Surah Al Furqan
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Tafsir of Ayah
Blessed be Allah
Allah says while praising Himself:
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَالَمِينَ نَذِيرًا ﴿١﴾
Blessed be He Who sent down (Nazzala) the criterion to His servant that he may be a warner to all nations.
Here Allah praises Himself for the Noble Qur'an He has revealed to His noble Messenger. This is like the Ayat:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِى أَنْزَلَ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ الْكِتَـبَ وَلَمْ يَجْعَل لَّهُ عِوَجَا
قَيِّماً لِّيُنْذِرَ بَأْسًا شَدِيدًا مِّن لَّدُنْهُ وَيُبَشِّرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّـلِحَاتِ...
All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has sent down to His servant the Book, and has not placed therein any crookedness. (He has made it) straight to give warning of a severe punishment from Him, and to give glad tidings to the believers, who do righteous deeds... (18:1-2)
Here Allah says: تَبَارَكَ Blessed be He. The verbal form used here implies an ongoing, permanent, eternal blessing.
الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ (Who sent down the criterion), The verb Nazzala is a form which implies something done a great deal and often. This is like the Ayah:
وَالْكِتَـبِ الَّذِى نَزَّلَ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَـبِ الَّذِى أَنَزلَ مِن قَبْلُ
And the Book which He (Nazzala) sent down to His Messenger, and the Scripture which He (Anzala) sent down to those before (him). (4:136)
Each of the previous Books was sent down at one time, but the Qur'an was revealed gradually, in stages, Ayat after Ayat, rulings after rulings, Surahs after Surahs. This is more eloquent and indicative of greater care for the one to whom it is revealed, as Allah says later in this Surah:
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَوْلَا نُزِّلَ عَلَيْهِ الْقُرْآنُ جُمْلَةً وَاحِدَةً كَذَلِكَ لِنُثَبِّتَ بِهِ فُؤَادَكَ وَرَتَّلْنَاهُ تَرْتِيلًا
وَلَا يَأْتُونَكَ بِمَثَلٍ إِلَّا جِئْنَاكَ بِالْحَقِّ وَأَحْسَنَ تَفْسِيرًا
And those who disbelieve say: "Why is not the Qur'an revealed to him all at once!'' Thus, that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages. And no example or similitude do they bring, but We reveal to you the truth, and the better explanation thereof. (25:32-33)
This Surah was named Al-Furqan, because it is the criterion that decides between truth and falsehood, guidance and misguidance, right and wrong, lawful and unlawful.
عَلَى عَبْدِهِ (to His servant), This description is one of praise and commendation, because here Allah is connecting him to Himself, describing him as His servant.
Allah also described him in this manner when referring to the noblest of events, the Night of the Isra', as He said:
سُبْحَانَ الَّذِى أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلاً
Glorified be He Who took His servant for a journey by night. (17:1)
Allah also described him in this way when He described how he stood and called to Him:
وَأَنَّهُ لَّمَا قَامَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ يَدْعُوهُ كَادُواْ يَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِ لِبَداً
And when the servant of Allah stood up invoking Him in prayer they (the Jinn) just made round him a dense crowd as if sticking one over the other (in order to listen to the Prophet's recitation). (72:19)
This description is also used here when Allah describes how the Book is revealed to him and how the angel comes down to him: تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَالَمِينَ نَذِيرًا Blessed be He Who sent down the criterion to His servant that he may be a warner to all nations.
لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَالَمِينَ نَذِيرًا (that he may be a warner to all nations) means, he alone has been blessed with this great, detailed, clear Book which,
لاَّ يَأْتِيهِ الْبَـطِلُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلاَ مِنْ خَلْفِهِ تَنزِيلٌ مِّنْ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ
Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise (Allah). (41:42)
The One Who made it the mighty criterion, singled him out to convey it to those who seek the shade of trees and to those who live on the land (i.e., to all of mankind, nomad and settled alike), as the Prophet said:
بُعِثْتُ إِلَى الْأَحْمَرِ وَالْأَسْوَد
I have been sent to the red and the black.
And he said:
إِنِّي أُعْطِيتُ خَمْسًا لَمْ يُعْطَهُنَّ أَحَدٌ مِنَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ قَبْلِي
I have been given five things which no Prophet before me was given.
Among them he mentioned:
كَانَ النَّبِيُّ يُبْعَثُ إِلَى قَوْمِهِ خَاصَّةً وَبُعِثْتُ إِلَى النَّاسِ عَامَّة
(Before me) a Prophet was sent only to his own people, but I have been sent to all of mankind.
And Allah says:
قُلْ يَأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا
Say: "O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah...'' (7:158),
meaning, the One Who has sent me is the Sovereign of the heaven and the earth, who merely says to a thing "Be!'' and it is. He is the one who gives life and causes death.
Allah says here:
الَّذِى لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ ...
He to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and Who has begotten no son and for Whom there is no partner in the dominion.
Allah states that He is above having any offspring or partner.
Then He tells us:
... وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيرًا ﴿٢﴾
He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements.
meaning, everything apart from Him is created and subject to Him. He is the Creator, Lord, Master and God of all things, and everything is subject to His dominion, control and power.
The Foolishness of the Idolators
وَاتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ آلِهَةً لَّا يَخْلُقُونَ شَيْئًا وَهُمْ يُخْلَقُونَ وَلَا يَمْلِكُونَ لِأَنفُسِهِمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا نَفْعًا ...
Yet they have taken besides Him other gods who created nothing but are themselves created, and possess neither harm nor benefit for themselves,
Allah tells us of the ignorance of the idolators in taking other gods instead of Allah, the Creator of all things, the One Who controls the affairs of all things; whatever He wills happens and whatever He does not will does not happen. In spite of that, they still worshipped others besides Him, idols who could not even create the wing of a gnat, but were themselves created. They could neither do harm nor bring benefit to themselves, so how could they do anything for their worshippers!
... وَلَا يَمْلِكُونَ مَوْتًا وَلَا حَيَاةً وَلَا نُشُورًا ﴿٣﴾
and possess no power (of causing) death, nor (of giving) life, nor of raising the dead.
means, they could not do any of that at all;
that power belongs only to Allah, Who is the One Who gives life and death, and is the One Who will bring all people, the first and the last, back to life on the Day of Resurrection.
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)
This is like the Ayat;
وَمَآ أَمْرُنَآ إِلاَّ وَحِدَةٌ كَلَمْحٍ بِالْبَصَرِ
And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye. (54:50)
فَإِنَّمَا هِىَ زَجْرَةٌ وَحِدَةٌ - فَإِذَا هُم بِالسَّاهِرَةِ
But it will be only a single Zajrah. When behold, they find themselves on the surface of the earth alive after their death. (79:13-14)
فَإِنَّمَا هِىَ زَجْرَةٌ وَحِدَةٌ فَإِذَا هُمْ يَنظُرُونَ
It will be a single Zajrah, and behold, they will be staring! (37:19)
إِن كَانَتْ إِلاَّ صَيْحَةً وَحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ جَمِيعٌ لَّدَيْنَا مُحْضَرُونَ
It will be but a single Sayhah, so behold they will all be brought up before Us! (36:53)
- He is Allah besides Whom there is no other God and besides Whom there is no other Lord.
- No one should be worshipped except Him because whatever He wills happens and whatever he does not will does not happen.
- He has no offspring nor progenitor, nor equal nor likeness nor rival nor peer.
- He is the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need,
- He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.
What the Disbelievers said about the Qur'an
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ...
Those who disbelieve say:
Allah tells us about the foolishness of the disbelievers' ignorant minds, when they said about the Qur'an:
... إِنْ هَذَا إِلَّا إِفْكٌ ...
This is nothing but a lie,
meaning an untruth.
... افْتَرَاهُ ...
that he has invented,
meaning the Prophet.
... وَأَعَانَهُ عَلَيْهِ قَوْمٌ آخَرُونَ ...
and others have helped him in it.
means, he asked other people to help him compile it.
So Allah said:
... فَقَدْ جَاؤُوا ظُلْمًا وَزُورًا ﴿٤﴾
In fact, they have produced an unjust wrong and a lie.
meaning, they are the ones who are telling a lie, and they know that it is false, for their own souls know that what they are claiming is not true.
وَقَالُوا أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ اكْتَتَبَهَا ...
And they say: "Tales of the ancients which he has written down...''
meaning, the ancients wrote them down, and he has copied it.
... فَهِيَ تُمْلَى عَلَيْهِ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا ﴿٥﴾
and they are dictated to him, morning and afternoon
means, they are read or recited to him. at the beginning and end of the day.
Because this idea is so foolish and is so patently false, everyone knows that it is not true. It is known through Mutawatir reports and is a common fact that Muhammad the Messenger of Allah never learned to read or write, either at the beginning or the end of his life. He grew up among them for approximately forty years, from the time he was born until the time when his mission began. They knew all about him, and about his honest and sound character and how he would never lie or do anything immoral or bad. They even used to call him Al-Amin (the Trustworthy One) from a young age, until his mission began, because they saw how truthful and honest he was. When Allah honored him with that which He honored him, they declared their enmity towards him and came up with all these accusations which any reasonable person would know he was innocent of. They were not sure what to accuse him of.
Sometimes they said that he was a sorcerer, at other times they would say he was a poet, or crazy, or a liar. So Allah said:
انْظُرْ كَيْفَ ضَرَبُواْ لَكَ الاٌّمْثَالَ فَضَلُّواْ فَلاَ يَسْتَطِيعْونَ سَبِيلاً
See what examples they have put forward for you. So they have gone astray, and never can they find a way. (17:48)
In response to their stubbornness, Allah says here:
قُلْ أَنزَلَهُ الَّذِي يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ...
Say: "It has been sent down by Him Who knows the secret of the heavens and the earth.''
meaning, He has revealed the Qur'an which includes true information about the earlier and later generations, information which concurs with the realities of the past and future.
الَّذِي يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ (Who knows the secret),
means, Allah is the One Who knows the unseen in the heavens and on the earth; He knows their secrets just as He knows what is visible therein.
... إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا ﴿٦﴾
Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
This is an invitation to them to repent and turn back to Allah, telling them that His mercy is vast and His patience is immense. Whoever repents to Him, He accepts his repentance. Despite all their lies, immorality, falsehood, disbelief and stubbornness, and saying what they said about the Messenger and the Qur'an, He still invites them to repent and give up their sin, and to come to Islam and true guidance. This is like the Ayat:
لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ ثَـلِثُ ثَلَـثَةٍ وَمَا مِنْ إِلَـهٍ إِلاَّ إِلَـهٌ وَحِدٌ وَإِن لَّمْ يَنتَهُواْ عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَيَمَسَّنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
أَفَلاَ يَتُوبُونَ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَهُ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Surely, disbelievers are those who said: "Allah is the third of the three.''
But there is no god but One God. And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them.
Will they not turn with repentance to Allah and ask His forgiveness! For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (5:73-74)
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَتَنُواْ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَـتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَتُوبُواْ فَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ الْحَرِيقِ
Verily, those who put into trial the believing men and believing women, and then do not turn in repentance, then they will have the torment of Hell, and they will have the punishment of the burning Fire. (85:10)
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said:
"Look at this kindness and generosity! They killed His friends and He is calling them to repentance and mercy.''
What the Disbelievers said about the Messenger , refutation of Their Words, and Their ultimate Destiny
Allah tells us about the disbelievers' stubborn resistance to and rejection of the truth, with no proof or evidence for doing so.
وَقَالُوا مَالِ هَذَا الرَّسُولِ يَأْكُلُ الطَّعَامَ ...
And they say: "Why does this Messenger eat food,
meaning, `as we eat, and why does he need food as we need it.'
... وَيَمْشِي فِي الْأَسْوَاقِ ...
and walk about in the markets.
means, he walks around and goes there often seeking to trade and earn a living.
... لَوْلَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مَلَكٌ فَيَكُونَ مَعَهُ نَذِيرًا ﴿٧﴾
Why is not an angel sent down to him to be a warner with him!
They were saying: why doesn't an angel come down to him from Allah, to be a witness that what he is claiming is true!
This is like when Fir`awn said:
فَلَوْلاَ أُلْقِىَ عَلَيْهِ أَسْوِرَةٌ مِّن ذَهَبٍ أَوْ جَآءَ مَعَهُ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ مُقْتَرِنِينَ
"Why then are not golden bracelets bestowed on him, or angels sent along with him!'' (43:53)
These people had a similar mentality and said the same kind of thing.
أَوْ يُلْقَى إِلَيْهِ كَنزٌ ...
Or (why) has not a treasure been granted to him,
meaning, treasure that he could spend on his needs and wants.
... أَوْ تَكُونُ لَهُ جَنَّةٌ يَأْكُلُ مِنْهَا ...
or why has he not a garden whereof he may eat,
meaning, a garden that would go with him wherever he went.
All of this is easy for Allah, but He had a reason for not doing any of these things, and with Him is the perfect proof and argument.
... وَقَالَ الظَّالِمُونَ إِن تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا رَجُلًا مَّسْحُورًا ﴿٨﴾
And the wrongdoers say: "You follow none but a man bewitched.''
انظُرْ كَيْفَ ضَرَبُوا لَكَ الْأَمْثَالَ فَضَلُّوا ...
See how they coin similitudes for you, so they have gone astray,
meaning, they accused you and belied you when they said that you were a sorcerer or bewitched or crazy or a liar or a poet, but all of these are false ideas. Everyone who has the slightest understanding will recognize that they are lying.
... فَضَلُّوا ...
so they have gone astray,
from the path of guidance.
... فَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ سَبِيلًا ﴿٩﴾
and they cannot find a path.
Everyone who steps outside of the way of truth and guidance has gone astray, no matter what direction he takes, because the truth is one and its methodology is unified, parts of it confirming other parts.
Then Allah tells His Prophet that if He willed, He could bestow on him in this world something far better than what they were saying. He said:
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي إِن شَاء جَعَلَ لَكَ خَيْرًا مِّن ذَلِكَ ...
Blessed be He Who, if He wills, will assign you better than (all) that...
"This means in this world.''
... جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ وَيَجْعَل لَّكَ قُصُورًا ﴿١٠﴾
-- Gardens under which rivers flow and will assign you palaces.
Mujahid said, "The Quraysh used to call every house that was made of stone a `palace', whether it was large or small.''
بَلْ كَذَّبُوا بِالسَّاعَةِ ...
Nay, they deny the Hour,
means, they say this in stubborn disbelief, not because they are seeking insight and guidance, but because their disbelief in the Day of Resurrection makes them say what they say.
... وَأَعْتَدْنَا ...
And We have prepared,
means, `We have made ready,'
... لِمَن كَذَّبَ بِالسَّاعَةِ سَعِيرًا ﴿١١﴾
for those who deny the Hour, a flaming Fire.
means, an unbearably hot and painful torment in the fire of Hell.
إِذَا رَأَتْهُم ...
When it sees them,
means, when Hell sees them,
... مِّن مَّكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ ...
from a far place,
means from the place of gathering (on the Day of Resurrection),
... سَمِعُوا لَهَا تَغَيُّظًا وَزَفِيرًا ﴿١٢﴾
they will hear its raging and its roaring.
means, (it will make those sounds) out of hatred towards them.
This is like the Ayah,
إِذَآ أُلْقُواْ فِيهَا سَمِعُواْ لَهَا شَهِيقًا وَهِىَ تَفُورُ تَكَادُ تَمَيَّزُ مِنَ الغَيْظِ
When they are cast therein, they will hear the (terrible) drawing in of its breath as it blazes forth. It almost bursts up with fury. (67:7-8),
which means that parts of it almost separate from other parts because of its intense hatred towards those who disbelieved in Allah.
Imam Abu Jafar bin Jarir narrated that Ibn Abbas said:
"A man will be dragged towards Hell, which will be expanding and contracting, and Ar-Rahman will say to it: `What is the matter with you!'
It will say: `He is seeking refuge from me.'
So Allah will say, `Let My servant go.'
Another man will be dragged towards Hell and he will say, `O Lord, I never expected this from You.'
Allah will say, `What did you expect!'
The man will say, `I expected that Your mercy would be great enough to include me.'
So Allah will say, `Let My servant go.'
Another man will be dragged towards Hell, and Hell will bray at him like a donkey braying at barley. Then it will give a moan that will instill fear in everyone.''
Its chain of narrators is Sahih.
... سَمِعُوا لَهَا تَغَيُّظًا وَزَفِيرًا
they will hear its raging and its roaring.
Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Ubayd bin Umayr said:
"Hell will utter a moan such that there will be no angel who is close to Allah and no Prophet sent to mankind, but he will fall on his face, shaking all over. Even Ibrahim, peace be upon him, will fall to his knees and say: `O Lord, I do not ask You for salvation this Day except for myself.''
وَإِذَا أُلْقُوا مِنْهَا مَكَانًا ضَيِّقًا مُقَرَّنِينَ ...
And when they shall be thrown into a narrow place thereof, chained together,
Qatadah narrated from Abu Ayyub that Abdullah bin `Amr said: "Like the point of a spear, i.e., in its narrowness.''
Abu Salih said, مُقَرَّنِينَ (chained together), "This means, tied from their shoulders.''
... دَعَوْا هُنَالِكَ ثُبُورًا ﴿١٣﴾
they will exclaim therein for destruction.
means, they will utter cries of woe, regret and sorrow.
لَا تَدْعُوا الْيَوْمَ ثُبُورًا وَاحِدًا وَادْعُوا ثُبُورًا كَثِيرًا ﴿١٤﴾
Exclaim not today for one destruction, but exclaim for many destructions.
قُلْ أَذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ أَمْ جَنَّةُ الْخُلْدِ الَّتِي وُعِدَ الْمُتَّقُونَ كَانَتْ لَهُمْ جَزَاء وَمَصِيرًا ﴿١٥﴾
Say: "Is that better or the Paradise of Eternity which is promised to those who have Taqwa!''
It will be theirs as a reward and final destination.
Here Allah says: `O Muhammad, this that We have described to you about the state of those who are doomed, who will be dragged on their faces to Hell, which will receive them with a scowling face, with hatred and moans. There they will be thrown into their constricted spaces, tied up to their shoulders, unable to move or call for help, and unable to escape their plight --- is this better, or the eternal Paradise which Allah has promised to the pious among His servants, which He has prepared for them as a reward and ultimate destiny in return for their obedience to Him in this world!'
لَهُمْ فِيهَا مَا يَشَاؤُونَ ...
For them there will be therein all that they desire,
of delights such as food, drink, clothing, dwellings, means of transportation and scenery, and other things that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor the heart of anyone can comprehend.
... خَالِدِينَ ...
and they will abide (therein forever),
They will abide therein forever; it will never cease or come to an end, and they will never leave it.
This is what Allah has promised to those whom He has blessed and to whom He has shown His favor. He says:
... كَانَ عَلَى رَبِّكَ وَعْدًا مَسْؤُولًا ﴿١٦﴾
It is a upon your Lord a Wa`dan Mas'ula,
meaning, it must inevitably come to pass.
Abu Jafar bin Jarir reported from some of the scholars of the Arabic language that the words وَعْدًا مَسْؤُولًا (Wa`dan Mas'ula), mean: a binding pledge.
In this Surah Allah mentions Hell, then refers to the situation of the people of Paradise. This is similar to the passage in Surah As-Saffat where Allah mentions the status of the people of Paradise, with its beauty and joy, then He says:
أَذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ نُّزُلاً أَمْ شَجَرَةُ الزَّقُّومِ - إِنَّا جَعَلْنَـهَا فِتْنَةً لِّلظَّـلِمِينَ - إِنَّهَا شَجَرَةٌ تَخْرُجُ فِى أَصْلِ الْجَحِيمِ - طَلْعُهَا كَأَنَّهُ رُءُوسُ الشَّيَـطِينِ
فَإِنَّهُمْ لاّكِلُونَ مِنْهَا فَمَالِئُونَ مِنْهَا الْبُطُونَ - ثُمَّ إِنَّ لَهُمْ عَلَيْهَا لَشَوْباً مِنْ حَمِيمٍ - ثُمَّ إِنَّ مَرْجِعَهُمْ لإِلَى الْجَحِيمِ
إِنَّهُمْ أَلْفَوْاْ ءَابَآءَهُمْ ضَآلِّينَ - فَهُمْ عَلَى ءَاثَارِهِمْ يُهْرَعُونَ
Is that better entertainment or the tree of Zaqqum! Truly, We have made it a trial for the wrongdoers. Verily, it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hellfire, The shoots of its fruit stalks are like the heads of Shayatin.
Truly, they will eat thereof and fill their bellies therewith. Then on the top of that they will be given boiling water to drink so that it becomes a mixture. Then thereafter, verily, their return is to the flaming fire of Hell.
Verily, they found their fathers on the wrong path. So they hastened in their footsteps! (37:62-70)
The gods of the Idolators will disown Them on the Day of Resurrection
Allah tells us about what will happen on the Day of Resurrection, when those whom the idolators used to worship instead of Allah, angels and others, will rebuke them.
وَيَوْمَ يَحْشُرُهُمْ وَمَا يَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ ...
And on the Day when He will gather them together and that which they worship besides Allah.
Mujahid said, "This means `Isa, `Uzayr and the angels.''
... فَيَقُولُ أَأَنتُمْ أَضْلَلْتُمْ عِبَادِي هَؤُلَاء ...
He will say: "Was it you who misled these My servants...''
Allah will say to those who were worshipped: `Did you call these people to worship you instead of Me, or was it their own idea to worship you, without any call to that on your part!'
This is like the Ayah,
وَإِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يعِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَءَنتَ قُلتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِى وَأُمِّىَ إِلَـهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ قَالَ سُبْحَـنَكَ مَا يَكُونُ لِى أَنْ أَقُولَ مَا لَيْسَ لِى بِحَقٍّ إِن كُنتُ قُلْتُهُ فَقَدْ عَلِمْتَهُ تَعْلَمُ مَا فِى نَفْسِى وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ مَا فِى نَفْسِكَ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلَّـمُ الْغُيُوبِ
مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلاَّ مَآ أَمَرْتَنِى بِهِ
And when Allah will say: "O `Isa, son of Maryam! Did you say unto men: `Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah!'''
He will say: "Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner self though I do not know what is in Yours; truly, You, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden. Never did I say to them aught except what You did command me to say.'' (5:116-117)
... أَمْ هُمْ ضَلُّوا السَّبِيلَ ﴿١٧﴾
...or did they stray from the path!''
Describing how those who were worshipped will respond on the Day of Resurrection,
قَالُوا سُبْحَانَكَ مَا كَانَ يَنبَغِي لَنَا أَن نَّتَّخِذَ مِن دُونِكَ مِنْ أَوْلِيَاء ...
They will say: "Glorified be You! It was not for us to take (Nattakhidh) any Awliya' besides You...''
Most of the scholars recite a Fathah on the Nun of the word Nattakhidh in His saying: أَن نَّتَّخِذَ مِن دُونِكَ مِنْ أَوْلِيَاء meaning, `it is not right for any created being, neither us nor them, to worship anyone except You; we did not call them to do that, but they did it of their own accord, without us telling them to do it or accepting what they did. We are innocent of them and their worship.'
This is like the Ayah,
وَيَوْمَ يَحْشُرُهُمْ جَمِيعاً ثُمَّ يَقُولُ لِلْمَلَـئِكَةِ أَهَـؤُلاَءِ إِيَّاكُمْ كَانُواْ يَعْبُدُونَ قَالُواْ سُبْحَـنَكَ
And (remember) the Day when He will gather them all together, then He will say to the angels: "Was it you that these people used to worship'' They (the angels) will say: "Glorified be You!'' (34:40-41)
Other scholars understand this phrase to mean: `it is not proper for us to take anyone except You as protectors or helpers (Awliya'),'
meaning, `it is not proper for anyone to worship us, for we are Your servants and in need of You.'
This meaning is close to the first.
... وَلَكِن مَّتَّعْتَهُمْ وَآبَاءهُمْ ...
but You gave them and their fathers comfort,
means, `You made such a long period of time pass that they forgot the Reminder, i.e., they forgot what had been sent down to them through the Messengers, calling them to worship You alone with no partner or associate.'
... حَتَّى نَسُوا الذِّكْرَ ...
till they forgot the warning,
... وَكَانُوا قَوْمًا بُورًا ﴿١٨﴾
and became a lost people.
Ibn Abbas said, "This means, they were destroyed.''
Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Malik narrated from Az-Zuhri: "There was no good in them.''
And Allah says:
فَقَدْ كَذَّبُوكُم بِمَا تَقُولُونَ ...
Thus they will deny you because of what you say;
meaning, `those whom you used to worship besides Allah will show you to be liars in your claims that they were your helpers and protectors bringing you closer to Allah.'
This is like the Ayat:
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 on besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are unaware of their calls to them. And when mankinds are gathered, they will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping. (46:5-6)
... فَمَا تَسْتَطِيعُونَ صَرْفًا وَلَا نَصْرًا ...
then you can neither avert nor find help.
means: they will not be able to avert the punishment from themselves, nor will they be able to help themselves.
... وَمَن يَظْلِم مِّنكُمْ ...
And whoever among you does wrong,
means by associating others in worship with Allah,
... نُذِقْهُ عَذَابًا كَبِيرًا ﴿١٩﴾
We shall make him taste a great torment.
All of the Previous Messengers were Human
وَما أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِلَّا إِنَّهُمْ لَيَأْكُلُونَ الطَّعَامَ وَيَمْشُونَ فِي الْأَسْوَاقِ ...
And We never sent before you any of the Messengers but verily, they ate food and walked in the markets.
Allah tells us about the previous Messengers He sent: they all used to eat food needing the nourishment in it. They used to go around in the marketplaces seeking to engage in trade and earn a livelihood. This should not, however, affect their status as Messengers, for Allah gave them good characteristics and caused them to speak fine words and do noble deeds, and gave them miracles and clear proofs, from which any person with sound insight may see the confirmation that what they brought from Allah was true.
This Ayah is similar to the Ayat;
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِى إِلَيْهِمْ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَى
And We sent not before you any but men unto whom We revealed, from among the people of townships. (12:109)
وَمَا جَعَلْنَـهُمْ جَسَداً لاَّ يَأْكُلُونَ الطَّعَامَ
And We did not create them bodies that ate not food. (21:8)
... وَجَعَلْنَا بَعْضَكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ فِتْنَةً أَتَصْبِرُونَ ...
And We have made some of you as a trial for others; will you have patience,
means, `We test some of you by means of others, so that We may see who will be obedient and who will be disobedient.'
... أَتَصْبِرُونَ وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ بَصِيرًا ﴿٢٠﴾
will you have patience! And your Lord is Ever All-Seer.
meaning, He knows who deserves to receive revelation, as Allah says elsewhere:
اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ
Allah knows best with whom to place His Message. (6:124)
And He knows who deserves to be guided to the Message with which He sent them, and who does not deserve to be guided.
وَجَعَلْنَا بَعْضَكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ فِتْنَةً أَتَصْبِرُونَ And We have made some of you as a trial for others. Will you have patience. Muhammad bin Ishaq said:
Allah is saying, "If I had willed that the world be such that no one would oppose My Messengers, I could have made it so, but I wanted to test My servants by means of them.''
In Sahih Muslim it is narrated from Iyad bin Himar that the Messenger of Allah said:
يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالى: إِنِّي مُبْتَلِيكَ وَمُبْتَلٍ بِك
Allah says: "I will test you and test others by means of you.''
In the Sahih it is recorded that he was given the choice between being a Prophet and king, or being a servant and Messenger, and he chose to be a servant and Messenger.
The Stubbornness of the Disbelievers
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ لَا يَرْجُونَ ...
And those who expect not a meeting with Us said:
Allah describes how stubborn the disbelievers were in their disbelief when they said:
... لِقَاءنَا لَوْلَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا ...
Why are not the angels sent down to us,
meaning, `so that we may see them with our own eyes and they may tell us that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.'
This is like when they said:
أَوْ تَأْتِىَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْمَلَـئِكَةِ قَبِيلاً
or you bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face. (17:92)
Hence they also said:
... الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَوْ نَرَى ...
or why do we not see our Lord,
... رَبَّنَا لَقَدِ اسْتَكْبَرُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ وَعَتَوْ عُتُوًّا كَبِيرًا ﴿٢١﴾
Indeed they think too highly of themselves, and are scornful with great pride.
And Allah says:
وَلَوْ أَنَّنَا نَزَّلْنَآ إِلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَـئِكَةَ وَكَلَّمَهُمُ الْمَوْتَى
And even if We had sent down unto them angels, and the dead had spoken unto them... (6:111)
يَوْمَ يَرَوْنَ الْمَلَائِكَةَ لَا بُشْرَى يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُجْرِمِينَ وَيَقُولُونَ حِجْرًا مَّحْجُورًا ﴿٢٢﴾
On the Day they will see the angels -- no good news will there be for the criminals that day. And they will say: "Hijran Mahjura.''
means, when they do see the angels, it will not be a good day for them, for on that day there will be no good news for them.
This is also confirmed at the time when they are dying, when the angels bring them the tidings of Hell and the wrath of the Compeller, and when the disbeliever's soul is being taken out, the angels say to it,
"Come out, O evil soul from an evil body, come out to fierce hot wind and boiling water, and the shadow of black smoke.''
It refuses to come out and it scatters throughout his body, so they beat him, as Allah says:
وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذْ يَتَوَفَّى الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ يَضْرِبُونَ وُجُوهَهُمْ وَأَدْبَـرَهُمْ
And if you could see when the angels take away the souls of those who disbelieve; they smite their faces and their backs...'' (8:50)
... وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذِ الظَّالِمُونَ فِي غَمَرَاتِ الْمَوْتِ وَالْمَلآئِكَةُ بَاسِطُواْ أَيْدِيهِمْ ...
And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands.
that is, to beat them:
...أَخْرِجُواْ أَنفُسَكُمُ الْيَوْمَ تُجْزَوْنَ عَذَابَ الْهُونِ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللّهِ غَيْرَ الْحَقِّ وَكُنتُمْ عَنْ آيَاتِهِ تَسْتَكْبِرُونَ
(saying): "Deliver your souls! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth. And you used to reject His Ayat with disrespect!'' (6: 93)
Hence in this Ayah Allah says:
On the Day they will see the angels -- no good news will there be for the criminals,
This is in contrast to the state of the believers when death approaches them, for they are given glad tidings of joy and delight.
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,'' and then they stand firm, on them the angels will descend (saying): "Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the good news of Paradise which you have been promised!
We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have what your souls desire, and therein you shall have what you ask for.
Entertainment from, the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'' (41:30-32)
According to an authentic Hadith narrated from Al-Bara' bin Azib, the angels say to the believer's soul (at the time of death):
"Come out, O good soul in a good body, as you were dwelling in it. Come out to rest and pleasant fragrances and a Lord Who is not angry.''
Other scholars said that the Ayah: يَوْمَ يَرَوْنَ الْمَلَائِكَةَ لَا بُشْرَى (On the Day they will see the angels -- no good news), refers to the Day of Resurrection.
This was the view of Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak and others.
But there is no contradiction between these two views, because on both of these days -- the day of death and the Day of Resurrection -- the angels will appear to the believers and disbelievers, and they will give glad tidings of divine mercy and pleasure to the believers, while they will give the disbelievers news that will bring regret and sorrow, so there will be no glad tidings for the evildoers and criminals on that Day.
... وَيَقُولُونَ حِجْرًا مَّحْجُورًا
And they (angels) will say: "Hijran Mahjura.''
The angels will say to the disbelievers: `success is forbidden to you this day.'
The basic meaning of Al-Hijr is preventing or prohibition, hence the word is used in the phrase "Hajara Al-Qadi `Ala Fulan'' (or, "The judge prohibited so and so.'') when he forbids him to dispose of his wealth in cases of bankruptcy, folly, being underage, etc.
The name of Al-Hijr (the low semicircular wall near the Ka`bah) is also derived from this root, because it prevents people from Tawaf inside it, since they have to go behind it.
The mind is also called Al-Hijr, because it prevents a person from indulging in things that do not befit him.
In conclusion, the pronoun in the phrase وَيَقُولُونَ (And they will say), refers to the angels.
This was the view of Mujahid, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Atiyyah Al-`Awfi, Ata' Al-Khurasani, Khusayf and others; it was also the view favored by Ibn Jarir.
Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Jurayj said that, this referred to the words of the idolators.
On the Day they will see the angels,
means, they will seek refuge from the angels.
This is because when disaster and hardship struck, the Arabs would say: حِجْرًا مَّحْجُورًا (Hijran Mahjura).
Although there is a point to what Ibn Jurayj said, from the context it is unlikely that this is what was meant, and the majority of scholars said something different.
وَقَدِمْنَا إِلَى مَا عَمِلُوا مِنْ عَمَلٍ ...
And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did,
This refers to the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will bring mankind to account for their deeds, good and bad alike.
Allah tells us that the deeds which these idolators thought would bring them salvation will be of no avail to them, because they were not in accordance with the Shariah or Laws of Allah, whether in terms of sincere intention or in terms of following the Laws set out by Allah. Every deed that is neither sincere nor in accordance with the Laws of Allah is futile, and the deeds of the disbelievers are either one or the other, or they may include both, in which case they are even less likely to be accepted.
وَقَدِمْنَا إِلَى مَا عَمِلُوا مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَاء مَّنثُورًا ﴿٢٣﴾
And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust.
Sufyan Ath-Thawri, narrated from Abu Ishaq, from Al-Harith that Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, commented on Allah's saying: فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَاء مَّنثُورًا and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust (Haba').
"The rays of the sun when they pass through a small aperture.''
A similar view was also narrated through a different chain of narrators from Ali, and something similar was also narrated from Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, As-Suddi, Ad-Dahhak and others.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said,
"This refers to the rays coming through a small window, and if anyone tries to grasp them, he cannot.''
Abu Al-Ahwas narrated from Abu Ishaq from Al-Harith that Ali said:
"Haba' refers to the dust raised by animals.''
A similar view was also narrated from Ibn Abbas and Ad-Dahhak, and this was also said by Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam.
هَبَاء مَّنثُورًا (scattered floating particles of dust (Haba')). Qatadah said:
"Have you not seen dry trees when they are blown by the wind? This refers to those leaves.''
It was narrated that Ya`la bin Ubayd said:
"Ashes or dust when it is stirred up by the wind.''
In conclusion, all of these views are pointing out that the deeds of the disbelievers will be like some worthless scattered thing, and will be of no avail to them whatsoever.
As Allah says:
مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِرَبِّهِمْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَرَمَادٍ اشْتَدَّتْ بِهِ الرِّيحُ
The parable of those who disbelieved in their Lord is that their works are as ashes, on which the wind blows furiously. (14:18)
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تُبْطِلُواْ صَدَقَاتِكُم بِالْمَنِّ وَالأذَى كَالَّذِي يُنفِقُ مَالَهُ رِئَاء النَّاسِ وَلاَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَمَثَلُهُ كَمَثَلِ صَفْوَانٍ عَلَيْهِ تُرَابٌ فَأَصَابَهُ وَابِلٌ فَتَرَكَهُ صَلْدًا لاَّ يَقْدِرُونَ عَلَى شَيْءٍ مِّمَّا كَسَبُواْ
O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men, and he does not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day. His likeness is the likeness of a smooth rock on which is a little dust; on it falls heavy rain which leaves it bare. They are not able to do anything with what they have earned. (2:264)
وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَعْمَـلُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَآءً حَتَّى إِذَا جَآءَهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئاً
As for those who disbelieved, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water, until he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing. (24:39)
The Abode of the People of Paradise
أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَيْرٌ مُّسْتَقَرًّا وَأَحْسَنُ مَقِيلًا ﴿٢٤﴾
The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose.
meaning, on the Day of Resurrection.
لاَ يَسْتَوِى أَصْحَـبُ النَّارِ وَأَصْحَـبُ الْجَنَّةِ أَصْحَـبُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمُ الْفَآئِزُونَ
Not equal are the dwellers of the Fire and the dwellers of the Paradise. It is the dwellers of Paradise that will be successful. (59:20)
That is because the people of Paradise will ascend to lofty degrees and secure dwellings, so they will be in a place of safety, beauty and goodness,
خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَا حَسُنَتْ مُسْتَقَرّاً وَمُقَاماً
Abiding therein -- excellent it is as an abode, and as a place to rest in. (25:76)
The people of Hell will go down to the lowest levels and continual regret, with all kinds of punishments and torments.
إِنَّهَا سَآءَتْ مُسْتَقَرّاً وَمُقَاماً
Evil indeed it (Hell) is as an abode and as a place to rest in. (25:66)
means, how evil a dwelling place to look at, and how evil an abode in which to stay.
Allah says: أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَيْرٌ مُّسْتَقَرًّا وَأَحْسَنُ مَقِيلًا meaning, in return for what they have done of acceptable deeds, they will attain what they will attain and reach the status they will reach, in contrast to the people of Hell, who will not have even one deed to their credit that would qualify them to enter Paradise and be saved from the Fire.
Allah points out the situation of the blessed in contrast to that of the doomed, who will not enjoy any goodness at all.
Sa`id bin Jubayr said:
"Allah will finish the Judgement halfway through the Day, and the people of Paradise will take their mid day rest in Paradise and the people of Hell in Hell. Allah says: أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَيْرٌ مُّسْتَقَرًّا وَأَحْسَنُ مَقِيلًا (The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose)."
"I know the time when the people of Paradise will enter Paradise and the people of Hell will enter Hell. It is the time which in this world is the time when the late forenoon starts and people go back to their families to take a siesta. The people of Hell will go to Hell, but the people of Paradise will be taken to Paradise and will have their siesta in Paradise, and they will be fed the liver of a whale and they will all eat their fill. This is what Allah says: أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَيْرٌ مُّسْتَقَرًّا وَأَحْسَنُ مَقِيلًا
The Terrors of the Day of Resurrection, and how the Wrongdoers will wish that They had taken a Path with the Messenger
وَيَوْمَ تَشَقَّقُ السَّمَاء بِالْغَمَامِ وَنُزِّلَ الْمَلَائِكَةُ تَنزِيلًا ﴿٢٥﴾
And (remember) the Day when the heaven shall be rent asunder with clouds, and the angels will be sent down, with a grand descending.
Here Allah tells us about the terror of the Day of Resurrection and the tremendous events that will happen, including the splitting of heavens when they are pierced by the clouds, that is the shadow of the magnificent light which dazzles all sight.
The angels of heaven will come down on that Day and surround all creatures at the place of gathering, then the Lord, may He be blessed and exalted, will come to pass judgement.
Mujahid said, This is as Allah says:
هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلاَّ أَن يَأْتِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِي ظُلَلٍ مِّنَ الْغَمَامِ وَالْمَلَـئِكَةُ
Do they then wait for anything other than that Allah should come to them in the shadows of the clouds and the angels. (2:210)
الْمُلْكُ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحَقُّ لِلرَّحْمَنِ ...
The sovereignty on that Day will be the true (sovereignty) of the Most Gracious,
This is like the Ayah,
لِّمَنِ الْمُلْكُ الْيَوْمَ لِلَّهِ الْوَحِدِ الْقَهَّارِ
Whose is the kingdom this Day: It is Allah's, the One, the Irresistible! (40:16)
In the Sahih it says:
أَنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى يَطْوِي السَّمَوَاتِ بِيَمِينِهِ، وَيَأْخُذُ الْأَرَضِينَ بِيَدِهِ الْأُخْرَى، ثُمَّ يَقُولُ:
أَنَا الْمَلِكُ أَنَا الدَّيَّانُ، أَيْنَ مُلُوكُ الْأَرْضِ ؟
أَيْنَ الْجَبَّارُونَ ؟ أَيْنَ الْمُتَكَبِّرُونَ ؟
Allah, may He be exalted, will fold up the heavens in His Right Hand, and will take the earths in His other Hand, then He will say:
"I am the Sovereign, I am the Judge. Where are the kings of the earth?
Where are the tyrants Where are the arrogant?''
... وَكَانَ يَوْمًا عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ عَسِيرًا ﴿٢٦﴾
and it will be a hard Day for the disbelievers.
means it will be very difficult, because it will be the Day of justice and the decisive judgement, as Allah says:
فَذَلِكَ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَوْمٌ عَسِيرٌ - عَلَى الْكَـفِرِينَ غَيْرُ يَسِيرٍ
Truly, that Day will be a hard Day -- Far from easy for the disbelievers! (74:9-10)
This is how the disbelievers will be on the Day of Resurrection.
As for the believers, Allah says:
لاَ يَحْزُنُهُمُ الْفَزَعُ الاٌّكْبَرُ
The greatest terror will not grieve them. (21:103)
Then Allah says:
وَيَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلَى يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلًا ﴿٢٧﴾
And (remember) the Day when the wrongdoer will bite at his hands, he will say: "Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger.''
Here Allah tells us of the regret felt by the wrongdoer who rejected the path of the Messenger and what he brought from Allah of clear truth concerning which there is no doubt, and followed another path. When the Day of Resurrection comes, he will feel regret but his regret will avail him nothing, and he will bite on his hands in sorrow and grief.
Whether this Ayah was revealed concerning Uqbah bin Abi Mu`it or someone else among the doomed, it applies to every wrongdoer, as Allah says:
يَوْمَ تُقَلَّبُ وُجُوهُهُمْ فِى النَّارِ
On the Day when their faces will be turned over in the Fire, (33:66)
As mentioned in those two Ayat every wrongdoer will feel the ultimate regret on the Day of Resurrection, and will bite at his hands, saying:
... يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلًا
Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger.
يَا وَيْلَتَى لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَانًا خَلِيلًا ﴿٢٨﴾
Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as an intimate friend!
meaning, the one among the propagators of misguidance who diverted him from true guidance and led him to follow the path of misguidance, whether this refers to Umayyah bin Khalaf or his brother Ubayy bin Khalaf, or to someone else.
لَقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ ...
He indeed led me astray from the Reminder,
means the Qur'an,
... بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءنِي ...
after it had come to me.
means, after it had reached me.
... وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنسَانِ خَذُولًا ﴿٢٩﴾
And Shaytan is to man ever a deserter (in the hour of need).
meaning, he leads him away from the truth and diverts him from it, and uses him for the purposes of falsehood and calls him to it.
The Messenger will complain against His Opponents
وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا ﴿٣٠﴾
And the Messenger will say: "O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur'an.''
Allah tells how His Messenger and Prophet Muhammad will say: "O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur'an.''
The idolators would not listen to the Qur'an, as Allah says:
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لاَ تَسْمَعُواْ لِهَـذَا الْقُرْءَانِ وَالْغَوْاْ فِيهِ
And those who disbelieve say: "Listen not to this Qur'an, and make noise in the midst of it.'' (41:26)
When he would recite Qur'an to them, they would talk nonsense or speak about something else, so that they would not hear it.
This is a form of forsaking it and rejecting it, and not believing in it is the same as forsaking it, and not pondering its meanings and trying to understand it is the same as forsaking it, and not acting upon it and following its commandments and heeding its prohibitions is the same as forsaking it, and turning away from it in favor of poetry or other words or songs or idle talk or some other way is the same as forsaking it.
We ask Allah, the Most Generous, the Bestower of bounty, the One Who is able to do what He wills, to keep us safe from doing that which earns His wrath and to use us to do that which will earn His pleasure of preserving and understanding His Book, following its commandments night and day in the manner which He loves and which pleases Him, for He is Generous and Kind.
وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا مِّنَ الْمُجْرِمِينَ ...
Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals.
means, `just as there is for you, O Muhammad, those people who scorned the Qur'an, so in all the previous nations did Allah make for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals, who called people to their misguidance and disbelief,' as Allah says:
وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نِبِىٍّ عَدُوّاً شَيَـطِينَ الإِنْسِ وَالْجِنِّ
And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies -- Shayatin among mankind and Jinn, (6:112),
as stated in these two Ayat.
Allah says here:
... وَكَفَى بِرَبِّكَ هَادِيًا وَنَصِيرًا ﴿٣١﴾
But sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and Helper.
meaning, for the one who follows His Messenger and believes in His Book, Allah will be his Guide and Helper in this world and the Hereafter.
Allah says هَادِيًا وَنَصِيرًا (a Guide and Helper), because the idolators used to try to prevent people from following the Qur'an lest anyone be guided by it. They wanted their way to prevail over the way of the Qur'an. Allah says: وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا مِّنَ الْمُجْرِمِينَ Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals.
The Reason why the Qur'an was revealed in Stages, the Refutation of the Disbelievers, and their Evil End
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ...
And those who disbelieve say:
Allah tells us about the many objections raised by the disbelievers, their stubbornness, and how they spoke of things which were none of their concern. They said:
... لَوْلَا نُزِّلَ عَلَيْهِ الْقُرْآنُ جُمْلَةً وَاحِدَةً ...
"Why is not the Qur'an revealed to him all at once!''
meaning, why was this Qur'an, which was revealed to him, not sent down all at one time, as the previous Books, the Tawrah, Injil, Zabur and other Divine Books.
Allah answered them, telling them that it was revealed in stages over twenty-three years, according to events and circumstances, and whatever rulings were needed, in order to strengthen the hearts of the believers, as He says:
And (it is) a Qur'an which We have divided (into parts)... (17:106)
... كَذَلِكَ لِنُثَبِّتَ بِهِ فُؤَادَكَ وَرَتَّلْنَاهُ تَرْتِيلًا ﴿٣٢﴾
thus, that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages.
Qatadah said it means: "We have explained it.''
Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said it means: "We have given its interpretation.''
وَلَا يَأْتُونَكَ بِمَثَلٍ ...
And no example or similitude do they bring,
This means no arguments or doubts,
... إِلَّا جِئْنَاكَ بِالْحَقِّ وَأَحْسَنَ تَفْسِيرًا ﴿٣٣﴾
but We reveal to you the truth, and the better explanation thereof.
They do not say anything in an attempt to oppose the truth, but We respond to them with the truth of that same matter, more clearly and more eloquently than anything they say.
Abu Abdur-Rahman An-Nasa'i recorded that Ibn Abbas said,
"The Qur'an was sent down all at once to the first heaven on Laylatul-Qadr (the Night of Power), then it was revealed over twenty years.''
وَلَا يَأْتُونَكَ بِمَثَلٍ إِلَّا جِئْنَاكَ بِالْحَقِّ وَأَحْسَنَ تَفْسِيرًا
And no example or similitude do they bring, but We reveal to you the truth, and the better explanation thereof.
وَقُرْءانًا فَرَقْنَاهُ لِتَقْرَأَهُ عَلَى النَّاسِ عَلَى مُكْثٍ وَنَزَّلْنَـهُ تَنْزِيلاً
And (it is) a Qur'an which We have divided (into parts), in order that you might recite it to men at intervals. And We have revealed it by stages. (17:106)
Then Allah tells us about the terrible state of the disbelievers when they are raised on the Day of Resurrection and gathered into Hell:
الَّذِينَ يُحْشَرُونَ عَلَى وُجُوهِهِمْ إِلَى جَهَنَّمَ أُوْلَئِكَ شَرٌّ مَّكَانًا وَأَضَلُّ سَبِيلًا ﴿٣٤﴾
Those who will be gathered to Hell on their faces, such will be in an evil state, and most astray from the path.
In the Sahih, it is reported from Anas that a man said, "O Messenger of Allah, how will the disbeliever be gathered on his face on the Day of Resurrection?''
The Prophet said:
إِنَّ الَّذِي أَمْشَاهُ عَلَى رِجْلَيْهِ قَادِرٌ أَنْ يُمْشِيَهُ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة
The One Who caused him to walk on his two feet is able to make him walk on his face on the Day of Resurrection.
Frightening the Idolators of Quraysh
وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلْنَا مَعَهُ أَخَاهُ هَارُونَ وَزِيرًا ﴿٣٥﴾
And indeed We gave Musa the Scripture, and placed his brother Harun with him as a helper;
فَقُلْنَا اذْهَبَا إِلَى الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا فَدَمَّرْنَاهُمْ تَدْمِيرًا ﴿٣٦﴾
And We said: "Go you both to the people who have denied Our Ayat.''
Then We destroyed them with utter destruction.
Allah threatens the idolators who denied and opposed His Messenger Muhammad and He warns them of the punishment and painful torment He sent upon the previous nations who rejected their Messengers.
Allah begins by mentioning Musa, upon him be peace, whom He sent along with his brother Harun as a helper -- i.e., as another Prophet who helped and supported him -- but Fir`awn and his chiefs denied them both:
دَمَّرَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلِلْكَـفِرِينَ أَمْثَـلُهَا
Allah destroyed them completely, and similar (awaits) the disbelievers. (47:10)
And when the people of Nuh denied him, Allah destroyed them likewise, for whoever denies one Messenger denies all the Messengers, because there is no difference between one Messenger and another. If it had so happened that Allah had sent all His Messengers to them, they would have denied them all.
وَقَوْمَ نُوحٍ لَّمَّا كَذَّبُوا الرُّسُلَ ...
And Nuh's people, when they denied the Messengers,
although Allah sent only Nuh to them, and he stayed among them for 950 years, calling them to Allah and warning them of His punishment, وَمَا آمَنَ مَعَهُ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ (And none believed with him, except a few. (11:40)
For this reason Allah أَغْرَقْنَاهُمْ drowned them all and left no one among the sons of Adam alive on earth apart from those who boarded the boat,
... وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ لِلنَّاسِ آيَةً ...
and We made them a sign for mankind.
meaning a lesson to be learned.
This is like the Ayah,
إِنَّا لَمَّا طَغَا الْمَآءُ حَمَلْنَـكُمْ فِى الْجَارِيَةِ - لِنَجْعَلَهَا لَكُمْ تَذْكِرَةً وَتَعِيَهَآ أُذُنٌ وَعِيَةٌ
Verily, when the water rose beyond its limits, We carried you in the boat. That We might make it a remembrance for you, and the keen ear may understand it. (69:11-12)
which means: `We left for you ships that you ride upon to travel across the depths of the seas, so that you may remember the blessing of Allah towards you when He saved you from drowning, and made you the descendants of those who believed in Allah and followed His commandments.'
.. وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا ﴿٣٧﴾
And We have prepared a painful torment for the wrongdoers.
Allah further tells:
وَعَادًا وَثَمُودَ وَأَصْحَابَ الرَّسِّ ...
And (also) `Ad and Thamud, and the Dwellers of Ar-Rass,
We have already discussed their story, which is referred to in more than one Surah, such as Surah Al-A`raf, and there is no need to repeat it here.
As for the Dwellers of Ar-Rass, Ibn Jurayj narrated from Ibn Abbas about the Dwellers of Ar-Rass that:
they were the people of one of the villages of Thamud.
Ath-Thawri narrated from Abu Bukayr from Ikrimah that:
Ar-Rass was a well where they buried (Rassu) their Prophet.
... وَقُرُونًا بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ كَثِيرًا ﴿٣٨﴾
and many generations in between.
means nations, many more than have been mentioned here, whom We destroyed.
وَكُلًّا ضَرَبْنَا لَهُ الْأَمْثَالَ ...
And for each We put forward examples,
meaning, `We showed them the proof and gave them clear evidence,'
as Qatadah said, "They had no excuse.''
... وَكُلًّا تَبَّرْنَا تَتْبِيرًا ﴿٣٩﴾
and each (of them) We brought to utter ruin.
means, `We destroyed them completely.'
This is like the Ayah,
وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مِن بَعْدِ نُوحٍ
And how many generations (Qurun) have We destroyed after Nuh! (17:17)
"Generations'' (Qurun) here refers to nations among mankind.
This is like the Ayah,
ثُمَّ أَنشَأْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِمْ قُرُوناً ءَاخَرِينَ
Then, after them, We created other generations (Qurun). (23:42)
Some defined a generation as being 120 years, or it was said that a generation was one hundred years, or eighty, or forty, etc. The most correct view is that a generation refers to nations who are one another's contemporaries, living at the same time. When they go and others succeed them, this is another generation, as it was recorded in the Two Sahihs:
خَيْرُ الْقُرُونِ قَرْنِي، ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ،ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُم
The best of generations is my generation, then the one that follows it, then the one that follows that.
وَلَقَدْ أَتَوْا عَلَى الْقَرْيَةِ الَّتِي أُمْطِرَتْ مَطَرَ السَّوْءِ ...
And indeed they have passed by the town on which was rained the evil rain.
refers to the town of the people of Lut, which was called Sodom, and the way in which Allah dealt with it, when He destroyed it by turning it upside down and by sending upon it the rain of stones of baked clay, as Allah says:
وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِم مَّطَراً فَسَآءَ مَطَرُ الْمُنذَرِينَ
And We rained on them a rain. And how evil was the rain of those who had been warned! (26:176)
وَإِنَّكُمْ لَّتَمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهِمْ مُّصْبِحِينَ - وَبِالَّيْلِ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ
Verily, you pass by them in the morning. And at night; will you not then reflect! (37:137-138)
وَإِنَّهَا لَبِسَبِيلٍ مُّقِيمٍ
And verily, they were right on the highroad. (15:76)
وَإِنَّهُمَا لَبِإِمَامٍ مُّبِينٍ
They are both on an open highway, plain to see. (15:79)
... أَفَلَمْ يَكُونُوا يَرَوْنَهَا ...
Did they not then see it!
meaning, so that they might learn a lesson from what happened to its inhabitants of punishment for denying the Messenger and going against the commands of Allah.
... بَلْ كَانُوا لَا يَرْجُونَ نُشُورًا ﴿٤٠﴾
Nay! But they used not to expect any resurrection.
means, the disbelievers who passed by it did not learn any lesson, because they did not expect any resurrection, i.e., on the Day of Judgement.
How the Disbelievers mocked the Messenger
وَإِذَا رَأَوْكَ إِن يَتَّخِذُونَكَ إِلَّا هُزُوًا أَهَذَا الَّذِي بَعَثَ اللَّهُ رَسُولًا ﴿٤١﴾
And when they see you, they treat you only in mockery (saying): "Is this the one whom Allah has sent as a Messenger!''
Allah tells us how the disbelievers mocked the Messenger when they saw him. This is like the Ayah,
وَإِذَا رَآكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ إِن يَتَّخِذُونَكَ إِلاَّ هُزُواً
And when the disbelievers see you, they take you not except for mockery, (21:36)
which means that they tried to find faults and shortcomings in him. Here Allah says: وَإِذَا رَأَوْكَ إِن يَتَّخِذُونَكَ إِلَّا هُزُوًا أَهَذَا الَّذِي بَعَثَ اللَّهُ رَسُولًا And when they see you, they treat you only in mockery (saying): "Is this the one whom Allah has sent as a Messenger!'' i.e., they said this by way of belittling and trying to undermine him, so Allah put them in their place, and said:
وَلَقَدِ اسْتُهْزِىءَ بِرُسُلٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ
And indeed Messengers before you were mocked at. (6:10)
إِن كَادَ لَيُضِلُّنَا عَنْ آلِهَتِنَا ...
He would have nearly misled us from our gods,
They meant: `he nearly turned us away from worshipping idols, and he would have done so, had we not been patient and persevered in our ways.'
... لَوْلَا أَن صَبَرْنَا عَلَيْهَا ...
had it not been that we were patient and constant in their worship!''
So Allah said, warning and threatening them:
... وَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ حِينَ يَرَوْنَ الْعَذَابَ مَنْ أَضَلُّ سَبِيلًا ﴿٤٢﴾
And they will know, when they see the torment who it is that is most astray from the path!
They took Their Desires as their gods and were more astray than Cattle
Then Allah tells His Prophet that if Allah decrees that someone will be misguided and wretched, then no one can guide him except Allah, glory be to Him:
أَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَهَهُ هَوَاهُ ...
Have you seen him who has taken as his god his own vain desire!
meaning, whatever he admires and sees as good in his own desires becomes his religion and his way. As Allah says:
أَفَمَن زُيِّنَ لَهُ سُوءَ عَمَلِهِ فَرَءَاهُ حَسَناً فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُضِلُّ مَن يَشَآءُ
Is he then, to whom the evil of his deeds is made fair seeming. So that he consider it as good. Verily, Allah sends astray whom he wills. (35:8)
... أَفَأَنتَ تَكُونُ عَلَيْهِ وَكِيلًا ﴿٤٣﴾
Would you then be a guardian over him!
Ibn Abbas said:
"During the Jahiliyyah, a man would worship a white rock for a while, then if he saw another that looked better, he would worship that and leave the first.''
Then Allah said:
أَمْ تَحْسَبُ أَنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ يَسْمَعُونَ أَوْ يَعْقِلُونَ إِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ سَبِيلًا ﴿٤٤﴾
Or do you think that most of them hear or understand!They are only like cattle -- nay, they are even farther astray from the path.
meaning, they are worse than grazing cattle. Cattle only do what they were created to do, but these people were created to worship Allah Alone without associating partners with Him, but they worship others with Him, even though evidence has been established against them and Messengers have been sent to them.
Evidence of the existence of the Creator and the extent of His Power
Here Allah begins explaining the evidence for His existence and His perfect power to create various things and pairs of opposites.
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى رَبِّكَ كَيْفَ مَدَّ الظِّلَّ ...
Have you not seen how your Lord spread the shadow.
Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, Abu Al-Aliyah, Abu Malik, Masruq, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, An-Nakha`i, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others said,
"This refers to the period from the beginning of the dawn until the sun rises.''
... وَلَوْ شَاء لَجَعَلَهُ سَاكِنًا ...
If He willed, He could have made it still,
meaning, immobile, never changing.
This is like the Ayat:
قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن جَعَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمُ الَّيْلَ سَرْمَداً ...
Say: "Tell me! If Allah made the night continuous for you...'' (28:71)
... ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا الشَّمْسَ عَلَيْهِ دَلِيلًا ﴿٤٥﴾
but We have made the sun its guide.
means, were it not for the sun rising, it would not be there, for a thing can only be known in contrast to its opposite.
Qatadah and As-Suddi said, "The sun is a guide which follows the shade until the shade disappears.''
ثُمَّ قَبَضْنَاهُ إِلَيْنَا قَبْضًا يَسِيرًا ﴿٤٦﴾
Then We withdraw it towards Ourselves -- a gradual withdrawal.
This refers to the shade.
يَسِيرًا (gradual) meaning slowly. As-Suddi said:
"A gentle, concealed, withdrawal until there is no shade left on earth except under a roof or a tree, and the sun is shining on whatever is above it.''
قَبْضًا يَسِيرًا (a gradual withdrawal). Ayub bin Musa said: "Little by little."
وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ لِبَاسًا ...
And it is He Who makes the night a covering for you,
It covers and conceals all things. This is like the Ayah:
وَالَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَى
By the night as it envelops. (92:1)
... وَالنَّوْمَ سُبَاتًا ...
and the sleep a repose,
means, a halt to movement so that bodies may rest. For the faculties and limbs get tired from their constant movement during the day when one goes out to earn a living. When night comes, and it becomes quiet, they stop moving, and rest; so sleep provides a rejuvenation for both the body and the soul.
... وَجَعَلَ النَّهَارَ نُشُورًا ﴿٤٧﴾
and makes the day Nushur.
meaning, people get up and go out to earn a living and attend to their business.
This is like the Ayah:
وَمِن رَّحْمَتِهِ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ لِتَسْكُنُواْ فِيهِ وَلِتَبتَغُواْ مِن فَضْلِهِ
It is out of His mercy that He has made for you the night and the day that you may rest therein and that you may seek of His bounty... (28:73)
This is also part of His complete power and supreme authority
وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرًا بَيْنَ يَدَيْ رَحْمَتِهِ ...
And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy;
Allah sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, i.e., they bring the clouds behind them.
The winds are of many different types, depending on the purpose for which they are sent. Some of them form the clouds, others carry the clouds or drive them, and others come ahead of the clouds as heralds announcing their coming. Some of them come before that to stir up the earth, and some of them fertilize or "seed'' the clouds to make it rain.
... وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء طَهُورًا ﴿٤٨﴾
and We send down pure water from the sky,
meaning, as a means of purifying it.
Abu Sa`id said,
"It was said: "O Messenger of Allah, can we perform Wudu' with the water of the well of Buda`ah, for it is a well in which rubbish and the flesh of dogs are thrown.
إِنَّ الْمَاءَ طَهُورٌ لَا يُنَجِّسُهُ شَيْء
Water is pure and nothing makes it impure.
This was recorded by Ash-Shafi`i and Ahmad, who graded it Sahih, and also by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi, who graded it Hasan, and by An-Nasa'i.
لِنُحْيِيَ بِهِ بَلْدَةً مَّيْتًا ...
That We may give life thereby to a dead land,
means, a land that waited a long time for rain. It is devoid of vegetation or anything at all. When the rain comes to it, it becomes alive and its hills are covered with all kinds of colorful flowers, as Allah says:
فَإِذَآ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْهَا الْمَآءَ اهْتَزَّتْ وَرَبَتْ
but when We send down water to it, it is stirred to life and growth... (41:39)
... وَنُسْقِيَهُ مِمَّا خَلَقْنَا أَنْعَامًا وَأَنَاسِيَّ كَثِيرًا ﴿٤٩﴾
and We give to drink thereof many of the cattle and men that We had created.
means, so that animals such as cattle can drink from it, and people who are in desperate need of water can drink from it and water their crops and fruits.
This is like the Ayah:
وَهُوَ الَّذِى يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُواْ
And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired, (42:28)
فَانظُرْ إِلَى ءَاثَـرِ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ كَيْفَ يُحْىِ الاٌّرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَآ
Look then at the effects of Allah's mercy, how He revives the earth after its death. (30:50)
وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَاهُ بَيْنَهُمْ لِيَذَّكَّرُوا ...
And indeed We have distributed it among them in order that they may remember,
means, `We cause rain to fall on this land and not on that, and We cause the clouds to pass over one land and go to another, where We cause sufficient rain to fall so that its people have plenty, but not one drop falls on the first land.'
There is a reason and great wisdom behind this.
Ibn Abbas and Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with them said:
"One year does not have more rain than another, but Allah distributes the rain as He wills. Then he recited this Ayah: وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَاهُ بَيْنَهُمْ لِيَذَّكَّرُوا فَأَبَى أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ إِلَّا كُفُورًا And indeed We have distributed it (rain or water) amongst them in order that they may remember the grace of Allah, but most men refuse (out of) ingratitude.''
meaning, so that they may be reminded, when Allah brings the dead earth back to life, that He is able to bring the dead and dry bones back to life, or that those from whom rain is withheld are suffering this because of some sin they have committed, so that they may give it up.
... فَأَبَى أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ إِلَّا كُفُورًا ﴿٥٠﴾
but most men refuse (out of) ingratitude.
"This refers to those who say that rain comes because of such and such a star.''
This view of Ikrimah is similar to the authentic Hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim;
one day after a night's rain, the Messenger of Allah said to his Companions:
أَتَدْرُونَ مَاذَا قَالَ رَبُّكُمْ ؟
Do you know what your Lord says?
They said: "Allah and His Messenger know best.''
أَصْبَحَ مِنْ عِبَادِي مُؤْمِنٌ بِي وَكَافِرٌ، فَأَمَّا مَنْ قَالَ: مُطِرْنَا بِفَضْلِ اللهِ وَرَحْمَتِهِ فَذَاكَ مُؤْمِنٌ بِي، كَافِرٌ بِالْكَوْكَبِ، وَأَمَّا مَنْ قَالَ: مُطِرْنَا بِنَوْءِ كَذَا وَكَذَا، فَذَاكَ كَافِرٌ بِي، مُؤْمِنٌ بِالْكَوْكَب
"This morning some of My servants became believers in Me, and some became disbelievers. As for the one who said, `We have been given rain by the mercy and grace of Allah,' he is a believer in Me and a disbeliever in the stars. As for the one who said, `We have been given rain by such and such a star,' he is a disbeliever in Me and a believer in the stars.''
The universality of the Prophet's Message, how He was supported in His Mission and Allah's Blessings to Mankind
وَلَوْ شِئْنَا لَبَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ قَرْيَةٍ نَذِيرًا ﴿٥١﴾
And had We willed, We would have raised a warner in every town.
`Calling them to Allah, but We have singled you out, O Muhammad, to be sent to all the people of earth, and We have commanded you to convey the Qur'an,'
لاٌّنذِرَكُمْ بِهِ وَمَن بَلَغَ
that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach. (6:19)
وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِهِ مِنَ الاٌّحْزَابِ فَالنَّارُ مَوْعِدُهُ
but those of the sects that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place. (11:17)
لِّتُنذِرَ أُمَّ الْقُرَى وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا
that you may warn the Mother of the Towns and all around it. (42:7)
قُلْ يَأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا
Say: "O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah...'' (7:158)
In the Two Sahihs it is reported that the Prophet said:
بُعِثْتُ إِلَى الْأَحْمَرِ وَالْأَسْوَد
I have been sent to the red and the black.
وَكَانَ النَّبِيُّ يُبْعَثُ إِلَى قَوْمِهِ خَاصَّةً، وَبُعِثْتُ إِلَى النَّاسِ عَامَّة
...A Prophet would be sent to his own people, but I have been sent to all of mankind.
فَلَا تُطِعِ الْكَافِرِينَ وَجَاهِدْهُم بِهِ ...
So obey not the disbelievers, but strive hard against them with it.
meaning, with the Qur'an. This was the view of Ibn Abbas.
... جِهَادًا كَبِيرًا ﴿٥٢﴾
with the utmost endeavour.
This is like the Ayah,
يَأَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ جَـهِدِ الْكُفَّـرَ وَالْمُنَـفِقِينَ
O Prophet! Strive hard against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, (9:73)
وَهُوَ الَّذِي مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ هَذَا عَذْبٌ فُرَاتٌ وَهَذَا مِلْحٌ أُجَاجٌ ...
And it is He Who has let free the two seas, this is palatable and sweet, and that is salty and bitter;
means, He has created the two kinds of water, sweet and salty. The sweet water is like that in rivers, springs and wells, which is fresh, sweet, palatable water.
This was the view of Ibn Jurayj and of Ibn Jarir, and this is the meaning without a doubt, for nowhere in creation is there a sea which is fresh and sweet.
Allah has told us about reality so that His servants may realize His blessings to them and give thanks to Him. The sweet water is that which flows amidst people. Allah has portioned it out among His creatures according to their needs; rivers and springs in every land, according to what they need for themselves and their lands.
... وَهَذَا مِلْحٌ أُجَاجٌ ...
and that is salty and bitter;
meaning that it is salty, bitter and not easy to swallow.
This is like the seas that are known in the east and the west, the Atlantic Ocean and the Straits that lead to it, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and so on, all the seas that are stable and do not flow, but they swell and surge in the winter and when the winds are strong, and they have tides that ebb and flow. At the beginning of each month the tides ebb and flood, and when the month starts to wane they retreat until they go back to where they started. When the crescent of the following month appears, the tide begins to ebb again until the fourteenth of the month, then it decreases.
Allah, may He be glorified, the One Whose power is absolute, has set these laws in motion, so all of these seas are stationary, and He has made their water salty lest the air turn putrid because of them and the whole earth turn rotten as a result, and lest the earth spoil because of the animals dying on it. Because its water is salty, its air is healthy and its dead are good (to eat), hence when the Messenger of Allah was asked whether sea water can be used for Wudu', he said:
هُوَ الطَّهُورُ مَاؤُهُ، الْحِلُّ مَيْتَتُه
Its water is pure and its dead are lawful.
This was recorded by Malik, Ash-Shafi`i and Ahmad, and by the scholars of Sunan with a good (Jayyid) chain of narration.
... وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخًا وَحِجْرًا مَّحْجُورًا ﴿٥٣﴾
and He has set a barrier and a complete partition between them.
meaning, between the sweet water and the saltwater.
بَرْزَخًا (a barrier), means a partition, which is dry land.
وَحِجْرًا مَّحْجُورًا (and a complete partition), means, a barrier, to prevent one of them from reaching the other.
This is like the Ayat:
مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ يَلْتَقِيَانِ - بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخٌ لاَّ يَبْغِيَانِ - فَبِأَىِّ ءَالاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ
He has let loose the two seas meeting together. Between them is a barrier which none of them can transgress. Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you both deny! (55:19-21)
أَمَّن جَعَلَ الاٌّرْضَ قَرَاراً وَجَعَلَ خِلاَلَهَآ أَنْهَاراً وَجَعَلَ لَهَا رَوَاسِىَ وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ حَاجِزاً أَءِلـهٌ مَّعَ اللهِ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ
Is not He Who has made the earth as a fixed abode, and has placed rivers in its midst, and placed firm mountains therein, and set a barrier between the two seas! Is there any god with Allah! Nay, but most of them know not! (27:61)
And Allah says:
وَهُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ مِنَ الْمَاء بَشَرًا ...
And it is He Who has created man from water,
means, He created man from a weak Nutfah, then gave him shape and formed him, and completed his form, male and female, as He willed.
... فَجَعَلَهُ نَسَبًا وَصِهْرًا ...
and has appointed for him kindred by blood, and kindred by marriage.
in the beginning, he is someone's child, then he gets married and becomes a son-in-law, then he himself has sons-in-law and other relatives through marriage. All of this comes from a despised liquid,
... وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ قَدِيرًا ﴿٥٤﴾
And your Lord is Ever All-Powerful to do what He wills.
The Ignorance of the Idolators
وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنفَعُهُمْ وَلَا يَضُرُّهُمْ ...
And they worship besides Allah, that which can neither profit them nor harm them;
Allah tells us how ignorant the idolators are; instead of worshipping Allah, they worship idols which do not possess the power either to harm or benefit. They do this with no evidence or proof; the only thing that led them to do this was their own whims and desires. So they take these idols as protectors and fight for their sake, and they oppose Allah and His Messenger and the believers for their sake.
Similarly Allah says:
... وَكَانَ الْكَافِرُ عَلَى رَبِّهِ ظَهِيرًا ﴿٥٥﴾
and the disbeliever is ever a helper against his Lord.
meaning, he is a supporter of Shaytan against the party of Allah, but the party of Allah are the ones who will prevail, as Allah says:
وَاتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ ءَالِهَةً لَّعَلَّهُمْ يُنصَرُونَ - لاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ نَصْرَهُمْ وَهُمْ لَهُمْ جُندٌ مٌّحْضَرُونَ
And they have taken besides Allah gods, hoping that they might be helped. They cannot help them, but they will be brought forward as a troop against those who worshipped them. (36:74-75)
meaning, the gods which they worshipped instead of Allah cannot help them. These ignorant people are troops for the idols and are ready to fight for their sake and protect their sanctuaries, but in the end the victory will be for Allah and His Messenger and the believers, in this world and the Hereafter.
... وَكَانَ الْكَافِرُ عَلَى رَبِّهِ ظَهِيرًا
and the disbeliever is ever a helper against his Lord.
Mujahid said: "He supports and helps the Shaytan in disobedience towards Allah."
The Messenger brings Glad Tidings and Warnings
Then Allah tells His Messenger:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا مُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا ﴿٥٦﴾
And We have sent you only as a bearer of good news and a warner.
meaning, a bringer of good news to the believers, a warner to the disbelievers; bringing good news of Paradise to those who obey Allah, and bringing warnings of a dreadful punishment for those who go against the commandments of Allah.
قُلْ مَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ ...
Say: "No reward do I ask of you for this...''
`for conveying this message and this warning, I do not ask for any reward from your wealth; I am only doing this for the sake of Allah, may He be exalted.'
لِمَن شَآءَ مِنكُمْ أَن يَسْتَقِيمَ
To whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight. (81:28)
... إِلَّا مَن شَاء أَن يَتَّخِذَ إِلَى رَبِّهِ سَبِيلًا ﴿٥٧﴾
save that whosoever wills, may take a path to his Lord.
means, a way and a methodology to be followed.
The Command to the Messenger to put his Trust in Allah, and some of His Qualities
Then Allah says:
وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى الْحَيِّ الَّذِي لَا يَمُوتُ ...
And put your trust in the Ever Living One Who dies not,
meaning, in all your affairs, put your trust in Allah, the Ever-Living Who never dies, the One Who الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ (is the First and the Last, the Most High and the Most Near. And He is the All-Knower of everything. (57:3)
The Eternal, Ever-Lasting, Ever-Living, Self-Sufficient One, the Lord and Sovereign of all things, the One to Whom you should always turn.
Allah is the One in Whom you should put your trust and to Whom you should turn for refuge, He will be sufficient for you and will be your helper and supporter, and will cause you to prevail. As Allah says:
يَـأَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ
O Messenger! Proclaim which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. Allah will protect you from mankind. (5:67)
... وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِهِ ...
and glorify His praises,
means, combine praising Him with glorifying Him. Hence the Messenger of Allah used to say:
سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا وَبِحَمْدِك
Glory be to You, O Allah, and with Your praise.
So the Ayah means: be sincere in worshipping Him and putting your trust in Him.
This is like the Ayat:
رَّبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ فَاتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيلاً
The Lord of the east and the west; there is no God but He. So take Him as a Trustee. (73:9)
فَاعْبُدْهُ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَيْهِ
So worship Him and put your trust in Him. (11:123)
قُلْ هُوَ الرَّحْمَـنُ ءَامَنَّا بِهِ وَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا
Say: "He is the Most Gracious, in Him we believe, and in Him we put our trust.'' (67:29)
... وَكَفَى بِهِ بِذُنُوبِ عِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا ﴿٥٨﴾
and sufficient is He as the All-Knower of the sins of His servants.
means, by His perfect knowledge nothing is hidden from Him nor can anything be hidden from Him, not even a speck of dust's weight.
الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ ...
Who created the heavens and the earth...
means, He is the Ever-Living Who never dies, He is the Creator, Sustainer and Sovereign of all things, Who by His might and power created the seven heavens with their vast height and width, and the seven earths with their great depths and density.
... وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا ...
and all that is between them,
... فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ ...
in six Days. Then He rose over the Throne.
means, He is running all affairs and He decrees according to the truth, and He is the best of those who decide.
... ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ الرَّحْمَنُ فَاسْأَلْ بِهِ خَبِيرًا ﴿٥٩﴾
Then He rose over (Istawa) the Throne. The Most Gracious! Ask Him, as He is the All-Knower.
meaning, find out about Him from one who knows most about Him, and follow him and take him as your example. It is known that there is no one who knows more about Allah than His servant and Messenger Muhammad, the absolute leader of the sons of Adam in this world and the Hereafter, who does not speak of his own desire, but conveys revelation revealed to him. What he says is true, and he is the leader whose decision counts; when there is a dispute, people are obliged to refer to him, and whatever is in accordance with his words and deeds is right, and whatever goes against them should be rejected no matter who says or does it.
فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِى شَىْءٍ
(And) if you differ in anything among yourselves... (4:59)
وَمَا اخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِيهِ مِن شَىْءٍ فَحُكْمُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ
And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allah. (42:10)
وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقاً وَعَدْلاً
And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. (6: 115)
meaning, He has spoken the truth and is fair and just in His commands and prohibitions.
Allah says here:
... فَاسْأَلْ بِهِ خَبِيرًا
Ask Him, as He is Al-Knower.
Condemnation of the Idolators
Then Allah rebukes the idolators who prostrate to idols and rivals instead of Allah:
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اسْجُدُوا لِلرَّحْمَنِ قَالُوا وَمَا الرَّحْمَنُ ...
And when it is said to them: "Prostrate yourselves to Ar-Rahman!''
They say: "And what is Ar-Rahman!''
meaning: we do not know Ar-Rahman. They did not like to call Allah by His Name Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious), as they objected on the day of (the treaty of) Al-Hudaybiyyah, when the Prophet told the scribe: اكْتُبْ بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيم Write: "In the Name of Allah, Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious), Ar-Rahim (the Most Merciful).''
They said, "We do not know Ar-Rahman or Ar-Rahim. Write what you used to write: `Bismika Allahumma (in Your Name, O Allah).'''
So Allah revealed the words:
قُلِ ادْعُواْ اللَّهَ أَوِ ادْعُواْ الرَّحْمَـنَ أَيًّا مَّا تَدْعُواْ فَلَهُ الاٌّسْمَآءَ الْحُسْنَى
Say: "Invoke Allah or invoke Ar-Rahman, by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names. (17:110)
meaning, He is Allah and He is the Most Gracious.
And in this Ayah, Allah said: وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اسْجُدُوا لِلرَّحْمَنِ قَالُوا وَمَا الرَّحْمَنُ And when it is said to them: "Prostrate yourselves to Ar-Rahman!'' They say: "And what is the Ar-Rahman!''
meaning: we do not know or approve of this Name.
... أَنَسْجُدُ لِمَا تَأْمُرُنَا ...
Shall we fall down in prostration to that which you command us!
means, "Just because you tell us to!''
... وَزَادَهُمْ نُفُورًا ﴿٦٠﴾
And it increases in them only aversion.
As for the believers, they worship Allah Who is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful, and they attribute divinity to Him Alone and prostrate to Him.
The scholars, agree that it is allowed and approved for the reader and the listener to prostrate when he reaches this mention of prostration in Surah Al-Furqan, and Allah knows best.
Mentioning the Might and Power of Allah
Allah glorifies Himself:
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ فِي السَّمَاء بُرُوجًا وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا سِرَاجًا وَقَمَرًا مُّنِيرًا ﴿٦١﴾
Blessed be He Who has placed in the heaven Al-Buruj, and has placed therein a great lamp, and a moon giving light.
Here Allah glorifies Himself and praises the beauty He created in the heavens of Al-Buruj, the giant stars, according to the view of Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Salih, Al-Hasan and Qatadah.
This is like the Ayah,
وَلَقَدْ زَيَّنَّا السَّمَآءَ الدُّنْيَا بِمَصَـبِيحَ
And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps. (67:5)
Blessed be He Who has placed in the heaven Al-Buruj, and has placed therein a great lamp,
which is the sun which shines like a lamp, as Allah says:
وَجَعَلْنَا سِرَاجاً وَهَّاجاً
And We have made (therein) a shining lamp. (78:13)
... وَقَمَرًا مُّنِيرًا
and a moon giving light.
means, shining and illuminated by the light of something else, different from the light of the sun, as Allah says:
هُوَ الَّذِى جَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ ضِيَآءً وَالْقَمَرَ نُوراً
It is He Who made the sun a shining thing and the moon as a light. (10:5)
And Allah tells us that Nuh, peace be upon him, said to his people:
أَلَمْ تَرَوْاْ كَيْفَ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ سَبْعَ سَمَـوَتٍ طِبَاقاً - وَجَعَلَ الْقَمَرَ فِيهِنَّ نُوراً وَجَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ سِرَاجاً
See you not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another. And has made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp. (71:15-16)
Then Allah says:
وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ خِلْفَةً ...
And He it is Who has put the night and the day in succession (Khilfatan),
meaning, each one comes after the other, in a never-ending alternation. When one goes the other comes, and vice versa, as Allah says:
وَسَخَّر لَكُمُ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ دَآئِبَينَ
And He has made the sun and the moon, both constantly pursuing their courses. (14:33)
يُغْشِى الَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا
He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly. (7:54)
لاَ الشَّمْسُ يَنبَغِى لَهَآ أَن تدْرِكَ القَمَرَ
It is not for the sun to overtake the moon. (36:40)
... لِّمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يَذَّكَّرَ أَوْ أَرَادَ شُكُورًا ﴿٦٢﴾
for such who desires to remember or desires to show his gratitude.
means, He has caused them both to follow one another to show the times when His servants should worship Him. So whoever misses an act of worship during the night can make it up during the day, and whoever misses an act of worship during the day can make it up during the night.
It was recorded in a Sahih Hadith:
إِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَبْسُطُ يَدَهُ بِاللَّيْلِ لِيَتُوبَ مُسِيءُ النَّهَارِ، وَيَبْسُطُ يَدَهُ بِالنَّهَارِ لِيَتُوبَ مُسِيءُ اللَّيْل
Allah spreads forth His Hand at night for the one who has done evil during the day to repent, and He spreads forth His Hand during the day for the one who has done evil during the night to repent.
Mujahid and Qatadah said:
"Khilfatan means different, i.e., because one is dark and the other is light.''
Attributes of the Servants of the Most Gracious
وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ ...
And the servants of the Most Gracious are,
Allah tells here the attributes of the believing servants of Him,
... الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا ...
those who walk on the earth Hawna,
meaning that they walk with dignity and humility, not with arrogance and pride.
This is like the Ayah:
وَلاَ تَمْشِ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مَرَحًا
And walk not on the earth with conceit and arrogance... (17:37)
So these people do not walk with conceit or arrogance or pride. This does not mean that they should walk like sick people, making a show of their humility, for the leader of the sons of Adam (the Prophet) used to walk as if he was coming downhill, and as if the earth were folded up beneath him.
What is meant here by Hawn is serenity and dignity, as the Messenger of Allah said:
إِذَا أَتَيْتُمُ الصَّلَاةَ فَلَا تَأْتُوهَا وَأَنْتُمْ تَسْعَونَ، وَأْتُوهَا وَعَلَيْكُمُ السَّكِينَةُ فَمَا أَدْرَكْتُمْ مِنْهَا فَصَلُّوا، وَمَا فَاتَكُمْ فَأَتِمُّوا
When you come to the prayer, do not come rushing in haste. Come calmly and with tranquility, and whatever you catch up with, pray, and whatever you miss, make it up.
... وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا ﴿٦٣﴾
and when the foolish address them they say: "Salama.''
If the ignorant people insult them with bad words, they do not respond in kind, but they forgive and overlook, and say nothing but good words.
This is what the Messenger of Allah did: the more ignorant the people, the more patient he would be.
This is as Allah says:
وَإِذَا سَمِعُواْ اللَّغْوَ أَعْرَضُواْ عَنْهُ
And when they hear Al-Laghw (evil or vain talk), they withdraw from it. (28:55)
Then Allah says that their nights are the best of nights, as He says:
وَالَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّدًا وَقِيَامًا ﴿٦٤﴾
And those who spend the night in worship of their Lord, prostrate and standing.
meaning, worshipping and obeying Him.
This is like the Ayat:
كَانُواْ قَلِيلاً مِّن الَّيْلِ مَا يَهْجَعُونَ - وَبِالاٌّسْحَـرِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ
They used to sleep but little by night. And in the hours before dawn, they were asking for forgiveness. (51:17-18)
تَتَجَافَى جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ
Their sides forsake their beds... (32:16)
أَمَّنْ هُوَ قَانِتٌ ءَانَآءَ الَّيْلِ سَـجِداً وَقَآئِماً يَحْذَرُ الاٌّخِرَةَ وَيَرْجُواْ رَحْمَةَ رَبِّهِ
Is one who is obedient to Allah, prostrating himself or standing during the hours of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord... (39:9)
وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اصْرِفْ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا ﴿٦٥﴾
And those who say: "Our Lord! Avert from us the torment of Hell. Verily, its torment is ever an inseparable punishment.''
meaning, ever-present and never ending.
Al-Hasan said concerning the Ayah, إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا (Verily, its torment is ever an inseparable, permanent punishment), Everything that strikes the son of Adam, then disappears, does not constitute an inseparable, permanent punishment. The inseparable, permanent punishment is that which lasts as long as heaven and earth.
This was also the view of Sulayman At-Taymi.
إِنَّهَا سَاءتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا ﴿٦٦﴾
Evil indeed it is as an abode and as a place to rest in.
means, how evil it looks as a place to dwell and how evil it is as a place to rest.
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا ...
And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor stingy...
They are not extravagant, spending more than they need, nor are they miserly towards their families, not spending enough on their needs. But they follow the best and fairest way. The best of matters are those which are moderate, neither one extreme nor the other.
... وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ قَوَامًا ﴿٦٧﴾
but are in a just balance between them.
This is like the Ayah,
وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَى عُنُقِكَ وَلاَ تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ الْبَسْطِ
And let not your hand be tied to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach. (17:29)
The Attributes of the Servants of the Most Gracious include avoiding Shirk, Murder and Zina
وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ وَلَا يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَلَا يَزْنُونَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ يَلْقَ أَثَامًا ﴿٦٨﴾
And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah, nor kill such person as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse -- and whoever does this shall receive Athama.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "The Messenger of Allah was asked which sin is the most serious?''
أَنْ تَجْعَلَ للهِ نِدًّا وَهُوَ خَلَقَك
That you appoint a rival to Allah when He has created you.
He asked, "Then what?''
أَنْ تَقْتُلَ وَلَدَكَ خَشْيَةَ أَنْ يَطْعَمَ مَعَك
That you kill your child for fear that he may eat with you.
He said, "Then what?''
أَنْ تُزَانِي حَلِيلَةَ جَارِك
That you commit adultery with your neighbor's wife.
"Then Allah revealed, confirming that: وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah....''
This was also recorded by An-Nasa'i, and by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
It was narrated that Sa`id bin Jubayr heard Ibn Abbas saying that some of the people of Shirk killed a great deal and committed Zina a great deal, then they came to Muhammad and said:
"What you are saying and calling people to is good, if only you would tell us that there is a way to expiate for what we have done.'' Then the Ayah: وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah... was revealed, as was the Ayah,
قُلْ يعِبَادِىَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُواْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ
Say: "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves!'' (39:53)
... وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ يَلْقَ أَثَامًا
and whoever does this shall receive Athama.
It was recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr said: "Athama is a valley in Hell.''
Ikrimah also said that Athama refers to valleys in Hell in which those who commit unlawful sexual acts will be punished.
This was also narrated from Sa`id bin Jubayr and Mujahid.
As-Suddi said that Athama referred to punishment, which is closer to the apparent meaning of the Ayah.
This interpretation makes it interchangeable with what comes next, the Ayah:
يُضَاعَفْ لَهُ الْعَذَابُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ...
The torment will be doubled for him on the Day of Resurrection,
i.e., repetitive and intensified.
... وَيَخْلُدْ فِيهِ مُهَانًا ﴿٦٩﴾
and he will abide therein in disgrace;
scorned and humiliated.
إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا ...
Except those who repent and believe, and do righteous deeds;
means, those who do these evil deeds will be punished in the manner described,
إِلَّا مَن تَابَ (Except those who repent), that is; those who repent in this world to Allah from all of those deeds, for then Allah will accept their repentance. This is evidence that the repentance of the murderer is acceptable, and there is no contradiction between this and the Ayah in Surah An-Nisa':
وَمَن يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِناً مُّتَعَمِّداً
And whoever kills a believer intentionally, (4:93)
because even though this was revealed in Al-Madinah, the meaning is general, and it could be interpreted to refer to one who does not repent, because this Ayah states that forgiveness is only for those who repent.
Moreover Allah says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ
Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him, but He forgives except that to whom He wills. (4:48)
And in the authentic Sunnah, it is reported from the Messenger of Allah that the repentance of a murderer is acceptable, as was stated in the story of the person who killed one hundred men and then repented, and Allah accepted his repentance, and other Hadiths.
... فَأُوْلَئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا ﴿٧٠﴾
for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"The Messenger of Allah said:
إِنِّي لَأَعْرِفُ آخِرَ أَهْلِ النَّارِ خُرُوجًا مِنَ النَّارِ، وَآخِرَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ دُخُولًا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ، يُؤْتَى بِرَجُلٍ فَيَقُولُ: نَحُّوا عَنْهُ كِبَارَ ذُنُوبِهِ وَسَلُوهُ عَنْ صِغَارِهَا، قَالَ: فَيُقَالُ لَهُ: عَمِلْتَ يَوْمَ كَذَا، كَذَا وَكَذَا، وَعَمِلْتَ يَوْمَ كَذَا، كَذَا وَكَذَا، فَيَقُولُ: نَعَمْ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُ أَنْ يُنْكِرَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ شَيْئًا، فَيُقَالُ: فَإِنَّ لَكَ بِكُلِّ سَيِّئَةٍ حَسَنَةً، فَيَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ عَمِلْتُ أَشْيَاءَ لَا أَرَاهَا ههُنَا
I know the last person who will be brought forth from Hell, and the last person who will enter Paradise. A man will be brought and it will be said, "Take away his major sins and ask him about his minor sins.''
So it will be said to him: "On such and such a day, you did such and such, and on such and such a day, you did such and such.''
He will say, "Yes, and he will not be able to deny anything.''
Then it will be said to him: "For every evil deed you now have one good merit.''
He will say: "O Lord, I did things that I do not see here.''
He (Abu Dharr) said: "And the Messenger of Allah smiled so broadly that his molars could be seen.''
Muslim recorded it.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Jabir heard Makhul say,
"A very old man with sunken eyes came and said, `O Messenger of Allah, a man betrayed others and did immoral deeds, and there was no evil deed which he did not do. If (his sins) were to be distributed among the whole of mankind, they would all be doomed. Is there any repentance for him?''
The Messenger of Allah said: أَأَسْلَمْتَ Have you become Muslim?
He said, "As for me, I bear witness that there is no God but Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.''
The Prophet said:
فَإِنَّ اللهَ غَافِرٌ لَكَ مَا كُنْتَ كَذَلِكَ، وَمُبَدِّلُ سَيِّئَاتِكَ حَسَنَات
Allah will forgive you for whatever you have done like that, and will replace your evil deeds with good merits.
The man said: "O Messenger of Allah, even my betrayals and immoral actions?''
The Prophet said:
Even your betrayals and immoral actions.
"The man went away saying `La ilaha illallah' and `Allahu Akbar.'''
Allah tells us how His mercy extends to all His creatures, and that whoever among them repents to Him, He will accept his repentance for any sin, great or small.
وَمَن تَابَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَإِنَّهُ يَتُوبُ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَتَابًا ﴿٧١﴾
And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds; then indeed he has repented to Allah Mataba.
meaning, Allah will accept his repentance. This is like the Ayat:
وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللَّهَ يَجِدِ اللَّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً
And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (4:110)
أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ
Know they not that Allah accepts repentance from His servants... (9:104)
قُلْ يعِبَادِىَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُواْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لاَ تَقْنَطُواْ مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ
Say: "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the mercy of Allah.'' (39:53)
- for those who repent to Him.
More Attributes of the Servants of the Most Gracious
وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا ﴿٧٢﴾
And those who do not bear witness to falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.
These are further attributes of the servants of the Most Gracious. They do not bear witness to falsehood, including lies, immorality, disbelief, foul speech and false words.
Amr bin Qays said, this refers to gatherings of sexual immorality.
It was said that the Ayah, لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ (And those who do not bear witness to falsehood), refers to giving false testimony, which means lying deliberately to someone else.
It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Bakrah said,
"The Messenger of Allah said three times:
أَلَا أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِأَكْبَرِ الْكَبَائِرِ ؟
Shall I not tell you of the greatest of major sins?
We said, "Of course, O Messenger of Allah.''
The Messenger of Allah said:
الشِّرْكُ بِاللهِ وَعُقُوقُ الْوَالِدَيْن
Associating others in worship with Allah and disobeying one's parents.
He was lying down, then he sat up and added:
أَلَا وَقَوْلُ الزُّورِ، أَلَا وَشَهَادَةُ الزُّور
Beware false speech, and bearing witness to falsehood.
and he kept repeating it until we thought, would that he would stop.''
From the context it seems that what is meant by those who do not bear witness to falsehood is those who do not attend it or are not present when it happens.
... وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا
and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.
They do not attend where falsehood occurs, and if it so happens that they pass by it, they do not let it contaminate them in the slightest. Allah says: مَرُّوا كِرَامًا (they pass by it with dignity).
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ لَمْ يَخِرُّوا عَلَيْهَا صُمًّا وَعُمْيَانًا ﴿٧٣﴾
And those who, when they are reminded of the Ayat of their Lord, fall not deaf and blind thereat.
This is also a characteristic of the believers,
الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَـناً وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
Those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Ayat are recited unto them, they increase their faith; and they put their trust in their Lord. (8:2)
Unlike the disbelievers. When they hear the Words of Allah, they are not affected by them or moved to change their ways. They persist in their disbelief, wrongdoing, ignorance and misguidance, as Allah says:
وَإِذَا مَآ أُنزِلَتْ سُورَةٌ فَمِنْهُمْ مَّن يَقُولُ أَيُّكُمْ زَادَتْهُ هَـذِهِ إِيمَـناً فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ ءامَنُواْ فَزَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَـناً وَهُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَتْهُمْ رِجْسًا إِلَى رِجْسِهِمْ
And whenever there comes down a Surah, some of them say: "Which of you has had his faith increased by it!''
As for those who believe, it has increased their faith, and they rejoice. But as for those in whose hearts is a disease, it will add doubt to their doubt. (9:124-125)
... لَمْ يَخِرُّوا عَلَيْهَا صُمًّا وَعُمْيَانًا
fall not deaf and blind thereat.
means, unlike the disbelievers who, when they hear the Ayat of Allah, are not moved by them, but continue as they are, as if they did not hear them but are deaf and blind.
وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ ...
And those who say: "Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes...''
means those who ask Allah to bring forth from their loins offspring who will obey Him and worship Him and not associate anything in worship with Him.
Ibn Abbas said,
"This means (offspring) who will strive to obey Allah and bring them joy in this world and the Hereafter.''
Imam Ahmad recorded that Jubayr bin Nufayr said:
"We sat with Al-Miqdad bin Al-Aswad one day, and a man passed by and said, "How blessed are these two eyes which saw the Messenger of Allah! Would that we had seen what you saw and witnessed what you witnessed.''
Al-Miqdad got angry, and I was surprised, because the man had not said anything but good. Then he turned to him and said,
"What makes a man wish to be present when Allah had caused him to be absent, and he does not know how he would have behaved if he had been there By Allah, there are people who saw the Messenger of Allah, and Allah will throw them on their faces in Hell because they did not accept him or believe in him. Are you not grateful that Allah brought you forth from your mothers' wombs believing in your Lord and in what your Prophet brought, and that the test went to others and not to you Allah sent His Prophet during the most difficult time that any Prophet was ever sent, after a long period of ignorance, when the people could see no better religion than the worship of idols, and he brought the Criterion which distinguishes truth from falsehood and which would separate a father from his son. A man would realize that his father, son or brother was a disbeliever, and since Allah had opened his heart to Faith, he knew that if his relative died he would go to Hell, so he could not rest knowing that his loved one was in the Fire. This is what Allah referred to in the Ayah, وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ (And those who say: "Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes...'').
Its chain of narrators is Sahih, although they did not report it.
... وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا ﴿٧٤﴾
and make us leaders of those who have Taqwa.
Ibn Abbas, Al-Hasan, As-Suddi, Qatadah and Rabi` bin Anas said: "Leaders who would be taken as examples in good.''
Others said: "Guides who would call others to goodness.''
They wanted their worship to be connected to the worship of their children and offspring, and their guidance to go beyond themselves and benefit others. This would be more rewarding and a better end, as it was recorded in Sahih Muslim from Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah said:
إِذَا مَاتَ ابْنُ آدَمَ انْقَطَعَ عَمَلُهُ إِلَّااِمنْ ثَلَاثٍ:
- وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ،
- أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ،
- أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَة
When a son of Adam dies, his deeds cease apart from three:
- a righteous child who will pray for him,
- knowledge from which others may benefit after him, or
- on going charity.
The Reward of the Servants of the Most Gracious, and a Warning to the People of Makkah
After mentioning the beautiful attributes of His believing servants, and their fine words and deeds, Allah then says:
meaning, the people who are described in this manner,
... يُجْزَوْنَ ...
will be rewarded,
on the Day of Resurrection,
... الْغُرْفَةَ ...
with the highest place,
which is Paradise.
Abu Jafar Al-Baqir, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak and As-Suddi said, "It was so called because of its elevation.''
... بِمَا صَبَرُوا ...
because of their patience.
means, their patience in doing what they did.
... وَيُلَقَّوْنَ فِيهَا ...
Therein they shall be met,
means, in Paradise.
... تَحِيَّةً وَسَلَامًا ﴿٧٥﴾
with greetings and the word of peace and respect.
This means that they will be greeted first with words of welcome and honor. Peace will be theirs and they will be wished peace. And angels shall enter unto them from every gate, saying,
"Peace be upon you for that you persevered in patience! Excellent indeed is the final home!''
خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ...
means, they will settle there and never leave or move or die, they will never exit or wish to move to somewhere else.
This is like the Ayah,
وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ سُعِدُواْ فَفِى الْجَنَّةِ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَا مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَـوَتُ وَالاٌّرْضُ
And those who are blessed, they will be in Paradise, abiding therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure. (11:108)
... حَسُنَتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا ﴿٧٦﴾
excellent it is as an abode, and as a place to rest in.
Its appearance is beautiful and it is a good place in which to rest and to dwell.
Then Allah says:
قُلْ مَا يَعْبَأُ بِكُمْ رَبِّي لَوْلَا دُعَاؤُكُمْ ...
"My Lord pays attention to you only because of your invocation to Him...''
meaning, He would not care to pay attention to you if you did not worship Him, for He only created mankind to worship Him Alone and to glorify Him morning and evening.
... فَقَدْ كَذَّبْتُمْ ...
But now you have indeed denied.
"O you disbelievers.''
... فَسَوْفَ يَكُونُ لِزَامًا ﴿٧٧﴾
So the torment will be yours forever.
So your denial will remain with you forever, i.e., it will lead to your punishment, doom and destruction in this world and the Hereafter.
This also refers to the day of Badr, as it was interpreted by Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Ubayy bin Ka`b, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others.
... فَسَوْفَ يَكُونُ لِزَامًا
So the torment will be yours forever.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: "The Day of Resurrection.''
And there is no conflict between the two interpretations.
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Zahid Javed Rana, Abid Javed Rana, Lahore, Pakistan
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