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Tafsir Ibn Kathir (English)

Surah Mulk

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

 The Virtues of Surat Al-Mulk

Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Hurayrah that Allah's Messenger said,

إِنَّ سُورَةً فِي الْقُرْآنِ ثَلَاثِينَ آيَةً شَفَعَتْ لِصَاحِبِهَا حَتْى غُفِرَ لَهُ:

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِى بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ

Verily, there is a chapter in the Qur'an which contains thirty Ayat that will intercede on behalf of its reciter until he is forgiven. (It is):

Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion.

This Hadith was collected by At-Tirmidhi and the four Sunan Compilers.

At-Tirmidhi said concerning it, "This is a Hasan Hadith.''

At-Tabarani and Al-Hafiz Ad-Diya' Al-Maqdisi both recorded from Anas that the Messenger of Allah said,

سُورَةٌ فِي الْقُرْآنِ خَاصَمَتْ عَنْ صَاحِبِهَا حَتْى أَدْخَلَتْهُ الْجَنَّةَ:

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِى بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ

There is a chapter of the Qur'an that will argue on behalf of its reciter until it causes him to enter into Paradise. (It is):

Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion.

 

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

1.

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion; and He is Able to do all things.

2.

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ۚ

Who has created death and life that He may test you which of you is best in deed.

وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ

And He is the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving;

3.

الَّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقًا ۖ

Who has created the seven heavens one above the other;

مَا تَرَى فِي خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَنِ مِنْ تَفَاوُتٍ ۖ

you can see no fault in the creation of the Most Gracious.

فَارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ هَلْ تَرَى مِنْ فُطُورٍ

Then look again. Can you see any rifts

4.

ثُمَّ ارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ كَرَّتَيْنِ يَنْقَلِبْ إِلَيْكَ الْبَصَرُ خَاسِئًا وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ

Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you Khasi', and worn out.

5.

وَلَقَدْ زَيَّنَّا السَّمَاءَ الدُّنْيَا بِمَصَابِيحَ وَجَعَلْنَاهَا رُجُومًا لِلشَّيَاطِينِ ۖ

And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps, and We have made such lamps (as) missiles to drive away the Shayatin,

وَأَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابَ السَّعِيرِ

and have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire.

    

 Glorification of Allah and mentioning the Creation of Death, Life, the Heavens and the Stars

Allah the Exalted glorifies His Noble Self by saying,

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ ...    

 

Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion;

Allah the Exalted glorifies His Noble Self and informs that the dominion is in His Hand. This means that He deals with all of His creatures however He wishes and there is none who can reverse His decree. He is not questioned concerning what He does because of His force, His wisdom and His justice.

For this reason Allah says,

... وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿١﴾

and He is Able to do all things.

Then Allah says,

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ ...      

Who has created death and life.

Those who say that death is an existing creation use this Ayah as a proof because it is something that has been created.

This Ayah means that He brought creation into existence from nothing in order to test the creatures. He examines them to see which of them will be best in deeds. This is similar to Allah's statement,

كَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَكُنتُمْ أَمْوَتًا فَأَحْيَـكُمْ

How can you disbelieve in Allah Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life. (2:28)

In this Ayah Allah named the first stage, which is non-existence, "death.'' Then he named the origin or beginning of existence, "life.''

This is why Allah says,

ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ

Then He will give death, then again will bring you to life ( on the Day of Resurrection) (2:28)

Concerning Allah's statement,

... لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا...

He may test you which of you is best in deed.

it means best in deeds.

This is as Muhammad bin `Ajlan said.

It should be noted that Allah did not say "which of you does the most deeds.''

Allah then says,

... وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ ﴿٢ 

And He is the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving.

This means that He is the Almighty, the Most Great, the Most Powerful and the Most Honorable. However, along with this He is Most Forgiving to whoever turns to Him in repentance and seeks His pardon after having disobeyed Him and opposed His commandment. Even though Allah is Almighty, He also forgives, shows mercy, pardons and excuses.

Then Allah says,

الَّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقًا ...      

Who has created the seven heavens one above the other;

meaning stacked one on top of the other.

Are they connected to each other, meaning that they are in elevated ascension,

- some of them being stacked above others,

- or separated with space between them

There are two views concerning this, and the most correct opinion seems to be the latter as is proven in the Hadith of Isra' (the Prophet's Night Journey) and other narrations.

Concerning Allah's statement,

... مَّا تَرَى فِي خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَنِ مِن تَفَاوُتٍ ...

you can see no fault in the creation of the Most Gracious.

means, it (the creation) is done in a flawless manner, and these are connected with each other so as to forms a straight level, having no disunion, conflict, inconsistency, deficiency, flaw or defect.

This is the reason that Allah says,

... فَارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ هَلْ تَرَى مِن فُطُورٍ ﴿٣﴾

Then look again. Can you see any rifts.

meaning, look at the sky and pay close attention to it. Do you see any flaw, deficiency, defect or rifts in it?

Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Ath-Thawri and others said, 

"it means cracks".

As-Suddi said that, هَلْ تَرَى مِن فُطُورٍ  (Can you see any rifts) means any tears.

Qatadah said, هَلْ تَرَى مِن فُطُورٍ  (Can you see any rifts) means,

`do you see any defects O Son of Adam (mankind)'

In reference to Allah's statement,

ثُمَّ ارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ كَرَّتَيْنِ ...      

Then look again and yet again,

Qatadah said, "It means (look) twice.''

... يَنْقَلِبْ إِلَيْكَ الْبَصَرُ خَاسِئًا...

your sight will return to you Khasi',

Ibn `Abbas said that Khasi' means humiliated.

Mujahid and Qatadah both said that it means despised.

... وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ ﴿٤﴾  

and worn out.

Ibn `Abbas said that this means it will be exhausted.

Mujahid, Qatadah and As-Suddi all said that it means broken down fatigue that comes from weakness.

Thus, the Ayah means that if you continuously looked, no matter how much you look, your sight will return to you  خَاسِئًاKhasi' due to the inability to see any flaw or defect (in Allah's creation) وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ  and worn out.

meaning, exhausted and broken down feebleness due to the great amount of repeated looking without being able to detect any deficiency.

Then, after Allah negated any deficiency in the creation of the heavens, He explains their perfection and beauty. He says,

وَلَقَدْ زَيَّنَّا السَّمَاء الدُّنْيَا بِمَصَابِيحَ ...       

And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps,

This refers to the stars which have been placed in the heavens, some moving and some stationary.

In Allah's statement,

... وَجَعَلْنَاهَا رُجُومًا لِّلشَّيَاطِينِ ...

and We have made them (as) missiles to drive away the Shayatin,

The pronoun `them' in His statement, "and We have made them'' is the same type of statement as the stars being referred to as lamps. This does not mean that they are actually missiles, because the stars in the sky are not thrown. Rather, it is the meteors beneath them that are thrown and they are taken from the stars. And Allah knows best.

Concerning Allah's statement,

... وَأَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابَ السَّعِيرِ ﴿٥﴾

and We have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire.

means, `We have made this disgrace for the devils in this life and We have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire in the Hereafter.'

This is as Allah said in the beginning of Surah As-Saffat,

إِنَّا زَيَّنَّا السَّمَآءَ الدُّنْيَا بِزِينَةٍ الْكَوَكِبِ

وَحِفْظاً مِّن كُلِّ شَيْطَـنٍ مَّارِدٍ

لاَّ يَسَّمَّعُونَ إِلَى الْمَلإِ الاٌّعْلَى وَيُقْذَفُونَ مِن كُلِّ جَانِبٍ

دُحُوراً وَلَهُمْ عَذابٌ وَاصِبٌ

إِلاَّ مَنْ خَطِفَ الْخَطْفَةَ فَأَتْبَعَهُ شِهَابٌ ثَاقِبٌ

Verily, We have adorned the near heaven with the stars (for beauty). And to guard against every rebellious devil. They cannot listen to the higher group (angels) for they are pelted from every side. Outcast, and theirs is a constant (or painful) torment. Except such as snatch away something by stealing, and they are pursued by a flaming fire of piercing brightness. (37:6-10)

Qatadah said,

"These stars were only created for three purposes:

- Allah created them as adornment for the heaven (sky),

- as missiles for the devils and

- as signs for navigation.

Therefore, whoever seeks to interpret any other meanings for them other than these, then verily he has spoken with his own opinion, he has lost his portion and burdened himself with that which he has no knowledge of.''

Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim both recorded this statement.

 

6.

وَلِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ

And for those who disbelieve in their Lord is the torment of Hell,

وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ

and worst indeed is that destination.

7.

إِذَا أُلْقُوا فِيهَا سَمِعُوا لَهَا شَهِيقًا وَهِيَ تَفُورُ

When they are cast therein, they will hear its Shahiq while it is simmering.

8.

تَكَادُ تَمَيَّزُ مِنَ الْغَيْظِ ۖ

It almost bursts up with fury.

كُلَّمَا أُلْقِيَ فِيهَا فَوْجٌ سَأَلَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ نَذِيرٌ

Every time a group is cast therein, its keepers will ask: "Did no warner come to you''

9.

قَالُوا بَلَى قَدْ جَاءَنَا نَذِيرٌ فَكَذَّبْنَا

They will say:

"Yes, indeed a warner did come to us, but we rejected him

وَقُلْنَا مَا نَزَّلَ اللَّهُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِنْ أَنْتُمْ إِلَّا فِي ضَلَالٍ كَبِيرٍ

and said: `Allah never sent down anything; you are only in great error.'''

10.

وَقَالُوا لَوْ كُنَّا نَسْمَعُ أَوْ نَعْقِلُ مَا كُنَّا فِي أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ

And they will say: "Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Fire!''

11.

فَاعْتَرَفُوا بِذَنْبِهِمْ فَسُحْقًا لِأَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ

Then they will confess their sin.

So, away with the dwellers of the blazing Fire!

   

 The Description of Hell and Those Who will enter into it

Allah the Exalted says,

وَ...      

and, meaning, `and We have prepared,'

...لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ ﴿٦﴾

for those who disbelieve in their Lord is the torment of Hell, and worst indeed is that destination.

This means that this will be the worst end and a terrible destiny.

إِذَا أُلْقُوا فِيهَا سَمِعُوا لَهَا شَهِيقًا ...       

When they are cast therein, they will hear its Shahiq,

Ibn Jarir said, "This means the sound of shouting.''

... وَهِيَ تَفُورُ ﴿٧﴾  

while it is simmering.

Ath-Thawri said,

"It will boil them just as a small number of seeds are boiled in a lot of water.''

Then Allah says,

 تَكَادُ تَمَيَّزُ مِنَ الْغَيْظِ ...       

It almost bursts up with fury.

meaning, some parts of it almost break apart from other parts due to the severity of its rage and anger with them.

... كُلَّمَا أُلْقِيَ فِيهَا فَوْجٌ سَأَلَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ نَذِيرٌ ﴿٨﴾

قَالُوا بَلَى قَدْ جَاءنَا نَذِيرٌ فَكَذَّبْنَا وَقُلْنَا مَا نَزَّلَ اللَّهُ مِن شَيْءٍ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلَّا فِي ضَلَالٍ كَبِيرٍ ﴿٩       

Every time a group is cast therein, its keepers will ask: "Did no warner come to you''

They will say: "Yes, indeed a warner did come to us, but we rejected him and said: `Allah never sent down anything; you are only in great error.'''

In these Ayat Allah reminds of His justice in dealing with His creatures and that He does not punish anyone until the proof has been established against them and a Messenger has been sent to them.

This is similar to Allah's statement,

وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولاً

And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger. (17:15)

Allah also says,

حَتَّى إِذَا جَآءُوهَا فُتِحَتْ أَبْوَبُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَآ أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِّنكُمْ يَتْلُونَ عَلَيْكُمْ ءَايَـتِ رَبِّكُمْ وَيُنذِرُونَكُمْ لِقَـآءَ يَوْمِكُمْ هَـذَا قَالُواْ بَلَى وَلَـكِنْ حَقَّتْ كَلِمَةُ الْعَذَابِ عَلَى الْكَـفِرِينَ

till when they reach it, the gates thereof will be opened. And its keepers will say, "Did not the Messengers come to you from yourselves, reciting to you the Ayat of your Lord, and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours''

They will say: "Yes,'' but the Word of torment has been justified against the disbelievers!'' (39:71)

Thus, they have no recourse but to blame themselves and they will feel remorseful when such remorse will be of no benefit to them.

وَقَالُوا ...       

They will say,

... لَوْ كُنَّا نَسْمَعُ أَوْ نَعْقِلُ مَا كُنَّا فِي أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ ﴿١٠﴾

Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Fire!

meaning, `if we would have benefited from our intellects or listened to the truth that Allah revealed, we would not have been disbelieving in Allah and misguided about Him. But we did not have understanding to comprehend what the Messengers came with, and we did not have the intelligence to guide us to following them.'

Allah then says,

فَاعْتَرَفُوا بِذَنبِهِمْ فَسُحْقًا لِّأَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ ﴿١١       

Then they will confess their sin. So, away with the dwellers of the blazing Fire!

Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Al-Bakhtari At-Ta'i that he heard from one of the Companions that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَنْ يَهْلِكَ النَّاسُ حَتْى يُعْذِرُوا مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِم

The people will not be destroyed until they themselves confess their guilt.

 

12.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ بِالْغَيْبِ لَهُمْ مَغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ كَبِيرٌ

Verily, those who fear their Lord unseen, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward.

13.

وَأَسِرُّوا قَوْلَكُمْ أَوِ اجْهَرُوا بِهِ ۖ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ

And whether you keep your talk secret or disclose it, verily, He is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts.

14.

أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ

Should not He Who has created know?

وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ

And He is the Most Kind and Courteous, All-Aware.

15.

هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ ذَلُولًا فَامْشُوا فِي مَنَاكِبِهَا وَكُلُوا مِنْ رِزْقِهِ ۖ

He it is Who has made the earth subservient to you; so walk in the paths thereof and eat of His provision.

وَإِلَيْهِ النُّشُورُ

And to Him will be the resurrection.

   

 The Reward of those Who fear their Lord unseen

Allah informs,

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَيْبِ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ كَبِيرٌ ﴿١٢       

Verily, those who fear their Lord unseen, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward.

Allah informs of he who fears standing before his Lord, being frightened about matters between himself and Allah when he is not in the presence of other people. So he refrains from disobedience and he performs acts of obedience when no one sees him except Allah.

Allah mentions that this person will have forgiveness and a great reward. This means that his sins will be remitted and he will be rewarded abundantly.

This is similar to what has been confirmed in the Two Sahihs,

سَبْعَةٌ يُظِلُّهُمُ اللهُ تَعَالى فِي ظِلِّ عَرْشِهِ يَوْمَ لَا ظِلَّ إِلَّا ظِلُّه

There are seven people whom Allah the Exalted will shade in the shade of His Throne on the Day when there will be no shade except its shade.

Then he mentioned that among those people are:

دَعَتْهُ امْرَأَةٌ ذَاتُ مَنْصِبٍ وَجَمَالٍ فَقَالَ: إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللهَ،

وَرَجُلًا تَصَدَّقَ بِصَدَقَةٍ فَأَخْفَاهَا حَتْى لَا تَعْلَمَ شِمَالُهُ مَا تُنْفِقُ يَمِينُه

- A man who is tempted by a beautiful woman of high social status, but he says: `Verily, I fear Allah.'

- Another person from among them is a man who gives charity and he conceals it so that his left hand does not know what his right hand spent.

Then He says, while informing that He is aware of the innermost conscience and secrets,

وَأَسِرُّوا قَوْلَكُمْ أَوِ اجْهَرُوا بِهِ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ ﴿١٣      

And whether you keep your talk secret or disclose it, verily, He is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts.

meaning, that which occurs in the hearts (ideas, thoughts, etc.).

أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ ...       

Should not He Who has created know?

This means, `doesn't the Creator know'

... وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ ﴿١٤

And He is the Most Kind and Courteous, All-Aware (of everything).

 Allah's Favor of subjugating the Earth to His Servants

Then Allah mentions His favor to His creation in subjugating the earth to them, and making it subservient to them. This is by His making it a stable abode and dwelling place. He placed in it mountains and caused water springs to gush forth from it. He fashioned pathways, and placed useful things in it and places fertile for the growth of fruit and vegetation. Allah says,

هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ ذَلُولًا فَامْشُوا فِي مَنَاكِبِهَا...      

He it is Who has made the earth subservient to you; so walk in the paths thereof,

meaning, travel wherever you wish throughout its regions and frequent its countryside's and all the areas of its domain in your various journeys to seek earnings and trade. And know that your efforts will not benefit you anything unless Allah makes matters easy for you.

Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, As-Suddi and Qatadah all said that مَنَاكِبِهَا Manakibiha (its paths) means its outermost borders, its roads and its regions.

Allah continues to say,

... وَكُلُوا مِن رِّزْقِهِ ...

and eat of His provision.

Thus, striving by using the means (to attain something) does not negate the necessity of depending upon Allah (At-Tawakkul).

This is similar to what Imam Ahmad recorded from `Umar bin Al-Khattab, that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,

لَوْأَنَّكُمْ تَتَوَكَّلُونَ عَلَى اللهِ حَقَّ تَوَكُّلِهِ، لَرَزَقَكُمْ كَمَا يَرْزُقُ الطَّيْرَ، تَغْدُو خِمَاصًا وَتَرُوحُ بِطَانًا

If you would trust in Allah as He truly should be trusted in, He would surely provide for you as He provides for the birds. They set out in the morning with empty stomachs and return in the evening with full stomachs.

At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah all recorded this Hadith. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.''

So this confirms that the bird searches morning and evening for its sustenance while depending upon Allah. For He is the Subduer, the Controller and the One Who causes everything.

... وَإِلَيْهِ النُّشُورُ ﴿١٥﴾

And to Him will be the resurrection.

meaning, the place of return on the Day of Judgement.

Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, As-Suddi and Qatadah all said that مَنَاكِبِهَا Manakibiha (its paths) means its outermost borders, its roads and its regions.

 

16.

أَأَمِنْتُمْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ أَنْ يَخْسِفَ بِكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فَإِذَا هِيَ تَمُورُ

Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake.

17.

أَمْ أَمِنْتُمْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ أَنْ يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَاصِبًا ۖ

Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not send against you a Hasib?

فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ كَيْفَ نَذِيرِ

Then you shall know how has been My warning.

18.

وَلَقَدْ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ نَكِيرِ

And indeed those before them rejected, then how terrible was My reproach?

19.

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلَى الطَّيْرِ فَوْقَهُمْ صَافَّاتٍ وَيَقْبِضْنَ

Do they not see the birds above them, spreading out their wings and folding them in

مَا يُمْسِكُهُنَّ إِلَّا الرَّحْمَنُ ۚ

None upholds them except the Most Gracious.

إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ بَصِيرٌ

Verily, He is the All-Seer of everything.

   

 How can You feel Secure against the Punishment of Allah while He is Able to seize You however He wills

This is another indication of His gentleness and His mercy with His creatures. He is able to punish them because some of them disbelieve in Him and worship others besides Him, yet He is forbearing, He pardons, and He gives respite for an appointed time without hastening. This is as He says,

وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ اللَّهُ النَّاسَ بِمَا كَسَبُواْ مَا تَرَكَ عَلَى ظَهْرِهَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ وَلَـكِن يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى فَإِذَا جَآءَ أَجَلُهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ بَصِيراً

And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving creature on the surface of the earth; but He gives them respite to an appointed term: and when their term comes, then verily, Allah is Ever All-Seer of His servants. (35:45)

Here Allah says,

أَأَمِنتُم مَّن فِي السَّمَاء أَن يَخْسِفَ بِكُمُ الأَرْضَ فَإِذَا هِيَ تَمُورُ ﴿١٦       

Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake?

meaning, that it would move back and forth, and be disrupted.

أَمْ أَمِنتُم مَّن فِي السَّمَاء أَن يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَاصِبًا ...      

Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not send against you a Hasib?

meaning, a wind containing gravel that will strike you, as Allah says in another Ayah,

أَفَأَمِنتُمْ أَن يَخْسِفَ بِكُمْ جَانِبَ الْبَرِّ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَاصِبًا ثُمَّ لاَ تَجِدُواْ لَكُمْ وَكِيلاً

Do you then feel secure that He will not cause a side of the land to swallow you up, or that He will not send against you a violent sandstorm Then, you shall find no trustee. (17:68)

And similarly, here Allah threatens them with His statement,

فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ كَيْفَ نَذِيرِ ﴿١٧﴾

Then you shall know how has been My warning.

meaning, `how is My admonition and what will happen to those who disregard and reject it.'

Then Allah says,

وَلَقَدْ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ...       

And indeed those before them rejected,

meaning, from the previous nations and the old generations that have passed.

Then Allah says,

... فَكَيْفَ كَانَ نَكِيرِ ﴿١٨

then how terrible was My reproach?

meaning, `how was My rebuke of them and my punishment of them.'

Meaning, it was great, severe and painful.

 The flight of Birds is by the Power of Allah and it is a Proof that He sees everything small and large

Allah says,

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلَى الطَّيْرِ فَوْقَهُمْ صَافَّاتٍ وَيَقْبِضْنَ ...       

Do they not see the birds above them, spreading out their wings and folding them in?

meaning, sometimes they spread their wings out in the wind (gliding) and other times they gather and spread (flapping) the wings in flight.

... مَا يُمْسِكُهُنَّ ...

None upholds them,

meaning, in the air,

... إِلَّا الرَّحْمَنُ ...

except the Most Gracious.

meaning, Allah holds them up in the air by subjecting the air to them out of His mercy and His gentleness.

... إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ بَصِيرٌ ﴿١٩  

Verily, He is the All-Seer of everything.

means, with what is beneficial and suitable for all of His creatures.

This is similar to His statement,

أَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ إِلَى الطَّيْرِ مُسَخَّرَتٍ فِى جَوِّ السَّمَآءِ مَا يُمْسِكُهُنَّ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ إِنَّ فِى ذلِكَ لآيَـتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

Do they not see the birds held in the midst of the sky None upholds them but Allah. Verily, in this are clear Ayat for people who believe. (24:79)

 

20.

أَمَّنْ هَذَا الَّذِي هُوَ جُنْدٌ لَكُمْ يَنْصُرُكُمْ مِنْ دُونِ الرَّحْمَنِ ۚ

Who is it besides the Most Gracious that can be an army to you to help you

إِنِ الْكَافِرُونَ إِلَّا فِي غُرُورٍ

The disbelievers are in nothing but delusion.

21.

أَمَّنْ هَذَا الَّذِي يَرْزُقُكُمْ إِنْ أَمْسَكَ رِزْقَهُ ۚ

Who is it that can provide for you if He should withhold His provision?

بَلْ لَجُّوا فِي عُتُوٍّ وَنُفُورٍ

Nay, but they continue to be in pride, and flee.

22.

أَفَمَنْ يَمْشِي مُكِبًّا عَلَى وَجْهِهِ أَهْدَى أَمَّنْ يَمْشِي سَوِيًّا عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

Is he who walks prone on his face, more rightly guided, or he who walks upright on a straight path?

23.

قُلْ هُوَ الَّذِي أَنْشَأَكُمْ وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ ۖ

Say: "It is He Who has created you, and endowed you with hearing and seeing, and hearts.

قَلِيلًا مَا تَشْكُرُونَ  

Little thanks you give.''

24.

قُلْ هُوَ الَّذِي ذَرَأَكُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ  وَإِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ

Say: "It is He Who has created you on the earth, and to Him shall you be gathered.''

25.

وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَى هَذَا الْوَعْدُ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

They say: "When will this promise come to pass, if you are telling the truth''

26.

قُلْ إِنَّمَا الْعِلْمُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَإِنَّمَا أَنَا نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ

Say: "The knowledge is with Allah only and I am only a plain Warner.''

27.

فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهُ زُلْفَةً سِيئَتْ وُجُوهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا

But when they will see it approaching, the faces of those who disbelieve will be sad and grievous,

وَقِيلَ هَذَا الَّذِي كُنْتُمْ بِهِ تَدَّعُونَ

and it will be said: "This is what you were calling for!''  

   

 No One will help You and No One can grant Sustenance except for Allah

Allah addresses the idolators who worship others besides Him, seeking help and sustenance from them. Allah rebukes them for what they believe, and He informs them that they will not attain that which they hope for.

Allah says,

أَمَّنْ هَذَا الَّذِي هُوَ جُندٌ لَّكُمْ يَنصُرُكُم مِّن دُونِ الرَّحْمَنِ ...       

Who is it besides the Most Gracious that can be an army to you to help?

meaning, there is no protector or helper for you besides Him. This is the reason that Allah says,

... إِنِ الْكَافِرُونَ إِلَّا فِي غُرُورٍ ﴿٢٠﴾ 

The disbelievers are in nothing but delusion.

Then Allah says,

أَمَّنْ هَذَا الَّذِي يَرْزُقُكُمْ إِنْ أَمْسَكَ رِزْقَهُ ...       

Who is it that can provide for you if He should withhold His provision?

meaning, who is it that can provide for you if Allah cuts off your sustenance There is no one who gives, withholds, creates, provides and helps other than Allah alone, Who has no partner. This proves that they know this, yet they still worship others besides Him.

Thus, Allah says,

...بَل لَّجُّوا ...

Nay, but they continue,

meaning, they persist in their transgression, lying and misguidance.

... فِي عُتُوٍّ وَنُفُورٍ ﴿٢١﴾

to be in pride, and flee.

meaning, they continue in obstinance, arrogance and fleeing away from the truth. They do not listen to it nor do they follow it.

 The Parable of the Disbeliever and the Believer

Then Allah says,

أَفَمَن يَمْشِي مُكِبًّا عَلَى وَجْهِهِ أَهْدَى أَمَّن يَمْشِي سَوِيًّا عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ ﴿٢٢﴾       

Is he who walks prone on his face, more rightly guided, or he who walks upright on a straight path?

This is a parable which Allah made of the believer and the disbeliever. So the condition of the disbeliever is like one who walks prone on his face. This is like a person walking bent over on his face (with his head down) instead of walking upright. This person does not know where he is going or how. Rather, he is lost, astray and confused. Is this person more guided, or he who walks upright (أَمَّن يَمْشِي سَوِيًّا ), meaning, he who stands erect on a straight path (عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ ) meaning, this person who walks upright is on a clear path, and he is straight within himself while his path is straight as well.

This is their likeness in this world, and their likeness will be the same in the Hereafter. So the believer will be gathered (on the Day of Judgement) walking upright upon the straight path and the vast and spacious Paradise will be opened up for him. However, the disbeliever will be gathered walking down on his face to the Hellfire.

احْشُرُواْ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ وَأَزْوَجَهُمْ وَمَا كَانُواْ يَعْبُدُونَ

مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ فَاهْدُوهُمْ إِلَى صِرَطِ الْجَحِيمِ

Assemble those who did wrong, together with their companions and what they used to worship instead of Allah, and lead them on to the way of flaming Fire. (37:22,23)

"Companions'' here means those like them.

Imam Ahmad recorded from Anas bin Malik that it was said, "O Messenger of Allah! How will the people be gathered on their faces'' So the Prophet replied,

أَلَيْسَ الَّذِي أَمْشَاهُمْ عَلَى أَرْجُلِهِمْ قَادِرًا عَلَى أَنْ يُمْشِيَهُمْ عَلَى وُجُوهِهِم

Is not He who made them to walk on their legs able to make them walk on their faces''

This Hadith is also recorded in the Two Sahihs.

 Allah's Power to create and It being an Evidence of the Final Abode

Allah says,

قُلْ هُوَ الَّذِي أَنشَأَكُمْ ...      

Say it is He Who has created you,

meaning, He initiated your creation after you were not even a thing worth mentioning (i.e., nothing).

Then He says,

... وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ ...

and endowed you with hearing and seeing, and hearts.

meaning, intellects and powers of reasoning.

... قَلِيلًا مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ ﴿٢٣﴾ 

Little thanks you give.

meaning, how little you use these abilities that Allah has blessed you with to obey Him, to act according to His commandments, and avoid His prohibitions.

قُلْ هُوَ الَّذِي ذَرَأَكُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ ...      

Say:

"It is He Who has created you on the earth...''

meaning, He has spread and distributed you all throughout the various regions and areas of the earth with your differing languages, colors, shapes, appearances and forms.

... وَإِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ ﴿٢٤﴾

and to Him shall you be gathered.

meaning, you all will come together after this separation and division. He will gather you all just as He separated you and He will bring you back again just as He originated you.

Then while informing of the disbelievers who reject the final return, and doubt concerning its real occurrence, Allah said;

وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَى هَذَا الْوَعْدُ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ﴿٢٥      

They say:

"When will this promise come to pass if you are telling the truth''

meaning, `when will this gathering after separation that you are informing us of, occur'

قُلْ إِنَّمَا الْعِلْمُ عِندَ اللَّهِ ...      

Say:

"The knowledge is with Allah only...''

meaning, `no one knows the time of the Day of Judgement exactly except Allah, but He has commanded me to inform you that it is real and it will definitely occur, so beware of it.'

... وَإِنَّمَا أَنَا نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٢٦﴾

and I am only a plain Warner.

meaning, `I am only obligated to convey, and verily I have performed my duty (of conveying) towards you.'

Then Allah says,

فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهُ زُلْفَةً سِيئَتْ وُجُوهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ...      

But when they will see it approaching, the faces of those who disbelieve will be sad and grievous.

means, when the Day of Judgement begins, and the disbelievers witness it, and they see that the matter has drawn close, because everything that is to occur will occur, even if it takes a long time. So, when what they denied occurs, it will grieve them because they will know what is awaiting them there (in Hell) of the worst evil.

This means that it will surround them and Allah will command what they were not able to reckon or fully comprehend to come to them.

وَلَوْ أَنَّ لِلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعاً وَمِثْلَهُ مَعَهُ لاَفْتَدَوْاْ بِهِ مِن سُوءِ الْعَذَابِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَبَدَا لَهُمْ مِّنَ اللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يَكُونُواْ يَحْتَسِبُونَ

وَبَدَا لَهُمْ سَيِّئَاتُ مَا كَـسَبُواْ وَحَاقَ بِهِم مَّا كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ

and there will become apparent to them from Allah what they had not been reckoning. And the evils of that which they earned will become apparent to them, and that which they used to mock at will encircle them. (39:47,48)

This is why it will be said to them in order to scold and reprimand them,

... وَقِيلَ هَذَا الَّذِي كُنتُم بِهِ تَدَّعُونَ ﴿٢٧﴾

This is what you were calling for!

meaning, that you were seeking to hasten.

 

28.

قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَهْلَكَنِيَ اللَّهُ وَمَنْ مَعِيَ أَوْ رَحِمَنَا

Say: "Tell me! If Allah destroys me, and those with me, or He bestows His mercy on us -

فَمَنْ يُجِيرُ الْكَافِرِينَ مِنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

who can save the disbelievers from a painful torment''

29.

قُلْ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ آمَنَّا بِهِ وَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا ۖ

Say: "He is the Most Gracious, in Him we believe, and upon Him we rely.

فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ هُوَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ

So, you will come to know who it is that is in manifest error.''

30.

قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَصْبَحَ مَاؤُكُمْ غَوْرًا فَمَنْ يَأْتِيكُمْ بِمَاءٍ مَعِينٍ

Say: "Tell me! If (all) your water were to sink away, who then can supply you with flowing water''

   

The Death of the Believer will not save the Disbeliever, so let Him reflect upon His Deliverance

Allah says,

قُلْ ...      

say,

`O Muhammad to these idolators who are associating partners with Allah and denying His favors,'

... أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَهْلَكَنِيَ اللَّهُ وَمَن مَّعِيَ أَوْ رَحِمَنَا فَمَن يُجِيرُ الْكَافِرِينَ مِنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ ﴿٢٨﴾

Tell me! If Allah destroys me, and those with me, or He bestows His mercy on us - who can save the disbelievers from a painful torment?

meaning, `save yourselves, for verily, there is nothing that can rescue you from Allah except repentance, turning to Him for forgiveness and returning to His religion. Your hopes that torment and exemplary punishment will strike us, will not benefit you. Whether Allah punishes us or has mercy on us, there is no escaping from Allah's punishment and painful torment that you will suffer.'

Then Allah says,

قُلْ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ آمَنَّا بِهِ وَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا...      

Say:

"He is the Most Gracious, in Him we believe, and upon Him we rely.

meaning, `we believe in the Lord of all that exists, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, and upon Him we rely in all of our affairs.'

This is as Allah says,

فَاعْبُدْهُ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَيْهِ

So worship Him and rely upon Him. (11:123)

Thus, Allah continues saying,

... فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ هُوَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴿٢٩﴾

So, you will come to know who it is that is in manifest error.

meaning, `between Us and you, and to whom the final end (ultimate victory) will be for in this life and in the Hereafter.'

 Reminding of Allah's Blessing by the springing of Water and the Threat of It being taken away Demonstrating how merciful He is to His creatures,

Allah says;

قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَصْبَحَ مَاؤُكُمْ غَوْرًا ...      

Say:

"Tell me! If your water were to sink away...''

meaning, if it were to go away, disappearing into the lowest depths of the earth, then it would not be reachable with iron axes nor strong arms.

غَوْرًا Gha'ir' (sinking) as used here in the Ayah, is the opposite of springing forth. This is why Allah says,

... فَمَن يَأْتِيكُم بِمَاء مَّعِينٍ ﴿٣٠﴾ 

who then can supply you with flowing water?

meaning, springing forth, flowing, running upon the face of the earth.

This means that no one is able to do this except Allah. So, it is merely out of His favor and His grace that He causes water to spring forth for you, and He makes it run to the various regions of the earth in an amount that is suitable for the needs of servants, be it little or abundant. So Allah's is all the praise and thanks.

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Al-Mulk and all praise and thanks are due to Allah.

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