Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded that Ma`diykarib said:
"We came to Abdullah and asked him to recite to us: طسم (Ta Sin Mim) of hundred Ayah.
He said, `I do not know it; you should go to someone who learned it from the Messenger of Allah Khabbab bin Al-Aratt.'
So we went to Khabbab bin Al-Aratt and he recited it to us, may Allah be pleased with him.''
The Story of Musa and Fir`awn, and what Allah intended for Their Peoples
Ta Sin Mim.
We have already discussed the significance of the separate letters.
تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ ﴿٢﴾
These are the Ayat of the manifest Book.
means the Book which is clear and makes plain the true reality of things, and tells us about what happened and what will happen.
نَتْلُوا عَلَيْكَ مِن نَّبَإِ مُوسَى وَفِرْعَوْنَ بِالْحَقِّ ...
We recite to you some of the news of Musa and Fir`awn in truth,
This is like the Ayah,
نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ الْقَصَصِ
We relate unto you the best of stories. (12:3)
which means, `We tell you about things as they really were, as if you are there and are seeing them yourself.'
for a people who believe.
Then Allah says:
إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ عَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ...
Verily, Fir`awn exalted himself in the land,
means, he was an arrogant oppressor and tyrant.
... وَجَعَلَ أَهْلَهَا شِيَعًا ...
and made its people Shiya`,
means, he made them into different classes, each of which he used to do whatever he wanted of the affairs of his state.
... يَسْتَضْعِفُ طَائِفَةً مِّنْهُمْ ...
weakening a group among them.
This refers to the Children of Israel, who at that time were the best of people, even though this tyrant king overpowered them, using them to do the most menial work and forcing them to hard labor night and day for him and his people.
weakening a group among them: killing their sons, and letting their females live. Verily, he was of the mischief-makers.
At the same time, he was killing their sons and letting their daughters live, to humiliate them and because he feared that there might appear among them the boy who would be the cause of his destruction and the downfall of his kingdom. So Fir`awn took precautions against that happening, by ordering that all boys born to the Children of Israel should be killed, but this precaution did not protect him against the divine decree, because when the term of Allah comes, it cannot be delayed, and for each and every matter there is a decree from Allah.
وَنُرِيدُ أَن نَّمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِينَ ﴿٥﴾
And We wished to do a favor to those who were weak in the land, and to make them rulers and to make them the inheritors,
وَنُمَكِّنَ لَهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنُرِي فِرْعَوْنَ وَهَامَانَ وَجُنُودَهُمَا مِنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا يَحْذَرُونَ ﴿٦﴾
And to establish them in the land, and We let Fir`awn and Haman and their armies receive from them that which they feared.
And Allah did indeed do this to them, as He says:
وَأَوْرَثْنَا الْقَوْمَ الَّذِينَ كَانُواْ يُسْتَضْعَفُونَ مَشَارِقَ الأَرْضِ وَمَغَارِبَهَا الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ الْحُسْنَى عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَآئِيلَ بِمَا صَبَرُواْ وَدَمَّرْنَا مَا كَانَ يَصْنَعُ فِرْعَوْنُ وَقَوْمُهُ وَمَا كَانُواْ يَعْرِشُونَ
And We made the people who were considered weak to inherit the eastern parts of the land and the western parts thereof which We have blessed. And the fair Word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because of their endurance. And We destroyed what Fir`awn and his people produced, and what they erected. (7:137)
And Allah said:
كَذَلِكَ وَأَوْرَثْنَـهَا بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ
Thus and We caused the Children of Israel to inherit them. (26: 59)
Fir`awn hoped that by his strength and power he would be saved from Musa, but that did not help him in the slightest. Despite his great power as a king he could not oppose the decree of Allah, which can never be overcome.
On the contrary, Allah's ruling was carried out, for it had been written and decreed from past eternity that Fir`awn would meet his doom at the hands of Musa.
How Musa's Mother was inspired and shown what to do
It was mentioned that when Fir`awn killed so many of the males of the Children of Israel, the Copts were scared that the Children of Israel would die out, and they themselves would have to do the heavy labor that the Children of Israel used to do. So they said to Fir`awn, "If this continues, and their old men die and the young men are killed, their women will not be able to do the work that the men are doing, and we will end up having to do it.'' So Fir`awn issued orders that the boys should be killed one year, and left alone the following year.
Harun, peace be upon him, was born in a year when the boys were not killed, and Musa was born in a year when the boys were being killed.
Fir`awn had people who were entrusted with this task. There were midwives who would go around and check on the women, and if they noticed that any woman was pregnant, they would write her name down. When the time came for her to give birth, no one was allowed to attend her except for Coptic women. If the woman gave birth to a girl, they would leave her alone and go away, but if she gave birth to a boy, the killers would come in with their sharp knives and kill the child, then they would go away; may Allah curse them.
When the mother of Musa became pregnant with him, she did not show any signs of pregnancy as other women did, and none of the midwives noticed. But when she gave birth to a boy, she became very distressed and did not know what to do with him. She was extremely scared for him, because she loved him very much.
No one ever saw Musa, peace be upon him, but they loved him, and the blessed ones were those who loved him both as a natural feeling and because he was a Prophet. Allah says:
وَأَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةً مِّنِّى
And I endued you with love from Me. (20:39)
Musa, peace be upon him, in the House of Fir`awn
When Musa's mother became so worried and confused, it was inspired into her heart and mind what she should do, as Allah says:
وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى أُمِّ مُوسَى أَنْ أَرْضِعِيهِ فَإِذَا خِفْتِ عَلَيْهِ فَأَلْقِيهِ فِي الْيَمِّ وَلَا تَخَافِي وَلَا تَحْزَنِي إِنَّا رَادُّوهُ إِلَيْكِ وَجَاعِلُوهُ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴿٧﴾
And We inspired the mother of Musa (telling):
"Suckle him, but when you fear for him, then cast him into the river and fear not, nor grieve. Verily, We shall bring him back to you, and shall make him one of (Our) Messengers.''
Her house was on the banks of the Nile, so she took a box and made it into a cradle, and started to nurse her child. When someone came to her that she was afraid of, she would go and put him in that box and put it in the river, and she would tie it with a rope. One day someone that she was afraid of came to the house, so she went and put the child in that box and put it in the river, but she forgot to tie it. The water carried him away, past the house of Fir`awn, where some servant women picked the box up and took it to Fir`awn's wife. They did not know what was inside, and they were afraid that they would be in trouble if they opened it without her. When the box was opened, they saw it was a child with the most beautiful features. Allah filled her heart with love for him when she saw him; this was because she was blessed and because Allah wanted to honor her and cause her husband's doom.
فَالْتَقَطَهُ آلُ فِرْعَوْنَ لِيَكُونَ لَهُمْ عَدُوًّا وَحَزَنًا ...
Then the household of Fir`awn picked him up, that he might become for them an enemy and a (cause of) grief.
... إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ وَهَامَانَ وَجُنُودَهُمَا كَانُوا خَاطِئِينَ ﴿٨﴾
Verily, Fir`awn, Haman and their armies were sinners.
وَقَالَتِ امْرَأَتُ فِرْعَوْنَ قُرَّتُ عَيْنٍ لِّي وَلَكَ ...
And the wife of Fir`awn said: "A comfort of the eye for me and for you...''
means, when Fir`awn saw him, he wanted to kill him, fearing that he was one of the Children of Israel. But his wife Asiyah bint Muzahim came to the child's defence and tried to endear him to Fir`awn, saying, قُرَّتُ عَيْنٍ لِّي وَلَكَ (A comfort of the eye for me and for you).
Fir`awn said: "For you he may be, but not for me."
And this was indeed the case: Allah guided her because of him, and destroyed him at his hands.
... لَا تَقْتُلُوهُ ...
Kill him not,
... عَسَى أَن يَنفَعَنَا ...
perhaps he may be of benefit to us,
This is indeed what happened in her case, for Allah guided her through him and caused her to dwell in Paradise because of him.
... أَوْ نَتَّخِذَهُ وَلَدًا ...
or we may adopt him as a son.
She wanted to take him and adopt him as a son, because she had no children from Fir`awn.
And they perceived not.
means, they did not know what Allah planned for them when they picked him up, by His great wisdom and definitive proof.
The intense Grief of Musa's Mother, and how He was returned to Her
وَأَصْبَحَ فُؤَادُ أُمِّ مُوسَى فَارِغًا ...
And the heart of the mother of Musa became empty.
Allah tells us how, when her child was lost in the river, the heart of Musa's mother became empty, i.e., she could not think of any matter in this world except Musa.
This was the view of Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Ubaydah, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah and others.
... إِن كَادَتْ لَتُبْدِي بِهِ ...
She was very near to disclose his (case),
means, because of the intensity of her grief, she almost told people that she had lost a son. She would have disclosed her situation, if Allah had not given her strength and patience.
had We not strengthened her heart, so that she might remain as one of the believers.
وَقَالَتْ لِأُخْتِهِ قُصِّيهِ ...
And she said to his sister: "Follow him.''
means, she told her daughter, who was older and was of an age to understand things,
قُصِّيهِ (Follow him), means, follow his traces and look for information about him, try to find out about him around the city. So she went out to do that.
... فَبَصُرَتْ بِهِ عَن جُنُبٍ ...
So she watched him from a far place (secretly),
Ibn Abbas said, "Off to the side.''
Mujahid said, "It means she looked from afar."
Qatadah said: "She started to look at him as if she was not really interested.''
while they perceived not.
When Musa had settled into the house of Fir`awn, after the king's wife had begun to love him and asked Fir`awn not to kill him, they brought to him the wet nurses who were to be found in their household, and he did not accept any of them, refusing to take milk from them. So they took him out to the marketplace, hoping to find a woman who would be suitable to nurse him. When (his sister) saw him in their arms, she recognized him, but she did not give any indication nor did they suspect her.
وَحَرَّمْنَا عَلَيْهِ الْمَرَاضِعَ مِن قَبْلُ ...
And We had already forbidden foster suckling mothers for him,
Because of his honored status with Allah, it was forbidden by divine decree. It was decreed that no one should nurse him except his own mother, and Allah caused this to be the means reuniting him with his mother so that she could nurse him and feel safe after having felt such fear. When (his sister) saw that they were confused over who should nurse the child,
she said: "Shall I direct you to a household who will rear him for you, and look after him in a good manner!''
Ibn Abbas said:
When she said that, they had some doubts about her, so they seized her and asked her, How do you know these people will be sincere and will care for him?''
She said to them, "They will be sincere and will care for him because they want the king to be happy and because they hope for some reward.''
So they let her go. After what she said, being safe from their harm, they took her to their house and brought the baby to his mother. She gave him her breast and he accepted it, so they rejoiced and sent the glad tidings to the wife of Fir`awn.
She called for Musa's mother, treating her kindly and rewarding her generously. She did not realize that she was his real mother, but she saw that the baby accepted her breast. Then Asiyah asked her to stay with her and nurse the baby, but she refused, saying, "I have a husband and children, and I cannot stay with you, but if you would like me to nurse him in my own home, I will do that.''
The wife of Fir`awn agreed to that, and paid her a regular salary and gave her extra gifts and clothing and treated her kindly. The mother of Musa came back with her child, happy that after a time of fear Allah granted her security, prestige, and ongoing provision.
There was only a short time between the distress and the way out, a day and night, or thereabouts -- and Allah knows best.
Glory be to the One in Whose hands are all things; what He wills happens and what He does not will does not happen. He is the One Who grants those who fear Him, a way out from every worry and distress,
فَرَدَدْنَاهُ إِلَى أُمِّهِ كَيْ تَقَرَّ عَيْنُهَا ...
So We restored him to his mother, that her eye might be comforted,
means, by him,
... وَلَا تَحْزَنَ ...
and that she might not grieve,
means, for him.
... وَلِتَعْلَمَ أَنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ ...
and that she might know that the promise of Allah is true.
meaning, `We had promised her to return him to her and to make him one of the Messengers.'
When he was returned to her, she realized that he was one of the Messengers, so as she brought him up, she treated him both as a child (with kindness) and as a Messenger (with respect).
But most of them know not.
means, they do not know the wisdom of Allah in His actions and their good consequences, for which He is to be praised in this world and the Hereafter.
For a thing may happen that people do not like, but its consequences are good, as Allah says:
وَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَعَسَى أَن تُحِبُّواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ
and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. (2:216)
فَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئاً وَيَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ فِيهِ خَيْراً كَثِيراً
it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good. (4:19)
How Musa killed a Coptic Man
وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَاسْتَوَى آتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا ...
And when he reached maturity, and was complete, We bestowed on him Hukm and knowledge.
Having described Musa's beginnings, Allah then tells us that when he reached maturity, and was complete in stature, Allah gave him Hukm and religious knowledge.
Mujahid said that this means Prophethood.
And thus do We reward the doers of good.
Then Allah describes how Musa reached the status that was decreed for him, that of Prophethood and speaking to Allah, as a direct consequence of killing the Coptic, which was the reason why he left Egypt and went to Madyan.
وَدَخَلَ الْمَدِينَةَ عَلَى حِينِ غَفْلَةٍ مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا ...
And he entered the city when its people were unaware.
Ibn Jurayj narrated from Ata' Al-Khurasani, from Ibn Abbas, "That was between Maghrib and `Isha'.''
Ibn Al-Munkadir narrated from Ata' bin Yasar from Ibn Abbas, "That was in the middle of the day.''
This was also the view of Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ikrimah, As-Suddi and Qatadah.
... فَوَجَدَ فِيهَا رَجُلَيْنِ يَقْتَتِلَانِ ...
and he found there two men fighting,
meaning, hitting one another and struggling with one another.
... هَذَا مِن شِيعَتِهِ ...
one of his party,
meaning, an Israelite,
... وَهَذَا مِنْ عَدُوِّهِ ...
and the other of his foes.
meaning, a Coptic.
This was the view of Ibn Abbas, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Muhammad bin Ishaq.
... فَاسْتَغَاثَهُ الَّذِي مِن شِيعَتِهِ عَلَى الَّذِي مِنْ عَدُوِّهِ ...
The man of his (own) party asked him for help against his foe,
The Israelite man asked Musa, peace be upon him, for help, and Musa took advantage of the fact that people were not paying attention, so he went to the Coptic man and
...فَوَكَزَهُ مُوسَى فَقَضَى عَلَيْهِ ...
so Musa struck him with his fist and he died.
Mujahid said, "This means he punched him with his fist.'' And then he died.
He said, (refers to Musa)."This is of Shaytan's doing, verily, he is a plain misleading enemy.''
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي ...
He said, (refers to Musa)."My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself, so forgive me.''
Then He forgave him. Verily, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
قَالَ رَبِّ بِمَا أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ ...
He said: "My Lord! For that with which You have favored me,
meaning, `what You have given me of prestige, power and blessings -- '
I will nevermore be a helper of the criminals!
`those who disbelieve in You and go against Your commands.'
How the Secret of this Killing became known
Allah tells us that when Musa killed that Coptic,
فَأَصْبَحَ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ خَائِفًا ...
So he became afraid in the city,
meaning, of the consequences of his action,
... يَتَرَقَّبُ ...
means, turning around and watching out, waiting for the consequences of his action to befall him.
... فَإِذَا الَّذِي اسْتَنصَرَهُ بِالْأَمْسِ يَسْتَصْرِخُهُ ...
when behold, the man who had sought his help the day before, called for his help (again).
He went out and about, and saw the man who sought his help the day before, fighting with another Coptic. When Musa passed by him, he called for his help again, against this other Coptic.
Musa said to him: Verily, you are a plain misleader!
meaning, `you obviously lead people astray and are very evil.'
فَلَمَّا أَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يَبْطِشَ بِالَّذِي هُوَ عَدُوٌّ لَّهُمَا ...
Then when he decided to seize the man who was an enemy to both of them,
Then Musa intended to attack that Coptic, but the Israelite -- because of his own cowardice and weakness -- thought that Musa wanted to hit him because of what he had said, so he said, in self-defence --
... قَالَ يَا مُوسَى أَتُرِيدُ أَن تَقْتُلَنِي كَمَا قَتَلْتَ نَفْسًا بِالْأَمْسِ ...
the man said: O Musa! Is it your intention to kill me as you killed a man yesterday?
Your aim is nothing but to become a tyrant in the land, and not to be one of those who do right.''
Nobody except him and Musa, peace be upon him, knew about it, but when the other Coptic heard this, he took the news to Fir`awn's gate and told him about it. So Fir`awn came to know of it, and he became very angry and resolved to kill Musa, so he sent people after him to bring him to him.
وَجَاء رَجُلٌ مِّنْ أَقْصَى الْمَدِينَةِ يَسْعَى قَالَ يَا مُوسَى ...
And there came a man running, from the farthest end of the city. He said: "O Musa!
He is described as being a man because he had the courage to take a different route, a shorter route than those who were sent after Musa, so he reached Musa first and said to him: "O Musa,
... إِنَّ الْمَلَأَ يَأْتَمِرُونَ بِكَ ...
Verily, the chiefs are taking counsel together about you.,''
meaning, `they are consulting with one another about you.'
... لِيَقْتُلُوكَ فَاخْرُجْ ...
to kill you, so escape.
means, from this land.
Truly, I am one of the good advisers to you.
Musa, peace be upon him, in Madyan, and how He watered the Flocks of the Two Women
When the man told Musa about how Fir`awn and his chiefs were conspiring against him, he left Egypt on his own. He was not used to being alone, because before that he had been living a life of luxury and ease, in a position of leadership.
فَخَرَجَ مِنْهَا خَائِفًا يَتَرَقَّبُ ...
So he escaped from there, looking about in a state of fear.
meaning, turning around and watching.
... قَالَ رَبِّ نَجِّنِي مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ
He said: My Lord! Save me from the people who are wrongdoers!
means, from Fir`awn and his chiefs.
It was mentioned that Allah sent to him an angel riding a horse, who showed him the way. And Allah knows best.
وَلَمَّا تَوَجَّهَ تِلْقَاء مَدْيَنَ ...
And when he went towards (the land of) Madyan,
means, he took a smooth and easy route -- and he rejoiced because of that.
... قَالَ عَسَى رَبِّي أَن يَهْدِيَنِي سَوَاء السَّبِيلِ
he said: It may be that my Lord guides me to the right way.
meaning, the most straight route.
And Allah did indeed do that, for He guided him to the straight path in this world and the Hereafter, and caused him to be guided and to guide others.
وَلَمَّا وَرَدَ مَاء مَدْيَنَ ...
And when he arrived at the water (a well) of Madyan,
means, when he reached Madyan and went to drink from its water, for it had a well where shepherds used to water their flocks,
... وَجَدَ عَلَيْهِ أُمَّةً مِّنَ النَّاسِ يَسْقُونَ وَوَجَدَ مِن دُونِهِمُ امْرَأتَيْنِ تَذُودَانِ ...
he found there a group of men watering, and besides them he found two women who were keeping back.
means, they were stopping their sheep from drinking with the sheep of those shepherds, lest some harm come to them. When Musa, peace be upon him, saw them, he felt sorry for them and took pity on them.
... قَالَ مَا خَطْبُكُمَا ...
He said: "What is the matter with you?''
meaning, `why do you not water your flocks with these people?'
... قَالَتَا لَا نَسْقِي حَتَّى يُصْدِرَ الرِّعَاء ...
They said: "We cannot water until the shepherds take...''
meaning, `we cannot water our flocks until they finish.'
And our father is a very old man.
means, `this is what has driven us to what you see.'
فَسَقَى لَهُمَا ....
So he watered (their flocks) for them,
.. ثُمَّ تَوَلَّى إِلَى الظِّلِّ فَقَالَ ...
then he turned back to shade, and said:
رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ
My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!
إِلَى الظِّلِّ (to shade", Ibn Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud and As-Suddi said: "He sat beneath a tree.''
Ata' bin As-Sa'ib said: "When Musa said: رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ (My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!') the women heard him.''
Musa, the Father of the Two Women, and His Marriage to One of Them
When the two women came back quickly with the sheep, their father was surprised that they returned so soon. He asked them what had happened, and they told him what Musa, peace be upon him, had done. So he sent one of them to call him to meet her father. Allah says:
فَجَاءتْهُ إِحْدَاهُمَا تَمْشِي عَلَى اسْتِحْيَاء ...
Then there came to him one of them, walking shyly.
meaning, she was walking like a free woman, as it was narrated from the Commander of the faithful, Umar, may Allah be pleased with him:
"She was covering herself from them with the folds of her garment.''
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Amr bin Maymun said, Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
"She came walking shyly, putting her garment over her face. She was not one of those audacious women who come and go as they please.''
This chain of narrators is Sahih.
... قَالَتْ إِنَّ أَبِي يَدْعُوكَ لِيَجْزِيَكَ أَجْرَ مَا سَقَيْتَ لَنَا ...
She said: "Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us.''
This is an example of good manners: she did not invite him directly lest he have some suspicious thoughts about her. Rather she said: "My father is inviting you so that he may reward you for watering our sheep,'' i.e., give you some payment for that.
... فَلَمَّا جَاءهُ وَقَصَّ عَلَيْهِ الْقَصَصَ ...
So when he came to him and narrated the story,
means, he told him about his story and why he had to leave his country.
he said: "Fear you not. You have escaped from the people who are wrongdoers.''
He was saying: `calm down and relax, for you have left their kingdom and they have no authority in our land.' So he said: نَجَوْتَ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ (You have escaped from the people who are wrongdoers).
قَالَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا يَا أَبَتِ اسْتَأْجِرْهُ إِنَّ خَيْرَ مَنِ اسْتَأْجَرْتَ الْقَوِيُّ الْأَمِينُ ﴿٢٦﴾
And said one of them: "O my father! Hire him! Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy.''
One of the two daughters of the man said this, and it was said that she was the one who had walked behind Musa, peace be upon him. She said to her father: يَا أَبَتِ اسْتَأْجِرْهُ (O my father! Hire him!) as a shepherd to look after the sheep.
Umar, Ibn Abbas, Shurayh Al-Qadi, Abu Malik, Qatadah, Muhammad bin Ishaq and others said:
"When she said:إِنَّ خَيْرَ مَنِ اسْتَأْجَرْتَ الْقَوِيُّ الْأَمِينُ (Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy), her father said to her, `What do you know about that?'
She said to him, `He lifted a rock which could only be lifted by ten men, and when I came back with him, I walked ahead of him, but he said to me, walk behind me, and if I get confused about the route, throw a pebble so that I will know which way to go.'''
Abdullah (Ibn Mas`ud) said, "The people who had the most discernment were three:
- Abu Bakr's intuition about Umar;
- the companion of Yusuf when he said, `Make his stay comfortable'; and
- the companion of Musa, when she said: يَا أَبَتِ اسْتَأْجِرْهُ إِنَّ خَيْرَ مَنِ اسْتَأْجَرْتَ الْقَوِيُّ الْأَمِينُ (O my father! Hire him! Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy).''
قَالَ إِنِّي أُرِيدُ أَنْ أُنكِحَكَ إِحْدَى ابْنَتَيَّ هَاتَيْنِ ...
He said: "I intend to wed one of these two daughters of mine to you,
means, this old man asked him to take care of his flocks, then he would marry one of his two daughters to him.
... عَلَى أَن تَأْجُرَنِي ثَمَانِيَ حِجَجٍ فَإِنْ أَتْمَمْتَ عَشْرًا فَمِنْ عِندِكَ ...
on condition that you serve me for eight years; but if you complete ten years, it will be (a favor) from you.
meaning, `on the condition that you tend my flocks for eight years, and if you want to give me two extra years, that is up to you, but if you do not want to, then eight years is enough.'
But I intend not to place you under a difficulty. If Allah wills, you will find me one of the righteous.
means, `I do not want to put pressure on you or cause you any inconvenience or argue with you.'
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ali bin Rabah Al-Lakhmi said,
"I heard Utbah bin An-Nadar As-Sulami, the Companion of the Messenger of Allah narrating that the Messenger of Allah said:
إِنَّ مُوسَى عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ آجَرَ نَفْسَهُ بِعِفَّةِ فَرْجِهِ وَطُعْمَةِ بَطْنِه
Musa, peace be upon him, hired himself out for the purpose of keeping chaste and to feed himself.
And Allah tells us about Musa, peace be upon him:
قَالَ ذَلِكَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكَ أَيَّمَا الْأَجَلَيْنِ قَضَيْتُ فَلَا عُدْوَانَ عَلَيَّ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى مَا نَقُولُ وَكِيلٌ ﴿٢٨﴾
He said: "That (is settled) between me and you: whichever of the two terms I fulfill, there will be no injustice to me, and Allah is Surety over what we say.''
Musa said to his father-in-law,
"The matter is as you say. You have hired me for eight years, and if I complete ten years, that is my choice, but if I do the lesser amount, I will still have fulfilled the covenant and met the conditions.''
So he said: أَيَّمَا الْأَجَلَيْنِ قَضَيْتُ فَلَا عُدْوَانَ عَلَيَّ (whichever of the two terms I fulfill, there will be no injustice to me), meaning, `there will be no blame on me. The complete term is permissible but it is still regarded as something extra.'
This is like the Ayah,
فَمَن تَعَجَّلَ فِى يَوْمَيْنِ فَلاَ إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ وَمَن تَأَخَّرَ فَلا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ
But whosoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him and whosoever stays on, there is no sin on him. (2:203)
And the Messenger of Allah said to Hamzah bin Amr Al-Aslami, may Allah be pleased with him, who used to fast a great deal and who asked him about fasting while traveling:
إِنْ شِئْتَ فَصُمْ، وَإِنْ شِئْتَ فَأَفْطِر
If you wish, then fast, and if you wish, do not fast.
even though it is better to fast, according to the evidence of other reports.
And there is evidence which indicates that Musa, peace be upon him, fulfilled the longer of the two terms.
Al-Bukhari recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said:
"A Jew from the people of Hirah asked me; `Which of the two terms did Musa fulfill?'
I said, `I do not know until I go to the scholar of the Arabs and ask him.'
So I went to Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and asked him. He said:
`He fulfilled the longer and better of them, for when a Messenger of Allah said he would do a thing, he did it.'''
This is how it was recorded by Al-Bukhari.
Musa's Return to Egypt and how he was honored with the Mission and Miracles on the Way
In the explanation of the previous Ayah, we have already seen that Musa completed the longer and better of the two terms, which may also be understood from the Ayah where Allah says:
فَلَمَّا قَضَى مُوسَى الاٌّجَلَ …
Then, when Musa had fulfilled the term,
meaning, the longer of the two; and Allah knows best.
... وَسَارَ بِأَهْلِهِ ...
and was traveling with his family,
They said: "Musa missed his country and his relatives, so he resolved to visit them in secret, without Fir`awn and his people knowing. So he gathered up his family and the flocks which his father-in-law had given to him, and set out on a cold, dark, rainy night. They stopped to camp, and whenever he tried to start a fire, he did not succeed. He was surprised by this, and while he was in this state,
... آنَسَ مِن جَانِبِ الطُّورِ نَارًا ...
he saw a fire in the direction of At-Tur,
he saw a fire burning from a far.
... قَالَ لِأَهْلِهِ امْكُثُوا إِنِّي آنَسْتُ نَارًا ...
He said to his family: "Wait, I have seen a fire...''
meaning, `wait while I go there,'
... لَّعَلِّي آتِيكُم مِّنْهَا بِخَبَرٍ ...
perhaps I may bring to you from there some information,
This was because they lost their way.
or a burning firebrand that you may warm yourselves.
so that they could get warm and find relief from the cold.
فَلَمَّا أَتَاهَا نُودِي مِن شَاطِئِ الْوَادِي الْأَيْمَنِ ...
So when he reached it (the fire), he was called from the right side of the valley,
From the side of the valley that adjoined the mountain on his right, to the west.
This is like the Ayah,
وَمَا كُنتَ بِجَانِبِ الْغَرْبِىِّ إِذْ قَضَيْنَآ إِلَى مُوسَى الاٌّمْرَ
And you were not on the western side, when We made clear to Musa the commandment. (20:44)
This indicates that when Musa headed for the fire, he headed in the direction of the Qiblah with the western mountain on his right. He found the fire burning in a green bush on the side of the mountain adjoining the valley, and he stood there amazed at what he was seeing.
Then his Lord called him:
... مِن شَاطِئِ الْوَادِي الْأَيْمَنِ فِي الْبُقْعَةِ الْمُبَارَكَةِ مِنَ الشَّجَرَةِ ...
from the right side of the valley, in the blessed place, from the tree.
O Musa! Verily, I am Allah, the Lord of all that exits!
meaning, `the One Who is addressing you and speaking to you is the Lord of all that exits, the One Who does what He wills, the One apart from Whom there is no other god or lord, may He be exalted and sanctified, the One Who by His very nature, attributes, words and deeds is far above any resemblance to His creation, may He be glorified.
وَأَنْ أَلْقِ عَصَاكَ ...
And throw your stick!
`the stick that is in your hand' -- as was stated in the Ayah,
وَمَا تِلْكَ بِيَمِينِكَ يمُوسَى - قَالَ هِىَ عَصَاىَ أَتَوَكَّؤُا عَلَيْهَا وَأَهُشُّ بِهَا عَلَى غَنَمِى وَلِىَ فِيهَا مَأَرِبُ أُخْرَى
"And what is that in your right hand, O Musa!''
He said: "This is my stick, whereon I lean, and wherewith I beat down branches for my sheep, and wherein I find other uses.'' (20:17-18)
The meaning is: `this stick, which you know so well;'
قَالَ أَلْقِهَا يمُوسَى - فَأَلْقَـهَا فَإِذَا هِىَ حَيَّةٌ تَسْعَى
"Cast it down, O Musa!''
He cast it down, and behold! It was a snake, moving quickly. (20:19-20)
Musa knew that the One Who was speaking to him was the One Who merely says to a thing, "Be!'' and it is, as we have already stated in (the explanation of) Surah Ta Ha.
And here Allah says:
... فَلَمَّا رَآهَا تَهْتَزُّ كَأَنَّهَا جَانٌّ وَلَّى مُدْبِرًا وَلَمْ يُعَقِّبْ...
But when he saw it moving as if it were a snake, he turned in flight,
It moved so quickly, even though it was so big, and its mouth was so huge, with its jaws snapping. It swallowed every rock it passed, and every rock that fell into its mouth fell with a sound like a rock falling into a valley.
When he saw that:
... وَلَّى مُدْبِرًا وَلَمْ يُعَقِّبْ ...
he turned in flight, and looked not back.
he did not turn around, because it is human nature to flee from such a thing. But when Allah said to him:
O Musa! Draw near, and fear not. Verily, you are of those who are secure.
he came back to his original position.
Then Allah said:
اسْلُكْ يَدَكَ فِي جَيْبِكَ تَخْرُجْ بَيْضَاء مِنْ غَيْرِ سُوءٍ ...
Put your hand into the opening of your garment, it will come forth white without a disease;
meaning, `when you put your hand in your garment and then draw it out, it will be shining white as if it were a piece of the moon or a flash of lightning.'
Allah said: مِنْ غَيْرِ سُوءٍ (without a disease), i.e., with no trace of leukoderma.
... وَاضْمُمْ إِلَيْكَ جَنَاحَكَ مِنَ الرَّهْبِ ...
and draw your hand close to your side to be free from the fear.
Mujahid said, "To be free from terror.''
Qatadah said, "To be free from fear.''
Musa was commanded, when he felt afraid of anything, to draw his hand close to his side to be free from the fear. If he did that, whatever fear he felt would be gone.
Perhaps if a person does this, following the example of Musa, and puts his hand over his heart, his fear will disappear or be lessened, if Allah wills; in Allah we place our trust.
... فَذَانِكَ بُرْهَانَانِ مِن رَّبِّكَ ...
These are two proofs from your Lord
This refers to the throwing down of his stick, whereupon it turned into a moving snake, and his putting his hand into his garment and bringing it forth white without a disease.
These were two clear and definitive proofs of the power of the One Who does as He chooses, and of the truth of the Prophethood of the one at whose hands these miracles occurred.
... إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَلَئِهِ ...
to Fir`awn and his chiefs.
meaning his leaders and prominent followers.
Verily, they are the people who are rebellious.
means, who are disobedient towards Allah and who go against His commands and His religion.
How Musa asked for the Support of His Brother and was granted that by Allah
When Allah commanded him to go to Fir`awn, the one who he had run away from and whose vengeance he feared,
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي قَتَلْتُ مِنْهُمْ نَفْسًا ...
Musa said: My Lord! I have killed a man among them,
meaning, that Coptic,
and I fear that they will kill me.
i.e., `when they see me.'
وَأَخِي هَارُونُ هُوَ أَفْصَحُ مِنِّي لِسَانًا ...
And my brother Harun -- he is more eloquent in speech than me,
Musa, peace be upon him, had a speech defect, because when he had been given the choice between a date and a pearl, he mistakenly picked up a coal and placed it on his tongue, so he found it difficult to speak clearly.
وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِى - يَفْقَهُواْ قَوْلِي -وَاجْعَل لِّى وَزِيراً مِّنْ أَهْلِى
هَـرُونَ أَخِى - اشْدُدْ بِهِ أَزْرِى - وَأَشْرِكْهُ فِى أَمْرِى
"And loose the knot (the defect) from my tongue. That they understand my speech. And appoint for me a helper from my family, Harun, my brother. Increase my strength with him, And let him share my task.'' (20:27-32)
meaning, `give me someone to keep me company in this immense task of Prophethood and conveying the Message to this arrogant, tyrannical and stubborn king.'
Hence Musa said: وَأَخِي هَارُونُ هُوَ أَفْصَحُ مِنِّي لِسَانًا فَأَرْسِلْهُ مَعِيَ رِدْءًا (And my brother Harun -- he is more eloquent in speech than me: so send him with me as a helper), meaning, as a support to give strength to my cause and confirm what I say and convey from Allah, because the word of two carries more weight in people's minds than the word of one.
... فَأَرْسِلْهُ مَعِيَ رِدْءًا يُصَدِّقُنِي ...
send him with me as a helper to confirm me.
So he said:
Verily, I fear that they will deny me.
Muhammad bin Ishaq said:
رِدْءًا يُصَدِّقُنِي (as a helper to confirm me), means, `to explain to them what I say, for he can understand me where they may not.'
When Musa asked for this, Allah said to him:
قَالَ سَنَشُدُّ عَضُدَكَ بِأَخِيكَ ...
Allah said: We will strengthen your arm through your brother,
meaning, `We will add strength to your cause and give you help through your brother, who you have asked to be made a Prophet alongside you.'
This is like the Ayat;
قَدْ أُوتِيتَ سُؤْلَكَ يمُوسَى
You are granted your request, O Musa! (20:36)
وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ مِن رَّحْمَتِنَآ أَخَاهُ هَـرُونَ نَبِيّاً
And We granted him his brother Harun, (also) a Prophet, out of Our mercy. (19:53)
One of the Salaf said,
"There is no one who has ever done a greater favor to his brother than Musa did for Harun, may peace be upon them both, for he interceded for him until Allah made him a Prophet and Messenger with him to Fir`awn and his chiefs."
Allah said concerning Musa:
وَكَانَ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَجِيهاً
he was honorable before Allah. (33:69)
... وَنَجْعَلُ لَكُمَا سُلْطَانًا ...
and (We will) give you both power,
means, overwhelming evidence.
... فَلَا يَصِلُونَ إِلَيْكُمَا بِآيَاتِنَا ...
so they shall not be able to harm you, with Our Ayat;
means, `they will have no way or means of harming you because you are conveying the signs of Allah.'
This is like the Ayat:
يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ وَاللّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ
O Messenger! Convey what 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)
الَّذِينَ يُبَلِّغُونَ رِسَالَاتِ اللَّهِ وَيَخْشَوْنَهُ وَلَا يَخْشَوْنَ أَحَدًا إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ حَسِيبًا
Those who convey the Message of Allah and fear Him, and fear none save Allah. And sufficient is Allah as a Reckoner. (33:39)
And sufficient is Allah as a Helper and Supporter. And Allah told them the consequences in this world and the next, for them and for those who followed them,
you two as well as those who follow you will be the victors.
This is like the Ayat:
كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لاّغْلِبَنَّ أَنَاْ وَرُسُلِى إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌ
Allah has decreed: "Verily, it is I and My Messengers who shall be the victorious.''
Verily, Allah is All-Powerful, All-Mighty. (58:21)
إِنَّا لَنَنصُرُ رُسُلَنَا وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْأَشْهَادُ
Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe in this world's life and on the Day when the witnesses will stand forth, -- (40:51)
Musa before Fir`awn and His People
فَلَمَّا جَاءهُم مُّوسَى بِآيَاتِنَا بَيِّنَاتٍ قَالُوا ...
Then when Musa came to them with Our Clear Ayat, they said:
Allah tells us how Musa and his brother Harun came before Fir`awn and his chiefs, and showed them the clear miracles and overwhelming proof that Allah had given them to confirm the truth of what they were saying about Allah being One and that His commandments were to be followed.
Fir`awn and his chiefs saw that with their own eyes and realized that it was certainly from Allah, but because of their disbelief and sin they resorted to stubbornness and false arguments. This was because they were too evil and arrogant to follow the truth. They said:
... مَا هَذَا إِلَّا سِحْرٌ مُّفْتَرًى ...
This is nothing but invented magic.
meaning, fabricated and made up. They wanted to oppose him by means of their own tricks and their position and power, but this did not work.
Never did we hear of this among our fathers of old.
They were referring worshipping Allah Alone, with no partner or associate. They said: "We have never seen anyone among our forefathers following this religion; we have only ever seen people associating other gods in worship with Allah.
وَقَالَ مُوسَى ...
Musa said in response to them:
... رَبِّي أَعْلَمُ بِمَن جَاء بِالْهُدَى مِنْ عِندِهِ ...
My Lord knows best him who came with guidance from Him,
meaning, `of me and you, and He will decide between me and you.'
So he said:
... وَمَن تَكُونُ لَهُ عَاقِبَةُ الدَّارِ ...
and whose will be the happy end in the Hereafter.
meaning, who will be supported and will prevail.
Verily, the wrongdoers will not be successful.
refers to the idolators who associate others in worship with Allah.
The Arrogance of Fir`awn and His ultimate Destiny
وَقَالَ فِرْعَوْنُ ...
Allah tells us of Fir`awn's disbelief and wrongdoing, and how he falsely claimed divinity for his evil self, may Allah curse him.
فَاسْتَخَفَّ قَوْمَهُ فَأَطَاعُوهُ
Thus he fooled his people, and they obeyed him. (43:54)
He called on his people to recognize his divinity, and they responded, because of their weak and foolish minds.
So, he said:
... يَا أَيُّهَا الْمَلَأُ مَا عَلِمْتُ لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَهٍ غَيْرِي ...
O chiefs! I know not that you have a god other than me.
Allah tells us about Fir`awn:
فَحَشَرَ فَنَادَى - فَقَالَ أَنَاْ رَبُّكُمُ الاٌّعْلَى - فَأَخَذَهُ اللَّهُ نَكَالَ الاٌّخِرَةِ وَالاٍّوْلَى - إِنَّ فِى ذَلِكَ لَعِبْرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَى
Then he gathered (his people) and cried aloud, saying: "I am your lord, most high.''
So Allah, seized him with punishment for his last and first transgression. Verily, in this is an instructive admonition for whosoever fears Allah. (79:23-26)
meaning: he brought his people together and called to them in a loud voice, shouting that, and they responded to him obediently. So Allah took revenge on him, and made him a lesson to others in this world and the Hereafter. He even confronted Musa with that, and said:
لَئِنِ اتَّخَذْتَ إِلَـهَاً غَيْرِى لأَجْعَلَنَّكَ مِنَ الْمَسْجُونِينَ
If you choose a god other than me, I will certainly put you among the prisoners. (26:29)
... فَأَوْقِدْ لِي يَا هَامَانُ عَلَى الطِّينِ فَاجْعَل لِّي صَرْحًا لَّعَلِّي أَطَّلِعُ إِلَى إِلَهِ مُوسَى ...
So kindle for me (a fire), O Haman, to bake (bricks out of) clay, and set up for me a Sarh in order that I may look at the God of Musa;
He commanded his minister and adviser Haman to bake bricks for him, i.e., to make bricks in order to build a Sarh, a exalted towering palace.
This is like the Ayah,
وَقَالَ فَرْعَوْنُ يهَـمَـنُ ابْنِ لِى صَرْحاً لَّعَـلِّى أَبْلُغُ الاٌّسْبَـبَ
أَسْبَـبَ السَّمَـوَتِ فَأَطَّلِعَ إِلَى إِلَـهِ مُوسَى وَإِنِّى لاّظُنُّهُ كَـذِباً وَكَـذَلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِفِرْعَوْنَ سُوءُ عَمَلِهِ وَصُدَّ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا كَـيْدُ فِرْعَوْنَ إِلاَّ فِى تَبَابٍ
And Fir`awn said: "O Haman! Build me a Sarh that I may arrive at the ways -- the ways of the heavens, and I may look upon the God of Musa, but verily, I think him to be a liar.''
Thus it was made fair seeming, in Fir`awn's eyes, the evil of his deeds, and he was hindered from the path; and the plot of Fir`awn led to nothing but loss and destruction. (40:36-37)
Fir`awn built this tower, which was the highest structure ever seen on earth, because he wanted to show his people that Musa was lying when he claimed that there was a God other than Fir`awn.
and verily, I think that he (Musa) is one of the liars.
meaning, `when he says that there is a lord other than me.'
The issue was not whether Allah had sent Musa, because he did not acknowledge the existence of the Creator in the first place. On the contrary, he said: وَمَا رَبُّ الْعَـلَمِينَ (And what is the Lord of Al-`Alamin) (26:23) and: لَئِنِ اتَّخَذْتَ إِلَـهَاً غَيْرِى لأَجْعَلَنَّكَ مِنَ الْمَسْجُونِينَ (If you choose a god other than me, I will certainly put you among the prisoners). (26:29) and he said: يَا أَيُّهَا الْمَلَأُ مَا عَلِمْتُ لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَهٍ غَيْرِي (O chiefs! I know not that you have a god other than me).
This was the view of Ibn Jarir.
And Allah tells:
وَاسْتَكْبَرَ هُوَ وَجُنُودُهُ فِي الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَظَنُّوا أَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْنَا لَا يُرْجَعُونَ ﴿٣٩﴾
And he and his armies were arrogant in the land, without right, and they thought that they would never return to Us.
means, they were arrogant oppressors who spread much mischief in the land, and they believed that there would be no Resurrection.
فَصَبَّ عَلَيْهِمْ رَبُّكَ سَوْطَ عَذَابٍ - إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَبِالْمِرْصَادِ
So, your Lord poured on them different kinds of severe torment. Verily, your Lord is Ever Watchful (over them). (89:13-14)
Allah says here:
فَأَخَذْنَاهُ وَجُنُودَهُ فَنَبَذْنَاهُمْ فِي الْيَمِّ ...
So, We seized him and his armies, and We threw them all into the sea.
meaning, `We drowned them in the sea in a single morning, and not one of them was left.'
So, behold what was the end of the wrongdoers.
وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَدْعُونَ إِلَى النَّارِ ...
And We made them leaders inviting to the Fire.
for those who followed them and took the same path as they did, rejecting the Messengers and denying the Creator.
and on the Day of Resurrection, they will not be helped.
their humiliation in this world is combined with and connected to their humiliation in the Hereafter, as Allah says:
أَهْلَكْنَـهُمْ فَلاَ نَـصِرَ لَهُمْ
We have destroyed them. And there was none to help them. (47:13)
وَأَتْبَعْنَاهُمْ فِي هَذِهِ الدُّنْيَا لَعْنَةً ...
And We made a curse to follow them in this world,
Allah decreed that they and their king Fir`awn should be cursed by the believers among His servants who follow His Messengers, just as in this world they were cursed by the Prophets and their followers.
and on the Day of Resurrection, they will be among disgraced.
Qatadah said, "This Ayah is like the Ayah,
وَأُتْبِعُواْ فِى هَـذِهِ لَعْنَةً وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ بِئْسَ الرِّفْدُ الْمَرْفُودُ
They were pursued by a curse in this (life) and on the Day of Resurrection. Evil indeed is the gift given. (11:99)''
The Blessings which Allah bestowed upon Musa
وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ ...
And indeed We gave Musa --
Allah tells us about the blessings which He gave His servant and Messenger Musa, the speaker, may the best of peace and blessings from his Lord be upon him, He revealed the Tawrah to him after He destroyed Fir`awn and his chiefs.
... مِن بَعْدِ مَا أَهْلَكْنَا الْقُرُونَ الْأُولَى ...
after We had destroyed the generations of old,
After the revelation of the Tawrah, no nation would again be punished with an overwhelming calamity; instead the believers were now commanded to fight the enemies of Allah among the idolators, as Allah says:
وَجَآءَ فِرْعَوْنُ وَمَن قَبْلَهُ وَالْمُؤْتَفِكَـتُ بِالْخَاطِئَةِ - فَعَصَوْاْ رَسُولَ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَخَذَهُمْ أَخْذَةً رَّابِيَةً
And Fir`awn, and those before him, and the cities overthrown committed sin. And they disobeyed their Lord's Messenger, so He seized them with a strong punishment. (69:9-10)
... بَصَائِرَ لِلنَّاسِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً ...
as an enlightenment for mankind, and a guidance and a mercy,
guidance from blindness and error.
A guidance to the truth and a mercy means, to show the way towards doing righteous deeds.
that they might remember.
means, that the people might be reminded and guided by it.
Proof of the Prophethood of Muhammad
وَمَا كُنتَ بِجَانِبِ الْغَرْبِيِّ إِذْ قَضَيْنَا إِلَى مُوسَى الْأَمْرَ وَمَا كُنتَ مِنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ ﴿٤٤﴾
And you were not on the western side (of the Mount), when We made clear to Musa the commandment, and you were not among the witnesses.
Allah points out the proof of the Prophethood of Muhammad, whereby he told others about matters of the past, and spoke about them as if he were hearing and seeing them for himself. But he was an illiterate man who could not read books, and he grew up among a people who knew nothing of such things.
Similarly, Allah told him about Maryam and her story, as Allah said:
وَمَا كُنتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ يُلْقُون أَقْلَـمَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ يَكْفُلُ مَرْيَمَ وَمَا كُنتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ يَخْتَصِمُونَ
You were not with them, when they cast lots with their pens as to which of them should be charged with the care of Maryam; nor were you with them when they disputed, (3:44),
meaning, `you were not present then, but Allah has revealed this to you.'
Similarly, Allah told him about Nuh and his people, and how He saved Nuh and drowned his people, then He said:
تِلْكَ مِنْ أَنْبَآءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهَآ إِلَيْكَ مَا كُنتَ تَعْلَمُهَآ أَنتَ وَلاَ قَوْمُكَ مِن قَبْلِ هَـذَا فَاصْبِرْ إِنَّ الْعَـقِبَةَ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ
This is of the news of the Unseen which We reveal unto you; neither you nor your people knew it before this. So, be patient. Surely, the (good) end is for those who have Taqwa. (11:49)
And at the end of the same Surah (Hud) Allah says:
ذَلِكَ مِنْ أَنْبَآءِ الْقُرَى نَقُصُّهُ عَلَيْكَ
That is some of the news of the towns which We relate unto you. (11:100)
And here, after telling the story of Musa from beginning to end and how Allah began His revelation to him and spoke with him,
وَمَا كُنتَ بِجَانِبِ الْغَرْبِيِّ إِذْ قَضَيْنَا إِلَى مُوسَى الْأَمْرَ ...
And you were not on the western side (of the Mount), when We made clear to Musa the commandment),
meaning, `you -- O Muhammad -- were not on the western side of the mountain where Allah spoke to Musa from the tree which was to the east of it, in the valley.'
... وَمَا كُنتَ مِنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ
and you were not among the witnesses.
`to that event, but Allah has revealed this to you,'
so that it may be evidence and proof of events which happened centuries ago, for people have forgotten the evidence that Allah established against them and what was revealed to the earlier Prophets.
وَلَكِنَّا أَنشَأْنَا قُرُونًا فَتَطَاوَلَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْعُمُرُ ...
But We created generations, and long were the ages that passed over them.
... وَمَا كُنتَ ثَاوِيًا فِي أَهْلِ مَدْيَنَ تَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِنَا ...
And you were not a dweller among the people of Madyan, reciting Our Ayat to them.
meaning, `you were not living among the people of Madyan reciting Our Ayat to them, when you started to tell about Our Prophet Shu`ayb and what he said to his people and how they responded.'
But it is We Who kept sending.
means, `but We revealed that to you and sent you to mankind as a Messenger.'
وَمَا كُنتَ بِجَانِبِ الطُّورِ إِذْ نَادَيْنَا ...
And you were not at the side of At-Tur when We called.
Qatadah said that: وَمَا كُنتَ بِجَانِبِ الطُّورِ إِذْ نَادَيْنَا (And you were not at the side of At-Tur when We did call), refers to Musa, and this -- and Allah knows best -- is like the Ayah: وَمَا كُنتَ بِجَانِبِ الْغَرْبِىِّ إِذْ قَضَيْنَآ إِلَى مُوسَى الاٌّمْرَ And you were not on the western side (of the Mount), when We made clear to Musa the commandment, (28:44)
Here Allah puts it in a different and more specific way by describing it as a call.
This is like the Ayat:
وَإِذْ نَادَى رَبُّكَ مُوسَى
And (remember) when your Lord called Musa. (26:10)
إِذْ نَادَاهُ رَبُّهُ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى
When his Lord called him in the sacred valley of Tuwa. (79:16).
وَنَـدَيْنَـهُ مِن جَانِبِ الطُّورِ الاٌّيْمَنِ وَقَرَّبْنَاهُ نَجِيّاً
And We called him from the right side of At-Tur, and made him draw near to Us for a talk with him. (19:52)
... وَلَكِن رَّحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ ...
But (you are sent) as a mercy from your Lord,
means, `you were not a witness to any of those things, but Allah has revealed them to you and told you about them as a mercy from Him to you and to His servants, by sending you to them,'
to give warning to a people to whom no warner had come before you, in order that they may remember or receive admonition.
means, `so that they may be guided by that which you bring from Allah.'
وَلَوْلَا أَن تُصِيبَهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ فَيَقُولُوا رَبَّنَا لَوْلَا أَرْسَلْتَ إِلَيْنَا رَسُولًا ...
And if (We had) not (sent you to the people of Makkah) -- in case a calamity should seize them for (the deeds) that their hands have sent forth, they would have said: "Our Lord! Why did You not send us a Messenger!
meaning: `and We have sent you to them to establish proof against them, and to give them no excuse when the punishment of Allah comes to them because of their disbelief, lest they offer the excuse that no Messenger or warner came to them.'
This is like what Allah says about the situation after He revealed His blessed Book the Qur'an:
أَن تَقُولُواْ إِنَّمَا أُنزِلَ الْكِتَابُ عَلَى طَآئِفَتَيْنِ مِن قَبْلِنَا وَإِن كُنَّا عَن دِرَاسَتِهِمْ لَغَافِلِينَ
أَوْ تَقُولُواْ لَوْ أَنَّا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا الْكِتَابُ لَكُنَّا أَهْدَى مِنْهُمْ فَقَدْ جَاءكُم بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ...
Lest you should say: "The Book was sent down only to two sects before us, and for our part, we were in fact unaware of what they studied.''
Or lest you should say: "If only the Book had been sent down to us, we would surely have been better guided than they.''
So, now has come unto you a clear proof from your Lord, and guidance and a mercy... (6:156-157)
رُّسُلاً مُّبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ لِئَلاَّ يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَى اللَّهِ حُجَّةٌ بَعْدَ الرُّسُلِ
Messengers as bearers of good news as well as warning in order that mankind should have no plea against Allah after the Messengers. (4:165)
يَـأَهْلَ الْكِتَـبِ قَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ عَلَى فَتْرَةٍ مَّنَ الرُّسُلِ أَن تَقُولُواْ مَا جَآءَنَا مِن بَشِيرٍ وَلاَ نَذِيرٍ فَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ بَشِيرٌ وَنَذِيرٌ
O People of the Scripture!
Now has come to you Our Messenger making (things) clear unto you, after a break in (the series of) Messengers, lest you say: "There came unto us no bringer of glad tidings and no warner.'' But now has come unto you a bringer of glad tidings and a warner. (5:19)
And there are many similar Ayat.
We would then have followed Your Ayat and would have been among the believers.''
The stubborn Response of the Disbelievers
فَلَمَّا جَاءهُمُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ عِندِنَا قَالُوا ...
But when the truth has come to them from Us, they say:
Allah tells us that if people were to be punished before proof was established against them, they would use the excuse that no Messenger came to them, but when the truth did come to them through Muhammad, in their stubbornness, disbelief, ignorance and misguided thinking, they said:
... لَوْلَا أُوتِيَ مِثْلَ مَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَى ...
Why is he not given the like of what was given to Musa,
Meaning -- and Allah knows best -- many signs like the staff, the hand, the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs, the blood, the destruction of crops and fruits -- which made things difficult for the enemies of Allah -- and the parting of the sea, the clouds (following the Children of Israel in the wilderness and) shading them, the manna and quails, and other clear signs and definitive proof, miracles which Allah wrought at the hands of Musa as evidence and proof against Fir`awn and his chiefs and the Children of Israel. But all of this had no effect on Fir`awn and his chiefs; on the contrary, they denied Musa and his brother Harun, as Allah tells us:
أَجِئْتَنَا لِتَلْفِتَنَا عَمَّا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ ءابَاءَنَا وَتَكُونَ لَكُمَا الْكِبْرِيَآءُ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَمَا نَحْنُ لَكُمَا بِمُؤْمِنِينَ
Have you come to us to turn us away from what we found our fathers following, and that you two may have greatness in the land We are not going to believe you two! (10:78)
فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا فَكَانُواْ مِنَ الْمُهْلَكِينَ
So they denied them both and became of those who were destroyed. (23:48)
The Rebellious do not believe in Miracles
Allah says here:
... أَوَلَمْ يَكْفُرُوا بِمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَى مِن قَبْلُ ...
Did they not disbelieve in that which was given to Musa of old!
Did not mankind disbelieve in those mighty signs which were given to Musa!
... قَالُوا سِحْرَانِ تَظَاهَرَا ...
They say: "Two kinds of magic, each helping the other!''
cooperating or working one with the other.
And they say: "Verily, in both we are disbelievers.''
meaning, `we disbelieve in each of them.' Because of the close relationship between Musa and Harun, mention of one includes the other.
False Accusation that Musa and Harun (peace be upon them both) practiced Magic
Mujahid bin Jabr said,
"The Jews told Quraysh to say this to Muhammad, then Allah said: `Did they not disbelieve in that which was given to Musa of old! They say: Two kinds of magic, each helping the other!'
This refers to Musa and Harun, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon them both,تَظَاهَرَا (each helping the other) i.e., working together and supporting one another.''
This was also the view of Sa`id bin Jubayr and Abu Razin that the phrase "two kinds of magic'' referred to Musa and Harun.
This is a good suggestion. And Allah knows best.
The Response to this False Accusation
About the Ayah سِحْرَانِ تَظَاهَرَا (Two kinds of magic, each helping the other!) Ali bin Abi Talhah and Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said:
"this refers to the Tawrah and the Qur'an, because Allah says next:
قُلْ فَأْتُوا بِكِتَابٍ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ هُوَ أَهْدَى مِنْهُمَا أَتَّبِعْهُ ....
Then bring a Book from Allah, which is a better guide than these two, that I may follow it...
قُلْ مَنْ أَنزَلَ الْكِتَابَ الَّذِي جَاء بِهِ مُوسَى نُورًا وَهُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ تَجْعَلُونَهُ قَرَاطِيسَ تُبْدُونَهَا وَتُخْفُونَ كَثِيرًا وَعُلِّمْتُم مَّا لَمْ تَعْلَمُواْ أَنتُمْ وَلاَ آبَاؤُكُمْ قُلِ اللّهُ ثُمَّ ذَرْهُمْ فِي خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْعَبُونَ
وَهَـذَا كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ مُبَارَكٌ
Say : "Who then sent down the Book which Musa brought, a light and a guidance to mankind which you (the Jews) have made into (separate) paper sheets, disclosing (some of it) and concealing much. And you were taught that which neither you nor your fathers knew.''
Say: "Allah (sent it down).''
Then leave them to play in their vain discussions.
And this is a blessed Book which We have sent down, (6:91-92)
And at the end of the same Surah, Allah says:
ثُمَّ ءاتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَـبَ تَمَامًا عَلَى الَّذِى أَحْسَنَ
Then, We gave Musa the Book, to complete (Our favor) upon those who would do right. (6: 154)
وَهَـذَا كِتَـبٌ أَنزَلْنَـهُ مُبَارَكٌ فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَاتَّقُواْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
And this is a blessed Book which We have sent down, so follow it and have Taqwa of Allah, that you may receive mercy. (6:155)
And the Jinn said:
إِنَّا سَمِعْنَا كِتَـباً أُنزِلَ مِن بَعْدِ مُوسَى مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ
Verily, we have heard a Book sent down after Musa, confirming what came before it. (46:30)
Waraqah bin Nawfal said, "This is An-Namus, who came down to Musa.''
And those who are possessed of insight know instinctively that among the many Books which He has sent down to His Prophets, there is no Book more perfect, more eloquent or more noble than the Book which He revealed to Muhammad, which is the Qur'an.
Next to it in status and greatness is the Book which Allah revealed to Musa bin Imran, which is the Book concerning which Allah says:
إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُواْ لِلَّذِينَ هَادُواْ وَالرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالاٌّحْبَارُ بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُواْ مِن كِتَـبِ اللَّهِ وَكَانُواْ عَلَيْهِ شُهَدَآءَ
Verily, We did send down the Tawrah, therein was guidance and light, by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves to Allah's will, judged for the Jews. And the rabbis and the priests, for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah's Book, and they were witnesses thereto. (5:44)
The Injil was revealed as a continuation and complement of the Tawrah and to permit some of the things that had been forbidden to the Children of Israel.
قُلْ فَأْتُوا بِكِتَابٍ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ هُوَ أَهْدَى مِنْهُمَا أَتَّبِعْهُ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ﴿٤٩﴾
Then bring a Book from Allah, which is a better guide than these two, that I may follow it, if you are truthful.
meaning, `in your efforts to refute the truth with false arguments.'
فَإِن لَّمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا لَكَ ...
But if they answer you not,
means, `if they do not respond to what you tell them, and do not follow the truth,'
... فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يَتَّبِعُونَ أَهْوَاءهُمْ ...
then know that they only follow their own lusts.
means, with no basis or evidence.
... وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنِ اتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ بِغَيْرِ هُدًى مِّنَ اللَّهِ ...
And who is more astray than one who follows his own lusts, without guidance from Allah,
means, with no guidance taken from the Book of Allah.
Verily, Allah guides not the people who are wrongdoers.
وَلَقَدْ وَصَّلْنَا لَهُمُ الْقَوْلَ ...
And indeed now We have conveyed the Word,
Mujahid said: "We have explained the Word to them.''
As-Suddi said something similar.
Qatadah said: "Allah is saying, `He has told them what He did in the past and what He will do in the future.'''
Mujahid and others said: وَصَّلْنَا لَهُمُ (We have conveyed the Word) means, to Quraysh.
in order that they may remember.
The Believers among the People of the Book
الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِهِ هُم بِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٥٢﴾
Those to whom We gave the Scripture before it, they believe in it.
Allah tells us that the pious scholars among the People of the Book believe in the Qur'an, as He says:
الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَـهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ يَتْلُونَهُ حَقَّ تِلاَوَتِهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ
Those to whom We gave the Book recite it as it should be recited, they are the ones who believe therein. (2:121)
وَإِنَّ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ لَمَن يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ خَـشِعِينَ للَّهِ
And there are, certainly, among the People of the Scripture, those who believe in Allah and in that which has been revealed to you, and in that which has been revealed to them, humbling themselves before Allah. (3:199)
قُلْ ءَامِنُواْ بِهِ أَوْ لاَ تُؤْمِنُواْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ مِن قَبْلِهِ إِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ يَخِرُّونَ لِلاٌّذْقَانِ سُجَّدًا
وَيَقُولُونَ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَآ إِن كَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفْعُولاً
Verily, those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration. And they say: "Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the promise of our Lord must be fulfilled.'' (17:107-108)
... وَلَتَجِدَنَّ أَقْرَبَهُمْ مَّوَدَّةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الَّذِينَ قَالُوَاْ إِنَّا نَصَارَى ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ مِنْهُمْ قِسِّيسِينَ وَرُهْبَانًا وَأَنَّهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ
وَإِذَا سَمِعُواْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ تَرَى أَعْيُنَهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُواْ مِنَ الْحَقِّ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ
... and you will find the nearest in love to the believers those who say: "We are Christians.'' That is because among them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.
And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognized.
They say: "Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among the witnesses.'' (5:82,83)
Sa`id bin Jubayr said,
"This was revealed concerning seventy priests who were sent by An-Najashi (ruler of Ethiopia). When they came to the Prophet, he recited to them: وَالْقُرْءَانِ الْحَكِيمِ يس Ya Sin. By the Qur'an, full of wisdom. (36:1-2) until he completed the Surah. They began to weep, and they embraced Islam. These other Ayat were revealed concerning them:
الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِهِ هُم بِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ
Those to whom We gave the Scripture before it, they believe in it.
وَإِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِهِ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا مِن قَبْلِهِ مُسْلِمِينَ ﴿٥٣﴾
And when it is recited to them, they say: "We believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed even before it we have been from Muslims.''
meaning, `even before the Qur'an came we were Muslims, i.e., we believed in One God and were sincerely responding to Allah's commands.'
أُوْلَئِكَ يُؤْتَوْنَ أَجْرَهُم مَّرَّتَيْنِ بِمَا صَبَرُوا ...
These will be given their reward twice over, because they are patient,
means, those who have this characteristic -- that they believed in the first Book and then in the second.
بِمَا صَبَرُوا (because they are patient), meaning, in their adherence to the truth, for taking such thing upon oneself is not easy for people.
It was reported in the Sahih from the Hadith of Amir Ash-Sha`bi from Abu Burdah that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:
ثَلَاثَةٌ يُؤْتَوْنَ أَجْرَهُمْ مَرَّتَيْنِ:
- رَجُلٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ آمَنَ بِنَبِيِّهِ ثُمَّ آمَنَ بِي،
- وَعَبْدٌ مَمْلُوكٌ أَدَّى حَقَّ اللهِ وَحَقَّ مَوَالِيهِ،
- وَرَجُلٌ كَانَتْ لَهُ أَمَةٌ، فَأَدَّبَهَا فَأَحْسَنَ تَأْدِيبَهَا، ثُمَّ أَعْتَقَهَا فَتَزَوَّجَهَا
There are three who will be given their reward twice:
- a man among the People of the Book who believed in his Prophet then believed in me;
- a slave who fulfills his duty towards Allah and towards his master; and
- a man who has a slave woman and educates her and teaches her good manners, then he frees her and marries her.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Umamah said:
"On the day of the Conquest (of Makkah) I was walking alongside the Messenger of Allah as he was riding, and he said some very beautiful words, including the following:
مَنْ أَسْلَمَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابَيْنِ فَلَهُ أَجْرُهُ مَرَّتَيْنِ وَلَهُ مَا لَنَا وَعَلَيْهِ مَا عَلَيْنَا وَمَنْ أَسْلَمَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ فَلَهُ أَجْرُهُ وَلَهُ مَا لَنَا وَعَلَيْهِ مَا عَلَيْنَا
Whoever among the people of the two Books becomes Muslim, he will have his reward twice, and he has the same rights and duties as we do. Whoever among the idolators becomes Muslim will have one reward, and he has the same rights and duties as we do.''
... وَيَدْرَؤُونَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ السَّيِّئَةَ ...
and repel evil with good,
means, they do not respond to evil in kind, rather they forgive and overlook.
and spend out of what We have provided for them.
meaning, `from the lawful provision that We have given them, they spend on their families and relatives as they are required to do, and they pay Zakah and give voluntary charity.'
وَإِذَا سَمِعُوا اللَّغْوَ أَعْرَضُوا عَنْهُ ...
And when they hear evil vain talk, they withdraw from it,
meaning, they do not mix with the people who indulge in such talk, rather they do as Allah says:
وَإِذَا مَرُّواْ بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّواْ كِراماً
and if they pass by some evil vain talk, they pass by it with dignity. (25:72)
and they say: "To us our deeds, and to you your deeds. Peace be to you. We seek not (the way of) the ignorant.''
means, if some foolish person speaks to them in a foolish manner and says something to which it does not befit them to respond, they turn away from him and do not respond in kind with ugly speech. They never say anything but good words. Allah says of them that they say: لَنَا أَعْمَالُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَالُكُمْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَا نَبْتَغِي الْجَاهِلِينَ (To us our deeds, and to you your deeds. Peace be to you. We seek not (the way of) the ignorant), meaning, `we do not seek the way of the ignorant and we do not like it.'
Allah guides Whom He wills
Allah says to His Messenger : `O Muhammad:
إِنَّكَ لَا تَهْدِي مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ ...
Verily, you guide not whom you like'
meaning, `the matter does not rest with you; all that you have to do is convey the Message, and Allah will guide whom He wills, and His is the ultimate wisdom,' as He says:
لَّيْسَ عَلَيْكَ هُدَاهُمْ وَلَـكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ
Not upon you is their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills. (2:272)
وَمَآ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ
And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly. (12:103)
This Ayah is even more specific than the following:
Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided.
meaning: Allah knows best who deserves to be guided and who deserves to be misguided.
It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that this Ayah was revealed concerning Abu Talib, the paternal uncle of the Messenger of Allah.
He used to protect the Prophet, support him and stand by him. He loved the Prophet dearly, but this love was a natural love, i.e., born of kinship, not a love that was born of the fact that he was the Messenger of Allah.
When he was on his deathbed, the Messenger of Allah called him to Faith and to enter Islam, but the decree overtook him and he remained a follower of disbelief, and Allah's is the complete wisdom.
Az-Zuhri said that Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib narrated to me that his father, Al-Musayyib bin Hazan Al-Makhzumi, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
"When Abu Talib was dying, the Messenger of Allah came to him and found Abu Jahl bin Hisham and Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah bin Al-Mughirah with him. The Messenger of Allah said:
يَا عَمِّ قُلْ: لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ، كَلِمَةً أُحَاجُّ لَكَ بِهَا عِنْدَ الله
O my uncle, say La ilaha illallah, a word which I may use as evidence in your favor before Allah (in the Hereafter).
Abu Jahl bin Hisham and Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah said: `O Abu Talib, will you leave the religion of Abdul-Muttalib'
The Messenger of Allah kept urging him to say La ilaha illallah, and they kept saying, `Will you leave the religion of `Abdul-Muttalib' -- until, at the very end, he said that he was on the religion of Abdul-Muttalib, and he refused to say La ilaha illallah.
The Messenger of Allah said:
وَاللهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ مَا لَمْ أُنْهَ عَنْك
By Allah, I shall certainly seek forgiveness for you unless I am told not to.
Then Allah revealed:
مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِىِّ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَن يَسْتَغْفِرُواْ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ وَلَوْ كَانُواْ أُوْلِى قُرْبَى
It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's forgiveness for the idolators, even though they be of kin. (9:113)
And there was revealed concerning Abu Talib the Ayah,
إِنَّكَ لَا تَهْدِي مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء ...
Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills.''
This was recorded (by Al-Bukhari and Muslim) from the Hadith of Az-Zuhri.
The Excuses made by the People of Makkah for not believing, and the Refutation of Their Excuses
And they say: "If we follow the guidance with you, we would be snatched away from our land.''
Allah tells us that this is the excuse which was given by some of the disbelievers for not following true guidance.
They said to the Messenger of Allah: إِن نَّتَّبِعِ الْهُدَى مَعَكَ نُتَخَطَّفْ مِنْ أَرْضِنَا (If we follow the guidance with you, we would be snatched away from our land), meaning, `we are afraid that if we follow the message of guidance that you have brought, and go against the pagan Arab tribes around us, they will seek to do us harm and wage war against us, and they may snatch us away from wherever we may be.'
Allah said in response to them:
... أَوَلَمْ نُمَكِّن لَّهُمْ حَرَمًا آمِنًا ...
Have We not established for them a secure sanctuary,
meaning, the excuse they give is a lie and is false, because Allah has put them in a secure city and a venerated sanctuary which has been safe from the time it was built -- how could this sanctuary be safe for them when they believed in disbelief and Shirk, and how could it not be safe for them when they become Muslims and follow the truth.
... يُجْبَى إِلَيْهِ ثَمَرَاتُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ ...
to which are brought fruits of all kinds,
means, all kinds of fruits from the surrounding regions, from At-Ta'if and elsewhere.
Similarly, the people of Makkah engaged in trade and other goods also came to their city.
a provision from Ourselves, but most of them know not.
- this is why they said what they said.
The Destruction of Towns, which are not destroyed until Evidence is established against Them
Referring to the people of Makkah, Allah says:
وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍ بَطِرَتْ مَعِيشَتَهَا ...
And how many a town have We destroyed, which was thankless for its means of livelihood!
They were arrogant transgressors who denied Allah's blessing of giving them ample provision.
This is like the Ayah,
وَضَرَبَ اللّهُ مَثَلاً قَرْيَةً كَانَتْ آمِنَةً مُّطْمَئِنَّةً يَأْتِيهَا رِزْقُهَا رَغَدًا مِّن كُلِّ مَكَانٍ فَكَفَرَتْ بِأَنْعُمِ اللّهِ فَأَذَاقَهَا اللّهُ لِبَاسَ الْجُوعِ وَالْخَوْفِ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَصْنَعُونَ
وَلَقَدْ جَاءهُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَأَخَذَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَهُمْ ظَالِمُونَ
And Allah gives the example of a township (Makkah), it was secure and peaceful: its provision coming to it in abundance from every place, but it (its people) denied the favors of Allah. So Allah made it taste extreme hunger (famine) and fear, because of what they did.
There has come to them a Messenger from among themselves, but they denied him, so the torment seized them while they were wrongdoers. (16:112-113)
... فَتِلْكَ مَسَاكِنُهُمْ لَمْ تُسْكَن مِّن بَعْدِهِمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا ...
And those are their dwellings, which have not been inhabited after them except a little.
Their land became empty and desolate, and you can see nothing but their dwellings.
And verily, We have been the heirs.
Their towns became ruins, with none remaining.
Then Allah tells us of His justice and that He does not destroy anyone unjustly; on the contrary, He destroys those whom He destroys after establishing proof against them.
So, he says:
وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ مُهْلِكَ الْقُرَى حَتَّى يَبْعَثَ فِي أُمِّهَا رَسُولًا يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِنَا...
And never will your Lord destroy the towns until He sends to their mother town i.e., Makkah --a Messenger reciting to them Our Ayat.
This indicates that the Unlettered Prophet, Muhammad was sent from the Mother of Cities as a Messenger to all cities and towns, Arab and non-Arab alike. This is like the Ayat:
لِّتُنذِرَ أُمَّ الْقُرَى وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا
so that you may warn the Mother of Towns and all those around it. (6:92)
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)
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)
وَإِن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ إِلاَّ نَحْنُ مُهْلِكُوهَا قَبْلَ يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُوهَا عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا
And there is not a town but We shall destroy it before the Day of Resurrection, or punish it with a severe torment. (17:58)
Allah tells us that He will destroy every town before the Day of Resurrection, as He says:
وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولاً
And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger. (17:15)
Allah has sent the Unlettered Prophet to all the towns (all of mankind), because he has been sent to the Mother of Cities, their source to which they all return.
It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Prophet said:
بُعِثْتُ إِلَى الْأَحْمَرِ وَالْأَسْوَد
I have been sent to the red and the black.
Prophethood ended with him, and there is no Prophet or Messenger to come after him, but his way will remain as long as night and day remain, until the Day of Resurrection.
Allah also tells that:
And never would We destroy the towns unless the people thereof are wrongdoers.
This World is transient and the One Whose concern is this World is not equal to the One Whose concern is the Hereafter
وَمَا أُوتِيتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَمَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتُهَا وَمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى ...
And whatever you have been given is an enjoyment of the life of the world and its adornment, and that which is with Allah is better and will remain forever.
Allah tells us about the insignificance of this world and its contemptible adornments which are nothing in comparison to the great and lasting delights which Allah prepared for His righteous servants in the Hereafter.
As Allah says:
مَا عِندَكُمْ يَنفَدُ وَمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ بَاقٍ
Whatever is with you, will be exhausted, and whatever is with Allah will remain. (16:96)
وَمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لِّلأَبْرَارِ
and that which is with Allah is the best for the most righteous. (3:198)
وَمَا الْحَيَوةُ الدُّنْيَا فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ إِلاَّ مَتَـعٌ
whereas the life of this world as compared with the Hereafter is but a brief passing enjoyment. (13:26)
بَلْ تُؤْثِرُونَ الْحَيَوةَ الدُّنْيَا - وَالاٌّخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى
Nay, you prefer the life of this world. Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting. (87:16-17)
The Messenger of Allah said:
وَاللهِ مَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا فِي الْآخِرَةِ إِلَّا كَمَا يَغْمِسُ أَحَدُكُمْ إِصْبَعَهُ فِي الْيَمِّ، فَلْيَنْظُرْ مَاذَا يَرْجِعُ إِلَيْه
By Allah, the life of this world in comparison to the Hereafter is as if one of you were to dip his finger in the sea; let him see what comes back to him.
Have you then no sense!
means, do those who prefer this world to the Hereafter have no sense!
أَفَمَن وَعَدْنَاهُ وَعْدًا حَسَنًا فَهُوَ لَاقِيهِ كَمَن مَّتَّعْنَاهُ مَتَاعَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ هُوَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنَ الْمُحْضَرِينَ ﴿٦١﴾
Is he whom We have promised an excellent promise -- which he will find true -- like him whom We have made to enjoy the luxuries of the life of the world, then on the Day of Resurrection, he will be among those brought up!
Is the one who believes in the reward which Allah has promised in return for righteous deeds, which he will undoubtedly attain, like one who disbelieves in the meeting with Allah and in His promises and threats. He is only enjoying a few days in this life.
Mujahid and Qatadah said concerning the Ayah: ثُمَّ هُوَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنَ الْمُحْضَرِينَ (then on the Day of Resurrection, he will be among those brought up).
"He will be among those who are punished.''
It was said that this was revealed concerning the Messenger of Allah and Abu Jahl, or that it was revealed concerning Hamzah and Ali, and Abu Jahl.
Both views were narrated from Mujahid.
The apparent meaning is that it is more general than that.
This is like the Ayah where Allah describes a believer in Paradise looking out at his companion who is in Hell, and saying:
وَلَوْلاَ نِعْمَةُ رَبِّى لَكُنتُ مِنَ الْمُحْضَرِينَ
Had it not been for the grace of my Lord, I would certainly have been among those brought forth (to Hell). (37:57)
And Allah says:
وَلَقَدْ عَلِمَتِ الجِنَّةُ إِنَّهُمْ لَمُحْضَرُونَ
but the Jinn know well that they have indeed to appear (before Him). (37:158)
The Idolators and Their Partners and the Enmity between Them in the Hereafter
وَيَوْمَ يُنَادِيهِمْ فَيَقُولُ ...
And (remember) the Day when He will call to them and say:
Allah informs of how He will rebuke the idolators on the Day of Resurrection, when He will call them and say:
"Where are My (so-called) partners whom you used to assert!''
meaning, `where are the gods which you used to worship in the world, the idols and rivals! Can they help you or save you!' This is said in the nature of a rebuke and warning, as in the Ayah,
وَلَقَدْ جِئْتُمُونَا فُرَادَى كَمَا خَلَقْنَـكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَتَرَكْتُمْ مَّا خَوَّلْنَـكُمْ وَرَاءَ ظُهُورِكُمْ وَمَا نَرَى مَعَكُمْ شُفَعَآءَكُمُ الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُمْ أَنَّهُمْ فِيكُمْ شُرَكَآءُ لَقَد تَّقَطَّعَ بَيْنَكُمْ وَضَلَّ عَنكُم مَّا كُنتُمْ تَزْعُمُونَ
And truly, you have come unto Us alone as We created you the first time. You have left behind you all that which We had bestowed on you. We see not with you your intercessors whom you claimed to be partners with Allah. Now all relations between you and them have been cut off, and all that you used to claim has vanished from you. (6:94)
قَالَ الَّذِينَ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَوْلُ ...
Those about whom the Word will have been fulfilled,
means the Shayatin and evil Jinn, and those who used to advocate disbelief.
"Our Lord! These are they whom we led astray. We led them astray, as we were astray ourselves. We declare our innocence before You. It was not us they worshipped.''
They will testify against them and say that they led them astray, then they will declare their innocence of their worship.
This is like the Ayat:
وَاتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ ءالِهَةً لِّيَكُونُواْ لَهُمْ عِزّاً - كَلاَّ سَيَكْفُرُونَ بِعِبَـدَتِهِمْ وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضِدّاً
And they have taken gods besides Allah, that they might give them honor, power and glory. Nay, but they will deny their worship of them, and become opponents to them. (19:81-82)
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 besides Allah, who will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls to them!
And when mankind are gathered, they will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping. (46:5-6)
Ibrahim Al-Khalil, peace be upon him, said to his people:
إِنَّمَا اتَّخَذْتُمْ مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْثَـناً مَّوَدَّةَ بَيْنِكُمْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يَكْفُرُ بَعْضُكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ وَيَلْعَنُ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضاً
You have taken idols instead of Allah. The love between you is only in the life of this world, but on the Day of Resurrection, you shall disown each other, and curse each other. (29:25)
إِذْ تَبَرَّأَ الَّذِينَ اتُّبِعُواْ مِنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُواْ وَرَأَوُاْ الْعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الأَسْبَابُ
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُواْ لَوْ أَنَّ لَنَا كَرَّةً فَنَتَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُمْ كَمَا تَبَرَّؤُواْ مِنَّا كَذَلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللّهُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ حَسَرَاتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ وَمَا هُم بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ
When those who were followed disown (declare themselves innocent of) those who followed (them), and they see the torment, then all their relations will be cut off from them. And those who followed will say: "If only we had one more chance to return (to the worldly life), we would disown (declare ourselves as innocent from) them as they have disowned (declared themselves as innocent from) us.'' Thus Allah will show them their deeds as regrets for them. And they will never get out of the Fire. (2:166-167)
وَقِيلَ ادْعُوا شُرَكَاءكُمْ ...
And it will be said (to them): "Call upon your partners,''
meaning, `to save you from the predicament you are in, as you hoped that they would do in this world.'
... فَدَعَوْهُمْ فَلَمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا لَهُمْ وَرَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ ...
and they will call upon them, but they will give no answer to them, and they will see the torment.
means, they will realize for sure that they are inevitably destined for the Fire.
If only they had been guided!
means, when they see the punishment with their own eyes, they will wish that they had been among the guided in this world. This is like the Ayah,
وَيَوْمَ يَقُولُ نَادُواْ شُرَكَآئِىَ الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُمْ فَدَعَوْهُمْ فَلَمْ يَسْتَجِيبُواْ لَهُمْ وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُم مَّوْبِقاً
وَرَأَى الْمُجْرِمُونَ النَّارَ فَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ مُّوَاقِعُوهَا وَلَمْ يَجِدُواْ عَنْهَا مَصْرِفًا
And the Day He will say: "Call those partners of Mine whom you claimed.''
Then they will cry unto them, but they will not answer them, and We shall put a Mawbiq (a barrier) between them. And the criminals, shall see the Fire and apprehend that they have to fall in it. And they will find no way of escape from there. (18:52-53)
Their attitude towards the Messengers on the Day of Resurrection
وَيَوْمَ يُنَادِيهِمْ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَا أَجَبْتُمُ الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴿٦٥﴾
And the Day He will call to them, and say: "What answer gave you to the Messengers!''
The first call will be concerning the issue of Tawhid, which includes evidences of the Prophethood --
`What was your response to the Messengers who were sent to you! How did you deal with them!'
This is like the questions which will be asked of a person in his grave: `who is your Lord who is your Prophet and what is your religion!'
The believer will testify that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, but the disbelievers will say, "Oh, oh, I do not know.''
So he will have no answer on the Day of Resurrection except to remain silent, because whoever is blind in this world (i.e., does not see Allah's signs and believes not in Him), will be blind in the Hereafter, and more astray.
فَعَمِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الْأَنبَاء يَوْمَئِذٍ فَهُمْ لَا يَتَسَاءلُونَ ﴿٦٦﴾
Then the news of a good answer will be obscured to them on that Day, and they will not be able to ask one another.
Mujahid said: "The proof will be obscured from them,''
so they will not be able to ask one another for help by virtue of their blood ties.
فَأَمَّا مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا ...
But as for him who repented, believed, and did righteous deeds,
means, in this world.
then perhaps he will be among those who are successful.
means, on the Day of Resurrection.
And the word; perhaps (`Asa), when used in reference to Allah, may He be exalted, implies that the thing described will inevitably come to pass, and this will undoubtedly happen by the grace and mercy of Allah.
Allah Alone is the One Who has the Power of Creation, Knowledge and Choice
Allah tells us that He is the only One Who has the power to create and make decisions, and there is no one who can dispute with Him in that or reverse His judgement.
وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاء وَيَخْتَارُ ...
And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses,
means, whatever He wills, for what He wills, happens; and what He does not will, does not happen. All things, good and bad alike, are in His Hands and will return to Him.
... مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ ...
no choice have they.
is a negation, according to the correct view.
This is like the Ayah,
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلاَ مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْراً أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ
It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. (33:36)
Then Allah says:
وَرَبُّكَ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُكِنُّ صُدُورُهُمْ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ ﴿٦٩﴾
And your Lord knows what their breasts conceal, and what they reveal.
He knows what is hidden in their hearts, just as He knows what they do openly.
سَوَآءٌ مِّنْكُمْ مَّنْ أَسَرَّ الْقَوْلَ وَمَنْ جَهَرَ بِهِ وَمَنْ هُوَ مُسْتَخْفٍ بِالَّيْلِ وَسَارِبٌ بِالنَّهَارِ
It is the same whether any of you conceals his speech or declares it openly, whether he be hid by night or goes forth freely by day. (13:10)
وَهُوَ اللَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ...
And He is Allah; La ilaha illa Huwa,
meaning, He is unique in His divinity, for none is to be worshipped besides Him, and there is no lord who can create what he wills and chooses besides Him.
... لَهُ الْحَمْدُ فِي الْأُولَى وَالْآخِرَةِ ...
His is the praise, in the first and in the last,
in all that He does, He is to be praised for His justice and wisdom.
... وَلَهُ الْحُكْمُ ...
His is the decision,
that none can put back, because of His might, power, wisdom and mercy.
and to Him shall you be returned.
means, all of you on the Day of Resurrection, and everyone will be rewarded or punished according to his deeds, good and evil alike, and absolutely none of their deeds will be concealed from Him.
Night and Day are among the Blessings of Allah and are Signs of Tawhid
Allah reminds His servants:
قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن جَعَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمُ اللَّيْلَ سَرْمَدًا إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ...
Say: "Tell me! If Allah made the night continuous for you till the Day of Resurrection,
Allah reminds His servants of His favors towards them by subjugating for them the night and day, without which they could not survive. He explains that if He made the night continuous, lasting until the Day of Resurrection, that would be harmful for them and would cause boredom and stress.
So He says:
... مَنْ إِلَهٌ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ يَأْتِيكُم بِضِيَاء ...
which god besides Allah could bring you light!
meaning, `with which you could see things and which would bring you relief.'
Will you not then hear!
Then Allah tells:
قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن جَعَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمُ النَّهَارَ سَرْمَدًا إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ...
Say: "Tell me! If Allah made the day continuous for you till the Day of Resurrection,
Allah tells us that if He had made the day continuous, lasting until the Day of Resurrection, that would also be harmful for them and their bodies would get tired from so much movement and activity.
... مَنْ إِلَهٌ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ يَأْتِيكُم بِلَيْلٍ تَسْكُنُونَ فِيهِ ...
which god besides Allah could bring you night wherein you rest!
meaning, `to rest from your work and activity.'
Will you not then see,
وَمِن رَّحْمَتِهِ ...
It is out of His mercy,
... جَعَلَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ ...
that He has made for you the night and the day,
i.e. He created both,
... لِتَسْكُنُوا فِيهِ ...
that you may rest therein,
during the night,
... وَلِتَبْتَغُوا مِن فَضْلِهِ ...
and that you may seek of His bounty,
during the day, by traveling, moving about and working.
and in order that you may be grateful.
So that you may give thanks to Allah by performing all kinds of acts of worship at night and during the day. Whoever misses something during the night can make it up during the day, and vice versa.
This is like the Ayah,
وَهُوَ الَّذِى جَعَلَ الَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ خِلْفَةً لِّمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يَذَّكَّرَ أَوْ أَرَادَ شُكُوراً
And He it is Who has put the night and the day in succession, for such who desires to remember or desires to show his gratitude. (25:62)
And there are many similar Ayat.
Rebuking the Idolators
وَيَوْمَ يُنَادِيهِمْ فَيَقُولُ ...
And the Day when He will call to them, and will say:
This is another call by way of rebuke for those who worshipped other gods besides Allah. The Lord, may He be exalted, will call to them before all the witnesses, and will say:
Where are My (so-called) partners, whom you used to assert!
meaning, in this world.
وَنَزَعْنَا مِن كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا ...
And We shall take out from every nation a witness,
Mujahid said, "This means a Messenger.''
... فَقُلْنَا هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ ...
and We shall say: "Bring your proof.''
meaning, `of the truth of your claim that Allah had any partners.'
... فَعَلِمُوا أَنَّ الْحَقَّ لِلَّهِ ...
Then they shall know that the truth is with Allah,
meaning, that there is no god besides Him. Then they will not speak and they will not be able to find any answer.
and the lies which they invented will disappear from them.
they will vanish and will be of no benefit to them.
Qarun and His People's exhortation
إِنَّ قَارُونَ كَانَ مِن قَوْمِ مُوسَى فَبَغَى عَلَيْهِمْ ...
Verily, Qarun was of Musa's people, but he behaved arrogantly towards them.
It was recorded that Ibn Abbas said: إِنَّ قَارُونَ كَانَ مِن قَوْمِ مُوسَى Verily, Qarun was of Musa's people, "He was the son of his paternal uncle.''
This was also the view of Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Abdullah bin Al-Harith bin Nawfal, Sammak bin Harb, Qatadah, Malik bin Dinar, Ibn Jurayj and others;
they all said that he was the cousin of Musa, peace be upon him.
Ibn Jurayj said: "He was Qarun bin Yashar bin Qahith, and Musa was the son of Imran bin Qahith."
... وَآتَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْكُنُوزِ ...
And We gave him of the treasures,
meaning, of wealth;
... مَا إِنَّ مَفَاتِحَهُ لَتَنُوءُ بِالْعُصْبَةِ أُولِي الْقُوَّةِ ...
that of which the keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men.
Groups of strong men would not have been able to carry them because they were so many.
Al-A`mash narrated from Khaythamah,
"The keys of Qarun's treasure were made of leather, each key like a finger, and each key was for a separate storeroom. When he rode anywhere, the keys would be carried on sixty mules with white blazes on their foreheads and white feet.''
Other views were also given, and Allah knows best.
Remember when his people said to him: "Do not exult. Verily, Allah likes not those who exult.''
means, the righteous ones among his people exhorted him. By way of sincere advice and guidance, they said: "Do not exult in what you have,'' meaning, `do not be arrogant and proud of your wealth.'
... إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَرِحِينَ
Verily, Allah likes not those who exult.
Ibn Abbas said, "This means, those who rejoice and gloat.''
Mujahid said, "It means those who are insolent and reckless, and do not thank Allah for what He has given them.''
وَابْتَغِ فِيمَا آتَاكَ اللَّهُ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ وَلَا تَنسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا ...
But seek, with that which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world;
means, `use this great wealth and immense blessing Allah has given you to worship your Lord and draw closer to Him by doing a variety of good deeds which will earn you reward in this world and the Hereafter.'
... وَلَا تَنسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا ...
and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world;
`That which Allah has permitted of food, drink, clothing, dwelling places and women. Your Lord has rights over you, your self has rights over you, your family has rights over you, and your visitors have rights over you. So give each of them their due.'
... وَأَحْسِن كَمَا أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ ...
and be generous as Allah has been generous to you,
`Be generous to His creatures, as He has been generous to you.'
... وَلَا تَبْغِ الْفَسَادَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ...
and seek not mischief in the land.
meaning: `do not let your aim be to spread corruption on earth and do harm to Allah's creation.'
Verily, Allah likes not the mischief-makers.
Allah informs us how Qarun responded to the exhortations of his people when they sought to guide him to what is good
قَالَ إِنَّمَا أُوتِيتُهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ عِندِي ...
He said: "This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I possess.''
meaning, `I have no need of your advice; Allah has only given me this wealth because He knows that I deserve it and because He loves me.'
In other words: `He has given it to me because He knows that I am fit for this.'
This is like the Ayat:
فَإِذَا مَسَّ الإِنسَـنَ ضُرٌّ دَعَانَا ثُمَّ إِذَا خَوَّلْنَـهُ نِعْمَةً مِّنَّا قَالَ إِنَّمَآ أُوتِيتُهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ
When harm touches man, he calls upon Us; then when We have changed it into a favor from Us, he says: "Only because of knowledge I obtained it.'' (39:49)
An alternative interpretation of this Ayah says that the meaning is: "Only because of what Allah knows about me did I obtain this favor.''
This is like His saying:
وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَـهُ رَحْمَةً مِّنَّا مِن بَعْدِ ضَرَّآءَ مَسَّتْهُ لَيَقُولَنَّ هَـذَا لِى
And truly, if We give him a taste of mercy from Us, after some adversity has touched him, he is sure to say: "This is from me.'' (41:50)
meaning, "I deserved it.''
Imam Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam explained this Ayah very well. Concerning the phrase, قَالَ إِنَّمَا أُوتِيتُهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ عِندِي (He said: "This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I possess.'') He said: "Were it not for the fact that Allah is pleased with me and knows my virtue, He would not have given me this wealth.''
And He said:
... أَوَلَمْ يَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ أَهْلَكَ مِن قَبْلِهِ مِنَ القُرُونِ مَنْ هُوَ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُ قُوَّةً وَأَكْثَرُ جَمْعًا ...
Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him generations, men who were stronger than him in might and greater in the amount they had collected!
This is what those who have little knowledge say when they see a person whom Allah has granted a lot of wealth; they say that if he did not deserve it, Allah would not have given it to him.
... وَلَا يُسْأَلُ عَن ذُنُوبِهِمُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ ﴿٧٨﴾
But the criminals will not be questioned of their sins.
How Qarun went forth in His Finery, and His People's Comments
فَخَرَجَ عَلَى قَوْمِهِ فِي زِينَتِهِ قَالَ الَّذِينَ يُرِيدُونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنيَا ...
So, he went forth before his people in his finery. Those who were desirous of the life of the world, said:
Allah tells us how Qarun went forth one day before his people with his magnificent regalia; wearing his fine clothes, accompanied by his fine horses, his servants and retinue. When those whose desires and inclinations were for the world saw his adornments and splendor, they wished that they could have the same as he had been given, and said:
... يَا لَيْتَ لَنَا مِثْلَ مَا أُوتِيَ قَارُونُ إِنَّهُ لَذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ ﴿٧٩﴾
Ah, would that we had the like of what Qarun has been given! Verily, he is the owner of a great fortune.
meaning, `he is very lucky and has a great share in this world.'
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ ...
But those who had been given knowledge said:
When the people of beneficial knowledge heard this, they said to them:
... وَيْلَكُمْ ثَوَابُ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنْ آمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا ...
Woe to you! The reward of Allah is better for those who believe and do righteous deeds,
Allah's reward to His believing, righteous servants in the Hereafter is better than what you see,' as is reported in the authentic Hadith:
يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى: أَعْدَدْتُ لِعِبَادِي الصَّالِحِينَ مَا لَا عَيْنٌ رَأَتْ وَلَا أُذُنٌ سَمِعَتْ وَلَا خَطَرَ عَلَى قَلْبِ بَشَرٍ وَاقْرَءُوا إِنْ شِئْتُمْ:
Allah has prepared for His righteous servants what no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and the heart of a human cannot comprehend. Recite, if you wish:
فَلاَ تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَّآ أُخْفِىَ لَهُم مِّن قُرَّةِ أَعْيُنٍ جَزَآءً بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ
No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do. (32:17)
and this none shall attain except the patient.
As-Suddi said: "None shall reach Paradise except for the patient'' -- as if this were the completion of the statement made by the people of knowledge.
Ibn Jarir said,
"This applies only to those who patiently forsake the love of this world, seeking the Hereafter. It is as if this is part of what the people of knowledge said, but it is made part of the Words of Allah, stating this fact.''
How Qarun and His Dwelling Place were swallowed up by the Earth
فَخَسَفْنَا بِهِ وَبِدَارِهِ الْأَرْضَ ...
So, We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place.
After telling us about Qarun's conceit and pride in his adornments, and how he was arrogant towards his people and transgressed against them, Allah then tells us how he and his dwelling place were swallowed up by the earth.
This was also reported in the Sahih by Al-Bukhari from Salim, who said that his father told him that the Messenger of Allah said:
بَيْنَمَا رَجُلٌ يَجُرُّ إِزَارَهُ إِذْ خُسِفَ بِهِ، فَهُوَ يَتَجَلْجَلُ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَة
While a man was dragging his lower garment, he was swallowed up and he will remain sinking down into the earth until the Day of Resurrection.
He also recorded something similar from Salim from Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id said,
"The Messenger of Allah said:
بَيْنَمَا رَجُلٌ فِيمَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ خَرَجَ فِي بُرْدَيْنِ أَخْضَرَيْنِ يَخْتَالُ فِيهِمَا، أَمَرَ اللهُ الْأَرْضَ فَأَخَذَتْهُ، فَإِنَّهُ لَيَتَجَلْجَلُ فِيهَا إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَة
When a man among the people who came before you went out wearing two green garments, walking proudly and arrogantly, Allah commanded the earth to swallow him up, and he will remain sinking down into it until the Day of Resurrection.
This version was recorded only by Ahmad, and its chain of narration is Hasan (sound).
Then he had no group to help him against Allah, nor was he one of those who could save themselves.
means, his wealth, group, servants and retinue were of no avail to him; they could not protect him from the wrath and vengeance of Allah. Nor could he help himself or save himself. There was no one to help him, neither himself nor anybody else.
His People learned a Lesson from Him being swallowed up
وَأَصْبَحَ الَّذِينَ تَمَنَّوْا مَكَانَهُ بِالْأَمْسِ ...
And those who had desired his position the day before,
means, those witnessed him with his finery and had said: .قَالَ الَّذِينَ يُرِيدُونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنيَا يَا لَيْتَ لَنَا مِثْلَ مَا أُوتِيَ قَارُونُ إِنَّهُ لَذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ (Those who were desirous of the life of the world, said: "Ah, would that we had the like of what Qarun has been given! Verily, he is the owner of a great fortune.'') When he was swallowed up in the earth, they:
... يَقُولُونَ وَيْكَأَنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاء مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَقْدِرُ ...
began to say "Know you not that it is Allah Who expands the provision or restricts it to whomsoever He pleases of His servants.
Wealth does not indicate that Allah is pleased with its owner, for Allah gives and withholds, allows times of difficulty and times of ease, raises and lowers, His is the most complete wisdom and most convincing proof.
According to a Hadith narrated by Ibn Mas`ud,
إِنَّ اللهَ قَسَمَ بَيْنَكُمْ أَخْلَاقَكُمْ كَمَا قَسَمَ أَرْزَاقَكُمْ، وَإِنَّ اللهَ يُعْطِي الْمَالَ مَنْ يُحِبُّ وَمَنْ لَا يُحِبُّ، وَلَا يُعْطِي الْإِيمَانَ إِلَّا مَنْ يُحِب
Allah has allotted character among you just as He has allotted your provision. Allah gives wealth to those whom He loves and those whom He does not love, but He gives Faith only to those whom He loves.
... لَوْلَا أَن مَّنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْنَا لَخَسَفَ بِنَا ...
Had it not been that Allah was Gracious to us, He could have caused the earth to swallow us up!
meaning, `were it not for the kindness and grace of Allah towards us, we could have been swallowed up by the earth just as he was swallowed up, because we wanted to be like him.'
Know you not that the disbelievers will never be successful.
He was a disbeliever, and the disbelievers will never be successful before Allah in this world or in the Hereafter.
The Blessings of the Hereafter for the humble Believers
تِلْكَ الدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ نَجْعَلُهَا لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُرِيدُونَ عُلُوًّا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فَسَادًا وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿٨٣﴾
That is the home of the Hereafter, We shall assign to those who do not want to exalt themselves in the land nor cause corruption. And the good end is for those who have Taqwa.
Allah tells us that He has made the home of the Hereafter, and its eternal delights which will never change or fade away, for His believing, humble servants who do not rebel against the truth with pride and oppression in the land. They do not exalt themselves above the creatures of Allah, arrogantly oppressing them and spreading corruption among them.
Ikrimah said that this phrase referred to haughtiness and arrogance.
Ibn Jurayj said:
لَا يُرِيدُونَ عُلُوًّا فِي الْأَرْضِ (those who do not want to exalt themselves in the land) Arrogance and tyranny,
وَلَا فَسَادًا (nor cause corruption) committing sins.
Ibn Jarir recorded that Ali said,
"If a man wants the straps of his sandals to be better than the straps of his companion's sandals, then he is one of those referred to in the Ayah,
تِلْكَ الدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ نَجْعَلُهَا لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُرِيدُونَ عُلُوًّا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فَسَادًا وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ
That is the home of the Hereafter, We shall assign to those who do not want to exalt themselves in the land nor cause corruption. And the good end is for those who have Taqwa.
This is understood to mean that if his intention is to show off and appear better than others, then that is to be condemned, as it was reported in the Sahih that the Prophet said:
إِنَّهُ أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ أَنْ تَوَاضَعُوا حَتَّى لَا يَفْخَرَ أَحَدٌ عَلَى أَحَدٍ وَلَا يَبْغِي أَحَدٌ عَلَى أَحَد
It has been revealed to me that you should be humble to the extent that none of you boasts to others or mistreats others.
But if a person simply likes to look good, then there is nothing wrong with that.
It was recorded that a man said: "O Messenger of Allah, I like to have my garment looking good and my shoes looking good -- is this a kind of arrogance''
The Prophet said:
لَا، إِنَّ اللهَ جَمِيلٌ يُحِبُّ الْجَمَال
No, for Allah is beautiful and loves beauty...
And Allah says:
مَن جَاء بِالْحَسَنَةِ ...
Whosoever brings good,
meaning, on the Day of Resurrection,
... فَلَهُ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهَا ...
he shall have the better thereof;
meaning, the reward of Allah is better than the good deeds of His servant -- how can it not be, when Allah has multiplied it many times over. This is the position of generosity.
Then Allah says:
and whosoever brings evil, then those who do evil deeds will only be requited for what they used to do.
This is like the Ayah,
وَمَن جَآءَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَكُبَّتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ فِى النَّارِ هَلْ تُجْزَوْنَ إِلاَّ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
And whoever brings an evil deed, they will be cast down on their faces in the Fire. (And it will be said to them) "Are you being recompensed anything except what you used to do!'' (27: 90)
This is the position of generosity and justice.
The Command to convey the Message of Tawhid
Here Allah commands His Messenger to convey the Message and recite the Qur'an to people. He tells him that he will be brought back to the return, which is the Day of Resurrection, where he will be asked about the Prophethood he was entrusted with.
So Allah says:
إِنَّ الَّذِي فَرَضَ عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لَرَادُّكَ إِلَى مَعَادٍ ...
Verily, He Who has given you the Qur'an, will surely bring you back to the return.
meaning, `the One Who has commanded you to put it into practice among mankind,'
... لَرَادُّكَ إِلَى مَعَادٍ ...
will surely bring you back to the return.
`On the Day of Resurrection, where He will question you concerning that,' as Allah said:
فَلَنَسْـَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَنَسْـَلَنَّ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
Then surely, We shall question those to whom it was sent and verily, We shall question the Messengers. (7:6)
يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُ اللَّهُ الرُّسُلَ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَآ أُجِبْتُمْ
On the Day when Allah will gather the Messengers together and say to them: "What was the response you received!'' (5:109)
And He said:
وَجِـىءَ بِالنَّبِيِّيْنَ وَالشُّهَدَآءِ
and the Prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward. (39: 69)
In his Tafsir of his Sahih, Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah: لَرَادُّكَ إِلَى مَعَادٍ (will surely bring you back to the return). "To Makkah.''
This was also recorded by An-Nasa'i in his Tafsir in his Sunan, and by Ibn Jarir.
Al-`Awfi also reported from Ibn `Abbas that the phrase: لَرَادُّكَ إِلَى مَعَادٍ (will surely bring you back to the return), means, "will surely bring you back to Makkah as He brought you out of it.''
Muhammad bin Ishaq recorded that Mujahid commented on: لَرَادُّكَ إِلَى مَعَادٍ (will surely bring you back to the return). He said, "Back to your place of birth in Makkah.''
Ibn Abbas is also reported to have interpreted it variously referring to death, to the Day of Resurrection which will come after death, and to Paradise which will be his reward and his destiny for putting the Message of Allah into practice and conveying it to the humans and Jinns, and because he is the most perfect, most eloquent and most noble of all the creation of Allah.
Say: "My Lord is Aware of him who brings guidance, and of him who is in manifest error.''
means: "Say, O Muhammad, to those among your people who oppose you and disbelieve you, among the idolators and those who follow them in their disbelief, `My Lord knows best which of us, you or I, is rightly guided, and you will come to know for which of us will be the (happy) end in the Hereafter, and for which of us will be a good end and victory in this world and in the Hereafter'.''
Then Allah reminds His Prophet the numerous blessings He granted to him and mankind by virtue of sending him to them:
وَمَا كُنتَ تَرْجُو أَن يُلْقَى إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابُ ...
And you were not expecting that the Book would be sent down to you,
`Before the revelation was sent down to you, you did not expect that revelation would be sent down to you.'
... إِلَّا رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ ...
but it is a mercy from your Lord.
means, `but revelation has been sent down to you from Allah as a mercy to you and to mankind because of you. Since Allah has granted you this great blessing,'
... فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ ظَهِيرًا ...
So never be a supporter, i.e., a helper,
of the disbelievers.
rather, separate from them, `express your hostility towards them and oppose them.'
وَلَا يَصُدُّنَّكَ عَنْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ بَعْدَ إِذْ أُنزِلَتْ إِلَيْكَ ...
And let them not turn you away from the Ayat of Allah after they have been sent down to you.
meaning, `Do not let their opposition to you affect you or put people off from following your way; do not worry about that or pay any attention to it, for Allah will make your word supreme, will support your religion and will make the Message with which He has sent you prevail over all other religions.'
So He says:
... وَادْعُ إِلَى رَبِّكَ ...
and invite to your Lord,
to worship your Lord Alone, with no partners or associates,
and be not of idolators.
وَلَا تَدْعُ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ...
And invoke not any other god along with Allah, there is no God but Him.
means, it is not appropriate to worship anything or anybody except Him, and divinity does not befit any except His glory.
... كُلُّ شَيْءٍ هَالِكٌ إِلَّا وَجْهَهُ ...
Everything will perish save His Face.
Here Allah is telling us that He is Eternal, Ever Lasting, Ever Living, Self-Sustaining, Who, although His creation dies, He will never die, as He says:
كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ - وَيَبْقَى وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ ذُو الْجَلْـلِ وَالإِكْرَامِ
Whatsoever is on it will perish. And the Face of your Lord full of majesty and honor will remain forever. (55:26-27)
Allah used the word "Face'' to refer to Himself, as He says here:
كُلُّ شَيْءٍ هَالِكٌ إِلَّا وَجْهَهُ
Everything will perish save His Face.
meaning, everything except Him.
It was reported in the Sahih via Abu Salamah that Abu Hurayrah said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
أَصْدَقُ كَلِمَةٍ قَالَهَا الشَّاعِرُ لَبِيدُ أَلَا كُلُّ شَيْءٍ مَا خَلَا اللهَ بَاطِلُ
The truest word of a poet was the saying of Labid - indeed everything except Allah is false.
... لَهُ الْحُكْمُ ...
His is the decision,
means, dominion and control, and there is none who can reverse His judgement or decision.
and to Him you shall be returned.
means, on the Day when you will be brought back, and He will reward or punish you according to your deeds: if they are good, then you will be rewarded, and if they are bad, then you will be punished.