Tafsir ibn Kathir, is a classic Sunni Islam Tafsir (commentary of the Qur'an) by Imad ud Din Ibn Kathir. It is considered to be a summary of the earlier Tafsir al-Tabari. It is popular because it uses Hadith to explain each verse and chapter of the Qur'an…'Imad Ad-Din, Isma'il bin 'Umar bin Kathir, was born in 1301 in Busra, Syria and was taught by Ibn Taymiyya, Al-Mizzi, Ibn Al Firkah, ‘Isa bin Al-Mutim, Ahmed bin Abi-Talib, Ibn Al-Hajjar, Baha Ad-Din Al-Qasim bin Muzaffar bin ‘Asakir, Ibn Ash-Shirazi, Ishaq bin Yahya Al-Ammuddi, Zahriyyah Shaykh, and Muhammad bin Zarrad.
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Tafsir Of Ayah
The Revelation and Allah's Might
Ain Sin Qaf
We have previously discussed the individual letters.
كَذَلِكَ يُوحِي إِلَيْكَ وَإِلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكَ ...
Likewise Allah, the Almighty, the All-Wise sends revelation to you as to those before you.
means, `just as this Qur'an has been revealed to you, so too the Books and Scriptures were revealed to the Prophets who came before you.'
... اللَّهُ الْعَزِيزُ ...
Allah, the Almighty,
means, in His vengeance,
... الْحَكِيمُ ﴿٣﴾
means, in all that He says and does.
Imam Malik, may Allah have mercy on him, narrated that A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said,
"Al-Harith bin Hisham asked the Messenger of Allah, `O Messenger of Allah, how does the revelation come to you?'
The Messenger of Allah said:
أَحْيَانًا يَأْتِينِي مِثْلَ صَلْصَلَةِ الْجَرَسِ، وَهُوَ أَشَدُّهُ عَلَيَّ فَيَفْصِمُ عَنِّي وَقَدْ وَعَيْتُ مَا قَالَ، وَأَحْيَانًا يَأْتِينِي الْمَلَكُ رَجُلًا فَيُكَلِّمُنِي فَأَعِي مَا يَقُول
- Sometimes it comes to me like the ringing of a bell, which is the most difficult for me; then it goes away, and I understand what was said.
- And sometimes the angel comes to me in the image of a man, and he speaks to me and I understand what he says.''
A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said,
"I saw him receiving the revelation on a very cold day, and when it departed from him, there were beads of sweat on his forehead.''
It was also reported in the Two Sahihs, and the version quoted here is that recorded by Al-Bukhari.
لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ...
To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth,
means, everything is subject to His dominion and control.
... وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ ﴿٤﴾
and He is the Most High, the Most Great.
This is like the Ayat:
the Most Great, the Most High, (13:9)
وَهُوَ الْعَلِىُّ الْكَبِيرُ
He is the Most High, the Most Great, (22:62)
And there are many similar Ayat.
تَكَادُ السَّمَاوَاتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِن فَوْقِهِنَّ ...
Nearly the heavens might be rent asunder from above them,
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ka`b Al-Ahbar said,
"Out of fear of His might.''
... وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ ...
and the angels glorify the praises of their Lord, and ask for forgiveness for those on the earth.
This is like the Ayah:
الَّذِينَ يَحْمِلُونَ الْعَرْشَ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُـلَّ شَىْءٍ رَّحْمَةً وَعِلْماً
Those who bear the Throne and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (saying):
"Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge,'' (40:7)
... أَلَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿٥﴾
Lo! Verily, Allah is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
This is a reminder, to take heed of this fact.
وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ أَولِيَاء ...
And as for those who take as protecting friends others besides Him,
This refers to the idolators,
... اللَّهُ حَفِيظٌ عَلَيْهِمْ ...
Allah is Hafiz over them.
meaning, He is Witness to their deeds, recording and enumerating them precisely, and He will requite them for them in full.
... وَمَا أَنتَ عَلَيْهِم بِوَكِيلٍ ﴿٦﴾
and you are not a trustee over them.
meaning, `you are just a warner, and Allah is the Trustee of all affairs.'
The Qur'an was revealed to serve as a Warning
Allah says, `just as We sent revelation to the Prophets before you,'
وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا ...
and thus We have revealed to you a Qur'an in Arabic,
meaning, plain, clear, and manifest
... لِّتُنذِرَ أُمَّ الْقُرَى وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا
that you may warn the Mother of the Towns, i.e., Makkah, and all around it,
means, all the lands, east and west.
Makkah is called Umm Al-Qura (the Mother of the Towns) because it is nobler than all other lands, as indicated by much evidence that has been discussed elsewhere. Among the most concise and clear proofs of that is the report recorded by Imam Ahmad from Abdullah bin `Adi bin Al-Hamra' Az-Zuhri, who heard the Messenger of Allah say, as he was standing in the market place of Makkah;
وَاللهِ إِنَّكِ لَخَيْرُ أَرْضِ اللهِ وَأَحَبُّ أَرْضِ اللهِ إِلَى اللهِ، وَلَوْلَا أَنِّي أُخْرِجْتُ مِنْكِ مَا خَرَجْت
By Allah, you are the best land of Allah, the most beloved land to Allah; were it not for the fact that I was driven out from you, I would never have left you.
This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah;
At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih. ''
... وَتُنذِرَ يَوْمَ الْجَمْعِ ...
and warn (them) of the Day of Assembling,
i.e., the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will assemble the first and the last in one plain.
... لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ ...
of which there is no doubt,
means, there is no doubt that it will happen and will most certainly come to pass.
... فَرِيقٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَفَرِيقٌ فِي السَّعِيرِ ﴿٧﴾
a party will be in Paradise and a party in the blazing Fire.
This is like the Ayah:
يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُكُمْ لِيَوْمِ الْجَمْعِ ذَلِكَ يَوْمُ التَّغَابُنِ
(And remember) the Day when He will gather you (all) on the Day of Gathering, --- that will be the Day of mutual loss and gain, (64:9)
which means that the people of Paradise and the people of Hell will gain and lose, respectively.
And it is like the Ayah:
إِنَّ فِى ذلِكَ لآيَةً لِّمَنْ خَافَ عَذَابَ الاٌّخِرَةِ ذلِكَ يَوْمٌ مَّجْمُوعٌ لَّهُ النَّاسُ وَذَلِكَ يَوْمٌ مَّشْهُودٌ - وَمَا نُؤَخِّرُهُ إِلاَّ لاًّجَلٍ مَّعْدُودٍ - يَوْمَ يَأْتِ لاَ تَكَلَّمُ نَفْسٌ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ فَمِنْهُمْ شَقِىٌّ وَسَعِيدٌ
Indeed in that (there) is a sure lesson for those who fear the torment of the Hereafter. That is a Day whereon will be gathered together, and that is a Day when all (the dwellers of the heavens and the earth) will be present.And We delay it only for a term fixed.
On the Day when it comes, no person shall speak except by His leave. Some among them will be wretched and (others) blessed. (11:103-105)
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, The Messenger of Allah came out to us, holding two books in his hand. He said,
أَتَدْرُونَ مَا هذَانِ الْكِتَابَانِ؟
Do you know what these two books are?
We said, "We do not know unless you tell us, O Messenger of Allah.''
Concerning the book in his right hand, He said:
هَذَا كِتَابٌ مِنْ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ بِأَسْمَاءِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ وَأَسْمَاءِ آبَائِهِمْ وَقَبَائِلِهِمْ، ثُمَّ أُجْمِلَ عَلى آخِرِهِمْ، لَا يُزَادُ فِيهِمْ وَلَا يُنْقَصُ مِنْهُمْ أبدًا
This is a book from the Lord of the worlds, containing the names of the people of Paradise and of their fathers and tribes; all of them are detailed, down to the last one of them, and nothing will be added or taken away from it.
Then concerning the book in his left hand, he said:
هَذَا كِتَابُ أَهْلِ النَّارِ بِأَسْمَائِهِمْ وَأَسْمَاءِ آبَائِهِمْ وَقَبَائِلِهِمْ، ثُمَّ أُجْمِلَ عَلى آخِرِهِمْ، لَا يُزَادُ فِيهِمْ وَلَا يُنْقَصُ مِنْهُمْ أَبَدًا
This is the book of the people of Hell, containing their names and the names of their fathers and tribes, all of them are detailed down to the last one of them, and nothing will be added or taken away from it.
The Companions of the Messenger of Allah said, "Why should we strive if it is something that is already cut and dried''
The Messenger of Allah said:
سَدِّدُوا وَقَارِبُوا فَإِنَّ صَاحِبَ الْجَنَّةِ يُخْتَمُ لَهُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ، وَإِنْ عَمِلَ أَيَّ عَمَلٍ،وَإِنَّ صَاحِبَ النَّارِ يُخْتَمُ لَهُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ، وَإِنْ عَمِلَ أَيَّ عَمَل
Strive with your deeds as hard as you can for middle course or close to it, for the person who is destined for Paradise will die doing the deeds of the people of Paradise, regardless of what he did before, and the person who is destined for Hell will die doing the deeds of the people of Hell, regardless of what he did before.
Then he made a gesture with his fist and said,
فَرَغَ رَبُّكُمْ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مِنَ الْعِبَاد
Your Lord has settled the matter of His servants.
and he opened his right hand as if throwing something;
فَرِيقٌ فِي الْجَنَّة
A party in Paradise.
and he made a similar gesture with his left hand;
فَرِيقٌ فِي السَّعِير
And a party in the blazing Fire.''
This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, and An-Nasa'i;
At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih Gharib.''
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Nadrah said,
"One of the Companions of the Prophet , whose name was Abu Abdullah, was visited by some of his friends, and they found him weeping. They asked him, `What has caused you to weep Didn't the Messenger of Allah say to you,
خُذْ مِنْ شَارِبِكَ ثُمَّ أَقِرَّهُ حَتَّى تَلْقَانِي
Trim your moustache and adhere to that practice until you meet me.'
He said, `Yes, but I heard the Messenger of Allah say;
إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى قَبَضَ بِيَمِينِهِ قَبْضَةً وَأُخْرَى بِالْيَدِ الْأُخْرَى، قَالَ: هذِهِ لِهذِهِ، وَهذِهِ لِهذِهِ، وَلَا أُبَالِي
Allah picked up a handful in His Right Hand and another in His other Hand, and said, "This is for this and this is for this, and I do not care.''
`And I do not know in which of the two handfuls I am.'''
There are several Hadiths about Al-Qadr (the Divine Decree) in the books of Sahih, Sunan and Musnad. Including those narrated by Ali, Ibn Mas`ud, A'ishah and a large number of Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all.
وَلَوْ شَاء اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَهُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً ...
And if Allah had willed, He could have made them one nation,
means, either all following guidance or all following misguidance, but He made them all different, and He guides whomsoever He wills to the truth and He sends astray whomsoever He wills, and He has complete wisdom and perfect proof.
... وَلَكِن يُدْخِلُ مَن يَشَاء فِي رَحْمَتِهِ وَالظَّالِمُونَ مَا لَهُم مِّن وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ ﴿٨﴾
but He admits whom He wills to His mercy. And the wrongdoers will have neither a protector nor a helper.
Allah is the Protector, Ruler and Creator
أَمِ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاء فَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْوَلِيُّ وَهُوَ يُحْيِي المَوْتَى وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿٩﴾
Or have they taken protecting friends besides Him? But Allah --- He Alone is the protector. And He Who gives life to the dead, and He is Able to do all things.
Here Allah denounces the idolators for taking other gods instead of Allah, and declares that He is the True God, and it is not right to worship anyone except Him Alone. He is the One Who is able to bring the dead back to life and He is Able to do all things.
Then He says:
وَمَا اخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِيهِ مِن شَيْءٍ فَحُكْمُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ ...
And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allah.
means, in whatever issue you differ. This is general in meaning and applies to all things.
... فَحُكْمُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ ...
the decision thereof is with Allah.
means, He is the Judge of that, according to His Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet.
This is like the Ayah:
فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِى شَىْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ
(And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger. (4:59)
... ذَلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبِّي ...
Such is Allah, my Lord,
means, (He is) the Judge of all things.
... عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْهِ أُنِيبُ ﴿١٠﴾
in Whom I put my trust, and to Him I turn in repentance.
means, `I refer all matters to Him.'
فَاطِرُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ...
The Creator of the heavens and the earth.
means, the Maker of them both and everything in between.
... جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا ...
He has made for you mates from yourselves,
means, of your own kind. As a blessing and a favor from Him, He has made your kind male and female.
... وَمِنَ الْأَنْعَامِ أَزْوَاجًا ...
and for the cattle (also) mates.
means, and He has created for you eight pairs of cattle.
... يَذْرَؤُكُمْ فِيهِ ...
By this means He creates you.
means, in this manner He creates you, male and female, generation after generation of men and cattle.
... لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ ...
There is nothing like Him,
means, there is nothing like the Creator of these pairs, for He is the Unique, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who has no peer or equal.
... وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ ﴿١١﴾
He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.
لَهُ مَقَالِيدُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ...
To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth.
We have already discussed the interpretation of this phrase in Surah Az-Zumar (39:63), the conclusion of which is that He is the One Who is controlling and governing them.
... يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاء وَيَقْدِرُ ...
He expands provision for whom He wills, and straitens.
means, He gives plentiful provision to whomsoever He wills and He reduces it for whomsoever He wills, and He is perfectly Wise and Just.
... إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴿١٢﴾
Verily, He is the All-Knower of everything.
The Religion of the Messengers is One
Allah says to this Ummah:
شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا وَصَّى بِهِ نُوحًا وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ ...
He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Nuh, and that which We have revealed to you,
Allah mentions the first Messenger who was sent after Adam, that is, Nuh, peace be upon them, and the last of them is Muhammad.
... وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى ...
and that which We ordained for Ibrahim, Musa and Isa,
Then He mentions those who came in between them who were the Messengers of strong will, namely Ibrahim, Musa and Isa bin Maryam. This Ayah mentions all five, just as they are also mentioned in the Ayah in Surah Al-Ahzab, where Allah says:
وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِنَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ مِيثَاقَهُمْ وَمِنْكَ وَمِن نُّوحٍ وَإِبْرَهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ
And (remember) when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from you, and from Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, and Isa son of Maryam. (33:7).
The Message which all the Messengers brought was to worship Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, as Allah says:
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ نُوحِى إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنَاْ فَاعْبُدُونِ
And We did not send any Messenger before you but We revealed to him (saying): None has the right to be worshipped but I, so worship Me. (21:25).
And according to a Hadith (the Prophet said):
نَحْنُ مَعْشَرَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ أَوْلَادُ عَلَّاتٍ، دِينُنَا وَاحِد
We Prophets are brothers and our religion is one.
In other words, the common bond between them is that Allah Alone is to be worshipped, with no partner or associate, even though their laws and ways may differ, as Allah says.
لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَـجاً
To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way. (5:48)
Allah says here:
... أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ ...
saying you should establish religion and make no divisions in it.
meaning, Allah enjoined all the Prophets (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all) to be as one and He forbade them to differ and be divided.
... كَبُرَ عَلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ ...
Intolerable for the idolators is that to which you call them.
means, `it is too much for them to bear, and they hate that to which you call them, O Muhammad, i.e., Tawhid.'
... اللَّهُ يَجْتَبِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يَشَاء وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يُنِيبُ ﴿١٣﴾
Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills, and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance.
means, He is the One Who decrees guidance for those who deserve it, and decrees misguidance for those who prefer it to the right path.
Allah says here;
وَمَا تَفَرَّقُوا إِلَّا مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءهُمُ الْعِلْمُ ...
And they divided not till after knowledge had come to them,
means, their opposition to the truth arose after it had come to them and proof had been established against them. Nothing made them resist in this manner except their transgression and stubbornness.
... بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةٌ سَبَقَتْ مِن رَّبِّكَ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ...
And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord for an appointed term,
means, were it not for the fact that Allah had already decreed that He would delay the reckoning of His servants until the Day of Resurrection, the punishment would have been hastened for them in this world.
... لَّقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُورِثُوا الْكِتَابَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ
the matter would have been settled between them. And verily, those who were made to inherit the Scripture after them,
means, the later generation which came after the earlier generation which had rejected the truth.
... لَفِي شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ مُرِيبٍ ﴿١٤﴾
are in grave doubt concerning it.
means, they do not have any firm conviction in matters of religion; they merely imitate their forefathers, without any evidence or proof. So they are very confused and doubtful.
This Ayah includes ten separate and independent ideas, each of which is a ruling on its own.
They (the scholars) said that there is nothing else like it in the Qur'an, apart from Ayat Al-Kursi (2:255), which also includes ten ideas.
فَلِذَلِكَ فَادْعُ ...
So unto this then invite (people),
means, `so call people to this which We have revealed to you and which We enjoined upon all the Prophets before you,' the Prophets of major ways (of Shariah) that were followed, such as the Messengers of strong will, and others.
... وَاسْتَقِمْ كَمَا أُمِرْتَ ...
and stand firm as you are commanded,
means, `adhere firmly, you and those who follow you, to the worship of Allah as He has commanded you.'
... وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءهُمْ ...
and follow not their desires,
means, the desires of the idolators, in the falsehoods that they have invented and fabricated by worshipping idols.
... وَقُلْ آمَنتُ بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِن كِتَابٍ ...
but say: "I believe in whatsoever Allah has sent down of the Book...''
means, `I believe in all the Books that have been revealed from heaven to the Prophets; we do not differentiate between any of them.'
... وَأُمِرْتُ لِأَعْدِلَ بَيْنَكُمُ ...
and I am commanded to do justice among you.
means, when judging according to the commands of Allah.
... اللَّهُ رَبُّنَا وَرَبُّكُمْ ...
Allah is our Lord and your Lord.
means, `He is the One Who is to be worshipped, and there is no true God but He. We affirm this willingly, and even though you do not do so willingly, everyone in the universe prostrates to Him obediently and willingly.'
... لَنَا أَعْمَالُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَالُكُمْ ...
For us our deeds and for you your deeds.
means, `we have nothing to do with you.'
This is like the Ayah:
وَإِن كَذَّبُوكَ فَقُل لِّى عَمَلِى وَلَكُمْ عَمَلُكُمْ أَنتُمْ بَرِيئُونَ مِمَّآ أَعْمَلُ وَأَنَاْ بَرِىءٌ مِّمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ
And if they demy you, say: "For me are my deeds and for you are your deeds! You are innocent of what I do, and I am innocent of what you do!'' (10:41)
... لَا حُجَّةَ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ ...
There is no dispute between us and you.
Mujahid said, "This means, no argument.''
"This was before Ayah of the sword was revealed.''
This fits the context, because this Ayah was revealed in Makkah, and Ayah of the sword (22:39-40) was revealed after the Hijrah.
... اللَّهُ يَجْمَعُ بَيْنَنَا ...
Allah will assemble us (all), (means, on the Day of Resurrection).
This is like the Ayah:
قُلْ يَجْمَعُ بَيْنَنَا رَبُّنَا ثُمَّ يَفْتَحُ بَيْنَنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَهُوَ الْفَتَّاحُ الْعَلِيمُ
Say: "Our Lord will assemble us all together, then He will judge between us with truth. And He is the Just Judge, the All-Knower of the true state of affairs.'' (34:26).
... وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ ﴿١٥﴾
and to Him is the final return.
means, the final return on the Day of Reckoning.
A Warning to Those Who dispute concerning Matters of Religion
Here Allah warns those who try to hinder those who believe in Allah, from following His path.
وَالَّذِينَ يُحَاجُّونَ فِي اللَّهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا اسْتُجِيبَ لَهُ ...
And those who dispute concerning Allah, after it has been accepted,
means, those who dispute with the believers who have responded to Allah and His Messenger, and try to stop them from following the path of guidance.
... حُجَّتُهُمْ دَاحِضَةٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ ...
no use is their dispute before their Lord,
means, it is futile before Allah.
... وَعَلَيْهِمْ غَضَبٌ ...
and on them is wrath, (means, from Him).
... وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ ﴿١٦﴾
and for them will be a severe torment.
means, on the Day of Resurrection.
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and Mujahid said,
"They disputed with the believers after they responded to Allah and His Messenger, and tried to prevent them from following the path of guidance, hoping that they would return to Jahiliyyah.''
"These were the Jews and Christians who said to them, `Our religion is better than your religion, our Prophet came before your Prophet, and we are better than you and closer to Allah than you.'''
This was nothing but lies.
Then Allah says:
اللَّهُ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ ...
It is Allah Who has sent down the Book in truth,
referring to all the Books which were revealed from Him to His Prophets.
... وَالْمِيزَانَ ...
and the Balance.
means, justice and fairness.
This was the view of Mujahid and Qatadah.
This is like the Ayat:
لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَـتِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ
Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance that mankind may keep up justice. (57:25)
وَالسَّمَآءَ رَفَعَهَا وَوَضَعَ الْمِيزَانَ - أَلاَّ تَطْغَوْاْ فِى الْمِيزَانِ - وَأَقِيمُواْ الْوَزْنَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلاَ تُخْسِرُواْ الْمِيزَانَ
And the heaven He has raised high, and He has set up the Balance. In order that you may not transgress (due) balance. And observe the weight with equity and do not make the balance deficient. (55:7-9)
... وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّ السَّاعَةَ قَرِيبٌ ﴿١٧﴾
And what can make you know that perhaps the Hour is close at hand?
This is encouragement (to strive) for its sake, a terrifying warning, and advice to think little of this world.
يَسْتَعْجِلُ بِهَا الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهَا ...
Those who believe not therein seek to hasten it,
means, they say, `when will this promise be fulfilled, if you are telling the truth' But they say this by way of disbelief and stubbornness, thinking that it is unlikely to happen.
... وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مُشْفِقُونَ مِنْهَا ...
while those who believe are fearful of it,
means, they are afraid of it happening.
... وَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهَا الْحَقُّ ...
and know that it is the very truth.
means, that it will undoubtedly come to pass, so they prepare themselves for it and strive for its sake.
It was reported through various chains of narration, a number reaching the level of being Mutawatir, in Sahih and Hasan narrations, in the Books of Sunan and Musnad.
According to some versions, a man addressed the Messenger of Allah in a loud voice, when he was on one of his journeys, calling out to him, "O Muhammad!''
The Messenger of Allah replied in a similar manner, "Here I am!''
The man said, "When will the Hour come?''
The Messenger of Allah said,
وَيْحَكَ إِنَّهَا كَائِنَةٌ فَمَا أَعْدَدْتَ لَهَا؟
Woe to you! It will most certainly come. What have you done to prepare for it?
He said, "Love for Allah and His Messenger.''
أَنْتَ مَعَ مَنْ أَحْبَبْت
You will be with those whom you love.
According to another Hadith:
الْمَرْءُ مَعَ مَنْ أَحَب
A man will be with those whom he loves.
This is Mutawatir beyond a doubt. The point is that he did not answer his question about when the Hour would happen, but he commanded him to prepare for it.
... أَلَا إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُمَارُونَ فِي السَّاعَةِ ...
Verily, those who dispute concerning the Hour,
means, who dispute whether it will happen and think it is unlikely ever to come,
... لَفِي ضَلَالٍ بَعِيدٍ ﴿١٨﴾
are certainly in error far away.
means, they are clearly ignorant, because the One Who created the heavens and the earth is even more able to give life to the dead, as Allah says:
وَهُوَ الَّذِى يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ وَهُوَ أَهْوَنُ عَلَيْهِ
And He it is Who originates the creation, then He will repeat it; and this is easier for Him. (30:27)
The Provision of Allah in this World and the Hereafter
اللَّهُ لَطِيفٌ بِعِبَادِهِ ...
Allah is very Gracious and Kind to His servants.
Here Allah speaks of His kindness towards His creation, in that He provides for every last one of them and does not forget anyone. When it comes to His provision, the righteous and the sinner are alike.
وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ فِي الاٌّرْضِ إِلاَّ عَلَى اللَّهِ رِزْقُهَا وَيَعْلَمُ مُسْتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهَا كُلٌّ فِى كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ
And no moving creature is there on the earth but its provision is due from Allah. And He knows its dwelling place and its deposit. All is in a Clear Book. (11:6)
And there are many similar Ayat.
... يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاء ...
He gives provisions to whom He wills.
means, He gives generously to whomsoever He wills.
... وَهُوَ الْقَوِيُّ العَزِيزُ ﴿١٩﴾
And He is the All-Strong, the Almighty.
means, there is nothing that can overpower Him.
Then Allah says:
مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الْآخِرَةِ ...
Whosoever desires the reward of the Hereafter,
means, whoever does things for the sake of the Hereafter,
... نَزِدْ لَهُ فِي حَرْثِهِ ...
We give him increase in his reward,
meaning, `We will give him strength and help him to do what he wants to do, and We will increase it for him. So for every good, We will multiply it and give him between ten and seven hundred good rewards,' as much as Allah wills.
... وَمَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الدُّنْيَا نُؤتِهِ مِنْهَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِن نَّصِيبٍ ﴿٢٠﴾
and whosoever desires the reward of this world, We give him thereof, and he has no portion in the Hereafter.
means, whoever strives for the purpose of worldly gains, and never pays any heed to the Hereafter at all, Allah will deny him the Hereafter; and in this world, if He wills He will give to him and if He does not will, he will gain neither. So the one who strives with this intention in mind will have the worst deal in this world and in the Hereafter. The evidence for that is the fact that this Ayah is reinforced by the passage in Surah Al-Isra' in which Allah says:
مَّن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْعَـجِلَةَ عَجَّلْنَا لَهُ فِيهَا مَا نَشَآءُ لِمَن نُّرِيدُ ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ يَصْلَـهَا مَذْمُومًا مَّدْحُورًا - وَمَنْ أَرَادَ الاٌّخِرَةَ وَسَعَى لَهَا سَعْيَهَا وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولَـئِكَ كَانَ سَعْيُهُم مَّشْكُورًا - كُلاًّ نُّمِدُّ هَـؤُلاءِ وَهَـؤُلاءِ مِنْ عَطَآءِ رَبِّكَ وَمَا كَانَ عَطَآءُ رَبِّكَ مَحْظُورًا - انظُرْ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَلَلاٌّخِرَةُ أَكْبَرُ دَرَجَـتٍ وَأَكْبَرُ تَفْضِيلاً
Whoever desires the quick-passing, We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell; he will (enter) burn therein disgraced and rejected.
And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it while he is a believer -- then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated.
On each -- these as well as those -- We bestow from the bounties of your Lord. And the bounties of your Lord can never be forbidden.See how We prefer one above another (in this world), and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preferment. (17:18-21)
It was reported that Ubayy bin Ka`b, may Allah be pleased with him, said, The Messenger of Allah said:
بَشِّرْ هذِهِ الْأُمَّةَ بِالسَّنَاءِ وَالرِّفْعَةِ وَالنَّصْرِ وَالتَّمْكِينِ فِي الْأَرْضِ، فَمَنْ عَمِلَ مِنْهُمْ عَمَلَ الْاخِرَةِ لِلدُّنْيَا، لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ فِي الْاخِرَةِ مِنْ نَصِيب
Give the glad tidings to this Ummah of sublimity, high status, victory and power in the land. But whoever among them does the deeds of the Hereafter for the sake of worldly gain, will have no portion of the Hereafter.''
Making Legislation for the Creatures is Shirk Allah says:
أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاء شَرَعُوا لَهُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَن بِهِ اللَّهُ ...
Or have they partners with Allah who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not ordained?
means, they do not follow what Allah has ordained for you of upright religion; on the contrary, they follow what their devils (Shayatin), of men and Jinn, have prescribed for them. They instituted taboos, such as the Bahirah, Sa'ibah, Wasilah or Ham. They also permitted eating flesh and blood of animals not slaughtered for consumption, gambling and other kinds of misguidance, ignorance and falsehood. These are things that they invented during Jahiliyyah, when they came up with all kinds of false rulings on what was permitted and what was forbidden, and false rites of worship and other corrupt ideas.
It was recorded in the Sahih that
the Messenger of Allah said:
رَأَيْتُ عَمْرَو بْنَ لُحَيِّ بْنِ قَمَعَةَ يَجُرُّ قُصْبَهُ فِي النَّار
I saw `Amr bin Luhayy bin Qama`ah dragging his intestines in Hell -- (because he had been the first one to introduce the idea of the Sa'ibah).
This man was one of the kings of the Khuza`ah tribe, and he was the first one to do these things. He was the one who had made the Quraysh worship idols, may the curse of Allah be upon him.
... وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةُ الْفَصْلِ لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ ...
And had it not been for a decisive Word, the matter would have been judged between them.
means, the punishment would have been hastened for them, were it not for the fact that it had already been decreed that it would be delayed until the Day of Resurrection.
... وَإِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿٢١﴾
And verily, for the wrongdoers there is a painful torment.
i.e., an agonizing torment in Hell, what a terrible destination.
The Terror of the Idolators in the Place of Gathering
تَرَى الظَّالِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا كَسَبُوا ...
You will see the wrongdoers fearful of that which they have earned,
means, in the arena of Resurrection.
... وَهُوَ وَاقِعٌ بِهِمْ ...
and it will surely befall them.
means, the thing that they fear will undoubtedly happen to them. This is how they will be on the Day of Resurrection; they will be in a state of utter fear and terror.
... وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فِي رَوْضَاتِ الْجَنَّاتِ لَهُم مَّا يَشَاؤُونَ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ ...
But those who believe and do righteous deeds (will be) in the flowering meadows of the Gardens. They shall have whatsoever they desire with their Lord.
What comparison can there be between the former and the latter How can the one who will be in the arena of resurrection in a state of humiliation and fear, deserving it for his wrongdoing, be compared with the one who will be in the gardens of Paradise, enjoying whatever he wants of food, drink, clothing, dwellings, scenery, spouses and other delights such as no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and has never crossed the minds of men.
... ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الكَبِيرُ ﴿٢٢﴾
That is the supreme grace.
means, the ultimate victory and complete blessing.
Good News of the Blessings of Paradise for the People of Faith
Having mentioned the gardens of Paradise, Allah then says to His servants who believe and do righteous deeds:
ذَلِكَ الَّذِي يُبَشِّرُ اللَّهُ عِبَادَهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ ...
That is whereof Allah gives glad tidings to His servants who believe and do righteous good deeds.
meaning, this will undoubtedly come to them, because it is glad tidings from Allah to them.
... قُل لَّا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَى ...
Say: "No reward do I ask of you for this except to be kind to me for my kinship with you.''
means, `say, O Muhammad, to these idolators among the disbeliever of Quraysh: I do not ask you for anything in return for this message and sincere advice which I bring to you. All I ask of you is that you withhold your evil from me and let me convey the Messages of my Lord. If you will not help me, then do not disturb me, for the sake of the ties of kinship that exist between you and I.'
Al-Bukhari recorded that
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, was asked about the Ayah: إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَى (except to be kind to me for my kinship with you). Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "To be kind to the family of Muhammad.''
Ibn Abbas said, "No, you have jumped to a hasty conclusion. There was no clan among Quraysh to whom the Prophet did not have some ties of kinship.''
Ibn Abbas said, "Except that you uphold the ties of kinship that exist between me and you.''
This was recorded by Al-Bukhari.
It was also recorded by Imam Ahmad with a different chain of narration.
... وَمَن يَقْتَرِفْ حَسَنَةً نَّزِدْ لَهُ فِيهَا حُسْنًا ...
And whoever earns a good righteous deed, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof,
means, `whoever does a good deed, We will increase him in good for it, i.e., in reward.'
This is like the Ayah:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَـعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِن لَّدُنْهُ أَجْراً عَظِيماً
Surely, Allah wrongs not even of the weight of a speck of dust, but if there is any good, He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward. (4:40)
... إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ ﴿٢٣﴾
Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate.
means, He forgives many bad deeds and increases a small amount of good deeds;
He conceals and forgives sins and He multiplies and increases the reward of good deeds.
The Accusation that the Prophet fabricated the Qur'an -- and the Response to that
أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا فَإِن يَشَأِ اللَّهُ يَخْتِمْ عَلَى قَلْبِكَ ...
Or say they: "He has invented a lie against Allah!'' If Allah willed, He could have sealed up your heart.
means, `if you had invented any lies against Him, as these ignorant people claim,' يَخْتِمْ عَلَى قَلْبِكَ (He could have sealed up your heart). means, `and thus caused you to forget what had already come to you of the Qur'an.'
This is like the Ayah:
وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ الاٌّقَاوِيلِ - لأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِالْيَمِينِ - ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْهُ الْوَتِينَ - فَمَا مِنكُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ عَنْهُ حَـجِزِينَ
And if he had forged a false saying concerning Us (Allah), We surely would have seized him by his right hand, and then We certainly would have cut off his life artery, And none of you could have withheld Us from (punishing) him. (69:44-47)
which means, `We would have wrought the utmost vengeance upon him, and no one among mankind would have been able to protect him.'
And Allah said:
... وَيَمْحُ اللَّهُ الْبَاطِلَ وَيُحِقُّ الْحَقَّ بِكَلِمَاتِهِ
And Allah wipes out falsehood, and establishes the truth by His Word.
means, He establishes it and strengthens it and makes it clear by His Words, i.e., by His evidence and signs.
... إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ ﴿٢٤﴾
Verily, He knows well what are in the breasts.
means, all that is hidden in the hearts of men.
Allah accepts Repentance and responds to Supplications
Here Allah reminds His servants that He accepts repentance. If they turn to Him and come back to Him, then by His kindness and generosity He forgives, overlooks and conceals (their sins), as He says:
وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللَّهَ يَجِدِ اللَّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً
And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (4:110)
It was reported in Sahih Muslim that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"The Messenger of Allah said:
للهُ تَعَالَى أَشَدُّ فَرَحًا بِتَوْبَةِ عَبْدِهِ حِينَ يَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ أَحَدِكُمْ كَانَتْ رَاحِلَتُهُ بِأَرْضِ فَلَاةٍ، فَانْفَلَتَتْ مِنْهُ، وَعَلَيْهَا طَعَامُهُ وَشَرَابُهُ، فَأَيِسَ مِنْهَا فَأَتَى شَجَرَةً فَاضْطَجَعَ فِي ظِلِّهَا، قَدْ أَيِسَ مِنْ رَاحِلَتِهِ، فَبَيْنَمَا هُوَ كَذَلِكَ إِذَا هُوَ بِهَا، قَائِمَةً عِنْدَهُ، فَأَخَذَ بِخِطَامِهَا، ثُمَّ قَالَ مِنْ شِدَّةِ الْفَرَحِ: اللْهُمَّ أَنْتَ عَبْدِي وَأَنَا رَبُّكَ، أَخْطَأَ مِنْ شِدَّةِ الْفَرَح
Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His servant than anyone of you who loses his riding beast in a barren land, and it was carrying his food and drink; he despairs of ever finding it, so he comes to a tree and lies down in its shade, having given up all hope of finding his riding beast; then whilst he is there like that, suddenly he sees it standing near him, so he takes hold of its reins and because of his great joy he says,
"O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your Lord!'' -- i.e., he makes a mistake because of his great joy. ''
A similar report was also narrated in the Sahih from Abdullah bin Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him.
وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ ...
And He it is Who accepts repentance from His servants,
It was reported that Az-Zuhri said, concerning this Ayah, that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"The Messenger of Allah said:
للهُ أَشَدُّ فَرَحًا بِتَوْبَةِ عَبْدِهِ مِنْ أَحَدِكُمْ يَجِدُ ضَالَّتَهُ فِي الْمَكَانِ الَّذِي يَخَافُ أَنْ يَقْتُلَهُ فِيهِ الْعَطَش
Allah rejoices more over the repentance of His servant than one of you feels when he finds his lost camel in a place where he had feared that he would die of thirst.''
Hammam bin Al-Harith said, Ibn Mas`ud was asked about a man who commits immoral sins with a woman and then marries her.
He said, `There is nothing wrong with that,' and recited: وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ And He it is Who accepts repentance from His servants.''
... وَيَعْفُو عَنِ السَّيِّئَاتِ ...
and forgives sins,
means, He will accept repentance in the future, and He forgives past sins.
... وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ ﴿٢٥﴾
and He knows what you do.
means, He knows all your deeds and actions and words, yet He still accepts the repentance of those who repent to Him.
And He answers those who believe and do righteous good deeds,
As-Suddi said, "This means, He responds to them.''
This was also the view of Ibn Jarir:
"It means that He answers their supplication for themselves, their companions and their brothers.''
... وَيَزِيدُهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ ...
and gives them increase of His bounty.
means, He answers their supplications and gives them more besides.
Qatadah said, narrating from Ibrahim An-Nakha`i Al-Lakhmi about the Ayah: وَيَسْتَجِيبُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ -- (this means) they intercede for their brothers;
وَيَزِيدُهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ -- (this means) they intercede for their brothers' brothers.
... وَالْكَافِرُونَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ ﴿٢٦﴾
And as for the disbelievers, theirs will be a severe torment.
-- having mentioned the believers and the great reward that is theirs, Allah then mentions the disbelievers and the severe, painful, agonizing torment that they will find with Him on the Day of Resurrection, the Day when they are brought to account.
The Reason why Provision is not Increased
Allah says here,
وَلَوْ بَسَطَ اللَّهُ الرِّزْقَ لِعِبَادِهِ لَبَغَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ ...
And if Allah were to extend the provision for His servants, they would surely rebel in the earth,
means, `if We gave them more provision than they need, this would make them rebel and transgress against one another in an arrogant and insolent manner.'
... وَلَكِن يُنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍ مَّا يَشَاء إِنَّهُ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرٌ بَصِيرٌ ﴿٢٧﴾
but He sends down by measure as He wills. Verily, He is, in respect of His servants, the Well-Aware, the All-Seer.
means, but He gives them provision according to what is in their best interests, and He knows best about that. So He makes rich those who deserve to be rich, and He makes poor those who deserve to be poor.
وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُوا ...
And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired,
means, after the people have given up hope that rain will fall, He sends it down upon them at their time of need.
This is like the Ayah:
وَإِن كَانُواْ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يُنَزَّلَ عَلَيْهِمْ مِّن قَبْلِهِ لَمُبْلِسِينَ
And verily, before that (rain) -- just before it was sent down upon them -- they were in despair! (30:49)
... وَيَنشُرُ رَحْمَتَهُ ...
and spreads His mercy.
means, He bestows it upon all the people who live in that region. Qatadah said,
"We were told that a man said to Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, `O Commander of the faithful, no rain has come and the people are in despair.'
Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
`Rain will be sent upon you,' and he recited:
وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُوا وَيَنشُرُ رَحْمَتَهُ وَهُوَ الْوَلِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ ﴿٢٨﴾
And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired, and spreads His mercy. And He is the Protector, Worthy of all praise.''
Meaning He is the One Who is in control of His creation, taking care of what will benefit them in this world and the Hereafter, and the consequences of all His decrees and actions are good, for which He is worthy of all praise.
Among the Signs of Allah is the Creation of the Heavens and the Earth
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ ...
And among His Ayat,
means, the signs which point to His great might and power,
... خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَثَّ فِيهِمَا ...
is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and whatever moving creatures He has dispersed in them both.
means, whatever He has created in them, i.e., in the heavens and the earth.
... مِن دَابَّةٍ ...
and whatever moving creatures,
this includes the angels, men, Jinn and all the animals with their different shapes, colors, languages, natures, kinds and types. He has distributed them throughout the various regions of the heavens and earth.
... وَهُوَ ...
means, yet despite all that,
... عَلَى جَمْعِهِمْ إِذَا يَشَاء قَدِيرٌ ﴿٢٩﴾
is Able to assemble them whenever He wills.
means, on the Day of Resurrection, He will gather the first and the last of them, and bring all His creatures together in one place where they will all hear the voice of the caller and all of them will be seen clearly; then He will judge between them with justice and truth.
The Cause of Misfortune is Sin
وَمَا أَصَابَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ ...
And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned.
means, `whatever disasters happen to you, O mankind, are because of sins that you have committed in the past.'
... وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ ﴿٣٠﴾
And He pardons much.
means, of sins; `He does not punish you for them, rather He forgives you.'
وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ اللَّهُ النَّاسَ بِمَا كَسَبُواْ مَا تَرَكَ عَلَى ظَهْرِهَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ
And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving creature on the surface of the earth. (35:45)
According to a Sahih Hadith:
وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُؤْمِنَ مِنْ نَصَبٍ وَلَا وَصَبٍ وَلَا هَمَ وَلَا حَزَنٍ إِلَّا كَفَّرَ اللهُ عَنْهُ بِهَا مِنْ خَطَايَاهُ، حَتْى الشَّوْكَةِ يُشَاكُهَا
By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, no believer is stricken with fatigue, exhaustion, worry or grief, but Allah will forgive him for some of his sins thereby -- even a thorn which pricks him.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan, may Allah be pleased with him, said, I heard the Messenger of Allah say:
مَا مِنْ شَيْءٍ يُصِيبُ الْمُؤْمِنَ فِي جَسَدِهِ يُؤْذِيهِ إِلَّا كَفَّرَ اللهُ تَعَالَى عَنْهُ بِهِ مِنْ سَيِّئَاتِه
No physical harm befalls a believer, but Allah will expiate for some of his sins because of it.''
Imam Ahmad also recorded that `A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, The Messenger of Allah said:
إِذَا كَثُرَتْ ذُنُوبُ الْعَبْدِ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ مَا يُكَفِّرُهَا، ابْتَلَاهُ اللهُ تَعَالَى بِالْحَزَنِ لِيُكَفِّرَهَا
If a person commits many sins and has nothing that will expiate for them, Allah will test him with some grief that will expiate for them.''
وَمَا أَنتُم بِمُعْجِزِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ ﴿٣١﴾
And you cannot escape from Allah in the earth, and besides Allah you have neither any protector nor any helper.
Ships are also among the Signs of Allah
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ الْجَوَارِ فِي الْبَحْرِ كَالْأَعْلَامِ ﴿٣٢﴾
And among His signs are the ships in the sea like mountains.
Allah tells us that another sign of His great power and dominion is the fact that He has subjugated the sea so that ships may sail in it by His command, so they sail in the sea like mountains.
This was the view of Mujahid, Al-Hasan, As-Suddi and Ad-Dahhak.
In other words, these ships on the sea are like mountains on land.
إِن يَشَأْ يُسْكِنِ الرِّيحَ ...
If He wills, He causes the wind to cease,
means, the winds that cause the ships to travel on the sea. If He willed, He could cause the winds to cease,
... فَيَظْلَلْنَ رَوَاكِدَ عَلَى ظَهْرِهِ ...
then they would become motionless on the surface (of the sea).
ie then the ships would not move and would remain still, neither coming nor going, staying where they are on the surface of the water.
... إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّكُلِّ صَبَّارٍ ...
Verily, in this are signs for everyone patient,
means, who is patient in the face of adversity
... شَكُورٍ ﴿٣٣﴾
means, in the fact that Allah has subjugated the sea and He sends as much wind as they need in order to travel, there are signs of His blessings to His creation for everyone who is patient, i.e., at times of difficulty, and grateful, i.e., at times of ease.
أَوْ يُوبِقْهُنَّ بِمَا كَسَبُوا ...
Or He may destroy them because of that which their (people) have earned.
means, if He wills, He may destroy the ships and drown them, because of the sins of the people on board.
... وَيَعْفُ عَن كَثِيرٍ ﴿٣٤﴾
And He pardons much.
means, of their sins; if He were to punish them for all of their sins, He would destroy everyone who sails on the sea.
Some of the scholars interpreted the Ayah أَوْ يُوبِقْهُنَّ بِمَا كَسَبُوا as meaning, if He willed, He could send the wind to blow fiercely so that it would take the ships and divert them from their courses, driving them to the right or the left, so that they would be lost and would not be able to follow their intended path.
This interpretation also includes the idea of their being destroyed.
This also fits the first meaning, which is that if Allah willed, He could cause the wind to cease, in which case the ships would stop moving, or He could make the wind fierce, in which case the ships would be lost and destroyed. But by His grace and mercy, He sends the wind according to their needs, just as He sends rain that is sufficient. If He sent too much rain, it would destroy their houses, and if He sent too little, their crops and fruits would not grow.
In the case of lands such as Egypt, He sends water from another land, because they do not need rain; if rain were to fall upon them, it would destroy their houses and cause walls to collapse.
وَيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا مَا لَهُم مِّن مَّحِيصٍ ﴿٣٥﴾
And those who dispute as regards Our Ayat may know that there is no place of refuge for them.
means, they have no means of escape from Our torment and vengeance, for they are subdued by Our power.
The Attributes of Those Who deserve that which is with Allah
Here Allah points out the insignificance of this worldly life and its transient adornments and luxuries.
فَمَا أُوتِيتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَمَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ...
So whatever you have been given is but (a passing) enjoyment for this worldly life.
means, no matter what you achieve and amass, do not be deceived by it, for it is only the enjoyment of this life, which is the lower, transient realm that will undoubtedly come to an end.
... وَمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى ...
but that which is with Allah is better and more lasting,
means, the reward of Allah is better than this world, and it will last forever, so do not give preference to that which is transient over that which is lasting.
... لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ...
for those who believe,
means, for those who are patient in forgoing the pleasures of this world,
... وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ ﴿٣٦﴾
and put their trust in their Lord.
means, so that He will help them to be patient in doing what is obligatory and avoiding what is forbidden.
Then Allah says:
وَالَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَاحِشَ ...
And those who shun the greater sins, and Al-Fawahish,
We have already discussed sin and Al-Fawahish in Surah Al-A`raf.
... وَإِذَا مَا غَضِبُوا هُمْ يَغْفِرُونَ ﴿٣٧﴾
and when they are angry, they forgive.
means, their nature dictates that they should forgive people and be tolerant. Vengeance is not in their nature.
It was reported in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah never took revenge for his own sake, only when the sacred Laws of Allah were violated.
وَالَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِرَبِّهِمْ ...
And those who answer the Call of their Lord,
means, they follow His Messenger and obey His commands and avoid that which He has prohibited.
... وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ ...
and perform As-Salah,
-- which is the greatest act of worship of Allah, may He be glorified.
... وَأَمْرُهُمْ شُورَى بَيْنَهُمْ ...
and who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation,
means, they do not make a decision without consulting one another on the matter so that they can help one another by sharing their ideas concerning issues such as wars and other matters.
This is like the Ayah:
وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِى الاٌّمْرِ
and consult them in the affairs, (3:159)
The Prophet used to consult with them concerning wars and other matters, so that they would feel confidant.
When Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, was dying, after he had been stabbed, he entrusted the choice of the next Khalifah to six people who were to be consulted.
They were Uthman, Ali, Talhah, Az-Zubayr, Sa`id and Abdur-Rahman bin Awf, may Allah be pleased with them all. Then all of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, agreed to appoint Uthman as their leader.
... وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ ﴿٣٨﴾
and who spend of what We have bestowed on them.
this means kindly treating the creation of Allah, starting with those who are closest, then the next closest, and so on.
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَهُمُ الْبَغْيُ هُمْ يَنتَصِرُونَ ﴿٣٩﴾
And those who, when an oppressive wrong is done to them, take revenge.
means, they have the strength to take revenge on those who commit aggressive wrong and hostile acts against them. They are not incapable of doing so and they are not helpless; they are able to take revenge against those who transgress against them, even though when they have the power to take revenge, they prefer to forgive, as when Yusuf, peace be upon him, said to his brothers:
لاَ تَثْرَيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ يَغْفِرُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ
No reproach on you this day; may Allah forgive you. (12: 92)
even though he was in a position to take revenge on them for what they had done to him.
The Messenger of Allah forgave the eighty people who intended to do him harm during the year of Al-Hudaybiyah, camping by the mountain of At-Tan`im. When he overpowered them, he set them free, even though he was in a position to take revenge on them.
He also forgave Ghawrath bin Al-Harith who wanted to kill him and unsheathed his sword while he was sleeping. The Prophet woke up to find him pointing the sword at him. He reproached him angrily and the sword dropped.
Then the Messenger of Allah picked up the sword and called his Companions. He told them what had happened, and he forgave the man.
There are many similar Hadiths and reports. And Allah knows best.
Forgiving or exacting Revenge on Wrongdoers
وَجَزَاء سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِّثْلُهَا ...
The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof.
This is like the Ayat:
فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَاعْتَدُواْ عَلَيْهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ
Then whoever transgresses the prohibition against you, you transgress likewise against him. (2:194)
وَإِنْ عَاقَبْتُمْ فَعَاقِبُواْ بِمِثْلِ مَا عُوقِبْتُمْ بِهِ
And if you punish, then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted. (16:126)
Justice, has been prescribed, in the form of the prescribed laws of equality in punishment (Al-Qisas), but the better way, which means forgiving, is recommended, as Allah says:
وَالْجُرُوحَ قِصَاصٌ فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَّهُ
and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him expiation. (5:45)
Allah says here:
... فَمَنْ عَفَا وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ ...
but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allah.
means, that will not be wasted with Allah. As it is said in a Sahih Hadith:
وَمَا زَادَ اللهُ تَعَالَى عَبْدًا بِعَفْوٍ إِلَّا عِزًّا
Allah does not increase the person who forgives except in honor.
... إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿٤٠﴾
Verily, He likes not the wrongdoers.
means, the aggressors, i.e., those who initiate the evil actions.
وَلَمَنِ انتَصَرَ بَعْدَ ظُلْمِهِ فَأُوْلَئِكَ مَا عَلَيْهِم مِّن سَبِيلٍ ﴿٤١﴾
And indeed whosoever takes revenge after he has suffered wrong, for such there is no way (of blame) against them.
means, there is no sin on him for taking revenge against the one who wronged him.
إِنَّمَا السَّبِيلُ ...
means, the burden of sin,
... عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَظْلِمُونَ النَّاسَ وَيَبْغُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ ...
is only against those who oppress men and rebel in the earth without justification;
means, those who initiate wrongful actions against others, as it is said in the Sahih Hadith:
الْمُسْتَبَّانِ مَا قَالَا فَعَلَى الْبَادِىءِ، مَا لَمْ يَعْتَدِ الْمَظْلُوم
When two persons indulge in abusing each other, the one who initiated the wrongful action is to blame, unless the one who was wronged oversteps the mark in retaliation.
... أُوْلَئِكَ لَهُم عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿٤٢﴾
for such there will be a painful torment.
means, intense and agonizing.
It was reported that Muhammad bin Wasi said, "I came to Makkah and there was a security out post over the trench whose guards took me to Marwan bin Al-Muhallab, who was the governor of Basrah. He said,
`What do you need?, O Abu Abdullah,'
I said, `If you can do it, I need you to be like the brother of Banu `Adiy.'
He said, `Who is the brother of Banu `Adiy?'
He said, Al-Ala' bin Ziyad; he once appointed a friend of his to a position of authority, and he wrote to him: If you can, only go to sleep after you make sure that there is nothing on your back (i.e., you do not owe anything to anyone), your stomach is empty and your hands are untainted by the blood or wealth of the Muslims. If you do that, then there will be no way (of blame) against you --
إِنَّمَا السَّبِيلُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَظْلِمُونَ النَّاسَ وَيَبْغُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ أُوْلَئِكَ لَهُم عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
The way is only against those who oppress men and rebel in the earth without justification; for such there will be a painful torment.'
Marwan said, `He spoke the truth, by Allah, and gave sincere advice.' Then he said, `What do you need, O Abu `Abdullah?'
I said, `I need you to let me join my family.'
He said, `Yes (I will do that).'''
This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim.
When Allah condemned wrongdoing and the people who do it, and prescribed Al-Qisas, He encouraged forgiveness:
وَلَمَن صَبَرَ وَغَفَرَ ...
And verily, whosoever shows patience and forgives,
meaning, whoever bears the insult with patience and conceals the evil action,
... إِنَّ ذَلِكَ لَمِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ ﴿٤٣﴾
that would truly be from the things recommended by Allah.
Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "This means, one of the things enjoined by Allah,''
i.e., good actions for which there will be a great reward and much praise.
The State of the Wrongdoers on the Day of Resurrection
And whomsoever Allah sends astray, for him there is no protector after Him.
Allah tells us that whatever He wills happens and whatever He does not will does not happen, and no one can make it happen. Whomever He guides, none can lead astray, and whomever He leads astray, none can guide, as He says:
وَمَن يُضْلِلْ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ وَلِيًّا مُّرْشِدًا
but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no protecting to lead him. (18:17)
Then Allah tells us about the wrongdoers, i.e., the idolators who associate others in worship with Allah:
... وَتَرَى الظَّالِمِينَ لَمَّا رَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ
And you will see the wrongdoers, when they behold the torment,
i.e., on the Day of Resurrection, they will wish that they could go back to this world.
... يَقُولُونَ هَلْ إِلَى مَرَدٍّ مِّن سَبِيلٍ ﴿٤٤﴾
they will say: "Is there any way of return?''
This is like the Ayah:
وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذْ وُقِفُواْ عَلَى النَّارِ فَقَالُواْ يلَيْتَنَا نُرَدُّ وَلاَ نُكَذِّبَ بِـَايَـتِ رَبِّنَا وَنَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ - بَلْ بَدَا لَهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ يُخْفُونَ مِن قَبْلُ وَلَوْ رُدُّواْ لَعَـدُواْ لِمَا نُهُواْ عَنْهُ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَكَـذِبُونَ
If you could but see when they will be held over the (Hell) Fire! They will say: "Would that we were but sent back! Then we would not deny the Ayat of our Lord, and we would be of the believers!''
Nay, it has become manifest to them what they had been concealing before. But if they were returned, they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars. (6:27-28)
وَتَرَاهُمْ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَيْهَا ...
And you will see them brought forward to it,
means, to the Fire.
... خَاشِعِينَ مِنَ الذُّلِّ ...
made humble by disgrace,
means, in a befitting manner, because of their previous disobedience towards Allah.
... يَنظُرُونَ مِن طَرْفٍ خَفِيٍّ ...
(and) looking with stealthy glance.
Mujahid said, "In a humiliated manner.''
That is, they will steal glances at it, because they will be afraid of it. But the thing that they are afraid of will undoubtedly happen, and worse than that -- may Allah save us from that.
... وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ...
And those who believe will say,
means, on the Day of Resurrection they will say:
... إِنَّ الْخَاسِرِينَ ...
Verily, the losers...
means, the greatest losers.
... الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَهْلِيهِمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ...
are they who lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection.
means, they will be taken to the Fire and deprived of any pleasures in the Hereafter. They will lose themselves, and they will be separated from their loved ones, companions, families and relatives, and they will lose them.
... أَلَا إِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ فِي عَذَابٍ مُّقِيمٍ ﴿٤٥﴾
Verily, the wrongdoers will be in a lasting torment.
means, everlasting and eternal, with no way out and no escape.
وَمَا كَانَ لَهُم مِّنْ أَوْلِيَاء يَنصُرُونَهُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ ...
And they will have no protectors to help them other than Allah.
means, no one to save them from the punishment and torment which they are suffering.
... وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِن سَبِيلٍ ﴿٤٦﴾
And he whom Allah sends astray, for him there is no way.
means, no salvation.
Encouragement to obey Allah before the Day of Resurrection
When Allah tells us about the horrors and terrifying events of the Day of Resurrection, He warns us about it and commands us to prepare for it:
اسْتَجِيبُوا لِرَبِّكُم مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَ يَوْمٌ لَّا مَرَدَّ لَهُ مِنَ اللَّهِ ...
Answer the Call of your Lord before there comes from Allah a Day which cannot be averted.
means, once He issues the command, it will come to pass within the blinking of an eye, and no one will be able to avert it or prevent it.
... مَا لَكُم مِّن مَّلْجَأٍ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن نَّكِيرٍ ﴿٤٧﴾
You will have no refuge on that Day nor there will be for you any denying.
means, you will have no stronghold in which to take refuge, no place in which to hide from Allah, for He will encompass you with His knowledge and power, and you will have no refuge from Him except with Him.
يَقُولُ الإِنسَـنُ يَوْمَئِذٍ أَيْنَ الْمَفَرُّ - كَلاَّ لاَ وَزَرَ - إِلَى رَبِّكَ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْمُسْتَقَرُّ
On that Day man will say: "Where (is the refuge) to flee'?'
No! There is no refuge!
Unto your Lord will be the place of rest that Day. (75:10-12)
فَإِنْ أَعْرَضُوا ...
But if they turn away
refers to the idolators,
... فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا ...
We have not sent you as a Hafiz over them.
means, `you have no power over them.'
And Allah says elsewhere:
لَّيْسَ عَلَيْكَ هُدَاهُمْ وَلَـكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ
Not upon you is their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills. (2:272)
فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَـغُ وَعَلَيْنَا الْحِسَابُ
your duty is only to convey (the Message) and on Us is the reckoning. (13:40)
And Allah says here:
... إِنْ عَلَيْكَ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ ...
Your duty is to convey.
meaning, `all that We require you to do is to convey the Message of Allah to them.'
... وَإِنَّا إِذَا أَذَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِنَّا رَحْمَةً فَرِحَ بِهَا ...
And verily, when We cause man to taste of mercy from Us, he rejoices there at;
means, when a time of ease and comfort comes to him, he is happy about it.
... وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ
but when befalls them, (means mankind). some evil,
means, drought, punishment, tribulation or difficulty,
... بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ فَإِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ كَفُورٌ ﴿٤٨﴾
because of the deeds which their hands have sent forth, then verily, man (becomes) ingrate!
means, he forgets the previous times of ease and blessings and acknowledges nothing but the present moment. If times of ease come to him, he becomes arrogant and transgresses, but if any difficulty befalls him, he loses hope and is filled with despair.
This is like what the Messenger of Allah said to the women:
يَا مَعْشَرَ النِّسَاءِ، تَصَدَّقْنَ، فَإِنِّي رَأَيْتُكُنَّ أَكْثَرَ أَهْلِ النَّار
O women, give in charity, for I have seen that you form the majority of the people of Hell.
A woman asked, "Why is that, O Messenger of Allah''
لِأَنَّكُنَّ تُكْثِرْنَ الشِّكَايَةَ وَتَكْفُرْنَ الْعَشِيرَ، لَوْ أَحْسَنْتَ إِلى إِحْدَاهُنَّ الدَّهْرَ ثُمَّ تَرَكْتَ يَوْمًا، قَالَتْ: مَا رَأَيْتُ مِنْكَ خَيْرًا قَط
Because you complain too much, and you are ungrateful to (your) husbands. If one of you were to be treated kindly for an entire lifetime, then that kindness was lacking for one day, she would say,
`I have never seen anything good from you!'
This is the case with most women, except for those whom Allah guides and who are among the people who believe and do righteous deeds.
As the Prophet said, the believer is the one who:
إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ، فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ، وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ، فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ، وَلَيْسَ ذَلِكَ لِأَحَدٍ إِلَّا لِلْمُؤْمِن
... if something good happens to him, he is thankful, and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience, and that is good for him. This does not happen to anyone except the believer.
Allah tells us that He is the Creator, Sovereign and Controller of the heavens and earth.
لِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاء ...
To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills.
Whatever he wills happens, and whatever He does not will does not happen. He gives to whomsoever He wills and withholds from whomsoever he wills; none can withhold what He gives, and none can give what He withholds, and He creates whatever He wills.
... يَهَبُ لِمَنْ يَشَاء إِنَاثًا ...
He bestows female upon whom He wills.
means, He gives them daughters only.
Al-Baghawi said, "And among them (those who were given daughters only) was Lut, peace be upon him.''
... وَيَهَبُ لِمَن يَشَاء الذُّكُورَ ﴿٤٩﴾
and bestows male upon whom He wills.
means, He gives them sons only.
Al-Baghawi said, "Like Ibrahim Al-Khalil, peace be upon him, who did not have any daughters.''
أَوْ يُزَوِّجُهُمْ ذُكْرَانًا وَإِنَاثًا ...
Or He bestows both males and females,
means, He gives to whomsoever He wills both males and females, sons and daughters.
Al-Baghawi said, "Like Muhammad.''
... وَيَجْعَلُ مَن يَشَاء عَقِيمًا ...
and He renders barren whom He wills.
means, so that he has no children at all.
Al-Baghawi said, "Like Yahya and Isa, peace be upon them.''
So people are divided into four categories: some are given daughters, some are given sons, some are given both sons and daughters, and some are not given either sons or daughters, but they are rendered barren, with no offspring.
... إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ ...
Verily, He is the All-Knower,
means, He knows who deserves to be in which of these categories.
... قَدِيرٌ ﴿٥٠﴾
and is Able (to do all things).
means, to do whatever He wills and to differentiate between people in this manner.
This issue is similar to that referred to in the Ayah where Allah says of Isa, peace be upon him:
وَلِنَجْعَلَهُ ءَايَةً لِّلْنَّاسِ
And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind. (19:21)
i.e., proof for them of His power, for He created people in four different ways.
- Adam, peace be upon him, was created from clay, from neither a male nor a female.
- Hawwa', peace be upon her, was created from a male without a female.
- All other people, besides Isa, peace be upon him, were created from male and female,
- and this sign of Allah was completed with the creation of Isa bin Maryam, may peace be upon them both, who was created from a female without a male. Allah says:
وَلِنَجْعَلَهُ ءَايَةً لِّلْنَّاسِ
And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind. (19: 21)
This issue has to do with parents, whilst the previous issue has to do with children, and in each case there are four categories. Glory be to the All-Knower Who is Able to do all things.
How the Revelation comes down
وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُكَلِّمَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَّا وَحْيًا ...
It is not given to any human being that Allah should speak to him unless (it be) by revelation,
This refers to how Allah sends revelation. Sometimes He casts something into the heart of the Prophet, and he has no doubt that it is from Allah, as it was reported in Sahih Ibn Hibban that the Messenger of Allah said:
إِنَّ رُوْحَ الْقُدُسِ نَفَثَ فِي رُوعِي أَنَّ نَفْسًا لَنْ تَمُوتَ حَتْى تَسْتَكْمِلَ رِزْقَهَا وَأَجَلَهَا، فَاتَّقُوا اللهَ وَأَجْمِلُوا فِي الطَّلَب
Ar-Ruh Al-Qudus (i.e., Jibril) breathed into my heart that no soul will die until its allotted provision and time have expired, so have Taqwa of Allah and keep seeking in a good (and lawful) way.
... أَوْ مِن وَرَاء حِجَابٍ ...
or from behind a veil --
as He spoke to Musa, peace be upon him. He asked to see Him after He had spoken to him, but this was not granted to him.
In the Sahih, it recorded that the Messenger of Allah said to Jabir bin Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him:
مَا كَلَّمَ اللهُ أَحَدًا إِلَّا مِنْ وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ، وَإِنَّهُ كَلَّمَ أَبَاكَ كِفَاحًا
Allah never speaks to anyone except from behind a veil, but He spoke to your father directly.
This is how it was stated in the Hadith.
He (Jabir's father) was killed on the day of Uhud, but this refers to the realm of Al-Barzakh, whereas the Ayah speaks of this earthly realm.
... أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولًا فَيُوحِيَ بِإِذْنِهِ مَا يَشَاء ...
or (that) He sends a Messenger to reveal what He wills by His leave.
as Jibril, peace be upon him, and other angels came down to the Prophets, peace be upon them.
... إِنَّهُ عَلِيٌّ حَكِيمٌ ﴿٥١﴾
Verily, He is Most High, Most Wise.
He is Most High, All-Knowing, Most Wise.
وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ رُوحًا مِّنْ أَمْرِنَا ...
And thus We have sent to you Ruh of Our command.
means, the Qur'an.
... مَا كُنتَ تَدْرِي مَا الْكِتَابُ وَلَا الْإِيمَانُ ...
You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith.
means, `in the details which were given to you in the Qur'an.'
... وَلَكِن جَعَلْنَاهُ ...
But We have made it,
means, the Qur'an,
... نُورًا نَّهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ نَّشَاء مِنْ عِبَادِنَا ...
a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our servants We will.
This is like the Ayah:
قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ هُدًى وَشِفَآءٌ وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ فِى ءَاذَانِهِمْ وَقْرٌ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِمْ عَمًى
Say: "It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness (deafness) in their ears, and it (the Qur'an) is blindness for them.'' (41:44)
... وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِي إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ ﴿٥٢﴾
And verily, you, (means, O Muhammad), are indeed guiding to a straight path.
means, the correct behavior.
Then Allah explains this further by saying:
صِرَاطِ اللَّهِ ...
The path of Allah,
meaning, His Laws which He enjoins.
... الَّذِي لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ...
to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth.
means, their Lord and Sovereign, the One Who is controlling and ruling them, Whose decree cannot be overturned.
... أَلَا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَصِيرُ الأمُورُ ﴿٥٣﴾
Verily, all matters at the end go to Allah.
means, all matters come back to Him and He issues judgement concerning them. Glorified and exalted be He far above all that the evildoers and deniers say.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Ash-Shura. All praise and thanks are due to Allah and in Him is all strength and protection.
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Zahid Javed Rana, Abid Javed Rana
Lahore, Pakistan *
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