بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
The Qur'an is a Revelation from Allah and the Universe is His True Creation
تَنْزِيلُ الْكِتَابِ مِنَ اللَّهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَكِيمِ ﴿٢﴾
The revelation of the Book is from Allah, the Almighty, the All-Wise.
Allah informs that He has revealed the Book to His servant and Messenger Muhammad -- may Allah's blessings be upon him until the Day of Judgement.
Allah then describes Himself as being of unimaginable glory, possessing ultimate wisdom in His statements and actions.
Allah then says,
مَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ....
We created not the heavens and the earth and all that is between them except in truth,
meaning, not in idle play and falsehood.
.. وَأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ...
and for a specified term.
meaning, for a fixed and specified duration that will not increase or decrease.
... وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا عَمَّا أُنذِرُوا مُعْرِضُونَ ﴿٣﴾
But those who disbelieve, turn away from that of which they are warned.
Meaning, the disbelievers are distracted from what is intended for them. Allah has indeed revealed to them a Book and sent to them a Messenger. Yet, they obstinately turn away from all of that. Therefore, they will soon realize the consequence of their behavior.
Refuting the Idolators
Allah then says,
meaning, to these idolators who worship others besides Allah.
... أَرَأَيْتُم مَّا تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَرُونِي مَاذَا خَلَقُوا مِنَ الْأَرْضِ ...
Think you about all that you invoke besides Allah Show me what they have created of the earth?
meaning, `show me the place that they have independently created from the earth.'
... أَمْ لَهُمْ شِرْكٌ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ ...
Or have they a share in the heavens?
which means that they are not partners in anything in the heavens, nor on earth. They do not own even the thin membrane covering a date's pit. The dominion and control only belong to Allah, Exalted is He. `How then would you worship others or join them as partners with Him? Who guided you to that? Who called you to that? Did He command you to do it, or is it something that you suggested yourselves?'
Thus, He says,
... اِئْتُونِي بِكِتَابٍ مِّن قَبْلِ هَذَا ...
Bring me a scripture prior to this?
meaning, `bring a book from among the Books of Allah that have been revealed to the Prophets, that commands you to worship these idols.'
... أَوْ أَثَارَةٍ مِّنْ عِلْمٍ ...
or some trace of knowledge,
meaning, `some clear evidence justifying this way you have chosen.'
... إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ﴿٤﴾
if you are truthful!
meaning, `you have absolutely no evidence for that -- neither textual (from revelation) nor rational.'
For this reason, some recited it;
أَوْ أَثَرَةٍ مِنْ عِلْمٍ "or something inherited from knowledge.''
meaning, `or true knowledge that you have inherited from anyone before you.'
This is similar to Mujahid's statement when he said, أَوْ أَثَارَةٍ مِّنْ عِلْمٍ (or some trace of knowledge).
"Or anyone who has inherited any knowledge.''
Allah then says,
وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّن يَدْعُو مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَن لَّا يَسْتَجِيبُ لَهُ إِلَى يَومِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَهُمْ عَن دُعَائِهِمْ غَافِلُونَ ﴿٥﴾
And who is more astray than those who invokes besides Allah others who will not answer them until the Day of Resurrection, and who are unaware of their invocations to them!
meaning, no one is more misguided than those who invoke idols instead of Allah, asking them for things that they cannot give -- until the Day of Judgment. They (the idols) are unaware of what he asks, they can neither hear, see, or act. This is because they are inanimate, senseless stones.
Allah then says,
وَإِذَا حُشِرَ النَّاسُ كَانُوا لَهُمْ أَعْدَاء وَكَانُوا بِعِبَادَتِهِمْ كَافِرِينَ ﴿٦﴾
And when mankind are gathered, they will become their enemies and will deny their worship.
This is similar to Allah's saying:
وَاتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ ءالِهَةً لِّيَكُونُواْ لَهُمْ عِزّاً - كَلاَّ سَيَكْفُرُونَ بِعِبَـدَتِهِمْ وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضِدّاً
They have taken gods beside Allah, that they might give them dignity.
No! They will deny their worship of them, and will be opponents to them. (19:81,82)
meaning, they will betray them when they need them the most.
(Ibrahim) Al-Khalil, peace be upon him, said:
إِنَّمَا اتَّخَذْتُمْ مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْثَـناً مَّوَدَّةَ بَيْنِكُمْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يَكْفُرُ بَعْضُكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ وَيَلْعَنُ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضاً وَمَأْوَاكُمُ النَّارُ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِّن نَّـصِرِينَ
You have taken only idols besides Allah! The love between you is only in the life of this world. On the Day of Resurrection, you shall disown each other and curse each other, and your abode will be the Fire, and you shall have no helpers. (29:25)
Refuting Claims of the Idolators about the Qur'an and the Messenger
وَإِذَا تُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُنَا بَيِّنَاتٍ قَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِلْحَقِّ لَمَّا جَاءهُمْ ...
And when Our Clear Ayat are recited to them, the disbelievers say of the truth when it reaches them:
Concerning the disbelief and rebellion of the idolators, Allah says that when the clear Ayat of Allah are recited to them they say;
...هَذَا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٧﴾
"This is plain magic!''
meaning, simple magic.
In this statement of theirs, they have lied, invented a falsehood, went astray and disbelieved.
أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَاهُ ...
Or they say: "He has fabricated it.''
They are referring to Muhammad.
Allah responds saying,
Say: "If I have fabricated it, still you have no power to support me against Allah. He knows best of what you say among yourselves concerning it! Sufficient is He as a witness between me and you! And He is the Oft--Forgiving, the Most Merciful.''
which means, `if I lie against Allah and falsely claim that He sent me when He actually had not, then He would punish me with a severe punishment. No one on the earth -- you or anyone else -- would then be able to protect me from Him.'
It is similar to Allah's saying,
قُلْ إِنِّى لَن يُجِيرَنِى مِنَ اللَّهِ أَحَدٌ وَلَنْ أَجِدَ مِن دُونِهِ مُلْتَحَداً إِلاَّ بَلاَغاً مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِسَـلَـتِهِ
Say: "None can protect me from Allah, nor would I find a refuge except in Him. (My duty) is only to convey from Allah and (deliver) His Messages.'' (72:22-23)
وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ الاٌّقَاوِيلِ - لأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِالْيَمِينِ - ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْهُ الْوَتِينَ - فَمَا مِنكُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ عَنْهُ حَـجِزِينَ
And if he made up a false saying concerning Us, We surely would have seized him by the right hand. Then we would have cut off his life artery. And none of you could withhold Us from (punishing) him. (69:44-47)
Thus, Allah says here, قُلْ إِنِ افْتَرَيْتُهُ فَلَا تَمْلِكُونَ لِي مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا تُفِيضُونَ فِيهِ كَفَى بِهِ شَهِيدًا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ Say: "If I have fabricated it, still you have no power to support me against Allah. He knows best of what you say among yourselves concerning it (i.e. this Qur'an)! Sufficient is He as a witness between me and you! ''
This is a severe threat, intimidation and warning for them.
Allah then says,
... وَهُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿٨﴾
And He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
This is an encouragement for them to repent and turn to Allah. It means, `despite all of this, if you turn back and repent, Allah will accept your repentance, pardon you, forgive you, and have mercy upon on.'
This is similar to Allah's saying in Surah Al-Furqan,
وَقَالُواْ أَسَـطِيرُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ اكْتَتَبَهَا فَهِىَ تُمْلَى عَلَيْهِ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلاً - قُلْ أَنزَلَهُ الَّذِى يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً
And they say: "(This Book is) legends of the ancients that he has written down, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon.''
Say: "It has been sent down by the One Who knows every secret within the heavens and the earth. Truly, He is ever Forgiving and Merciful.'' (25:5-6)
Allah then says,
قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعًا مِّنْ الرُّسُلِ ...
Say: "I am not a new thing among the Messengers..."
which means, `I am not the first Messenger who ever came to the world. Rather, Messengers came before me. Therefore, I am not an unprecedented incident that should cause you all to reject me and doubt my being sent to you. Indeed, Allah has sent before me all of the Prophets to various nations.'
Allah then says,
... وَمَا أَدْرِي مَا يُفْعَلُ بِي وَلَا بِكُمْ ...
nor do I know what will be done with me or with you.
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas that he said,
"It (this Ayah) was followed in revelation by, لِيَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِن ذَنبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ (That Allah may forgive for you your sins of the past and future). (48:2)
Similarly, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, and Qatadah all said that
this Ayah was abrogated by the Ayah; لِيَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِن ذَنبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ (That Allah may forgive for you your sins of the past and future). (48:2)
They said that when the latter Ayah was revealed, one of the Muslims said to Allah's Messenger, "Allah has declared what He will do for you. But what will He do for us?' Then Allah revealed; لِيُدْخِلَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ (That He may admit the believing men and the believing women to Gardens under which rivers flow). (48:5)
This is what they said. That which has been confirmed in the Sahih is that the believers said,
"May you enjoy that, O Allah's Messenger! But what do we get''
So Allah revealed this Ayah.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Kharijah bin Zayd bin Thabit, reported that Umm Al-`Ala' -- a woman from the Ansar who had given her pledge of loyalty to Allah's Messenger -- said,
"When the Ansar drew lots regarding taking in the Muhajirun to dwell with them, our lot was to have `Uthman bin Maz`un. Later, `Uthman fell sick in our house, so we nursed him until he died, and we wrapped him in his garments (for burial). Allah's Messenger then came in, and I said, `O Abu As-Sa'ib! May Allah have mercy on you. I bear witness that Allah has indeed honored you.'
Allah's Messenger asked,
وَمَا يُدْرِيكِ أَنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى أَكْرَمَه
How do you know that Allah has honored him?
I said, `I do not know -- may my father and mother both be ransoms for you!'
Allah's Messenger then said,
أَمَّا هُوَ فَقَدْ جَاءَهُ الْيَقِينُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ،وَإِنِّي لَأَرْجُو لَهُ الْخَيْرَ. وَاللهِ مَا أَدْرِي وَأَنَا رَسُولُ اللهِ مَا يُفْعَلُ بِي
As for him, certainty (death) has reached him from his Lord, and I surely wish well for him. But by Allah, even though I am Allah's Messenger, I do not know what will happen to me (after death).
I then said,
`Never will I claim a person to be pious after this.'
This incident caused me some distress, and I went to sleep thereafter. I saw in my dream that `Uthman owned a running water spring. I went to Allah's Messenger and told him about that. Allah's Messenger said,
That was his (good) deeds.''
Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith but Muslim did not.
In one of the narrations, Allah's Messenger said,
مَا أَدْرِي وَأَنَا رَسُولُ اللهِ مَا يُفْعَلُ بِه
Even though I am Allah's Messenger, I do not know what will happen to him.
This and similar texts indicate that it is not allowed to declare that a specific person will enter Jannah except for those who were distinctly indicated by Allah or his Messenger. Examples of those are the Ten,
- Ibn Sallam,
- Abdullah bin `Amr bin Haram (Jabir's father),
- the Seventy Recitors (of Qur'an) who were assassinated near the Well of Ma`unah,
- Zayd bin Harithah,
- Ibn Rawahah,
- and other similar individuals, may Allah be pleased with them.
Allah then says,
... إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَى إِلَيَّ ...
I only follow that which is revealed to me,
which means, `I only follow what Allah has revealed to me of the revelation.'
... وَمَا أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٩﴾
and I am but a plain warner.
meaning, `my warnings are obvious to every person with sound intellect and reason.' And Allah knows best.
The Qur'an is Allah's True Speech and the Position of the Disbelievers and the Muslims towards it
meaning, `O Muhammad to these idolators who disbelieve in the Qur'an.'
أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ وَكَفَرْتُم بِهِ
Tell me! If it was, (this Qur'an). from Allah, and you disbelieved in it,
meaning, `what do you think that Allah will do to you if this Book that I have come to you with is actually revealed to me from Him in order that I convey it to you, and yet you disbelieve in it and deny it
... وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌ مِّن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَلَى مِثْلِهِ ...
(at the same time), a witness from among the Children of Israel has testified to something similar,
meaning, `the previous Scriptures that were revealed to the Prophets before me all testify to its truthfulness and authenticity. They have prophecied, well in advance, about things similar to that which this Qur'an informs of.'
Concerning Allah's statement,
... فَآمَنَ ...
`this person who testified to its truthfulness from the Children of Israel, due to his realization that it was the truth.'
... وَاسْتَكْبَرْتُمْ ...
while you rejected (the truth)!
`whereas you have arrogantly refused to follow it.'
"That witness believed in his Prophet and Book, while you disbelieved in your Prophet and Book.''
... إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿١٠﴾
Verily, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.
The witness here refers to any witness in general. It includes Abdullah bin Salam and other from them as well. For indeed, this Ayah was revealed in Makkah before Abdullah bin Salam had accepted Islam.
This is similar to the statement of Allah,
وَإِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ قَالُواْ ءَامَنَّا بِهِ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّنَآ إنَّا كُنَّا مِن قَبْلِهِ مُسْلِمِينَ
And when it is recited to them, they say: "We believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed, even before it we have been Muslims.'' (28:53)
It is also similar to Allah's saying,
قُلْ ءَامِنُواْ بِهِ أَوْ لاَ تُؤْمِنُواْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ مِن قَبْلِهِ إِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ يَخِرُّونَ لِلاٌّذْقَانِ سُجَّدًا - وَيَقُولُونَ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَآ إِن كَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفْعُولاً
Verily! Those who were given knowledge before it -- when it is recited to them, they fall upon their faces in prostration, and they say: "Exalted is our Lord! Truly, the promise of our Lord has been fulfilled.'' (17:107-108)
It has been narrated from Sa`d, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said,
"I have not heard Allah's Messenger say about anyone walking on the surface of the earth that he is of the people of Jannah -- except for Abdullah bin Salam. Concerning him the following Ayah was revealed, وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌ مِّن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَلَى مِثْلِهِ ((at the same time), a witness from among the Children of Israel has testified to something similar)''
This has been recorded in the Two Sahihs and An-Nasa'i.
Similarly, Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Ikrimah, Yusuf bin Abdullah bin Salam, Hilal bin Yasaf, As-Suddi, Ath-Thawri, Malik bin Anas and Ibn Zayd all said that this refers to Abdullah bin Salam.
Allah then says,
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَوْ كَانَ خَيْرًا مَّا سَبَقُونَا إِلَيْهِ ...
And those who disbelieve say of those who believe: "Had it been good, they (the weak and poor) would not have preceded us to it!''
which means that those who disbelieve say of those who believe in the Qur'an: "Had it (the Qur'an) been any good, they (the weak and poor) would not have preceded us to it!''
By that, they meant Bilal, `Ammar, Suhayb, Khabbab, may Allah be pleased with them, and others like them of the weak, the male servants, and female servants.
The pagans said this only because they thought that they held a high status with Allah, and that He took special care of them. By that, they made a great and obvious error, as Allah says:
وَكَذلِكَ فَتَنَّا بَعْضَهُمْ بِبَعْضٍ لِّيَقُولواْ أَهَـؤُلاءِ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّن بَيْنِنَآ
Thus have We tried some of them with others, that they might say: "Is it these whom Allah has favored from among us?'' (6:53)
meaning, they wonder how could those weaklings be the ones who were guided from among them.
Thus, Allah says, لَوْ كَانَ خَيْرًا مَّا سَبَقُونَا إِلَيْهِ (Had it been good, they (the weak and poor) would not have preceded us to it!)
Contrary to this is the position of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah: They say about any act or saying that has not been reported from the Companions:
"It is an innovation. If there was any good in it, they would have preceded us in doing it, because they have not left off any of the good characteristics except that they hurried to perform them.''
... وَإِذْ لَمْ يَهْتَدُوا بِهِ ...
And when they have not been guided by it, (meaning, the Qur'an).
... فَسَيَقُولُونَ هَذَا إِفْكٌ قَدِيمٌ ﴿١١﴾
they say: "This is an ancient falsehood!''
meaning, an old lie. They mean by this that the Qur'an has been quoted and taken from the ancient people, thereby belittling the Qur'an and its followers. This is clear arrogance, as Allah's Messenger said:
بَطَرُ الْحَقِّ وَغَمْطُ النَّاس
(Arrogance is) rejecting the truth and belittling the people.
Allah then says,
وَمِن قَبْلِهِ كِتَابُ مُوسَى ...
And before this was the Scripture of Musa, (and it was the Tawrah).
... إِمَامًا وَرَحْمَةً وَهَذَا كِتَابٌ ...
as a guide and mercy. And this is a Book, (meaning, the Qur'an).
... مُّصَدِّقٌ ...
meaning, that which came before it of the previous Books.
... لِّسَانًا عَرَبِيًّا ...
in the Arabic tongue,
means that it is eloquent and clear.
... لِّيُنذِرَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا وَبُشْرَى لِلْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿١٢﴾
to warn those who do wrong, and as glad tidings for the doers of good.
meaning, it contains a warning to the disbelievers and glad tidings for the believers.
Allah then says:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا ...
Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is (only) Allah,'' and thereafter stand firm,
The explanation of this has been discussed earlier in Surah As-Sajdah. (41:30)
Allah then says,
... فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ ...
on them shall be no fear,
meaning, concerning their future.
... وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ﴿١٣﴾
nor shall they grieve.
meaning, over what they have left behind.
أُوْلَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا جَزَاء بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿١٤﴾
Such shall be the dwellers of Paradise, abiding therein (forever) -- a reward for what they used to do.
meaning, the deeds are a cause for their attaining the mercy and their being engulfed by it -- and Allah knows best.
Allah's Advice about the Parents
After mentioning that one must confess His Oneness, worship Him with sincerity, and remain upright in obeying Him, Allah follows that by giving instructions regarding the parents. These appear together in many places of the Qur'an, such as Allah's saying,
وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّـهُ وَبِالْوَلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَـناً
Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be dutiful to your parents. (17:23)
أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِى وَلِوَلِدَيْكَ إِلَىَّ الْمَصِيرُ
Be grateful to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination. (31:14)
There are many other Ayat like this as well.
Here Allah says,
And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents.
meaning, `We have commanded him to treat them well and show compassion towards them.'
Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded from Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas, may Allah be pleased with him, that his mother said to him:
"Hasn't Allah commanded that you obey your parents Then I will not eat any food or drink any drink until you disbelieve in Allah.''
Thus she stubbornly abstained from eating and drinking, until they had to open her mouth with a stick. Then this Ayah was revealed, وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ إِحْسَانًا (And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents).
This was also recorded by Muslim and the Sunan compilers, except for Ibn Majah.
... حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ كُرْهًا ...
His mother bears him with hardship.
which means that the mother suffers hardship because of her child, such as fatigue, sickness, vomiting, heaviness, distress, and other forms of hardship that the pregnant women suffer.
... وَوَضَعَتْهُ كُرْهًا ...
And she delivers him with hardship.
meaning, she also delivers him with hardship, suffering the pains of labor and their severity.
... وَحَمْلُهُ وَفِصَالُهُ ثَلَاثُونَ شَهْرًا ...
And (the period of) his gestation and weaning is thirty months,
Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, used this Ayah along with the following two Ayat to prove that the minimum period of pregnancy (gestation) is six months:
وَفِصَالُهُ فِى عَامَيْنِ
And his weaning is in two years. (31:14)
وَالْوَلِدَتُ يُرْضِعْنَ أَوْلَـدَهُنَّ حَوْلَيْنِ كَامِلَيْنِ لِمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يُتِمَّ الرَّضَاعَةَ
The mothers suckle their children two complete years -- for those who desire to complete the term of suckling. (2:233)
This is a strong and valid conclusion, and it was approved by Uthman and a number of the Companions.
Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar narrated from Ba`jah bin Abdullah Al-Juhani that;
a man from his tribe (Juhaynah) married a woman from Juhaynah. She delivered a baby after six months. So her husband went to Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, and told him about that. Thus, Uthman summoned her. When she was getting dressed, her sister started crying. She asked her:
"Why do you cry? By Allah, no one has ever approached me (for sexual relations) of Allah's creation except him (my husband). So let Allah decree (for me) as He wills.''
When she was brought before Uthman, he commanded that she be stoned to death (for adultery).
Ali heard of this, came to Uthman, and said: "What are you doing?''
He (Uthman) said: "She delivered after six months! Can this ever happen?'' `
Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "Don't you read the Qur'an?''
He said: "Yes, of course!''
He (Ali) then said:
`Haven't you heard Allah's saying, وَحَمْلُهُ وَفِصَالُهُ ثَلَاثُونَ شَهْرًا (and his gestation and weaning is thirty months), and; حَوْلَيْنِ كَامِلَيْن (two complete years) (2:233) (Subtracting the two numbers) we are only left with six months.''
Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "By Allah, I did not see that! Bring the woman back.''
But they found that she had already been killed.
"By Allah, no two crows and no two eggs are more similar than that child turned out to be to his father!
When his father saw that he said, `By Allah! This is my son without any doubt.'
Later on, Allah afflicted him with a skin abscess in his face (because of his false accusation to his wife). It kept eating him up until he died.''
Ibn Abi Hatim related from his father that Farwah bin Abi Al-Maghra' told them that Ali bin Mushir narrated to them from Dawud bin Abi Hind, who narrated from Ikrimah that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"When a woman delivers after nine months, the baby will only need twenty-one months of suckling. When she delivers after seven months, the baby will need twenty-three months of suckling. When she delivers after six months, the baby will need two full years of suckling, because Allah says, وَحَمْلُهُ وَفِصَالُهُ ثَلَاثُونَ شَهْرًا حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ (and his gestation and weaning is thirty months, till when he attains full strength).''
... حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ ...
till when he attains full strength,
meaning, he becomes strong, youthful, and attains full ability.
... وَبَلَغَ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً ...
and reaches forty years,
meaning, his complete intellect, understanding, and patience reach the level of maturity.
It has also been said that usually one will not change his ways once he reaches the age of forty.
... قَال رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِي ...
he says: "My Lord! Grant me the power and ability,
meaning, `inspire me.'
... أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَى وَالِدَيَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحًا تَرْضَاهُ ...
that I may be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You,
meaning, in the future.
... وَأَصْلِحْ لِي فِي ذُرِّيَّتِي ...
and make my offspring good.
meaning, my offspring and descendants.
... إِنِّي تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَإِنِّي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ ﴿١٥﴾
Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims.
This contains an instruction for anyone who reaches forty years of age to renew his repentance and turn to Allah with strong resolution.
Allah then says,
أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ نَتَقَبَّلُ عَنْهُمْ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا وَنَتَجاوَزُ عَن سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ فِي أَصْحَابِ الْجَنَّةِ ...
Those are the ones from whom We shall accept the best of what they did and overlook their evil deeds. (They shall be) among the dwellers of Paradise.
meaning, those to whom applies the above description -- those who repent to Allah, turn back to Him, and rectify their shortcomings through repentance and seeking forgiveness - those are the ones from whom We will accept the best of what they did and overlook their evil deeds. Many of their errors will be forgiven and Allah will accept from them a modest amount of deeds.
فِي أَصْحَابِ الْجَنَّة (among the dwellers of Paradise), which means that they will be among the dwellers of Paradise. That is Allah's ruling concerning them, as He has promised for those who repent and turn to Him.
Thus, He says,
... وَعْدَ الصِّدْقِ الَّذِي كَانُوا يُوعَدُونَ ﴿١٦﴾
That is the promise of truth that they had been promised.
Mention of the Undutiful Children and Their End
In the previous Ayat, Allah mentions the dutiful offspring who supplicate for their parents and treat them with kindness. He describes the success and salvation He has prepared for them. Here He connects to that discussion the situation of the wretched offspring who are undutiful toward their parents.
وَالَّذِي قَالَ لِوَالِدَيْهِ أُفٍّ لَّكُمَا ...
But he who says to his parents: "Uff to you! ...''
As for the saying "Uff'' in this Ayah, it is a general description applying to anyone who says it to his parents. Some people claim that it was revealed about Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr. But this claim is weak and rejected, because Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr embraced Islam after this was revealed. His adherence to Islam was excellent, and he was among the best of his contemporaries.
Al-Bukhari recorded from Yusuf bin Mahak that;
Marwan (bin Al-Hakam) was governor of Hijaz (Western Arabia), appointed by Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan. He (Marwan) delivered a speech in which he mentioned Yazid bin Mu`awiyah and urged the people to give a pledge of allegiance after his father. Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr said something to him in response to that, upon which Marwan commanded his men: "Arrest him!'' But he entered Aishah's house, and they were not able to capture him. Marwan then said:
"This is the one about whom Allah revealed:
وَالَّذِي قَالَ لِوَالِدَيْهِ أُفٍّ لَّكُمَا أَتَعِدَانِنِي أَنْ أُخْرَجَ وَقَدْ خَلَتْ الْقُرُونُ مِن قَبْلِي ...
But he who says to his parents: "Uff to you! Do you promise me that I will be raised -- when generations before me have passed?''
From behind the curtain, Aishah responded:
"Allah did not reveal any Qur'an in our regard (i.e. the children of Abu Bakr), except for the declaration of my innocence.''
In another report recorded by An-Nasa'i, Muhammad bin Ziyad reported that;
when Mu`awiyah was soliciting people to pledge allegiance to his son, and Marwan declared:
"This follows the tradition of Abu Bakr and `Umar.''
On hearing this, Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr said: "Rather, this is the tradition of Heraclius and Caesar.''
"This is the one about whom Allah revealed وَالَّذِي قَالَ لِوَالِدَيْهِ أُفٍّ لَّكُمَا (But he who says to his parents: "Uff to you!'')''
When that was conveyed to A'ishah, she said:
"Marwan is lying! By Allah, that was not revealed about him. If I wish to name the person meant by it, I could. On the other hand, Allah's Messenger placed a curse on Marwan's father (Al- Hakam bin Abi Al-`As when Marwan was still in his loins, so Marwan (bin Al-Hakam) is an outcome of Allah's curse.''
As for Allah's statement:
... أَتَعِدَانِنِي أَنْ أُخْرَجَ ...
Do you promise me that I will be raised?
... وَقَدْ خَلَتْ الْقُرُونُ مِن قَبْلِي ...
when generations before me have passed,
meaning, generations of people have already passed away, and none of them has ever returned to tell (what happened to them) .
... وَهُمَا يَسْتَغِيثَانِ اللَّهَ ...
While they invoke Allah for help,
meaning, they ask Allah to guide him, and they say to their son,
... وَيْلَكَ آمِنْ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقّ ٌ فَيَقُولُ مَا هَذَا إِلَّا أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ ﴿١٧﴾
"Woe to you! Believe! Verily, the promise of Allah is true.''
But he says: "This is nothing but the legends of the ancient.''
Allah then says,
أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَوْلُ فِي أُمَمٍ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِم مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا خَاسِرِينَ ﴿١٨﴾
They are those against whom the Word (of torment) has justified among the previous generations of Jinn and mankind that have passed away. Verily, they are ever the losers.
This indicates that all such people will be among their likes and their peers among the disbelievers, who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection.
Allah's saying,أُوْلَئِكَ (Those are) after He said, وَالَّذِى قَالَ (But he who says) confirms what we have mentioned above that the latter is a general description of a type of people including all those who fall under that description.
Al-Hasan and Qatadah both said,
"This applies to the disbelieving, sinful person who is undutiful to his parents and who denies resurrection.''
Allah then says,
وَلِكُلٍّ دَرَجَاتٌ مِّمَّا عَمِلُوا ...
And for all, there will be degrees according to that which they did,
meaning that there will be degrees of punishment for each of them according to what they did.
... وَلِيُوَفِّيَهُمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ ﴿١٩﴾
so that He might fully recompense them for their deeds, and they will not be wronged.
which means Allah will not be unjust to them even in the amount of a speck of dust or less.
Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said:
"The levels of the Fire descend, and those of Paradise ascend.''
Allah then says,
وَيَوْمَ يُعْرَضُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا عَلَى النَّارِ أَذْهَبْتُمْ طَيِّبَاتِكُمْ فِي حَيَاتِكُمُ الدُّنْيَا وَاسْتَمْتَعْتُم بِهَا ...
On the Day when those who disbelieve will be exposed to the Fire (it will be said):
"You received your good things in the life of the world, and you took your pleasure therein...''
which means that this will be said to them by way of blame and reprimand.
The Commander of the faithful, Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, gave up many of the joys of food and drink and refrained from them while saying,
"I am afraid of being like those whom Allah has reproached and condemned by saying, أَذْهَبْتُمْ طَيِّبَاتِكُمْ فِي حَيَاتِكُمُ الدُّنْيَا وَاسْتَمْتَعْتُم بِهَا (You received your good things in the life of the world, and you took your pleasure therein).''
Abu Mijlaz said:
"Some people will lose good deeds that they had in the worldly life, and they will be told, أَذْهَبْتُمْ طَيِّبَاتِكُمْ فِي حَيَاتِكُمُ الدُّنْيَا (You received your good things in the life of the world).''
Then Allah says,
... فَالْيَوْمَ تُجْزَوْنَ عَذَابَ الْهُونِ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَسْتَكْبِرُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَبِمَا كُنتُمْ تَفْسُقُونَ ﴿٢٠﴾
Today, you will be recompensed with the torment of extreme humiliation, because you were arrogant upon the earth without a right, and because you used to rebel against Allah's command.
which indicates that their punishment will be of a type comparable to their deeds.
They enjoyed themselves, were arrogant in their denial of the truth, and were involved in sinning and disobedience. Thus, Allah punishes them with extreme humiliation, disgrace, severe pains, continued sorrow, and positions in the terrible depths of Hell -- may Allah protect us from all of that.
The Story of `Ad
Allah says, consoling His Prophet in regard to the rejection of those who opposed him among his people,
وَاذْكُرْ أَخَا عَادٍ ...
And remember the brother of `Ad,
This refers to Hud, peace be upon in him.
... إِذْ أَنذَرَ قَوْمَهُ بِالْأَحْقَافِ
when he warned his people in Al-Ahqaf.
Allah sent him to the first people of `Ad who inhabited Al-Ahqaf.
Ahqaf is plural of Haqf. According to Ibn Zayd, it means a sand dune; and according to Ikrimah, it means a mountain or a cave.
"We were informed that `Ad was a tribe in Yemen. They dwelt among sand (hills), and overlooked the sea in a land called Ash-Shihr.''
Under the chapter, "He Who supplicates should first mention Himself,'' Ibn Majah recorded that Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet said:
يَرْحَمُنَا اللهُ وَأَخَا عَاد
May Allah have mercy on us and the Brother of `Ad.
Allah then says,
وَقَدْ خَلَتْ النُّذُرُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ ...
And surely, warners had already passed on before him and after him.
meaning, Allah had sent Messengers and warners to the towns surrounding the land of `Ad.
This is similar to Allah's saying,
فَجَعَلْنَـهَا نَكَـلاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهَا وَمَا خَلْفَهَا
And We made it a deterrent punishment for those who were present and those who succeeded them. (2:66)
And it is also similar to Allah's saying,
فَإِنْ أَعْرَضُواْ فَقُلْ أَنذَرْتُكُمْ صَـعِقَةً مِّثْلَ صَـعِقَةِ عَادٍ وَثَمُودَ إِذْ جَآءَتْهُمُ الرُّسُلُ مِن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ اللَّهَ
But if they turn away, then say: "I have warned you of a thunderbolt like the thunderbolt that struck `Ad and Thamud. (That occurred) when the Messengers had come to them from before them and after them (saying): "Worship none but Allah.'' (41:13-14)
... أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا اللَّهَ ...
"Worship none but Allah;
Allah then says,
... إِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ ﴿٢١﴾
truly, I fear for you the torment of a mighty Day.
meaning, Hud said this to them (his people), and they responded to him saying,
قَالُوا أَجِئْتَنَا لِتَأْفِكَنَا عَنْ آلِهَتِنَا ...
Have you come to delude us from our gods,
meaning, to prevent us عَنْ آلِهَتِنَا (from our gods),
... فَأْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَا إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ ﴿٢٢﴾
(hen bring us that with which you threaten us, if you are one of the truthful!
They sought to hasten Allah's torment and punishment, believing that it will not happen.
This is similar to Allah's saying,
يَسْتَعْجِلُ بِهَا الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهَا
Those who do not believe in it (the Last Hour) seek to hasten it, (42:18).
Hud's response was,
He said: "The knowledge (of that) is only with Allah.''
which means, `Allah knows best about you. If you deserve the punishment to be hastened, He will do that to you.
... وَأُبَلِّغُكُم مَّا أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ ...
And I convey to you that wherewith I have been sent,
i.e. As for me, my duty is to deliver my message to you.'
... وَلَكِنِّي أَرَاكُمْ قَوْمًا تَجْهَلُونَ ﴿٢٣﴾
But I see that you are a people given to ignorance!
which means, `you have no comprehension or understanding.'
Allah then says,
Then, when they saw it as a dense cloud approaching their valleys,
meaning, when they saw the punishment coming towards them, they thought it to be clouds full of rain. That made them happy and joyful, because they had a drought and needed rain.
... قَالُوا هَذَا عَارِضٌ مُّمْطِرُنَا ...
they said: "This is a cloud bringing us rain!''
Allah then said,
... بَلْ هُوَ مَا اسْتَعْجَلْتُم بِهِ رِيحٌ فِيهَا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿٢٤﴾
Nay, but it is that which you were asking to be hastened -- a wind wherein is a painful torment!
meaning, this is the torment that you called for saying, "Bring to us what you promise us if you should be of the truthful.''
تُدَمِّرُ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ ...
Destroying every thing,
meaning, destroying every part of their land that could normally be destroyed.
... بِأَمْرِ رَبِّهَا ...
by the command of its Lord!
meaning, it had Allah's permission to do that. This is similar to Allah's saying,
مَا تَذَرُ مِن شَىْءٍ أَتَتْ عَلَيْهِ إِلاَّ جَعَلَتْهُ كَالرَّمِيمِ
It spared nothing that it reached, but blew it into broken spreads of rotten ruins. (51:42)
meaning, like something dilapidated (or decrepit). Because of this,
... فَأَصْبَحُوا لَا يُرَى إِلَّا مَسَاكِنُهُمْ ...
So they became such that nothing could be seen except their dwellings!
means, all of them were destroyed, and none of them were spared.
Allah then says:
... كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْقَوْمَ الْمُجْرِمِينَ ﴿٢٥﴾
Thus do We recompense the criminal people!
which means that this is Our judgement regarding those who reject Our Messengers and disobey Our commands.
Imam Ahmad recorded from A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that she said,
"I never saw Allah's Messenger fully laughing so that I would see his uvula. He would only smile.''
She added that when Allah's Messenger saw clouds or wind, that would reflect on his face (as discomfort). She asked him:
"O Allah's Messenger! When the people see clouds, they become happy, hoping that they bring them rain. But I notice that when you see them, displeasure appears on your face.''
Allah's Messenger replied,
يَا عَائِشَةُ، مَا يُؤْمِنُنِي أَنْ يَكُونَ فِيهِ عَذَابٌ، قَدْ عُذِّبَ قَوْمٌ بِالرِّيحِ، وَقَدْ رَأَى قَوْمٌ الْعَذَابَ وَقَالُوا: هذَا عَارِضٌ مُمْطِرُنَا
O `A'ishah! What would guarantee to me that they do not bring punishment Some nations had been punished with wind. On seeing the punishment approaching them, a nation once said: "This is a cloud bringing us rain.''
This is also recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Imam Ahmad recorded that A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said that when Allah's Messenger saw clouds on any of the horizons, he would leave whatever he was doing -- even if he was in prayer -- and say:
اللْهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا فِيه
O Allah! I seek refuge with you from any harm that it (the cloud) contains.
If Allah removed those clouds, the Prophet would praise Allah, and if rain fell, he would say:
اللْهُمَّ صَيِّبًا نَافِعًا
O Allah! Make it pouring and beneficent.
Muslim also recorded in his Sahih from A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that when the wind blew, Allah's Messenger would say,
اللْهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ خَيْرَهَا وَخَيْرَ مَا فِيهَا وَخَيْرَ مَا أُرْسِلَتْ بِهِ،وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّهَا، وَشَرِّ مَا فِيهَا، وَشَرِّ مَا أُرْسِلَتْ بِه
O Allah! I ask You of its good, the good that it contains, and the good with which it has been sent. And I seek refuge in You from its evil, the evil that it contains, and the evil with which it has been sent.
She added that if the sky became cloudy, his color would change; he would exit, enter, come, and go.
When it rained, his anxiety would be relieved.
When A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, noticed that, she asked him about it and he said:
لَعَلَّهُ يَا عَائِشَةُ كَمَا قَالَ قَوْمُ عَادٍ:
فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهُ عَارِضًا مُّسْتَقْبِلَ أَوْدِيَتِهِمْ قَالُوا هَذَا عَارِضٌ مُّمْطِرُنَا
O `A'ishah! It could be like what the people of `Ad said,
Then, when they saw it as a dense cloud approaching their valleys, they said: "This is a cloud bringing us rain!''
We have previously mentioned the story of the destruction of the people of `Ad in both Surah Al-A`raf and Surah Hud. Thus, there is no need to repeat it here; and verily Allah is worthy of all praise and gratitude.
وَلَقَدْ مَكَّنَّاهُمْ فِيمَا إِن مَّكَّنَّاكُمْ فِيهِ ...
And indeed We had firmly established them with that wherewith We have not established you!
means, `We have granted the earlier nations wealth and offspring in the worldly life. That which We granted them, we did not give you anything similar or close to it.'
... وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُمْ سَمْعًا وَأَبْصَارًا وَأَفْئِدَةً فَمَا أَغْنَى عَنْهُمْ سَمْعُهُمْ وَلَا أَبْصَارُهُمْ وَلَا أَفْئِدَتُهُم مِّن شَيْءٍ إِذْ كَانُوا يَجْحَدُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ
وَحَاقَ بِهِم مَّا كَانُوا بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِؤُون ﴿٢٦﴾
We also gave them hearing, vision, and hearts. But their hearing, vision, and hearts availed them nothing when they used to deny Allah's signs, and they were completely encircled by that which they used to ridicule!
meaning, they were encircled by the torment and exemplary punishment that they denied and whose occurrence they doubted.
This means, you listeners must beware of being like them lest a punishment similar to theirs strikes you in this life and the Hereafter.
Allah then says,
وَلَقَدْ أَهْلَكْنَا مَا حَوْلَكُم مِّنَ الْقُرَى ...
And indeed We have destroyed towns round about you,
This is addressed to the people of Makkah.
Allah destroyed the nations who disbelieved in the Messengers who lived around Makkah, such as
- `Ad who were at Al-Ahqaf in Hadramawt near Yemen,
- Thamud whose dwellings were between Makkah and Ash-Sham (Greater Syria),
- Saba' who were in Yemen,
- the people of Madyan who were on the route and passage to Ghazzah (Western Palestine), and
- the people of Lut who dwelt by the lake (the Dead Sea) which they used to pass by (on the way to Jordan) as well.
Allah then says,
... وَصَرَّفْنَا الْآيَاتِ ...
and We have shown (them) the signs in various ways,
meaning, `We explained and clarified them.'
... لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ ﴿٢٧﴾
so that perhaps they might return.
فَلَوْلَا نَصَرَهُمُ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ قُرْبَانًا آلِهَةً ...
As for those whom they had taken for gods besides Allah, as the means of approach to Him, why then did they not aid them?
meaning, did they help them when they were in the greatest need for them?
... بَلْ ضَلُّوا عَنْهُمْ ...
but they vanished completely from them.
Rather, they completely left them alone when they needed them the most.
... وَذَلِكَ إِفْكُهُمْ ...
And that was their falsehood,
meaning, their lie.
... وَمَا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ ﴿٢٨﴾
and what they were fabricating.
which means that they fabricated lies by taking them as gods, and they lost and failed in their worship of them and their reliance upon them -- and Allah knows best.
The Story of the Jinns listening to the Qur'an
Imam Ahmad recorded from Az-Zubayr that he commented on the Ayah;
وَإِذْ صَرَفْنَا إِلَيْكَ نَفَرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ يَسْتَمِعُونَ الْقُرْآنَ ...
And (remember) when We sent towards you a group of the Jinn, to listen to the Qur'an.
"They were at a place called Nakhlah while Allah's Messenger was performing the `Isha' prayer,
كَادُواْ يَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِ لِبَداً
they crowded on top of each other to hear him. (72:19)''
Sufyan said, "They stood on top of each other like piled wool.''
Ahmad was alone in recording this.
Imam Ahmad and the famous Imam, Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi in his book Dala'il An-Nubuwwah, both recorded that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
"Allah's Messenger never recited Qur'an to the Jinns, nor did he see them. Allah's Messenger was heading with a group of his Companions towards the `Ukaz market. At that time, the devils had been prevented from eavesdropping on the news of the heavens, and they were being attacked by burning flames (whenever they tried to listen). When the devils went back to their people, they asked them what happened to them, and they answered,
`We have been prevented from eavesdropping on the news of the heavens, and burning flames now attack us.'
Their people told them, `You have only been prevented from eavesdropping on the information of the heavens because of something (major) that has happened. So go all over the earth, east and west, and see what is it that has obstructed you from eavesdropping on the news of the heavens.'
Thus they traveled all over the earth, east and west, seeking that which had obstructed them from eavesdropping on the news of the heavens. A group of them went towards Tihamah, and found Allah's Messenger while he was at a place called Nakhlah along the way to the `Ukaz market. He was leading his Companions in the Fajr prayer. When the Jinns heard the recitation of the Qur'an, they stopped to listen to it, and then they said:
`By Allah! This is what has prevented you from eavesdropping on the news of the heavens.'
Then they returned to their people and told them:
`Our people! We certainly have heard an amazing recitation (the Qur'an), it guides to the right path. So we have believed in it, and we will join none in worship with our Lord.'
So Allah revealed to His Prophet,
قُلْ أُوحِىَ إِلَىَّ أَنَّهُ اسْتَمَعَ نَفَرٌ مِّنَ الْجِنِّ
Say: It has been revealed to me that a group of Jinns have listened (to the Qur'an). (72:19)
Thus, what was revealed to him was only the saying of the Jinns.''
Al-Bukhari recorded a similar narration, and Muslim recorded it (as it is here). At-Tirmidhi also recorded it, as did An-Nasa'i in his Tafsir.
Abdullah bin Mas`ud reported that;
the Jinns came down upon the Prophet while he was reciting the Qur'an at a place called Nakhlah. When they heard him, قَالُوا أَنصِتُوا (They said: "Listen quietly.'') meaning, hush!
They were nine in number, and one of them was called Zawba`ah. So Allah revealed,
وَإِذْ صَرَفْنَا إِلَيْكَ نَفَرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ يَسْتَمِعُونَ الْقُرْآنَ فَلَمَّا حَضَرُوهُ قَالُوا أَنصِتُوا فَلَمَّا قُضِيَ وَلَّوْا إِلَى قَوْمِهِم مُّنذِرِينَ
And when We sent toward you a group of Jinns, to listen to the Qur'an. When they attended it, they said: "Listen quietly!'' And when it was concluded, they returned to their people as warners. until His saying: ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ manifest error. (Ayah 29-32)
Thus, this report along with the above one by Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, indicate that Allah's Messenger was not aware of the presence of the Jinns at that time. They only listened to his recitation and went back to their people. Later on, they came to him in groups, one party after another, and one group after another.
As for Allah's saying,
... وَلَّوْا إِلَى قَوْمِهِم مُّنذِرِينَ ﴿٢٩﴾
they returned to their people as warners.
It means that they went back to their people and warned them about what they heard from Allah's Messenger.
This is similar to Allah's saying,
لِّيَتَفَقَّهُواْ فِى الدِّينِ وَلِيُنذِرُواْ قَوْمَهُمْ إِذَا رَجَعُواْ إِلَيْهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَحْذَرُونَ
...that they may obtain understanding in religion and warn their people when they return to them, so that they might be cautious (of evil). (9:122)
This Ayah has been used as evidence that the Jinns have warners from among themselves, but no Messengers. There is no doubt that Allah did not send Messengers from among the Jinns, because He says,
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِى إِلَيْهِمْ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَى
And We did not send before you as Messengers any but men, to whom We revealed from among the people of cities. (12:109)
And Allah says,
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِلاَّ إِنَّهُمْ لَيَأْكُلُونَ الطَّعَامَ وَيَمْشُونَ فِى الاٌّسْوَاقِ
And We never sent before you any of the Messengers but verily they ate food and walked in the markets. (25:20)
And He says about Ibrahim Al-Khalil, upon him be peace,
وَجَعَلْنَا فِى ذُرِّيَّتِهِ النُّبُوَّةَ وَالْكِتَـبَ
...And We placed in his descendants Prophethood and Scripture. (29:27)
Thus, every Prophet whom Allah sent after Ibrahim was from his offspring and progeny.
As for Allah's saying in Surah Al-An`am,
يَـمَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ وَالإِنْسِ أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِّنْكُمْ
O company of Jinns and human beings! Did there not come to you Messengers from among you? (6:130)
It only applies to the two kinds collectively, but specifically pertains to just one of them, which is the human.
This is like Allah's saying,
يَخْرُجُ مِنْهُمَا الُّلؤْلُؤُ وَالمَرْجَانُ
From both of them (salty and fresh waters) emerge pearl and Marjan. (55:22)
Although He said "both of them'' this applies to only one of the two types of water (the salty water).
Allah then explains how the Jinns warned their people. He says,
قَالُوا يَا قَوْمَنَا إِنَّا سَمِعْنَا كِتَابًا أُنزِلَ مِن بَعْدِ مُوسَى ...
They said: "O our people! Verily, we have heard a Book sent down after Musa...''
They did not mention `Isa, peace be upon him, because the Injil that was revealed to him contained admonitions and exhortations, but very few permissions or prohibitions. Thus, it was in reality like a complement to the legislation of the Tawrah, the Tawrah being the reference. That is why they said, "Sent down after Musa.''
This is also the way that Waraqah bin Nawfal spoke when the Prophet told him about his first meeting with Jibril, An-Namus, peace be upon him. He said: "Very good, very good! This is (the angel) that used to come to Musa. I wish that I was still a young man (to support you).''
... مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ ...
confirming what came before it,
meaning, the Scriptures that were revealed before it to the previous Prophets.
They then said,
... يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ ...
it guides to the truth,
means in belief and information.
... وَإِلَى طَرِيقٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ ﴿٣٠﴾
and to the straight path. (which means, in deeds).
For verily, the Qur'an contains two things:
- information and
Its information is true, and its commandments are all just, as Allah says,
وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقاً وَعَدْلاً
And the Word of Your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. (6:115)
هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ
It is He Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth. (9:122)
The guidance is the beneficent knowledge, and the religion of truth means the righteous good deeds.
Thus, the Jinns said, يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ (it guides to the truth) in matters of belief, وَإِلَى طَرِيقٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ (and to the straight path.) meaning, in regard to actions.
يَا قَوْمَنَا أَجِيبُوا دَاعِيَ اللَّهِ ...
O our people! Respond to Allah's Caller,
This is proof that Muhammad has been sent to both the human beings and the Jinns.
Thus, Allah says,
... أَجِيبُوا دَاعِيَ اللَّهِ وَآمِنُوا بِهِ ...
Respond to Allah's Caller and believe in him.
Then Allah says,
...يَغْفِرْ لَكُم مِّن ذُنُوبِكُمْ ...
He will then forgive you some of your sins,
Some scholars say that "some'' here is auxiliary, but this is questionable since it is rarely used to strengthen an affirmative meaning.
Others say that it means partial forgiveness.
... وَيُجِرْكُم مِّنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ ﴿٣١﴾
and protect you from a painful torment.
meaning, He will protect you from His painful punishment.
Then Allah informs that they said,
وَمَن لَّا يُجِبْ دَاعِيَ اللَّهِ فَلَيْسَ بِمُعْجِزٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ ...
And whosoever does not respond to Allah's Caller, he cannot escape on earth,
meaning, Allah's power encompasses him and surrounds him.
... وَلَيْسَ لَهُ مِن دُونِهِ أَولِيَاء ...
and he will not have besides Allah any protectors.
meaning, no one can protect him against Allah.
... أُوْلَئِكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴿٣٢﴾
Those are in manifest error.
This is a threat and warning.
Thus, those Jinns called their people with encouragement and warning. Because of this, many of the Jinns took heed and came to Allah's Messenger in successive delegations; and verily, Allah is worthy of all praise and gratitude, and Allah knows best.
Evidence for Life after Death
أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا ...
Do they not see
Allah says, those who deny resurrection on Judgement Day, and doubt that the bodies will be raised on that Last Day -- Do they not see,
... أَنَّ اللَّهَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَلَمْ يَعْيَ بِخَلْقِهِنَّ ...
that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and was not wearied by their creation,
meaning, the creation of the heavens and earth did not exhaust Him.' Rather, He commanded them: "Be,'' and they were, without any refusal or delay. They obeyed and responded to Him with submission and fear.
This is similar to what Allah said elsewhere,
لَخَلْقُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ أَكْـبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاسِ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْـثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ
Verily, the creation of the heavens and earth is greater than the creation of the people. But most people do not know. (40:57)
... بِقَادِرٍ عَلَى أَنْ يُحْيِيَ الْمَوْتَى ...
is Able to give life to the dead?
i.e. Is He not then able to revive the dead?
Allah responds to the above question by saying,
... بَلَى إِنَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿٣٣﴾
Yes, He surely is Able to do all things.
Then Allah says, as a threat and a warning to whoever disbelieves in Him,
وَيَوْمَ يُعْرَضُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا عَلَى النَّارِ أَلَيْسَ هَذَا بِالْحَقِّ ...
And on the Day when those who disbelieve will be exposed to the Fire (it will be said to them): "Is this not the truth?''
meaning, it will be said to them, "Isn't this the truth? Is this magic?, or do you not see?''
... قَالُوا بَلَى وَرَبِّنَا ...
They will say: "Yes, by our Lord!''
meaning, they will have no choice but to confess.
... قَالَ فَذُوقُوا الْعَذَابَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْفُرُونَ ﴿٣٤﴾
He will say: "Then taste the torment, because you used to disbelieve!''
Commanding the Prophet to persevere
Allah then commands His Messenger to observe patience with those who rejected him among his people. He says,
فَاصْبِرْ كَمَا صَبَرَ أُوْلُوا الْعَزْمِ مِنَ الرُّسُلِ ...
Therefore be patient as did those of determination among the Messengers.
meaning, as they were patient with their people's rejection of them.
"Those of determination'' among the Messengers are Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, `Isa and the last of all of the Prophets, Muhammad. Allah has specifically mentioned their names in two Ayat: Surah Al-Ahzab (33:7) and Surah Ash-Shura (42:13).
... وَلَا تَسْتَعْجِل لَّهُمْ ...
and be in no hurry for them.
which means, `do not rush the punishment for them.'
This is similar to Allah's saying:
وَذَرْنِى وَالْمُكَذِّبِينَ أُوْلِى النَّعْمَةِ وَمَهِّلْهُمْ قَلِيلاً
And leave Me alone to deal with the rejecters, those who are in possession of good things of life. And give them respite for a little while. (73:11)
فَمَهِّلِ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَمْهِلْهُمْ رُوَيْداً
So allow time for the disbelievers, and leave them for a while. (86:17)
Then Allah says:
On the Day when they will see that which they are promised, it will be as though they had not remained (in the world) except an hour in a day.
Which is similar to Allah's saying,
كَأَنَّهُمْ يَوْمَ يَرَوْنَهَا لَمْ يَلْبَثُواْ إِلاَّ عَشِيَّةً أَوْ ضُحَـهَا
On the Day they see it (the Hour), it will be as though they had not remained (in the world) except for a day's afternoon or its morning. (79:46)
and as He says,
وَيَوْمَ يَحْشُرُهُمْ كَأَن لَّمْ يَلْبَثُواْ إِلاَّ سَاعَةً مِّنَ النَّهَارِ يَتَعَارَفُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ
And on the Day when He shall gather them together, (it will be) as if they had not stayed but an hour of a day. They will recognize each other. (10:45)
Then Allah says,
... بَلَاغٌ ...
A clear message.
meaning, this Qur'an provides a clear concept.
... فَهَلْ يُهْلَكُ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ ﴿٣٥﴾
But will any be destroyed except the defiantly rebellious people.
Which means that Allah does not destroy anyone except those who choose the way of destruction. It is part of Allah's justice that He does not punish anyone except those who deserve the punishment -- and Allah knows best.
This concludes the explanation of Surah Al-Ahqaf. And all praise and blessings are due to Allah. Both success and protection from faults are by His help.