْا عُتُوّاً كَبِيراً
يَوْمَ يَرَوْنَ الْمَلَـئِكَةَ لاَ بُشْرَى يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُجْرِمِينَ وَيَقُولُونَ حِجْراً مَّحْجُوراً
And those who do not expect a meeting with Us (i.e., those who deny the Day of Resurrection and the life of the Hereafter), say: "Why are not the angels sent down to us, or why do we not see our Lord!''
Indeed they think too highly of themselves, and are scornful with great pride.
On the Day that they do see the angels - there will be no good news given on that day to the guilty. And they (angels) will say: "All kinds of glad tidings are forbidden for you.'' (25:21-22)
For this reason Allah said:
مَا نُنَزِّلُ الْمَلائِكَةَ إِلاَّ بِالحَقِّ وَمَا كَانُواْ إِذًا مُّنظَرِينَ ﴿٨﴾
We do not send the angels down except with the truth, and in that case, they (the disbelievers) would have no respite!
Mujahid said in this Ayah: مَا نُنَزِّلُ الْمَلائِكَةَ إِلاَّ بِالحَقِّ (We do not send the angels down except with the truth),
"i.e., with the Message and the punishment.''
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ ﴿٩﴾
Verily, We, it is We Who revealed the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur'an) and surely We will guard it (from corruption).
Allah, may He be exalted, stated that He is the One Who revealed the Dhikr to him, which is the Qur'an, and He is protecting it from being changed or altered.
The Idolators of Every Nation made a Mockery of their Messengers
وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ فِي شِيَعِ الأَوَّلِينَ ﴿١٠﴾
وَمَا يَأْتِيهِم مِّن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِؤُونَ ﴿١١﴾
Indeed, We sent (Messengers) before you (O Muhammad) amongst the earlier communities. And there never came a Messenger to them but that they mocked him.
Consoling His Messenger for the rejection of the disbelieving Quraysh, Allah says that He has sent Messengers before him to the nations of the past, and no Messenger came to a nation but they rejected him and mocked him.
Then He tells him that He lets disbelief enter the hearts of those sinners who are too stubborn and too arrogant to follow His guidance.
كَذَلِكَ نَسْلُكُهُ فِي قُلُوبِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ ﴿١٢﴾
Thus We allow it to enter the hearts of the guilty.
Anas and Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that this referred to Shirk.
لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ ...
They would not believe in it (the Qur'an);
... وَقَدْ خَلَتْ سُنَّةُ الأَوَّلِينَ ﴿١٣﴾
and already the example of the ancients has gone forth.
meaning the destruction wrought by Allah on those who rejected His Messengers, and how He saved His Prophets and their followers in this world and in the Hereafter, is well known.
The Stubborn Disbelievers will never believe, no matter what Signs and Wonders They see
وَلَوْ فَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِم بَابًا مِّنَ السَّمَاء فَظَلُّواْ فِيهِ يَعْرُجُونَ ﴿١٤﴾
لَقَالُواْ إِنَّمَا سُكِّرَتْ أَبْصَارُنَا بَلْ نَحْنُ قَوْمٌ مَّسْحُورُونَ ﴿١٥﴾
And even if We opened to them a gate to the heavens and they were to continue ascending through it (all day long). They would surely say (in the evening): "Our eyes have been (as if) dazzled (we have not seen any angel or heaven). Nay, we are a people bewitched.''
Allah explains the extent of their disbelief and stubborn resistance to the truth by stating that even if a door to heaven were to be opened for them, and they were to be taken up through it, they would still not believe. Rather, they would say:
... إِنَّمَا سُكِّرَتْ أَبْصَارُنَا ...
Our eyes have been (as if) dazzled.
Mujahid, Ibn Kathir and Ad-Dahhak said,
"this means our vision has been blocked.''
Qatadah narrated that Ibn Abbas said,
"this means our eyesight has been taken away.''
Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said,
"this means we were confused and put under a spell.''
... سُكِّرَتْ أَبْصَارُنَا ...
Our eyes have been (as if) dazzled.
Ibn Zayd said:
"The one who is dazzled (lit. intoxicated) is the one who cannot reason.''
The Power of Allah and His Signs in the Heavens and on Earth
وَلَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا فِي السَّمَاء بُرُوجًا وَزَيَّنَّاهَا لِلنَّاظِرِينَ ﴿١٦﴾
And indeed, We have put the big stars in the heaven and We beautified it for the beholders.
To those who ponder, and look repeatedly at the dazzling signs and wonders that are to be seen in the creation, Allah mentions His creation of the heavens, with their immense height, and both the fixed and moving heavenly bodies with which He has adorned it.
Here, Mujahid and Qatadah said that;
Buruj (big stars) refers to the heavenly bodies.
I say: This is like the Ayah:
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِى جَعَلَ فِى السَّمَآءِ بُرُوجاً
Blessed be He Who has placed the big stars in the heavens. (25:61)
Atiyah Al-Awfi said:
"Buruj here refers to sentinel fortresses.''
وَحَفِظْنَاهَا مِن كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ رَّجِيمٍ ﴿١٧﴾
إِلاَّ مَنِ اسْتَرَقَ السَّمْعَ فَأَتْبَعَهُ شِهَابٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿١٨﴾
And We have guarded it (near heaven) from every outcast Shaytan (devil). Except him (devil) who steals the hearing, then he is pursued by a clear flaming fire.
Allah made the "shooting stars'' to guard it against the evil devils who try to listen to information conveyed at the highest heights. If any devil breaches it and advances hoping to listen, a clear "shooting star'' comes to him and destroys him. He may already have passed on whatever he heard before the fire hit him, to another devil below him; the latter will then take it to his friends (among humans), as is stated in the Sahih. Explaining this Ayah, Al-Bukhari reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said:
إِذَا قَضَى اللهُ الْأَمْرَ فِي السَّمَاءِ ضَرَبَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ بِأَجْنِحَتِهَا خُضْعَانًا لِقَوْلِهِ كَأَنَّهُ سِلْسِلَةٌ عَلَى صَفْوَان
When Allah decrees any matter in heaven, the angels beat their wings in submission to His Word, (with a sound like) a chain (beating) on a smooth rock.''
Ali and other sub narrators said, "The sound reaches them.''
"When the fright leaves their (angels') hearts, they (angels) are asked: `What did your Lord say!'
They respond: "The truth. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.' So those who hope to hear something listen, and they are standing one above the other.''
Sufyan (the narrator) described them with a gesture, spreading the fingers of his right hand and holding it in such a way that the fingers were above one another.
"Sometimes the flaming fire hits one of these listeners before he is able to convey what he has heard to the one who is beneath him, and he is burned up, or sometimes the fire does not hit him until he has pit on to the one beneath him, so he brings it to the earth.''
Perhaps Sufyan said: "...until it reaches the earth and he puts it into the mouth of the sorcerer or fortune-teller, so that after telling a hundred lies he gets something right, and the people say, `Did he not tell us that on such and such a day such and such would happen, and we found it to be the truth among the statements which were heard from heaven.'''
Then Allah says:
وَالأَرْضَ مَدَدْنَاهَا وَأَلْقَيْنَا فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَأَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مَّوْزُونٍ ﴿١٩﴾
And We have spread out the earth, and have placed firm mountains in it, and caused all kinds of things to grow in it, in due proportion.
Allah mentions His creation of the earth and how He spread it out, and the firm mountains, valleys, lands and sands that he has placed in it, and the plants and fruits that He causes to grow in their appropriate locations.
مِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مَّوْزُونٍ
all kinds of things in due proportion.
Ibn Abbas said that;
this means with their predetermined proportions.
This was also the opinion of Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ikrimah, Abu Malik, Mujahid, Al-Hakim bin Utaybah, Al-Hasan bin Muhammad, Abu Salih and Qatadah.
وَجَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ فِيهَا مَعَايِشَ ...
And We have provided therein means of living, for you,
Here Allah mentions that He created the earth with different means of provisions and livelihood of all kinds.
... وَمَن لَّسْتُمْ لَهُ بِرَازِقِينَ ﴿٢٠﴾
and for those whom you provide not.
"This refers to the riding animals and the cattle.''
Ibn Jarir said,
"They are slaves, men and women, as well as the animals and the cattle.
The meaning is that Allah, may He be exalted, is reminding them of the ways of earning provision that He has made easy for them, and of the animals that He has subjugated for them to ride and to eat, and the slaves from whom they benefit, but the provision of all of these comes from Allah alone.''
The Supplies for All Things are with Allah
وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ عِندَنَا خَزَائِنُهُ ...
And there is not a thing, but the supplies for it are with Us,
Allah tells us that He is the Owner of all things, and that everything is easy for Him. He has the supplies for all things with Him.
... وَمَا نُنَزِّلُهُ إِلاَّ بِقَدَرٍ مَّعْلُومٍ ﴿٢١﴾
and We do not send it down but in a known measure.
meaning, as He wills and as He wants. Doing so out of His great wisdom and mercy towards His servants, in a way that He is under no obligation to do. But He has decreed mercy for Himself.
Yazid bin Abi Ziyad reported from Abu Juhayfah that Abdullah said:
"No year has more rain than another, but Allah divides the rain between them as He wills, it rains here a year and there a year. Then he recited: وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ عِندَنَا خَزَائِنُهُ (And there is not a thing, but the supplies for it are with Us...).
Reported by Ibn Jarir.
Benefits of the Winds
وَأَرْسَلْنَا الرِّيَاحَ لَوَاقِحَ ...
And We send the winds fertilizing.
i.e., fertilizing the clouds so that they give rain, and fertilizing the trees so that they open their leaves and blossoms.
These winds are mentioned here in the plural form because they give results, unlike the barren wind (Ar-Rih Al-'Aqim, see Adh-Dhariyat 51:41), which is mentioned in the singular and described as barren since it does not produce anything; because results can only be produced when there are two or more things.
Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,
"The wind is sent bearing water from the sky, then it fertilizes the clouds until rain begins to generously fall, just as the milk of the pregnant camel flows generously.''
This was also the opinion of Ibn Abbas, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i and Qatadah.
"Allah sends it to the clouds and it gets fertilized and becomes full of water.''
Ubayd bin Umayr Al-Laythi said:
"Allah sends the wind which stirs up the earth, then Allah sends the wind which raises clouds, then Allah sends the wind which forms clouds, then Allah sends the fertilizing wind which pollinates the trees."
Then he recited, وَأَرْسَلْنَا الرِّيَاحَ لَوَاقِحَ (And We sent the winds fertilizing).
Fresh Water is a Blessing from Allah
... فَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء ...
then We cause the water to descend from the sky,
... فَأَسْقَيْنَاكُمُوهُ ...
and We give it to you to drink,
This means, "and We send it down to you fresh and sweet, so that you can drink it; if We had wished, We could have made it salty (and undrinkable)'', as Allah points out in another Ayah in Surah Al-Waqi`ah, where He says:
أَفَرَءَيْتُمُ الْمَآءَ الَّذِى تَشْرَبُونَ
أَءَنتُمْ أَنزَلْتُمُوهُ مِنَ الْمُزْنِ أَمْ نَحْنُ الْمُنزِلُونَ
لَوْ نَشَآءُ جَعَلْنَـهُ أُجَاجاً فَلَوْلاَ تَشْكُرُونَ
Tell Me! The water that you drink, is it you who cause it to come down from the rain clouds, or are We the cause of it coming down! If We willed, We verily could make it salty (and undrinkable), why then do you not give thanks (to Allah)! (56:68-70)
And Allah says:
هُوَ الَّذِى أَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَآءً لَّكُم مَّنْهُ شَرَابٌ وَمِنْهُ شَجَرٌ فِيهِ تُسِيمُونَ
He it is Who sends water down from the sky; from it you drink and from it (grows) the vegetation on which you send your cattle to pasture. (16:10)
... وَمَا أَنتُمْ لَهُ بِخَازِنِينَ ﴿٢٢﴾
and it is not you who are the owners of its supply.
The meaning is, "You are not taking care of it; rather We send it down and take care of it for you, making springs and wells flourish on the earth.''
If Allah so willed, He could make it disappear, but by His mercy He sends it down and makes it fresh and sweet, maintaining the springs, wells, rivers and so on, so that they may drink from it all year long, water their livestock and irrigate their crops.
The Power of Allah to initiate and renew Creation
وَإنَّا لَنَحْنُ نُحْيِي وَنُمِيتُ ...
And certainly We! We it is Who give life, and cause death,
Here Allah tells us of His power to initiate creation and renew it. He is the One Who brings life to creatures out of nothingness, then He causes them to die, then He will resurrect all of them on the Day when He will gather them together.
... وَنَحْنُ الْوَارِثُونَ ﴿٢٣﴾
and We are the Inheritors.
He also tells us that He will inherit the earth and everyone on it, and then it is to Him that they will return.
Then He tells us about His perfect knowledge of them, the first and the last of them.
وَلَقَدْ عَلِمْنَا الْمُسْتَقْدِمِينَ مِنكُمْ ...
And indeed, We know the first generations of you who had passed away....
Ibn Abbas said,
"The first generations are all those who have passed away since the time of Adam. The present generations and those who will come afterward refer to those who are alive now and who are yet to come, until the Day of Resurrection.''
Something similar was narrated from Ikrimah, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Ash-Sha`bi and others.
Ibn Jarir reported from Muhammad bin Abi Ma`shar, from his father, that;
he heard Awn bin Abdullah discussing the following Ayah with Muhammad bin Ka`b:
وَلَقَدْ عَلِمْنَا الْمُسْتَقْدِمِينَ مِنكُمْ وَلَقَدْ عَلِمْنَا الْمُسْتَأْخِرِينَ ﴿٢٤﴾
And indeed, We know the first generations of you who had passed away, and indeed, We know the present generations of you (mankind), and also those who will come afterwards,
and it was stated that it refers to the rows for prayer.
Muhammad bin Ka`b said, "This is not the case. وَلَقَدْ عَلِمْنَا الْمُسْتَقْدِمِينَ مِنكُمْ (And indeed, We know the first generations of you who had passed away),
it refers to those who are dead or have been killed,
الْمُسْتَأْخِرِينَ (and also those who will come afterwards),
meaning those who have yet to be created.
وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ يَحْشُرُهُمْ إِنَّهُ حَكِيمٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٢٥﴾
And verily your Lord will gather them together. Truly, He is Most Wise, (and) Knowing).''
Awn bin Abdullah said,
"May Allah help you and reward you with good.''
The Substances from which Mankind and Jinns were created
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الإِنسَانَ مِن صَلْصَالٍ مِّنْ حَمَإٍ مَّسْنُونٍ ﴿٢٦﴾
وَالْجَآنَّ خَلَقْنَاهُ مِن قَبْلُ مِن نَّارِ السَّمُومِ ﴿٢٧﴾
And indeed, We created man from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud. And the Jinn, We created earlier from the smokeless flame of fire.
Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah said that;
Salsal means dry mud.
The apparent meaning is similar to the Ayah:
خَلَقَ الإِنسَـنَ مِن صَلْصَـلٍ كَالْفَخَّارِ
وَخَلَقَ الْجَآنَّ مِن مَّارِجٍ مِّن نَّارٍ
He created man (Adam) from sounding clay like the potter's clay, And He created the Jinns from a smokeless flame of fire. (55:14-15)
It was also reported from Mujahid that,
صَلْصَالٍ (dried (sounding) clay) means "putrid'',
but it is more appropriate to interpret an Ayah with another Ayah.
... مِّنْ حَمَإٍ مَّسْنُونٍ
of altered mud,
means the dried clay that comes from mud, which is soil.
"Altered'' here means smooth.
وَالْجَآنَّ خَلَقْنَاهُ مِن قَبْلُ ...
And the Jinn, We created earlier,
means before creating humans.
... مِن نَّارِ السَّمُومِ
from the smokeless flame of fire.
Ibn Abbas said,
"It is the smokeless flame that kills.''
Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi said that Shu`bah narrated to them from Abu Ishaq, who said:
"I visited `Umar Al-Asamm when he was sick, and he said: `Shall I not tell you a Hadith that I heard from Abdullah bin Mas`ud He said:
`This smokeless flame is one of the seventy parts of the smokeless fire from which the Jinn where created.
Then he recited, وَالْجَآنَّ خَلَقْنَاهُ مِن قَبْلُ مِن نَّارِ السَّمُومِ (And the Jinn, We created earlier from the smokeless flame of fire).'''
The following is found in the Sahih,
خُلِقَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ مِنْ نُورٍ، وَخُلِقَتِ الْجَانُّ مِنْ مَارِجٍ مِنْ نَارٍ، وَخُلِقَ آدَمُ مِمَّا وُصِفَ لَكُم
The angels were created from light, the Jinn were created from a smokeless flame of fire, and Adam was created from that which has been described to you.
The Ayah is intended to point out the noble nature, good essence and pure origin of Adam.
The creation of Adam, the Command to the Angels to prostrate to Him, and the Rebellion of Iblis
وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلاَئِكَةِ إِنِّي خَالِقٌ بَشَرًا مِّن صَلْصَالٍ مِّنْ حَمَإٍ مَّسْنُونٍ ﴿٢٨﴾
فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِي فَقَعُواْ لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ ﴿٢٩﴾
فَسَجَدَ الْمَلآئِكَةُ كُلُّهُمْ أَجْمَعُونَ ﴿٣٠﴾
إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ أَبَى أَن يَكُونَ مَعَ السَّاجِدِينَ ﴿٣١﴾
قَالَ يَا إِبْلِيسُ مَا لَكَ أَلاَّ تَكُونَ مَعَ السَّاجِدِينَ ﴿٣٢﴾
And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "I am going to create a man (Adam) from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud. So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) of My spirit (the soul which I created for him,) then fall down, prostrating yourselves before him.''
So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together. Except Iblis (Shaytan) - he refused to be among the prostrate.
(Allah) said: "O Iblis! What is your reason for not being among the prostrate!''
Allah informs us of how He mentioned Adam to His angels before He created him, and how He honored him by commanding the angels to prostrate to him. He mentions how His enemy Iblis, amidst all the angels, refused to prostrate to him out of envy, disbelief, stubbornness, arrogance, and false pride. This is why Iblis said:
قَالَ لَمْ أَكُن لِّأَسْجُدَ لِبَشَرٍ خَلَقْتَهُ مِن صَلْصَالٍ مِّنْ حَمَإٍ مَّسْنُونٍ ﴿٣٣﴾
(Iblis) said: I am not one to prostrate myself to a human, whom You created from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud.
this is like when he said,
أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِين
I am better than him (Adam), You created me from Fire and him You created from clay. (7:12)
أَرَءَيْتَكَ هَـذَا الَّذِى كَرَّمْتَ عَلَىَّ
"Do you see this one whom You have honored above me...'' (17:62)
The Expulsion of Iblis from Jannah, and His Reprieve until the Day of Resurrection
قَالَ فَاخْرُجْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّكَ رَجِيمٌ ﴿٣٤﴾
وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ اللَّعْنَةَ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ ﴿٣٥﴾
قَالَ رَبِّ فَأَنظِرْنِي إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ ﴿٣٦﴾
قَالَ فَإِنَّكَ مِنَ الْمُنظَرِينَ ﴿٣٧﴾
إِلَى يَومِ الْوَقْتِ الْمَعْلُومِ ﴿٣٨﴾
(Allah) said: "Then leave, for verily, you are an outcast. And verily, the curse shall be upon you until the Day of Recompense.''
(Iblis) said: "O my Lord! Then give me respite until the Day they (the dead) will be resurrected.''
Allah said: "Then verily, you are of those reprieved, Until the Day of the time appointed.''
Allah tells us how He issued an unconditional command to Iblis to leave the position he held among the highest of heights.
He told him that he was an outcast, i.e., cursed, and that he would be followed by a curse that would hound him until the Day of Resurrection.
It was reported that Sa`id bin Jubayr said:
"When Allah cursed Iblis, his image into something different from that of the angels, and he made a sound like a bell. Every bell that rings on this earth until the Day of Resurrection is part of that."
This was reported by Ibn Abi Hatim.
The Threat of Iblis to tempt Mankind, and Allah's Promise of Hell for him
Allah informed about the rebellion and arrogance of Iblis,
قَالَ رَبِّ بِمَآ أَغْوَيْتَنِي ...
(Iblis) said: "O my Lord! Because You misled me,
i.e., because You misled me and misguided me.
... لأُزَيِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ ...
I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them,
meaning, for the progeny of Adam.
... فِي الأَرْضِ ...
on the earth,
meaning - I will make sin dear to them, and will encourage, provoke and harass them to commit sin.
... وَلأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿٣٩﴾
and I shall mislead them all.
meaning - just as You have misled me and have ordained that for me.
إِلاَّ عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِينَ ﴿٤٠﴾
Except Your chosen, (guided) servants among them.
This is like the Ayah:
أَرَءَيْتَكَ هَـذَا الَّذِى كَرَّمْتَ عَلَىَّ لَئِنْ أَخَّرْتَنِ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ لأَحْتَنِكَنَّ ذُرِّيَّتَهُ إَلاَّ قَلِيلاً
"Do you see this one whom You have honored above me, if You give me respite until the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring, all but a few!'' (17:62)
i.e., threatening and warning Iblis.
... هَذَا صِرَاطٌ عَلَيَّ مُسْتَقِيمٌ ﴿٤١﴾
This is the way which will lead straight to Me.
means, `all of you will return to Me, and I will reward or punish you according to your deeds: if they are good then I will reward you, and if they are bad then I will punish you.'
This is like the Ayah:
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَبِالْمِرْصَادِ
Verily, your Lord is ever watchful. (89:14)
وَعَلَى اللَّهِ قَصْدُ السَّبِيلِ
And it is up to Allah to show the right way. (16:9)
إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ ...
Certainly, you shall have no authority over My servants,
meaning, `you will have no way to reach those for whom I have decreed guidance.'
... إِلاَّ مَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ ﴿٤٢﴾
except those of the astray who follow you.
Ibn Jarir mentioned that Yazid bin Qusayt said:
"The Prophets used to have Masjids outside their cities, and if a Prophet wanted to consult with his Lord about something, he would go out to his place of worship and pray as Allah decreed. Then he would ask Him about whatever was concerning him.
Once while a Prophet was in his place of worship, the enemy of Allah - meaning Iblis - came and sat between him and the Qiblah (direction of prayer).
The Prophet said, `I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan.'
The enemy of Allah said, `Do you know who you are seeking refuge from? Here he is!'
The Prophet said, `I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan', and he repeated that three times.
Then the enemy of Allah said, `Tell me about anything in which you will be saved from me.'
The Prophet twice said, `No, you tell me about something in which you can overpower the son of Adam?'
Each of them was insisting that the other answer first, then the Prophet said, Allah says,
إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ إِلاَّ مَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ
Certainly, you shall have no authority over My servants, except those of the astray who follow you.
The enemy of Allah said, `I heard this before you were even born.'
The Prophet said, `and Allah says,
وَإِمَّا يَنَزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَـنِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytan then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (7: 200)
By Allah, I never sense that you are near but I seek refuge with Allah from you.'
The enemy of Allah said, `You have spoken the truth. In this way you will be saved from me.'
The Prophet said, `Tell me in what ways you overpower the son of Adam.'
He said, `I seize him at times of anger and times of desire.'
وَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ لَمَوْعِدُهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿٤٣﴾
And surely, Hell is the place promised for them all.
meaning, Hell is the abode designated for all those who follow Iblis, as Allah says in the Qur'an:
وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِهِ مِنَ الاٌّحْزَابِ فَالنَّارُ مَوْعِدُهُ
but those of the sects (Jews, Christians and all the other non-Muslim nations) that reject it (the Qur'an), the Fire will be their promised meeting place. (11:17)
The Gates of Hell are Seven
Then Allah tells about Hell:
لَهَا سَبْعَةُ أَبْوَابٍ ...
It has seven gates,
... لِّكُلِّ بَابٍ مِّنْهُمْ جُزْءٌ مَّقْسُومٌ ﴿٤٤﴾
for each of those gates is a (special) class (of sinners) assigned.
means, for each gate a portion of the followers of Iblis have been decreed, and they will have no choice in the matter.
May Allah save us from that.
Each one will enter a gate according to his deeds, and will settle in a level of Hell according to his deeds.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Samurah bin Jundub reported from the Prophet about, لِّكُلِّ بَابٍ مِّنْهُمْ جُزْءٌ مَّقْسُومٌ (for each of those gates is a class assigned), He said,
إِنَّ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارِ مَنْ تَأْخُذُهُ النَّارُ إِلَى كَعْبَيْهِ، وَإِنَّ مِنْهُمْ مَنْ تَأْخُذُهُ النَّارُ إِلَى حُجْزَتِهِ، وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ تَأْخُذُهُ النَّارُ إِلَى تَرَاقِيه
Among the people of Hell are those whom the Fire will swallow up to the ankles, and those whom it will swallow up to the waist, and those whom it will swallow up to the collarbone.
The degree of which will depend upon their deeds.
This is like the Ayah;
لِكُلِّ بَابٍ مِّنْهُمْ جُزْءٌ مَّقْسُومٌ
for each of those gates is a class assigned.
Description of the People of Paradise
Since Allah mentioned the condition of the people of Hell, He followed that by mentioning the people of Paradise. He tells that they will dwell in Gardens and water springs.
إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ ﴿٤٥﴾
Truly, those who have Taqwa, will dwell in Gardens and water springs.
ادْخُلُوهَا بِسَلاَمٍ ...
Enter it in peace,
meaning free of all problems.
... آمِنِينَ ﴿٤٦﴾
meaning free from all fear and concern. They will not have any fear of expulsion, nor will they fear that their condition will be disrupted or end.
وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَانًا عَلَى سُرُرٍ مُّتَقَابِلِينَ ﴿٤٧﴾
And We shall remove any deep feeling of bitterness from their breasts. (So they will be like) brothers facing each other on thrones.
Al-Qasim narrated that Abu Umamah said:
"The people of Paradise will enter Paradise with whatever enmity is left in their hearts from this world. Then, when they come together, Allah will remove whatever hatred the world has left in their hearts.''
Then he recited: وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ (And We shall remove any deep feeling of bitterness from their breasts).
This is how it was narrated in this report, but Al-Qasim bin Abdur-Rahman is weak in his reports from Abu Umamah. However, this is in accord with the report in the Sahih where Qatadah says,
"Abu Al-Mutawakkil An-Naji told us that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri told them that the Messenger of Allah said:
يَخْلُصُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ مِنَ النَّارِ، فَيُحْبَسُونَ عَلَى قَنْطَرَةٍ بَيْنَ الْجَنَّةِ وَالنَّارِ. فَيُقْتَصُّ لِبَعْضِهِمْ مِنْ بَعْضٍ مَظَالِمُ كَانَتْ بَيْنَهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا حَتَّى إِذَا هُذِّبُوا وَنُقُّوا، أُذِنَ لَهُمْ فِي دُخُولِ الْجَنَّة
The believers will be removed from the Fire, and they will be detained on a bridge between Paradise and Hell. Then judgment will be passed between them concerning any wrong they have committed in this world against one another, until they are cleansed and purified. Then permission will be given to them to enter Paradise.''
لاَ يَمَسُّهُمْ فِيهَا نَصَبٌ ...
No sense of fatigue shall touch them,
meaning no harm or hardship, as was reported in the Sahihs:
أَنَّ اللهَ أَمَرَنِي أَنْ أُبَشِّرَ خَدِيجَةَ بِبَيْتٍ فِي الْجَنَّةِ مِنْ قَصَبٍ لَا صَخَبَ فِيهِ وَلَا نَصَب
Allah commanded me to tell Khadijah the good news of a jeweled palace in Paradise in which there will be no toil and no fatigue.
... وَمَا هُم مِّنْهَا بِمُخْرَجِينَ ﴿٤٨﴾
nor shall they (ever) be asked to leave it.
As was reported in the Hadith:
يُقَالُ: يَا أَهْلَ الْجَنَّةِ
It will be said, O dwellers of Paradise!
خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَا لاَ يَبْغُونَ عَنْهَا حِوَلاً
Wherein they shall dwell (forever). They will have no desire to be removed from it. (18:108)
نَبِّىءْ عِبَادِي أَنِّي أَنَا الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿٤٩﴾
وَ أَنَّ عَذَابِي هُوَ الْعَذَابُ الأَلِيمَ ﴿٥٠﴾
Declare to My servants, that I am truly the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. And that My torment is indeed the most painful torment.
meaning, `O Muhammad, tell My servants that I am the source of mercy and I am the source of punishment.'
Similar Ayat to this have already been quoted above, which indicate that we must always be in a state between hope (for Allah's mercy) and fear (of His punishment).
The Guests of Ibrahim and their Good News of a Son for Him
وَنَبِّئْهُمْ عَن ...
And tell them about,
Allah is saying: `Tell them, O Muhammad, about the story of,
... ضَيْفِ إِبْراَهِيمَ ﴿٥١﴾
the guests of Ibrahim. When,
... دَخَلُواْ عَلَيْهِ فَقَالُواْ سَلامًا قَالَ إِنَّا مِنكُمْ وَجِلُونَ ﴿٥٢﴾
they entered upon him, and said: "Salaman (peace!).''
He said: "Indeed we are frightened of you.''
meaning that they were scared. The reason for their fear has been mentioned previously, which is that they noticed that these guests did not eat of the food that was offered, which was a fattened calf.
قَالُواْ لاَ تَوْجَلْ ...
They said: "Do not be afraid!...''
meaning, do not be scared.
... إِنَّا نُبَشِّرُكَ بِغُلامٍ عَلِيمٍ ﴿٥٣﴾
We bring you the good news of a boy possessing much knowledge and wisdom.
this refers to Ishaq, as was previously mentioned in Surah Hud. Then,
meaning he spoke with wonder and astonishment, asking for confirmation, because he was old and his wife was old:
Do you give me this good news while old age has overtaken me! Of what then is your news about!
They responded by confirming the good news they had brought, good news after good news:
قَالُواْ بَشَّرْنَاكَ بِالْحَقِّ فَلاَ تَكُن مِّنَ الْقَانِطِينَ ﴿٥٥﴾
They said: "We give you good news in truth. So do not be of those who despair.''
قَالَ وَمَن يَقْنَطُ مِن رَّحْمَةِ رَبِّهِ إِلاَّ الضَّآلُّونَ ﴿٥٦﴾
He said: "And who despairs of the mercy of his Lord except those who are astray!''
The Reason why the Angels came
قَالَ فَمَا خَطْبُكُمْ أَيُّهَا الْمُرْسَلُونَ ﴿٥٧﴾
He said: "What then is the business for which you have come, O messengers!''
Allah tells us that after Ibrahim had calmed down from the excitement of this good news, he started to ask them why they had come to him.
قَالُواْ إِنَّا أُرْسِلْنَا إِلَى قَوْمٍ مُّجْرِمِينَ ﴿٥٨﴾
They said, We have been sent to a guilty people.
meaning the people of Lut.
إِلاَّ آلَ لُوطٍ إِنَّا لَمُنَجُّوهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿٥٩﴾
(All) except the family of Lut, all of whom we are to save (from the destruction).
They told him that they were going to save the family of Lut from among those people, except for his wife, because she was one of those who were doomed.
Thus it was said,
إِلاَّ امْرَأَتَهُ قَدَّرْنَا إِنَّهَا لَمِنَ الْغَابِرِينَ ﴿٦٠﴾
Except for his wife, of whom We have decreed that she shall be of those who remain behind.
i.e., she was one of those who would be left behind and will be destroyed.
The Angels coming to Lut
فَلَمَّا جَاء آلَ لُوطٍ الْمُرْسَلُونَ ﴿٦١﴾
Then when the messengers (the angels) came to the family of Lut,
Allah tells us about when the angels came to Lut in the form of young men with handsome faces. When they entered his home,
قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّنكَرُونَ ﴿٦٢﴾
قَالُواْ بَلْ جِئْنَاكَ بِمَا كَانُواْ فِيهِ يَمْتَرُونَ ﴿٦٣﴾
He said: "Verily, you are people unknown to me.''
They said: "Nay, we have come to you with that (torment) which they have been doubting.''
meaning that they were bringing the punishment and destruction that the people doubted they would ever suffer from.
وَأَتَيْنَاكَ بَالْحَقِّ ...
And we have brought you the truth,
It is like the Ayah,
مَا نُنَزِّلُ الْمَلَـئِكَةَ إِلاَّ بِالحَقِّ
We do not send the angels down except with the truth. (15:8)
... وَإِنَّا لَصَادِقُونَ ﴿٦٤﴾
and certainly, we tell the truth.
They said this in affirmation of the news that they brought him, that he would be saved and his people would be destroyed.
Lut is ordered to leave with His Family during the Night
فَأَسْرِ بِأَهْلِكَ بِقِطْعٍ مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ وَاتَّبِعْ أَدْبَارَهُمْ ...
Then travel for a portion of the night with your family, and you go behind them in the rear,
Allah tells us that His angels ordered Lut to set out after part of the night had passed. They told him to walk behind them, to protect them. Similarly, the Messenger of Allah would walk in the rear of the army on military campaigns, in order to help the weak and carry those who had no means of transport.
... وَلاَ يَلْتَفِتْ مِنكُمْ أَحَدٌ ...
and let no one amongst you look back,
meaning - when you hear the people screaming from their torment, do not turn around to look at them; leave them to face whatever punishment and vengeance is coming to them.
... وَامْضُواْ حَيْثُ تُؤْمَرُونَ ﴿٦٥﴾
but go on to where you are ordered.
it is as if they had a guide with them to show them the way.
وَقَضَيْنَا إِلَيْهِ ذَلِكَ الأَمْرَ ...
And We made this decree known to him,
meaning - We already told him about that.
... أَنَّ دَابِرَ هَؤُلاء مَقْطُوعٌ مُّصْبِحِينَ ﴿٦٦﴾
that those (sinners) would be rooted out in the early morning.
meaning in the morning, as in another Ayah:
إِنَّ مَوْعِدَهُمُ الصُّبْحُ أَلَيْسَ الصُّبْحُ بِقَرِيبٍ
Indeed, morning is their appointed time. Is not the morning near! (11:81)
The People of the City arrive upon the Angels, thinking that they are Men
وَجَاء أَهْلُ الْمَدِينَةِ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ ﴿٦٧﴾
And the inhabitants of the city came rejoicing.
Allah tells us about how Lut's people came to him when they found out about his handsome guests, and they came happily rejoicing about them.
قَالَ إِنَّ هَؤُلاء ضَيْفِي فَلاَ تَفْضَحُونِ ﴿٦٨﴾
وَاتَّقُوا اللّهَ وَلاَ تُخْزُونِ ﴿٦٩﴾
(Lut) said: "Verily, these are my guests, so do not shame me. And have Taqwa of Allah, and do not disgrace me.''
This is what Lut said to them before he knew that his guests were messengers from Allah, as mentioned in Surah Hud, but here (in this Surah), we have already been told that they are messengers from Allah, and this is followed by an account of Lut's people coming and his exchange with them.
However, here the conjunction (wa, meaning "and'') does not imply the sequence of events, especially since there is something to indicate that this is not the case.
They said answering him,
قَالُوا أَوَلَمْ نَنْهَكَ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٧٠﴾
They said: Did we not forbid you from entertaining (or protecting) any of the `Alamin!
meaning, `did we not tell you that you should not have anyone as a guest!'
قَالَ هَؤُلاء بَنَاتِي إِن كُنتُمْ فَاعِلِينَ ﴿٧١﴾
(Lut) said: "These are my daughters, if you must act (so).''
He reminded them about their womenfolk and what their Lord had created for them in the women of permissible sexual relationships.
This issue has already been explained and is no need to repeat the discussion here. All of this happened while they were still unaware of the inevitable calamity and punishment that was about to befall them the following morning.
Hence Allah, may He be exalted, said to Muhammad,
لَعَمْرُكَ إِنَّهُمْ لَفِي سَكْرَتِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ ﴿٧٢﴾
Verily, by your life, in their wild intoxication, they were wandering blindly.
Allah swore by the life of His Prophet, which is an immense honor reflecting his high rank and noble status.
Amr bin Malik An-Nakari reported from Abu Al-Jawza' that Ibn Abbas said:
"Allah has never created or made or formed any soul that is dearer to him than Muhammad. I never heard that Allah swore by the life of anyone else.
لَعَمْرُكَ إِنَّهُمْ لَفِي سَكْرَتِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ
Verily, by your life, in their wild intoxication, they were wandering blindly.
meaning, by your life and the length of your stay in this world,
This was reported by Ibn Jarir.
لَفِي سَكْرَتِهِمْ (in their wild intoxication),
"It means - in their misguided state;
يَعْمَهُونَ (they were wandering blindly),
means - they were playing.''
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said:
لَعَمْرُكَ (Verily, by your life),
means by your life,
إِنَّهُمْ لَفِي سَكْرَتِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ (in their wild intoxication, they were wandering blindly),
means that they were confused.''
The Destruction of the People of Lut
فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الصَّيْحَةُ مُشْرِقِينَ ﴿٧٣﴾
So the Sayhah overtook them at the time of sunrise.
This is the piercing sound that came to them when the sun rose, which was accompanied by the city being flipped upside down, and stones of baked clay (As-Sijjil) raining down upon them.
فَجَعَلْنَا عَالِيَهَا سَافِلَهَا وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ حِجَارَةً مِّن سِجِّيلٍ ﴿٧٤﴾
And We turned them upside down and rained stones of baked clay upon them.
The discussion of As-Sijjil in Surah Hud is a sufficient explanation.
إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَاتٍ لِّلْمُتَوَسِّمِينَ ﴿٧٥﴾
Surely, in this are signs for those who see.
meaning that the traces of the destruction of that city are easily visible to any one who ponder about it, whether they look at it with physical eyesight or mental and spiritual insight, as Mujahid said concerning the phrase, لِّلْمُتَوَسِّمِينَ (those who see) he said,
"those who have insight and discernment.''
It was reported from Ibn Abbas and Ad-Dahhak that;
it referred to those who look.
"those who learn lessons.''
لِّلْمُتَوَسِّمِينَ (those who see),
therefore the meaning is "those who ponder.''
The City of Sodom on the Highroad
وَإِنَّهَا لَبِسَبِيلٍ مُّقيمٍ ﴿٧٦﴾
And verily, they were right on the highroad.
meaning that the city of Sodom, which was physically and spiritually turned upside down, and pelted with stones until it became a foul smelling lake (the Dead Sea), is on a route that is easily accessible until the present day.
This is like the Ayah,
وَإِنَّكُمْ لَّتَمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهِمْ مُّصْبِحِينَ
وَبِالَّيْلِ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ
Verily, you pass by them in the morning, and at night. Will you not then reflect! (37:137-138)
إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَةً لِّلْمُؤمِنِينَ ﴿٧٧﴾
Surely, there is indeed a sign in that for the believers.
meaning, `All that We did to the people of Lut, from the destruction and the vengeance, to how We saved Lut and his family, these are clear signs to those who believe in Allah and His Messengers.'
The Destruction of the Dwellers of Al-Aykah, the People of Shu`ayb
وَإِن كَانَ أَصْحَابُ الأَيْكَةِ لَظَالِمِينَ ﴿٧٨﴾
فَانتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ وَإِنَّهُمَا لَبِإِمَامٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴿٧٩﴾
And the Dwellers of Al-Aykah, were also wrongdoers. So, We took vengeance on them. They are both on an open route, plain to see.
The Dwellers of Al-Aykah, were the people of Shu`ayb.
Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and others said that;
Al-Aykah refers to intertwined trees.
Their evildoing included associating partners with Allah (Shirk), banditry and cheating in weights and measures. Allah punished them with the Sayhah (the awful cry or torment), the earthquake, and the torment of the Day of Shadow. They lived near the people of Lut, but at a later time, and the people of Lut were known to them, which is why Allah says,
... وَإِنَّهُمَا لَبِإِمَامٍ مُّبِينٍ
They are both on an open route, plain to see.
Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak and others said,
"a visible route.''
This is why, when Shu`ayb warned his people, he said to them,
وَمَا قَوْمُ لُوطٍ مِّنكُم بِبَعِيدٍ
And the people of Lut are not far off from you! (11:89)
The Destruction of the Dwellers of Al-Hijr, Who are the People called Thamud
وَلَقَدْ كَذَّبَ أَصْحَابُ الحِجْرِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴿٨٠﴾
وَآتَيْنَاهُمْ آيَاتِنَا فَكَانُواْ عَنْهَا مُعْرِضِينَ ﴿٨١﴾
And verily, the Dwellers of Al-Hijr denied the Messengers. And We gave them Our signs, but they were averse to them.
The Dwellers of the Al Hijr were the people of Thamud who rejected their Prophet, Salih. Whoever denies even one Messenger, then he has disbelieved in all of the Messengers, thus they are described as rejecting "the Messengers.''
Allah tells us that he (Salih) brought them signs to prove that what he was telling them was true, such as the she-camel which Allah created for them out of a solid rock in response to the supplication of Salih. This she-camel was grazing on their lands, and the people and the camel took water on alternate days that were well-known. When they rebelled and killed it, he said to them,
تَمَتَّعُواْ فِى دَارِكُمْ ثَلَـثَةَ أَيَّامٍ ذلِكَ وَعْدٌ غَيْرُ مَكْذُوبٍ
"Enjoy yourselves in your homes for three days. This is a promise which will not be belied.'' (11:65)
وَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَهَدَيْنَـهُمْ فَاسْتَحَبُّواْ الْعَمَى عَلَى الْهُدَى
And as for Thamud, We showed them and made the path of truth clear but they preferred blindness to guidance. (41:17)
Allah tells us that,
وَكَانُواْ يَنْحِتُونَ مِنَ الْجِبَالِ بُيُوتًا آمِنِينَ ﴿٨٢﴾
And they used to hew out dwellings from the mountains, (feeling) secure.
meaning, they were without fear and they had no real need for those houses; it was merely a form of extravagance and work without a purpose. This could be seen from their work in the houses in the Al-Hijr through which the Messenger of Allah passed on his way to Tabuk. He covered his head and urged his camel to go faster, saying to his Companions:
لَا تَدْخُلُوا بُيُوتَ الْقَوْمِ الْمُعَذَّبِينَ إِلَّا أَنْ تَكُونُوا بَاكِينَ، فَإِنَّ لَمْ تَبْكُوا فَتَبَاكُوا خَشْيَةَ أَنْ يُصِيبَكُمْ مَا أَصَابَهُم
Do not enter the dwellings of those who were punished unless you are weeping, and if you do not weep then make yourself weep out of fear that perhaps what struck them may also strike you.
فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الصَّيْحَةُ مُصْبِحِينَ ﴿٨٣﴾
But the Sayhah (torment - awful cry) overtook them in the early morning.
meaning in the morning of the fourth day.
فَمَا أَغْنَى عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ ﴿٨٤﴾
And all that they used to earn availed them not.
meaning all of the benefits that they used to gain from their crops and fruits, and the water which they did not want to share with the she-camel that they killed so that it would not reduce their share of the water - all of that wealth would not protect them or help them when the command of their Lord came to pass.
The World has been created for some Purpose, then the Hour will come
وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ وَإِنَّ السَّاعَةَ لآتِيَةٌ ...
And We did not create the heavens and the earth and all that is between them except with the truth, and the Hour is surely coming,
i.e., with justice to -
لِيَجْزِىَ الَّذِينَ أَسَاءُواْ بِمَا عَمِلُواْ
requite those who do evil with that which they have done. (53:31)
وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَآءَ وَالاٌّرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا بَـطِلاً ذَلِكَ ظَنُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فَوَيْلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنَ النَّارِ
And We did not create the heaven and the earth, and all that is between them without purpose! That is what those who disbelieve think! Then let those who disbelieve be warned of the Fire! (38:27)
أَفَحَسِبْتُمْ أَنَّمَا خَلَقْنَـكُمْ عَبَثاً وَأَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْنَا لاَ تُرْجَعُونَ
فَتَعَـلَى اللَّهُ الْمَلِكُ الْحَقُّ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْكَرِيمِ
"Did you think that We created you in play, and that you would not be brought back to Us!''
So exalted be Allah, the Truth, the King, none has the right to be worshipped but He, the Lord of the Honored Throne! (23:115-116)
... فَاصْفَحِ الصَّفْحَ الْجَمِيلَ ﴿٨٥﴾
so overlook their faults with gracious forgiveness.
Allah informed His Prophet about the Hour, and that it will be the faults of the idolators when they insult him and reject the Message that he brings to them.
This is like the Ayah,
فَاصْفَحْ عَنْهُمْ وَقُلْ سَلَـمٌ فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ
(o turn away from them, and say: "Salam (Peace!).'' But they will come to know! (43:89)
Mujahid, Qatadah and others said:
"This was before fighting was prescribed.''
It is as they said, because this Surah was revealed in Makkah and fighting was prescribed after the Hijrah.
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ الْخَلاَّقُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿٨٦﴾
Verily, your Lord is the Knowing Creator.
This is a confirmation of the Day of Resurrection and that Allah, may He be exalted, is able to bring the Hour to pass. He is the Creator and nothing is beyond Him. He is the Knowing, Who knows what has been dispersed from people's bodies and scattered throughout the regions of the earth, as He says:
أَوَلَـيْسَ الَذِى خَلَقَ السَّمَـوتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ بِقَـدِرٍ عَلَى أَن يَخْلُقَ مِثْلَهُم بَلَى وَهُوَ الْخَلَّـقُ الْعَلِيمُ
إِنَّمَآ أَمْرُهُ إِذَآ أَرَادَ شَيْئاً أَن يَقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ
فَسُبْحَـنَ الَّذِى بِيَدِهِ مَلَكُوتُ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ
Is not He, Who created the heavens and the earth able to create the like of them!
Yes, indeed! He is the Knowing, Creator.
Verily, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, "Be!'' - and it is! So glorified and exalted is He above all that they associate with Him, and in whose Hands is the dominion of all things, and to Him you shall return. (36:81-83)
A Reminder of the Blessing of the Qur'an and the Command to focus on its Message
وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَاكَ سَبْعًا مِّنَ الْمَثَانِي وَالْقُرْآنَ الْعَظِيمَ ﴿٨٧﴾
لاَ تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ إِلَى مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجًا مِّنْهُمْ وَلاَ تَحْزَنْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَاخْفِضْ جَنَاحَكَ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٨٨﴾
And indeed, We have bestowed upon you seven of the Mathani, and the Grand Qur'an. Look not with your eyes ambitiously at what We have given to certain classes of them, nor grieve over them. And lower your wings to the believers.
Allah is saying to His Prophet:
Since We have given you the Grand Qur'an, then do not look at this world and its attractions, or the transient delights that we have given to its people in order to test them. Do not envy what they have in this world, and do not upset yourself with regret for their rejection of you and their opposition to your religion.
وَاخْفِضْ جَنَاحَكَ لِمَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
And lower your wings to the believers who follow you. (26:215) meaning - be gentle with them, like the Ayah,
لَقَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from among yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He is anxious for you, for the believers - he is full of pity, kind and merciful. (9:128)
There were some differences among the scholars over the meaning of "seven of the Mathani''.
Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn Umar, Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak and others said that;
they are the seven long (Surahs), meaning
There are texts to this effect reported from Ibn Abbas and Sa`id bin Jubayr.
"In them, Allah explains the obligations, the Hudud (legal limits), stories and rulings.''
Ibn Abbas said,
"He explains the parables, stories and lessons.''
The second opinion is that;
they (the seven of the Mathani) are Al-Fatihah, which is composed of seven Ayat.
This was reported from Ali, Umar, Ibn Mas`ud and Ibn Abbas.
Ibn Abbas said:
"The Bismillah, is completing seven Ayah, which Allah has given exclusively to you (Muslims).''
This is also the opinion of Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Abdullah bin Umayr, Ibn Abi Mulaykah, Shahr bin Hawshab, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Mujahid.
Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded two Hadiths on this topic. The first was recorded from Abu Sa`id bin Al-Mu`alla, who said:
"The Prophet passed by me while I was praying. He called out for me but I did not come until I finished my prayer. Then I came to him, and He asked,
مَا مَنَعَكَ أَنْ تَأْتِيَنِي؟
What stopped you from coming to me?
I said, `I was praying'.
He said, أَلَمْ يَقُلِ اللهُ Did not Allah say;
يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اسْتَجِيبُواْ لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ
O you who believe! Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he calls you... (8:24)
أَلَا أُعَلِّمُكَ أَعْظَمَ سُورَةٍ فِي الْقُرْآنِ قَبْلَ أَنْ أَخْرُجَ مِنَ الْمَسْجِد
Shall I not teach you the most magnificent Surah before I leave the Masjid!
Then the Prophet went to leave the Masjid, and I reminded him, so he said,
الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ
All praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists. (1:2)
هِيَ السَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِي وَالْقُرْآنُ الَّذِي أُوتِيتُه
This is the seven of the Mathani and the Qur'an which I have been given.''
The second Hadith was reported from Abu Hurayrah who said that the Messenger of Allah said:
أُمُّ الْقُرْآنِ هِيَ السَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِي وَالْقُرْآنُ الْعَظِيم
Umm Al-Qur'an (the Mother or the Essence of the Qur'an), is the seven Mathani, and the Grand Qur'an.
This means that Al-Fatihah is the seven Mathani and the Grand Qur'an, but this does not contradict the statement that the seven Mathani are the seven long Surahs, because they also share these attributes, as does the whole Qur'an.
As Allah says,
اللَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحْسَنَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَـباً مُّتَشَـبِهاً مَّثَانِيَ
Allah has sent down the best statement, a Book (this Qur'an), its parts resembling each other in goodness and truth, oft-recited. (39:23)
So it is oft-recited in one way, and its parts resemble one another in another way, and this is also the Grand Qur'an.
لاَ تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ إِلَى مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجًا مِّنْهُمْ ...
Look not with your eyes ambitiously at what We have given to certain classes of them.
meaning, be content with the Grand Qur'an that Allah has given to you, and do not long for the luxuries and transient delights that they have.
Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said:
لاَ تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ (Look not with your eyes ambitiously),
"He (in this Ayah) forbade a man to wish for what his companion has.''
... إِلَى مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجًا مِّنْهُمْ ...
at what We have given to certain classes of them,
"This refers to the rich.''
The Messenger is a Plain Warner
Allah commanded His Prophet to tell the people:
وَقُلْ إِنِّي أَنَا النَّذِيرُ الْمُبِينُ ﴿٨٩﴾
And say (O Muhammad): "I am indeed a plain warner."
coming to warn the people of a severe punishment that they will suffer if they reject him, as happened to those nations before them who disbelieved in their Messengers, upon whom Allah sent His punishment and vengeance.
In the two Sahihs it is reported from Abu Musa that the Prophet said:
إِنَّمَا مَثَلِي وَمَثَلُ مَا بَعَثَنِي اللهُ بِهِ كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ أَتَى قَوْمَهَ فَقَالَ:
يَا قَوْمِ إِنِّي رَأَيْتُ الْجَيْشَ بِعَيْنَيَّ، وَإِنِّي أَنَا النَّذِيرُ الْعُرْيَانُ فَالنَّجَاءَ النَّجَاءَ،
فَأَطَاعَهُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ قَوْمِهِ فَأَدْلَجُوا وَانْطَلَقُوا عَلَى مُهْلِهِمْ فَنَجَوْا،
وَكَذَّبَهُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْهُمْ فَأَصْبَحُوا مَكَانَهُمْ، فَصَبَّحَهُمُ الْجَيْشُ فَأَهْلَكَهُمْ وَاجْتَاحَهُمْ،
فَذَلِكَ مَثَلُ مَنْ أَطَاعَنِي وَاتَّبَعَ مَا جِئْتُ بِهِ وَمَثَلُ مَنْ عَصَانِي وَكَذَّبَ مَا جِئْتُ بِهِ مِنَ الْحَق
The parable of myself and that with which Allah has sent me is that of a man who came to his people and said,
`O people! I have seen the (invading) army with my own eyes, and I am a naked warner, so escape, escape!'
Some of his people obeyed him and set out at nightfall, setting off at a slow pace and managing to escape.
Others did not believe him and stayed where they were until the next morning when the (invading) army overtook them and destroyed them, wiping them out.
This is the parable of the one who obeys me and follows what I have brought, and the example of the one who disobeys me and rejects the truth that I have brought.
Explanation of "Al-Muqtasimin"
كَمَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَى المُقْتَسِمِينَ ﴿٩٠﴾
As We have sent down on the Muqtasimin (conspiring confederates),
المُقْتَسِمِينَ (the Muqtasimin) refers to those who had made a pact to oppose, deny, and insult the Prophets.
Similarly, Allah tells us about the people of Salih:
قَالُواْ تَقَاسَمُواْ بِاللَّهِ لَنُبَيِّتَنَّهُ وَأَهْلَهُ
They said, "Swear to one another (Taqasamu) by Allah that we shall make a secret night attack on him and his household.'' (27:49)
i.e., they plotted to kill him at night.
"Taqasamu means they swore an oath.''
وَأَقْسَمُواْ بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَـنِهِمْ لاَ يَبْعَثُ اللَّهُ مَن يَمُوتُ
And they swear by Allah with their strongest oaths, that Allah will not raise up one who dies. (16:38)
أَوَلَمْ تَكُونُواْ أَقْسَمْتُمْ مِّن قَبْلُ
(It will be said): "Did you not before swear that you would not leave (the world for the Hereafter)! (14:44)
أَهَـؤُلاءِ الَّذِينَ أَقْسَمْتُمْ لاَ يَنَالُهُمُ اللَّهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ
Are they those, of whom you swore that Allah would never show them mercy. (7:49)
It is as if they took an oath for every single thing that they denied in this world, so they are called the Muqtasimin.
Who have made the Qur'an into parts.
meaning, they have split up the Books that were revealed to them, believing in parts of them and rejecting parts of them.
الَّذِينَ جَعَلُوا الْقُرْآنَ عِضِينَ ﴿٩١﴾
Who have made the Qur'an into parts.
Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn Abbas said,
"They are the People of the Book, who divided the Book into parts, believing in some of it, and rejecting some of it.''
Some have said that Al-Mutaqasimin refers to the Quraysh, that the Qur'an means this Qur'an (as opposed to the Scriptures of the People of the Book), and that "made it into parts'' referred to what Ata' said that;
some of them said that he (the Prophet) was a sorcerer, some said he was crazy, or a soothsayer.
These various allegations were the parts.
This opinion was also reported from Ad-Dahhak and others.
Muhammad bin Ishaq reported from Ibn Abbas that;
Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah - holding a noble position among the people - rallied a group of Quraysh behind him when Al-Mawsim (the time for pilgrims to meet in Makkah for Hajj) had come. He said to them,
"O people of Quraysh! The time of Al-Mawsim has come, and delegations of Arabs will come to you during this time. They will have heard some things about this companion of yours (meaning the Prophet), so agree on one opinion, let there be no contradicting or denials of each other's sayings.''
They said, "And you, O Abu Abd Shams, give us an opinion and we will say that.''
He said, "No, you make the suggestions and I will listen.''
They said, "We say he is a soothsayer.''
He said, "He is not a soothsayer.''
They said, "We say he is crazy.''
He said, "He is not crazy.''
They said, "We say he is a poet.''
He said, "He is not a poet.''
They said, "We say he is a sorcerer.''
He said, "He is not a sorcerer.''
They said, "So what should we say?''
"By Allah, what he says is as palatable (to the average person) as something sweet, so you cannot say anything against it without it being obviously false. Therefore the most appropriate thing you can say is that he is a sorcerer.''
So they left having agreed upon that, and Allah revealed concerning them: الَّذِينَ جَعَلُوا الْقُرْآنَ عِضِينَ (Who have made the Qur'an into parts).
meaning, of different types, and
فَوَرَبِّكَ لَنَسْأَلَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِيْنَ ﴿٩٢﴾
عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٩٣﴾
So, by your Lord, We shall certainly call all of them to account. For all that they used to do!
Those were the group who said that about the Messenger of Allah.''
فَوَرَبِّكَ لَنَسْأَلَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِيْنَ
عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
So, by your Lord, We shall certainly call all of them to account. For all that they used to do.
Abu Jafar reported from Ar-Rabi` that Abu Al-Aliyah said,
"All the people will be asked about two things on the Day of Resurrection:
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said,
فَوَرَبِّكَ لَنَسْأَلَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِيْنَ
عَمَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
So, by your Lord, We shall certainly call all of them to account. For all that they used to do.
then he said:
فَيَوْمَئِذٍ لاَّ يُسْـَلُ عَن ذَنبِهِ إِنسٌ وَلاَ جَآنٌّ
So on that Day no question will be asked of man or Jinn as to his sin. (55:39)
"They will not be asked, `Did you do such and such!' Because Allah knows better than they do about that. But He will say, `Why did you do such and such!'''
The Command to proclaim the Truth openly
Allah commanded His Messenger:
فَاصْدَعْ بِمَا تُؤْمَرُ ...
Therefore openly proclaim what you have been commanded,
Allah commanded His Messenger to convey what He sent him with, to proclaim and spread the Message, which means confronting the idolators with it.
Ibn Abbas said that the Ayah, فَاصْدَعْ بِمَا تُؤْمَرُ (Therefore openly proclaim that what you have been commanded), means,
"Go ahead with it.''
According to another report it means,
افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ (Therefore proclaim that which you commanded).
"It is reciting the Qur'an aloud during prayer.''
Abu Ubaydah reported that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,
"The Prophet was still practicing and preaching Islam secretly until this Ayah was revealed: فَاصْدَعْ بِمَا تُؤْمَرُ (Therefore openly proclaim that which you are commanded), then he and his Companions came out into the open.''
The Command to turn away from the Idolators, and the Guarantee of Protection against the Mockers
... وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ﴿٩٤﴾
and turn away from idolators.
meaning - convey that which has been revealed to you by your Lord, and do not pay attention to the idolators who want to turn you away from the signs of Allah.
وَدُّواْ لَوْ تُدْهِنُ فَيُدْهِنُونَ
They wish that you should compromise for them, so that they would compromise for you. (68:9)
إِنَّا كَفَيْنَاكَ الْمُسْتَهْزِئِينَ ﴿٩٥﴾
Truly, We will suffice you against the mockers.
Do not fear them because Allah will suffice you against them, and He will protect you from them.
This is like the Ayah:
يَـأَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ
O Messenger! Proclaim that which has been revealed to you from your Lord. And if you do not do it, then you have not conveyed His Message. Allah will protect you from mankind. (5:67)
Muhammad bin Ishaq said:
"The great ones of the mockers were five people, who were elders and noblemen among their people.
According to what I heard, the Messenger of Allah had supplicated against him because of the pain and mockery he had suffered at his hands. He had said,
اللَّهُمَّ أَعِمْ بَصَرَهُ، وَأَثْكِلْهُ وَلَدَه
O Allah, make him blind and take (the life of) his son.
When their evil went to extremes and their mockery of the Messenger of Allah went too far, Allah revealed:
فَاصْدَعْ بِمَا تُؤْمَرُ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
إِنَّا كَفَيْنَاكَ الْمُسْتَهْزِئِينَ
الَّذِينَ يَجْعَلُونَ مَعَ اللّهِ إِلـهًا آخَرَ فَسَوْفَ يَعْمَلُونَ
Therefore openly proclaim that which you are commanded, and turn away from the idolators. Truly, We will suffice you against the mockers, who make another god along with Allah; but they will come to know.
Ibn Ishaq said:
Yazid bin Ruman told me that Urwah bin Az-Zubayr or one of the other scholars said that Jibril came to the Messenger of Allah when he was performing Tawaf around the House (the Ka`bah). He stood and the Messenger of Allah stood next to him.
الَّذِينَ يَجْعَلُونَ مَعَ اللّهِ إِلـهًا آخَرَ فَسَوْفَ يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٩٦﴾
Who make another god along with Allah; but they will come to know.
This is a strong warning and grave threat against those who have other deities along with Allah.
Encouragement to bear Difficulties, and the Command to glorify and worship Allah until Death
وَلَقَدْ نَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ يَضِيقُ صَدْرُكَ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ ﴿٩٧﴾
فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَكُن مِّنَ السَّاجِدِينَ ﴿٩٨﴾
Indeed, We know that your breast becomes tight because of what they say. So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him).
meaning `We know, O Muhammad, that you are distressed by their insults towards you, but do not let that weaken your resolve or cause you to give up conveying the Message of Allah. Put your trust in Him, for He will suffice you and will support you against them. Keep yourself busy with remembering Allah, praising Him, glorifying Him, and worshipping Him (which means Salah, or prayer)'
Hence Allah says: فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَكُن مِّنَ السَّاجِدِينَ (So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him).
Imam Ahmad reported from Nu`aym bin Hammar that he heard the Messenger of Allah say:
قَالَ اللهُ تَعَالَى
يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ لَا تَعْجَزْ عَنْ أَرْبَعِ رَكَعَاتٍ مِنْ أَوَّلِ النَّهَارِ أَكْفِكَ آخِرَه
"O son of Adam! It is not too difficult for you to perform four Rak`ah at the beginning of the day, (and if you do them,) I will take care of you until the end of it.''
وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ ﴿٩٩﴾
And worship your Lord until the certainty comes to you.
"Salim said, `(This means) death.'''
This Salim is Salim bin Abdullah bin Umar.
Ibn Jarir also recorded from Salim bin Abdullah, وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ (And worship your Lord until the Yaqin comes to you).
He said, "Death.''
It is reported in the Sahih from Umm Al-Ala' (one of the women of the Ansar) that when the Messenger of Allah entered upon Uthman bin Maz`un after he had died, Umm Al-Ala' said,
"May the mercy of Allah be upon you, Abu As-Sa`ib. My testimony over you is that Allah has honored you.''
The Messenger of Allah said,
وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ أَنَّ اللهَ أَكْرَمَهُ ؟
How do you know that Allah has honored him?
I said, "May my father and mother be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah! If not him, then who else?''
أَمَّا هُوَ فَقَدْ جَاءَهُ الْيَقِينُ، وَإِنِّي لَأَرْجُو لَهُ الْخَيْر
As far as he is concerned, the death has come to him, and I hope for good for him.
This is evidence that the meaning of this Ayah, وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ (And worship your Lord until the certainty comes to you),
is that acts of worship, such as prayer and the like, are obligatory on man so long as his mind is sound, so he should pray according to his best ability.
It was reported in Sahih Al-Bukhari from Imran bin Husayn that the Messenger of Allah said:
صَلِّ قَائِمًا، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَسْتَطِعْ فَقَاعِدًا، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَى جَنْب
Pray standing, and if you cannot, then sitting, and if you cannot, then on your side.
From this we may understand that it is a mistake to interpret Yaqin (the certainty) as Ma`rifah ("spiritual knowing'') as some of the Sufis do.
According to them, when one of them attains the level of Ma`rifah, they consider him to be free of these obligations.
This is disbelief, misguidance and ignorance.
The Prophets - peace be upon them - and their companions, were the most knowledgeable of people about Allah, about His rights, His attributes, and the glorification that He deserves. But at the same time, they were the people who worshipped Him the most, continuing in good deeds until the time they died.
Therefore, what is meant by Yaqin here is death, as we have stated above.
To Allah be praise and thanks. Praise be to Allah for His guidance. It is to Him that we turn for help and it is in Him that we put our trust. He is the One Whom we ask to help us to reach the best of circumstances, for He is the Most Generous and Kind.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Al-Hijr. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists.
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Zahid Javed Rana, Abid Javed Rana
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