بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Warning about the approach of the Hour
أَتَى أَمْرُ اللّهِ ...
The Event ordained by Allah has indeed come,
Allah is informing about the approach of the Hour in the past tense (in Arabic) in order to confirm that it will undoubtedly come to pass.
This is like the following Ayat, in which the verbs appear in the past tense in Arabic:
اقْتَرَبَ لِلنَّاسِ حِسَـبُهُمْ وَهُمْ فِى غَفْلَةٍ مُّعْرِضُونَ
Mankind's reckoning has drawn near them, while they turn away in heedlessness. (21:1)
اقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَانشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ
The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft. (54:1)
... فَلاَ تَسْتَعْجِلُوهُ ...
so do not seek to hasten it.
means, what was far is now near, so do not try to rush it. As Allah said,
وَيَسْتَعْجِلُونَكَ بِالْعَذَابِ وَلَوْلاَ أَجَلٌ مُّسَمًّى لَّجَآءَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَلَيَأْتِيَنَّهُمْ بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ
يَسْتَعْجِلُونَكَ بِالْعَذَابِ وَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ لَمُحِيطَةٌ بِالْكَـفِرِينَ
And they ask you to hasten the torment (for them), and had it not been for a term appointed, the torment would certainly have come to them. And surely, it will come upon them suddenly while they are unaware!
They ask you to hasten on the torment. And verily! Hell, of a surety, will encompass the disbelievers. (29:53-54)
Ibn Abi Hatim reported from Uqbah bin Amir that the Messenger of Allah said:
تَطْلُعُ عَلَيْكُمْ عِنْدَ السَّاعَةِ سَحَابَةٌ سَوْدَاءُ مِنَ الْمَغْرِبِ مِثْلَ التُّرْسِ، فَمَا تَزَالُ تَرْتَفِعُ فِي السَّمَاءِ ثُمَّ يُنَادِي مُنَادٍ فِيهَا: يَا أَيُّهَاالنَّاسُ
فَيُقْبِلُ النَّاسُ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ: هَلْ سَمِعْتُمْ،
فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَقُولُ: نَعَمْ، وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَشُكُّ،
ثُمَّ يُنَادِي الثَّانِيَةَ: يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ
فَيَقُولُ النَّاسُ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ: هَلْ سَمِعْتُمْ،
ثُمَّ يُنَادِي الثَّالِثَةَ: يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ
أَتَى أَمْرُ اللهِ فَلَا تَسْتَعْجِلُوه
When the Hour approaches, a black cloud resembling a shield will emerge upon from the west. It will continue rising in the sky, then a voice will call out, `O mankind!'
The people will say to one another, `Did you hear that!'
Some will say, `yes', but others will doubt it.
Then a second call will come, `O mankind!'
The people will say to one another, `Did you hear that!'
And they will say, `Yes.'
Then a third call will come, `O mankind!'
The Event ordained by Allah has indeed come, so do not seek to hasten it.'
The Messenger of Allah said:
فَوَ الَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، إِنَّ الرَّجُلَيْنِ لَيَنْشُرَانِ الثَّوبَ فَمَا يَطْوِيَانِهِ أَبَدًا،
وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَمُدَّنَّ حَوْضَهُ فَمَا يَسْقِي فِيهِ شَيْئًا أَبَدًا،
وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَحْلُبُ نَاقَتَهُ فَمَا يَشْرِبُهُ أَبَدًا
قَالَ وَيَشْتَغِلُ النَّاس
"By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, two men will spread out a cloth, but will never refold it;
a man will prepare his trough, but will never water his animals from it;
and a man will milk his camel, but will never drink the milk.''
Then he said, "The people will be distracted.''
Then Allah tells us that He is free from their allegations of partners to their worship of idols, and making equals for Him. Glorified and exalted be He far above that. These are the people who deny the Hour, so He says:
... سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ ﴿١﴾
Glorified and Exalted be He above all that they associate as partners with Him.
Allah sends Whomever He wills with the Message of Tawhid
يُنَزِّلُ الْمَلآئِكَةَ بِالْرُّوحِ ...
He sends down the angels with the Ruh,
refers to the revelation. This is like the Ayat:
وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ رُوحاً مِّنْ أَمْرِنَا مَا كُنتَ تَدْرِى مَا الْكِتَـبُ وَلاَ الإِيمَـنُ وَلَـكِن جَعَلْنَـهُ نُوراً نَّهْدِى بِهِ مَن نَّشَآءُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا
And thus We have sent to you a Ruh (revelation) by Our command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is the faith. But We have made it a light by which We guide whomever We will among Our servants. (43:52)
... مِنْ أَمْرِهِ عَلَى مَن يَشَاء مِنْ عِبَادِهِ ...
to those servants of His whom He wills,
meaning the Prophets, as Allah says:
اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ
Allah best knows where to place His Message. (6:124)
اللَّهُ يَصْطَفِى مِنَ الْمَلَـئِكَةِ رُسُلاً وَمِنَ النَّاسِ
Allah chooses Messengers from angels and from men. (22:75)
رَفِيعُ الدَّرَجَـتِ ذُو الْعَرْشِ يُلْقِى الرُّوحَ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ عَلَى مَن يَشَآءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ لِيُنذِرَ يَوْمَ التَّلاَقِ
يَوْمَ هُم بَـرِزُونَ لاَ يَخْفَى عَلَى اللَّهِ مِنْهُمْ شَىْءٌ لِّمَنِ الْمُلْكُ الْيَوْمَ لِلَّهِ الْوَحِدِ الْقَهَّارِ
He sends the Ruh (revelation) by His command to whoever among His servants He wills to, that he may warn of the Day of Meeting.
The Day when they will (all) come out, nothing about them will be hidden from Allah. Whose is the kingdom this Day: It is Allah's, the One, the Irresistible! (40:15-16)
... أَنْ أَنذِرُواْ ...
meaning that they should alert them.
... أَنَّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنَاْ فَاتَّقُونِ ﴿٢﴾
that none has the right to be worshipped but I, so have Taqwa of Me.
means, `fear My punishment, if you go against My commands and worship anything other than Me.'
Allah is the One Who has created the Heavens, the Earth, and Man
خلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ بِالْحَقِّ ...
He has created the heavens and the earth with truth.
Allah tells us about His creation of the upper realm, which is the heavens, and the lower realm, which is the earth, and everything in them. They have been created for a true purpose, not in vain, so that
لِيَجْزِىَ الَّذِينَ أَسَاءُواْ بِمَا عَمِلُواْ وَيِجْزِى الَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُواْ بِالْحُسْنَى
He may requite those who do evil with that which they have done (i.e. punish them in Hell), and reward those who do good, with what is best (i.e. Paradise). (53:31)
... تَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ ﴿٣﴾
High is He, Exalted above all that they associate as partners with Him.
He declares Himself to be above the Shirk of those who worship others besides Him.
He is independent of His creation, alone with no partner or associate. For this reason He deserves to be worshipped Alone, without partners.
خَلَقَ الإِنسَانَ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٤﴾
He has created man from a Nutfah, then behold, this same (man) becomes an open opponent.
Allah mentions how man has been created from a Nutfah, i.e., something that is insignificant, weak and has no value - but when man becomes independent and is able to fend for himself - then he begins to dispute with his Lord, may He be exalted, and disbelieves in Him and fights His Messengers.
But man was created to be a servant, not an opponent, as Allah says:
وَهُوَ الَّذِى خَلَقَ مِنَ الْمَآءِ بَشَراً فَجَعَلَهُ نَسَباً وَصِهْراً وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ قَدِيراً
وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لاَ يَنفَعُهُمْ وَلاَ يَضُرُّهُمْ وَكَانَ الْكَـفِرُ عَلَى رَبِّهِ ظَهِيراً
And it is He Who has created man from water, and gave him descendants, and made Him kindred by marriage, and your Lord is capable (of all things).
And they worship besides Allah, that which can neither profit them nor harm them; and the disbeliever is ever a helper (of Shaytan) against his Lord. (25: 54-55)
أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الإِنسَـنُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَـهُ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ مٌّبِينٌ
وَضَرَبَ لَنَا مَثَلاً وَنَسِىَ خَلْقَهُ قَالَ مَن يُحىِ الْعِظَـمَ وَهِىَ رَمِيمٌ
قُلْ يُحْيِيهَا الَّذِى أَنشَأَهَآ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ خَلْقٍ عَلِيمٌ
Does not man see that We have created him from Nutfah. Yet, behold he stands as an open opponent. And he puts forth for Us a parable, and forgets his own creation.
He says: "Who will give life to these bones after they are rotten and have become dust''
Say: "He will give life to them Who created them the first time! And He is the knower of every creature!'' (36:77-79)
Imam Ahmad and Ibn Majah reported that Busr bin Jahhash said:
"The Messenger of Allah spat in his palm, then he said,
يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى: ابْنَ آدَمَ أَنَّى تُعْجِزُنِي وَقَدْ خَلَقْتُكَ مِنْ مِثْلِ هَذِهِ، حَتَّى إِذَا سَوَّيْتُكَ فَعَدَلْتُكَ مَشَيْتَ بَيْنَ بُرْدَيْكَ وَلِلْأَرْضِ مِنْكَ وَئِيدٌ،
فَجَمَعْتَ وَمَنَعْتَ حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَتِ الْحُلْقُومَ قُلْتَ: أَتَصَدَّقُ، وَأَنَّى أَوَانُ الصَّدَقَة
Allah, may He be exalted, says:
"O son of Adam, how could you be more powerful than I when I have created you from something like this, and when I have fashioned you perfectly and made you complete, you walk wearing your two garments and the earth makes a sound (beneath your feet).
You collect money but do not give anything to anyone, then when the soul of a dying person reaches the throat, you say, `I want to give in charity', but it is too late for charity.''
The Cattle are part of the Creation of Allah and a Blessing from Him
وَالأَنْعَامَ خَلَقَهَا لَكُمْ فِيهَا دِفْءٌ وَمَنَافِعُ وَمِنْهَا تَأْكُلُونَ ﴿٥﴾
And the cattle, He has created them for you; in them there is warmth (warm clothing), and numerous benefits, and you eat from them.
Allah reminds His servants of the blessing in His creation of An`am, this term includes camels, cows and sheep, as was explained in detail in Surah Al-An`am where the "eight pairs'' are mentioned.
The blessings include the benefits derived from their wool and hair, from which clothes and furnishings are made, from their milk which is drunk, and their young which are eaten.
Ibn Abbas said,
لَكُمْ فِيهَا دِفْءٌ (In them there is warmth), refers to clothing;
وَمَنَافِعُ (and numerous benefits), refers to the ways in which they derive the benefits of food and drink from them.''
Their beauty is a kind of adornment, thus Allah says,
وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا جَمَالٌ حِينَ تُرِيحُونَ .. .
And there is beauty in them for you, when you bring them home in the evening.
which is when they are brought back from the pasture in the evening.
This is a reference to how their flanks become fat, their udders fill with milk and their humps become bigger.
... وَحِينَ تَسْرَحُونَ ﴿٦﴾
and as you lead them forth to pasture (in the morning).
meaning when you send them out to the pasture in the morning.
وَتَحْمِلُ أَثْقَالَكُمْ ...
And they carry your loads,
meaning the heavy burdens that you cannot move or carry by yourselves,
... إِلَى بَلَدٍ لَّمْ تَكُونُواْ بَالِغِيهِ إِلاَّ بِشِقِّ الأَنفُسِ ...
to a land that you could not reach except with great trouble to yourselves,
meaning journeys for Hajj, Umrah, military campaigns, and journeys for the purpose of trading, and so on. They use these animals for all kinds of purposes, for riding and for carrying loads, as Allah says:
وَإِنَّ لَكُمْ فِى الاٌّنْعَـمِ لَعِبْرَةً نُّسْقِيكُمْ مِّمَّا فِى بُطُونِهَا وَلَكُمْ فيِهَا مَنَـفِعُ كَثِيرَةٌ وَمِنْهَا تَأْكُلُونَ - وَعَلَيْهَا وَعَلَى الْفُلْكِ تُحْمَلُونَ
And verily, there is indeed a lesson for you in the An'am (cattle). We give you to drink (milk) of that which is in their bellies. And there are numerous (other) benefits in them for you. Of them you eat, and on them and on ships you are carried. (23:21-22)
اللَّهُ الَّذِى جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الاٌّنْعَـمَ لِتَرْكَـبُواْ مِنْهَا وَمِنْهَا تَأْكُلُونَ - وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَنَـفِعُ وَلِتَـبْلُغُواْ عَلَيْهَا حَاجَةً فِى صُدُورِكُمْ وَعَلَيْهَا وَعَلَى الْفُلْكِ تُحْمَلُونَ
وَيُرِيكُمْ ءَايَـتِهِ فَأَىَّ ءَايَـتِ اللَّهِ تُنكِرُونَ
Allah, it is He Who has made cattle for you, so that some you may ride, and some you may eat. And you find (many other) benefits in them; you may reach by their means a desire that is in your breasts (i.e. carry your goods, loads), and on them and on ships you are carried. And He shows you His Ayat.
Which, then of the Ayat of Allah do you deny! (40:79-81)
Thus here Allah says, after enumerating these blessings,
... إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرَؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿٧﴾
Truly, your Lord is full of kindness, Most Merciful.
meaning, your Lord is the One Who has subjugated the An`am (cattle) to you. This is like the Ayat:
أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَا لَهُم مِمَّا عَمِلَتْ أَيْدِينَآ أَنْعـماً فَهُمْ لَهَا مَـلِكُونَ - وَذَلَّلْنَـهَا لَهُمْ فَمِنْهَا رَكُوبُهُمْ وَمِنْهَا يَأْكُلُونَ
Do they not see, that of what Our Hands have created, We created the An'am (cattle) for them, so that they may own them, and We subdued them so that they may ride some and they may eat some. (36:71-72)
وَالَّذِى خَلَقَ الأَزْوَجَ كُلَّهَا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِّنَ الْفُلْكِ وَالاٌّنْعَـمِ مَا تَرْكَبُونَ
لِتَسْتَوُواْ عَلَى ظُهُورِهِ ثُمَّ تَذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ رَبِّكُمْ إِذَا اسْتَوَيْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ وَتَقُولُواْ سُبْحَـنَ الَّذِى سَخَّرَ لَنَا هَـذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقْرِنِينَ - وَإِنَّآ إِلَى رَبِّنَا لَمُنقَلِبُونَ
And He made mounts for you out of ships and cattle. In order that you may ride on their backs, and may then remember the favor of your Lord when you mount upon them, and say:
"Glory be to the One Who subjected this to us, and we could never have it (by our efforts). And verily, to Our Lord we indeed are to return!'' (43:12-14)
وَالْخَيْلَ وَالْبِغَالَ وَالْحَمِيرَ لِتَرْكَبُوهَا وَزِينَةً وَيَخْلُقُ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٨﴾
And (He has created) horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride, and as an adornment. And He creates (other) things of which you have no knowledge.
This refers to another category of animals that Allah has created as a blessing for His servants; horses, mules and donkeys, all of which He made for riding and adornment. This is the main purpose for which these animals were created.
It was reported in the Two Sahihs that Jabir bin Abdullah said:
"The Messenger of Allah forbade us to eat the meat of domestic donkeys, but he allowed us to eat the meat of horses.''
Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud reported with two chains of narration, each of which meet the conditions of Muslim, that Jabir said:
"On the day of Khyber we slaughtered horses, mules and donkeys. The Messenger of Allah forbade us from eating the mules and donkeys, but he did not forbid us from eating the horses.''
According to Sahih Muslim, Asma' bint Abi Bakr (may Allah be pleased with them both) said:
"At the time of the Messenger of Allah we slaughtered a horse and ate it when we were in Al-Madinah.''
Explanation of the Different Religious Paths
When Allah mentioned the animals which may be used for the purpose of physical journeys, He also referred to the moral, religious routes that people may follow. Often in the Qur'an there is a shift from physical or tangible things to beneficial spiritual and religious matters, as when Allah says,
وَتَزَوَّدُواْ فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى
And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is Taqwa (piety, righteousness). (2:197)
يَـبَنِى آدَمَ قَدْ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ لِبَاسًا يُوَرِى سَوْءَتِكُمْ وَرِيشًا وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَى ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ
O Children of Adam! We have granted clothing for you to cover yourselves, as well as for adornment; but the raiment of righteousness, that is better. (7:26)
Since Allah mentioned cattle and other such animals in this Surah, all of which are ridden or can be used in any way necessary, carrying people's necessities for them to distant places and on difficult journeys - then He mentions the ways which people follow to try to reach Him, and explains that the right way is the one that does reach Him.
وَعَلَى اللّهِ قَصْدُ السَّبِيلِ ...
And it is up to Allah to show the right way.
This is like the Ayat,
وَأَنَّ هَـذَا صِرَطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ
And verily, this is My straight path, so follow it, and do not follow the (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His path. (6:153)
قَالَ هَذَا صِرَطٌ عَلَىَّ مُسْتَقِيمٌ
(Allah) said: "This is the way which will lead straight to Me.'' (15:41)
وَعَلَى اللّهِ قَصْدُ السَّبِيلِ
And it is up to Allah to show the right way.
Mujahid said: "The true way is up to Allah.''
Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas said: "It is up to Allah to clarify, to explain the guidance and misguidance.''
This was also reported by Ali bin Abi Talhah, and was also the opinion of Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak.
Hence Allah said:
... وَمِنْهَا جَآئِرٌ ...
But there are ways that stray.
meaning they deviate from the truth.
Ibn Abbas and others said: "These are the different ways,''
and various opinions and whims, such as Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism.
Ibn Mas`ud recited it as وَمِنْكُمْ جَآئِرٌ,"But among you are those who stray.''
Then Allah tells us that all of that happens by His will and decree. He says:
... وَلَوْ شَاء لَهَدَاكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿٩﴾
And had He willed, He would have guided you all.
And Allah says:
وَلَوْ شَآءَ رَبُّكَ لآمَنَ مَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ كُلُّهُمْ جَمِيعًا
If your Lord had willed, then all who are in the earth would have believed. (10:99)
وَلَوْ شَآءَ رَبُّكَ لَجَعَلَ النَّاسَ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلاَ يَزَالُونَ مُخْتَلِفِينَ
إِلاَّ مَن رَّحِمَ رَبُّكَ وَلِذلِكَ خَلَقَهُمْ وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَةُ رَبّكَ لاَمْلاَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ
And if your Lord had so willed, He could surely, have made humanity one Ummah, but they will not stop disagreeing. Except those for whom your Lord has granted mercy. And it is for this that He did create them; and the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled (i.e. His saying):
"Surely, I shall fill Hell with Jinn and men all together.'' (11:118-119)
The Blessings of Rain, and explaining how it is one of the Signs
هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء ...
He it is Who sends water down from the sky;
When Allah mentions the blessings of cattle and other animals that He has granted mankind, He then mentions how He has blessed them by sending rain down from the sky above, which has been fulfilling the needs and bringing joy to people and their cattle.
... لَّكُم مِّنْهُ شَرَابٌ ...
from it you drink,
meaning, He made it fresh and pure so that they can drink it, not salty and undrinkable.
... وَمِنْهُ شَجَرٌ فِيهِ تُسِيمُونَ ﴿١٠﴾
and from it (grows) the vegetation on which you send your cattle to pasture.
meaning, from it He raised plants on which your cattle graze.
Ibn Abbas, Ikrimah, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd, all said that;
this refers to grazing animals including camels.
يُنبِتُ لَكُم بِهِ الزَّرْعَ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالنَّخِيلَ وَالأَعْنَابَ وَمِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ ...
With it He causes crops to grow for you, olives, date palms, grapes, and every kind of fruit.
meaning, with this one kind of water, He makes the earth sprout plants with different tastes, colors, scents and shapes.
For this reason He says,
... إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿١١﴾
Verily, in this there is indeed an evident proof and a manifest sign for people who give thought.
meaning, this is a sign and a proof that there is no god besides Allah, as He says:
أَمَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ وَأَنزَلَ لَكُمْ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَأَنبَتْنَا بِهِ حَدَآئِقَ ذَاتَ بَهْجَةٍ مَّا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَن تُنبِتُواْ شَجَرَهَا أَإِلَـهٌ مَّعَ اللَّهِ بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ يَعْدِلُونَ
Is not He (better than your gods) Who created the heavens and the earth, and sends water down for you from the sky, from which We cause wonderful gardens full of beauty and delight to grow! You are not able to cause the growth of their trees.Is there any ilah (god) with Allah!
Nay, but they are a people who make equals (to Him)! (27:60)
Signs in the Subjection of Night and Day, the Sun and the Moon, and in that which grows on Earth
وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ وَالْنَّهَارَ وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالْنُّجُومُ مُسَخَّرَاتٌ بِأَمْرِهِ ...
And He has subjected the night and the day for you, and the sun and the moon; and the stars are subjected by His command.
Allah mentions the mighty signs and immense blessings to be found in His subjection of night and day, which follow one another;
the sun and moon, which revolve;
the stars, both fixed and moving through the skies, offering light by which people may find their way in the darkness.
Each of (these heavenly bodies) travels in its own orbit, which Allah has ordained for it, and travels in the manner prescribed for it, without deviating in any way.
All of them are under His subjugation, His control and His decree, as Allah says:
إِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِى خَلَقَ السَمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ يُغْشِى الَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومَ مُسَخَّرَتٍ بِأَمْرِهِ أَلاَ لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالاٌّمْرُ تَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَـلَمِينَ
Indeed, your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He rose (Istawa) over the Throne. He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars (all) subjected to His command. Surely, His is the creation and commandment.
Blessed is Allah, the Lord of all that exists! (7:54)
Thus Allah says;
... إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ ﴿١٢﴾
Surely, in this are proofs for people who understand.
meaning, they are indications of His immense power and might, for those who think about Allah and understand His signs.
وَمَا ذَرَأَ لَكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُخْتَلِفًا أَلْوَانُهُ ...
And whatsoever He has created of varying colors on the earth for you.
When Allah points out the features of the skies, He also points out the wondrous things that He has created on earth, the variety of its animals, minerals, plants and inanimate features, all having different colors and shapes, benefits and qualities.
... إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَذَّكَّرُونَ ﴿١٣﴾
Verily, in this is a sign for people who reflect.
meaning (those who remember) the blessings of Allah and give thanks to Him for them.
Signs in the Oceans, Mountains, Rivers, Roads and Stars
And He it is Who subjected the sea (to you), that you may eat from the fresh tender meat, and that you bring forth out of it ornaments to wear. And you see the ships plowing through it,
Allah tells us how He has subjected the seas, with their waves lapping the shores, and how He blesses His servants by subjecting the seas for them so that they may travel on them, and by putting fish and whales in them, by making their flesh permissible to eat - whether they are caught alive or dead - at all times, including when people are in a state of Ihram.
He has created pearls and precious jewels in the oceans, and made it easy for His servants to recover ornaments that they can wear from the ocean floor.
He made the sea such that it carries the ships which plow through it. He is the One Who taught mankind to make ships, which is the inheritance of their forefather Nuh. He was the first one to travel by ship, he was taught how to make them, then people took this knowledge from him and passed it down from generation to generation through the centuries, so that they could travel from country to country and from place to place, bringing goods from here to there and from there to here.
Thus Allah says:
... وَلِتَبْتَغُواْ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ﴿١٤﴾
that you may seek from His bounty and that you may perhaps be grateful.
for His bounty and blessings.
وَأَلْقَى فِي الأَرْضِ رَوَاسِيَ أَن تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ ...
And He has driven firm standing mountains into the earth, lest it should shake with you;
Allah mentions the earth and how He placed in it mountains standing firm, which make it stable and keep it from shaking in such a manner that the creatures dwelling on it would not be able to live. Hence Allah says,
And the mountains He has fixed firmly. (79: 32)
... وَأَنْهَارًا وَسُبُلاً ...
and rivers and roads,
meaning He has made rivers which flow from one place to another, bringing provision for His servants.
The rivers arise in one place, and bring provision to people living in another place. They flow through lands and fields and wildernesses, through mountains and hills, until they reach the land whose people they are meant to benefit. They meander across the land, left and right, north and south, east and west - rivers great and small - flowing sometimes and ceasing sometimes, flowing from their sources to the places where the water gathers, flowing rapidly or moving slowly, as decreed by Allah. There is no god besides Him and no Lord except Him.
He also made roads or routes along which people travel from one land or city to another, and He even made gaps in the mountains so that there would be routes between them, as He says:
وَجَعَلْنَا فِيهَا فِجَاجاً سُبُلاً
And We placed broad highways for them to pass through. (21:31)
... لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ ﴿١٥﴾
that you may guide yourselves.
meaning, signs like great mountains and small hills, and so on, things that land and sea travelers use to find their way if they get lost.
... وَبِالنَّجْمِ هُمْ يَهْتَدُونَ ﴿١٦﴾
and by the stars (during the night), they (mankind) guide themselves.
meaning, in the darkness of the night. This was the opinion of Ibn Abbas.
Worship is Allah's Right
Then Allah tells us of His greatness, and that worship should be directed to Him alone, not to any of the idols which do not create but are rather themselves created. Thus He says,
أَفَمَن يَخْلُقُ كَمَن لاَّ يَخْلُقُ أَفَلا تَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿١٧﴾
Is then He, Who creates, the same as one who does not create! Will you not then reflect!
Then He shows His servants some of the many blessings He granted for them, and the many kinds of things that He has done for them.
وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعْمَةَ اللّهِ لاَ تُحْصُوهَا إِنَّ اللّهَ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿١٨﴾
And if you would try to count the favors of Allah, you would never be able to count them. Truly, Allah is Forgiving, Most Merciful.
meaning that He pardons and forgives them. If He were to ask you to thank Him for all of His blessings, you would not be able to do so, and if He were to command you to do so, you would be incapable of it. If He punishes you, He is never unjust in His punishment, but He is Forgiving and Most Merciful, He forgives much and rewards for little.
Ibn Jarir said:
"It means that Allah is Forgiving when you fail to thank Him properly, if you repent and turn to Him in obedience, and strive to do that which pleases Him. He is Merciful to you and does not punish you if you turn to Him and repent.''
وَاللّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُسِرُّونَ وَمَا تُعْلِنُونَ ﴿١٩﴾
And Allah knows what you conceal and what you reveal.
Allah tells us that He knows what is hidden in people's hearts as well as what is apparent. He will reward or punish everyone for their deeds on the Day of Resurrection. If their deeds are good then they will be rewarded, and if their deeds are evil, then they will be punished.
The gods of the Idolators are Created, they do not create
Then Allah tells:
وَالَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ لاَ يَخْلُقُونَ شَيْئًا وَهُمْ يُخْلَقُونَ ﴿٢٠﴾
Those whom they invoke besides Allah have not created anything, but are themselves created.
Allah tells that the idols which people call on instead of Him cannot create anything, they are themselves created, as Al-Khalil (Ibrahim) said:
قَالَ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مَا تَنْحِتُونَ - وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
"Do you worship that which you (yourselves) carve, while Allah has created you and what you make!'' (37:-96)
أَمْواتٌ غَيْرُ أَحْيَاء ...
(They are) dead, not alive,
means, they are inanimate and lifeless, they do not hear, see, or think.
... وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبْعَثُونَ ﴿٢١﴾
and they know not when they will be resurrected.
meaning, they do not know when the Hour will come, so how can anyone hope for any benefit or reward from these idols! They should hope for it from the One Who knows all things and is the Creator of all things.
None is to be worshipped except Allah
إِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ ...
Your god is one God.
Allah tells that there is none to be worshipped besides Him, the One, the Unique, the Lone, the Self-Sufficient.
... فَالَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالآخِرَةِ قُلُوبُهُم مُّنكِرَةٌ ...
But for those who believe not in the Hereafter, their hearts are in denial,
and He tells that the hearts of the disbelievers deny that and are astonished by that:
أَجَعَلَ الاٌّلِهَةَ إِلَـهاً وَحِداً إِنَّ هَـذَا لَشَىْءٌ عُجَابٌ
"Has he made the gods (all) into One God! Verily, this is a curious thing!'' (38:5)
وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ اشْمَأَزَّتْ قُلُوبُ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالاٌّخِرَةِ وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ الَّذِينَ مِن دُونِهِ إِذَا هُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ
And when Allah alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter are filled with disgust, and when those besides Him are mentioned, behold, they rejoice! (39:45)
... وَهُم مُّسْتَكْبِرُونَ ﴿٢٢﴾
and they are proud.
meaning they are too proud to worship Allah, and their hearts reject the idea of singling Him out, as Allah says:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِى سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَخِرِينَ
Verily! Those who scorn My worship they will surely enter Hell in humiliation! (40:60)
So here, Allah says;
لاَ جَرَمَ ...
... أَنَّ اللّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ ...
Allah knows what they conceal and what they reveal.
meaning He will requite them for that in full.
... إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُسْتَكْبِرِينَ ﴿٢٣﴾
Truly, He does not like the proud.
The Destruction of the Disbelievers and Intensification of their Punishment for rejecting the Revelation
And when it is said to them:
Allah informs us that when it is said to those liars,
... مَّاذَا أَنزَلَ رَبُّكُمْ قَالُواْ ...
"What is it that your Lord has revealed!'' They say,
not wanting to answer,
... أَسَاطِيرُ الأَوَّلِينَ ﴿٢٤﴾
"Tales of the men of old!''
meaning nothing is revealed to him, what he is reciting to us is just tales of the men of old, taken from the previous Books.
As Allah says,
وَقَالُواْ أَسَـطِيرُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ اكْتَتَبَهَا فَهِىَ تُمْلَى عَلَيْهِ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلاً
And they say: "Tales of the ancients, which he has written down, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon.'' (25:5)
i.e., they tell lies against the Messenger and say things contradicting one another, but all of it is false, as Allah says,
انْظُرْ كَيْفَ ضَرَبُواْ لَكَ الاٌّمْثَالَ فَضَلُّواْ فَلاَ يَسْتَطِيعْونَ سَبِيلاً
Look at the parables they make of you, so they have gone astray, and they are not able to find the right way. (17:48)
Once they have gone beyond the bounds of the truth, whatever they say will be in error. They used to say that he (the Prophet) was a sorcerer, a poet, a soothsayer, or a madman, then they settled on an idea proposed by their leader, an individual known as Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah Al-Makhzumi, when:
إِنَّهُ فَكَّرَ وَقَدَّرَ - فَقُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ - ثُمَّ قُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ - ثُمَّ نَظَرَ - ثُمَّ عَبَسَ وَبَسَرَ - ثُمَّ أَدْبَرَ وَاسْتَكْبَرَ - فَقَالَ إِنْ هَـذَآ إِلاَّ سِحْرٌ يُؤْثَرُ
He thought, and plotted. So let him be cursed, how he plotted! And once more let him be cursed, how he plotted! Then he thought. Then he frowned and he looked in a bad tempered way; then he turned back, and was proud. Then he said: "This is nothing but the magic of old.'' (74:18-24)
meaning something that had been transmitted and passed down. So they dispersed having agreed on this opinion, may Allah punish them. As Allah says,
They will bear their own burdens in full on the Day of Resurrection, and also of the burdens of those whom they misled without knowledge.
meaning, `We decreed that they would say that, so they will carry the burden of their own sins and some of the burden of those who followed them and agreed with them,' i.e., they will be held guilty not only for going astray themselves, but also for tempting others and having them follow them.
As it says in a Hadith:
مَنْ دَعَا إِلَى هُدًى كَانَ لَهُ مِنَ الْأَجْرِ مِثْلُ أُجُورِ مَنِ اتَّبَعَهُ، لَا يَنْقُصُ ذَلِكَ مِنْ أُجُورِهِمْ شَيْئًا، وَمَنْ دَعَا إِلَى ضَلَالَةٍ كَانَ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الْإِثْمِ مِثْلُ آثَامِ مَنِ اتَّبَعَهُ، لَا يَنْقُصُ ذَلِكَ مِنْ آثَامِهِمْ شَيْئًا
Whoever invites people to guidance, he will receive a reward like that of those who follow him, without diminishing their reward in the least. And whoever invites people to misguidance, he will bear a burden of sin like that of those who follow him, without diminishing their burden in the least.
وَلَيَحْمِلُنَّ أَثْقَالَهُمْ وَأَثْقَالاً مَّعَ أَثْقَالِهِمْ وَلَيُسْـَلُنَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ عَمَّا كَانُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ
They shall bear their own loads, and other loads besides their own; and they shall be questioned about their false allegations on the Day of Resurrection. (29:13)
Al-Awfi reported from Ibn Abbas that it is like the Ayah:
لِيَحْمِلُواْ أَوْزَارَهُمْ كَامِلَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَمِنْ أَوْزَارِ الَّذِينَ يُضِلُّونَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ
That they may bear their own burdens in full on the Day of Resurrection, and also of the burdens of those whom they misled without knowledge. (16:25)
وَلَيَحْمِلُنَّ أَثْقَالَهُمْ وَأَثْقَالاً مَّعَ أَثْقَالِهِمْ
They shall bear their own loads, and other loads besides their own. (29:13)
"They will bear the burden of their own sins, and they will bear the sins of those who obeyed them, but that will not lessen the punishment of those who obeyed them at all.''
And Allah says here;
... أَلاَ سَاء مَا يَزِرُونَ ﴿٢٥﴾
Evil indeed is that which they shall bear!
Discussion about what the previous Peoples did, and what was done to Them
قَدْْ مَكَرَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ...
Those before them indeed plotted,
Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said: "This refers to Namrud (Nimrod), who built the tower.''
Others said that it refers to Bukhtanassar (Nebuchadnezzar).
The correct view is that this is said by way of example, to refute what was done by those who disbelieved in Allah and associated others in worship with Him. As Nuh said,
وَمَكَرُواْ مَكْراً كُبَّاراً
"And they have hatched a mighty scheme.'' (71:22)
meaning, they used all sorts of ploys to misguide their people, and tempted them to join them in their Shirk via all possible means. On the Day of Resurrection their followers will say to them:
بَلْ مَكْرُ الَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ إِذْ تَأْمُرُونَنَآ أَن نَّكْفُرَ بِاللَّهِ وَنَجْعَلَ لَهُ أَندَاداً
"Nay, but it was your plotting by night and day, when you ordered us to disbelieve in Allah and set up rivals to Him!'' (34:33)
... فَأَتَى اللّهُ بُنْيَانَهُم مِّنَ الْقَوَاعِدِ ...
but Allah struck at the foundation of their building.
meaning, He uprooted it and brought their efforts to naught. This is like the Ayah:
كُلَّمَآ أَوْقَدُواْ نَاراً لِّلْحَرْبِ أَطْفَأَهَا اللَّهُ
Every time they kindled the fire of war, Allah extinguished it. (5:64)
فَأَتَـهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَمْ يَحْتَسِبُواْ وَقَذَفَ فِى قُلُوبِهِمُ الرُّعْبَ يُخْرِبُونَ بُيُوتَهُمْ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَيْدِى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَاعْتَبِرُواْ يأُوْلِى الاٌّبْصَـرِ
But Allah's (torment) reached them from a place where they were not expecting it, and He cast terror into their hearts so that they destroyed their own dwellings with their own hands and the hands of the believers. So then take admonition, O you with eyes (to see). (59:2)
Allah says here:
...فَأَتَى اللّهُ بُنْيَانَهُم مِّنَ الْقَوَاعِدِ فَخَرَّ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّقْفُ مِن فَوْقِهِمْ وَأَتَاهُمُ الْعَذَابُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ ﴿٢٦﴾
Then, on the Day of Resurrection, He will disgrace them.
meaning, He will expose their scandalous deeds and what they used to hide in their hearts, and He will bring it out in the open. As He says,
يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَآئِرُ
The Day when all the secrets will be (exposed and) examined. (86:9)
They will be displayed and made known, as found in the Two Sahihs, where Ibn Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah said:
يُنْصَبُ لِكُلِّ غَادِرٍ لِوَاءٌ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عِنْدَ اسْتِهِ بِقَدْرِ غَدْرَتِهِ، فَيُقَالُ: هَذِهِ غَدْرَةُ فُلَانِ ابْنِ فُلَان
On the Day of Resurrection a banner will be set up by his backside for every deceitful person, (whose size is) in accordance with the amount of his deceit. It be said, "This is the one who deceived so-and-so, the son of so-and-so.''
Thus, what they used to plot in secret will be made public. Allah will humiliate them before all of His creation, and the Lord will say to them, in rebuke and reprimand;
... وَيَقُولُ أَيْنَ شُرَكَآئِيَ الَّذِينَ كُنتُمْ تُشَاقُّونَ فِيهِمْ ...
and will say: "Where are My (so-called) partners, those over which you caused so much discord!"
meaning, you fought and made enemies for their sake, so where are they now to help and save you!
هَلْ يَنصُرُونَكُمْ أَوْ يَنتَصِرُونَ
Can they help you or (even) help themselves! (26:93)
فَمَا لَهُ مِن قُوَّةٍ وَلاَ نَاصِرٍ
Then he will have no power, nor any helper. (86:10)
When evidence and proof is established against them, and the Word (of Allah) is justified against them, and they will be unable to give any excuse, realizing that escape is impossible, then;
... قَالَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ ...
Those who have been given the knowledge will say:
who are the leaders in this world and the Hereafter and who know about the truth in this world and the Hereafter - will say,
... إِنَّ الْخِزْيَ الْيَوْمَ وَالْسُّوءَ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿٢٧﴾
Indeed it is a Day of disgrace and misery for the disbelievers.
meaning, today those who disbelieved in Allah and worshipped others who have no power either to benefit or to harm them are now surrounded by disgrace and punishment.
The Condition of the Disbeliever during and after Death
الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلائِكَةُ ظَالِمِي أَنفُسِهِمْ ...
Those whose lives the angels take while they are doing wrong to themselves.
Allah informs us of the state of the idolators who are doing wrong to themselves when death approaches and the angels come to seize their evil souls.
... فَأَلْقَوُاْ السَّلَمَ ...
Then, they will (falsely) submit,
meaning, they will make it appear as if they used to listen and obey by saying,
... مَا كُنَّا نَعْمَلُ مِن سُوءٍ ...
We did not do any evil.
Similarly, on the Day of Resurrection, they will say,
وَاللَّهِ رَبِّنَا مَا كُنَّا مُشْرِكِينَ
By Allah, our Lord, we were not idolators. (6:23)
يَوْمَ يَبْعَثُهُمُ اللَّهِ جَمِيعاً فَيَحْلِفُونَ لَهُ كَمَا يَحْلِفُونَ لَكُمْ
On the Day when Allah will resurrect them all together; then they will swear to Him as they swear to you. (58:18)
Allah says, rejecting what they say,
... بَلَى إِنَّ اللّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٢٨﴾
"Yes! Truly, Allah is Most Knowing of what you did.
فَادْخُلُواْ أَبْوَابَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا فَلَبِئْسَ مَثْوَى الْمُتَكَبِّرِينَ ﴿٢٩﴾
So enter the gates of Hell, to abide therein, and indeed, what an evil abode there is for the arrogant.''
meaning, a miserable position in the abode of humiliation for those who were too arrogant to pay attention to the signs of Allah and follow His Messengers.
They will enter Hell from the day they die with their souls, and their bodies will feel the heat and hot winds of their graves. When the Day of Resurrection comes, their souls will be reunited with their bodies, to abide forever in the fire of Hell, and
لاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْهِمْ فَيَمُوتُواْ وَلاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمْ مِّنْ عَذَابِهَا
It will not be complete enough to kill them nor shall its torment be lightened for them. (35:36)
As Allah says,
النَّارُ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَيْهَا غُدُوّاً وَعَشِيّاً وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ أَدْخِلُواْ ءَالَ فِرْعَوْنَ أَشَدَّ الْعَذَابِ
The Fire, they are exposed to it morning and afternoon. And on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): "Cause Fir`awn's people to enter the severest torment!'' (40:46)
What the Pious say about the Revelation, their Reward and their Condition during and after Death
وَقِيلَ لِلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْاْ ...
And (when) it is said to those who had Taqwa (piety and righteousness),
Here we are told about the blessed, as opposed to the doomed, who, when they are asked,
... مَاذَا أَنزَلَ رَبُّكُمْ ..
What is it that your Lord has revealed!
they will reluctantly answer, "He did not reveal anything, these are just the fables of old.''
But the blessed, on the other hand, will say,
.... قَالُواْ خَيْرًا ...
They say: "That which is good.''
meaning - He revealed something good, meaning mercy and blessings for those who followed it and believed in it.
Then we are told about Allah's promise to His servants which He revealed to His Messengers.
... لِّلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُواْ فِي هَذِهِ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةٌ ...
For those who do good in this world, there is good,
This is like the Ayah,
مَنْ عَمِلَ صَـلِحاً مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَوةً طَيِّبَةً وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ
Whoever works righteousness - whether male or female - while being a true believer verily, to him We will give a good life, and We shall certainly reward them in proportion to the best of what they used to do. (16:97),
which means that whoever does good in this world, Allah will reward him for his good deeds in this world and in the next.
Then we are told that the home of the Hereafter will be better, i.e., better than the life of this world, and that the reward in the Hereafter will be more complete than the reward in this life, as Allah says,
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ وَيْلَكُمْ ثَوَابُ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ
But those who were given (religious) knowledge said: "Woe to you! The reward of Allah (in the Hereafter) is better. (28:80)
وَمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لِّلأَبْرَارِ
and what is with Allah for the righteous is better. (3:198)
وَالاٌّخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى
Although the Hereafter is better and enduring. (87:17)
Allah said to His Messenger:
وَلَلاٌّخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لَّكَ مِنَ الاٍّولَى
And indeed the Hereafter is better for you than the present. (93:4)
... وَلَدَارُ الآخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ ...
and the home of the Hereafter will be better.
Allah describes the abode of the Hereafter, saying,
... وَلَنِعْمَ دَارُ الْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿٣٠﴾
And excellent indeed will be the home (i.e. Paradise) of those who have Taqwa.
`Adn (Eden) Paradise (Gardens of Eternity) which they will enter,
refers to the home of the Muttaqun, i.e., in the Hereafter they will have Gardens of Eternity in which they will dwell forever.
... تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ ...
under which rivers flow,
meaning, between its trees and palaces.
... لَهُمْ فِيهَا مَا يَشَآؤُونَ ...
in it they will have all that they wish.
this is like the Ayah:
وَفِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِيهِ الاٌّنْفُسُ وَتَلَذُّ الاٌّعْيُنُ وَأَنتُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ
in it (there will be) all that souls could desire, and all that eyes could delight in, and in it you will live forever. (43:71)
... كَذَلِكَ يَجْزِي اللّهُ الْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿٣١﴾
Thus Allah rewards those who have Taqwa.
meaning, this is how Allah rewards everyone who believes in Him, fears Him, and does good deeds.
Then Allah says:
الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلآئِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ يَقُولُونَ سَلامٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ادْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٣٢﴾
Those whose lives the angels take while they are in a pious state saying (to them) "Salamun `Alaikum (peace be on you!). Enter Paradise because of what (good) you used to do (in the world).''
Allah tells us about their condition when death approaches them in a good state, i.e., free from Shirk, impurity and all evil. The angels greet them and give them the good news of Paradise, as Allah says:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَـمُواْ تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ أَلاَّ تَخَافُواْ وَلاَ تَحْزَنُواْ وَأَبْشِرُواْ بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِى كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ
نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَآؤُكُمْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِى الاٌّخِرَةِ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِى أَنفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ
نُزُلاً مِّنْ غَفُورٍ رَّحِيمٍ
Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah (alone),'' and then behave righteously, on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): "Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the good news of Paradise as you have been promised! We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. In it you shall have (all) that your souls desire, and in it you shall have (all) that you ask for. An entertainment from (Allah), the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'' (41:30:32)
We have already referred to the Hadiths that have been reported on the taking of the soul of the believer and the soul of the disbeliever, when we discussed the Ayah,
يُثَبِّتُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِالْقَوْلِ الثَّابِتِ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِى الاٌّخِرَةِ وَيُضِلُّ اللَّهُ الظَّـلِمِينَ وَيَفْعَلُ اللَّهُ مَا يَشَآءُ
Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allah Alone and none else), and in the Hereafter. And Allah will cause the wrongdoers to stray, and Allah does as He wills. (14:27)
The Disbelievers' Refrain from Faith means that They were simply awaiting Punishment
هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلاَّ أَن تَأْتِيَهُمُ الْمَلائِكَةُ أَوْ يَأْتِيَ أَمْرُ رَبِّكَ ...
Are they but waiting for the angels to come to them, or there comes the command of your Lord!
Threatening the idolators for their persistence in falsehood and their conceited delusions about this world, Allah says: Are these people waiting only for the angels to come and take their souls!
Qatadah said: أَوْ يَأْتِيَ أَمْرُ رَبِّكَ (Or there comes the command of your Lord), "means the Day of Resurrection and the terror that they will go through.''
... كَذَلِكَ فَعَلَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ...
Thus did those before them.
means, thus did their predecessors and those who were like them among the idolators persist in their Shirk, until they tasted the wrath of Allah and experienced the punishment and torment that they suffered.
... وَمَا ظَلَمَهُمُ اللّهُ ...
And Allah did not wrong them.
because by sending His Messengers and revealing His Books He gave them enough warning and clearly demonstrated His proofs to them.
... وَلـكِن كَانُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ ﴿٣٣﴾
but they were wronging themselves.
meaning, by opposing the Messengers and denying what they brought.
فَأَصَابَهُمْ سَيِّئَاتُ مَا عَمِلُواْ ...
Then, they were afflicted by their evil deeds,
For this reason Allah's punishment tormented them.
... وَحَاقَ بِهِم ...
and they were surrounded,
meaning, they were overwhelmed by the painful torment.
... مَّا كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِؤُونَ ﴿٣٤﴾
by that which they used to mock.
meaning, they used to make fun of the Messengers when they warned them Allah's punishment, and for this it will be said to them on the Day of Resurrection:
هَـذِهِ النَّارُ الَّتِى كُنتُم بِهَا تُكَذِّبُونَ
This is the Fire which you used to belie. (52:14)
The Idolators Argument that their Shirk was Divinely decreed, and the Refutation of this Claim
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ ...
And those who worshipped others with Allah said:
Allah tells us about the idolators delusion over their Shirk, and the excuse they claimed for it based on the idea that it is ordained by divine decree.
... لَوْ شَاء اللّهُ مَا عَبَدْنَا مِن دُونِهِ مِن شَيْءٍ نَّحْنُ وَلا آبَاؤُنَا وَلاَ حَرَّمْنَا مِن دُونِهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ...
(They say:) "If Allah had so willed, neither we nor our fathers would have worshipped any but Him, nor would we have forbidden anything without (a command from) Him.''
They had superstitious customs dealing with certain animals, e.g. the Bahirah the Sa'ibah and the Wasilah and other things that they had invented and innovated by themselves, with no revealed authority. The essence of what they said was:
"If Allah hated what we did, He would have stopped by punishing us, and He would not have enabled us to do it.''
... كَذَلِكَ فَعَلَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ...
Those before them did the same.
Rejecting their confusing ideas, Allah says:
... فَهَلْ عَلَى الرُّسُلِ إِلاَّ الْبَلاغُ الْمُبِينُ ﴿٣٥﴾
Are the Messengers charged with anything but to clearly convey the Message!
meaning, the matter is not as you claim. It is not the case that Allah did not rebuke your behavior; rather, He did rebuke you, and in the strongest possible terms, and He emphatically forbade you from such behavior. To every nation - that is, to every generation, to every community of people - He sent a Messenger. All of the Messengers called their people to worship Allah (Alone) as well as forbidding them from worshipping anything or anybody except for Him.
And We have indeed sent a Messenger to every Ummah (community, nation) (saying): "Worship Allah (alone), and shun the Taghut (all false deities).''
Allah continued sending Messengers to mankind with this Message, from the first incidence of Shirk that appeared among the Children of Adam, in the people to whom Nuh was sent - the first Messenger sent by Allah to the people of this earth - until He sent the final Messenger, Muhammad, whose call was addressed to both men and Jinn, in the east and in the west. All of the Messengers brought the same Message, as Allah says:
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ نُوحِى إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنَاْ فَاعْبُدُونِ
And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) but We revealed to him (saying): None has the right to be worshipped but I (Allah), so worship Me (alone and none else).'' (21:25)
وَاسْئلْ مَنْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَآ أَجَعَلْنَا مِن دُونِ الرَّحْمَـنِ ءَالِهَةً يُعْبَدُونَ
And ask (O Muhammad) those Messengers of Ours whom We sent before you: "Did We ever appointed to be worshipped besides the Most Gracious (Allah)'' (43:45)
And in this Ayah, Allah says:
وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الطَّاغُوتَ ...
And We have indeed sent a Messenger to every Ummah (community, nation) (saying): "Worship Allah (alone), and shun the Taghut (all false deities).''
So how could any of the idolators say, لَوْ شَاء اللّهُ مَا عَبَدْنَا مِن دُونِهِ مِن شَيْءٍ (If Allah had so willed, we would not have worshipped any but Him),
The legislative will of Allah is clear and cannot be taken as an excuse by them, because He had forbidden them to do that upon the tongue of His Messengers, but by His universal will (i.e., by which He allows things to occur even though they do not please Him). He allowed them to do that as it was decreed for them. So there is no argument in that for them. Allah created Hell and its people both the Shayatin (devils) and disbelievers, but He does not like His servants to disbelieve. And this point constitutes the strongest proof and the most unquestionable wisdom.
Then Allah informs us that He rebuked them with punishment in this world, after the Messengers issued their warning, thus He says:
... فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ هَدَى اللّهُ وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الضَّلالَةُ فَسِيرُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ فَانظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ ﴿٣٦﴾
Then among them were some whom Allah guided, and among them were some who deserved to be left to stray. So travel through the land and see the end of those who denied (the truth).
This means: ask about what happened to those who went against the Messengers and rejected the truth, see how:
دَمَّرَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلِلْكَـفِرِينَ أَمْثَـلُهَا
Allah destroyed them completely, and a similar (end awaits) the disbelievers. (47:10)
وَلَقَدْ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ نكِيرِ
And indeed those before them belied (the Messengers of Allah), so then how terrible was My denial (punishment). (67:18)
Then Allah told His Messenger
إِن تَحْرِصْ عَلَى هُدَاهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَهْدِي مَن يُضِلُّ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن نَّاصِرِينَ ﴿٣٧﴾
(Even) if you desire that they be guided, then verily, Allah does not guide those whom He allowed to stray, and they will have no helpers.
Allah told His Messenger that His eagerness to guide them will be of no benefit to them if Allah wills that they should be misguided, as He says:
وَمَن يُرِدِ اللَّهُ فِتْنَتَهُ فَلَن تَمْلِكَ لَهُ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئا
And for whoever Allah wills to try with error, you can do nothing for him against Allah. (5:41)
Nuh said to his people:
وَلاَ يَنفَعُكُمْ نُصْحِى إِنْ أَرَدْتُّ أَنْ أَنصَحَ لَكُمْ إِن كَانَ اللَّهُ يُرِيدُ أَن يُغْوِيَكُمْ
"And my advice will not profit you, even if I wish to give you good counsel, if Allah's will is to keep you astray.'' (11:34)
In this Ayah, Allah says:
(Even) if you desire that they be guided, then verily, Allah does not guide those whom He allowed to stray,
As Allah says:
مَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلاَ هَادِيَ لَهُ وَيَذَرُهُمْ فِى طُغْيَـنِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ
Whomsoever Allah allows to stray, then there is no guide for him; and He lets them wander blindly in their transgressions. (7:186)
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِمْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ - وَلَوْ جَآءَتْهُمْ كُلُّ ءايَةٍ حَتَّى يَرَوُاْ الْعَذَابَ الاٌّلِيمَ
Truly! Those deserving the Word (wrath) of your Lord will not believe, even if every sign should come to them - until they see the painful torment. (10:96-97)
فَإِنَّ اللّهَ (then verily, Allah), meaning, this is the way in which Allah does things. If He wills a thing, then it happens, and if He does not will a thing, then it does not happen.
For this reason Allah says:
لاَ يَهْدِي مَن يُضِلُّ (Allah does not guide those whom He allowed to stray), meaning the one whom He has caused to go astray, so who can guide him apart from Allah No one.
... وَمَا لَهُم مِّن نَّاصِرِينَ
And they will have no helpers.
means, they will have no one to save them from the punishment of Allah,
أَلاَ لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالاٌّمْرُ تَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَـلَمِينَ
Surely, His is the creation and commandment. Blessed is Allah, the Lord of all that exists! (7:54)
The Resurrection after Death is true, there is Wisdom behind it, and it is easy for Allah
وَأَقْسَمُواْ بِاللّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ لاَ يَبْعَثُ اللّهُ مَن يَمُوتُ ...
And they swear by Allah with their strongest oaths, that Allah will not raise up one who dies.
meaning that they made oaths swore fervently that Allah would not resurrect the one who died. They considered that to be improbable, and did not believe the Messengers when they told them about that, swearing that it could not happen.
Allah said, refuting them:
... بَلَى ...
meaning it will indeed happen,
... وَعْدًا عَلَيْهِ حَقًّا ...
a promise (binding) upon Him in truth,
- meaning it is inevitable,
... وَلـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٣٨﴾
but most of mankind know not.
means, because of their ignorance they oppose the Messengers and fall into disbelief.
Then Allah mentions His wisdom and the reason why He will resurrect mankind physically on the Day of Calling (between the people of Fire and of Paradise). He says,
لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ ...
In order that He may make clear to them,
means, to mankind,
... الَّذِي يَخْتَلِفُونَ فِيهِ ...
what they differed over,
means, every dispute.
لِيَجْزِىَ الَّذِينَ أَسَاءُواْ بِمَا عَمِلُواْ وَيِجْزِى الَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُواْ بِالْحُسْنَى
that He may requite those who do evil with that which they have done (i.e. punish them in Hell), and reward those who do good, with what is best (i.e. Paradise). (53:31)
... وَلِيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ كَاذِبِينَ ﴿٣٩﴾
and so that those who disbelieved may know that they were liars.
meaning that they lied in their oaths and their swearing that Allah would not resurrect those who die. Thus they will be pushed down by force to the Fire with horrible force on the Day of Resurrection, and the guards of Hell will say to them:
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 its heat, and whether you are tolerant of it or intolerant of it - it is all the same. You are only being requited for what you have done. (52:14-16)
Then Allah tells us about His ability to do whatever He wills, and that nothing is impossible for Him on earth or in heaven. When He wants a thing, all He has to do is say to it "Be!'' and it is.
The Resurrection is one such thing, when He wants it to happen, all He will have to do is issue the command once, and it will happen as He wills, as He says:
وَمَآ أَمْرُنَآ إِلاَّ وَحِدَةٌ كَلَمْحٍ بِالْبَصَرِ
And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye. (54:50)
مَّا خَلْقُكُمْ وَلاَ بَعْثُكُمْ إِلاَّ كَنَفْسٍ وَحِدَةٍ
The creation of you all and the resurrection of you all are only as (the creation and resurrection of) a single person. (31:28)
And in this Ayah, Allah says:
إِنَّمَا قَوْلُنَا لِشَيْءٍ إِذَا أَرَدْنَاهُ أَن نَّقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ ﴿٤٠﴾
Verily, Our Word to a thing when We intend it, is only that We say to it: "Be!'' - and it is.
meaning, We issue the command once, and then it happens.
Allah does not need to repeat or confirm whatever He commands, because there is nothing that can stop Him or oppose Him. He is the One, the Compelling, the Almighty, whose power, might and dominion have subjected all things. None has the right to be worshipped except Him, and there is no Lord other than Him.
The Reward of the Muhajirin
وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُواْ فِي اللّهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا ظُلِمُواْ ...
And as for those who emigrated for the cause of Allah, after they had been wronged,
Allah tells us about the reward of those who migrated for His sake, seeking His pleasure, those who left their homeland behind, brothers and friends, hoping for the reward of Allah.
This may have been revealed concerning those who migrated to Ethiopia, those whose persecution at the hands of their own people in Makkah was so extreme that they left them and went to Ethiopia so that they would be able to worship their Lord.
Among the most prominent of these migrants were Uthman bin Affan and his wife Ruqayyah, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah, Jafar bin Abi Talib, the cousin of the Messenger, and Abu Salamah bin Abdul-Asad, among a group of almost eighty sincere and faithful men and women, may Allah be pleased with them. Allah promised them a great reward in this world and the next.
... لَنُبَوِّئَنَّهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً ...
We will certainly give them good residence in this world,
Ibn Abbas, Ash-Sha`bi and Qatadah said:
(this means) "Al-Madinah.''
It was also said that; it meant "good provision.''
This was the opinion of Mujahid.
There is no contradiction between these two opinions, for they left their homes and wealth, but Allah compensated them with something better in this world.
Whoever gives up something for the sake of Allah, Allah compensates him with something that is better for him than that, and this is what happened. He gave them power throughout the land and caused them to rule over the people, so they became governors and rulers, and each of them became a leader of the pious.
Allah tells us that His reward for the Muhajirin in the Hereafter is greater than that which He gave them in this world, as He says:
... وَلَأَجْرُ الآخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ ...
but indeed the reward of the Hereafter will be greater,
meaning, greater than that which We have given you in this world.
... لَوْ كَانُواْ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٤١﴾
if they but knew!
means, if those who stayed behind and did not migrate with them only knew what Allah prepared for those who obeyed Him and followed His Messenger.
Then Allah describes them as:
الَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ ﴿٤٢﴾
those who remained patient, and put their trust in their Lord.
meaning, they bore their people's persecution with patience, putting their trust in Allah Who made their end good in this world and the Hereafter.
Only Human Messengers have been Sent
Ad-Dahhak said, reporting from Ibn Abbas:
"When Allah sent Muhammad as a Messenger, the Arabs, or some of them, denied him and said, `Allah is too great to send a human being as a Messenger.'
Then Allah revealed:
أَكَانَ لِلنَّاسِ عَجَبًا أَنْ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنْهُمْ أَنْ أَنذِرِ النَّاسَ
Is it a wonder to people that We have sent Our Inspiration to a man from among themselves (saying): "Warn mankind...'' (10:2)
and He said,
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِي إِلَيْهِمْ فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٤٣﴾
And We sent not (as Our Messengers) before you (O Muhammad) any but men, whom We sent Revelation. So ask Ahl Adh-Dhikr, if you know not.
meaning, (ask) the people of the previous Books, were the Messengers that were sent to them humans or angels If they were angels, then you have the right to find this strange, but if they were human, then you have no grounds to deny that Muhammad is a Messenger.
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِى إِلَيْهِمْ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَى
And We sent not before you (as Messengers) any but men to whom We revealed, from among the people of townships. (12:109)
and not from among the people of heaven as you say.''
It was reported by Mujahid from Ibn Abbas that; what is meant by Ahl Adh-Dhikr is the People of the Book.
This is as Allah says:
أَوْ يَكُونَ لَكَ بَيْتٌ مِّن زُخْرُفٍ أَوْ تَرْقَى فِى السَّمَآءِ وَلَن نُّؤْمِنَ لِرُقِيِّكَ حَتَّى تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا كِتَابًا نَّقْرَءُهُ قُلْ سُبْحَـنَ رَبِّى هَلْ كُنتُ إَلاَّ بَشَرًا رَّسُولاً
وَمَا مَنَعَ النَّاسَ أَن يُؤْمِنُواْ إِذْ جَآءَهُمُ الْهُدَى إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ أَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ بَشَرًا رَّسُولاً
Say: "Glorified be my Lord! Am I anything but a man, sent as a Messenger!''
And nothing prevented men from believing when the guidance came to them, except that they said: "Has Allah sent a man as (His) Messenger!'' (17:93-94)
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِلاَّ إِنَّهُمْ لَيَأْكُلُونَ الطَّعَامَ وَيَمْشُونَ فِى الاٌّسْوَاقِ
And We never sent before you (O Muhammad) any of the Messengers but verily, they ate food and walked in the markets. (25:20)
وَمَا جَعَلْنَـهُمْ جَسَداً لاَّ يَأْكُلُونَ الطَّعَامَ وَمَا كَانُواْ خَـلِدِينَ
And We did not create them (the Messengers, with) bodies that did not eat food, nor were they immortals. (21:8)
قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعاً مِّنَ الرُّسُلِ
Say (O Muhammad): "I am not a new thing among the Messengers.'' (46:9)
قُلْ إِنَّمَآ أَنَاْ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَىَّ
Say (O Muhammad): "I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me.'' (18:110)
Then Allah informs those who doubt that a Messenger can be a human to ask those who have knowledge of the previous Scriptures about the Prophets who came before: were their Prophets humans or angels!
Then Allah mentions that He has sent them,
with clear signs,
meaning proof and evidence, and
... وَالزُّبُرِ ...
and Books (Zubur),
Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak and others said:
Zubur is the plural of Zabur, and the Arabs say, Zaburtul-Kitab meaning, "I wrote the book.'' Allah says:
وَكُلُّ شَىْءٍ فَعَلُوهُ فِى الزُّبُرِ
And everything they have done is noted in (their) Records (of deeds (Zubur). (54:52)
وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِى الزَّبُورِ مِن بَعْدِ الذِّكْرِ أَنَّ الاٌّرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِىَ الصَّـلِحُونَ
And indeed We have written in Az-Zabur after the Dhikr that My righteous servant shall inherit the land (i.e. the land of Paradise). (21:105)
Then Allah says:
... وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ ...
And We have also revealed the Dhikr to you,
meaning the Qur'an,
... لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ ...
so that you may clearly explain to men what was revealed to them,
meaning, sent down from their Lord, because you know the meaning of what Allah has revealed to you, and because of your understanding and adherence to it, and because We know that you are the best of creation and the leader of the Children of Adam. So that you may explain in detail what has been mentioned in brief, and explain what is not clear.
... وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿٤٤﴾
so that perhaps they may reflect.
meaning, they should examine themselves and be guided by it, so that they may attain the victory of salvation in this world and the next.
How the Guilty can feel Secure
أَفَأَمِنَ الَّذِينَ مَكَرُواْ السَّيِّئَاتِ أَن يَخْسِفَ اللّهُ بِهِمُ الأَرْضَ أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ ...
Do then those who devise evil plots feel secure that Allah will not cause them to sink into the earth, or that torment will not seize them,
Allah informs us about His patience, and how He delays the punishment for the sinners who do evil things and call others to do likewise, plotting to call others to do evil - even though He is able to make the earth swallow them or to bring His wrath upon them.
... مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ ﴿٤٥﴾
from where they do not perceive it,
meaning in such a way that they do not know where it comes from.
As Allah says:
أَءَمِنتُمْ مَّن فِى السَّمَآءِ أَن يَخْسِفَ بِكُمُ الاٌّرْضَ فَإِذَا هِىَ تَمُورُ
أَمْ أَمِنتُمْ مِّن فِى السَّمَآءِ أَن يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَـصِباً فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ كَيْفَ نَذِيرِ
Do you feel secure that He Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not cause you to sink into the earth, when it quakes! Or do you feel secure that He Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not send a storm of stones upon you! Then you shall know how My warning really is. (67:16-17)
أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ فِي تَقَلُّبِهِمْ ...
Or that He may punish them in the midst of their going to and fro,
meaning, when they are busy with their daily business, travel, and other distracting activities.
Qatadah and As-Suddi said: تَقَلُّبِهِمْ (Their going to and fro), means their journeys.''
As Allah says:
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 feel secure against the coming of Our punishment by night while they were asleep! Or, did the people of the towns feel secure against the coming of Our punishment in the forenoon while they were playing! (7:97-98)
... فَمَا هُم بِمُعْجِزِينَ ﴿٤٦﴾
so that there be no escape for them (from Allah's punishment).
meaning, it is not impossible for Allah, no matter what their situation.
أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ عَلَى تَخَوُّفٍ ...
Or that He may punish them where they fear it most!
meaning, or Allah will take from them what they most fear, which is even more frightening, because when the thing you most fear to happen does happen, this is even worse.
Hence Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said that, أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ عَلَى تَخَوُّفٍ (Or that He may punish them where they fear it most), means that Allah is saying:
`If I wish, I can take him after the death of his companion and after he has become frightened of that.'
This was also reported from Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and others.
Then Allah says:
... فَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿٤٧﴾
Indeed your Lord is full of kindness, Most Merciful.
meaning, because He does not hasten to punish, as was reported in the Two Sahihs:
لَا أَحَدَ أَصْبَرُ عَلَى أَذًى سَمِعَهُ مِنَ اللهِ، إِنَّهُمْ يَجْعَلُونَ لَهُ وَلَدًا وَهُوَ يَرْزُقُهُمْ وَيُعَافِيهِم
No one is more patient in the case of hearing offensive speech than Allah, for they attribute to Him a son, while He (alone) is giving them provision and good health.
And it is also recorded in Two Sahihs,
إِنَّ اللهَ لَيُمْلِي لِلظَّالِمِ حَتَّى إِذَا أَخَذَهُ لَمْ يُفْلِتْه
Allah will let the wrongdoer continue until, when He begins to punish him, He will never let him go.
Then the Messenger of Allah recited:
وَكَذلِكَ أَخْذُ رَبِّكَ إِذَا أَخَذَ الْقُرَى وَهِىَ ظَـلِمَةٌ إِنَّ أَخْذَهُ أَلِيمٌ شَدِيدٌ
Such is the punishment of your Lord when He seizes the (population of) towns while they are doing wrong. Indeed, His punishment is painful, (and) severe. (11:102)
And Allah says:
وَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَمْلَيْتُ لَهَا وَهِىَ ظَـلِمَةٌ ثُمَّ أَخَذْتُهَا وَإِلَىَّ الْمَصِيرُ
And many a township did I give respite while it was given to wrongdoing. Then I punished it. And to Me is the (final) return (of all). (22:48)
Everything prostrates to Allah
أَوَ لَمْ يَرَوْاْ إِلَى مَا خَلَقَ اللّهُ مِن شَيْءٍ يَتَفَيَّأُ ظِلاَلُهُ عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَالْشَّمَآئِلِ سُجَّدًا لِلّهِ وَهُمْ دَاخِرُونَ ﴿٤٨﴾
Have they not observed things that Allah has created: (how) their shadows shift from right to left, prostrating to Allah, while they are humble!
Allah informs us about His might, majesty and pride, meaning that all things submit themselves to Him and every created being - animate and inanimate, as well as the responsible - humans and Jinns, and the angels - all humble themselves before Him.
He tells us that everything that has a shadow leaning to the right and the left, i.e., in the morning and the evening, is by its shadow, prostrating to Allah.
Mujahid said, "When the sun passes its zenith, everything prostrates to Allah, may He be glorified.''
This was also said by Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others.
while they are humble,
means, they are in a state of humility.
Mujahid also said: "The prostration of every thing is its shadow,''
and he mentioned the mountains and said that their prostrations are their shadows.
Abu Ghalib Ash-Shaybani said: "The waves of the sea are its prayers.''
It is as if reason is attributed to these inanimate objects when they are described as prostrating, so Allah says:
وَلِلّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ مِن دَآبَّةٍ ...
And to Allah prostrate all that are in the heavens and all that are in the earth, of the moving creatures,
As Allah says:
وَللَّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَظِلَـلُهُم بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالاٌّصَالِ
And to Allah (alone) all who are in the heavens and the earth fall in prostration, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the mornings and in the afternoons. (13:15)
... وَالْمَلآئِكَةُ وَهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ ﴿٤٩﴾
and the angels, and they are not proud.
means, they prostrate to Allah and are not too proud to worship Him.
يَخَافُونَ رَبَّهُم مِّن فَوْقِهِمْ ...
They fear their Lord above them,
means, they prostrate out of fear of their Lord, may He be glorified.
... وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ ﴿٥٠﴾
and they do what they are commanded.
meaning they continually obey Allah, doing what He tells them to do and avoiding that which He forbids.
Allah Alone is Deserving of Worship
وَقَالَ اللّهُ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ إِلـهَيْنِ اثْنَيْنِ إِنَّمَا هُوَ إِلهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَإيَّايَ فَارْهَبُونِ ﴿٥١﴾
And Allah said "Do not worship two gods. Indeed, He (Allah) is only One God. Then fear Me Alone.
وَلَهُ مَا فِي الْسَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَلَهُ الدِّينُ وَاصِبًا أَفَغَيْرَ اللّهِ تَتَّقُونَ ﴿٥٢﴾
To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth and the religion. Will you then fear any other than Allah!
Allah tells us that there is no god but He, and that no one else should be worshipped except Him, alone, without partners, for He is the Sovereign, Creator, and Lord of all things.
... وَلَهُ الدِّينُ وَاصِبًا ...
His is the religion Wasiba,
Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Maymun bin Mahran, As-Suddi, Qatadah and others said that;
this means forever.
It was also reported that Ibn Abbas said, "It means obligatory.''
Mujahid said: "It means purely for Him,''
i.e., worship is due to Him Alone, from whoever is in the heavens and on earth.
As Allah says:
أَفَغَيْرَ دِينِ اللَّهِ يَبْغُونَ وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ
Do they seek other than the religion of Allah, while to Him submitted all creatures in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly. And to Him shall they all be returned. (3:83)
This is in accordance with the opinion of Ibn Abbas and Ikrimah, which is that this Ayah is merely stating the case.
According to the opinion of Mujahid, it is by way of instruction, i.e., it is saying: You had better fear associating partners in worship with Me, and be sincere in your obedience to Me.
As Allah says:
أَلاَ لِلَّهِ الدِّينُ الْخَالِصُ
Surely, the pure religion (sincere devotion) is for Allah only. (39:3)
Then Allah tells
وَمَا بِكُم مِّن نِّعْمَةٍ فَمِنَ اللّهِ ...
And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah.
Allah tells us that He is the One Who has the power to benefit and harm, and that the provisions, blessings, good health and help, His servants enjoy are from His bounty and graciousness towards them.
... ثُمَّ إِذَا مَسَّكُمُ الضُّرُّ فَإِلَيْهِ تَجْأَرُونَ ﴿٥٣﴾
Then, when harm touches you, to Him you cry aloud for help.
meaning because you know that none has the power to remove that harm except for Him, so when you are harmed, you turn to ask Him for help and beg Him for aid.
As Allah says:
وَإِذَا مَسَّكُمُ الْضُّرُّ فِى الْبَحْرِ ضَلَّ مَن تَدْعُونَ إِلاَ إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا نَجَّـكُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ أَعْرَضْتُمْ وَكَانَ الإِنْسَـنُ كَفُورًا
And when harm touches you at sea, those that you call upon vanish, except for Him. But when He brings you safe to land, you turn away. And man is ever ungrateful. (17:67)
Here, Allah tells us:
ثُمَّ إِذَا كَشَفَ الضُّرَّ عَنكُمْ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِّنكُم بِرَبِّهِمْ يُشْرِكُونَ ﴿٥٤﴾
Then, when He has removed the harm from you, behold! some of you associate others in worship with their Lord (Allah).
لِيَكْفُرُواْ بِمَا آتَيْنَاهُمْ ...
So they are ungrateful for that which We have given them!
It was said that the Lam here (translated as "So'') is an indicator of sequence, or that it serves an explanatory function, meaning, `We decreed that they would conceal the truth and deny the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon them. He is the One Who bestows blessings and the One Who removes distress.'
Then Allah threatens them, saying:
... فَتَمَتَّعُواْ ...
Then enjoy yourselves,
meaning, do what you like and enjoy what you have for a little while.
... فَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٥٥﴾
but you will soon come to know.
meaning the consequences of that.
Among the Behavior of the Idolators was vowing to Things that Allah had provided for Them to their gods
وَيَجْعَلُونَ لِمَا لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ نَصِيبًا مِّمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ ...
And they assign a portion of that which We have provided them with, to what they have no knowledge of (false deities).
Allah tells us about some of the heinous deeds of those who used to perform baseless worship of other gods besides Him, such as idols and statues, with no grounds for doing so. They gave their idols a share of that which Allah had provided for them,
فَقَالُواْ هَـذَا لِلَّهِ بِزَعْمِهِمْ وَهَـذَا لِشُرَكَآئِنَا فَمَا كَانَ لِشُرَكَآئِهِمْ فَلاَ يَصِلُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ لِلَّهِ فَهُوَ يَصِلُ إِلَى شُرَكَآئِهِمْ سَآءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ
They say: "This is for Allah,'' according to their claim," and this is for our partners.'' But the share of their "partners'' is not directed to Allah, while the share of Allah is directed to their "partners''! How evil is that with which they judge. (6:136)
That is they assigned a share for their idols as well as Allah, but they gave preference to their gods over Him, so Allah swore by His Almighty Self to question them about these lies and fabrications. He will most certainly call them to account for it and give them the unrelenting punishment in the fire of Hell. So He says,
... تَاللّهِ لَتُسْأَلُنَّ عَمَّا كُنتُمْ تَفْتَرُونَ ﴿٥٦﴾
By Allah, you shall certainly be questioned about (all) that you used to fabricate.
Then Allah tells us how they used to regard the angels, who are servants of the Most Merciful, as being female, and that they considered them to be Allah's daughters, and they worshipped them with Him. In all of the above, they made very serious errors.
They attributed offspring to Him when He has no offspring, then they assigned Him the kind of offspring they regarded as inferior, namely daughters, which they did not even want for themselves, as He said:
أَلَكُمُ الذَّكَرُ وَلَهُ الاٍّنثَى - تِلْكَ إِذاً قِسْمَةٌ ضِيزَى
Are the males for you and the females for Him! That is indeed an unfair division! (53:21-22)
And Allah says here:
وَيَجْعَلُونَ لِلّهِ الْبَنَاتِ سُبْحَانَهُ ...
And they assign daughters unto Allah! Glorified (and Exalted) is He.
meaning, above their claims and fabrications.
أَلاَ إِنَّهُم مِّنْ إِفْكِهِمْ لَيَقُولُونَ - وَلَدَ اللَّهُ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَكَـذِبُونَ - أَصْطَفَى الْبَنَاتِ عَلَى الْبَنِينَ - مَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ
But no! It is from their falsehood that they say: "Allah has begotten.'' They are certainly liars! Has He (then) chosen daughters rather than sons! What is the matter with you! How do you decide! (37:151-154)
... وَلَهُم مَّا يَشْتَهُونَ ﴿٥٧﴾
And for themselves, what they desire;
meaning they choose the males for themselves, rejecting the daughters that they assign to Allah. Exalted be Allah far above what they say!
The Idolators' Abhorrence for Daughters
وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُمْ بِالأُنثَى ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا ...
And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark,
meaning with distress and grief.
... وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ ﴿٥٨﴾
and he is filled with inner grief!
meaning he is silent because of the intensity of the grief he feels.
يَتَوَارَى مِنَ الْقَوْمِ ...
He hides himself from the people,
meaning he does not want anyone to see him.
... مِن سُوءِ مَا بُشِّرَ بِهِ أَيُمْسِكُهُ عَلَى هُونٍ أَمْ يَدُسُّهُ فِي التُّرَابِ ...
because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonor or bury her in the earth!
meaning, should he keep her, humiliating her, not letting her inherit from him and not taking care of her, preferring his male children over her!
أَمْ يَدُسُّهُ فِي التُّرَابِ (or bury her in the earth), meaning bury her alive, as they used to do during the days of ignorance. How could they dislike something so intensely, yet attribute it to Allah
... أَلاَ سَاء مَا يَحْكُمُونَ ﴿٥٩﴾
Certainly, evil is their decision.
meaning how evil are the words they say, the way they want to share things out and the things they attribute to Him.
As Allah says:
وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُم بِمَا ضَرَبَ لِلرَّحْمَـنِ مَثَلاً ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدّاً وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ
And if one of them is informed of the news of (the birth of a girl) that which he sets forth as a parable to the Most Gracious (Allah), his face becomes dark, and he is filled with grief! (43:17)
Here, Allah says:
لِلَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالآخِرَةِ مَثَلُ السَّوْءِ ...
For those who do not believe in the Hereafter there is an evil description,
meaning, only imperfection is to be attributed to.
... وَلِلّهِ الْمَثَلُ الأَعْلَىَ ...
and for Allah is the highest description.
meaning He is absolutely perfect in all ways and this absolute perfection is His Alone.
... وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴿٦٠﴾
And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
Allah does not immediately punish for Disobedience
وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ اللّهُ النَّاسَ بِظُلْمِهِم مَّا تَرَكَ عَلَيْهَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ وَلَكِن يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ إلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى فَإِذَا جَاء أَجَلُهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَأْخِرُونَ سَاعَةً وَلاَ يَسْتَقْدِمُونَ ﴿٦١﴾
And if Allah were to punish (all) mankind for their wrongdoing, He would not leave on it (the earth) a single moving creature, but He defers them to an appointed term; and when their term comes, they can neither delay nor advance it an hour (or a moment).
Allah tells us about His patience with His creatures, even though they do wrong. If He were to punish them for what they have done, there would be no living creature left on the face of the earth, i.e., He would have destroyed every animal on earth after destroying the sons of Adam. But the Lord - magnificent is His glory - is forbearing and He covers people's faults. He waits until the appointed time, i.e., He does not rush to punish them. If He did, then there would be no one left.
Ibn Jarir reported that Abu Salamah said:
"Abu Hurayrah heard a man saying, `The wrongdoer harms no one but himself.'
He turned to him and said, `That is not true, by Allah! Even the buzzard dies in its nest because of the sins of the wrongdoer.'''
They attribute to Allah what They Themselves dislike
وَيَجْعَلُونَ لِلّهِ مَا يَكْرَهُونَ ...
They assign to Allah that which they dislike (for themselves),
meaning, daughters, and partners, who are merely His servants, yet none of them would like to have someone sharing in his wealth.
... وَتَصِفُ أَلْسِنَتُهُمُ الْكَذِبَ أَنَّ لَهُمُ الْحُسْنَى ...
and their tongues assert the lie that the better things will be theirs.
This is a denunciation of their claims that better things will be theirs in this world, and in the Hereafter.
Allah tells us about what some of them said, as in the Ayat:
وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَا الإِنْسَـنَ مِنَّا رَحْمَةً ثُمَّ نَزَعْنَاهَا مِنْهُ إِنَّهُ لَيَئُوسٌ كَفُورٌ
وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَاهُ نَعْمَآءَ بَعْدَ ضَرَّآءَ مَسَّتْهُ لَيَقُولَنَّ ذَهَبَ السَّيِّئَاتُ عَنِّي إِنَّهُ لَفَرِحٌ فَخُورٌ
And if We give man a taste of mercy from Us, and then take it from him, verily! He is hopelessly, ungrateful. But if We let him taste of goodness after harm has touched him, he is sure to say: "Ills have departed from me.'' Surely, he is cheerful, and boastful (ungrateful to Allah). (11:9-10)
وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَـهُ رَحْمَةً مِّنَّا مِن بَعْدِ ضَرَّآءَ مَسَّتْهُ لَيَقُولَنَّ هَـذَا لِى وَمَآ أَظُنُّ السَّاعَةَ قَآئِمَةً وَلَئِن رُّجِّعْتُ إِلَى رَبِّى إِنَّ لِى عِندَهُ لَلْحُسْنَى
فَلَنُنَبِّئَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِمَا عَمِلُواْ وَلَنُذِيقَنَّهُمْ مِّنْ عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٍ
And if We give him a taste of mercy from Us, after some adversity has touched him, he is sure to say: "This is due to me; I do not think that the Hour will occur. But if I am brought back to my Lord, then, with Him, there will surely be the best for me.''Then, We will certainly show the disbelievers what they have done, and We shall make them taste severe torment. (41:50)
أَفَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِى كَفَرَ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَقَالَ لأوتَيَنَّ مَالاً وَوَلَداً
Have you seen the one who disbelieved in Our Ayat and said: "I shall certainly be given wealth and children (if I came back to life).'' (19:77)
Allah tells us about one of the two men:
دَخَلَجَنَّتَهُ وَهُوَ ظَالِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ قَالَ مَآ أَظُنُّ أَن تَبِيدَ هَـذِهِ أَبَداً = وَمَآ أَظُنُّ السَّاعَةَ قَائِمَةً وَلَئِن رُّدِدتُّ إِلَى رَبِّى لأَجِدَنَّ خَيْراً مِّنْهَا مُنْقَلَباً
He went into his garden while wronging himself. He said: "I do not think that this will ever perish. And I do not think that the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, (on the Day of Resurrection), then surely, I shall find better than this when I return to Him.'' (18:35-36)
These people combined bad deeds with the false hopes of being rewarded with good for those bad deeds, which is impossible.
Thus Allah refuted their false hopes, when He said:
... لاَ جَرَمَ ...
meaning, truly it is inevitable that,
... أَنَّ لَهُمُ الْنَّارَ ...
for them is the Fire,
meaning, on the Day of Resurrection.
... وَأَنَّهُم مُّفْرَطُونَ ﴿٦٢﴾
and they will be forsaken.
Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Qatadah and others said: "This means they will be forgotten and neglected there.'' This is like the Ayah:
فَالْيَوْمَ نَنسَـهُمْ كَمَا نَسُواْ لِقَآءَ يَوْمِهِمْ هَـذَا
So today We forget them just as they forgot meeting on this day of theirs. (7:51)
It was also reported from Qatadah that, مُّفْرَطُونَ (they will be forsaken) means, `they are hastened into the Fire.'
There is no contradiction between the two, because they will be hastened into the Fire on the Day of Resurrection, then they will be forgotten there, i.e., left to dwell there for eternity.
Finding Consolation in the Reminder of Those Who came before
تَاللّهِ لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَى أُمَمٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ ...
By Allah, We indeed sent (Messengers) to the nations before you, but Shaytan made their deeds seeming fair to them.
Allah says, `He sent Messengers to the nations of the past, and they were rejected. You, O Muhammad, have an example in your brothers among the Messengers, so do not be distressed by your people's rejection. As for the idolators' rejection of the Messengers, the reason for this is that the Shaytan made their deeds attractive to them.'
... فَهُوَ وَلِيُّهُمُ الْيَوْمَ ...
So today he (Shaytan) is their helper,
meaning they will be suffering punishment while Shaytan is their only helper, and he cannot save them, so they have no one to answer their calls for help,
... وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿٦٣﴾
and theirs will be a painful torment.
The Reason why the Qur'an was revealed
وَمَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلاَّ لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُواْ فِيهِ ...
And We have not revealed the Book to you, except that you may clearly explain to them those things in which they differ,
Allah says to His Messenger that He has revealed the Book to him to explain the truth to mankind in matters which they dispute over. So the Qur'an is a decisive arbitrator for every issue that they argue about.
... وَهُدًى ...
and (as) a guidance,
meaning, for their hearts.
... وَرَحْمَةً ...
and a mercy,
meaning, for the one who adheres to it.
... لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٦٤﴾
for a people who believe.
وَاللّهُ أَنزَلَ مِنَ الْسَّمَاء مَاء فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا ...
And Allah sends water down from the sky, then He revives the earth with it after its death.
Just as Allah causes the Qur'an to bring life to hearts that were dead from disbelief, so He brings the earth to life after it has died, by sending down water from the sky.
... إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَسْمَعُونَ ﴿٦٥﴾
Surely that is a sign for people who listen.
meaning those who understand the words and their meanings.
Lessons and Blessings in Cattle and the Fruit of the Date-palm and Grapevine
وَإِنَّ لَكُمْ ...
there is for you (- O mankind -)
... فِي الأَنْعَامِ ...
in the cattle,
meaning camels, cows and sheep,
... لَعِبْرَةً ...
meaning a sign and an evidence of the wisdom, power, mercy and kindness of the Creator.
... نُّسْقِيكُم مِّمَّا فِي بُطُونِهِ ...
We have made a drink for you out of what is in its belly,
meaning its singular forms refers to one cattle, or it could refer to the whole species. For cattle are the creatures which provide a drink from what is in their bellies and in another Ayah it is `in their bellies.' Either way is plausible.
... مِن بَيْنِ فَرْثٍ وَدَمٍ لَّبَنًا خَالِصًا ...
from between excretions and blood, pure milk;
meaning it is free of blood, and is pure in its whiteness, taste and sweetness.
It is between excrement and blood in the belly of the animal, but each of them goes its own way after the food has been fully digested in its stomach. The blood goes to the veins, the milk goes to the udder, the urine goes to the bladder and the feces goes to the anus. None of them gets mixed with another after separating, and none of them is affected by the other.
... لَّبَنًا خَالِصًا سَآئِغًا لِلشَّارِبِينَ ﴿٦٦﴾
pure milk; palatable to the drinkers.
meaning nothing to cause one to choke on it.
When Allah mentions milk and how He has made it a palatable drink for mankind, He follows this with a reference to the drinks that people make from the fruits of the date palm and grapevine, and what they used to do with intoxicating Nabidh (drink made from dates) before it was forbidden.
Thus He reminds them of His blessings, and says:
وَمِن ثَمَرَاتِ النَّخِيلِ وَالأَعْنَابِ تَتَّخِذُونَ مِنْهُ سَكَرًا ...
And from the fruits of date palms and grapes, you derive strong drink,
This indicates that it was permissible to drink it before it was forbidden.
- It also indicates that strong drink (i.e., intoxicating drink) derived from dates is the same as strong drink derived from grapes.
- Also forbidden are strong drinks derived from wheat, barley, corn and honey, as is explained in detail in the Sunnah.
... سَكَرًا وَرِزْقًا حَسَنًا ...
strong drink and a goodly provision.
Ibn Abbas said:
"Strong drink is the product of these two fruits that is forbidden, and the good provision is what is permitted of them.''
According to another report: "Strong drink is its unlawful, and the goodly provision is its lawful,''
referring to the fruits when they are dried, like dates and raisins, or products derived from them such as molasses, vinegar and wine (of grapes, dates) which are permissible to drink before they become strong (becomes alcoholic), as was stated in the Sunnah.
... إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ ﴿٦٧﴾
There is indeed a sign in this for those of reason.
It is appropriate to mention reason here, because it is the noblest feature of man. Hence Allah forbade this Ummah from drinking intoxicants, in order to protect their ability to reason.
وَجَعَلْنَا فِيهَا جَنَّـتٍ مِّن نَّخِيلٍ وَأَعْنَـبٍ وَفَجَّرْنَا فِيهَا مِنَ الْعُيُونِ
لِيَأْكُلُواْ مِن ثَمَرِهِ وَمَا عَمِلَتْهُ أَيْدِيهِمْ أَفَلاَ يَشْكُرُونَ
سُبْحَـنَ الَّذِى خَلَق الاٌّزْوَجَ كُلَّهَا مِمَّا تُنبِتُ الاٌّرْضُ وَمِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَمِمَّا لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ
And We placed gardens of date palms and grapes in it, and We caused springs of water to gush forth in it. So that they may eat of its fruit - while their hands did not make it. Will they not then give thanks Glory be to Him Who created all the pairs of that which the earth produces, as well as their own (human) kind (male and female), and of that which they know not. (36:34-36)
In the Bee and its Honey there is Blessing and a Lesson
وَأَوْحَى رَبُّكَ إِلَى النَّحْلِ أَنِ اتَّخِذِي مِنَ الْجِبَالِ بُيُوتًا وَمِنَ الشَّجَرِ وَمِمَّا يَعْرِشُونَ ﴿٦٨﴾
And your Lord inspired the bee, saying: "Take you habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they (humans) erect.
ثُمَّ كُلِي مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ ...
Then, eat of all fruits,
What is meant by inspiration here is guidance.
The bee is guided to make its home in the mountains, in trees and in structures erected by man.
The bee's home is a solid structure, with its hexagonal shapes and interlocking forms there is no looseness in its combs. Then Allah decrees that the bee will have permission to eat from all fruits and to follow the ways which Allah has made easy for it, wherever it wants to go in the vast spaces of the wilderness, valleys and high mountains. Then each bee comes back to its hive without swerving to the right or left, it comes straight back to its home where its offspring and honey are. It makes wax from its wings, and regurgitates honey from its mouth, and lays eggs from its rear, then the next morning it goes out to the fields again.
... فَاسْلُكِي سُبُلَ رَبِّكِ ذُلُلاً ...
and follow the routes of your Lord made easy (for you),
Qatadah and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said: "This means, in an obedient way,''
understanding it to be a description of the route of migration.
Ibn Zayd said that this is like the Ayah:
وَذَلَّلْنَـهَا لَهُمْ فَمِنْهَا رَكُوبُهُمْ وَمِنْهَا يَأْكُلُونَ
And We have subdued them for them so that some they may ride and some they may eat. (36:72)
He said: "Do you not see that they move the bees' home from one land to another, and the bees follow them!''
The first opinion is clearly the more likely, as it describes the routes that the bees follow, i.e., `follow these routes as they are easy for you.'
This was stated by Mujahid.
Ibn Jarir said that both opinions are correct.
... يَخْرُجُ مِن بُطُونِهَا شَرَابٌ مُّخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ فِيهِ شِفَاء لِلنَّاسِ ...
There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colors, wherein is healing for men.
meaning, honey, that is white, yellow, red, or of other good colors, depending on the different things that the bees eat.
... فِيهِ شِفَاء لِلنَّاسِ ...
in which there is a cure for men.
meaning there is a cure in honey for diseases that people suffer from.
Some of those who spoke about the study of Prophetic medicine said that; if (Allah) had said, `in which there is the cure for men', then it would be the remedy for all diseases, but He said, `in which there is a cure for men', meaning that it is the right treatment for every "cold'' disease, because it is "hot'', and a disease should be treated with its opposite.
Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded in their Sahihs from Qatadah from Abu Al-Mutawakkil Ali bin Dawud An-Naji from Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri that;
a man came to the Messenger of Allah and said, "My brother is suffering from diarrhea.''
He said, اسْقِهِ عَسَلًا (Give him honey to drink).
The man went and gave him honey, then he came back and said, "O Messenger of Allah! I gave him honey to drink, and he only got worse.''
The Prophet said, اذْهَبْ فَاسْقِهِ عَسَلًا Go and give him honey to drink.
So he went and gave him honey, then he came back and said, "O Messenger of Allah! it only made him worse.''
The Prophet said,
صَدَقَ اللهُ وَكَذَبَ بَطْنُ أَخِيكَ، اذْهَبْ فَاسْقِهِ عَسَلًا
Allah speaks the truth and your brother's stomach is lying. Go and give him honey to drink.
So he went and gave him honey, and he recovered.''
It is reported in the Two Sahihs from A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Messenger of Allah used to like sweet things and honey.
This is the wording of Al-Bukhari, who also reported in his Sahih from Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah said:
الشِّفَاءُ فِي ثَلَاثَةٍ:
- فِي شَرْطَةِ مِحْجَمٍ،
- أَوْ شَرْبَةِ عَسَلٍ،
- أَوْ كَيَّةٍ بِنَارٍ،
وَأَنْهَى أُمَّتِي عَنِ الْكَي
Healing is to be found in three things:
- the cut made by the cupper, or
- drinking honey, or
- in branding with fire (cauterizing),
but I have forbidden my Ummah to use branding.
... إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿٦٩﴾
There is indeed a sign in that for people who reflect.
meaning in the fact that Allah inspires this weak little creature to travel through the vast fields and feed from every kind of fruit, then gather it for wax and honey, which are some of the best things, in this is a sign for people who think about the might and power of the bee's Creator Who causes all of this to happen.
From this they learn that He is the Initiator, the All-Powerful, the All-Wise, the All-Knowing, the Most Generous, the Most Merciful.
In Man there is a Lesson
وَاللّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ ثُمَّ يَتَوَفَّاكُمْ وَمِنكُم مَّن يُرَدُّ إِلَى أَرْذَلِ الْعُمُرِ لِكَيْ لاَ يَعْلَمَ بَعْدَ عِلْمٍ شَيْئًا إِنَّ اللّهَ عَلِيمٌ قَدِيرٌ ﴿٧٠﴾
And Allah created you and then He will cause you to die; and among you there are some who are sent back to senility, so that they know nothing after having known (much). Truly, Allah is Knowing, capable of all things.
Allah tells us that He is controlling the affairs of His servants. He is the One Who created them out of nothing, then He will cause them to die. But there are some of them that He allows to grow old, which is a physical weakness, as Allah says:
اللَّهُ الَّذِى خَلَقَكُمْ مِّن ضَعْفٍ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِن بَعْدِ ضَعْفٍ قُوَّةٍ
Allah is He Who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness. (30:54)
... لِكَيْ لاَ يَعْلَمَ بَعْدَ عِلْمٍ شَيْئًا ...
so that they know nothing after having known.
meaning, after he knew things, he will reach a stage where he knows nothing because of weakness of mind due to old age and senility.
Thus Al-Bukhari, when commenting on this Ayah, reported a narration from Anas bin Malik that the Messenger of Allah used to pray:
أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ
- وَأَرْذَلِ الْعُمُرِ
- وَعَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ،
- وَفِتْنَةِ الدَّجَّالِ
- وَفِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَات
I seek refuge with You from
- old age,
- the punishment of the grave,
- the Fitnah of the Dajjal and
- the trials of life and death.
Zuhayr bin Abi Sulma said, in his famous Mu`allaqah:
"I became exhausted from the responsibilities of life. Whoever lives for eighty years, no wonder he is tired. I saw death hitting people like a crazed camel, and whoever it hit dies, but whoever is not hit lives until he grows old.''
There is a Sign and a Blessing in Matters of People's Livelihood
وَاللّهُ فَضَّلَ بَعْضَكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ فِي الْرِّزْقِ فَمَا الَّذِينَ فُضِّلُواْ بِرَآدِّي رِزْقِهِمْ عَلَى مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَهُمْ فِيهِ سَوَاء ...
And Allah honored some of you over others with wealth and properties. Then, those who are so honored will by no means hand over their wealth and properties to those (captives of war) whom their right hands possess, so that they may be equal with them in that.
Allah explains to the idolators the ignorance and disbelief involved in their claim that Allah has partners while also admitting that these partners are His servants. In their Talbiyah for Hajj, they used to say, "Here I am, there are no partners for You except Your own partner, You own him and everything he owns.''
Allah says, denouncing them: `You would not accept for your servant to have an equal share in your wealth, so how is it that Allah would accept His servant to be His equal in divinity and glory As Allah says elsewhere:
ضَرَبَ لَكُمْ مَّثَلاً مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ هَلْ لَّكُمْ مِّن مَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ مِّن شُرَكَآءَ فِى مَا رَزَقْنَـكُمْ فَأَنتُمْ فِيهِ سَوَآءٌ تَخَافُونَهُمْ كَخِيفَتِكُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ
He sets forth a parable for you from yourselves: Do you have partners among those whom your right hands possess (i.e. your servant) to share as equals in the wealth We have granted you, those whom you fear as you fear each other! (30:28)
Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas mentioned this Ayah, saying,
"Allah is saying - `If they did not want their servant to have a share with them in their wealth and wives, how can My servant have a share with Me in My power!'
Thus Allah says:
... أَفَبِنِعْمَةِ اللّهِ يَجْحَدُونَ ﴿٧١﴾
Do they then deny the favor of Allah!
According to another report, Ibn Abbas said:
"How can they accept for Me that which they do not accept for themselves!''
أَفَبِنِعْمَةِ اللّهِ يَجْحَدُونَ Do they then deny the favor of Allah! meaning, they assign to Allah a share of the tilth and cattle which He has created. They denied His blessings and associated others in worship with Him.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said:
"Umar bin Al-Khattab wrote this letter to Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari:
`Be content with your provision in this world, for the Most Merciful has honored some of His servants over others in terms of provision as a test of both. The one who has been given plenty is being tested to see if he will give thanks to Allah and fulfill the duties which are his by virtue of his wealth...'''
It was reported by Ibn Abi Hatim.
Among His Blessings and Signs are Mates, Children and Grandchildren
وَاللّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَزْوَاجِكُم بَنِينَ وَحَفَدَةً ...
And Allah has made for you mates of your own kind, and has made for you, from your mates, sons and grandsons,
Allah mentions the blessing He has bestowed upon His servant by giving them mates from among themselves, mates of their own kind. If He had given them mates of another kind, there would be no harmony, love and mercy between them. But out of His mercy He has made the Children of Adam male and female, and has made the females wives or mates for the males.
Then Allah mentions that from these wives He creates children and grandchildren, one's children's children.
This was the opinion of Ibn Abbas, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak and Ibn Zayd.
Shu`bah said, narrating from Abu Bishr from Sa`id bin Jubayr from Ibn Abbas:
"Children and grandchildren, who are one's children and one's children's children.''
It was also said that this means servants and helpers, or it means sons-in-law or in-laws.
I say: if we understand وَحَفَدَةً (grandsons), to refer back to wives, then it must mean children, children's children, and sons-in-law, because they are the husbands of one's daughter or the children of one's wife.
... وَرَزَقَكُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ ...
and has granted you good provisions.
meaning your food and drink.
Then Allah denounces those who associate others in worship with the One Who bestows blessings on them:
... أَفَبِالْبَاطِلِ يُؤْمِنُونَ ...
Do they then believe in false deities,
meaning idols and rivals to Allah.
... وَبِنِعْمَتِ اللّهِ هُمْ يَكْفُرُونَ ﴿٧٢﴾
and deny the favor of Allah.
meaning, by concealing the blessings that Allah has given them and attributing them to others.
According to a Sahih Hadith, the Prophet said:
إِنَّ اللهَ يَقُولُ لِلْعَبْدِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مُمْتَنًّا عَلَيْهِ:
أَلَمْ أُسَخِّرْ لَكَ الْخَيْلَ وَالْإِبِلَ، وَأَذَرْكَ تَرْأَسُ وَتَرْبَع ؟
Allah will say to His servant on the Day of Resurrection, reminding him of His blessings:
"Did I not give you a wife?
Did I not honor you?
Did I not subject horses and camels to your use, and cause you to occupy a position of leadership and honor?''
Denouncing the Worship of anything besides Allah
وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ ...
And they worship others besides Allah,
Allah tells us about the Mushrikin who worship others besides Him, even though He alone is the bountiful Provider, the Creator and Sustainer, without partners or associates, but they still worship idols and make rivals for Him.
... مَا لاَ يَمْلِكُ لَهُمْ رِزْقًا مِّنَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ شَيْئًا ...
such as do not have power to grant them any provision from the heavens or the earth,
meaning, nobody can cause rain to fall, or make plants and trees grow.
... وَلاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ ﴿٧٣﴾
nor the ability to do so.
They cannot do these things for them- selves, even if they wanted to.
Thus Allah says:
فَلاَ تَضْرِبُواْ لِلّهِ الأَمْثَالَ ...
So do not give examples on behalf of Allah.
meaning, do not set up rivals to Him or describe anything as being like Him.
... إِنَّ اللّهَ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٧٤﴾
Truly, Allah knows and you know not.
meaning, He knows and bears witness that there is no god but Him, but you are ignorant and associate others in worship with Him.
The Example of the Believer and the Disbeliever, or the Idol and the True God
ضَرَبَ اللّهُ مَثَلاً عَبْدًا مَّمْلُوكًا لاَّ يَقْدِرُ عَلَى شَيْءٍ وَمَن رَّزَقْنَاهُ مِنَّا رِزْقًا حَسَنًا فَهُوَ يُنفِقُ مِنْهُ سِرًّا وَجَهْرًا هَلْ يَسْتَوُونَ...
16:75 Allah gives the example of a servant under the possession of another, he has no power of any sort, and a man on whom We have bestowed good provisions from Us, and he spends from that secretly and openly. Can they be equal (By no means).
Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said: "This is the example which Allah gives of the disbeliever and the believer.''
This was also the view of Qatadah and Ibn Jarir.
The servant who has no power over anything is like the disbeliever, and the one who is given good provisions and spends of them secretly and openly is like the believer.
Ibn Abi Najih reported that Mujahid said:
"This is an example given of the idol and the True God - can they be the same!'' Once the difference between them is so clear and so obvious, no one can be unaware of it except the one who is foolish.
... الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٧٥﴾
All the praises and thanks are to Allah. Nay! (But) most of them know not.
وَضَرَبَ اللّهُ مَثَلاً رَّجُلَيْنِ أَحَدُهُمَا أَبْكَمُ لاَ يَقْدِرُ عَلَىَ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ كَلٌّ عَلَى مَوْلاهُ ...
And Allah gives an example of two men, one of them dumb, who has no power over anything, and he is a burden on his master;
Mujahid said, "This also refers to idols and the True God, may He be exalted.''
Meaning that the idol is dumb and cannot speak or say anything, good or otherwise. It cannot do anything at all, no words, no action, it is dependent and is a burden on its master.
... أَيْنَمَا يُوَجِّههُّ ...
whichever way he directs him,
meaning, wherever he sends him.
... لاَ يَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ ...
he brings no good.
meaning, he does not succeed in what he wants.
... هَلْ يَسْتَوِي ...
Is such a man equal,
meaning, a man who has these attributes,
... هُوَ وَمَن يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ ...
to one who commands justice,
meaning fairness, one whose words are true and whose deeds are righteous.
... وَهُوَ عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ ﴿٧٦﴾
and is himself on the straight path.
Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said:
"This is also an example of the disbeliever and the believer,''
as in the previous Ayah.
The Unseen belongs to Allah and only He has Knowledge of the Hour
وَلِلّهِ غَيْبُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ ...
And to Allah belongs the Unseen of the heavens and the earth.
Allah tells us of the perfection of His knowledge and ability to do all things, by telling us that He alone knows the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. No one knows anything about such things except for what Allah informs about as He wills.
His complete power, which no one can oppose or resist, means that when He wants a thing, He only has to say to it "Be!'' and it is, as Allah says:
وَمَآ أَمْرُنَآ إِلاَّ وَحِدَةٌ كَلَمْحٍ بِالْبَصَرِ
And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye. (54:50)
meaning, whatever He wills happens in blinking.
Thus Allah says here:
... وَمَا أَمْرُ السَّاعَةِ إِلاَّ كَلَمْحِ الْبَصَرِ أَوْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ إِنَّ اللّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿٧٧﴾
And the matter of the Hour is not but as a twinkling of the eye, or even nearer. Truly, Allah is Able to do all things.
Elsewhere, Allah says:
مَّا خَلْقُكُمْ وَلاَ بَعْثُكُمْ إِلاَّ كَنَفْسٍ وَحِدَةٍ
The processes of creating you all and resurrecting you all are but like that of (the creation and resurrection of) a single person. (31:28)
Among the Favors Allah has granted People are Hearing, Sight and the Heart
وَاللّهُ أَخْرَجَكُم مِّن بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْسَّمْعَ وَالأَبْصَارَ وَالأَفْئِدَةَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ﴿٧٨﴾
And Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you knew nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts, that you might give thanks.
Allah mentions His blessings to His servants in that He brought them from their mothers' wombs not knowing a thing, then He gives them hearing to recognize voices, sight to see visible things and hearts - meaning reason - whose seat, according to the correct view, is the heart, although it was also said that its seat is the brain. With his reason, a person can distinguish between what is harmful and what is beneficial.
These abilities and senses develop gradually in man. The more he grows, the more his hearing, vision and reason increase, until they reach their peak.
Allah has created these faculties in man to enable him to worship his Lord, so he uses all these organs, abilities and strengths to obey his Master.
Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said:
مَنْ عَادَىىِلي وَلِيًّا فَقَدْ بَارَزَنِي بِالْحَرْبِ،
وَمَا تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ عَبْدِي بِشَيْءٍ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ أَدَاءِ مَا افْتَرَضْتُ عَلَيْهِ، وَلَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَيَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى أُحِبَّهُ،
فَإِذَا أَحْبَبْتُهُ كُنْتُ سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ، وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ، وَيَدَهُ الَّتِي يَبْطِشُ بِهَا، وَرِجْلَهُ الَّتِي يَمْشِي بِهَا،
وَلَئِنْ سَأَلَنِي لَأُعْطِيَنَّهُ، وَلَئِنْ دَعَانِي لَأُجِيبَنَّهُ، وَلَئِنِ اسْتَعَاذَ بِي لَأُعِيذَنَّهُ،
وَمَا تَرَدَّدْتُ فِي شَيْءٍ أَنَا فَاعِلُهُ تَرَدُّدِي فِي قَبْضِ نَفْسِ عَبْدِي الْمُؤْمِنِ يَكْرَهُ الْمَوْتَ وَأَكْرَهُ مَسَاءَتَهُ وَلَا بُدَّ لَهُ مِنْه
"Whoever takes My friend as an enemy, has declared war on Me.
My servant does not draw near to Me with anything better than his doing that which I have enjoined upon him, and My servant keeps drawing near to Me by doing Nawafil (supererogatory) deeds until I love him.
And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his vision with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks.
Were he to ask Me for anything, I would give it to him, if he were to call on Me, I would respond, if he were to seek Me for refuge I would surely grant him it.
I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of My believing servant, because he hates death and I hate to upset him, but it is inevitable.''
The meaning of the Hadith is that when a person is sincere in his obedience towards Allah, all his deeds are done for the sake of Allah, so he only hears for the sake of Allah, he only sees for the sake of Allah - meaning he only listens to or looks at what has been allowed by Allah. He does not strike or walk except in obedience to Allah, seeking Allah's help in all of these things. Thus in some versions of the Hadith, narrated outside the Sahih, after the phrase "his foot with which he walks'', there is added:
فَبِي يَسْمَعُ، وَبِي يُبْصِرُ، وَبِي يَبْطِشُ، وَبِي يَمْشِي
So through Me he hears, through Me he sees, through Me he strikes and through Me he walks.
Thus Allah says:
وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْسَّمْعَ وَالأَبْصَارَ وَالأَفْئِدَةَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give thanks.
Elsewhere, He says:
قُلْ هُوَ الَّذِى أَنشَأَكُمْ وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالاٌّبْصَـرَ وَالاٌّفْئِدَةَ قَلِيلاً مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ
قُلْ هُوَ الَّذِى ذَرَأَكُمْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَإِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ
Say it is He Who has created you, and endowed you with hearing and seeing, and hearts. Little thanks you give.
Say: "It is He Who has created you on the earth, and to Him shall you be gathered (in the Hereafter).'' (67:23-24)
In the Subjection of the Birds in the Sky there is a Sign
أَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ إِلَى الطَّيْرِ مُسَخَّرَاتٍ فِي جَوِّ السَّمَاء مَا يُمْسِكُهُنَّ إِلاَّ اللّهُ ...
Do they not see the birds held (flying) in the midst of the sky! None holds them up but Allah.
Then Allah tells His servants to look at the birds held (flying) in the sky, between heaven and earth, and how He has caused them to fly with their wings in the sky. They are held up only by Him, it is He Who gave them the strength to do that, subjecting the air to carry them and support them. As Allah says in Surah Al-Mulk:
أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلَى الطَّيْرِ فَوْقَهُمْ صَــفَّـتٍ وَيَقْبِضْنَ مَا يُمْسِكُهُنَّ إِلاَّ الرَّحْمَـنُ إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ بَصِيرٌ
Do they not see the birds above them, spreading their wings out and folding them in None holds them up except the Most Gracious (Allah). Verily, He is the All-Seer of everything. (67:19)
And here Allah says:
... إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٧٩﴾
Verily, in this are clear signs for people who believe.
Homes, Furnishings and Clothing are also Blessings from Allah
وَاللّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّن بُيُوتِكُمْ سَكَنًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُم مِّن جُلُودِ الأَنْعَامِ بُيُوتًا ...
And Allah had made your homes a place of rest for you, and made dwellings for you out of the hides of the cattle,
Allah mentions His great blessings for His servant in that He has given them homes to dwell in and protect themselves with, in which they find all kinds of benefits. He has also given them homes from the hides of cattle, i.e., leather, which are light and easy to carry on journeys and can be erected wherever they stop, whether they are traveling or are settled.
Thus Allah says:
... تَسْتَخِفُّونَهَا يَوْمَ ظَعْنِكُمْ وَيَوْمَ إِقَامَتِكُمْ ...
which you find so light when you travel and when you camp;
... وَمِنْ أَصْوَافِهَا وَأَوْبَارِهَا وَأَشْعَارِهَا ...
out of their wool, fur and hair,
refers to sheep, camels and goats respectively.
... أَثَاثًا ...
meaning what you take from them, i.e., wealth.
It was also said that it means articles of convenience, or clothing.
The correct view is more general in meaning than this; it means that you make carpets, clothing and other things from their wool, hair etc., which you use as wealth and for trade.
Ibn Abbas said: `Al-Athath means articles of convenience and comfort.''
This was also the view of Mujahid, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Atiyah Al-`Awfi, Ata' Al-Khurasani, Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah.
... وَمَتَاعًا إِلَى حِينٍ ﴿٨٠﴾
and articles of convenience - comfort for a while.
The phrase, إِلَى حِينٍ (for a while) means, until the appointed time.
Shade, Places of Refuge in the Mountains, Garments and Coats of Mail are also Blessings from Allah
وَاللّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّمَّا خَلَقَ ظِلاَلاً ...
And Allah has made shade for you out of that which He has created,
Qatadah said: "This means trees.''
... وَجَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنَ الْجِبَالِ أَكْنَانًا ...
and He has made places of refuge in the mountains for you,
meaning fortresses and strongholds.
... وَجَعَلَ لَكُمْ سَرَابِيلَ تَقِيكُمُ الْحَرَّ ...
and He has made garments for you to protect you from the heat,
meaning clothing of cotton, linen and wool.
... وَسَرَابِيلَ تَقِيكُم بَأْسَكُمْ ...
and coats of mail to protect you from your violence.
such as shields made of layers of sheet iron, coats of mail and so on.
... كَذَلِكَ يُتِمُّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ ...
Thus does He perfect His favor for you,
meaning, thus He gives you what you need to go about your business, so that this will help you to worship and obey Him.
... لَعَلَّكُمْ تُسْلِمُونَ ﴿٨١﴾
that you may submit yourselves to His will.
This is interpreted by the majority to mean submitting to Allah or becoming Muslim.
All the Messenger has to do is convey the Message
فَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ ...
Then, if they turn away,
meaning, after this declaration and reminder, do not worry about them.
... فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلاَغُ الْمُبِينُ ﴿٨٢﴾
your duty (O Muhammad) is only to convey (the Message) in a clear way),
and you have delivered the Message to them.
They recognize the grace of Allah, yet they deny it,
meaning they know that Allah is the One Who grants these blessings to them, and that He is Bountiful towards them, but they still deny this by worshipping others besides Him and thinking that their help and provisions come from others besides Him.
... وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ ﴿٨٣﴾
and most of them are disbelievers.
The Plight of the Idolators on the Day of Judgement
وَيَوْمَ نَبْعَثُ مِن كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا ...
And on the Day when We resurrect a witness from each nation,
Allah tells about the predicament of the idolators on the Day when they will be resurrected in the realm of the Hereafter. He will raise a witness from every nation - that is - their Prophet, to testify about their response to the Message he conveyed from Allah.
... ثُمَّ لاَ يُؤْذَنُ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ...
then, those who disbelieved will not be given leave.
meaning, they will not be allowed to offer any excuse, as Allah says:
هَـذَا يَوْمُ لاَ يَنطِقُونَ - وَلاَ يُؤْذَنُ لَهُمْ فَيَعْتَذِرُونَ
That will be a Day when they do not speak. And they will not be permitted to present any excuse. (77:35-36)
Hence, Allah says:
... وَلاَ هُمْ يُسْتَعْتَبُونَ ﴿٨٤﴾
nor will they be allowed (to return to the world) to repent and ask for Allah's forgiveness.
وَإِذَا رَأى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ ...
And once those who did wrong see,
meaning those who associated others in worship with Allah,
... الْعَذَابَ فَلاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمْ ...
the torment, it will not decrease for them,
meaning it will not be reduced for them even for a moment.
... وَلاَ هُمْ يُنظَرُونَ ﴿٨٥﴾
nor will they be given respite.
meaning, it will not be delayed for them, rather they will be taken quickly from the place of gathering, with no calling to account.
Then Hell will be brought forth, pulled by seventy thousand ropes, each of which is held by seventy thousand angels, and a neck will stretch forth from Hell towards the people, and it will expel a gust of hot air. No one will be left but will fall to his knees.
Then it (the neck that is stretched forth) will say, "I have been entrusted to deal with every stubborn, arrogant one who joined another god with Allah,'' and so and so, mentioning different types of people, as was reported in the Hadith.
Then it will come down upon them and pick them up from where they are standing as a bird picks up a seed.
إِذَا رَأَتْهُمْ مِّن مَّكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ سَمِعُواْ لَهَا تَغَيُّظاً وَزَفِيراً - وَإَذَآ أُلْقُواْ مِنْهَا مَكَاناً ضَيِّقاً مُّقَرَّنِينَ دَعَوْاْ هُنَالِكَ ثُبُوراً
لاَّ تَدْعُواْ الْيَوْمَ ثُبُوراً وَحِداً وَادْعُواْ ثُبُوراً كَثِيراً
When it (Hell) sees them from a far place, they will hear its raging and its roaring. And when they are thrown into a narrow part of it, chained together, they will cry for destruction.
Today, do not scream for one destruction, but scream repeatedly for destruction. (25:12-14)
وَرَأَى الْمُجْرِمُونَ النَّارَ فَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ مُّوَاقِعُوهَا وَلَمْ يَجِدُواْ عَنْهَا مَصْرِفًا
And the guilty shall see the Fire and apprehend that they are about to fall into it. And they will find no way to avoid it. (18:53)
لَوْ يَعْلَمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ حِينَ لاَ يَكُفُّونَ عَن وُجُوهِهِمُ النَّارَ وَلاَ عَن ظُهُورِهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يُنصَرُونَ
بَلْ تَأْتِيهِم بَغْتَةً فَتَبْهَتُهُمْ فَلاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ رَدَّهَا وَلاَ هُمْ يُنظَرُونَ
If only those who disbelieved knew (about the time) when they will not be able to protect their faces nor their backs from the Fire, and they have no help.
Nay, it (the Fire) will come upon them all of a sudden and will perplex them, and they will have no power to avert it nor will they have any respite. (21:39-40)
The gods of the Idolators will disown Them at the Time when They need them most
Then Allah tells us that their gods will disown them when they need them most.
وَإِذَا رَأى الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ شُرَكَاءهُمْ ...
And when those who associated partners with Allah see their partners,
meaning, those whom they used to worship in this world.
... قَالُواْ رَبَّنَا هَـؤُلاء شُرَكَآؤُنَا الَّذِينَ كُنَّا نَدْعُوْ مِن دُونِكَ فَألْقَوْا إِلَيْهِمُ الْقَوْلَ إِنَّكُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ ﴿٨٦﴾
they will say: "Our Lord! These are our partners whom we used to call upon besides you.''
But they will throw their statements back at them (saying): "You are indeed liars!''
i.e., those gods will say to them, `you are lying. We never commanded you to worship us.'
وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّن يَدْعُو مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَن لاَّ يَسْتَجِيبُ لَهُ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَهُمْ عَن دُعَآئِهِمْ غَـفِلُونَ
وَإِذَا حُشِرَ النَّاسُ كَانُواْ لَهُمْ أَعْدَآءً وَكَانُواْ بِعِبَادَتِهِمْ كَـفِرِينَ
And who is more astray than one who calls upon others besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their invocations to them And when the people are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become their enemies and will deny their worship, (46:5-6)
وَاتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ ءالِهَةً لِّيَكُونُواْ لَهُمْ عِزّا - كَلاَّ سَيَكْفُرُونَ بِعِبَـدَتِهِمْ وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضِدّاً
And they have taken gods besides Allah, that they might give them honor, power and glory.
Nay, but they will deny their worship, and become their adversaries (on the Day of Resurrection). (19:81-82)
Al-Khalil (Ibrahim) said:
ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يَكْفُرُ بَعْضُكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ
but on the Day of Resurrection, you will disown each other. (29:25)
And Allah says:
وَقِيلَ ادْعُواْ شُرَكَآءَكُمْ
And it will be said (to them): "Call upon your partners.'' (28:64)
And there are many other similar Ayat.
Everything will surrender to Allah on the Day of Resurrection
And they will offer (their full) submission to Allah on that Day,
Qatadah and Ikrimah said: "They will humble themselves and surrender on that Day,''
i.e., they will all surrender to Allah, there will not be anyone who does not hear and obey. As Allah says:
أَسْمِعْ بِهِمْ وَأَبْصِرْ يَوْمَ يَأْتُونَنَا
How clearly will they see and hear, the Day when they will appear before Us! (19:38)
meaning, they will see and hear better than they have ever seen and heard before. And Allah says:
وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذِ الْمُجْرِمُونَ نَاكِسُواْ رُءُوسِهِمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ رَبَّنَآ أَبْصَرْنَا وَسَمِعْنَا
And if you only could see when the guilty hang their heads before their Lord (saying): "Our Lord! We have now seen and heard.'' (32:12)
وَعَنَتِ الْوُجُوهُ لِلْحَىِّ الْقَيُّومِ
And (all) faces shall be humbled before the Ever Living, the Sustainer. (20:111)
meaning, they will humble and submit themselves.
وَأَلْقَوْاْ إِلَى اللّهِ يَوْمَئِذٍ السَّلَمَ وَضَلَّ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ ﴿٨٧﴾
And they will offer (their full) submission to Allah on that Day, and what they falsely invented will wander away from them.
The things that they used to worship which were all based on fabrications and lies, will all disappear, and they will have no helper or supporter, and no one to turn to.
Those among the Idolators who corrupted Others will receive a Greater Punishment
Then Allah tells us:
الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَصَدُّواْ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ زِدْنَاهُمْ عَذَابًا فَوْقَ الْعَذَابِ بِمَا كَانُواْ يُفْسِدُونَ ﴿٨٨﴾
Those who disbelieved and tried to obstruct the path of Allah, for them We will add torment on top of the torment because of the corruption they spread.
meaning one punishment for their disbelief and another punishment for turning others away from following the truth, as Allah says:
وَهُمْ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ وَيَنْأَوْنَ عَنْهُ
And they prevent others from him and they themselves keep away from him. (6:26)
meaning they forbade others to follow him and they themselves shunned him, but:
وَإِن يُهْلِكُونَ إِلاَّ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ
they destroyed only themselves, while they do not realize it.
This is evidence that there will be varying levels of punishment for the disbelievers, just as there will be varying degrees of Paradise for the believers, as Allah says:
قَالَ لِكُلٍّ ضِعْفٌ وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَعْلَمُونَ
For each one there is double (torment), but you know not. (7:38)
Every Prophet will bear Witness against his Nation on the Day of Resurrection
Allah addressed His servant and Messenger Muhammad, saying:
وَيَوْمَ نَبْعَثُ فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْهِم مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ شَهِيدًا عَلَى هَـؤُلاء ...
And on the Day when We resurrect a witness from each nation from among themselves, and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these),
meaning, your Ummah.
The Ayah means: remember that Day and its terrors, and the great honor and high position that Allah has bestowed upon you.
This is like the Ayah with which Abdullah bin Mas`ud ended when he recited to the Messenger of Allah from the beginning of Surah An-Nisa'. When he reached the Ayah:
فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِن كُلِّ أمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَـؤُلاءِ شَهِيداً
How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these! (4:41)
the Messenger of Allah said to him: حَسْبُك Enough.
Ibn Mas`ud said: "I turned to him and saw his eyes streaming with tears.''
The Qur'an explains Everything
... وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ ...
And We revealed the Book (the Qur'an) to you as an explanation of everything,
Ibn Mas`ud said:
"Allah﴾ made it clear that in this Qur'an there is complete knowledge and about everything.''
The Qur'an contains all kinds of beneficial knowledge, such as reports of what happened in the past, information about what is yet to come, what is lawful and unlawful, and what people need to know about their worldly affairs, their religion, their livelihood in this world, and their destiny in the Hereafter.
... وَهُدًى ...
means, for their hearts.
... وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَى لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ ﴿٨٩﴾
a mercy, and good news for the Muslims.
Al-Awza`i said: وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ (And We have revealed the Book (the Qur'an) as an explanation of everything),
meaning, with the Sunnah. The is the reason why the phrase, وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ (And We have revealed the Book to you), is mentioned immediately after the phrase,
... وَجِئْنَا بِكَ شَهِيدًا عَلَى هَـؤُلاء ...
And We shall bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these.
the meaning - and Allah knows best - is that the One Who obligated you to convey the Book which He revealed to you, will also ask you about that on the Day of Resurrection.
فَلَنَسْـَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَنَسْـَلَنَّ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
Then We shall indeed question those (people) to whom it (the Book) was sent and We shall indeed question the Messengers. (7:6)
فَوَرَبِّكَ لَنَسْـَلَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ - عَمَّا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ
So by your Lord We question them all about what they did. (15:92-92)
يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُ اللَّهُ الرُّسُلَ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَآ أُجِبْتُمْ قَالُواْ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلَّـمُ الْغُيُوبِ
On the Day when Allah gathers the Messengers together and says to them: "What was the response you received (to your Message)!''
They will say: "We have no knowledge, indeed only You are the Knower of all that is hidden.'' (5:109)
And Allah says:
إِنَّ الَّذِى فَرَضَ عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْءَانَ لَرَآدُّكَ إِلَى مَعَادٍ
Verily, He Who obligated the Qur'an upon you (O Muhammad) will surely bring you back to the return. (28:85)
meaning, the One Who gave you the obligation of conveying the Qur'an will bring you back to Him, and your return will be on the Day of Resurrection, and He will question you about you commission of the duty He gave you.
This is one of the opinions, and it presents a good understanding of it.
The Command to be Fair and Kind
إِنَّ اللّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ ...
Verily, Allah orders justice and kindness,
Allah tells us that He commands His servant to be just, i.e., fair and moderate, and that He encourages kindness and good treatment.
As He says:
وَإِنْ عَاقَبْتُمْ فَعَاقِبُواْ بِمِثْلِ مَا عُوقِبْتُمْ بِهِ وَلَئِن صَبَرْتُمْ لَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لِّلصَّـبِرينَ
And if you punish them, then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted. But if you have patience with them, then it is better for those who are patient. (16:126)
وَجَزَآءُ سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِّثْلُهَا فَمَنْ عَفَا وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ
The recompense for an offense is an offense the like thereof; but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allah. (42:40)
وَالْجُرُوحَ قِصَاصٌ فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَّهُ
and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall count as atonement for him. (5:45)
And there are other Ayat which support the institution of justice in Islam, as well as encouraging a fair and generous attitude.
The Command to maintain the Ties of Kinship and the prohibition of Immoral Sins, Evil and Tyranny
... وَإِيتَاء ذِي الْقُرْبَى ...
and giving (help) to relatives,
meaning that Allah is commanding us to uphold the ties of kinship, as He says:
وَءَاتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَى حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَلاَ تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيرًا
And give the relative his due and to the poor and to the wayfarer. But do not spend wastefully in the manner of a spendthrift. (17:26)
... وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاء وَالْمُنكَرِ ...
and He forbids immoral sins, and evil.
Fahsha' refers to all things that are forbidden, and Munkar refers to those forbidden deeds that are committed openly by the one who does them.
Hence Allah says elsewhere:
قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ
Say (O Muhammad): "(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are the indecencies, whether committed openly or secretly. (7:33)
... وَالْبَغْيِ ...
refers to aggression towards people. In a Hadith, the Prophet said:
مَا مِنْ ذَنْبٍ أَجْدَرَ أَنْ يُعَجِّلَ اللهُ عُقُوبَتَهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعَ مَا يَدَّخِرُ لِصَاحِبِهِ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْبَغْيِ وَقَطِيعَةِ الرَّحِم
There is no sin more deserving of having its punishment hastened in this world, as well as what is reserved in the Hereafter for the one who does it, than tyrannical aggression and cutting the ties of kinship.
... يَعِظُكُمْ ...
He admonishes you,
meaning, He commands what He commands you of good and He forbids what He forbids you of evil;
... لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿٩٠﴾
so that perhaps you may take heed.
Ash-Sha`bi reported that Shatiyr bin Shakl said: "I heard Ibn Mas`ud say:
`The most comprehensive Ayah in the Qur'an is in Surah An-Nahl:
إِنَّ اللّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ...
Verily, Allah enjoins justice and kindness...'''
It was reported by Ibn Jarir.
The Eyewitness Account of `Uthman
Concerning the revelation of this Ayah, Imam Ahmad reported a Hasan Hadith from Abdullah bin Abbas who said:
"While the Messenger of Allah was sitting in the courtyard of his house, Uthman bin Maz`un passed by and smiled at the Messenger of Allah.
The Messenger of Allah said to him, أَلَا تَجْلِسُ؟ Won't you sit down?
He said, `Certainly.'
So the Messenger of Allah sat facing him, and while they were talking, the Messenger of Allah began looking up at the sky, looking at it for a while, then he brought his gaze down until he was looking at the ground to his right. Then the Messenger of Allah turned slightly away from his companion Uthman to where he was looking. Then he began to tilt his head as if trying to understand something, and Ibn Maz`un was looking on.
When the matter was finished and he had understood what had been said to him, the Messenger of Allah stared at the sky again as he had the first time, looking at whatever he could see until it disappeared. Then he turned back to face Uthman again.
Uthman said, `O Muhammad, I have never seen you do anything like you did today while I was sitting with you.'
The Messenger of Allah said: وَمَا رَأَيْتَنِي فَعَلْتُ ؟ What did you see me do?
Uthman said: `I saw you staring at the sky, then you lowered your gaze until you were looking to your right, then you turned to him and left me. Then you tilted your head as if you were trying to understand something that was being said to you.'
The Messenger of Allah said to him, أَلَا تَجْلِسُ (Won't you sit down)?
Uthman said, `Yes'.
The Messenger of Allah said: أَتَانِي رَسُولُ اللهِ آنِفًا وَأَنْتَ جَالِس A messenger from Allah came to me just now, when you were sitting here.
Uthman said, `A messenger from Allah!'
The Messenger of Allah said, Yes.
Uthman said, `And what did he say to you?'
The Messenger of Allah said: إِنَّ اللّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ Verily, Allah orders justice and kindness...
That was when faith was established in my heart and I began to love Muhammad.''
It is a Hasan Hadith having a good connected chain of narrators in which their hearing it from each other is clear.
The Command to fulfill the Covenant
وَأَوْفُواْ بِعَهْدِ اللّهِ إِذَا عَاهَدتُّمْ ...
And fulfill the covenants (taken in the Name of) Allah when you have taken them,
This is one of the commands of Allah, to fulfill covenants, keep promises and to fulfill oaths after confirming them.
Thus Allah says:
... وَلاَ تَنقُضُواْ الأَيْمَانَ بَعْدَ تَوْكِيدِهَا ...
and do not break the oaths after you have confirmed them.
There is no conflict between this and the Ayat:
وَلاَ تَجْعَلُواْ اللَّهَ عُرْضَةً لاًّيْمَـنِكُمْ
And do not use Allah as an excuse in your oaths. (2:224)
ذلِكَ كَفَّارَةُ أَيْمَـنِكُمْ إِذَا حَلَفْتُمْ وَاحْفَظُواْ أَيْمَـنَكُمْ
That is the expiation for oaths when you have sworn. And protect your oaths. (5:89)
meaning, do not forgo your oaths without offering the penance.
There is also no conflict between this Ayah (16:91) and the Hadith reported in the Two Sahihs according to which the Prophet said:
إِنِّي وَاللهِ إِنْ شَاءَ اللهُ لَا أَحْلِفُ عَلَى يَمِينٍ فَأَرَى غَيْرَهَا خَيْرًا مِنْهَا إِلَّا أَتَيْتُ الَّذِي هُوَ خَيْرٌ وَتَحَلَّلْتُهَا وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ وَكَفَّرْتُ عَنْ يَمِينِي
By Allah, if Allah wills, I will not swear an oath and then realize that something else is better, but I do that which is better and find a way to free myself from the oath.
According to another report he said:
"and I offer penance for my oath.''
There is no contradiction at all between all of these texts and the Ayah under discussion here, which is: وَلاَ تَنقُضُواْ الأَيْمَانَ بَعْدَ تَوْكِيدِهَا (and do not break the oaths after you have confirmed them), because these are the kinds of oaths that have to do with covenants and promises, not the kind that have to do with urging oneself to do something or preventing him from doing something.
Therefore Mujahid said concerning this Ayah: وَلاَ تَنقُضُواْ الأَيْمَانَ بَعْدَ تَوْكِيدِهَا (and do not break the oaths after you have confirmed them), "The oath here refers to oaths made during Jahiliyyah.''
This supports the Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad from Jubayr bin Mut`im, who said that the Messenger of Allah said:
لَا حِلْفَ فِي الْإِسْلَامِ، وَأَيُّمَا حِلْفٍ كَانَ فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَزِيدُهُ الْإِسْلَامُ إِلَّا شِدَّة
There is no oath in Islam, and any oath made during the Jahiliyyah is only reinforced by Islam.
This was also reported by Muslim.
The meaning is that Islam does not need oaths as they were used by the people of the Jahiliyyah; adherence to Islam is sufficient to do away with any need for what they used to customarily give oaths for.
In the Two Sahihs it was reported that Anas said:
"The Messenger of Allah swore the treaty of allegiance between the Muhajirin (emigrants) and the Ansar (helpers) in our house.''
This means that he established brotherhood between them, and they used to inherit from one another, until Allah abrogated that.
And Allah knows best.
... وَقَدْ جَعَلْتُمُ اللّهَ عَلَيْكُمْ كَفِيلاً ...
- and indeed you have appointed Allah as your guarantor.
... إِنَّ اللّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ ﴿٩١﴾
Verily, Allah knows what you do.
This is a warning and a threat to those who break their oaths after confirming them.
وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ كَالَّتِي نَقَضَتْ غَزْلَهَا مِن بَعْدِ قُوَّةٍ أَنكَاثًا ...
And do not be like the one who undoes the thread which she has spun, after it has become strong,
Abdullah bin Kathir and As-Suddi said:
"This was a foolish woman in Makkah. Every time she spun thread and made it strong, she would undo it again.''
Mujahid, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said: "This is like the one who breaks a covenant after confirming it.''
This view is more correct and more apparent, whether or not there was a woman in Makkah who undid her thread after spinning it.
The word Ankathan could be referring back to the word translated as "undoes'', reinforcing the meaning,
or it could be the predicate of the verb "to be'', meaning, do not be Ankathan, the plural of Nakth (breach, violation), from the word Nakith (perfidious).
Hence after this, Allah says:
... تَتَّخِذُونَ أَيْمَانَكُمْ دَخَلاً بَيْنَكُمْ ...
by taking your oaths as a means of deception among yourselves,
meaning for the purposes of cheating and tricking one another.
... أَن تَكُونَ أُمَّةٌ هِيَ أَرْبَى مِنْ أُمَّةٍ ...
when one group is more numerous than another group.
meaning, you swear an oath with some people if they are more in number than you, so that they can trust you, but when you are able to betray them you do so.
Allah forbids that, by showing a case where treachery might be expected or excused, but He forbids it. If treachery is forbidden in such a case, then in cases where one is in a position of strength it is forbidden more emphatically.
"They used to enter into alliances and covenants, then find other parties who were more powerful and more numerous, so they would cancel the alliance with the first group and make an alliance with the second who were more powerful and more numerous. This is what they were forbidden to do.''
Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said something similar.
... إِنَّمَا يَبْلُوكُمُ اللّهُ بِهِ ...
Allah only tests you by this,
Sa`id bin Jubayr said:
"This means (you are tested) by the large numbers.''
This was reported by Ibn Abi Hatim.
Ibn Jarir said: "It means (you are being tested) by His command to you to adhere to your covenants.''
... وَلَيُبَيِّنَنَّ لَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ ﴿٩٢﴾
And on the Day of Resurrection, He will certainly clarify that which you differed over.
Everyone will be rewarded or punished in accordance with his deeds, good or evil.
If Allah had willed, He would have made all of Humanity one Nation
وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ ...
And had Allah willed, He would have made you,
meaning - O mankind,
... أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً ...
(all) one nation,
This is like the Ayah:
وَلَوْ شَآءَ رَبُّكَ لآمَنَ مَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ كُلُّهُمْ جَمِيعًا
And had your Lord willed, all of those on earth would have believed together. (10:99),
meaning, He could have created harmony among them, and there would not be any differences, conflicts or hatred between them.
وَلَوْ شَآءَ رَبُّكَ لَجَعَلَ النَّاسَ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلاَ يَزَالُونَ مُخْتَلِفِينَ - إِلاَّ مَن رَّحِمَ رَبُّكَ وَلِذلِكَ خَلَقَهُمْ
And if your Lord had so willed, He would surely, have made mankind one Ummah (nation or community), but they will not cease to disagree. Except him on whom your Lord has bestowed His mercy, and for that did He create them. (11:118-119)
Similarly, Allah says here:
... وَلكِن يُضِلُّ مَن يَشَاء وَيَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء ...
but He allows whom He wills to stray and He guides whom He wills.
... وَلَتُسْأَلُنَّ عَمَّا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٩٣﴾
But you shall certainly be called to account for what you used to do.
i.e. on the Day of Resurrection, He will ask them all about their deeds, and will reward or punish them even equal to a scalish thread in the long slit of a date stone or the size of a speck on the back of a date stone, or even a thin membrane of the date stone.
The Prohibition on taking an Oath for Purposes of Treachery
وَلاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ أَيْمَانَكُمْ دَخَلاً بَيْنَكُمْ فَتَزِلَّ قَدَمٌ بَعْدَ ثُبُوتِهَا ...
And do not make your oaths a means of deception among yourselves, resulting in the slip of a foot after it was firmly planted,
Allah warns His servant against taking oaths as means of deception, i.e., using them for treacherous purposes, lest a foot should slip after being firmly planted.
This is an analogy describing one who was on the right path but then deviated and slipped from the path of guidance because of an unfulfilled oath that involved hindering people from the path of Allah. This is because if a disbeliever were to find that after having agreed to a covenant, then the believer betrayed him, then the believer will have hindered him from entering Islam.
Thus Allah says:
... وَتَذُوقُواْ الْسُّوءَ بِمَا صَدَدتُّمْ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَلَكُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ ﴿٩٤﴾
and you taste the evil of having hindered from the path of Allah, and you will suffer a terrible punishment.
Do not break Oaths for the sake of Worldly Gain
Then Allah says:
وَلاَ تَشْتَرُواْ بِعَهْدِ اللّهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلاً ...
And do not use an oath by Allah for the purchase of little value.
meaning, do not neglect an oath sworn in the Name of Allah for the sake of this world and its attractions, for they are few, and even if the son of Adam were to gain this world and all that is in it, that which is with Allah is better for him,
... إِنَّمَا عِندَ اللّهِ هُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ...
what is with Allah is better for you if you only knew.
i.e., the reward of Allah is better for the one who puts his hope in Him, believes in Him, seeks Him and fulfills his oaths in the hope of that which Allah has promised.
This is why Allah says:
... إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٩٥﴾
if you only knew.
مَا عِندَكُمْ يَنفَدُ ...
Whatever you have will be exhausted,
meaning, it will come to an end and will vanish, because it is only there for a certain, limited time.
... وَمَا عِندَ اللّهِ بَاقٍ ...
and what is with Allah will remain.
meaning, His reward for you in Paradise will remain, without interruption or end, because it is eternal and will never change nor disappear.
... وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّ الَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٩٦﴾
And to those who are patient, We will certainly grant them their rewards in proportion to the best of what they used to do.
Here the Lord swears, with the Lam of affirmation, that He will reward the patient for the best of their deeds, i.e., He will forgive them for their bad deeds.