Tafsir Ibn Kathir (English)

Surah Najm

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بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

 The First Surah in which a Prostration is revealed

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,

"Surah An-Najm was the first Surah in which a prostration was revealed. The Prophet (recited it in Makkah) and prostrated. Those who were with him did the same, except an old man who took a handful of soil and prostrated on it. Later on, I saw him killed as a disbeliever; he was Umayyah bin Khalaf.''

Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith in several places of his Sahih, as did Muslim, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i, using various chains of narration through Abu Ishaq from Abdullah.

Surah Najm

(The Star)

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

1.

وَالنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَى  

By the star when it goes down.

2.

مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَى

Your companion has neither gone astray nor has he erred.

3.

وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى

Nor does he speak of desire.

4.

إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى

It is only a revelation revealed.

Next 5-18   

 Allah swears the Messenger is True and His Words are a Revelation from Him

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ash-Sha`bi and others stated that the Creator swears by whatever He wills among His creation, but the created only vow by the Creator.

Allah said,

وَالنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَى ﴿١ 

By the star when it goes down.

Ibn Abi Najih reported that Mujahid said,

"The star refers to Pleiades when it sets at Fajr.''

Ad-Dahhak said

"When the Shayatin are shot with it.''

And this Ayah is like Allah's saying;

فَلاَ أُقْسِمُ بِمَوَقِعِ النُّجُومِ

وَإِنَّهُ لَقَسَمٌ لَّوْ تَعْلَمُونَ عَظِيمٌ

إِنَّهُ لَقُرْءَانٌ كَرِيمٌ

فِى كِتَـبٍ مَّكْنُونٍ

لاَّ يَمَسُّهُ إِلاَّ الْمُطَهَّرُونَ

تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ

So, I swear by the setting of the stars. And verily, that is indeed a great oath, if you but know. That is indeed an honorable recitation. In a Book well-guarded. Which none can touch but the pure. A revelation from the Lord of all that exists. (56:75-80)

Allah said;

مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَى ﴿٢    

Your companion has neither gone astray nor has erred.

This contains the subject of the oath. This part of the Ayah is the witness that the Messenger of Allah is sane and a follower of Truth. He is neither led astray, such as in the case of the ignorant who does not proceed on any path with knowledge, nor is he one who erred, such as in the case of the knowledgeable, who knows the Truth, yet deviates from it intentionally to something else. Therefore, Allah exonerated His Messenger and his Message from being similar to the misguided ways of the Christians and the erroneous paths of the Jews, such as knowing the Truth and hiding it, while abiding by falsehood. Rather, he, may Allah's peace and blessings be on him, and his glorious Message that Allah has sent him with, are on the perfect straight path, following guidance and what is correct.

 Muhammad was sent as a Mercy for all that exists; He does not speak of His Desire

Allah said,

وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى ﴿٣

Nor does he speak of desire,

asserting that nothing the Prophet utters is of his own desire or wish,

إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى ﴿٤

It is only a revelation revealed,

means, he only conveys to the people what he was commanded to convey, in its entirety without additions or deletions.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Umamah said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,

لَيَدْخُلَنَّ الْجَنَّةَ بِشَفَاعَةِ رَجُلٍ لَيْسَ بِنَبِيَ مِثْلُ الْحَيَّيْنِ أَوْ مِثْلُ أَحَدِ الْحَيَّيْنِ رَبِيعَةَ وَمُضَر

Verily, numbers similar to the two tribes, or one of them, Rabi`ah and Mudar, will enter Paradise on account of the intercession of one man, who is not a Prophet.

A man asked, "O Allah's Messenger! Is not Rabi`ah a subtribe of Mudar.''

The Prophet said,

إِنَّمَا أَقُولُ مَا أَقُول

I said what I said.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr said,

"I used to record everything I heard from the Messenger of Allah so it would be preserved. The Quraysh discouraged me from this, saying, `You record everything you hear from the Messenger of Allah, even though he is human and sometimes speaks when he is angry.'

I stopped recording the Hadiths for a while, but later mentioned what they said to the Messenger of Allah, who said,

اكْتُبْ، فَوَ الَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ مَا خَرَجَ مِنِّي إِلَّا الْحَق

Write! By He in Whose Hand is my soul, every word that comes out of me is the Truth.''

Abu Dawud also collected this Hadith.

 

5.

Previous 1-4

عَلَّمَهُ شَدِيدُ الْقُوَى

He has been taught by one mighty in power.

6.

ذُو مِرَّةٍ فَاسْتَوَى  

Dhu Mirrah then he Istawa.

7.

وَهُوَ بِالْأُفُقِ الْأَعْلَى 

While he was in the highest part of the horizon,

8.

ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّى 

Then he approached and came closer,

9.

فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى 

And was at a distance of two bows' length or less.

10.

فَأَوْحَى إِلَى عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَى

So (Allah) revealed to His servant whatever He revealed.

11.

مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَى  

The heart lied not in what he saw.

12.

أَفَتُمَارُونَهُ عَلَى مَا يَرَى  

Will you then dispute with him about what he saw?

13.

وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَى  

And indeed he saw him at a second descent.

14.

عِنْدَ سِدْرَةِ الْمُنْتَهَى  

Near Sidrat Al-Muntaha.

15.

عِنْدَهَا جَنَّةُ الْمَأْوَى  

Near it is the Paradise of Abode.

16.

إِذْ يَغْشَى السِّدْرَةَ مَا يَغْشَى  

When that covered the lote tree which did cover it!

17.

مَا زَاغَ الْبَصَرُ وَمَا طَغَى  

The sight turned not aside, nor it transgressed beyond the limit.

18.

لَقَدْ رَأَى مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَى  

Indeed he saw of the greatest Signs of his Lord.

Next 19-26   

 The Trustworthy Angel brought Allah's Revelation to the Trustworthy Messenger

Allah the Exalted states,

عَلَّمَهُ شَدِيدُ الْقُوَى ﴿٥  

He has been taught by one mighty in power.

Allah the Exalted states that the Message His servant and Messenger Muhammad brought to people was taught to him by, شَدِيدُ الْقُوَى (mighty in power), he is Jibril, peace be upon him,

إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍ كَرِيمٍ  - ذِى قُوَّةٍ عِندَ ذِى الْعَرْشِ مَكِينٍ  - مُّطَـعٍ ثَمَّ أَمِينٍ  

Verily, this is the Word a most honorable messenger, owner of power, with (Allah) the Lord of the Throne, obeyed (by the angels) and trustworthy. (81:19-21)

Allah said here,

ذُو مِرَّةٍ ...

Dhu Mirrah,

meaning, he is mighty in power, according to Mujahid, Al-Hasan and Ibn Zayd.

In an authentic Hadith from Abdullah bin Umar and Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet said,

لَا تَحِلُّ الصَّدَقَةُ لِغَنِيَ وَلَا لِذِي مِرَّةٍ سَوِي

Charity is not allowed for a rich person nor Dhu Mirrah (a strong person) of sound mind and body.

Allah said;

... فَاسْتَوَى ﴿٦﴾

then he Istawa (rose).

this refers to the angel Jibril, according to Al-Hasan, Mujahid, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas,

وَهُوَ بِالْأُفُقِ الْأَعْلَى ﴿٧

While he was in the highest part of the horizon.

meaning, Jibril rose to the highest part of the horizon, according to Ikrimah and several others;

Ikrimah said,

"The highest horizon where the morning comes from.''

Mujahid said, "It is (the place of) sunrise.''

Qatadah said, "That from which the day comes.''

Ibn Zayd and several others said similarly.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,

"The Messenger of Allah saw Jibril in his original shape having six hundred wings, each wing filling the side of the horizon, with a colorful array, and pearls and rubies falling from each wing as much as only Allah knows.''

Only Imam Ahmad collected this Hadith.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Abbas said,

"The Prophet asked Jibril to appear himself to him in his original shape and Jibril said to him, `Invoke your Lord.'

The Prophet invoked his Lord the Exalted and Most Honored, and a great huge figure appeared to him from the east and kept rising and spreading.

When the Prophet saw Jibril in his original shape, he was knocked unconscious. Jibril came down and revived the Prophet and wiped the saliva off of his cheeks.'''

Only Ahmad collected this Hadith.

 Meaning of "at a distance of two bows' length or less

Allah's statement,

ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّى ﴿٨  

Then he approached and came closer,

فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى ﴿٩

And was at a distance of two bows` length or less.

means, Jibril came closer to Muhammad when Jibril was descending to him on earth. At that time, the distance between them became only two bow lengths, when the bows are extended to full length, according to Mujahid and Qatadah.

It was said that the meaning here is the distance between the bow's string and its wood center.

Allah's statement, أَوْ أَدْنَى (or less) indicates that the distance was as only as far described, not more. This type of usage is found in several instances in the Qur'an, such as,

ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُمْ مِّن بَعْدِ ذلِكَ فَهِىَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً

Then, after that, your hearts were hardened and became as stones or even worse in hardness. (2:74)

The Ayah says that their hearts became not softer than rocks, but as hard and difficult as rocks, and more.

There is a similar Ayah,

يَخْشَوْنَ النَّاسَ كَخَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ أَوْ أَشَدَّ خَشْيَةً

fear men as they fear Allah or even more. (4:77),

and Allah's statement,

وَأَرْسَلْنَـهُ إِلَى مِاْئَةِ أَلْفٍ أَوْ يَزِيدُونَ 

And We sent him to hundred thousand (people) or even more. (37:147),

indicating that they were not less than a hundred thousand, but that amount or more.

Therefore, this verifies the facts mentioned, leaving no doubt or means of refute. Similarly, Allah said, فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى (And was at a distance of two bow lengths or less).

We stated before that it was Jibril who came down near the Prophet, according to A'ishah, the Mother of the faithful, Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Abu Dharr and Abu Hurayrah. We will mention their statements about this soon afterwards, Allah willing.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said about this Ayah, فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى (And was at a distance of two bow lengths or less).

Allah's Messenger said,

رَأَيْتُ جِبْرِيلَ لَهُ سِتُّمِائَةِ جَنَاح

I saw Jibril; he had six hundred wings.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Talq bin Ghannam said that Za'idah said that Ash-Shaybani said,

"I asked Zirr about the Ayah,

فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى - فَأَوْحَى إِلَى عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَى

And was at a distance of two bow lengths or less. So (Allah) revealed to His servant whatever He revealed.

Zirr said,

"Abdullah narrated to us that Muhammad saw Jibril having six hundred wings.''

Allah's statement,

فَأَوْحَى إِلَى عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَى ﴿١٠

So he revealed to His servant whatever He revealed.

means, Jibril conveyed to Allah's servant Muhammad whatever he conveyed. Or,

the meaning here could be: Allah revealed to His servant Muhammad whatever He revealed through Jibril.

Both meanings are correct.

Sa`id bin Jubayr said about Allah's statement, فَأَوْحَى إِلَى عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَى  (So He revealed to His servant whatever He revealed.

"Allah revealed to him,أَلَمْ يَجِدْكَ يَتِيمًا  Did He not find you an orphan. (93:6), and, وَرَفَعْنَا لَكَ ذِكْرَكَ  And have We not raised high your fame, (94:4)''

Someone else said,

"Allah revealed to the Prophet that the Prophets will not enter Paradise until he enters it first, and the nations will not enter it until his Ummah enters it first.''

 Did the Prophet see His Lord during the Night of Isra

Allah said next,

مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَى ﴿١١

أَفَتُمَارُونَهُ عَلَى مَا يَرَى ﴿١٢

The heart lied not in what he saw. Will you then dispute with him about what he saw?

Muslim recorded from Ibn Abbas about, مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَى (The heart lied not in what he saw), and, وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَى (And indeed he saw him at a second descent).

"He saw Allah twice in his heart.''

Simak reported a similar from Ikrimah from Ibn Abbas.

Abu Salih, As-Suddi and several others said similarly that the Prophet saw Allah twice in his heart.

Masruq said,

"I went to A'ishah and asked her, `Did Muhammad see his Lord?'

She said, `You said something that caused my hair to rise!'

I said, `Behold!' and recited this Ayah, لَقَدْ رَأَى مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَى (Indeed he saw of the greatest signs of his Lord).

She said, `Where did your mind wander? It was Jibril. Whoever says to you that Muhammad saw his Lord, or hid any part of what he was commanded (i.e., Allah's Message), or knew any of the five things which only Allah knows,

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ وَيُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْأَرْحَامِ

Verily, Allah, with Him is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain... (31:34),

Then he invents a great lie against Allah!

The Prophet only saw Jibril twice, in his original shape, once near Sidrat Al-Muntaha and another time in Ajyad (in Makkah) while Jibril had six hundred wings that covered the horizon.'''

Muslim recorded that Abu Dharr said,

"I asked the Messenger of Allah , `Have you seen your Lord' He said,

نُورٌ أَنَّى أَرَاه

How can I see Him since there was a light?''

In another narration, the Prophet said, رَأَيْتُ نُورًا  I only saw a light.

Allah's statement,

وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَى ﴿١٣

عِندَ سِدْرَةِ الْمُنْتَهَى ﴿١٤

عِندَهَا جَنَّةُ الْمَأْوَى ﴿١٥

And indeed he saw him at a second descent. Near Sidrat Al-Muntaha.

The Messenger of Allah said,

رَأَيْتُ جِبْرِيلَ وَلَهُ سِتُّمِائَةِ جَنَاحٍ يَنْتَثِرُ مِنْ رِيشِهِ التَّهَاوِيلُ مِنَ الدُّرِّ وَالْيَاقُوت

I saw Jibril while he had six hundred wings and a colorful array of pearls and rubies falling from the feathers of his wings.

This Hadith has a good, strong chain of narration.

Ahmad also recorded that Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud said,

"The Messenger of Allah saw Jibril in his original shape while Jibril had six hundred wings, each wing covering the side of the horizon. From his wings, precious stones were dropping of which only Allah has knowledge.''

This Hadith has a good chain of narration.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,

"The Messenger of Allah said,

رَأَيْتُ جِبْرِيلَ عَلَى سِدْرَةِ الْمُنْتَهَى وَلَهُ سِتُّمِائَةِ جَنَاح

I saw Jibril over Sidrat Al-Muntaha while he had six hundred wings.''

One of the subnarrators of the Hadith asked `Asim about Jibril's wings and `Asim refused to elaborate. So some of his companions were asked and one of them said,

"Each wing was covering what is between the east and the west.''

This Hadith has a good chain of narration.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said that Allah's Messenger said:

أَتَانِي جِبْرِيلُ فِي خُضْرٍ مُعَلَّقٍ بِهِ الدُّر

Jibril came to me wearing green with pearls hanging down.

This Hadith has a good chain of narration.

Imam Ahmad recorded that `Amir said that Masruq asked A'ishah,

"O Mother of the faithful, has Muhammad seen his Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored''

She said,

"Glorious is Allah! My hair is standing on end because of what you said. Three matters, if one tells you about any of them, will have lied. Whoever tells you that Muhammad has seen his Lord, will have lied.''

She then recited these two Ayat,

لَّا تُدۡرِكُهُ الۡاَبۡصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدۡرِكُ الۡاَبۡصَارَ‌

No vision can grasp Him, but He grasps all vision. (6:103),

and,

وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَنْ يُكَلِّمَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَّا وَحْيًا أَوْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ  

It is not given to any human being that Allah should speak to him unless (it be) by revelation, or from behind a veil. (42:51)

She went on,

"And whoever tells you that Muhammad knew what the morrow will bring, will have uttered a lie.''

She then recited,

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ وَيُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْأَرْحَامِ  

Verily, Allah, with Him is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. (31:34)

A'ishah said,

"And whoever tells you that Muhammad has hidden any part of the Message will have lied,''

and she then recited this Ayah,

يَـأَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ

O Messenger proclaim which has been sent down to you from your Lord. (5:67)

She went on,

"However, he saw Jibril twice in his original shape.''

Imam Ahmad also recorded that Masruq said,

"I asked `A'ishah, `Did not Allah say, وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ بِالْأُفُقِ الْمُبِينِ (And indeed he saw him in the clear horizon. (81:23), and, وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَى  (And indeed he saw him at a second descent),'

She said, `I was the first among this Ummah to ask Allah's Messenger about it. He said, إِنَّمَا ذَاكَ جِبْرِيل  That was Jibril.

He only saw him twice in his actual and real figure. He saw Jibril descend from heaven to earth and was so huge that he covered the whole horizon between the sky and earth.'''

This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs via Ash-Sha`bi.

 Angels, Light and colors covered Sidrat Al-Muntaha

Allah said,

إِذْ يَغْشَى السِّدْرَةَ مَا يَغْشَى ﴿١٦

When that covered the lote tree which did cover it!

We mentioned before, in the Hadiths about Al-Isra' that the angels, Allah's Light, and spectacular colors covered the Sidrah.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,

"When the Messenger of Allah was taken on the Isra' journey, he ascended to Sidrat Al-Muntaha, which is in the seventh heaven. There everything terminates that ascends from the earth and is held there, and terminates everything that descends from above it is held there, إِذْ يَغْشَى السِّدْرَةَ مَا يَغْشَى  (When that covered the lote tree which did cover it!) He said, "Golden butterflies.

The Messenger of Allah was given three things:

  • He was given the five prayers,

  • he was given the concluding verses of Surah Al-Baqarah (2:284-286), and

  • remission of serious sins for those among his Ummah who do not associate anything with Allah.''

Muslim collected this Hadith.

Allah's statement,

مَا زَاغَ الْبَصَرُ وَمَا طَغَى ﴿١٧

The sight turned not aside, nor it transgressed beyond the limit.

indicates that the Prophet's sight did not turn right or left, according to Ibn Abbas, وَمَا طَغَى  (nor it transgressed beyond the limit), not exceeding what has been ordained for it.

This is a tremendous quality that demonstrates the Prophet's firm obedience to Allah, because he only did what was commanded and did ask beyond what he was given.

Allah's statement,

لَقَدْ رَأَى مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَى ﴿١٨

Indeed he saw of the greatest signs of his Lord.

is similar to another Ayah,

لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا

In order that We might show him of Our Ayat. (17:1),

meaning, signs that testify to Allah's might and greatness.

Relying on these two Ayat, some scholars of Ahl us-Sunnah said that the Prophet did not see Allah during the Isra' journey, because Allah said, لَقَدْ رَأَى مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَى (Indeed he saw of the greatest signs of his Lord). They said that, had the Prophet seen his Lord, Allah would have conveyed this news and the Prophet would have narrated it to the people.

 

19.

Previous 5-18

أَفَرَأَيْتُمُ اللَّاتَ وَالْعُزَّى  

Have you then considered Al-Lat, and Al-`Uzza.

20.

وَمَنَاةَ الثَّالِثَةَ الْأُخْرَى  

And Manat, the other third,

21.

أَلَكُمُ الذَّكَرُ وَلَهُ الْأُنْثَى  

Is it for you the males and for Him the females?

22.

تِلْكَ إِذًا قِسْمَةٌ ضِيزَى  

That indeed is a division most unfair!

23.

إِنْ هِيَ إِلَّا أَسْمَاءٌ سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنْتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُمْ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ سُلْطَانٍ ۚ

They are but names which you have named - you and your fathers - for which Allah has sent down no authority.

إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَمَا تَهْوَى الْأَنْفُسُ ۖ

They follow but a guess and that which they themselves desire,

وَلَقَدْ جَاءَهُمْ مِنْ رَبِّهِمُ الْهُدَى   

whereas there has surely come to them the guidance from their Lord!

24.

أَمْ لِلْإِنْسَانِ مَا تَمَنَّى  

Or shall man have what he wishes?

25.

فَلِلَّهِ الْآخِرَةُ وَالْأُولَى  

But to Allah belongs the last (Hereafter) and the first (the world).

26.

وَكَمْ مِنْ مَلَكٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ لَا تُغْنِي شَفَاعَتُهُمْ شَيْئًا إِلَّا مِنْ بَعْدِ أَنْ يَأْذَنَ اللَّهُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَرْضَى

And there are many angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing, except after Allah has given leave for whom He wills and is pleased with.

Next 27-30   

 Refuting Idolatry, Al-Lat and Al-`Uzza

Allah the Exalted rebukes the idolators for worshipping idols and taking rivals to Him. They built houses for their idols to resemble the Ka`bah built by Prophet Ibrahim, Allah's Khalil.

أَفَرَأَيْتُمُ اللَّاتَ ...  

Have you then considered Al-Lat,

Al-Lat was a white stone with inscriptions on. There was a house built around Al-Lat in At-Ta'if with curtains, servants and a sacred courtyard around it. The people of At-Ta'if, the tribe of Thaqif and their allies, worshipped Al-Lat. They would boast to Arabs, except the Quraysh, that they had Al-Lat.

Ibn Jarir said,

"They derived Al-Lat's name from Allah's Name, and made it feminine. Allah is far removed from what they ascribe to Him. "

It was reported that Al-Lat is pronounced Al-Lat because, according to Abdullah bin Abbas, Mujahid, and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Al-Lat was a man who used to mix Sawiq (a kind of barley mash) with water for the pilgrims during the time of Jahiliyyah. When he died, they remained next to his grave and worshipped him.''

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said about Allah's statement,

... اللَّاتَ وَالْعُزَّى ﴿١٩

Al-Lat, and Al-`Uzza.

"Al-Lat was a man who used to mix Sawiq for the pilgrims.''

Ibn Jarir said,

"They also derived the name for their idol Al-`Uzza from Allah's Name Al-`Aziz. Al-`Uzza was a tree on which the idolators placed a monument and curtains, in the area of Nakhlah, between Makkah and At-Ta'if. The Quraysh revered Al-`Uzza.''

During the battle of Uhud, Abu Sufyan said, "We have Al-`Uzza, but you do not have Al-`Uzza.''

Allah's Messenger replied,

قُولُوا: اللهُ مَوْلَانَا وَلَا مَوْلَى لَكُم

Say, "Allah is Our Supporter, but you have no support.''

Manat was another idol in the area of Mushallal near Qudayd, between Makkah and Al-Madinah. The tribes of Khuza`ah, Aws and Khazraj used to revere Manat during the time of Jahiliyyah. They used to announce Hajj to the Ka`bah from next to Manat.

Al-Bukhari collected a statement from A'ishah with this meaning.

There were other idols in the Arabian Peninsula that the Arabs revered just as they revered the Ka`bah, besides the three idols that Allah mentioned in His Glorious Book. Allah mentioned these three here because they were more famous than the others.

An-Nasa'i recorded that Abu At-Tufayl said,

"When the Messenger of Allah conquered Makkah, he sent Khalid bin Al-Walid to the area of Nakhlah where the idol of Al-`Uzza was erected on three trees of a forest. Khalid cut the three trees and approached the house built around it and destroyed it. When he went back to the Prophet and informed him of the story, the Prophet said to him,

ارْجِعْ فَإِنَّكَ لَمْ تَصْنَعْ شَيْئًا

Go back and finish your mission, for you have not finished it.

Khalid went back and when the custodians who were also its servants of Al-`Uzza saw him, they started invoking by calling Al-`Uzza! When Khalid approached it, he found a naked woman whose hair was untidy and who was throwing sand on her head. Khalid killed her with the sword and went back to the Messenger of Allah , who said to him,

تِلْكَ الْعُزَّى

That was Al-`Uzza!''

Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated,

"Al-Lat belonged to the tribe of Thaqif in the area of At-Ta'if. Banu Mu`attib were the custodians of Al-Lat and its servants.''

I say that the Prophet sent Al-Mughirah bin Shu`bah and Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb to destroy Al-Lat. They carried out the Prophet's command and built a Masjid in its place in the city of At-Ta'if.

Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Manat used to be the idol of the Aws and Khazraj tribes and those who followed their religion in Yathrib (Al-Madinah). Manat was near the coast, close to the area of Mushallal in Qudayd. The Prophet sent Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb or `Ali bin Abi Talib to demolish it.

Ibn Ishaq said that Dhul-Khalasah was the idol of the tribes of Daws, Khath`am and Bajilah, and the Arabs who resided in the area of Tabalah.

I say that Dhul-Khalasah was called the Southern Ka`bah, and the Ka`bah in Makkah was called the Northern Ka`bah. The Messenger of Allah sent Jarir bin Abdullah Al-Bajali to Dhul-Khalasah and he destroyed it.

Ibn Ishaq said that Fals was the idol of Tay' and the neighboring tribes in the Mount of Tay', such as Salma and Ajja.

Ibn Hisham said that some scholars of knowledge told him that the Messenger of Allah sent Ali bin Abi Talib to Fals and he destroyed it and found two swords in its treasure, which the Prophet then gave to Ali as war spoils.

Muhammad bin Ishaq also said that the tribes of Himyar, and Yemen in general, had a house of worship in San`a' called Riyam. He mentioned that there was a black dog in it and that the religious men who went with Tubba` removed it, killed it and demolished the building.

Ibn Ishaq said that Ruda' was a structure of Bani Rabi`ah bin Ka`b bin Sa`d bin Zayd Manat bin Tamim, which Al-Mustawghir bin Rabi`ah bin Ka`b bin Sa`d demolished after Islam.

In Sindad there was Dhul-Ka`bat, the idol of the tribes of Bakr and Taghlib, the sons of the Wa'il, and also the Iyad tribes.

Refuting the Idolators Who appoint Rivals to Allah and claim that the Angels were Females

Allah the Exalted said,

أَفَرَأَيْتُمُ اللَّاتَ اللَّاتَ وَالْعُزَّى

وَمَنَاةَ الثَّالِثَةَ الْأُخْرَى ﴿٢٠

Have you then considered Al-Lat, and Al-`Uzza. And Manat, the other third,

then Allah said,

أَلَكُمُ الذَّكَرُ وَلَهُ الْأُنثَى ﴿٢١

Is it for you the males and for Him the females?

Allah asked the idolators, `do you choose female offspring for Allah and give preference to yourselves with the males If you made this division between yourselves and the created, it would be,

تِلْكَ إِذًا قِسْمَةٌ ضِيزَى ﴿٢٢

a division most unfair!

meaning, it would be an unfair and unjust division. `How is it then that you make this division between you and Allah, even though this would be foolish and unjust, if you made it between yourselves and others?'

Allah the Exalted refutes such innovated lies, falsehood and atheism they invented through worshipping the idols and calling them gods,

إِنْ هِيَ إِلَّا أَسْمَاء سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُم ...

They are but names which you have named -- you and your fathers, (of your own desire),

... مَّا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَانٍ ...

for which Allah has sent down no authority.

meaning, proof,

... إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَمَا تَهْوَى الْأَنفُسُ  ...

They follow but a guess and that which they themselves desire,

they have no proof, except their trust in their forefathers who took this false path in the past, as well as, their lusts and desires to become leaders, and thereby gain honor and reverence for their forefathers,

... وَلَقَدْ جَاءهُم مِّن رَّبِّهِمُ الْهُدَى ﴿٢٣﴾

whereas there has surely come to them the guidance from their Lord!

meaning, Allah has sent them Messengers with the clear truth and unequivocal evidence. However, they did not adhere to or follow the guidance that came to them through the Prophets.

 Wishful Thinking does not earn One Righteousness

Allah the Exalted said,

أَمْ لِلْإِنسَانِ مَا تَمَنَّى ﴿٢٤

Or shall man have what he wishes,

asserting that not everyone gets the goodness that he wishes,

لَّيْسَ بِأَمَـنِيِّكُمْ وَلا أَمَانِىِّ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ

It will not be in accordance with desires (of Muslims), nor those of the People of Scripture. (4:123)

Allah says, not everyone who claims to be guided is truly guided, and not everyone gets what he wishes for himself.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِذَا تَمَنَّى أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَنْظُرْ مَا يَتَمَنَّى، فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَدْرِي مَا يُكْتَبُ لَهُ مِنْ أُمْنِيَّتِه

When one of you wishes for something, let him be careful with what he wishes for, because he does not know what part of his wish will be written for him.

Only Ahmad collected this Hadith.

Allah's statement,

فَلِلَّهِ الْآخِرَةُ وَالْأُولَى ﴿٢٥

But to Allah belongs the last and the first.

meaning, all matters belong to Allah and He is the King and Owner of this world and the Hereafter, Who does what He will in both lives. Whatever He wills, occurs and whatever He does not will, never occurs.

 No Interecession except with Allah's Leave

Allah said,

وَكَم مِّن مَّلَكٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ لَا تُغْنِي شَفَاعَتُهُمْ شَيْئًا إِلَّا مِن بَعْدِ أَن يَأْذَنَ اللَّهُ لِمَن يَشَاء وَيَرْضَى ﴿٢٦

And there are many angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allah has given leave for whom He wills and is pleased with.

As He said;

مَن ذَا الَّذِى يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ

Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission, (2:255)

and,

وَلاَ تَنفَعُ الشَّفَـعَةُ عِندَهُ إِلاَّ لِمَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ 

Intercession with Him profits not except for him whom He permits. (34:23)

`If this is the case with the angels who are close to Him, how can you, O ignorant ones, hope for Allah to grant you the intercession of the idols and rivals you worship with Him without having His permission or any divine legislation permitting you to worship them' Rather, Allah has forbidden idol worshipping by the tongues of all of His Messengers and He revealed this prohibition in all of His Books.

 

27.

Previous 19-26

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ لَيُسَمُّونَ الْمَلَائِكَةَ تَسْمِيَةَ الْأُنْثَى  

Verily, those who believe not in the Hereafter, name the angels with female names.

28.

وَمَا لَهُمْ بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ ۖ

But they have no knowledge thereof.

إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ ۖ وَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ لَا يُغْنِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَيْئًا  

They follow but conjecture, and verily, conjecture is no substitute for the truth.

29.

فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْ مَنْ تَوَلَّى عَنْ ذِكْرِنَا وَلَمْ يُرِدْ إِلَّا الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا  

Therefore withdraw from him who turns away from Our Reminder and desires nothing but the life of this world.

30.

ذَلِكَ مَبْلَغُهُمْ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ ۚ

That is what they could reach of knowledge.

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ ضَلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِهِ  وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنِ اهْتَدَى  

Verily, your Lord is He, Who knows best him who goes astray from His path, and He knows best him who receives guidance.

Next 31-32   

 Refuting the Claim of the Idolators that the Angels are Allah's Daughters

Allah the Exalted admonishes the idolators,

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ لَيُسَمُّونَ الْمَلَائِكَةَ تَسْمِيَةَ الْأُنثَى ﴿٢٧

Verily, those who believe not in the Hereafter, name the angels with female names.

Allah the Exalted admonishes the idolators for calling the angels female names and claiming that they are Allah's daughters. Allah is far removed from what they ascribe to Him.

Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,

وَجَعَلُوا الْمَلَائِكَةَ الَّذِينَ هُمْ عِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ إِنَاثًا ۚأَشَهِدُوا خَلْقَهُمْ ۚسَتُكْتَبُ شَهَادَتُهُمْ وَيُسْأَلُونَ

And they make females the angels, who themselves are servants of the Most Gracious. Did they witness their creation? Their testimony will be recorded, and they will be questioned! (43:19)

Allah's statement here,

وَمَا لَهُم بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ ...

But they have no knowledge thereof.

meaning, they have no correct knowledge testifying to their statements. What they say is all lies, falsehood, fake and utter atheism,

... إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ لَا يُغْنِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَيْئًا ﴿٢٨﴾

They follow but conjecture, and verily, conjecture is no substitute for the truth.

meaning, conjecture is of no benefit and never takes the place of truth.

In a Hadith recorded in the Sahih, the Messenger of Allah said,

إِيَّاكُمْ وَالظَّنَّ، فَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ أَكْذَبُ الْحَدِيث

Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the most lying speech.

 The Necessity of turning away from the People of Misguidance

Allah's statement,

فَأَعْرِضْ عَن مَّن تَوَلَّى عَن ذِكْرِنَا ...

Therefore withdraw from him who turns away from Our Reminder,

means, stay away from those who turn away from the Truth and shun them,

... وَلَمْ يُرِدْ إِلَّا الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا ﴿٢٩﴾

and desires nothing but the life of this world.

meaning, whose aim and knowledge are concentrated on this life; this is the goal of those who have no goodness in them,

ذَلِكَ مَبْلَغُهُم مِّنَ الْعِلْمِ ...  

That is what they could reach of knowledge.

meaning, seeking this life and striving hard in its affairs is the best knowledge they have acquired. There is also the reported supplication:

اللْهُمَّ لَا تَجْعَلِ الدُّنْيَا أَكْبَرَ هَمِّنَا، وَلَا مَبْلَغَ عِلْمِنَا

O Allah! Make not this life the greatest of our concerns, nor the best knowledge that we can attain.

Allah's statement,

... إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنِ اهْتَدَى ﴿٣٠﴾

Verily, your Lord is He, Who knows best him who goes astray from His path, and He knows best him who receives guidance.

meaning, He is the Creator of all creatures and He knows whatever benefits His servants. Allah is the One Who guides whom He wills and misguides whom He wills, and all of this indicates His power, knowledge and wisdom. Certainly, He is Just and never legislates or decrees unjustly.

 

31.

Previous 27-30

وَلِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ

And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth,

 لِيَجْزِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسَاءُوا بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَيَجْزِيَ الَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا بِالْحُسْنَى  

that He may requite those who do evil with that which they have done, and reward those who do good, with what is best.

32.

الَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَاحِشَ إِلَّا اللَّمَمَ ۚ

Those who avoid great sins and Al-Fawahish (immoral sins) except Al-Lamam --

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ وَاسِعُ الْمَغْفِرَةِ ۚ

verily, your Lord is of vast forgiveness.

هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِكُمْ إِذْ أَنْشَأَكُمْ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ وَإِذْ أَنْتُمْ أَجِنَّةٌ فِي بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ ۖ

He knows you well when He created you from the earth (Adam), and when you were fetuses in your mothers' wombs.

فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ ۖ

So, ascribe not purity to yourselves.

هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنِ اتَّقَى  

He knows best him who has Taqwa.

Next 33-41   

 Allah knows Every Matter, whether Small or Big, and He rewards Each according to His or Her Deeds

Allah says,

وَلِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ...

And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth,

Allah asserts that He is the King and Owner of the heavens and earth and that He is independent of the need for anyone. He is the authority over His creation and rules them with justice. He created the creation in truth,

... لِيَجْزِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسَاؤُوا بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَيَجْزِيَ الَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا بِالْحُسْنَى ﴿٣١  

that He may requite those who do evil with that which they have done, and reward those who do good, with what is best.

He recompenses each according to his or her deeds, good for good and evil for evil.

 Qualities of the Good-doers; Allah forgives the Small Faults

Allah stated that the good doers are those who avoid major sins and immoral sins. They sometimes commit minor sins, but they will be forgiven these minor sins and covered from exposure, as Allah mentioned in another Ayah;

اِنۡ تَجۡتَنِبُوۡا كَبَآٮِٕرَ مَا تُنۡهَوۡنَ عَنۡهُ نُكَفِّرۡ عَنۡكُمۡ سَيِّاٰتِكُمۡ وَنُدۡخِلۡكُمۡ مُّدۡخَلاً كَرِيۡمًا

If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall expiate from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance. (4:31)

Allah said here,

الَّذِينَ يَجْتَنِبُونَ كَبَائِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَالْفَوَاحِشَ إِلَّا اللَّمَمَ ...

Those who avoid great sins and Al-Fawahish (immoral sins) except Al-Lamam,

Al-Lamam means, small faults and minor errors.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"I have not seen anything that resembles Al-Lamam better than the Hadith that Abu Hurayrah narrated from the Prophet,

إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى كَتَبَ عَلَى ابْنِ آدَمَ حَظَّهُ مِنَ الزِّنَا، أَدْرَكَ ذلِكَ لَا مَحَالَةَ، فَزِنَا الْعَيْنِ النَّظَرُ، وَزِنَا اللِّسَانِ النُّطْقُ، وَالنَّفْسُ تَتَمَنَّى وَتَشْتَهِي، وَالْفَرْجُ يُصِدِّقُ ذلِكَ أَوْ يُكَذِّبُه

Verily, Allah the Exalted has decreed for the Son of Adam his share of Zina and he will certainly earn his share. The Zina of the eye is by looking, the Zina of the tongue is by talking and the heart wishes and lusts, but the sexual organ either substantiates all this or not.''

This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said,

"The eyes commit Zina by looking, the lips by kissing, the hands by transgressing, the feet by walking, and the sexual organ either materializes all of this or not. When one commits sexual intercourse, he will be someone who committed Zina. Otherwise, it is Al-Lamam.''

Masruq and Ash-Sha`bi also held the same view.

Abdur-Rahman bin Nafi`, who is also known as Ibn Lubabah At-Ta'ifi, said,

"I asked Abu Hurayrah about Allah's statement, إِلَّا اللَّمَمَ  (except the Lamam), and he said,

`It pertains to kissing, winking one's eye, looking and embracing. When the sexual organ meets the sexual organ in intercourse then Ghusl is obligatory, and that is Zina.''

 Encouraging Repentance and forbidding Claims of Purity for Oneself

Allah's statement,

... إِنَّ رَبَّكَ وَاسِعُ الْمَغْفِرَةِ ...

verily, your Lord is of vast forgiveness.

asserts that His Mercy encompasses everything, and His forgiveness entails every type of sin, if one repents,

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ  إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ  إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ  

Say:

"O My servants who have transgressed against them- selves! Despair not of the mercy of Allah: verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.''  (39:53)

Allah said,

... هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِكُمْ إِذْ أَنشَأَكُم مِّنَ الْأَرْضِ ...

He knows you well when He created you from the earth,

Allah says,

`He was and still is the All-Knowing Whose knowledge encompasses your affairs, statements and all of the actions that will be committed by you, even when He created your father Adam from the earth and took his offspring from his loin, as small as ants. He then divided them into two groups, a group destined for Paradise and a group to Hellfire,'

... وَإِذْ أَنتُمْ أَجِنَّةٌ فِي بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ ...

and when you were fetuses in your mothers' wombs.

when He commanded the angel to record one's provisions, age, actions and if he would be among the miserable or the happy.

Allah said,

... فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ ...

So, ascribe not purity to yourselves.

forbidding one from ascribing purity and praising himself and thinking highly of his actions,

... هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنِ اتَّقَى ﴿٣٢﴾  

He knows best him who has Taqwa.

Allah said in another Ayah,

اَلَمۡ تَرَ اِلَى الَّذِيۡنَ يُزَكُّوۡنَ اَنۡفُسَهُمۡ‌ؕ بَلِ اللّٰهُ يُزَكِّىۡ مَنۡ يَّشَآءُ وَلَا يُظۡلَمُوۡنَ فَتِيۡلاً  

Have you not seen those who claim sanctity for themselves. Nay, but Allah sanctifies whom He wills, and they will not be dealt with unjustly, even equal to the extent of a Fatil. (4:49)

In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Muhammad bin `Amr bin `Ata said,

"I called my daughter, Barrah (the pious one), and Zaynab bint Abu Salamah said to me, `The Messenger of Allah forbade using this name. I was originally called Barrah and he said,

لَا تُزَكُّوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ، إِنَّ اللهَ أَعْلَمُ بِأَهْلِ الْبِرِّ مِنْكُم

Do not ascribe purity to yourselves; Allah knows best who the pious people among you are,'

They said, `What should we call her?'

He said, سَمُّوهَا زَيْنَب  (Call her Zaynab).''

Imam Ahmad recorded a Hadith from Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakrah, from his father who said,

"A man praised another man before the Prophet . The Messenger of Allah said,

وَيْلَكَ قَطَعْتَ عُنُقَ صَاحِبِكَ مرارًا إِذَا كَانَ أَحَدُكُمْ مَادِحًا صَاحِبَهُ لَا مَحَالَةَ، فَلْيَقُلْ: أَحْسِبُ فُلَانًا وَاللهُ حَسِيبُهُ، وَلَا أُزَكِّي عَلَى اللهِ أَحَدًا، أَحْسِبُهُ كَذَا وَكَذَا، إِنْ كَانَ يَعْلَمُ ذلِك

Woe to you, you have cut off the neck of your friend! (He repeated this), If one of you must praise a friend of his, let him say,

"I think that so-and-so is this and that; Allah knows best about him and I will never purify anyone before Allah,''

if he knows his friend to be as he is describing him.''

Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah collected this Hadith.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Hammam bin Al-Harith said,

"A man came before Uthman bin Affan and praised him. Al-Miqdad bin Al-Aswad started throwing sand in the face of that man, saying, `The Messenger of Allah ordered us to throw sand in their faces when we see those who praise.'''

Muslim and Abu Dawud also collected this Hadith.

 

33.

Previous 31-32

أَفَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي تَوَلَّى  

Did you observe him who turned away (from Islam).

34.

وَأَعْطَى قَلِيلًا وَأَكْدَى  

And gave a little, then stopped,

35.

أَعِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ الْغَيْبِ فَهُوَ يَرَى  

Is with him the knowledge of the Unseen so that he sees ?

36.

أَمْ لَمْ يُنَبَّأْ بِمَا فِي صُحُفِ مُوسَى

Or is he not informed with what is in the Suhuf of Musa,

37.

وَإِبْرَاهِيمَ الَّذِي وَفَّى  

And of Ibrahim who fulfilled all that:

38.

أَلَّا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَى  

That no burdened person (with sins) shall bear the burden (sins) of another.

39.

وَأَنْ لَيْسَ لِلْإِنْسَانِ إِلَّا مَا سَعَى  

And that man can have nothing but what he does.

40.

وَأَنَّ سَعْيَهُ سَوْفَ يُرَى  

And that his deeds will be seen.

41.

ثُمَّ يُجْزَاهُ الْجَزَاءَ الْأَوْفَى  

Then he will be recompensed with a full and the best recompense.

Next 42-55   

 Chastising Those Who disobey Allah and stop giving Charity

Allah the Exalted says,

أَفَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي تَوَلَّى ﴿٣٣

Did you observe him who turned away (from Islam).

Allah the Exalted chastises those who turn away from His obedience,

فَلاَ صَدَّقَ وَلاَ صَلَّى

وَلَـكِن كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلَّى 

So he (the disbeliever) neither believed nor prayed! But on the contrary, he belied and turned away! (75:31-32)

وَأَعْطَى قَلِيلًا وَأَكْدَى ﴿٣٤

And gave a little, then stopped,

Ibn Abbas said, "Gave a little, then stopped giving.''

Similar was said by Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ikrimah, Qatadah and several others.

Ikrimah and Sa`id said:

"Like the case of a people who dig a well, during the course of which they find a rock preventing them from completing their work. So they say, `We are finished' and they abandon the work.''

Allah's statement,

أَعِندَهُ عِلْمُ الْغَيْبِ فَهُوَ يَرَى ﴿٣٥

Is with him the knowledge of the Unseen so that he sees?

means, does this person, who stopped giving for fear of poverty and ended his acts of charity have knowledge of the Unseen and thus knows that if he does not stop giving, his wealth will go away?

No. Such a person has stopped giving in charity for righteous causes and did not keep relations with kith and kin because of his miserliness, being stingy and out of fear of poverty.

The Prophet said in a Hadith,

أَنْفِقْ بِلَالُ، وَلَا تَخْشَ مِنْ ذِي الْعَرْشِ إِقْلَالًا

O Bilal, spend and fear not less provisions from the Owner of the Throne.

Allah the Exalted and Most honored said,

وَمَا أَنْفَقْتُمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَهُوَ يُخْلِفُهُ ۖ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ  

And whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah's cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of providers. (34:39)

 The Meaning of `fulfilled

Allah the Exalted said,

أَمْ لَمْ يُنَبَّأْ بِمَا فِي صُحُفِ مُوسَى ﴿٣٦  

وَإِبْرَاهِيمَ الَّذِي وَفَّى ﴿٣٧

Or is he not informed with what is in the Suhuf of Musa. And of Ibrahim who fulfilled,

Sa`id bin Jubayr and Ath-Thawri said it means:

"Conveyed all that he was ordered to convey.''

Ibn `Abbas said about: وَفَّى (fulfilled) ,

"He delivered all that Allah ordered him to deliver.''

Sa`id bin Jubayr said about: وَفَّى (fulfilled), "What he was ordered.''

Qatadah said about:وَفَّى (fulfilled),

"He obeyed Allah and delivered His Message to His creatures.''

This is the view preferred by Ibn Jarir because it includes the statement before it and supports it.

Allah said,

وَاِذِ ابۡتَلٰٓى اِبۡرٰهٖمَ رَبُّهٗ بِكَلِمٰتٍ فَاَتَمَّهُنَّ‌ؕ قَالَ اِنِّىۡ جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ اِمَامًا

And (remember) when the Lord of Ibrahim tried him with (certain) commands, which he fulfilled. He said: "Verily, I am going to make you an Imam (a leader) for mankind.'' (2:124)

Therefore, Ibrahim fulfilled all the commands of his Lord, stayed away from all the prohibitions, and conveyed Allah's Message in its entirety. Therefore, he is worthy of being made a leader for mankind in all of his affairs, statements and actions.

Allah the Exalted said,

ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا ۖ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

Then, We have sent the revelation to you (saying): "Follow the religion of Ibrahim, a Hanif, and he was not of the idolators.'' (16:123)

 None shall carry the Burden of Any Other on the Day of Resurrection

Allah the Exalted explained what He has revealed in the Scripture of Ibrahim and Musa,

أَلَّا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَى ﴿٣٨

That no burdened person shall bear the burden of another.

Meaning, every soul shall carry its own injustices, whether disbelief or sin, and none else shall carry its burden of sin, as Allah states

وَإِنْ تَدْعُ مُثْقَلَةٌ إِلَى حِمْلِهَا لَا يُحْمَلْ مِنْهُ شَيْءٌ وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَى ۗ

And if one heavily laden calls another to (bear) his load, nothing of it will be lifted even though he be near of kin. (35:18)

Allah said,

وَأَن لَّيْسَ لِلْإِنسَانِ إِلَّا مَا سَعَى ﴿٣٩

And that man can have nothing but what he does.

So just as no soul shall carry the burden of any other, the soul shall only benefit from the good that one earns for himself.

As for the Hadith recorded by Muslim in the Sahih, that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِذَا مَاتَ الْإِنْسَانُ انْقَطَعَ عَمَلُهُ إِلَّا مِنْ ثَلَاثٍ: مِنْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ، أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ، أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِه

When a person dies, his deeds will cease except in three cases: -

- from a righteous son who invokes Allah for him, or

- an ongoing charity after his death, or

- knowledge that people benefit from.

These three things are, in reality, a result of one's own deeds, efforts and actions.

For example, a Hadith states,

إِنَّ أَطْيَبَ مَا أَكَلَ الرَّجُلُ مِنْ كَسْبِهِ، وَإِنَّ وَلَدَهُ مِنْ كَسْبِه

Verily, the best type of provision that one consumes is from what he himself has earned, and one's offspring are among what he has earned.

The ongoing charity that one leaves behind, like an endowment, for example, are among the traces of his own actions and deeds.

Allah the Exalted said,

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نُحْيِي الْمَوْتَى وَنَكْتُبُ مَا قَدَّمُوا وَآثَارَهُمْ

Verily, We give life to the dead, and We record that which they send before (them) and their traces. (36:12)

The knowledge that one spreads among people which they are guided by is among his actions and deeds.

A Hadith collected in the Sahih states,

مَنْ دَعَا إِلَى هُدًى كَانَ لَهُ مِنَ الْأَجْرِ مِثْلُ أُجُورِ مَنِ اتَّبَعَهُ، مِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ يَنْقُصَ مِنْ أُجُورِهِمْ شَيْئًا

Whoever invites to guidance, he will earn as much reward as those who follow him, without decreasing anything out of their own rewards.

Allah said,

وَأَنَّ سَعْيَهُ سَوْفَ يُرَى ﴿٤٠

And that his deeds will be seen.

meaning, on the Day of Resurrection,

وَقُلِ اعْمَلُواْ فَسَيَرَى اللَّهُ عَمَلَكُمْ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَسَتُرَدُّونَ إِلَى عَـلِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَـدَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

And say: "Do deeds! Allah will see your deeds, and (so will) His Messenger and the believers. And you will be brought back to the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. Then He will inform you of what you used to do.'' (9:105),

Then Allah will remind you of your actions and recompense you for them in the best manner, good for good and evil for evil.

Allah's statement here,

ثُمَّ يُجْزَاهُ الْجَزَاء الْأَوْفَى ﴿٤١

Then he will be recompensed with a full and the best recompense.

 

42.

Previous 33-41

وَأَنَّ إِلَى رَبِّكَ الْمُنْتَهَى  

And that to your Lord is the End.

43.

وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَضْحَكَ وَأَبْكَى  

And that it is He Who makes laugh, and makes weep.

44.

وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَمَاتَ وَأَحْيَا  

And that it is He Who causes death and gives life.

45.

وَأَنَّهُ خَلَقَ الزَّوْجَيْنِ الذَّكَرَ وَالْأُنْثَى  

And that He creates the pairs, male and female,

46.

مِنْ نُطْفَةٍ إِذَا تُمْنَى  

From Nutfah when it is emitted.

47.

وَأَنَّ عَلَيْهِ النَّشْأَةَ الْأُخْرَى  

And that upon Him is another bringing forth (Resurrection).

48.

وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَغْنَى وَأَقْنَى  

And that it is He Who Aghna and Aqna.

49.

وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ رَبُّ الشِّعْرَى  

And that He is the Lord of Ash-Shi`ra.

50.

وَأَنَّهُ أَهْلَكَ عَادًا الْأُولَى  

And that it is He Who destroyed the former `Ad,

51.

وَثَمُودَ فَمَا أَبْقَى

And Thamud. He spared none of them.

52.

وَقَوْمَ نُوحٍ مِنْ قَبْلُ ۖ

And the people of Nuh aforetime.

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا هُمْ أَظْلَمَ وَأَطْغَى  

Verily, they were more unjust and more rebellious and transgressing.

53.

وَالْمُؤْتَفِكَةَ أَهْوَى

And He destroyed the overthrown cities.

54.

فَغَشَّاهَا مَا غَشَّى  

So, there covered them that which did cover.

55.

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكَ تَتَمَارَى  

Then which of the graces of your Lord will you doubt!

Next 56-62   

 Some Attributes of the Lord, that He returns Man as He originated Him, and some of what He does with His Servants

Allah the Exalted said,

وَأَنَّ إِلَى رَبِّكَ الْمُنتَهَى ﴿٤٢

And that to your Lord is the End.

meaning, the return of everything on the Day of Resurrection.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Amr bin Maymun Al-Awdi said,

"Once, Mu`adh bin Jabal stood up among us and said, `O Children of Awd! I am the emissary of Allah's Messenger to you; know that the Return is to Allah, either to Paradise or the Fire.'''

Allah's statement,

وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَضْحَكَ وَأَبْكَى ﴿٤٣  

And that it is He Who makes you laugh, and makes you weep.

means that He created in His creatures the ability to laugh or weep and the causes for each of these opposites,

وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَمَاتَ وَأَحْيَا ﴿٤٤

And that it is He Who causes death and gives life.

In a similar statement, Allah said,

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ

Who has created death and life. (67:2)

Allah said,

وَأَنَّهُ خَلَقَ الزَّوْجَيْنِ الذَّكَرَ وَالْأُنثَى ﴿٤٥

 مِن نُّطْفَةٍ إِذَا تُمْنَى ﴿٤٦

And that He creates the pairs, male and female. From Nutfah when it is emitted.

as He said:

أَيَحْسَبُ الإِنسَـنُ أَن يُتْرَكَ سُدًى

أَلَمْ يَكُ نُطْفَةً مِّن مَّنِىٍّ يُمْنَى

ثُمَّ كَانَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقَ فَسَوَّى

فَجَعَلَ مِنْهُ الزَّوْجَيْنِ الذَّكَرَ وَالاٍّنثَى

أَلَيْسَ ذَلِكَ بِقَـدِرٍ عَلَى أَن يُحْيِىَ الْمَوْتَى 

Does man think that he will be left neglected? Was he not a Nutfah? Then he became an `Alaqah (something that clings); then (Allah) shaped and fashioned (him) in due proportion. And made of him two sexes, male and female. Is not He (Allah) able to give life to the dead? (75:36-40)

Allah the Exalted said,

وَأَنَّ عَلَيْهِ النَّشْأَةَ الْأُخْرَى ﴿٤٧

And that upon Him is another bringing forth.

meaning, just as He first originated creation, He is able to bring it back to life, resurrecting it for the Day of Judgement,

وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَغْنَى وَأَقْنَى ﴿٤٨

And that it is He Who Aghna (gives much) and Aqna (a little).

It is Allah Who gives wealth to His servants and this wealth remains with them. This means they are able to use it to their benefit, is this out of the completeness of His favor.

Most of the statements of the scholars of Tafsir revolve around this meaning, such as those from Abu Salih, Ibn Jarir and others.

Mujahid said that,

أَغْنَى (Aghna) meaning: He gives wealth.

وَأَقْنَى (Aqna) meaning: He gives servants.

Similar was said by Qatadah.

Ibn Abbas and Mujahid said;

أَغْنَى (Aghna) means: He granted;

while,

وَأَقْنَى (Aqna) means: He gave contentment.

وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ رَبُّ الشِّعْرَى ﴿٤٩

And that He is the Lord of Ash-Shi`ra.

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said about Ash-Shi`ra that

it is the bright star, named Mirzam Al-Jawza' (Sirius), which a group of Arabs used to worship.

وَأَنَّهُ أَهْلَكَ عَادًا الْأُولَى ﴿٥٠

And that it is He Who destroyed the former `Ad,

the people of Hud. They are the descendants of `Ad, son of Iram, son of Sam, son of Nuh.

As Allah the Exalted said,

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِعَادٍ

إِرَمَ ذَاتِ الْعِمَادِ

الَّتِى لَمْ يُخْلَقْ مِثْلُهَا فِى الْبِلَـدِ

Saw you not how your Lord dealt with `Ad. Of Iram, with the lofty pillars, the like of which were not created in the land, (89:6-8)

The people of `Ad were among the strongest, fiercest people and the most rebellious against Allah the Exalted and His Messenger. Allah destroyed them,

وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِرِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ - سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَانِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُومًا

By a furious violent wind! Which Allah imposed in them for seven nights and eight days in succession. (69:6-7)

Allah's statement,

وَثَمُودَ فَمَا أَبْقَى ﴿٥١

And Thamud. He spared none,

declares that He destroyed them all and spared none of them,

وَقَوْمَ نُوحٍ مِّن قَبْلُ ...

And the people of Nuh aforetime.

before `Ad and Thamud,

... إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا هُمْ أَظْلَمَ وَأَطْغَى ﴿٥٢﴾

Verily, they were more unjust and more rebellious and transgressing.

more unjust in disobeying Allah than those who came after them,

وَالْمُؤْتَفِكَةَ أَهْوَى ﴿٥٣

And He destroyed the overthrown cities.

meaning, the cities (of Sodom and Gomorrah) to which Prophet Lut was sent. Allah turned their cities upside down over them and sent on them stones of Sijjil.

Allah's statement that whatever has covered it, has covered it, is like the case with the stones of Sijjil that He sent on them,

وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِم مَّطَراً فَسَآءَ مَطَرُ الْمُنذَرِينَ

And We rained on them a rain (of torment). And how evil was the rain of those who had been warned! (26:173)

فَغَشَّاهَا مَا غَشَّى ﴿٥٤

So, there covered them that which did cover.

Allah said,

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاء رَبِّكَ تَتَمَارَى ﴿٥٥

Then which of the graces of your Lord will you doubt1

meaning, `which of Allah's favors for you, O man, do you doubt,' according to Qatadah.

Ibn Jurayj said that the Ayah, فَبِأَيِّ آلَاء رَبِّكَ تَتَمَارَى (Then which of the graces of your Lord will you doubt!),

is directed towards the Prophet saying:

"O Muhammad!''

However, the first explanation is better, and it is the meaning that Ibn Jarir preferred.

 

56.

Previous 42-55

هَذَا نَذِيرٌ مِنَ النُّذُرِ الْأُولَى  

This is a warner from the warners of old.

57.

أَزِفَتِ الْآزِفَةُ  

The Azifah draws near.

58.

لَيْسَ لَهَا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ كَاشِفَةٌ  

None besides Allah can avert it.

59.

أَفَمِنْ هَذَا الْحَدِيثِ تَعْجَبُونَ  

Do you then wonder at this recitation

60.

وَتَضْحَكُونَ وَلَا تَبْكُونَ  

And you laugh at it and weep not,

61.

وَأَنْتُمْ سَامِدُونَ  

While you are Samidun.

62.

فَاسْجُدُوا لِلَّهِ وَاعْبُدُوا    ۩

So fall you down in prostration to Allah and worship Him.

 

 A Warning and Exhortation, the Order to prostrate and to be humble

Allah said,

هَذَا نَذِيرٌ ...

This is a warner, (in reference to Muhammad),

... مِّنَ النُّذُرِ الْأُولَى ﴿٥٦﴾

from the warners of old.

means, just like the warners of old, he was sent as a Messenger as they were sent as Messengers.

Allah the Exalted said,

قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعاً مِّنَ الرُّسُلِ

Say:

"I am not a new thing among the Messengers.'' (46:9)

Allah said;

أَزِفَتْ الْآزِفَةُ ﴿٥٧

The Azifah draws near.

that which is near, the Day of Resurrection, has drawn nearer,

لَيْسَ لَهَا مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَاشِفَةٌ ﴿٥٨

None besides Allah can avert it.

no one besides Allah can prevent it from coming, nor does anyone know when it will come, except Him. The warner is eager to convey his knowledge of the imminence of a calamity, so that it does not befall those to whom he is a warner.

As He said;

إِنِّينَذِيرٌ لَّكُمْ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ عَذَابٍ شَدِيدٍ

He is only a warner to you in face of a severe torment. (34:46)

And in the Hadith:

أَنَا النَّذِيرُ الْعُرْيَان

I am the naked warner,

meaning, I was in such a hurry to warn against the evil I saw coming, that I did not wear anything. In this case, one rushes to warn his people in such haste that he will be naked.

This meaning befits the meaning of the Ayah, أَزِفَتْ الْآزِفَةُ  (the Azifah draws near), in reference to the nearing Day of Resurrection. Allah said in the beginning of the Surah Al-Qamar:

اقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ

The Hour has drawn near. (54:1)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Sahl bin Sa`d said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِيَّاكُمْ وَمُحَقَّرَاتِ الذُّنُوبِ،

فَإِنَّمَا مَثَلُ مُحَقَّرَاتِ الذُّنُوبِ كَمَثَلِ قَوْمٍ نَزَلُوا بِبَطْنِ وَادٍ، فَجَاءَ ذَا بِعُودٍ وَجَاءَ ذَا بِعُودٍ، حَتْى أَنْضَجُوا خُبْزَتَهُمْ، وَإِنَّ مُحَقَّرَاتِ الذُّنُوبِ، مَتَى يُؤْخَذُ بِهَا صَاحِبُهَا، تُهْلِكُه

Beware of small sins!

The example of the effect of small sin is that of people who settled near the bottom of a valley. One of them brought a piece of wood, and another brought another piece of wood, until they cooked their bread!

Verily, small sins will destroy its companion, if one is held accountable for them.

Allah the Exalted admonishes the idolators because they hear the Qur'an, yet they turn away from it in heedless play,

Allah said;

أَفَمِنْ هَذَا الْحَدِيثِ تَعْجَبُونَ ﴿٥٩

Do you then wonder at this recitation,

تَعْجَبُونَ (wonder) doubting that it is true.

وَتَضْحَكُونَ وَلَا تَبْكُونَ ﴿٦٠

And you laugh at it and weep not,

وَتَضْحَكُونَ (And you laugh) in jest and mock at it,

وَلَا تَبْكُونَ  (and weep not), just as those who believe in it weep,

وَيَخِرُّونَ لِلاٌّذْقَانِ يَبْكُونَ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ خُشُوعًا

And they fall down on their faces weeping and it increases their humility. (17:109)

Allah said;

وَأَنتُمْ سَامِدُونَ ﴿٦١

While you are Samidun.

Sufyan Ath-Thawri reported that his father narrated that Ibn Abbas said about Samidun,

"Singing; in Yemenite dialect `Ismid for us' means `Sing for us.'''

Ikrimah said something similar.

In another narration from Ibn Abbas, he said that, سَامِدُونَ (Samidun) means, "Turning away.''

Similar was reported from Mujahid and Ikrimah.

Allah the Exalted ordered His servants to prostrate to Him, worship Him according to the way of His Messenger, and to fulfill the requirement of Tawhid and sincerity,

فَاسْجُدُوا لِلَّهِ وَاعْبُدُوا ﴿٦٢

So fall you down in prostration to Allah and worship Him.

meaning, with submission, sincerity, and Tawhid.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ma`mar said that Abdul-Warith said that Ayyub said that Ikrimah said that, Ibn Abbas said,

"The Prophet prostrated upon reciting An-Najam and the Muslims, idolators, Jinns and mankind who were present prostrated along with him.''

Only Muslim collected this Hadith.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Muttalib bin Abi Wada`ah said,

"While in Makkah, the Messenger of Allah once recited Surah An-Najam, then prostrated along with all those who were with him at the time. I raised my head, however, and I refused to prostrate.''

Al-Muttalib had not embraced Islam yet, but ever since he became Muslim, he would never hear anyone recite this Surah until the end, without prostrating with whomever was prostrating after reciting it.

An-Nasa'i also collected this Hadith in the Book of Al-Bukhari, excluding prayer in his Sunan.

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah An-Najm. All praise and thanks are due to Allah.

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