Description of the Qur'an, and what Those Who turn away from it say
تَنزِيلٌ مِّنَ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ ﴿٢﴾
A revelation from the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
means, the Qur'an is revealed from the Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
This is like the Ayat:
قُلْ نَزَّلَهُ رُوحُ الْقُدُسِ مِن رَّبِّكَ بِالْحَقِّ
Say Ruh Al-Qudus (Jibril) has brought it down from your Lord with truth. (16:102)
وَإِنَّهُ لَتَنزِيلُ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ - نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الاٌّمِينُ - عَلَى قَلْبِكَ لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُنْذِرِينَ
And truly, this is a revelation from the Lord of all that exists, Which the trustworthy Ruh (Jibril) has brought down upon your heart that you may be (one) of the warners. (26:192-194)
كِتَابٌ فُصِّلَتْ آيَاتُهُ ...
A Book whereof the Ayat are explained in detail,
means, its meanings are clear and its rulings are sound and wise.
... قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا ...
a Qur'an in Arabic,
means, because it is a clear Arabic Qur'an, its meanings are precise and detailed and its words are clear and not confusing.
This is like the Ayah:
كِتَابٌ أُحْكِمَتْ ءايَـتُهُ ثُمَّ فُصِّلَتْ مِن لَّدُنْ حَكِيمٍ خَبِيرٍ
(This is) a Book, the Ayat whereof are completed, and then explained in detail from One (Allah), Who is All-Wise Well-Acquainted. (11:1)
meaning, it is miraculous in its wording and in its meanings.
لاَّ يَأْتِيهِ الْبَـطِلُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلاَ مِنْ خَلْفِهِ تَنزِيلٌ مِّنْ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ
Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise. (41:42)
... لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٣﴾
for people who know.
means, this clear style will be readily understood by scholars who are thoroughly versed in knowledge.
بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا ...
Giving glad tidings and warning,
means, sometimes it brings glad tidings to the believers, and sometimes it brings a warning to the disbelievers.
... فَأَعْرَضَ أَكْثَرُهُمْ فَهُمْ لَا يَسْمَعُونَ ﴿٤﴾
but most of them turn away, so they hear not.
means, most of the Quraysh did not understand anything of it at all, despite the fact that it was so clear.
وَقَالُوا قُلُوبُنَا فِي أَكِنَّةٍ ...
And they say: "Our hearts are under coverings...''
meaning, they are wrapped and screened,
... مِّمَّا تَدْعُونَا إِلَيْهِ وَفِي آذَانِنَا وَقْرٌ ...
from that to which you invite us; and in our ears is deafness,
means, `we are deaf to the message you bring to us.'
... وَمِن بَيْنِنَا وَبَيْنِكَ حِجَابٌ ...
and between us and you is a screen,
`so nothing of what you say reaches us.'
... فَاعْمَلْ إِنَّنَا عَامِلُونَ ﴿٥﴾
so work you (on your way); verily, we are working.
means, go your way, and we will go our way, and we will not follow you.
The Call to Tawhid
Say, (O Muhammad, to these disbelievers and idolators),
... إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ ...
I am only a human being like you. It is revealed to me that your God is One God,
`not like these idols and false gods which you worship. Allah is one God,'
... فَاسْتَقِيمُوا إِلَيْهِ ...
therefore take straight path to Him,
means, `worship Him Alone sincerely, in accordance with what He has commanded you through His Messengers.'
... وَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ ...
and seek forgiveness of Him,
means, `for your past sins.'
... وَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُشْرِكِينَ ﴿٦﴾
And woe to the polytheists.
means, doom and destruction is their lot.
الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ ...
Those who give not the Zakah,
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas that;
this means those who do not bear witness that there is no God except Allah.
This was also the view of Ikrimah.
This is like the Ayat:
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّـهَا - وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّـهَا
Indeed he succeeds who purifies himself. And indeed he fails who corrupts himself. (91:9-10)
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّى - وَذَكَرَ اسْمَ رَبِّهِ فَصَلَّى
Indeed whosoever purifies himself shall achieve success. And remembers (glorifies) the Name of his Lord, and prays. (87:14-15)
فَقُلْ هَل لَّكَ إِلَى أَن تَزَكَّى
And say to him: "Would you purify yourself?'' (79:18)
What is meant by Zakah here is purification of the soul, ridding oneself of all bad qualities, the worst of which is Shirk.
The Zakah paid on one's wealth is so called because it purifies wealth, and it is a means of increasing it, blessing it and making it more beneficial, and a means of assisting one to use it in doing good deeds.
Qatadah said, "They withheld the Zakah of their wealth.''
This is the apparent meaning according to many of the scholars of Tafsir, and this is the view favored by Ibn Jarir.
But the matter is subject to further examination, because the obligation of Zakah was instituted during the second year after the Hijrah to Al-Madinah, according to what is stated by several scholars. Yet this Ayah was revealed in Makkah.
However, it is not unlikely that the principle of giving charity and Zakah was already in place and had been enjoined at the beginning of the Prophet's mission, as Allah says:
وَءَاتُواْ حَقَّهُ يَوْمَ حَصَادِهِ
but pay the due thereof on the day of their harvest, (6:141)
As for the details of Zakah and how it is to be calculated according to the Nusub, were explained in Al-Madinah. This is how we may reconcile between the two opinions. Similarly, prayer was originally enjoined before sunrise and before sunset at the beginning of the Prophet's mission; it was only on the Night of the Isra', a year and a half before the Hijrah, that Allah enjoined upon His Messenger the five daily prayers. The conditions and essential elements of prayer were explained later, in stages. And Allah knows best.
... وَهُم بِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ كَافِرُونَ ﴿٧﴾
and they are disbelievers in the Hereafter.
Then Allah says:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُمْ أَجْرٌ غَيْرُ مَمْنُونٍ ﴿٨﴾
Truly, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, for them will be an endless reward that will never stop.
Mujahid and others said,
"It will never be cut off or decrease.''
This is like the Ayat:
مَّاكِثِينَ فِيهِ أَبَدًا
They shall abide therein for ever. (18:3)
عَطَآءً غَيْرَ مَجْذُوذٍ
a gift without an end. (11:108)
Some Details of the Creation of this Universe Here
Allah denounces the idolators who worship other gods apart from Him although He is the Creator, Subduer and Controller of all things.
قُلْ أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَكْفُرُونَ بِالَّذِي خَلَقَ الْأَرْضَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ وَتَجْعَلُونَ لَهُ أَندَادًا ...
Say: "Do you verily disbelieve in Him Who created the earth in two Days? And you set up rivals with Him.''
meaning, `false gods whom you worship alongside Him.'
... ذَلِكَ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٩﴾
That is the Lord of the that exists.
the Creator of all things is the Lord of all the creatures.
Here the Ayah;
خَلَقَ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ فِى سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ
Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, (7:54)
is explained in more detail; the creation of the earth and the creation of the heaven are discussed separately.
Allah says that He created the earth first, because it is the foundation, and the foundation should be built first, then the roof.
Allah says elsewhere:
هُوَ الَّذِى خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعاً ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى إِلَى السَّمَآءِ فَسَوَّاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَـوَاتٍ
He it is Who created for you all that is on the earth. Then He rose over (Istawa ila) the heaven and made them seven heavens. (2:29)
With regard to the Ayat:
أَءَنتُمْ أَشَدُّ خَلْقاً أَمِ السَّمَآءُ بَنَـهَا - رَفَعَ سَمْكَهَا فَسَوَّاهَا - وَأَغْطَشَ لَيْلَهَا وَأَخْرَجَ ضُحَـهَا - وَالاٌّرْضَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ دَحَـهَا - أَخْرَجَ مِنْهَا مَآءَهَا وَمَرْعَـهَا - وَالْجِبَالَ أَرْسَـهَا - مَتَـعاً لَّكُمْ وَلاًّنْعَـمِكُمْ
Are you more difficult to create or is the heaven that He constructed? He raised its height, and has perfected it. Its night He covers with darkness and its forenoon He brings out (with light). And after that He spread the earth, And brought forth therefrom its water and its pasture. And the mountains He has fixed firmly, (to be) a provision and benefit for you and your cattle. (79:27-33)
This Ayah states that the spreading out of the earth came after the creation of the heavens, but the earth itself was created before the heavens according to some texts.
This was the response of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, as recorded by Al-Bukhari in his Tafsir of this Ayah in his Sahih.
He recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said:
"A man said to Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, saying: `I find some things in the Qur'an which confuse me:
فَلاَ أَنسَـبَ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَلاَ يَتَسَآءَلُونَ
There will be no kinship among them that Day, nor will they ask of one another, (23:101)
وَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ يَتَسَآءَلُونَ
And they will turn to one another and question one another, (37:27)
وَلاَ يَكْتُمُونَ اللَّهَ حَدِيثاً
but they will never be able to hide a single fact from Allah, (4:42)
وَاللَّهِ رَبِّنَا مَا كُنَّا مُشْرِكِينَ
By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others in worship with Allah, (6:23)
But in this Ayah they did hide something.
And Allah says: أَءَنتُمْ أَشَدُّ خَلْقاً أَمِ السَّمَآءُ بَنَـهَا (Are you more difficult to create or is the heaven that He constructed) until; وَالاٌّرْضَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ دَحَـهَا (And after that He spread the earth). (79:27-30)
So He mentioned the creation of the heavens before the earth, then He said:
قُلْ أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَكْفُرُونَ بِالَّذِي خَلَقَ الْأَرْضَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ Say: "Do you verily disbelieve in Him Who created the earth in two Days...'' until; طَآئِعِينَ (We come willingly). Here He mentioned the creation of the earth before the creation of the heavens.
And He says:
verily, Allah (Kana) is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (4:23) وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً
Most Powerful, All-Wise, (4:56)عَزِيزاً حَكِيماً
All-Hearer, All-Seer. (4:58).سَمِيعاً بَصِيراً
It is as if He was and is no longer.'
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, replied:
فَلاَ أَنسَـبَ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَلاَ يَتَسَآءَلُونَ There will be no kinship among them that Day, nor will they ask of one another, (23:101), this will happen when the Trumpet is blown for the first time.
فَصَعِقَ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ إِلاَّ مَن شَآءَ اللَّهُ And all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will swoon away, except him whom Allah wills. (39:68), and at that time there will be no kinship among them, nor will they ask of one another. Then when the Sur will be blown again,
وَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ يَتَسَآءَلُونَ And they will turn to one another and question one another. (37:27)
With regard to the Ayat, وَاللَّهِ رَبِّنَا مَا كُنَّا مُشْرِكِينَ (6:23) and وَلاَ يَكْتُمُونَ اللَّهَ حَدِيثاً (4:42), Allah will forgive the sincere believers their sins, then the idolators will say, `Let us say that we never joined others in worship with Allah.' Then a seal will be placed over their mouths, and their hands will speak. Then it will be known that not a single fact can be hidden from Allah, and at that point, يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ those who disbelieved will wish, (4:42)
Allah created the earth in two days, then He created the heavens, then He (Istawa ila) the heaven and gave it its shape in two more days. Then He spread the earth, which means that He brought forth therefrom its water and its pasture. And He created the mountains, sands, inanimate things, rocks and hills and everything in between, in two more days.
This is what Allah says:
(He) spread (the earth), (79:30)
And Allah's saying: خَلَقَ الْأَرْضَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ ((He) created the earth in two Days), So He created the earth and everything in it in four days, and He created the heavens in two days.
وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً
verily, Allah (Kana) is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful, (4:23)
This is how He described Himself, and this is how He still is. Whatever Allah wills comes to pass, so do not be confused about the Qur'an, for all of it comes from Allah.'''
This was recorded by Al-Bukhari.
... خَلَقَ الْأَرْضَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ ...
(He) created the earth in two Days,
means, on Sunday and Monday.
وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ مِن فَوْقِهَا وَبَارَكَ فِيهَا ...
He placed therein firm mountains from above it, and He blessed it,
means, He blessed it and gave it the potential to be planted with seeds and bring forth produce.
... وَقَدَّرَ فِيهَا أَقْوَاتَهَا ...
And measured therein its sustenance,
means, what its people need of provision and places in which to plant things and grow crops.
This was on Tuesday and Wednesday, which together with the two previous days add up to four days.
... فِي أَرْبَعَةِ أَيَّامٍ سَوَاء لِّلسَّائِلِينَ ﴿١٠﴾
in four Days equal for all those who ask.
meaning, for those who want to ask about that, so that they might know.
Ikrimah and Mujahid said concerning the Ayah:وَقَدَّرَ فِيهَا أَقْوَاتَهَا (and measured therein its sustenance):
"He placed in every land that which is not suited for any other land.''
Ibn Abbas, Qatadah and As-Suddi said, concerning the Ayah, سَوَاء لِّلسَّائِلِينَ (equal for all those who ask):
this means, "For whoever wants to ask about that.''
Ibn Zayd said: وَقَدَّرَ فِيهَا أَقْوَاتَهَا فِي أَرْبَعَةِ أَيَّامٍ سَوَاء لِّلسَّائِلِينَ "According to whatever a person who is need of provision wants, Allah measures out for him what he needs.''
This is like what they said concerning the Ayah:
وَآتَاكُم مِّن كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ
And He gave you of all that you asked for, (14:34)
And Allah knows best.
ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى إِلَى السَّمَاء وَهِيَ دُخَانٌ ...
Then He rose over (Istawa ila) towards the heaven when it was smoke,
i.e., steam which arose from it when the earth was created.
... فَقَالَ لَهَا وَلِلْأَرْضِ اِئْتِيَا طَوْعًا أَوْ كَرْهًا ...
and said to it and to the earth: "Come both of you willingly or unwillingly.''
meaning, `respond to My command and be subjected to this action, willingly or unwillingly.'
... قَالَتَا أَتَيْنَا طَائِعِينَ ﴿١١﴾
They both said: "We come willingly.''
meaning, `we will respond to You willingly and everything that You want to create in us -- angels, Jinn and men -- will all be obedient to You.'
فَقَضَاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ ...
Then He completed and finished their creation (as) seven heavens in two Days.
means, He finished forming them as seven heavens in two more days, which were Thursday and Friday.
... وَأَوْحَى فِي كُلِّ سَمَاء أَمْرَهَا ...
and He decreed in each heaven its affair.
means, He placed in each heaven whatever it needs of angels and things which are known only unto Him.
... وَزَيَّنَّا السَّمَاء الدُّنْيَا بِمَصَابِيحَ ...
And We adorned the nearest (lowest) heaven with lamps,
means, the stars and planets which shine on the people of the earth.
... وَحِفْظًا ...
as well as to guard.
means, as protection against the Shayatin, lest they listen to the angels on high.
... ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ ﴿١٢﴾
Such is the Decree of Him, the Almighty, the All-Knower.
means, the Almighty Who has subjugated all things to His control, the All-Knower Who knows all the movements of His creatures.
A Warning to the Disbelievers and a Reminder of the Story of `Ad and Thamud
فَإِنْ أَعْرَضُوا فَقُلْ أَنذَرْتُكُمْ ...
But if they turn away, then say: "I have warned you of,
Allah says: `Say, O Muhammad, to these idolators who disbelieve in the message of truth that you have brought: If you turn away from that which I have brought to you from Allah, then I warn you of the punishment of Allah like the punishment that the past nations suffered for disbelieving in the Messengers.'
... صَاعِقَةً مِّثْلَ صَاعِقَةِ عَادٍ وَثَمُودَ ﴿١٣﴾
a Sa`iqah like the Sa`iqah which overtook `Ad and Thamud.
and other similar nations who did what they did,
إِذْ جَاءتْهُمُ الرُّسُلُ مِن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ ...
When the Messengers came to them, from before them and behind them,
This is like the Ayah:
وَاذْكُرْ أَخَا عَادٍ إِذْ أَنذَرَ قَوْمَهُ بِالاٌّحْقَافِ وَقَدْ خَلَتِ النُّذُرُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ
And remember (Hud) the brother of `Ad, when he warned his people in Al-Ahqaf. And surely, there have passed away warners before him and after him. (46:21)
which means that in the neighboring towns and cities, Allah sent Messengers who commanded the people to worship Allah Alone with no partner or associate, and they brought good news as well as warnings. They saw the punishment Allah sent upon His enemies, and the blessings which He bestowed upon His friends, yet despite all of this, they did not believe in them.
... أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا اللَّهَ قَالُوا ...
(saying): "Worship none but Allah,'' they said:
On the contrary, they denied them and rejected them, and said:
... لَوْ شَاء رَبُّنَا لَأَنزَلَ مَلَائِكَةً ...
If our Lord had so willed, He would surely have sent down the angels.
meaning, if Allah were to send Messengers, they would be angels sent from His presence.
... فَإِنَّا بِمَا أُرْسِلْتُمْ بِهِ كَافِرُونَ ﴿١٤﴾
So, indeed we disbelieve in that with which you have been sent.
means, `because you are a mere human; we will not follow you because you are just men like us.'
فَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَاسْتَكْبَرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ ...
As for `Ad, they were arrogant in the land without right.
means, they were arrogant, stubborn and disobedient.
... وَقَالُوا مَنْ أَشَدُّ مِنَّا قُوَّةً ...
and they said: "Who is mightier than us in strength.''
They boasted of their physical strength, and power; they thought that this would protect them from Allah's punishment.
... أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّ اللَّهَ الَّذِي خَلَقَهُمْ هُوَ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُمْ قُوَّةً ...
See they not that Allah Who created them was mightier in strength than them.
means, do they not realize, when they are showing enmity, that He is the Almighty Who created all things and gave them whatever strength they have, and that His onslaught will be far greater.
This is like the Ayah:
وَالسَّمَآءَ بَنَيْنَـهَا بِأَيْدٍ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ
With Hands did We construct the heaven. Verily, We are able to extend the vastness of space thereof. (51:47)
... وَكَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا يَجْحَدُونَ ﴿١٥﴾
And they used to deny Our Ayat!
They openly opposed the Almighty and denied His signs and disobeyed His Messenger.
فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ رِيحًا صَرْصَرًا ...
So We sent upon them a Sarsar wind.
Some said that this was a strongly blowing wind; others said that it was a cold wind.
It was also said that it is the wind that makes a noise.
The truth that it was all of these things, for it was a strong wind that was an apt punishment for their being deceived by their physical strength.
It was also intensely cold, as Allah says:
بِرِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ
with a Sarsar wind! (69:6),
meaning a very cold wind.
It also made a furious sound. Additionally, there is a famous river in the east which is called Sarsar because of the noise it makes as it flows.
... فِي أَيَّامٍ نَّحِسَاتٍ ...
in days of calamity,
means, consecutive days.
سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَـنِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُوما
seven nights and eight days in succession, (69: 7)
This is like the Ayah:
فِى يَوْمِ نَحْسٍ مُّسْتَمِرٍّ
on a day of calamity, continuous, (54:19)
i.e., the punishment began on a day which was of evil omen for them, and this evil omen continued for them,
سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَـنِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُوماً
seven nights and eight days in succession, (69:7)
until they were destroyed, every last one of them, and their humiliation in this world was joined to their punishment in the Hereafter.
... لِّنُذِيقَهُمْ عَذَابَ الْخِزْيِ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَلَعَذَابُ الْآخِرَةِ أَخْزَى ...
that We might give them a taste of disgracing torment in this present worldly life. But surely the torment of the Hereafter will be more disgracing.
meaning, more humiliating for them.
... وَهُمْ لَا يُنصَرُونَ ﴿١٦﴾
and they will never be helped.
means, in the Hereafter, just as they were never helped in this world, and they had no one who could protect them from Allah or save them from His punishment.
وَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَهَدَيْنَاهُمْ ...
And as for Thamud, We showed them the path of truth.
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Abu Al-Aliyah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd said,
"We explained to them.''
Ath-Thawri said, "We called them.''
... فَاسْتَحَبُّوا الْعَمَى عَلَى الْهُدَى ...
but they preferred blindness to guidance;
means, `We showed them the truth and made it clear to them through the words of their Prophet Salih, but they opposed him and rejected him, and they slaughtered the she-camel of Allah which He had made a sign for them of the truth of their Prophet.'
... فَأَخَذَتْهُمْ صَاعِقَةُ الْعَذَابِ الْهُونِ ...
so the Sa`iqah of disgracing torment seized them.
means, Allah sent upon them the Sayhah, earthquake, intense humiliation, punishment and torment.
... بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ ﴿١٧﴾
because of what they used to earn.
means, because of their disbelief and rejection.
وَنَجَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ ﴿١٨﴾
And We saved those who believed and had Taqwa.
means, `We saved them from among them, and no harm came to them;' Allah saved them along with His Prophet Salih, peace be upon him, because of their fear of Allah.
On the Day of Judgement, the Sinners' Limbs will testify against Them
وَيَوْمَ يُحْشَرُ أَعْدَاء اللَّهِ إِلَى النَّارِ فَهُمْ يُوزَعُونَ ﴿١٩﴾
And (remember) the Day that the enemies of Allah will be gathered to the Fire, then they will be driven.
means, remind these idolators of the Day when they will be gathered to the Fire and they will be driven, i.e., the keepers of Hell will gather the first of them with the last of them, as Allah says elsewhere:
وَنَسُوقُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ إِلَى جَهَنَّمَ وِرْداً
And We shall drive the criminals to Hell, in a thirsty state. (19:86)
حَتَّى إِذَا مَا جَاؤُوهَا ...
Till, when they reach it,
means, when they stand at its edge,
... شَهِدَ عَلَيْهِمْ سَمْعُهُمْ وَأَبْصَارُهُمْ وَجُلُودُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٢٠﴾
their hearing (ears) and their eyes and their skins will testify against them as to what they used to do.
means, all their deeds, earlier and later; not a single letter will be concealed.
وَقَالُوا لِجُلُودِهِمْ لِمَ شَهِدتُّمْ عَلَيْنَا ...
And they will say to their skins, "Why do you testify against us?''
they will blame their limbs and their skins when they testify against them, at which point their limbs will answer:
... قَالُوا أَنطَقَنَا اللَّهُ الَّذِي أَنطَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ خَلَقَكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ ...
They will say: "Allah has caused us to speak -- as He causes all things to speak, and He created you the first time,
means, and He cannot be opposed or resisted,
... وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ ﴿٢١﴾
and to Him you are made to return.''
i.e. and to Him you will return.
Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bazzar narrated that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"The Messenger of Allah laughed and smiled one day, and said: Will you not ask about why I laughed''
They said, "O Messenger of Allah, why did you laugh''
عَجِبْتُ مِنْ مُجَادَلَةِ الْعَبْدِ رَبَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَقُولُ: أَيْ رَبِّي أَلَيْسَ وَعَدْتَنِي أَنْ لَا تَظْلِمَنِي،
I was amazed at how a servant will dispute with his Lord on the Day of Resurrection. He will say,
"My Lord, did You not promise me that you would not treat me unjustly?''
Allah will say, "Yes.''
فَيَقُولُ: فَإِنِّي لَا أَقْبَلُ عَلَيَّ شَاهِدًا إِلَّا مِنْ نَفْسِي،
The man will say, "I will not accept any witness against me except from myself.''
فَيَقُولُ اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى: أَوَلَيْسَ كَفَى بِي شَهِيدًا وَبِالْمَلَائِكَةِ الْكِرَام الْكَاتِبِينَ
Allah will say, "Is it not sufficient that I and the angels, the noble scribes, are witnesses?''
قال : فَيُرَدِّدُ هذَا الْكَلَامَ مِرَارًا قال : فَيُخْتَمُ عَلى فِيهِ وَتَتَكَلَّمُ أَرْكَانُهُ بِمَا كَانَ يَعْمَلُ، فَيَقُولُ: بُعْدًا لَكُنَّ وَسُحْقًا، عَنْكُنَّ كُنْتُ أُجَادِل
These words will be repeated several times, then a seal will be placed over his mouth and his organs (or limbs) will speak about what he used to do. Then he will say,
"Away with you! It was only for your sake that I was arguing!''''
It was recorded by him and Ibn Abi Hatim. It was also recorded by Muslim and An-Nasa'i.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Burdah said that Abu Musa said,
"The disbeliever or the hypocrite will be called to account and his Lord will show him his deeds, but he will deny them and say, `O Lord, by Your glory, this angel has written about me something that I did not do.'
The angel will say to him, `Did you not do such and such on such and such a day in such and such a place?'
He will say, `No, by Your glory O Lord, I did not do it.'
When he does that, a seal will be placed over his mouth.''
Al-Ash`ari, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "I think that the first part of his body to speak will be his right thigh.''
وَمَا كُنتُمْ تَسْتَتِرُونَ أَنْ يَشْهَدَ عَلَيْكُمْ سَمْعُكُمْ وَلَا أَبْصَارُكُمْ وَلَا جُلُودُكُمْ ...
And you have not been hiding yourselves (in the world), lest your ears and your eyes and your skins should testify against you;
means, their organs and skins will say to them, when they blame them for testifying against them, `you did not hide from us what you used to do, on the contrary, you openly committed disbelief and sin, and you claimed that you did not care, because you did not believe that Allah knew about all your deeds.'
... وَلَكِن ظَنَنتُمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَعْلَمُ كَثِيرًا مِّمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٢٢﴾
And that thought of yours which you thought about your Lord, has brought you to destruction;
meaning, `this evil thought, i.e., your belief that Allah did not know much of what you were doing, is what has caused you to be doomed and has made your losers before your Lord.'
... فَأَصْبَحْتُم مِّنْ الْخَاسِرِينَ ﴿٢٣﴾
and you have become of those utterly lost!
means, `in the place of Resurrection, you have lost your own selves and your families.'
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"I was hiding beneath the covering of the Ka`bah, and three men came along -- a man from the Quraysh and two of his brothers-in-law from Thaqif, or a man from Thaqif and two of his brothers-in-law from the Quraysh. Their bellies were very fat, and did not have much understanding. They said some words I could not hear, then one of them said,
`Do you think that Allah can hear what we are saying now?'
The other said, `If we raise our voices, He will hear it, but if we do not raise our voices, He will not hear it.'
The other said, `If He can hear one thing from us, He can hear everything.'
I mentioned this to the Prophet , then Allah revealed the words: وَمَا كُنتُمْ تَسْتَتِرُونَ أَنْ يَشْهَدَ عَلَيْكُمْ سَمْعُكُمْ وَلَا أَبْصَارُكُمْ وَلَا جُلُودُكُمْ (And you have not been hiding yourselves (in the world), lest your ears and your eyes and your skins should testify against you) until; مِّنْ الْخَاسِرِينَ (of those utterly lost!).
This is how it was recorded by At-Tirmidhi.
A similar report was also narrated by Ahmad (through a different chain),
Muslim and At-Tirmidhi, and Al-Bukhari and Muslim also recorded (a different chain).
فَإِن يَصْبِرُوا فَالنَّارُ مَثْوًى لَّهُمْ وَإِن يَسْتَعْتِبُوا فَمَا هُم مِّنَ الْمُعْتَبِينَ ﴿٢٤﴾
Then, if they bear the torment patiently, then the Fire is the home for them, and if they seek to please Allah, yet they are not of those who will ever be allowed to please Allah.
means, whether they bear it patiently or not, they are in the Fire and they will have no escape or way out from it, and even if they try to please Allah and offer excuses, nothing of that will be accepted from them.
Ibn Jarir said,
"The meaning of the Ayah, وَإِن يَسْتَعْتِبُوا (and if they seek to please Allah), is: They will ask to go back to this world, but this plea will not be answered.
This is like the Ayah:
قَالُواْ رَبَّنَا غَلَبَتْ عَلَيْنَا شِقْوَتُنَا وَكُنَّا قَوْماً ضَآلِّينَ - رَبَّنَآ أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْهَا فَإِنْ عُدْنَا فَإِنَّا ظَـلِمُونَ - قَالَ اخْسَئُواْ فِيهَا وَلاَ تُكَلِّمُونِ
They will say: "Our Lord! Our wretchedness overcame us, and we were (an) erring people.
Our Lord! Bring us out of this. If ever we return (to evil), then indeed we shall be wrongdoers.''
He will say: "Remain you in it with ignominy! And speak you not to Me!'' (23:106-108)
وَقَيَّضْنَا لَهُمْ قُرَنَاء ...
And We have assigned for them intimate companions (in this world),
The intimate Companions of the Idolators make Evil Actions attractive to Them. Allah tells us that He is the One Who sends the idolators astray, and that this happens by His will and decree. He is the All-Wise in His actions, when He appoints for them close companions from among the devils of men and Jinn.
... فَزَيَّنُوا لَهُم مَّا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ ...
who have made fair seeming to them, what was before them and what was behind them.
means, they made their deeds attractive to them in the past. As far as the future is concerned, they only see themselves as doing good, as Allah says:
وَمَن يَعْشُ عَن ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمَـنِ نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطَاناً فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِينٌ - وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَصُدُّونَهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ
And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious, We appoint for him a Shaytan to be a companion for him. And verily, they hinder them from the path, but they think that they are guided aright! (43:36-37)
... وَحَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَوْلُ فِي أُمَمٍ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِم مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ إِنَّهُمْ ...
And the Word is justified against them as it was justified against those who were among the previous generations of Jinn and men that had passed away before them.
means, the Word of torment, just as it was justified against the nations of the past who did what they did, men and Jinn alike.
... كَانُوا خَاسِرِينَ ﴿٢٥﴾
Indeed they (all) were the losers.
means, they are all equal in terms of loss and being doomed.
How the disbelievers advised One Another not to listen to the Qur'an, and the Recompense for that
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَا تَسْمَعُوا لِهَذَا الْقُرْآنِ ...
And those who disbelieve say: "Listen not to this Qur'an...''
means, they advised one another not to pay heed to the Qur'an or obey its commands.
... وَالْغَوْا فِيهِ ...
and make noise in the midst of its,
means, when it is recited, do not listen to it.
This was the view of Mujahid.
"And make noise in the midst of its (recitation)''
means whistling and trying to make the Messenger of Allah confused when he recited Qur'an, which is what the Quraysh did.
... لَعَلَّكُمْ تَغْلِبُونَ ﴿٢٦﴾
that you may overcome.
means, this is the practice of these ignorant disbelievers and those who follow in their footsteps, when they hear the Qur'an. Allah commanded us to be different from that, and said:
وَإِذَا قُرِىءَ الْقُرْءَانُ فَاسْتَمِعُواْ لَهُ وَأَنصِتُواْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
So, when the Qur'an is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy. (7:204)
Then Allah says:
فَلَنُذِيقَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا ...
But surely, We shall cause those who disbelieve to taste a severe torment,
meaning, in return for what they do when they hear the Qur'an.
... وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَسْوَأَ الَّذِي كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٢٧﴾
and certainly, We shall requite them the worst of what they used to do.
means, for their evil deeds.
ذَلِكَ جَزَاء أَعْدَاء اللَّهِ النَّارُ لَهُمْ فِيهَا دَارُ الْخُلْدِ جَزَاء بِمَا كَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا يَجْحَدُونَ ﴿٢٨﴾
That is the recompense of the enemies of Allah: the Fire. Therein will be for them the eternal home, a recompense for that they used to deny Our Ayat.
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا رَبَّنَا أَرِنَا الَّذَيْنِ أَضَلَّانَا مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ نَجْعَلْهُمَا تَحْتَ أَقْدَامِنَا لِيَكُونَا مِنَ الْأَسْفَلِينَ ﴿٢٩﴾
And those who disbelieve will say: "Our Lord! Show us those among Jinn and men who led us astray, that we may crush them under our feet so that they become the lowest.''
It was reported that Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said, concerning the phrase, الَّذَيْنِ أَضَلَّانَا (those who led us astray): "Iblis and the son of Adam who killed his brother.''
As-Suddi reported that Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said;
"Iblis is followed by everyone who commits Shirk and the son of Adam is followed by everyone who commits a major sin. So Iblis is the one who calls people to every evil thing, such as Shirk and lesser sins.''
As for the first son of Adam, it is as confirmed in the Hadith:
مَا قُتِلَتْ نَفْسٌ ظُلْمًا إِلَّا كَانَ عَلَى ابْنِ آدَمَ الْأَوَّلِ كِفْلٌ مِنْ دَمِهَا،لِأَنَّهُ أَوَّلُ مَنْ سَنَّ الْقَتْل
No soul is wrongfully killed, but a share of the burden (of that sin) will be upon the first son of Adam, because he was the first one who set the precedent of killing another.
...نَجْعَلْهُمَا تَحْتَ أَقْدَامِنَا ...
that we may crush them under our feet,
means, `make them beneath us in the torment, so that they will be punished more severely than us.'
... لِيَكُونَا مِنَ الْأَسْفَلِينَ
so that they become the lowest.
means, in the lowest level of Hell, as already mentioned in Surah Al-A`raf, where the followers ask Allah to multiply the torment for their leaders:
قَالَ لِكُلٍّ ضِعْفٌ وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَعْلَمُونَ
(Allah) said: "For each one there is double (torment), but you know not.'' (7:38)
i.e., Allah will give each of them the torment and punishment they deserve for their deeds.
This is like the Ayah:
الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَصَدُّواْ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ زِدْنَـهُمْ عَذَابًا فَوْقَ الْعَذَابِ بِمَا كَانُواْ يُفْسِدُونَ
Those who disbelieved and hinder (men) from the path of Allah, for them We will add torment to the torment because they used to spread corruption. (16:88)
Glad Tidings to Those Who believe in Allah Alone and stand firm
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا ...
Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah,'' and then they stand firm,
means, they do good deeds sincerely for the sake of Allah, and they obey Allah, doing what Allah has prescribed for them.
Ibn Jarir recorded that Sa`id bin Imran said, "I read this Ayah to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him: إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا (Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah,'' and then they stand firm), He said,
`Those are the ones who do not associate anything with Allah.'''
Then he reported a narration of Al-Aswad bin Hilal, who said,
"Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, said, `What do you say about this Ayah: إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا (Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah,'' and then they stand firm,)'
They said: رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا ("Our Lord is Allah,'' and then they stand firm), `They shun sin.'
He said, `You have not interpreted it improperly.'
They say: `Our Lord is Allah, then they stand firm and do not turn to any other god besides Him.'''
This was also the view of Mujahid, Ikrimah, As-Suddi and others.
Ahmad recorded that Sufyan bin Abdullah Ath-Thaqafi said,
"I said, `O Messenger of Allah, tell me something that I can adhere to.'
قُلْ: رَبِّيَ اللهُ، ثُمَّ اسْتَقِم
Say, my Lord is Allah, then stand firm.
I said, `O Messenger of Allah, what do you fear most for me?'
The Messenger of Allah took hold of the edge of his tongue and said, هذَا (This is.)''
This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah;
At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.''
Muslim also recorded it in his Sahih, and An-Nasa'i recorded that Sufyan bin Abdullah Ath-Thaqafi said,
"I said, `O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about Islam that I will not have to ask anyone about it after you.'
قُلْ: آمَنْتُ بِاللهِ ثُمَّ اسْتَقِم
Say: I believe in Allah, then stand firm.'' --
then he mentioned the rest of the Hadith.
... تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ ...
on them the angels will descend.
Mujahid, As-Suddi, Zayd bin Aslam and his (Zayd's) son said,
"This means, at the time of death, and they will say,
... أَلَّا تَخَافُوا ...
Fear not. ''
Mujahid, Ikrimah and Zayd bin Aslam said,
"This means not to fear that which you will face in the Hereafter.''
... وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا ...
`for what you have left behind of worldly things, children, family, wealth and debt, for we will take care of it for you.'
... وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ ﴿٣٠﴾
But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!
So they give glad tidings of the end of bad things and the arrival of good things.
This is like what is said in the Hadith narrated by Al-Bara', may Allah be pleased with him:
إِنَّ الْمَلَائِكَةَ تَقُولُ لِرُوحِ الْمُؤْمِنِ: اخْرُجِي أَيَّتُهَا الرُّوحُ الطَّيِّـبَةُ فِي الْجَسَدِ الطَّيِّبِ كُنْتِ تَعْمُرِينَهُ، اخْرُجِي إِلى رَوْحٍ وَرَيْحَانٍ وَرَبَ غَيْرِ غَضْبَان
The angels say to the soul of the believer,
"Come out, O good soul from the good body in which you used to dwell, come out to rest, and provision and a Lord Who is not angry.''
It was said that the angels will come down to them on the Day when they are brought out of their graves.
Zayd bin Aslam said,
"They will give him glad tidings when he dies, in his grave, and when he is resurrected.''
This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim, and this view reconciles all the opinions; it is a good view and it is true.
نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَاؤُكُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ...
We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter.
means, the angels will say to the believers when death approaches:
"We have been your friends, i.e., your close companions, in this world, protecting you and helping you by the command of Allah, and we will be with you in the Hereafter, keeping you from feeling lonely in your graves and when the Trumpet is blown; we will reassure you on the Day of Resurrection and will take you across the Sirat and bring you to the Gardens of delight.''
... وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِي أَنفُسُكُمْ ...
Therein you shall have (all) that your souls desire,
means, `in Paradise you will have all that you wish for and that will delight you.'
... وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ ﴿٣١﴾
and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask.
means, `whatever you ask for, it will appear before you as you wish it to be.'
نُزُلًا مِّنْ غَفُورٍ رَّحِيمٍ ﴿٣٢﴾
An entertainment from the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
means, `a welcoming gift and a blessing from the One Who has forgiven your sins and Who is Merciful and Kind towards you, Who has forgiven you, concealed your faults and been Kind and Merciful.'
The Virtue of calling Others to Allah
وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّهِ ...
And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah,
means, he calls the servants of Allah to Him.
... وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ ﴿٣٣﴾
and does righteous deeds, and says: "I am one of the Muslims.''
means, he himself follows that which he says, so it benefits him as well as others. He is not one of those who enjoin good but do not do it themselves, or who forbid evil yet they do it themselves. He does good and avoids doing evil, and he calls people to their Creator, may He be blessed and exalted.
This is general in meaning and applies to everyone who calls people to what is good and is himself guided by what he says. The Messenger of Allah is the foremost among people in this regard, as Muhammad bin Sirin, As-Suddi and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said.
It was also said that what was meant here is the righteous Mu'adhdhin, as it was mentioned in Sahih Muslim:
الْمُؤَذِّنُونَ أَطْوَلُ النَّاسِ أَعْنَاقًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة
The Mu'adhdhins will be the ones with the longest necks on the Day of Resurrection.''
In As-Sunan it is reported that the Prophet said:
الْإِمَامُ ضَامِنٌ، وَالْمُؤَذِّنُ مُؤْتَمَنٌ، فَأَرْشَدَ اللهُ الْأَئِمَّةَ وَغَفَرَ لِلْمُؤَذِّنِين
The Imam is a guarantor and the Mu'adhdhin is in a position of trust. May Allah guide the Imams and forgive the Mu'adhdhin.''
The correct view is that the Ayah is general in meaning, and includes the Mu'adhdhin and others. When this Ayah was revealed, the Adhan had not been prescribed at all. The Ayah was revealed in Makkah, and the Adhan was prescribed in Al-Madinah after the Hijrah, when it was shown to Abdullah bin Abd Rabbihi Al-Ansari in a dream. He told the Messenger of Allah about it, and he told him to teach it to Bilal, may Allah be pleased with him, who had a more beautiful voice, as we have discussed elsewhere.
So the correct view is that the Ayah is general in meaning, as Abdur-Razzaq said, narrating from Ma`mar, from Al-Hasan Al-Basri, who recited this Ayah:
وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah, and does righteous deeds, and says: "I am one of the Muslims.''
"This is the beloved of Allah, this is the close friend of Allah, this is the chosen one of Allah, this is the most beloved of the all the people of earth to Allah. He responded to the call of Allah and called mankind to that to which he had responded. He did righteous deeds in response and said, `I am one of the Muslims.'
This is Allah's Khalifah.''
Wisdom in Da`wah etc.
وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ...
The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal.
means, there is a huge difference between them.
... ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ...
Repel (the evil) with one which is better,
means, `when someone does you wrong, repel him by treating him well,' as Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"There is no better punishment for one who has disobeyed Allah with regard to you, than your obeying Allah with regard to him.''
... فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ ﴿٣٤﴾
then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.
means, `if you treat well those who treat you badly, this good deed will lead to reconciliation, love and empathy, and it will be as if he is a close friend to you and he will feel pity for you and be kind to you.'
Then Allah says:
وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا ...
But none is granted it except those who are patient,
meaning, no one accepts this advice and works according to it, except for those who can be patient in doing so, for it is difficult for people to do.
... وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ ﴿٣٥﴾
and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion.
means, the one who has a great portion of happiness in this world and in the Hereafter.
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas explained this Ayah:
"Allah commands the believers to be patient when they feel angry, to be forbearing when confronted with ignorance, and to forgive when they are mistreated. If they do this, Allah will save them from the Shaytan and subdue their enemies to them until they become like close friends.''
وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ ...
And if an evil whisper from Shaytan tries to turn you away, then seek refuge in Allah.
means, the devils among men may be deceived by your kind treatment of him, but the devils among the Jinn, when they insinuate their evil whispers, cannot be dealt with except by seeking refuge with the Creator Who gave him power over you. If you seek refuge with Allah and turn to Him, He will stop him from harming you and bring his efforts to naught. When the Messenger of Allah stood up to pray, he would say:
أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ السَّمِيعِ الْعَلِيمِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ، مِنْ هَمْزِهِ وَنَفْخِهِ وَنَفْثِه
I seek refuge in Allah the All-Hearing, All-Knowing, from the accursed Shaytan and his evil insinuations, breath and impurity.''
We have already stated that there is nothing like this in the Qur'an, apart from the passage in Surah Al-A`raf, where Allah says:
خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَأَعْرِض عَنِ الْجَـهِلِينَ - وَإِمَّا يَنَزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَـنِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish. And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytan, then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower. (7:199-200)
and the passage in Surah Al-Mu'minun where Allah says:
ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ السَّيِّئَةَ نَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَصِفُونَ - وَقُلْ رَّبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ هَمَزَاتِ الشَّيـطِينِ - وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّ أَن يَحْضُرُونِ
Repel evil with that which is better. We are Best-Acquainted with the things they utter. And say:
"My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings of the Shayatin. And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! lest they should come near me.'' (23:96-98)
... إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿٣٦﴾
Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.
From among the Signs of Allah
Here Allah reminds His Creation of His power, and that He is the One Who has no equal, and He is Able to do all things. Allah's saying;
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ اللَّيْلُ وَالنَّهَارُ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ ...
And from among His signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon.
means, He created the night with its darkness and the day with its light, and they alternate without ceasing. And He created the sun with its shining light, and the moon with its reflected light, and He allotted their stages and gave them separate orbits in the heavens, so that by the variations in their movements man may know the stages of night and day, of weeks, months and years, and time periods related to people's rights, acts of worship and various transactions. Moreover, because the sun and moon are the most beautiful of the heavenly bodies that can be seen in both the upper and lower realms, Allah points out that they are created entities which are in a state of enthrallment to Him, subject to His dominion and control.
So He says:
... لَا تَسْجُدُوا لِلشَّمْسِ وَلَا لِلْقَمَرِ وَاسْجُدُوا لِلَّهِ الَّذِي خَلَقَهُنَّ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ ﴿٣٧﴾
Do not prostrate yourselves to the sun nor to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to Allah Who created them, if you (really) worship Him.
meaning, `do not associate anything in worship with Him, for your worship of Him will be of no benefit to you if you worship others alongside Him, because He does not forgive the association of others in worship with Him.'
فَإِنِ اسْتَكْبَرُوا ...
But if they are too proud,
i.e., to worship Him Alone, and they insist on associating others with Him,
... فَالَّذِينَ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ...
then there are those who are with your Lord (i.e., the angels),
... يُسَبِّحُونَ لَهُ بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَهُمْ لَا يَسْأَمُونَ ﴿٣٨﴾
glorify Him night and day, and never are they tired.
This is like the Ayah:
فَإِن يَكْفُرْ بِهَا هَـؤُلاءِ فَقَدْ وَكَّلْنَا بِهَا قَوْماً لَّيْسُواْ بِهَا بِكَـفِرِينَ
But if these disbelieve therein, then, indeed We have entrusted it to a people who are not disbelievers therein. (6:89)
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ ...
And among His signs,
means, signs of His ability to bring the dead back to life.
... أَنَّكَ تَرَى الْأَرْضَ خَاشِعَةً ...
that you see the earth barren,
means, lifeless, with nothing growing in it; it is dead.
... فَإِذَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْهَا الْمَاء اهْتَزَّتْ وَرَبَتْ ...
but when We send down water (rain) to it, it is stirred to life and growth.
means, it brings forth all kinds of crops and fruits.
... إِنَّ الَّذِي أَحْيَاهَا لَمُحْيِي الْمَوْتَى إِنَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿٣٩﴾
Verily, He Who gives it life, surely is able to give life to the dead. Indeed He is Able to do all things.
The Punishment of the Deniers and the Description of the Qur'an
Verily, Yulhiduna Fi Our Ayat,
Ibn Abbas said, "Al-Ilhad means putting words in their improper places.''
Qatadah and others said, "It means disbelief and obstinate behavior.''
... لَا يَخْفَوْنَ عَلَيْنَا ...
are not hidden from Us.
This is a stern warning and dire threat, stating that He, may He be exalted, knows who denies His signs, Names and attributes, and He will punish them for that.
... أَفَمَن يُلْقَى فِي النَّارِ خَيْرٌ أَم مَّن يَأْتِي آمِنًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ...
Is he who is cast into the Fire better or he who comes secure on the Day of Resurrection?
means, are these two equal?
They are not equal.
Then Allah warns the disbelievers:
... اعْمَلُوا مَا شِئْتُمْ ...
Do what you will.
Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak and `Ata' Al-Khurasani said that
اعْمَلُوا مَا شِئْتُمْ (Do what you will), is a threat. Meaning, `do what you will of good or evil, for He knows and sees all that you do.'
... إِنَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ ﴿٤٠﴾
Verily, He is All-Seer of what you do.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِالذِّكْرِ لَمَّا جَاءهُمْ ...
Verily, those who disbelieved in the Reminder when it came to them.
Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi and Qatadah said, "This is the Qur'an.''
... وَإِنَّهُ لَكِتَابٌ عَزِيزٌ ﴿٤١﴾
And verily, it is an honorable well-fortified respected Book.
means, it is protected and preserved, and nobody can produce anything like it.
لَا يَأْتِيهِ الْبَاطِلُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلَا مِنْ خَلْفِهِ ...
Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it,
means, there is no way to corrupt it, because it has been sent down by the Lord of the worlds.
... تَنزِيلٌ مِّنْ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ ﴿٤٢﴾
(it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise.
meaning, He is Wise in all that He says and does, Praiseworthy in all that He commands and forbids; everything that He does is for praiseworthy purposes and its consequences will be good.
مَا يُقَالُ لَكَ إِلَّا مَا قَدْ قِيلَ لِلرُّسُلِ مِن قَبْلِكَ ...
Nothing is said to you except what was said to the Messengers before you.
Qatadah, As-Suddi and others said,
"Nothing is said to you by way of rejection and disbelief, that was not said to the Messengers who came before you. Just as you have been rejected, they were also rejected. Just as they bore their people's insults with patience, so too you must bear your people's insults with patience.''
... إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَذُو مَغْفِرَةٍ ...
Verily, your Lord is the Possessor of forgiveness,
means, for those who turn to Him in repentance.
... وَذُو عِقَابٍ أَلِيمٍ ﴿٤٣﴾
and (also) the Possessor of painful punishment.
means, for those who persist in disbelief, transgression and stubborn opposition.
Rejection of the Qur'an is pure Stubbornness
Allah tells us that the Qur'an is so eloquent and perfect in its wording and meanings, yet despite that the idolators do not believe in it. He tells us that their disbelief is the disbelief of stubbornness, as He says elsewhere:
وَلَوْ جَعَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا أَعْجَمِيًّا لَّقَالُوا ...
And if We had sent this as a Qur'an in a foreign language, they would have said:
Allah tells us that the Qur'an is so eloquent and perfect in its wording and meanings, yet despite that the idolators do not believe in it. He tells us that their disbelief is the disbelief of stubbornness, as He says elsewhere:
وَلَوْ نَزَّلْنَـهُ عَلَى بَعْضِ الاٌّعْجَمِينَ - فَقَرَأَهُ عَلَيْهِم مَّا كَانُوا بِهِ مُؤْمِنِينَ
And if We had revealed it unto any of the non-Arabs, and he had recited it unto them, they would not have believed in it. (26:198-199)
If the Qur'an had been revealed in the language of the non-Arabs, they would have said, because of their stubbornness:
... لَوْلَا فُصِّلَتْ آيَاتُهُ أَأَعْجَمِيٌّ وَعَرَبِيٌّ ...
Why are not its verses explained in detail What! not in Arabic and an Arab,
meaning, why is it not revealed in detail in Arabic? And by way of denunciation they would have said, "What! not in Arabic nor from an Arab -- i.e., how can foreign words be revealed to an Arab who does not understand them?
This interpretation was reported from Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, As-Suddi and others.
... قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا هُدًى وَشِفَاء ...
Say: "It is for those who believe, a guide and a cure...''
means, `say, O Muhammad: this Qur'an, for the one who believes in it, is guidance for his heart and a cure for the doubts and confusion that exists in people's hearts.'
... وَالَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ فِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرٌ ...
And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness in their ears,
means, they do not understand what is in it.
... وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِمْ عَمًى ...
and it is blindness for them.
means they are not guided to the explanations contained therein.
This is like the Ayah:
وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْءَانِ مَا هُوَ شِفَآءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلاَ يَزِيدُ الظَّـلِمِينَ إَلاَّ خَسَارًا
And We send down of the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe, and it increases the wrongdoers nothing but loss. (17:82)
... أُوْلَئِكَ يُنَادَوْنَ مِن مَّكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ ﴿٤٤﴾
They are called from a place far away.
Mujahid said, "Far away from their hearts.''
Ibn Jarir said,
"It is as if the one who is addressing them is calling to them from a distant place, and they cannot understand what he is saying.''
This is like the Ayah:
وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِى يَنْعِقُ بِمَا لاَ يَسْمَعُ إِلاَّ دُعَآءً وَنِدَآءً صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْىٌ فَهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ
And the example of those who disbelieve is as that of him who shouts to those (flock of sheep) that hears nothing but calls and cries. (They are) deaf, dumb and blind. So they do not understand. (2:171)
Taking Musa as an Example
وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ فَاخْتُلِفَ فِيهِ ...
And indeed We gave Musa the Scripture, but dispute arose therein.
means, they disbelieved in him and did not show him any respect.
فَاصْبِرْ كَمَا صَبَرَ أُوْلُواْ الْعَزْمِ مِنَ الرُّسُلِ
Therefore be patient as did the Messengers of strong will, (46:35)
... وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةٌ سَبَقَتْ مِن رَّبِّكَ ...
And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord,
i.e., to delay the Reckoning until the Day of Resurrection,
... لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ ...
the matter would have been settled between them.
means, the punishment would have been hastened for them. But they have an appointed time, beyond which they will find no escape.
... وَإِنَّهُمْ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ مُرِيبٍ ﴿٤٥﴾
But truly, they are in grave doubt thereto.
means, their words of disbelief are not due to any wisdom or insight on their part; rather they spoke without any attempt at examining it thoroughly.
This was also the interpretation of Ibn Jarir, and it is a plausible interpretation. And Allah knows best.
Everyone will be requited according to His Deeds
مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِنَفْسِهِ ...
Whosoever does righteous good deed, it is for himself;
means, the benefit of which will come to him.
... وَمَنْ أَسَاء فَعَلَيْهَا ...
and whosoever does evil, it is against himself.
means, the consequences of that will come back on him.
... وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ ﴿٤٦﴾
And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) servants.
means, He only punishes people for their sins, and He does not punish anyone except after establishing proof against him and sending a Messenger to him.
Knowledge of the Hour is with Allah Alone
Then Allah says:
إِلَيْهِ يُرَدُّ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ ...
To Him is referred the knowledge of the Hour.
meaning, no one knows about that apart from Him.
Muhammad, the leader of mankind, said to Jibril, who is one of the leading angels, when he asked him about the Hour:
مَا الْمَسْؤُولُ عَنْهَا بِأَعْلَمَ مِنَ السَّائِل
The one who is asked about it does not know more than the one who is asking.''
And Allah says:
إِلَى رَبِّكَ مُنتَهَـهَآ
To your Lord belongs the term thereof. (79:44)
لاَ يُجَلِّيهَا لِوَقْتِهَآ إِلاَّ هُوَ
None can reveal its time but He. (7:187)
... وَمَا تَخْرُجُ مِن ثَمَرَاتٍ مِّنْ أَكْمَامِهَا وَمَا تَحْمِلُ مِنْ أُنثَى وَلَا تَضَعُ إِلَّا بِعِلْمِهِ ...
No fruit comes out of its sheath, nor does a female conceive nor brings forth (young), except by His knowledge.
means, all of that is known to Him, and nothing is hidden from your Lord the weight of a speck of dust on the earth or in the heaven.
وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلاَّ يَعْلَمُهَا
not a leaf falls, but He knows it. (6:59)
يَعْلَمُ مَا تَحْمِلُ كُلُّ أُنثَى وَمَا تَغِيضُ الاٌّرْحَامُ وَمَا تَزْدَادُ وَكُلُّ شَىْءٍ عِندَهُ بِمِقْدَارٍ
Allah knows what every female bears, and by how much the wombs fall short or exceed. Everything with Him is in (due) proportion. (13:8)
وَمَا يُعَمَّرُ مِن مُّعَمَّرٍ وَلاَ يُنقَصُ مِنْ عُمُرِهِ إِلاَّ فِى كِتَـبٍ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ
And no aged man is granted a length of life nor is a part cut off from his life, but is in a Book. Surely, that is easy for Allah. (35:11)
... وَيَوْمَ يُنَادِيهِمْ أَيْنَ شُرَكَائِي ...
And on the Day when He will call unto them (saying): "Where are My (so-called) partners?''
means, on the Day of Resurrection, Allah will call out to the idolators before all of creation and say, "Where are My partners whom you worshipped besides Me?''
... قَالُوا آذَنَّاكَ ...
They will say: "We inform You...''
means, `we tell You,'
... مَا مِنَّا مِن شَهِيدٍ ﴿٤٧﴾
that none of us bears witness to it.
means, `not one of us will bear witness today that You have any partner.'
وَضَلَّ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا يَدْعُونَ مِن قَبْلُ ...
And those whom they used to invoke before (in this world) shall disappear from them,
means, they will go away, and will be of no benefit to them.
... وَظَنُّوا مَا لَهُم مِّن مَّحِيصٍ ﴿٤٨﴾
and they will perceive that they have no place of refuge.
means, they will have no way of escaping from the punishment of Allah.
This is like the Ayah:
وَرَأَى الْمُجْرِمُونَ النَّارَ فَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ مُّوَاقِعُوهَا وَلَمْ يَجِدُواْ عَنْهَا مَصْرِفًا
And the criminals shall see the Fire and apprehend that they have to fall therein. And they will find no way of escape from there. (18:53)
Man is fickle when Ease comes to Him after Difficulty
لَا يَسْأَمُ الْإِنسَانُ مِن دُعَاء الْخَيْرِ وَإِن مَّسَّهُ الشَّرُّ ...
Man does not get tired of asking for good; but if an evil touches him,
Allah tells us that man never gets bored of asking his Lord for good things, such as wealth, physical health, etc., but if evil touches him -- i.e., trials and difficulties or poverty --
... فَيَؤُوسٌ قَنُوطٌ ﴿٤٩﴾
then he gives up all hope and is lost in despair,
i.e., he thinks that he will never experience anything good again.
وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِّنَّا مِن بَعْدِ ضَرَّاء مَسَّتْهُ لَيَقُولَنَّ هَذَا لِي .. .
And truly, if We give him a taste of mercy from Us, after some adversity has touched him, he is sure to say: "This is due to my (merit)...''
means, if something good happens to him or some provision comes to him after a period of difficulty, he says, `this is because of me, because I deserve this from my Lord.'
... وَمَا أَظُنُّ السَّاعَةَ قَائِمَةً ...
I think not that the Hour will be established.
means, he does not believe that the Hour will come. So when he is given some blessing, he becomes careless, arrogant and ungrateful, as Allah says:
كَلاَّ إِنَّ الإِنسَـنَ لَيَطْغَى - أَن رَّءَاهُ اسْتَغْنَى
Nay! Verily, man does transgress. Because he considers himself self-sufficient. (96:6-7)
... وَلَئِن رُّجِعْتُ إِلَى رَبِّي إِنَّ لِي عِندَهُ لَلْحُسْنَى ...
But if I am brought back to my Lord, surely there will be for me the best with Him.
means, `if there is a Hereafter after all, then my Lord will be generous and kind to me just as He was in this world.' So he expects Allah to do him favors in spite of his bad deeds and lack of certain faith.
... فَلَنُنَبِّئَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَلَنُذِيقَنَّهُم مِّنْ عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٍ ﴿٥٠﴾
Then, We verily will show to the disbelievers what they have done, and We shall make them taste a severe torment.
Thus Allah threatens punishment and vengeance to those whose conduct and belief is like that.
وَإِذَا أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَى الْإِنسَانِ أَعْرَضَ وَنَأى بِجَانِبِهِ ...
And when We show favor to man, he turns away and becomes arrogant;
means, he turns away from doing acts of obedience and is too proud to obey the commands of Allah.
This is like the Ayah:
But (Fir`awn) turned away along with his hosts, (51:39)
... وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ ...
but when evil touches him, (means, difficulties),
... فَذُو دُعَاء عَرِيضٍ ﴿٥١﴾
then he has recourse to long supplications.
means, he asks at length for one thing. Long supplications are those which are long on words and short on meaning. The opposite is concise speech which is brief but full of meaning.
And Allah says:
وَإِذَا مَسَّ الإِنسَـنَ الضُّرُّ دَعَانَا لِجَنبِهِ أَوْ قَاعِدًا أَوْ قَآئِمًا فَلَمَّا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُ ضُرَّهُ مَرَّ كَأَن لَّمْ يَدْعُنَآ إِلَى ضُرٍّ مَّسَّهُ
And when harm touches man, he invokes Us, lying on his side, or sitting or standing. But when We have removed his harm from him, he passes on as if he had never invoked Us for a harm that touched him! (10:12)
The Qur'an and the Proofs of its Truth
Say, -- (O Muhammad, to these idolators who disbelieve in the Qur'an) --
... أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن كَانَ ...
Tell me, if it, -- (this Qur'an) --
... مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ كَفَرْتُم بِهِ ...
is from Allah, and you disbelieve in it,
means, `what do you think your position is before the One Who revealed it to His Messenger?'
... مَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنْ هُوَ فِي شِقَاقٍ بَعِيدٍ ﴿٥٢﴾
Who is more astray than one who is in opposition far away?
means, he is in a state of disbelief, stubbornness and opposition to the truth, and is following a path that leads far away from guidance.
Then Allah says:
سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ ...
We will show them Our signs in the universe, and within themselves,
meaning, `We will show them Our evidence and proof that the Qur'an is true and has indeed been sent down from Allah to the Messenger of Allah, through external signs, فِي الْآفَاق (in the universe),' such as conquests and the advent of Islam over various regions and over all other religions.
Mujahid, Al-Hasan and As-Suddi said,
"And signs within themselves means, the battle of Badr, the conquest of Makkah, and other events which befell them, where Allah granted victory to Muhammad and his Companions, and inflicted a humiliating defeat on falsehood and its followers.''
It may also be that what is meant here is man and his physical composition. As detailed in the science of anatomy, which indicates the wisdom of the Creator -- may He be blessed and exalted -- and the different inclinations and opposite natures that people have, good and bad, etc., and the (divine) decrees to which man is subjected, having no power to change and over which he has no control.
... حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِ بِرَبِّكَ أَنَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ ﴿٥٣﴾
until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Qur'an) is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things?
means, sufficient is Allah as a Witness over the words and deeds of His servants, and He bears witness that Muhammad is telling the truth in what he says, as Allah says:
لَّـكِنِ اللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ إِلَيْكَ أَنزَلَهُ بِعِلْمِهِ
But Allah bears witness to that which He has sent down unto you; He has sent it down with His knowledge. (4:166)
أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ فِي مِرْيَةٍ مِّن لِّقَاء رَبِّهِمْ ...
Lo, Verily, they are in doubt concerning the meeting with their Lord.
means, they doubt that the Hour will come, they do not think about it or strive for it or pay heed to it; on the contrary, they regard it as irrelevant and do not care about it. But it will undoubtedly come to pass. Then Allah states that He is Able to do all things and He encompasses all things, and it is very easy for Him to bring about the Hour:
... أَلَا إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُّحِيطٌ ﴿٥٤﴾
Verily, He is surrounding all things!
means, all of creation is subject to His control, dominion and knowledge; He is controlling all things by His power, so whatever He wills happens, and whatever He does not will does not happen, and there is no god worthy of worship apart from Him.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Fussilat. To Allah be praise and blessings.