بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
The Virtues of Surah As-Saffat
An-Nasa'i recorded that Abdullah bin Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"The Messenger of Allah used to command us to make our prayers short and he used to recite As-Saffat when he lead us in prayer.''
This was recorded by An-Nasa'i only.
The angels witness to the Oneness of Allah
It was reported that Abdullah bin Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
وَالصَّافَّاتِ صَفًّا ﴿١﴾
By those ranged in ranks. --
they are the angels;
فَالزَّاجِرَاتِ زَجْرًا ﴿٢﴾
By those who drive the clouds in a good way.
they are the angels;
فَالتَّالِيَاتِ ذِكْرًا ﴿٣﴾
By those who bring the Dhikr.
they are the angels;"
This was also the view of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Masruq, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ikrimah, Mujahid, As-Suddi, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas.
Qatadah said, "The angels form ranks in the heavens.''
Muslim recorded that Hudhayfah, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"The Messenger of Allah said:
فُضِّلْنَا عَلَى النَّاسِ بِثَلَاثٍ: جُعِلَتْ صُفُوفُنَا كَصُفُوفِ الْمَلَائِكَةِ، وَجُعِلَتْ لَنَا الْأَرْضُ كُلُّهَا مَسْجِدًا، وَجُعِلَ لَنَا تُرَابُهَا طَهُورًا، إِذَا لَمْ نَجِدِ الْمَاء
We have been favored over the rest of mankind in three ways:
- our ranks have been made like the ranks of the angels;
- the entire earth has been made a Masjid for us;
- and its soil has been made a means of purification for us if we cannot find water.''
Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah recorded that Jabir bin Samurah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, The Messenger of Allah said:
أَلَا تَصُفُّونَ كَمَا تَصُفُّ الْمَلَائِكَةُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ؟
Will you not form ranks as the angels form ranks in the presence of their Lord?
We said, `How do the angels form ranks in the presence of their Lord?'
يُتِمُّونَ الصُّفُوفَ الْمُتَقَدِّمَةَ، وَيَتَرَاصُّونَ فِي الصَّف
They complete the rows nearer the front and they consolidate the rows.''
As-Suddi and others said that the Ayah, فَالزَّاجِرَاتِ زَجْرًا ( means that they drive the clouds.
فَالتَّالِيَاتِ ذِكْرًا As-Suddi said, "The angels bring the Scriptures and the Qur'an from Allah to mankind.''
The One True God is Allah
إِنَّ إِلَهَكُمْ لَوَاحِدٌ ﴿٤﴾
Lord of the heavens and the earth,
This is the One by Whom the oath is sworn, stating that there is no God worthy of worship but He, Lord of the heavens and the earth,
... وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا ...
and all that is between them,
means, of created beings.
... وَرَبُّ الْمَشَارِقِ ﴿٥﴾
and Lord of every point of the sun's risings.
means, He is the Sovereign Who is controlling His creation by subjugating it and all that is in it of stars, planets and heavenly bodies which appear from the east and set in the west.
Mentioning the east is sufficient and there is no need for the west to be mentioned too, because it is implied in what is said.
This has also been stated clearly elsewhere, in the Ayat:
فَلاَ أُقْسِمُ بِرَبِّ الْمَشَـرِقِ وَالْمَغَـرِبِ إِنَّا لَقَـدِرُونَ
So I swear by the Lord of all the points of sunrise and sunset in the east and the west that surely We are able. (70:40)
رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقَيْنِ وَرَبُّ الْمَغْرِبَيْنِ
(He is) the Lord of the two easts and the Lord of the two wests. (55:17)
which refers to the rising and setting points of the sun and the moon in both winter and summer.
إِنَّا زَيَّنَّا السَّمَاء الدُّنْيَا بِزِينَةٍ الْكَوَاكِبِ ﴿٦﴾
Verily, We have adorned the near heaven with the stars.
Allah tells us that He has adorned the lowest heaven with the heavenly bodies for those among the people of the earth who look at it. The stars and planets in the sky give light to the people of earth, as Allah says:
وَلَقَدْ زَيَّنَّا السَّمَآءَ الدُّنْيَا بِمَصَـبِيحَ وَجَعَلْنَـهَا رُجُوماً لِّلشَّيَـطِينِ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابَ السَّعِيرِ
And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps, and We have made such lamps (as) missiles to drive away the Shayatin, and have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire. (67:5)
وَلَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا فِى السَّمَاءِ بُرُوجًا وَزَيَّنَّـهَا لِلنَّـظِرِينَ - وَحَفِظْنَـهَا مِن كُلِّ شَيْطَـنٍ رَّجِيمٍ - إِلاَّ مَنِ اسْتَرَقَ السَّمْعَ فَأَتْبَعَهُ شِهَابٌ مُّبِينٌ
And indeed, We have put the big stars in the heaven and We beautified it for the beholders. And We have guarded it from every outcast Shaytan. Except him who steals the hearing then he is pursued by a clear flaming fire. (15:16-18)
And Allah says here:
And to guard,
meaning, to protect as it should be protected,
... مِّن كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ مَّارِدٍ ﴿٧﴾
against every rebellious Shaytan.
means, every insolent and impudent devil, when he wants to eavesdrop (on news in the heavens), a piercing fire comes and burns him.
Allah, may He be glorified, says:
لَا يَسَّمَّعُونَ إِلَى الْمَلَإِ الْأَعْلَى ...
They cannot listen to the higher group,
meaning, they cannot reach the higher group -- which refers to the heavens and the angels in them -- when they speak of what has been revealed by Allah of His Laws and decrees.
We have already mentioned this when explaining the Hadiths quoted when we discussed the Ayah, حَتَّى إِذَا فُزِّعَ عَن قُلُوبِهِمْ قَالُوا مَاذَا قَالَ رَبُّكُمْ قَالُوا الْحَقَّ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْكَبِيرُ (when fear is banished from their hearts, they say: "What is it that your Lord has said'' They say: "The truth. And He is the Most High, the Most Great. (34:23)
... وَيُقْذَفُونَ ...
for they are pelted,
meaning, they are hit,
... مِن كُلِّ جَانِبٍ ﴿٨﴾
from every side.
means, from all directions from which they try to reach the heaven.
means, they are rejected, and are repelled and prevented from reaching it, and they are pelted.
... وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ وَاصِبٌ ﴿٩﴾
and theirs is a constant torment.
means, in the Hereafter, they will have an ongoing, everlasting and painful torment, as Allah says:
وَأَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابَ السَّعِيرِ
and (We) have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire. (67:5)
إِلَّا مَنْ خَطِفَ الْخَطْفَةَ ...
Except such as snatch away something by stealing,
means, except for the one among the Shayatin who manages to get something, which is a word he has heard from the heaven. Then he throws it down to the one who is beneath him, who in turn throws it down to the one who is beneath him. Perhaps the flaming fire will strike him before he is able to throw it down, or perhaps he will throw it -- by the decree of Allah -- before the flaming fire strikes him and burns him. So the other devil takes it to the soothsayer, as we have seen previously in the Hadith.
إِلَّا مَنْ خَطِفَ الْخَطْفَةَ فَأَتْبَعَهُ شِهَابٌ ثَاقِبٌ ﴿۱۰﴾
Except such as snatch away something by stealing, and they are pursued by a flaming fire of piercing brightness.
meaning, shining brightly.
Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"The Shayatin had places where they sat in the heavens listening to what was being revealed by Allah. The stars did not move and the Shayatin were not struck. When they heard the revelation, they would come down to earth and to every word they would add nine of their own. When the Messenger of Allah was sent, if a Shaytan wanted to take his seat in the heavens, the flaming fire would come and would not miss him; it would burn him every time.
They complained about this to Iblis, may Allah curse him, and he said, `Something must have happened.' He sent his troops out and they found the Messenger of Allah standing in prayer between the two mountains of Nakhlah.''
Waki` said, "This means in the valley of Nakhlah.''
"They went back to Iblis and told him about that, and he said, `This is what has happened.'''
The Certainty of Life after Death
فَاسْتَفْتِهِمْ أَهُمْ أَشَدُّ خَلْقًا أَم مَّنْ خَلَقْنَا .. .
Then ask them: "Are they harder to create, or those whom We have created!''
Allah says: `Ask these people, those who deny the resurrection, which is harder to create?
Are they more difficult to create or the heavens, the earth, the angels, devils, the mighty creatures -- everything in between them!'
Ibn Mas`ud said that they admitted that these things were harder to create than they were. If this is the case, then why do they deny the resurrection, when they see things that are greater than that which they deny?
As Allah says:
لَخَلْقُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ أَكْـبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاسِ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْـثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ
The creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind; yet, most of mankind know not. (40:57)
Then Allah explains that they were created from something weak, as He says:
... إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُم مِّن طِينٍ لَّازِبٍ ﴿١١﴾
Verily, We created them of a sticky clay.
Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Ad-Dahhak said, "This is the useful kind of mud which sticks to itself.''
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and Ikrimah said, "It is sticky and useful.''
Qatadah said, "It is that which sticks to the hand.''
بَلْ عَجِبْتَ وَيَسْخَرُونَ ﴿١٢﴾
Nay, you wondered while they mock.
means, `you were astounded, O Muhammad, at these people who denied the resurrection whilst you were certain that it is true, when they disbelieved in what Allah told you of this wondrous matter, which is the re-creation of their bodies after they have disintegrated. They oppose what you say because of their intense disbelief and they make fun of what you tell them about that.'
Qatadah said, "Muhammad was astounded by the mockery of the misguided ones among the sons of Adam.''
وَإِذَا ذُكِّرُوا لَا يَذْكُرُونَ ﴿١٣﴾
And when they are reminded, they pay no attention.
وَإِذَا رَأَوْا آيَةً ...
And when they see an Ayah.
means, clear evidence and proof,
... يَسْتَسْخِرُونَ ﴿١٤﴾
they mock at it.
Mujahid and Qatadah said, "They make fun of it.''
وَقَالُوا إِنْ هَذَا إِلَّا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿١٥﴾
And they say: "This is nothing but evident magic!''
means, `this that you have brought is nothing but plain magic.'
أَئِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَابًا وَعِظَامًا أَئِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ ﴿١٦﴾
When we are dead and have become dust and bones, shall we (then) verily be resurrected?
أَوَآبَاؤُنَا الْأَوَّلُونَ ﴿١٧﴾
And also our fathers of old!
They thought that this was unlikely to happen, and they did not believe it.
قُلْ نَعَمْ وَأَنتُمْ دَاخِرُونَ ﴿١٨﴾
Say: "Yes, and you shall then be humiliated''.
means, `tell them, O Muhammad: Yes, you will be raised up on the Day of Resurrection, after you have become dust and bones, and you will be humiliated,' i.e., put to shame before His great might.
This is like the Ayat:
وَكُلٌّ أَتَوْهُ دَخِرِينَ
And all shall come to Him, humbled, (27:87)
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِى سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَخِرِينَ
Verily, those who scorn My worship, they will surely enter Hell in humiliation! (40:60)
Then Allah says:
فَإِنَّمَا هِيَ زَجْرَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ فَإِذَا هُمْ يَنظُرُونَ ﴿١٩﴾
It will be a single Zajrah, and behold, they will be staring!
means, it will be a single command from Allah, He will call them once to come forth from the earth, then they will be standing before Him, staring at the horrors of the Day of Resurrection.
And Allah knows best.
The Day of Recompense
Allah tells us what the disbeliever will say on the Day of Resurrection; how they will blame themselves and admit that they wronged themselves in this world. When they see the horrors of the Day of Resurrection with their own eyes, they will be filled with regret at the time when regret will not avail them anything.
وَقَالُوا يَا وَيْلَنَا هَذَا يَوْمُ الدِّينِ ﴿٢٠﴾
They will say: "Woe to us! This is the Day of Recompense!''
And the angels and the believers will say:
هَذَا يَوْمُ الْفَصْلِ الَّذِي كُنتُمْ بِهِ تُكَذِّبُونَ ﴿٢١﴾
This is the Day of Judgement which you used to deny.
This will be said to them as a rebuke and reproof.
Allah will command the angels to separate the disbeliever from the believers in the place where they are standing.
احْشُرُوا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا وَأَزْوَاجَهُمْ .. .
(It will be said to the angels:) Assemble those who did wrong, together with their companions,
An-Nu`man bin Bashir, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "Their companions means, their counterparts, those who are like them.''
This was also the view of Ibn Abbas, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ikrimah, Mujahid, As-Suddi, Abu Salih, Abu Al-`Aliyah and Zayd bin Aslam.
Sharik said, narrating from Simak, from An-Nu`man: "I heard Umar say: احْشُرُوا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا وَأَزْوَاجَهُمْ, means, `Those who are like them. So those who committed Zina will be gathered with others who committed Zina, those who dealt in Riba will be gathered with others who dealt in Riba, those who drank wine will be gathered with others who drank wine.'
Mujahid and Sa`id bin Jubayr narrated from Ibn Abbas: وَأَزْوَاجَهُمْ (their companions), means"Their friends.''
... وَمَا كَانُوا يَعْبُدُونَ ﴿٢٢﴾
and what they used to worship.
مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ ...
Instead of Allah,
means, instead of Allah, i.e., their idols and false gods will be gathered together with them in the same place.
... فَاهْدُوهُمْ إِلَى صِرَاطِ الْجَحِيمِ ﴿٢٣﴾
and lead them on to the way of flaming Fire.
means, take them to the way to Hell.
This is like the Ayah:
وَنَحْشُرُهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ عَلَى وُجُوهِهِمْ عُمْيًا وَبُكْمًا وَصُمًّا مَّأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ كُلَّمَا خَبَتْ زِدْنَاهُمْ سَعِيرًا
and We shall gather them together on the Day of Resurrection on their faces, blind, dumb and deaf; their abode will be Hell; whenever it abates, We shall increase for them the fierceness of the Fire. (17:97)
وَقِفُوهُمْ إِنَّهُم مَّسْئُولُونَ ﴿٢٤﴾
But stop them, verily, they are to be questioned.
means, stop them so that they may be questioned about the things they did and said in this world.
As Ad-Dahhak said, narrating from Ibn Abbas, this means, `detain them, for they are to be brought to account.'
Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak said, "I heard Uthman bin Za'idah say,
`The first thing about which a man will be asked is the company that he kept. Then by way of rebuke, it will be said to them:
مَا لَكُمْ لَا تَنَاصَرُونَ ﴿٢٥﴾
What is the matter with you Why do you not help one another.'''
meaning, `as you claimed that you would all help one another.'
بَلْ هُمُ الْيَوْمَ مُسْتَسْلِمُونَ ﴿٢٦﴾
Nay, but that Day they shall surrender.
means, they will be subjected to the command of Allah, and they will not be able to resist it or avoid it.
And Allah knows best.
The arguing of the Idolators on the Day of Resurrection
وَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ يَتَسَاءلُونَ ﴿٢٧﴾
And they will turn to one another and question one another.
Allah tells us that the disbeliever will blame one another in the arena of Resurrection, just as they will argue with one another in the levels of Hell:
وَإِذْ يَتَحَآجُّونَ فِى النَّـارِ فَيَقُولُ الضُّعَفَاءُ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْـبَرُواْ إِنَّا كُنَّا لَكُمْ تَبَعاً فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّغْنُونَ عَنَّا نَصِيباً مِّنَ النَّارِ
قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ إِنَّا كُلٌّ فِيهَآ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ حَكَمَ بَيْنَ الْعِبَادِ
The weak will say to those who were arrogant: "Verily, we followed you, can you then take from us some portion of the Fire?''
Those who were arrogant will say: "We are all (together) in this (Fire)! Verily, Allah has judged between (His) servants!'' (40:47-48)
وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذِ الظَّالِمُونَ مَوْقُوفُونَ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يَرْجِعُ بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ الْقَوْلَ يَقُولُ الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا لَوْلَا أَنتُمْ لَكُنَّا مُؤْمِنِينَ
قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا لِلَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا أَنَحْنُ صَدَدْنَاكُمْ عَنِ الْهُدَى بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءكُم بَلْ كُنتُم مُّجْرِمِينَ
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا بَلْ مَكْرُ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ إِذْ تَأْمُرُونَنَا أَن نَّكْفُرَ بِاللَّهِ وَنَجْعَلَ لَهُ أَندَادًا وَأَسَرُّوا النَّدَامَةَ لَمَّا رَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ وَجَعَلْنَا الْأَغْلَالَ فِي أَعْنَاقِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا هَلْ يُجْزَوْنَ إِلَّا مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
But if you could see when the wrongdoers will be made to stand before their Lord, how they will cast the (blaming) word one to another! Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: "Had it not been for you, we should certainly have been believers!''
And those who were arrogant will say to those who were deemed weak: "Did we keep you back from guidance after it had come to you? Nay, but you were criminals.''
Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: "Nay, but it was your plotting by night and day, when you ordered us to disbelieve in Allah and set up rivals to Him!'' And each of them (parties) will conceal their own regrets, when they behold the torment. And We shall put iron collars round the necks of those who disbelieved. Are they requited aught except what they used to do! (34:31-33)
Similarly, they are described here as saying:
قَالُوا إِنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَأْتُونَنَا عَنِ الْيَمِينِ ﴿٢٨﴾
It was you who used to come to us from the right side.
Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn Abbas said;
"They will say, `You used to force us because of your position of power over us, for we were weak and you were strong.'''
"Men will say to the Jinn, `You used to come to us from the right side to block every good deed, and you told us not to do it and you tried to put obstacles in our way.'''
"`You used to come to us to block the truth, and you made falsehood look attractive to us, and you prevented us from seeing the truth.''
Ibn Zayd said, it means:
"`You stood in the way between us and goodness, and you repelled us from Islam and faith and doing the good deeds that we had been commanded to do.''
Yazid Ar-Rishk said, "from La ilaha illallah.''
قَالُوا بَل لَّمْ تَكُونُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٢٩﴾
They will reply: "Nay, you yourselves were not believers.''
The leaders of the Jinn and mankind will say to their followers, "It is not as you say; your hearts denied faith and were open to disbelief and sin.''
وَمَا كَانَ لَنَا عَلَيْكُم مِّن سُلْطَانٍ ...
And we had no authority over you.
means, `we had no proof of the truth of that to which we called you.'
... بَلْ كُنتُمْ قَوْمًا طَاغِينَ ﴿٣٠﴾
Nay! But you were a transgressing people.
`You yourselves were evildoers and transgressors against the truth, so you responded to us and neglected the truth which the Prophets brought with proof, and you went against them.'
فَحَقَّ عَلَيْنَا قَوْلُ رَبِّنَا إِنَّا لَذَائِقُونَ ﴿٣١﴾
So now the Word of our Lord has been justified against us, that we shall certainly (have to) taste (the torment).
فَأَغْوَيْنَاكُمْ إِنَّا كُنَّا غَاوِينَ ﴿٣٢﴾
So we led you astray because we were ourselves astray.
Those who were arrogant will say to those who were deemed weak, `the Word of Allah has been justified against us that we are among the doomed who will taste the punishment of the Day of Resurrection.'
فَأَغْوَيْنَاكُمْ (So we led you astray), means, `so we called you to misguidance,'
إِنَّا كُنَّا غَاوِينَ (because we were ourselves astray). means, `we called you to follow the path which we were on, and you responded.'
فَإِنَّهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ فِي الْعَذَابِ مُشْتَرِكُونَ ﴿٣٣﴾
Then verily that Day, they will (all) share in the torment.
means, all of them will be in Hell, each according to what he deserves.
إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَفْعَلُ بِالْمُجْرِمِينَ ﴿٣٤﴾
Certainly, that is how We deal with criminals.
إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا إِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ ﴿٣٥﴾
Truly, when it was said to them: "La ilaha illallah,'' they puffed themselves up with pride.
means, in this world they were too arrogant to say these words as the believers said them.
Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:
أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أُقَاتِلَ النَّاسَ حَتْى يَقُولُوا: لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ، فَمَنْ قَالَ: لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ، فَقَدْ عَصَمَ مِنِّي مَالَهُ وَنَفْسَهُ إِلَّا بِحَقِّهِ، وَحِسَابُهُ عَلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَل
I have been commanded to fight the people until they say La ilaha ill-Allah. Whoever says La ilaha illallah, he and his property are safe from me except for his obligation, and his reckoning will be with Allah, may He be glorified.
Allah revealed in His Book the story of people who were arrogant, as He says:
إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا إِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ وَيَقُولُونَ أَئِنَّا لَتَارِكُوا آلِهَتِنَا لِشَاعِرٍ مَّجْنُونٍ ﴿٣٦﴾
Truly, when it was said to them: "La ilaha illallah,'' they puffed themselves up with pride. And (they) said: "Are we going to abandon our gods for the sake of a mad poet!''
meaning, `Shall we stop worshipping our gods and the gods of our forefathers just because of the words of this mad poet' -- meaning the Messenger of Allah.
Allah said in refutation of their attitude:
بَلْ جَاء بِالْحَقِّ ...
Nay! he has come with the truth,
meaning, the Messenger of Allah has brought the truth with all that Allah has revealed to him of stories and commandments.
... وَصَدَّقَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴿٣٧﴾
and he confirms the Messengers.
means, he fulfills their prophecies of his praiseworthy characteristics and his perfect way, and he tells people of the Laws and commands of Allah, as they said he would.
مَّا يُقَالُ لَكَ إِلاَّ مَا قَدْ قِيلَ لِلرُّسُلِ مِن قَبْلِكَ
Nothing is said to you except what was said to the Messengers before you. (41:43)
The Punishment of the Idolators and the Reward of the sincere Believers
Allah says, addressing the people:
إِنَّكُمْ لَذَائِقُو الْعَذَابِ الْأَلِيمِ ﴿٣٨﴾
Verily, you are going to taste the painful torment;
وَمَا تُجْزَوْنَ إِلَّا مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٣٩﴾
and you will be requited nothing except for what you used to do.
Then He makes an exception in the case of His sincerely believing servants.
This is like the Ayat:
وَالْعَصْرِ - إِنَّ الإِنسَـنَ لَفِى خُسْرٍ - إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـت ...
By the Time. Verily, man is in loss, Except those who believe and do righteous deeds... (103:1-3)
لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الإِنسَـنَ فِى أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ - ثُمَّ رَدَدْنَـهُ أَسْفَلَ سَـفِلِينَ - إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ
Verily, We created man in the best stature. Then We reduced him to the lowest of the low. Save those who believe and do righteous deeds. (95:4-6)
وَإِن مِّنكُمْ إِلاَّ وَارِدُهَا كَانَ عَلَى رَبِّكَ حَتْماً مَّقْضِيّاً - ثُمَّ نُنَجِّى الَّذِينَ اتَّقَواْ وَّنَذَرُ الظَّـلِمِينَ فِيهَا جِثِيّاً
There is not one of you but will pass over it (Hell); this is with your Lord, a decree which must be accomplished. Then We shall save those who have Taqwa. And We shall leave the wrongdoers therein to their knees. (19:71-72)
كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ رَهِينَةٌ - إِلاَّ أَصْحَـبَ الْيَمِينِ
Every person is a pledge for what he has earned, except those on the right. (74:38-39)
Allah says here:
إِلَّا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُخْلَصِينَ ﴿٤٠﴾
Save the chosen servants of Allah.
meaning, they will not taste the painful torment nor will they be brought to account. Their evil acts, if there are any, will be overlooked, and each good deed will be rewarded in multiples of between ten and seven hundred, or as much as Allah wills.
أُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمْ رِزْقٌ مَّعْلُومٌ ﴿٤١﴾
For them there will be a known provision,
Qatadah and As-Suddi said, "This means Paradise.''
It is explained further in the next Ayah:
meaning, of different kinds.
... وَهُم مُّكْرَمُونَ ﴿٤٢﴾
and they shall be honored,
means, they will be served and will live a life of luxury.
فِي جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ ﴿٤٣﴾
In the Gardens of Delight,
عَلَى سُرُرٍ مُّتَقَابِلِينَ ﴿٤٤﴾
facing one another on thrones.
Mujahid said, "One of them will not look at one another's backs.''
يُطَافُ عَلَيْهِم بِكَأْسٍ مِن مَّعِينٍ ﴿٤٥﴾
Round them will be passed a cup of pure wine
بَيْضَاء لَذَّةٍ لِّلشَّارِبِينَ ﴿٤٦﴾
white, delicious to the drinkers.
لَا فِيهَا غَوْلٌ وَلَا هُمْ عَنْهَا يُنزَفُونَ ﴿٤٧﴾
Neither will they have Ghawl from that nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom.
This is like the Ayah:
يَطُوفُ عَلَيْهِمْ وِلْدَنٌ مُّخَلَّدُونَ - بِأَكْوَابٍ وَأَبَارِيقَ وَكَأْسٍ مِّن مَّعِينٍ - لاَّ يُصَدَّعُونَ عَنْهَا وَلاَ يُنزِفُونَ
Immortal boys will go around them (serving), with cups, and jugs, and a glass of flowing wine, from which they will get neither any aching of the head nor any intoxication. (56:17-19)
Allah refined the wine of Paradise from the bad effects of the wine of this world, which causes headaches and stomach aches -- which is the meaning of Ghawl -- causing people to lose their minds completely.
So He says here:
يُطَافُ عَلَيْهِم بِكَأْسٍ مِن مَّعِينٍ
Round them will be passed a cup of pure wine,
meaning, wine from a flowing stream which they do not fear will ever be cut off or cease.
Malik narrated that Zayd bin Aslam said,
"White flowing wine,'' meaning, with a bright, shining color, unlike the wine of this earth with its ugly, repulsive colors of red, black, yellow and turbid shades, and other features which are repugnant to anyone of a sound nature.
لَذَّةٍ لِّلشَّارِبِينَ (delicious to the drinkers). means, its taste will be as good as its color, and a good taste indicates that it has a good smell, unlike the wine of this world.
Neither will they have Ghawl from that,
means, it will not have any effects on them such as causing stomach aches. This was the view of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd.
This is unlike the wine of this world, which causes colic and so on, because it is too watery.
... وَلَا هُمْ عَنْهَا يُنزَفُونَ
nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom.
Mujahid said, "It will not cause them to lose their minds.''
This was also the view of Ibn Abbas, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Al-Hasan. `Ata' bin Abi Muslim Al-Khurasani, As-Suddi and others.
Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn Abbas said, "Wine causes four things: intoxication, headache, vomiting and urine.''
So, when Allah mentions the wine of Paradise, He states that it is free of these characteristics, as mentioned in Surah As-Saffat.
وَعِنْدَهُمْ قَاصِرَاتُ الطَّرْفِ ...
And beside them will be Qasirat At-Tarf,
means, chaste females, who will not look at anyone other than their husbands, as Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Zayd bin Aslam, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others said.
... عِينٌ ﴿٤٨﴾
with (wide and beautiful) eyes.
means, with beautiful eyes.
It was also said that it means with wide eyes, which is connected to the first meaning. They are wide-eyed and beautiful, and their eyes are described as being beautiful and chaste.
Allah says: وَعِنْدَهُمْ قَاصِرَاتُ الطَّرْفِ عِينٌ (And beside them will be Qasirat At-Tarf, with (wide and beautiful) eyes.
كَأَنَّهُنَّ بَيْضٌ مَّكْنُونٌ ﴿٤٩﴾
as if they were Bayd Maknun.
Their bodies are described as having the most perfect color.
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him: كَأَنَّهُنَّ بَيْضٌ مَّكْنُونٌ (as if they were Bayd Maknun), means, as if they were hidden pearls.
Al-Hasan said: كَأَنَّهُنَّ بَيْضٌ مَّكْنُونٌ (as if they were Bayd Maknun), means, "protected, never touched by any hands."
As-Suddi said, "The well preserved egg in its nest.''
Sa`id bin Jubayr said: كَأَنَّهُنَّ بَيْضٌ مَّكْنُونٌ (as if they were Bayd Maknun), means, "The inside of the egg.''
Ata' Al-Khurasani said, "It is the membrane which is between its outer shell and its inner contents.''
As-Suddi said: كَأَنَّهُنَّ بَيْضٌ مَّكْنُونٌ (as if they were Bayd Maknun) means, "The white of the egg when its shell is removed.''
Ibn Jarir's view concerning the meaning of Maknun (well preserved) is,
"the outer shell is touched by the wing of the bird and the nest, and by people's hands, unlike the interior of the egg. And Allah knows best."
The gathering of the People of Paradise, and the exchange between One of Them and His Counterpart in Hell, and His Gratitude for the Blessings of Allah
Allah says here:
فَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ يَتَسَاءلُونَ ﴿٥٠﴾
Then they will turn to one another, mutually questioning.
Allah tells us how the people of Paradise will turn to one another, asking one another about their situation, how they were in this world and what they suffered. This is part of their conversation when they get together to converse and drink, sitting on their thrones, servants coming and going, bringing all kinds of good food, drink, clothes and other delights no eye has seen, no ear has heard, never having comprehend the mind of man.
قَالَ قَائِلٌ مِّنْهُمْ إِنِّي كَانَ لِي قَرِينٌ ﴿٥١﴾
A speaker of them will say: "Verily, I had a companion...''
Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him said,
"This refers to an idolator man who had a companion among the believers in this world.''
يَقُولُ أَئِنَّكَ لَمِنْ الْمُصَدِّقِينَ ﴿٥٢﴾
Who used to say: "Are you among those who believe...''
means, `do you believe in the resurrection after death, and the Reckoning and reward or punishment!'
He used to say that by way of astonishment, disbelief and stubbornness.
أَئِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَابًا وَعِظَامًا أَئِنَّا لَمَدِينُونَ ﴿٥٣﴾
(That) when we die and become dust and bones, shall we indeed be indebted (Madinun).
Mujahid and As-Suddi said, "Brought to account.''
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi said, "Rewarded or punished according to our deeds.''
Both views are correct.
قَالَ هَلْ أَنتُم مُّطَّلِعُونَ ﴿٥٤﴾
(The speaker) said: "Will you look down?''
meaning, look over.
The believer will say this to his companions among the people of Paradise.
فَاطَّلَعَ فَرَآهُ فِي سَوَاء الْجَحِيمِ ﴿٥٥﴾
So he looked down and saw him in the midst of the Fire.
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Khulayd Al-`Usari, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ata' Al-Khurasani said, "This means, in the middle of Hell.''
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "In the middle of Hell as if he were a burning star.''
قَالَ تَاللَّهِ إِنْ كِدتَّ لَتُرْدِينِ ﴿٥٦﴾
He said: "By Allah! You have nearly ruined me.''
The believer will say, addressing the disbeliever: `By Allah, you nearly caused me to be doomed, if I had obeyed you.'
وَلَوْلَا نِعْمَةُ رَبِّي لَكُنتُ مِنَ الْمُحْضَرِينَ ﴿٥٧﴾
Had it not been for the grace of my Lord, I would certainly have been among those brought forth (to Hell).
means, `Were it not for the favor of my Lord towards me, I would have been like you in the middle of Hell where you are, brought forth with you for punishment. But He bestowed His grace upon me, had mercy upon me and guided me to faith and to belief in Him Alone.'
وَمَا كُنَّا لِنَهْتَدِىَ لَوْلا أَنْ هَدَانَا اللَّهُ
and never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us! (7:43)
أَفَمَا نَحْنُ بِمَيِّتِينَ ﴿٥٨﴾
Are we then not to die (any more).
إِلَّا مَوْتَتَنَا الْأُولَى وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ ﴿٥٩﴾
Except our first death, and we shall not be punished.
This is what the believers will say when they feel joy at what Allah has given them, and they realize that they are to remain in Paradise forever with no punishment and no death to come.
إِنَّ هَذَا لَهُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ ﴿٦٠﴾
Truly, this is the supreme success!
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said,
"They know that death brings an end to every delight, so they will say, أَفَمَا نَحْنُ بِمَيِّتِينَ إِلَّا مَوْتَتَنَا الْأُولَى وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِين Are we then not to die Except our first death, and we shall not be punished. It will be said, "No, إِنَّ هَذَا لَهُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ (Truly, this is the supreme success!).''
لِمِثْلِ هَذَا فَلْيَعْمَلْ الْعَامِلُونَ ﴿٦١﴾
For the like of this let the workers work.
Ibn Jarir said,
"These are the Words of Allah, and it means: for the like of this pleasure and this success, let the workers work in this world, so that they may attain it in the Hereafter."
The Story of Two Israelites
They mentioned the story of two men among the Children of Israel who were partners and who are included in the meaning of this Ayah.
Abu Jafar bin Jarir recorded that Furat bin Thalabah Al-Bahrani said concerning the Ayah,إِنِّي كَانَ لِي قَرِينٌ (Verily, I had a companion, Ayah 51),
"There were two men who were partners and had collected eight thousand Dinars. One of them had a craft and the other did not. The one who had a craft said to the other, `You do not have a craft, so I think I will divide the money with you and leave you.' So he left him.
Then the man bought a house, belonging to a king who had died, for the price of one thousand Dinars. He called his companion and showed him the house, saying, `What do you think of this house I bought it for one thousand Dinars.'
He said, `How beautiful it is.'
When he went out he said, `O Allah, this companion of mine has bought this house for one thousand Dinars; I ask You for one of the houses of Paradise -- and he gave one thousand Dinars in charity.'
Then as much time passed as Allah willed should pass. The first man married a woman with a dowry of one thousand Dinars, and invited his companion and made food for him. When he came, he said, `I have married this woman with a dowry of one thousand Dinars.'
He replied; `How beautiful this is.' And when he left, he said, `O Lord, my companion has married a woman with a dowry of one thousand Dinars; I ask you for a wife from among Al-Hur Al-`Iyn' -- and he gave one thousand Dinars in charity.
Then as much time passed as Allah willed should pass. Then the first man bought two gardens for two thousand Dinars, then he called his companion and showed them to him. He said, `I have bought these two gardens for two thousand Dinars.'
He replied, `How beautiful this is.' When he came out, he said, `O Lord, my companion has bought two gardens for two thousand Dinars; I ask you for two gardens in Paradise' -- and he gave two thousand Dinars in charity.
Then the angel came to them and took their souls in death. He took the one who had given his money in charity and put him in a house that he liked. There, there was a woman who was so beautiful that the ground shinned under her, then he (the angel) took him to two gardens and gave him other things which are known only to Allah.
The man said, `This is like a man who has such and such.'
The angel said, `That is exactly what it is; this house, these gardens and this wife are all for you.'
The man said, `I had a companion who used to say: Are you among those who believe?'
It was said to him, `He is in Hell.' He said, `Will you look down!'
So he looked down and saw him in the midst of Hell.
At this, he said:
قَالَ تَاللَّهِ إِنْ كِدتَّ لَتُرْدِينِ وَلَوْلَا نِعْمَةُ رَبِّي لَكُنتُ مِنَ الْمُحْضَرِين
By Allah! You have nearly ruined me. Had it not been for the grace of my Lord, I would certainly have been among those brought forth (to Hell).''
The Tree of Zaqqum and its Companions
أَذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ نُّزُلًا ...
Is that (Paradise) better entertainment or the tree of Zaqqum!
Here Allah asks: `Is that which He has mentioned of the delights of Paradise with its food, drink, companions and other joys better entertainment,
... أَمْ شَجَرَةُ الزَّقُّومِ ﴿٦٢﴾
or the tree of Zaqqum, (which is in Hell).
The meaning here is a specific kind of tree which is called Zaqqum.
This is like the Ayah:
وَشَجَرَةً تَخْرُجُ مِن طُورِ سَيْنَآءَ تَنبُتُ بِالدُّهْنِ وَصِبْغٍ لِّلأَكِلِيِنَ
And a tree that springs forth from Mount Sinai, that grows (produces) oil, and (it is a) relish for the eaters. (23:20)
which is the olive tree. This is supported by the Ayah:
ثُمَّ إِنَّكُمْ أَيُّهَا الضَّآلُّونَ الْمُكَذِّبُونَ - لاّكِلُونَ مِن شَجَرٍ مِّن زَقُّومٍ
Then moreover, verily, -- you the erring-ones, the deniers! You, verily, will eat of the trees of Zaqqum. (56:51-52)
إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاهَا فِتْنَةً لِّلظَّالِمِينَ ﴿٦٣﴾
Truly, We have made it (as) a trial for the wrongdoers.
"The tree of Zaqqum is mentioned as a test for those who are misguided. They said, `Your companion tells you that in the Fire there is a tree, but fire consumes trees.'
Then Allah revealed the words:
إِنَّهَا شَجَرَةٌ تَخْرُجُ فِي أَصْلِ الْجَحِيمِ ﴿٦٤﴾
Verily, it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hell-fire.
meaning, it is nourished by the fire, for it was created from fire.''
Mujahid said: إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاهَا فِتْنَةً لِّلظَّالِمِينَ (Truly, We have made it (as) a trial for the wrongdoers).
Abu Jahl, may Allah curse him, said, "Zaqqum means dates and butter which I eat (Atazaqqamuhu).''
I say that the meaning of the Ayah is, "We have told you, O Muhammad, of the tree of Zaqqum as a trial with which We test the people to see who will believe and who will disbelieve.''
This is like the Ayah:
وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الرُّءْيَا الَّتِى أَرَيْنَـكَ إِلاَّ فِتْنَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَالشَّجَرَةَ الْمَلْعُونَةَ فِى القُرْءَانِ وَنُخَوِّفُهُمْ فَمَا يَزِيدُهُمْ إِلاَّ طُغْيَانًا كَبِيرًا
And We made not the vision which we showed you but a trial for mankind, and the accursed tree in the Qur'an. We warn and make them afraid but it only increases them in naught save great disbelief, oppression and disobedience to Allah. (17:60)
إِنَّهَا شَجَرَةٌ تَخْرُجُ فِي أَصْلِ الْجَحِيم
Verily, it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hell-fire. means, its roots grow at the bottom of Hell.
طَلْعُهَا كَأَنَّهُ رُؤُوسُ الشَّيَاطِينِ ﴿٦٥﴾
The shoots of its fruit stalks are like the heads of Shayatin.
this is a description of how ugly and repulsive it is. It is likened to رُؤُوسُ الشَّيَاطِين (the heads of Shayatin), even though they have never seen them, because it is a well-established idea in people's minds that devils are ugly in appearance.
فَإِنَّهُمْ لَآكِلُونَ مِنْهَا فَمَالِؤُونَ مِنْهَا الْبُطُونَ ﴿٦٦﴾
Truly, they will eat thereof and fill their bellies therewith.
Allah mentions that they will eat of this extremely ugly tree even though its fruit tastes and smells so bad; they will be forced to eat from it because they will not find anything else to eat except this tree and similar things, as Allah says:
لَّيْسَ لَهُمْ طَعَامٌ إِلاَّ مِن ضَرِيعٍ - لاَّ يُسْمِنُ وَلاَ يُغْنِى مِن جُوعٍ
No food will there be for them but a poisonous thorny plant, Which will neither nourish nor avail against hunger. (88:6-7)
ثُمَّ إِنَّ لَهُمْ عَلَيْهَا لَشَوْبًا مِّنْ حَمِيمٍ ﴿٦٧﴾
Then on the top of that they will be boiling Hamim.
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"This means they will be given boiling Hamim to drink after they have eaten from Zaqqum.''
According to another report, he said that this means a mixture made from boiling water.
Someone else said that it means boiling water will be mixed with pus and offensive discharges that leak from their private parts and eyes.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said,
"When the people of Hell get hungry, they will ask for food from the tree of Zaqqum. They will eat from it, then the skin of their faces will fall off, If someone were to pass by, he would recognize them from their faces. Then thirst will be sent upon them, so they will ask to be given something to drink, and they will be given water like boiling oil that has been heated to the ultimate degree. When it is brought near to their mouths, the flesh of their faces from which the skin has fallen off will be baked by its heat, and whatever is in their stomachs will melt. They will walk with their guts falling out and with their skin falling off, then they will be beaten with hooked rods of iron. Then every part of their bodies will burst into loud lamentations.
ثُمَّ إِنَّ مَرْجِعَهُمْ لَإِلَى الْجَحِيمِ ﴿٦٨﴾
Then thereafter, verily, their return is to the flaming fire of Hell.
means, after that interval, they will be sent back to the burning fire, searing heat and scorching flames, and they will rotate between the one and the other.
This is like the Ayah,
يَطُوفُونَ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَ حَمِيمٍ ءَانٍ
They will go between it (Hell) and the fierce boiling water! (55:44)
Qatadah recited this Ayah when discussing this Ayah. This is a good interpretation.
Abdullah bin Mas`ud recited it differently, with the meaning "Their return in the afternoon.''
Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, used to say:
"By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, midday on the Day of Resurrection will not come until the people of Paradise will be in Paradise and the people of Hell will be in Hell.''
Then he recited:
أَصْحَـبُ الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَيْرٌ مُّسْتَقَرّاً وَأَحْسَنُ مَقِيلاً
The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose. (25:24)
إِنَّهُمْ أَلْفَوْا آبَاءهُمْ ضَالِّينَ ﴿٦٩﴾
Verily, they found their fathers on the wrong path;
means, `We will punish them for that because they found their fathers following misguidance and they followed them with no evidence or proof.'
فَهُمْ عَلَى آثَارِهِمْ يُهْرَعُونَ ﴿٧٠﴾
So they (too) hastened in their footsteps!
Mujahid said, "This is like running.''
Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "They followed ignorance and foolishness.''
وَلَقَدْ ضَلَّ قَبْلَهُمْ أَكْثَرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ ﴿٧١﴾
And indeed most of the earlier ones went astray before them;
وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا فِيهِم مُّنذِرِينَ ﴿٧٢﴾
And indeed We sent among them warners;
Allah tells us that most of the previous nations went astray, worshipping other gods alongside Allah. He states that He sent among them warners to alert them to the anger, wrath and vengeance of Allah towards those who disbelieve in Him and worship others besides Him. He tells us that they persisted in their opposition to their Messengers and their disbelief in them, so He destroyed those who disbelieved in Him and saved the believers and caused them to prevail.
فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُنذَرِينَ ﴿٧٣﴾
Then see what was the end of those who were warned.
إِلَّا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُخْلَصِينَ ﴿٧٤﴾
Except the chosen servants of Allah.
Nuh and His People
When Allah tells us about how most of the early people went astray from the path of salvation, He starts the detailed explanation of that with the story of Nuh and the rejection of his people.
Only a few of Nuh's people believed in him, despite the long period of time he spent among them. He stayed among them for one thousand years less fifty, and after he stayed among them for so long and their disbelief became too much for him to bear -- for every time he called them, they turned away from him even more -- he prayed to his Lord saying,
"I have been overcome, so help (me)!''
So Allah became angry because Nuh was angry with them.
وَلَقَدْ نَادَانَا نُوحٌ فَلَنِعْمَ الْمُجِيبُونَ ﴿٧٥﴾
And indeed Nuh invoked Us, and We are the best of those who answer.
وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ مِنَ الْكَرْبِ الْعَظِيمِ ﴿٧٦﴾
And We rescued him and his family from the great distress.
means, their disbelief and their insults.
وَجَعَلْنَا ذُرِّيَّتَهُ هُمْ الْبَاقِينَ ﴿٧٧﴾
And, his progeny, them We made the survivors.
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, "There was no one left apart from the offspring of Nuh, peace be upon him.''
Sa`id bin Abi `Arubah said, narrating from Qatadah concerning the Ayah, وَجَعَلْنَا ذُرِّيَّتَهُ هُمْ الْبَاقِينَ "All people descended from the offspring of Nuh, peace be upon him.''
At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim narrated from Samurah, that the Prophet said, concerning the Ayah, وَجَعَلْنَا ذُرِّيَّتَهُ هُمْ الْبَاقِينَ (And, his progeny, them We made the survivors):
سَامُ، وَحَامُ، وَيَافِث
Sam, Ham and Yafith.
Imam Ahmad recorded from Samurah, may Allah be pleased with him that the Messenger of Allah said:
سَامُ أَبُو الْعَرَبِ، وَحَامُ أَبُو الْحَبَشِ، وَيَافِثُ أَبُو الرُّوم
Sam was the father of the Arabs, Ham was the father of the Ethiopians and Yafith was the father of the Romans.''
This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi.
What is meant here by Romans is the original Romans, i.e., the Greeks who claimed descent from Ruma (Roma) the son of Liti, the son of Yunan, the son of Yafith, the son of Nuh, peace be upon him.
وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الْآخِرِينَ ﴿٧٨﴾
And left for him among the later generations.
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "He is remembered in a good way.''
Mujahid said this means "An honorable mention by all the Prophets.''
Qatadah and As-Suddi said, "Allah caused him to be praised constantly by others.''
Ad-Dahhak said it means; "Salam and praise.''
سَلَامٌ عَلَى نُوحٍ فِي الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٧٩﴾
Salam (peace!) be upon Nuh among the all creatures!
This explains for us the extent of the honorable mention and praise, for he is greeted with peace by all groups and nations.
إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿٨٠﴾
Verily, thus We reward the good doers.
means, `This is how We reward those of Our servants who do deeds of obedience to Allah. We gave him an honorable mention so that after he died he is still remembered in a manner that befits his status.'
Then Allah says:
إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٨١﴾
Verily, he (Nuh) was one of Our believing servants.
meaning, one of the sincere believers in the Oneness of Allah, one of those who had certain faith.
ثُمَّ أَغْرَقْنَا الْآخَرِينَ ﴿٨٢﴾
Then We drowned the others.
means, `We destroyed them, and there was no trace whatsoever left of them, and they are only known by this unfavorable description.'
The Story of Ibrahim and His People
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him said that:
وَإِنَّ مِن شِيعَتِهِ لَإِبْرَاهِيمَ ﴿٨٣﴾
And verily, among those who followed his ways was Ibrahim.
means, he was one of the followers of his religion.
Mujahid said, "He was following his path and his way.''
إِذْ جَاء رَبَّهُ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ ﴿٨٤﴾
When he came to his Lord with a Salim heart.
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"This means that he bore witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah.''
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Awf said, "I said to Muhammad bin Sirin, `What is the Salim heart?'
`One which knows that Allah is true and that the Hour will undoubtedly come to pass, and that Allah will resurrect those who are in the graves.'''
Al-Hasan said, "One that is free from Shirk.''
Urwah said, "One that is not cursed.''
إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَاذَا تَعْبُدُونَ ﴿٨٥﴾
When he said to his father and to his people:
"What is it that which you worship?''
He denounced his people for their worship of idols and false gods,
أَئِفْكًا آلِهَةً دُونَ اللَّهِ تُرِيدُونَ ﴿٨٦﴾
Is it a falsehood -- gods other than Allah -- that you desire.
فَمَا ظَنُّكُم بِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٨٧﴾
Then what think you about the Lord of the all that exists!
"This means, `what do you think He will do with you when you meet Him, given that you worshipped others alongside Him.''
فَنَظَرَ نَظْرَةً فِي النُّجُومِ ﴿٨٨﴾
Then he cast a glance at the stars,
فَقَالَ إِنِّي سَقِيمٌ ﴿٨٩﴾
And he said: "Verily, I am sick.''
Ibrahim, peace be upon him, said this to his people so that he could stay behind in the city when they went out for their festival. The time was approaching for them to go out to celebrate a festival of theirs, and he wanted to be alone with their gods so that he could break them, so he told them something that was true, for he was indeed sick of the implications of what they believed in.
فَتَوَلَّوْا عَنْهُ مُدْبِرِينَ ﴿٩٠﴾
So they turned away from him and departed.
Qatadah said, "The Arabs say of one who thinks deeply that he is looking at the stars.''
What Qatadah meant is that he looked at the heavens thinking of a way to distract his people. So he said, إِنِّي سَقِيمٌ (Verily, I am sick), meaning, weak.
Ibn Jarir narrated here a Hadith from Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, stating that the Messenger of Allah said:
لَمْ يَكْذِبْ إِبْرَاهِيمُ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ غَيْرَ ثَلَاثَ كَذَبَاتٍ:
ثِنْتَيْنِ فِي ذَاتِ اللهِ تَعَالَى، قَوْلُهُ: إِنِّى سَقِيمٌ : وَقَوْلُهُ بَلْ فَعَلَهُ كَبِيرُهُمْ هَـذَا
وَقَوْلُهُ فِي سَارَّةَ: هِيَ أُخْتِي
Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) did not lie except in three cases.
Two were for the sake of Allah:
- one is when he said, Verily, I am sick;
- and the second when he said, Nay, this one, the biggest of them (idols) did it.
and the third when he said concerning (his wife) Sarah, "She is my sister.''
This Hadith is recorded in the books of the Sahih and Sunan with various chains of narrations.
But this is not the kind of real lie for which a person is to be condemned -- Allah forbid! One calls it a lie for lack of a better word, because it is abstruse speech used for a legitimate religious purpose, and it was said that what was meant by the words, إِنِّي سَقِيم (Verily, I am sick) was, `I am sick at heart of your worshipping idols instead of Allah.'
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said,
"The people of Ibrahim went out to their festival and they wanted to make him go out too. So he lay down on his back and said, إِنِّي سَقِيمٌ (Verily, I am sick), and he started looking at the sky. When they had gone out, he turned to their gods and broke them.''
This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim. Allah said:
فَتَوَلَّوْا عَنْهُ مُدْبِرِينَ
So they turned away from him and departed.
فَرَاغَ إِلَى آلِهَتِهِمْ ...
Then he turned to their gods,
meaning, he went to them after they had left, quickly and secretly.
... فَقَالَ أَلَا تَأْكُلُونَ ﴿٩١﴾
and said: "Will you not eat?''
They had placed food before them as a sacrifice, so that the food might be blessed. When Ibrahim, peace be upon him, looked at the food that was before them, he said:
... أَلَا تَأْكُلُونَ
Will you not eat?
مَا لَكُمْ لَا تَنطِقُونَ ﴿٩٢﴾
What is the matter with you that you speak not?
فَرَاغَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضَرْبًا بِالْيَمِينِ ﴿٩٣﴾
Then he turned upon them, striking (them) with (his) right hand.
Al-Farra' said, "This means, he started to hit them with his right hand.''
Qatadah and Al-Jawhari said, "He turned to them, hitting them with his right hand.''
He struck them with his right hand because the right hand is stronger and more powerful. Then he left them broken to pieces, (all) except the biggest of them, that they might turn to it, as we have already seen in the Tafsir of Surah Al-Anbiya'.
فَأَقْبَلُوا إِلَيْهِ يَزِفُّونَ ﴿٩٤﴾
Then they came hastily towards him.
Mujahid and others said, "This means, they came rushing."
The story is told in brief here; in Surah Al-Anbiya', it is told in more detail. When they returned, they did not know at first who had done this, until they investigated and found out that Ibrahim, peace be upon him, was the one who had done it. When they came to rebuke him, he started rebuking and criticizing them and said:
قَالَ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مَا تَنْحِتُونَ ﴿٩٥﴾
He said: Worship you that which you carve,
meaning, `do you worship instead of Allah idols which you yourselves carve and fashion with your own hands?'
وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٩٦﴾
While Allah has created you and what you make!
This may mean, `Allah has created you and what you do;'
or it may mean, `Allah has created you and what you make.'
Both views are synonymous. The former is more apparent because of the report recorded by Al-Bukhari in the Book Af`al Al-`Ibad from Hudhayfah, attributed to the Prophet:
إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى يَصْنَعُ كُلَّ صَانِعٍ وَصَنْعَتَه
Allah has created every doer of deeds and what he does. Thereupon he recited: وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ (While Allah has created you and what you make!)
When the proof had been established against them, they resolved to seize him by force and,
قَالُوا ابْنُوا لَهُ بُنْيَانًا فَأَلْقُوهُ فِي الْجَحِيمِ ﴿٩٧﴾
They said: Build for him a building (i.e., furnace) and throw him into the blazing fire!
There happened what we have already discussed in our Tafsir of Surah Al-Anbiya', (21:68-70) and Allah saved him from the fire and caused him to prevail over them, making his proof supreme and supporting it.
فَأَرَادُوا بِهِ كَيْدًا فَجَعَلْنَاهُمُ الْأَسْفَلِينَ ﴿٩٨﴾
So, they plotted a plot against him, but We made them the lowest.
Ibrahim's Emigration, the Test of the Sacrifice of Isma`il, and how Allah blessed Him
Allah tells us that after He helped His close friend Ibrahim, peace be upon him, against his people, and after Ibrahim gave up hoping that they would ever believe despite all the mighty signs that they had witnessed, he emigrated away from them, and said:
وَقَالَ إِنِّي ذَاهِبٌ إِلَى رَبِّي سَيَهْدِينِ ﴿٩٩﴾
Verily, I am going to my Lord. He will guide me!
رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ ﴿١٠٠﴾
My Lord! Grant me (offspring) from the righteous.
meaning, obedient children, in compensation for his people and relatives whom he had left.
فَبَشَّرْنَاهُ بِغُلَامٍ حَلِيمٍ ﴿١٠١﴾
So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy.
This child was Ismail, peace be upon him, for he was the first child of whom glad tidings were given to Ibrahim, peace be upon him, and he was older than Ishaq.
The Muslims and the People of the Book agree, and indeed it is stated in their Book, that Ismail, peace be upon him, was born when Ibrahim, peace be upon him, was eighty-six years old, and Ishaq was born when Ibrahim was ninety-nine years old.
According to their Book, Allah commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his only son, and in another text it says his firstborn son. But here they falsely inserted the name of Ishaq. This is not right because it goes against what their own Scripture says.
They inserted the name of Ishaq because he is their ancestor, while Ismail is the ancestor of the Arabs. They were jealous of them, so they added this idea and changed the meaning of the phrase "only son'' to mean `the only son who is with you,' because Ismail had been taken with his mother to Makkah. But this is a case of falsification and distortion, because the words "only son'' cannot be said except in the case of one who has no other son. Furthermore, the firstborn son has a special status that is not shared by subsequent children, so the command to sacrifice him is a more exquisite test.
And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him,
means, when he grew up and started to go with his father and walk with him, for Ibrahim used to go every so often to check on his son and his mother in the land of Faran (i.e., Makkah), to see how they were doing. It was said that he used to ride on Al-Buraq, traveling there swiftly, and Allah knows best.
It was reported from Ibn Abbas, peace be upon him, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ata' Al-Khurasani, Zayd bin Aslam and others that فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْيَ (And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him), means,
when he became a young man and was able to work as his father did.
فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْيَ قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ إِنِّي أَرَى فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنِّي أَذْبَحُكَ فَانظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَى ...
And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said:
"O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you. So look what you think!''
`Ubayd bin Umayr said, "The dreams of the Prophets are revelation,'' then he recited this Ayah: قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ إِنِّي أَرَى فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنِّي أَذْبَحُكَ فَانظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَى He told his son that in order to make it easier for him, and also to test his patience and resolve, at a young age, in obeying Allah and obeying his father.
... قَالَ يَا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ ...
He said: "O my father! Do that which you are commanded...''
meaning, `obey the command of Allah and sacrifice me.'
... سَتَجِدُنِي إِن شَاء اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ ﴿١٠٢﴾
if Allah wills, you shall find me of the patient.
meaning, `I will be patient and will seek the reward for that with Allah.'
He, may peace and blessings be upon him, believed in what had been promised.
وَاذْكُرْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ إِسْمَـعِيلَ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَـدِقَ الْوَعْدِ وَكَانَ رَسُولاً نَّبِيّاً - وَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ أَهْلَهُ بِالصَّـلَوةِ وَالزَّكَـوةِ وَكَانَ عِندَ رَبِّهِ مَرْضِيّاً
And mention in the Book Ismail. Verily, he was true to what he promised, and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet. And he used to enjoin on his family the Salah and the Zakah, and his Lord was pleased with him. (19:54-55)
فَلَمَّا أَسْلَمَا وَتَلَّهُ لِلْجَبِينِ ﴿١٠٣﴾
Then, when they had both submitted themselves, and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead;
means, when both of them had pronounced the Shahadah and remembered Allah -- Ibrahim because he was about to offer a sacrifice and Ismail because he was about to die.
Or it was said that "submitted themselves'' means that they submitted and followed the command of Allah; Ibrahim obeyed the command of Allah and Ismail obeyed Allah and his father.
This was the view of Mujahid, Ikrimah, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Ishaq, and others.
The meaning of the phrase "and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead'' is:
he placed him facedown so that he could slaughter him from behind, and not have to see his face at the time of slaughter, so that it would be easier for him.
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah said:وَتَلَّهُ لِلْجَبِينِ ; means, "He turned him upside down on his face.''
Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"When the rituals were enjoined upon Ibrahim, peace be upon him, the Shaytan appeared to him at the Masa and raced with him, but Ibrahim got there first. Then Jibril, upon him be peace, took him to Jamrat Al-Aqabah and the Shaytan appeared to him, so he stoned him with seven pebbles until he disappeared. Then he appeared him at Al-Jamrah Al-Wusta and he stoned him with seven pebbles. Then he laid him prostrate on his face. Ismail, peace be upon him, was wearing a white shirt, and he said, `O my father, I do not have any garment in which I can be shrouded apart from this; take it off me so that you can shroud me in it.' He started to take it off, then he was called from behind:
وَنَادَيْنَاهُ أَنْ يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ ﴿١٠٤﴾
We called out to him: "O Ibrahim!''
قَدْ صَدَّقْتَ الرُّؤْيَا ...
You have fulfilled the dream!
Ibrahim turned, and saw a fine, horned, white ram.''
Ibn Abbas said, "We used to look for similar types of rams.''
Hisham mentioned this Hadith at length in Al-Manasik. وَنَادَيْنَاهُ أَنْ يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ قَدْ صَدَّقْتَ الرُّؤْيَا means, `the purpose of your dream has been fulfilled by your laying down your son to sacrifice him.'
As-Suddi and others said that;
he passed the knife over Ismail's neck, but it did not cut him at all, because a sheet of copper was placed between them. Ibrahim was called at that point, and it was said: قَدْ صَدَّقْتَ الرُّؤْيَا (You have fulfilled the dream!)
... إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿١٠٥﴾
Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good.
means, `this is how We deal with those who obey Us in things that are difficult for them; We make for them a way out.'
As Allah says:
... وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجاً - وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَحْتَسِبُ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَـلِغُ أَمْرِهِ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدْراً
And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).
And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things. (65:2-3)
On the basis of this Ayah and this story, some of the scholars of Usul have stated that it is valid for a ruling to be abrogated before anyone is able to act upon it -- unlike some of the Mutazilah. The evidence for this is obvious, because Allah commanded Ibrahim, peace be upon him, to sacrifice his son, then He abrogated that and pointed out the ransom. The purpose of His command had been primarily to reward His close Friend for his patience and resolve in sacrificing his son.
إِنَّ هَذَا لَهُوَ الْبَلَاء الْمُبِينُ ﴿١٠٦﴾
Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial.
meaning, it was clearly a test when he was commanded to sacrifice his son, so, he hastened to do it, in submission to the command of Allah and in obedience to Him.
وَإِبْرَهِيمَ الَّذِى وَفَّى
And of Ibrahim who fulfilled all that. (53:37)
وَفَدَيْنَاهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيمٍ ﴿١٠٧﴾
And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice.
It was reported that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "A ram which had grazed in Paradise for forty years.''
Imam Ahmad recorded that Safiyyah bint Shaybah said,
"A woman from Bani Sulaym, who was the midwife of most of the people in our household, told me that the Messenger of Allah sent for `Uthman bin Talhah, may Allah be pleased with him.''
On one occasion she said, "I asked `Uthman, `Why did the Prophet call you?'
He said, `The Messenger of Allah said to me,
إِنِّي كُنْتُ رَأَيْتُ قَرْنَيِ الْكَبْشِ حِينَ دَخَلْتُ الْبَيْتَ فَنَسِيتُ أَنْ آمُرَكَ أَنْ تُخَمِّرَهُمَا فَخَمِّرْهُمَا، فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَنْبَغِي أَنْ يَكُونَ فِي الْبَيْتِ شَيْءٌ يَشْغَلُ الْمُصَلِّي
I saw the horns of the ram when I entered the House (i.e., the Ka`bah), and I forgot to tell you to cover them up; cover them up, for there should not be anything in the House which could distract the worshipper.'''
Sufyan said, "The horns of the ram remained hanging in the House until it was burned, and they were burned too.''
This offers independent evidence that the one who was to be sacrificed was Ismail, peace be upon him. The Quraysh had inherited the horns of the ram that Ibrahim sacrificed, and they had been passed down from generation to generation, until the Messenger of Allah was sent. And Allah knows best.
Reports which state that the One Who was to be sacrificed was Ismail, and that this is Correct without a Doubt
Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Amir Ash-Sha`bi, Yusuf bin Mihran, Mujahid, Ata' and others reported from Ibn Abbas that it was Ismail, peace be upon him.
Ibn Jarir narrated that Ibn Abbas said,
"The one who was ransomed was Ismail, peace be upon him. The Jews claimed that it was Ishaq, but the Jews lied.''
It was reported that Ibn Umar said, "The sacrifice was Ismail.''
Ibn Abi Najih said, narrating from Mujahid, "It was Ismail, peace be upon him.''
This was also the view of Yusuf bin Mihran.
Ash-Sha`bi said, "It was Ismail, peace be upon him, and I saw the horns of the ram in the Ka`bah.''
Muhammad bin Ishaq reported from Al-Hasan bin Dinar and `Amr bin `Ubayd from Al-Hasan Al-Basri that;
he did not doubt that the one of the two sons Ibrahim was commanded to sacrifice was Ismail, peace be upon him.
وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الْآخِرِينَ ﴿١٠٨﴾
And We left for him among the later generations.
سَلَامٌ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ ﴿١٠٩﴾
"Salam (peace!) be upon Ibrahim!''
كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿١١٠﴾
Thus indeed do We reward the doers of good.
إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿١١١﴾
Verily, he was one of Our believing servants.
Ibn Ishaq said, "I heard Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi say,
`The one whom Allah commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice of his two sons was Ismail.'
We find this in the Book of Allah, because when Allah finishes the story of the one of the two sons of Ibrahim who was to be sacrificed,
He then says:
وَبَشَّرْنَاهُ بِإِسْحَقَ نَبِيًّا مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ ﴿١١٢﴾
And We gave him the glad tidings of Ishaq -- a Prophet from the righteous,
فَبَشَّرْنَـهَا بِإِسْحَـقَ وَمِن وَرَآءِ إِسْحَـقَ يَعْقُوبَ
So, We gave her glad tidings of Ishaq and after Ishaq, of Ya`qub. (11:71)
He mentions the son and the son of the son, but He would not have commanded him to sacrifice Ishaq when He had promised that this son would in turn have a son. The one whom He commanded him to sacrifice can only have been Ismail.''
Ibn Ishaq said, "I heard him say that often.''
Ibn Ishaq reported from Buraydah bin Sufyan bin Farwah Al-Aslami that Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi told them that he mentioned that to Umar bin `Abd Al-`Aziz, may Allah be pleased with him, when he was Khalifah, while he was with him in Syria. Umar said to him,
"This is something about which I have never given any thought, but I see that it is as you say.''
Then he sent for a man who was with him in Syria, a Jew who had become a Muslim and was committed to Islam, and he thought that he had been one of their scholars. Umar bin Abd Al-Aziz, may Allah be pleased with him, asked him about that.
Muhammad bin Ka`b said, "I was with Umar bin Abd Al-Aziz.
Umar said to him, `Which of the two sons of Ibrahim was he commanded to sacrifice?'
He said, `Ismail. By Allah, O Commander of the faithful, the Jews know this, but they were jealous of you Arabs because it was your father about whom Allah issued this command and the virtue that Allah mentioned was because of his patience in obeying the command. So they denied that and claimed that it was Ishaq, because he is their father.'''
Abdullah bin Al-Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, may Allah have mercy on him, said,
"I asked my father about which son was to be sacrificed -- was it Ismail or Ishaq?''
He said, "Ismail.''
This was mentioned in Kitab Az-Zuhd.
Ibn Abi Hatim said,
"I heard my father say, `The correct view is that the one who was to be sacrificed was Ismail, peace be upon him.'''
"And it was narrated that Ali, Ibn Umar, Abu Hurayrah, Abu At-Tufayl, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, Abu Ja`far Muhammad bin Ali and Abu Salih, may Allah be pleased with them all, said that the one who was to be sacrificed was Ismail.''
Al-Baghawi said in his Tafsir,
"This was the view of `Abdullah bin Umar, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, As-Suddi, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Mujahid, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi and Al-Kalbi.''
This was also reported from Ibn Abbas and from Abu `Amr bin Al-`Ala'.
وَبَشَّرْنَاهُ بِإِسْحَقَ نَبِيًّا مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ
And We gave him the glad tidings of Ishaq -- a Prophet from the righteous.
having given the glad tidings of the one who was to be sacrificed, who was Ismail, Allah immediately follows that with mention of the glad tidings of his brother Ishaq. This is also mentioned in Surah Hud (11:71) and in Surah Al-Hijr (15:53-55)
نَبِيًّا (a Prophet),means, from him there will come a righteous Prophet.
وَبَارَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى إِسْحَقَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِمَا مُحْسِنٌ وَظَالِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ مُبِينٌ ﴿١١٣﴾
We blessed him and Ishaq. And of their progeny are (some) that do right, and some that plainly wrong themselves.
This is like the Ayah:
قِيلَ ينُوحُ اهْبِطْ بِسَلَـمٍ مِّنَّا وَبَركَـتٍ عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَى أُمَمٍ مِّمَّن مَّعَكَ وَأُمَمٌ سَنُمَتِّعُهُمْ ثُمَّ يَمَسُّهُمْ مِّنَّا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
It was said: "O Nuh! Come down (from the ship) with peace from Us and blessings on you and on the people who are with you, but people to whom We shall grant their pleasures (for a time), but in the end a painful torment will reach them from Us.'' (11:48)
Musa and Harun
وَلَقَدْ مَنَنَّا عَلَى مُوسَى وَهَارُونَ ﴿١١٤﴾
And, indeed We gave Our grace to Musa and Harun.
وَنَجَّيْنَاهُمَا وَقَوْمَهُمَا مِنَ الْكَرْبِ الْعَظِيمِ ﴿١١٥﴾
And We saved them and their people from the great distress,
وَنَصَرْنَاهُمْ فَكَانُوا هُمُ الْغَالِبِينَ ﴿١١٦﴾
And helped them, so that they became the victors;
Allah tells us how He blessed Musa and Harun with Prophethood and how He saved them, along with those who believed, from the oppression of Fir`awn and his people, who had persecuted them by killing their sons and sparing their women, and by forcing them to do the most menial tasks, then ultimately He caused them to prevail over them and to seize their lands and their wealth and all that they had spent their entire lives amassing. Then Allah revealed to Musa the Clear and Mighty Book, which is the Tawrah, as Allah says:
وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا مُوسَى وَهَـرُونَ الْفُرْقَانَ وَضِيَآءً
And indeed We granted to Musa and Harun the criterion (of right and wrong), and a shining light (21:48)
And Allah says here:
وَآتَيْنَاهُمَا الْكِتَابَ الْمُسْتَبِينَ ﴿١١٧﴾
And We gave them the clear Scripture;
وَهَدَيْنَاهُمَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ ﴿١١٨﴾
and guided them to the right path.
meaning, with regard to words and deeds.
وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِمَا فِي الْآخِرِينَ ﴿١١٩﴾
And We left for them among the later generations.
means, that after they died they would be mentioned in good terms and spoken of highly.
Then Allah explains this further:
سَلَامٌ عَلَى مُوسَى وَهَارُونَ ﴿١٢٠﴾
Salam (peace!) be upon Musa and Harun!
إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿١٢١﴾
Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good.
إِنَّهُمَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿١٢٢﴾
Verily, they were two of Our believing servants.
وَإِنَّ إِلْيَاسَ لَمِنْ الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴿١٢٣﴾
And verily, Ilyas was one of the Messengers.
Qatadah and Muhammad bin Ishaq said, "Ilyas is another name for Idris.''
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"Ilyas is Idris.''
This was also the view of Ad-Dahhak.
Wahb bin Munabbih said,
"He is Ilyas bin Yasin bin Finhas bin Al-Izar bin Harun bin Imran. Allah sent him to the Children of Israel after Hizqil (Ezekiel), may peace be upon them both.
They had started to worship an idol called Ba`l, and he called them to Allah, may He be exalted, and forbade them to worship anyone besides Him. Their king believed in him, then he apostatized, and they persisted in their misguided ways, and not one person among them believed in him. So he prayed to Allah against them, and Allah withheld the rain from them for three years.
Then they asked him to relieve them from that, and promised that they would believe in him if rain came to them. So he prayed to Allah for them, and the rains came, but they persisted in their evil ways of disbelief. So he asked Allah to take him to Him.
Al-Yasa` bin Akhtub had grown up under his care, may peace be upon them both.
So Ilyas was commanded to go to such and such a place, and whatever mount came to him, he was to ride on it and not to give it away. A horse of fire was brought to him, so he rode it, and Allah clothed him with light and covered him with feathers, and he used to fly with the angels as a human angel, heavenly yet also earthly.
This is what was narrated by Wahb bin Munabbih from the People of the Book;
Allah knows best how true it is.
إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَلَا تَتَّقُونَ ﴿١٢٤﴾
When he said to his people: "Will you not have Taqwa!''
means, `do you not fear Allah when you worship others instead of Him!'
أَتَدْعُونَ بَعْلًا وَتَذَرُونَ أَحْسَنَ الْخَالِقِينَ ﴿١٢٥﴾
Will you call upon Ba`l and forsake the Best of creators,
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Qatadah and As-Suddi said that;
the word Ba`l means lord.
Ikrimah and Qatadah said, "This is the language of the people of Yemen.''
According to another report from Qatadah, it is the language of Azd Shanu'ah.
Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam narrated from his father that;
it is the name of an idol which was worshipped by the people of a city called Ba`labak (Baalbek) which is to the west of Damascus.
Ad-Dahhak said, "It is an idol which they used to worship.''
أَتَدْعُونَ بَعْلًا (Will you call upon Ba`l). means, `will you worship an idol,'
... وَتَذَرُونَ أَحْسَنَ الْخَالِقِينَ
and forsake the Best of creators,
وَاللَّهَ رَبَّكُمْ وَرَبَّ آبَائِكُمُ الْأَوَّلِينَ ﴿١٢٦﴾
Allah, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers,
means, `He is the One Who is deserving of your worship alone, with no partners or associates.'
فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَإِنَّهُمْ لَمُحْضَرُونَ ﴿١٢٧﴾
But they denied him, so they will certainly be brought forth,
means, for the punishment on the Day of Reckoning.
إِلَّا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُخْلَصِينَ ﴿١٢٨﴾
Save the chosen servants of Allah.
means, those who believe in Him alone.
وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الْآخِرِينَ ﴿١٢٩﴾
And We left for him among the later generations.
means, he is praised and spoken of highly.
سَلَامٌ عَلَى إِلْ يَاسِينَ ﴿١٣٠﴾
Salam (peace!) be upon Ilyasin!
Similarly, one might say for Ismail, Ismain. This is the language (dialect) of Bani Asad;
they say Mikal, Mika'il, and Mika'in.
They say Ibrahim and Ibraham; Isra'il, Isra'in; Tur Sina', Tur Sinin.
All of that is fine.
إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿١٣١﴾
Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good.
إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿١٣٢﴾
Verily, he was one of Our believing servants.
We have already discussed the meaning of this above. And Allah knows best.
The Destruction of the People of Lut (Lot)
وَإِنَّ لُوطًا لَّمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴿١٣٣﴾
And verily, Lut was one of the Messengers.
إِذْ نَجَّيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿١٣٤﴾
When We saved him and his family, all,
إِلَّا عَجُوزًا فِي الْغَابِرِينَ ﴿١٣٥﴾
Except an old woman (his wife) who was among those who remained behind.
ثُمَّ دَمَّرْنَا الْآخَرِينَ ﴿١٣٦﴾
Then We destroyed the rest.
Allah tells us that He sent His servant and Messenger Lut, peace be upon him, to his people, and they denied him, so Allah saved him from among them, him and his family with the exception of his wife, who was destroyed along with her people.
Allah destroyed them with different kinds of punishments, and made their vicinity a foul, stinking lake which is on a well-traveled route where people pass by night and day (i.e., the Dead Sea, which lays close to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah on the highway between Arabia and Syria.
وَإِنَّكُمْ لَتَمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهِم مُّصْبِحِينَ ﴿١٣٧﴾
Verily, you pass by them in the morning.
وَبِاللَّيْلِ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ ﴿١٣٨﴾
And at night; will you not then reflect!
meaning, `will you not learn a lesson from them and how Allah destroyed them, and realize that a similar end awaits the disbelievers.'
The Story of Yunus
وَإِنَّ يُونُسَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴿١٣٩﴾
And verily, Yunus was one of the Messengers.
We have already discussed the story of Yunus, peace be upon him, in Surah Al-Anbiya' (21:87-88)
In the Two Sahihs it is reported that the Messenger of Allah said:
مَا يَنْبَغِي لِعَبْدٍ أَنْ يَقُولَ: أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِنْ يُونُسَ بْنِ مَتَّى
It is not right for any person to say I am better than Yunus bin Matta.
إِذْ أَبَقَ إِلَى الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُونِ ﴿١٤٠﴾
When he ran to the laden ship.
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "It was filled with cargo.
Then he (agreed to) cast lots,
means, to draw lots.''
... فَكَانَ مِنْ الْمُدْحَضِينَ ﴿١٤١﴾
and he was among the losers.
means among those who have been overcome.
This was because the ship was being pounded by the waves on all sides, and they were at risk of drowning, so they drew lots, and whoever lost would be thrown overboard so as to lighten the load. The Prophet of Allah Yunus, peace be upon him, lost the draw three times, but they did not want to throw him overboard. He took off his garment so that he could throw himself into the sea, and they tried to stop him.
فَالْتَقَمَهُ الْحُوتُ وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ ﴿١٤٢﴾
Then a (big) fish swallowed him as he had done an act worthy of blame.
Then Allah commanded a large fish from the Green Sea (i.e., Mediterranean Sea) to cleave the oceans and come and swallow Yunus, peace be upon him, without cutting his flesh or breaking his bones. The fish came and Yunus, peace be upon him, threw himself overboard, and the fish swallowed him and took him away, traveling through all the seas with him. When Yunus had stayed for some time in the fish's belly, he thought that he had died; then he moved his head and legs and arms, and saw that he was alive. He prayed in the belly of the fish, and one of the things he said in his main prayer was:
"O Lord, I have taken as a place of worship to You a place which no other person has reached.''
They differed as to how long he spent in the belly of the fish.
Some said three days; this was the view of Qatadah.
Some said seven days; this was the view of Ja`far As-Sadiq, may Allah be pleased with him.
Some said forty days; this was the view of Abu Malik.
Mujahid said, narrating from Ash-Sha`bi, "It swallowed him in the morning and cast him forth in the evening.''
And Allah knows best how long exactly was.
فَلَوْلَا أَنَّهُ كَانَ مِنْ الْمُسَبِّحِينَ ﴿١٤٣﴾
Had he not been of them who glorify Allah,
لَلَبِثَ فِي بَطْنِهِ إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ ﴿١٤٤﴾
He would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day of Resurrection.
It was said that, if he had not already done righteous deeds during his time of ease.
This was the view of Ad-Dahhak bin Qays, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Wahb bin Munabbih, Qatadah and others, and it was the view favored by Ibn Jarir.
This is what is indicated in the authentic Hadith which we quote below, if Allah wills. In a Hadith narrated from Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, he said:
تَعَرَّفْ إِلَى اللهِ فِي الرَّخَاءِ، يَعْرِفْكَ فِي الشِّدَّة
Remember Allah during times of ease and He will remember you during times of difficulty.
And it was said that what was meant by the Ayah: فَلَوْلَا أَنَّهُ كَانَ مِنْ الْمُسَبِّحِينَ (Had he not been of them who glorify Allah), was the meaning of the following Ayat:
فَنَادَى فِى الظُّلُمَـتِ أَن لاَّ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنتَ سُبْحَـنَكَ إِنِّى كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّـلِمِينَ - فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ وَنَجَّيْنَـهُ مِنَ الْغَمِّ وَكَذلِكَ نُنجِـى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
But he cried through the darkness (saying):
"La ilaha illa Anta, You are glorified! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.''
So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers. (21:87-88)
This was the view of Sa`id bin Jubayr and others.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him -- and I do not know of anything narrated from Anas that he did not attribute to the Messenger of Allah:
إِنَّ يُونُسَ النَّبِيَّ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ حِينَ بَدَا لَهُ أَنْ يَدْعُوَ بِهَذِهِ الْكَلِمَاتِ وَهُوَ فِي بَطْنِ الْحُوتِ فَقَالَ: اللْهُمَّ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ،
فَأَقْبَلَتِ الدَّعْوَةُ تَحُفُّ بِالْعَرْشِ، قَالَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ: يَا رَبِّ هَذَا صَوْتٌ ضَعِيفٌ مَعْرُوفٌ مِنْ بِلَادٍ بَعِيدَةٍ غَرِيبَةٍ
فَقَالَ اللهُ تَعَالَى: أَمَا تَعْرِفُونَ ذَلِكَ؟
قَالُوا: يَا رَبِّ وَمَنْ هُوَ؟
قَالَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: عَبْدِي يُونُسُ،
قَالُوا: عَبْدُكَ يُونُسُ الَّذِي لَمْ يَزَلْ يُرْفَعُ لَهُ عَمَلٌ مُتَقَبَّلٌ وَدَعْوَةٌ مُسْتَجَابَةٌ؟
قَالُوا: يَا رَبِّ أَوَلَا تَرْحَمُ مَا كَانَ يَصْنَعُ فِي الرَّخَاءِ فَتُنْجِيَهُ فِي الْبَلَاءِ،
فَأَمَرَ الْحُوتَ فَطَرَحَهُ بِالْعَرَاء
When it occurred to the Prophet Yunus, upon him be peace, to call upon Allah in these words when he was in the belly of the great fish, he said,
"La ilaha illa Anta, You are glorified! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.''
This call went and hovered around the (mighty) Throne, and the angels said, "O Lord, this is the voice of one who is weak but known, in a faraway strange land.
Allah, may He be exalted, said, "How do you know this?''
They said, "O Lord, who is he?''
Allah, may He be exalted, said, "My servant Yunus.''
They said, "Your servant Yunus, from whom there kept coming acceptable deeds and supplications which were answered!''
They said, "O Lord, will You not have mercy on him for what he did during his time of ease, and save him from this trial and tribulation?''
He said, "Of course.''
So, He commanded the great fish, and it cast him forth on the naked shore.
But We cast him forth,
meaning, `We threw him out,'
... بِالْعَرَاء ...
on the naked shore,
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and others said that this refers to land in which there is no vegetation and no buildings.
... وَهُوَ سَقِيمٌ ﴿١٤٥﴾
while he was sick,
means, when he was weak of body.
وَأَنبَتْنَا عَلَيْهِ شَجَرَةً مِّن يَقْطِينٍ ﴿١٤٦﴾
And We caused a plant of gourd to grow over him.
Ibn Mas`ud and Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Wahb bin Munabbih, Hilal bin Yasaf, Abdullah bin Tawus, As-Suddi, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ata' Al-Khurasani and several others, all said that;
"gourd means squash."
Some of them mentioned that the squash has a number of benefits: it grows quickly, its leaves offer shade because of their large size and smooth texture, flies do not come near it, and its fruits provide good nourishment; they may be eaten raw or cooked, and both the pulp and the peel may be eaten.
It was reported that the Messenger of Allah used to like squash and would look for it wherever it was on the serving dish.
وَأَرْسَلْنَاهُ إِلَى مِئَةِ أَلْفٍ أَوْ يَزِيدُونَ ﴿١٤٧﴾
And We sent him to a hundred thousand (people) or even more.
It is as if he was commanded, after he came forth from the fish, to go back to those to whom he had been sent in the first place, and they all believed in him.
... أَوْ يَزِيدُونَ
...or even more.
Makhul said, "They numbered one hundred and ten thousand.
This was reported by Ibn Abi Hatim.
Ibn Jarir said,
"Some of the scholars of Arabic, the people of Basrah, said that this means up to one hundred thousand or more.''
Ibn Jarir interpreted this Ayah as he interpreted the Ayat:
ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُمْ مِّن بَعْدِ ذلِكَ فَهِىَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً
Then, after that, your hearts were hardened and became as stones or even worse in hardness. (2:74),
إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُمْ يَخْشَوْنَ النَّاسَ كَخَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ أَوْ أَشَدَّ خَشْيَةً
Behold! a section of them fear men as they fear Allah or even more. (4:77)
فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى
And was at a distance of two bows' length or (even) nearer. (53:9)
The meaning is, "not less than that, but rather more."
And they believed;
means, these people to whom Yunus, peace be upon him, had been sent all believed.
... فَمَتَّعْنَاهُمْ إِلَى حِينٍ ﴿١٤٨﴾
so We gave them enjoyment for a while.
means, until the time of their appointed end.
This is like the Ayah,
فَلَوْلاَ كَانَتْ قَرْيَةٌ ءَامَنَتْ فَنَفَعَهَآ إِيمَانُهَا إِلاَّ قَوْمَ يُونُسَ لَمَّآ ءَامَنُواْ كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُمْ عَذَابَ الخِزْىِ فِى الْحَيَوةَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَتَّعْنَاهُمْ إِلَى حِينٍ
Was there any town (community) that believed, and its faith (at that moment) saved it -- except the people of Yunus; when they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the (present) world, and permitted them to enjoy for a while. (10:98)
Refutation of Those Who attribute Children to Allah and say that the Angels are His Daughters
Allah denounces those idolators who attribute daughters to Allah -- exalted be He above that -- and attributed to themselves what they desired, i.e., they wanted male offspring to themselves.
وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُمْ بِالاٍّنْثَى ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ
And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief! (16:58), i.e., that upsets him, and he would only choose sons for himself.
Allah says: `Then how can they attribute to Allah the share that they would not choose for themselves'
Now ask them,
means, quiz them by way of denunciation,
... أَلِرَبِّكَ الْبَنَاتُ وَلَهُمُ الْبَنُونَ ﴿١٤٩﴾
Are there (only) daughters for your Lord and sons for them,
This is like the Ayah:
أَلَكُمُ الذَّكَرُ وَلَهُ الاٍّنثَى - تِلْكَ إِذاً قِسْمَةٌ ضِيزَى
Is it for you the males and for Him the females? That indeed is a division most unfair! (53:21-22)
أَمْ خَلَقْنَا الْمَلَائِكَةَ إِنَاثًا وَهُمْ شَاهِدُونَ ﴿١٥٠﴾
Or did We create the angels female while they were witnesses!
means, how did they decide that the angels are female when they did not witness their creation?
This is like the Ayah:
وَجَعَلُواْ الْمَلَـئِكَةَ الَّذِينَ هُمْ عِبَادُ الرَّحْمَـنِ إِنَـثاً أَشَهِدُواْ خَلْقَهُمْ سَتُكْتَبُ شَهَـدَتُهُمْ وَيُسْـَلُونَ
And they make the angels females who themselves are servants of the Most Gracious. Did they witness their creation Their testimony will be recorded, and they will be questioned! (43:19),
which means, they will be questioned about that on the Day of Resurrection.
أَلَا إِنَّهُم مِّنْ إِفْكِهِمْ ...
Verily, it is of their falsehood,
means, it is a part of the lies they tell.
... لَيَقُولُونَ ﴿١٥١﴾ وَلَدَ اللَّهُ ...
that they say: "Allah has begotten.''
meaning, that offspring have been born to Him.
... وَإِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ ﴿١٥٢﴾
And verily, they are liars!
Allah mentions three of the things;
- they said about the angels, which formed the utmost disbelief and falsehood.
- They said that they were the daughters of Allah and that Allah had offspring -- exalted and sanctified be He above that.
- Then they made these offspring female, then they worshipped them instead of Allah, exalted and sanctified be He -- any of which on its own would be sufficient to condemn them to spend eternity in Hell.
Then Allah says, denouncing them:
أَصْطَفَى الْبَنَاتِ عَلَى الْبَنِينَ ﴿١٥٣﴾
Has He (then) chosen daughters rather than sons!
meaning, what would make Him choose daughters rather than sons?
This is like the Ayah,
أَفَأَصْفَـكُمْ رَبُّكُم بِالْبَنِينَ وَاتَّخَذَ مِنَ الْمَلَـئِكَةِ إِنَاثًا إِنَّكُمْ لَتَقُولُونَ قَوْلاً عَظِيمًا
Has then your Lord preferred for you sons, and taken for Himself from among the angels daughters Verily, you indeed utter an awful saying. (17:40)
مَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ ﴿١٥٤﴾
What is the matter with you How do you decide!
meaning, `what kind of reasoning makes you say that!'
أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿١٥٥﴾
Will you not then remember
أَمْ لَكُمْ سُلْطَانٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿١٥٦﴾
Or is there for you a plain authority!
means, `evidence to prove what you say.'
فَأْتُوا بِكِتَابِكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ﴿١٥٧﴾
Then bring your Book if you are truthful!
means, `produce evidence for that derived from a Book revealed from heaven by Allah, to prove that He has taken what you say (i.e., offspring). What you say is totally irrational.'
وَجَعَلُوا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْجِنَّةِ نَسَبًا ...
And they have invented a kinship between Him and the Jinn,
"The idolators said that the angels were the daughters of Allah.
Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, `Then who are their mothers?'
They said, `The daughters of the leaders of the Jinn.'''
Qatadah and Ibn Zayd also said this. Allah -- may He be blessed and exalted -- says:
... وَلَقَدْ عَلِمَتِ الْجِنَّةُ ...
but the jinn know,
meaning, those to whom this is attributed
... إِنَّهُمْ لَمُحْضَرُونَ ﴿١٥٨﴾
know well that they have indeed to appear (before Him).
means, that those who say that will be brought forth for punishment on the Day of Reckoning, because of the lies and falsehood that they uttered without knowledge.
سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ ﴿١٥٩﴾
Glorified be Allah! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him!
means, exalted, sanctified and glorified be He far above having any offspring and far above what the wrongdoers and heretics attribute to Him.
إِلَّا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُخْلَصِينَ ﴿١٦٠﴾
Except the servants of Allah, whom He chooses.
The pronoun in the verb translated as "they attribute'' refers to all of mankind, then He excludes those whom He chooses, who are the ones who follow the truth revealed to every Prophet who was sent.
No One believes what the Idolators say except Those Who are even more misguided than They
Allah says, addressing the idolators:
فَإِنَّكُمْ وَمَا تَعْبُدُونَ ﴿١٦١﴾
مَا أَنتُمْ عَلَيْهِ بِفَاتِنِينَ ﴿١٦٢﴾
So, verily you and those whom you worship cannot lead astray,
إِلَّا مَنْ هُوَ صَالِ الْجَحِيمِ ﴿١٦٣﴾
except those who are predestined to burn in Hell!
meaning, `the only ones who will believe what you say and follow your misguided ways of false worship are those who are more misguided than you and are created for Hell.'
لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لاَّ يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لاَّ يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ ءَاذَانٌ لاَّ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَآ أُوْلَـئِكَ كَالأَنْعَـمِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْغَـفِلُونَ
They have hearts wherewith they understand not, and they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not (the truth). They are like cattle, nay even more astray; those! They are the heedless ones. (7:179)
This is the parable of the people who follow the belief and ideas of Shirk, disbelief and misguidance, as Allah says:
إِنَّكُمْ لَفِى قَوْلٍ مُّخْتَلِفٍ - يُؤْفَكُ عَنْهُ مَنْ أُفِكَ
Certainly, you have different ideas. Turned aside therefrom is he who is turned aside (by the decree of Allah). (51:8-9)
meaning, the one who is misled by it is the one who is turned aside.
The Place of the Angels and Their Ranks glorify Allah
Then Allah says, declaring the angels to be above the position attributed to them by those who disbelieved in them and told lies about them -- that they are the daughters of Allah --
وَمَا مِنَّا إِلَّا لَهُ مَقَامٌ مَّعْلُومٌ ﴿١٦٤﴾
And there is not one of us (angels) but has his known place;
meaning, each one has his own place in the heavens and in the places of worship, which he does not overstep.
Ad-Dahhak said in his Tafsir: وَمَا مِنَّا إِلَّا لَهُ مَقَامٌ مَّعْلُومٌ "And there is not one of us (angels) but has his known place;"
Masruq used to narrate that A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said,
"The Messenger of Allah said:
مَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا مَوْضِعٌ إِلَّا عَلَيْهِ مَلَكٌ سَاجِدٌ أَوْ قَائِم
There is no place in the lower heaven without an angel standing or prostrating in it.
This is what Allah says: وَمَا مِنَّا إِلَّا لَهُ مَقَامٌ مَّعْلُومٌ And there is not one of us (angels) but has his known place (or position).''
It was reported that Ibn Mas`ud said,
"In the heavens there is one heaven in which there is no space a hand span wide but there is the forehead or the foot of an angel on it. ''
Then he recited: وَمَا مِنَّا إِلَّا لَهُ مَقَامٌ مَّعْلُومٌ (And there is not one of us (angels) but has his known place;)
Sa`id bin Jubayr similarly said:
وَإِنَّا لَنَحْنُ الصَّافُّونَ ﴿١٦٥﴾
And we (angels), we stand in rows.
means, we stand in rows to worship, as we have already seen in the Ayah وَالصَّـفَّـتِ صَفَّا (By those ranged in ranks (or rows).
Abu Nadrah said,
"When the Iqamah had been given, Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, would turn to face the people and say:
`Make your rows straight, for Allah wants you to follow the ways of the angels.'
Then he would say, وَإِنَّا لَنَحْنُ الصَّافُّونَ (And verily, we stand in rows;) `Move back, O so-and-so, move forward, O so-and-so.' Then he would go forward and say `Allahu Akbar'''
This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir.
In Sahih Muslim it is narrated that Hudhayfah, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"The Messenger of Allah said,
فُضِّلْنَا عَلَى النَّاسِ بِثَلَاثٍ:
- جُعِلَتْ صُفُوفُنَا كَصُفُوفِ الْمَلَائِكَةِ،
- وَجُعِلَتْ لَنَا الْأَرْضُ مَسْجِدًا،
- وَتُرْبَتُهَا طَهُورًا
We have been favored above mankind in three things:
- our rows have been made like the rows of the angels;
- the whole earth has been made a place of prayer for us;
- and its soil is a means of purification for us.''
وَإِنَّا لَنَحْنُ الْمُسَبِّحُونَ ﴿١٦٦﴾
And verily, we indeed are those who glorify.
means, `we stand in rows and glorify the Lord, praising Him, sanctifying Him and declaring Him to be above any faults or shortcomings. We are servants of Him and in need of Him, humbling ourselves before Him.'
The Quraysh wished that They could have a Reminder as had the Men of old
وَإِنْ كَانُوا لَيَقُولُونَ ﴿١٦٧﴾
And indeed they used to say:
لَوْ أَنَّ عِندَنَا ذِكْرًا مِّنْ الْأَوَّلِينَ ﴿١٦٨﴾
"If we had a reminder as had the men of old,
لَكُنَّا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُخْلَصِينَ ﴿١٦٩﴾
we would have indeed been the chosen servants of Allah!''
means, `they used to wish -- before you, O Muhammad, came to them -- that they would have someone to remind them about Allah and what happened in earlier times, and to bring them the Book of Allah.'
This is like the Ayat:
وَأَقْسَمُواْ بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَـنِهِمْ لَئِن جَآءَهُمْ نَذِيرٌ لَّيَكُونُنَّ أَهْدَى مِنْ إِحْدَى الاٍّمَمِ فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمْ نَذِيرٌ مَّا زَادَهُمْ إِلاَّ نُفُوراً
And they swore by Allah their most binding oath that if a warner came to them, they would be more guided than any of the nations (before them); yet when a warner came to them, it increased in them naught but flight (from the truth). (35:42)
أَن تَقُولُواْ إِنَّمَآ أُنزِلَ الْكِتَـبُ عَلَى طَآئِفَتَيْنِ مِن قَبْلِنَا وَإِن كُنَّا عَن دِرَاسَتِهِمْ لَغَـفِلِينَ
أَوْ تَقُولُواْ لَوْ أَنَّآ أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا الْكِتَـبُ لَكُنَّآ أَهْدَى مِنْهُمْ فَقَدْ جَآءَكُمْ بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّن كَذَّبَ بِآيَـتِ اللَّهِ وَصَدَفَ عَنْهَا سَنَجْزِى الَّذِينَ يَصْدِفُونَ عَنْ آيَـتِنَا سُوءَ الْعَذَابِ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَصْدِفُونَ
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 a form of guidance and a mercy.
Who then does more wrong than one who rejects the Ayat of Allah and turns away therefrom We shall requite those who turn away from Our Ayat with an evil torment, because of their turning away. (6:156-157)
Allah says here:
فَكَفَرُوا بِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿١٧٠﴾
But they disbelieve therein, so they will come to know!
This is a definite and stern threat because of their disbelief in their Lord and their rejection of His Messenger .
The Promise of Victory and the Command to turn away from Idolators
وَلَقَدْ سَبَقَتْ كَلِمَتُنَا لِعِبَادِنَا الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴿١٧١﴾
And, verily, Our Word has gone forth of old for Our servants, the Messengers,
meaning, it has already been stated in the first decree that the Messengers and their followers will ultimately prevail in this world and the Hereafter.
This is like the Ayah:
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, Almighty. (58:21)
إِنَّا لَنَنصُرُ رُسُلَنَا وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ يَقُومُ الاٌّشْهَـدُ
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)
وَلَقَدْ سَبَقَتْ كَلِمَتُنَا لِعِبَادِنَا الْمُرْسَلِينَ
إِنَّهُمْ لَهُمُ الْمَنصُورُونَ ﴿١٧٢﴾
And, verily, Our Word has gone forth of old for Our servants, the Messengers, that they verily would be made triumphant,
meaning, `in this world and in the Hereafter, as We have already stated that they would prevail over their people who disbelieved in them and went against them, and how Allah destroyed the disbelievers and saved His believing servants. '
وَإِنَّ جُندَنَا لَهُمُ الْغَالِبُونَ ﴿١٧٣﴾
And that Our hosts they verily would be the victors.
means, that they would ultimately prevail.
فَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّى حِينٍ ﴿١٧٤﴾
So turn away from them for a while,
means, `bear their annoyance with patience and wait until an appointed time, when We shall cause you to prevail and will grant you victory.'
وَأَبْصِرْهُمْ فَسَوْفَ يُبْصِرُونَ ﴿١٧٥﴾
And watch them and they shall see!
means, `watch them and see what will happen to them by way of punishment for their opposition towards you and their disbelief in you.'
Allah said, as a threat and a warning, فَسَوْفَ يُبْصِرُونَ (and they shall see!).
Then Allah says:
أَفَبِعَذَابِنَا يَسْتَعْجِلُونَ ﴿١٧٦﴾
Do they seek to hasten on Our torment!
meaning, `they seek to hasten on the punishment because they disbelieve in you, and Allah is angry with them because of that and will make them suffer the consequences, and because of their disbelief and stubbornness, He will hasten on the punishment.'
فَإِذَا نَزَلَ بِسَاحَتِهِمْ فَسَاء صَبَاحُ الْمُنذَرِينَ ﴿١٧٧﴾
Then, when it descends in their courtyard, evil will be the morning for those who had been warned!
means, when the punishment comes down to the place where they are, terrible will be the day of their punishment and destruction.
فَإِذَا نَزَلَ بِسَاحَتِهِمْ (Then, when it descends in their courtyard), means, in their homes;
فَسَاء صَبَاحُ الْمُنذَرِينَ (evil will be the morning for those who had been warned!) means, how terrible that morning will be for them.
It was reported in the Two Sahihs that Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"On the morning of Khyber, when the people came out with their tools (to go about their daily work) and saw the (Muslim) army, they went back and said, `Muhammad by Allah! Muhammad and the army!'
The Prophet said:
اللهُ أَكْبَرُ، خَرِبَتْ خَيْبَرُ، إِنَّا إِذَا نَزَلْنَا بِسَاحَةِ قَوْمٍ فَسَاءَ صَبَاحُ الْمُنْذَرِين
Allahu Akbar! Khyber has been destroyed. Then, when it descends in the courtyard of any people, evil will be the morning for those who had been warned!''
وَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّى حِينٍ ﴿١٧٨﴾
So turn away from them for a while,
وَأَبْصِرْ فَسَوْفَ يُبْصِرُونَ ﴿١٧٩﴾
and watch and they shall see!
This is a reiteration of the command stated above. And Allah knows best.
Allah glorified Himself and states that He is far above what the lying wrongdoers say about Him; glorified and sanctified and exalted be He far above what they say
Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Al-`Izzah!
meaning, the Owner of might and power Whom none can resist.
... عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ ﴿١٨٠﴾
(He is free) from what they attribute unto Him!
means, from what these lying fabricators say.
وَسَلَامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴿١٨١﴾
And Salam be on the Messengers!
means, may the peace of Allah be upon them in this world and in the Hereafter, because what they say about their Lord is sound, correct and true.
وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿١٨٢﴾
And all the praises and thanks be to Allah, Lord of all that exists.
means, praise be to Him at the beginning and end of all things. Because Tasbih (glorification) implies a declaration of being free from all shortcomings, the two ideas appear together here and in many places in the Qur'an.
Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Al-`Izzah! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him! And Salam (peace!) be on the Messengers! And all the praises and thanks be to Allah, Lord of all that exists.
Sa`id bin Abi `Arubah narrated that Qatadah said,
"The Messenger of Allah said:
إِذَا سَلَّمْتُمْ عَلَيَّ، فَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ، فَأَنَا رَسُولٌ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِين
When you send Salam on me, send Salam on all the Messengers, for I am one of the Messengers.''
This was recorded by Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim.
Abu Muhammad Al-Baghawi recorded in his Tafsir that Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
"Whoever wants a greater measure of reward on the Day of Resurrection, let him say at the end of any gathering,
سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ
وَسَلَامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ
وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Other Hadiths concerning the expiation for any wrongs that may have occurred during a gathering prescribe saying the words:
"Glory be to You, O Allah, and praise. There is no God except You; I seek your forgiveness and I repent to you. ''
I have written a chapter dealing exclusively with this topic.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah As-Saffat. And Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, knows best.